Fostering Apprentices

I got a little confused between the core rules and True Lineages. The core book says that a magus must spend 15 seasons training an apprentice. I thought I saw something in TL about fostering an apprentice with another magus. Can a wizard do this in lieu of direct training? Meaning, if wizard A is too busy one year, can he let wizard B take the obligation for that year?

(In my saga we’ve more or less established that you can, but I was wondering what the official word is, and am uncertain.)

Without actually looking in a book i think you need to provide an apprentice with one season a year for 15 years of one on one training. Key word being 'provide', not do it yourself.

In my opinion as well. I am also of the opinion that you can sit the apprentice down with your library and get him ploughing through the summas to count towards this.

It might not cover the legal criteria, but there are a number of magi out there who only take an apprentice to cover their archmage requirements, and don't have any interest in training them themselves, or in getting a lab assistant. Four seasons a year unrestricted study would turn out a much better apprentice than teaching him yourself for one season a year, so I doubt too many other magi would complain.

IMS we have house-ruled that the "one season a year" tutelage is one on one personal training and HAS to be done by the magus. Usually when not being trained our apprentices are either working as lab monkeys (err....assistants), doing chores (such as opening items for enchantment) or reading books from the library.

Sometimes we even get the covenants resident magister in arbitus to teach them philosophy, artes liberales and langauages.

Yeah thats how we have been doing it...(but we are considering the fostering idea) but we have found out something interesting...
Our apprentices are coming out WAY more powerful than the rules allow. My apprentices have MT scores around 8 and several double digit scores (their choice). That is on top of the fact we are having them do some of our work and projects...

If I remember correctly, the core rules state that the magus must "personally" train the apprentice one season a year. Fostering is an exception that occurs only in House Bonisagus. Apprentices already receive special treatment in that House, and fostering can be viewed as an additional House benefit, much like taking another maga's apprentice.

And yes, we've seen that any detailed approach of apprentice training by the group results in many more experience points for that character than if he had been created using the normal character generation rules. Presently, this disparity is unresolved, and we haven't found a way to address this just yet.

Matt Ryan

Yeah, my apprentice, despite being only halfway through her apprenticeship already has more XP than a starting character, which frankly makes me think the biggest reason for enforcing the one-season of personal instruction is to limit their advancement. I mean, my magus is not as good a teacher as the books in the library, by any means.

One future house rule I'm considering is limiting the advancement rate for learning through books (and possibly teachers, for that matter) by the attribute modifier table for age.

Or we could just do detailed character generation for all characters.
Not the quick & dirty method given in the front of Ars Magica 5th Ed.

I believe that the starting values were derived from 15 seasons of tutalige and 45 seasons of exposure.

The thought being that aside from the one season per year where the apprentice is learning from the magus the apprentice is going to be spending his time as a lab assitant (and if the pater is spending his season reading then the apprentice can spend his time doing vis extraction).

It's easy to see how an apprentice could be stopped from getting multiple seasons in the library every year. Those seasons could easily be bartered away to send the apprentice to a colleage's lab to bring in a favor. The apprentice is going to become a magus. They're fantastically fortunate. They should be grateful that they get a whole season of teaching per year. Becomeing a magus would be a bargan at three times the price.

To the extent that your saga differs from these assumptions your results will differ from the rules

Erik...You are certainly correct in your statement...

I have found though that the better educated my apprentice, the more help that can be lent in the lab. Hence, its to my advantage to let them study.
The book states that lab work, and passing on your heritage are the main reason for taking an apprentice. What percentage is it? My thought on that is that any magus that takes an apprentice to help in the lab is doing so for their own benefit. I therefore see that they would invest as much effort* as possible into their apprentice.
As for the other projects that keep an apprentice busy...well, distilling Vis is a lab activity. The higher the lab total, the more Vis I would get out of it...doesn't it behoove me to training them just a little more so that I get a little more Vis?

RARoger: Interesting idea...what you are saying though is that because they are (Gauntlet -X) years, they are incapable of learning correctly/fully? While this fits as a game balance concept, it twists the system. You would have to appy that to everyone (Grogs, Companions etc) :confused:
I would think that if you want that, it would be better to to just say: "Apprentices can't have more than one season of learning a year"

Nope, I'm saying that an 8-year old can not learn as quickly from a books as a 12 or 16 year old. I'd apply the same modifiers to certain advancement qualities as the attributes chart.

Essentially saying the concept is to hard to understand at 1st....not a bad idea.

I advise everyone not to go there on learning modifiers for the young, as it leads to other concepts. Such as the well known fact that children are far more adept at learning langauges than adults, and that certain skills require training from a very young age to do properly.

Best just leave it with a flat, unrealistic set experience gain per year regardless. Call it the factors balance out.

True enough and kind of my point..

AHHH, So you are saying that younger people can't learn as fast...hmm Okay I'll buy that...What about Int? So would you then give a bonus for high Intel? Ie a +5 Int person would learn quicker than a -2 person for sure...And I know several people are...very smart...that prove that. They skipped grades in school because of it. (one part of the rules that I disagree with )
Of course you could just make sure that the Magi doesn't ever get Any apprentice that has a very high Int. Heck, we can avoid the whole thing by not having any apprentices...
(humor) :wink:

On the other hand if you actually use the age to limit sats their's no reason to limit the quality you can receive...
But if you have a Magic theory book of 8 why limit the value you can get from it to 5 or less because you are "too young"...

I'll just accept that my apprentice will easily have twice the starting exp as me, but that I'll still be able to fry him if he decided to be ungrateful and turn on me :smiling_imp:

Or stop that line of thought and get your storyguide to start a campaign in a huge covenant like diosetep which has room for lots of apprentices of all houses at once and have all players start from apprentice onwards.

Let all players gain the benefit of the experience rules. Yes they lose their independence and most rights, but a game where they have the protection of their masters taking the blame for their crimes for the first 15 years might be fun. Watch all the players try to wiggle out of lab assistance work and get the maximum length of time being taught or studying privately.

Nope, what I'm trying to say is that in my mind books on magic are written by and for grad students, and so an eight year old is not going to receive the same benefit from reading one as someone older and already more trained. I wouldn't apply it to teaching, because you can teach to someone's level. Same with training. I certainly wouldn't apply it to exposure. But I think that applying it to reading books better models how I epect advancement to occur. And I think the modifiers for age as present are a decent enough, average fix.

Is that clearer?

Anyway, I worked out why my character's apprentice is gaining lots of XP though reading. It's because my character is still fairly young, and has had to spend a lot of time reading to boost his Arts himself. Which gives the apprentice more free seasons than in the base calculations.

All of this is actually easily modeled with various Virtues and Flaws (she's covenant raised or whatever and had a good, meaning nice, teacher), so in my mind the system works.

I think an apprentice-based campaign would be a blast, sort of a proto-Hogwarts kind of thing. Sadly, my current group wasn't too interested when I pitched it.

Well, I can understand their lack of interest in that. Playing characters that are powerless is fun, but after a while you can get tired of it.
A good example is that just about every game I have seen described on this board is a Gauntlet +5-10 game. I haven't seen a Gauntlet + 50 game described yet....

So speed up the seasonal transition speed.

You can speed up and slow down games at will, depending on how much fun is being had. If the players aren't enjoying themselves then skip a bit, give enough flavour so that they get an idea of their apprentices growth and lives, but keep it moving.

Send them on only a few missions during apprenticeship, and then slow it down for the gauntlet and kick them all off to found a new covenant together, and play as normal.