Gauntlet presents?

It's mentioned that magi usually receive gifts from the parens on swearing the oath, and also that newly founded covenants are often sponsored by gifts.

I'm guessing most of these are fairly standard gifts: mundane money, books, etc. In my saga, the players are about to go for their gauntlet next session (and hopefully pass). I'm trying to come up with some nice ideas for parting gifts, that would either be cool or could serve as story seeds. There is a Bjornaer, a Bonisagus, and a Tremere apprentice, the latter has skilled parens. They hail from Fengheld, btw, so it's a fairly wealthy covenant.

I'd like to see some opinions on how much to spend on parting gifts. I'm kind of new to the game (our whole troupe is). I'm guessing it should be enough to cover being a peregrinator for a while, at the very least, which I guess, would mean perhaps 9-12 Vis or someting like that. What's reasonable?

What I'm thinking currently...

Tremere apprentice:

  • a griomire containing a selection of useful spells as lab text, 130 levels total, mainly Rego spells.
  • Tremere robes.
  • a chess board with pawns each holding 1 Vis.
  • an expensive and high-quality gladius.

Bonisagus Apprentice:

  • A very ornate copy of Principia Magica from Bonisagus. The book is of limited use as a learning aid, but a self-initiation script for an alchemical mystery cult is hidden in it, which can be uncovered by studying it as a magical item. Upon being correctly triggered by "feeding" certain elements to the book during a full solar eclipse in the correct order, the book transforms into a chalice, the initiation text becoming wine, which must be drank. I hope I was able to stat the magic involved correctly...

Bjornaer Apprentice (eagle):

  • A copper ankle chain, similar to that of Falke in GotF:RT. Shrinks to stay on the leg of the wearer, and dresses the wearer for Sun duration on command. Gifted by the apprentice's fashion-sensitive sept aunt (I'm trying to drive home the message thet he has a clan looking out fot him). Not sure about his pater's gift.

Thanks for all answers, and I hope my ideas are useful to someone.

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I too have given this topic some thought. I find it interesting that there is no mention of gift-giving to apprentices in the character creation topic, no suggestion for starting gifts given to characters, no virtues to give a gauntlet-present a mechanical dimension.

In the saga i play in right now I have considered it extensively from the other direction. My character is a bonisagus. My idea is to have my apprentice do various shitty menial tasks, like copy lab texts and books, enchant magic items from lab texts etc. and then as a surprise gift the apprentice a lot of what they have made. e.g. My character is a gifted Corpus maga and writer and I intendt to have my apprentice quick-copy some of the tractatus that I write and then give the apprentice a copy of their own so that they have something to provide to prove their worth as a member of a prospective covenant member.

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In my experience, a lot of these gifts have been represented mechanically by Build Points, the things new magi bring with them to a spring covenant. The player, in that way, decides what the gifts are.

However, in my HBO Ars Magica game, we didn't use Build Points because were playing through the apprenticeship. The PCs, as apprentices, had a free season usually once a year, and eventually they started spending these seasons copying books and gathering other resources they wanted to take with them.

That game was in the Greater Alps, which is wealthy. Some of the newly-Gauntleted magi got a gift that represented 1 season of work by their parens. Others got an IOU for a high-level longevity ritual, when the PC wanted one. The Tremere parens gave a group of Black Cloaks, elite Tremere shield grogs. One apprentice had a personal vis source their parens had collected every year for 15 years, but had not spent, and so gifted it back. I also used this as an opportunity to insert elements into the game I wanted to personally see: so one PC got a book detailed the Minor Breakthrough from Magi of Hermes that allows a magi to make a Longevity Ritual that doesn't make the magus infertile, and another got a book that detailed Target: Pair, because that's something I'd like to see in the game.



I guess there is no mention of that because standard gameplay involves gauntleted magi, and "gift items" are probably included in covenant design. I'm going to be a bit more liberal with the gifts because 1. it makes sense given their background, 2. We play through apprenticeship and the establishment of the covenant, a number of things handled through covenant design RAW will be done as we play.

I understand that there are magi who basically exploit their apprentices as (more or less) free labor to the limits of the Code, and toss some token gift at them so as to not look bad in Hermetic circles, but I'd argue there any many others who invest extra resources into training them (and/or taking care of them at the launch of their career). After all, a very well-trained, successful apprentice probably brings at least as much prestige to the parens as a well-written book. Also, since we are talking about everyday relations with a kid for about 15 years, I'd assume at least some magi are genuinely sentimental towards their apprentices.


Hm, I probably should have done the free season thing - the main reason we started in apprenticeship was I wanted to let players test the mechanics and build future ambitions/connections while we're still "playing small".

Anyways, a single season of work sounds like a pretty reasonable guideline, and I love the idea of Tremere grogs - since we have one too, I will probably use it.

I'm trying to be thoughtful about future developments while giving them options to go after too. I think the Bonisagus has a pretty good lead with the initiation script, and I can probably set up the Tremere grogs in a way that needs some player involvement. As for the Bjornaer, I think the longevity ritual sounds nice because he is pretty far from being useful in that field.

Anyway, thanks for the replies!


For the bonisagus maybe an old folio on his favourite area of expertise? One he has not read but valuable to him. His parens dug it out for him in the library or made it sent from Durenmar. The folio would contain pure xp in his favourite subjects, but also a minor breakthrough or insight into an obscure area.

Tremere. The soldiers look great. Also, a list of useful contacts and locations with resources and the codes to access them in case of need would be cool as well. Not necessarily tremere resources, but parental resources.

For the bjornaer I am drawing a blank. I am not really into them, so maybe this is contranatura for them, bit if not, some kind of steel claws that transform with the wearer, or a necklace that transforms with the bearer and grants animal ken so he can speak with all animals. Huge penetration (something like +100) so that his own Parma does not impede communication. Or an item that transforms with him and can invoke beast of outlandish size on command.

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I just found out there is a folio collection here, so that should help.:smiley:
Also, useful contacts are a really good idea and they are way better than stuff like money or gear, because they can turn into stories. Thanks!

I had a character train an in-game apprentice and gave her a gift of some "books and scrolls mainly, but also a hardy travel chest to contain it all." Intend was to give the character some small boost, not a character defining gift.

As a Tremere the Master also showed her the new voting sigil that the apprentice helped find the materials for and craft, and then took it away, as is tradition.

Late in her apprenticeship the Master also tasked her to create a fixed arcane connection to herself, which he then tested, and then kept as well.

ps. thread - Micaela's Gauntlet (1240)


Are those Black Cloaks canon or just a cool idea?

I'm flattered you like them, thank you! They are not canon. They first appeared in my HBO Ars Magica campaign, and you can see their first draft here

Later, I did some more work on the concept and they appeared in more-or-less-final form in the 2nd issue of Peripheral Code.

I love them and will use them in my saga, thank you! :smiley:

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