House Rule: Gauntlet Graduation Gifts

Going back to 4th edition, one of my play groups has build up a house rule for a system of determining gifts a newly gauntleted Magus might receive before they embark to found a new covenant.

With that said, we have found it is something that has been useful in games in which all of the Magi are coming together to form a new covenant. The normal small gifts such as writing implements are not included on the list, since they are assumed to be given to all graduates even ones not leaving to found a new covenant.

New Magi receive points of gifts when they pass their gauntlet, to welcome them into the brotherhood of the Order and help them begin their life as a Magus. These points are spent using a pyramid scale. Optionally they might also receive points of special gifts, which may only be used in category they have spent gift points in. What is gained from special gifts is added to what is received from normal gifts.

The default totals are 7 points of Gifts and 1 point of Special Gifts.

Gift Categories
Personnel (Grogs, Specialist)
Wealth (Silver, Equipment)
Magic (Vis, Enchantments)
Writings (Books, Lab Text)

Personnel
[Special Gift is 1x well equipped Shield Grog and 1x Specialist, both with close ties to the Magus such as family or childhood best friend]

Level Grogs Specialist
0 1x Shield Grog No Specialist
1 2x Shield Grog 1x Specialist
2 5x Shield Grog 3x Specialist
3 10x Shield Grog 6x Specialist

Wealth
[Special Gift is 15 lbs Silver (normally in the form jewelry), Excellent +1 Clothing and 1x Excellent +2 Item]

Level Silver Equipment
0 5 lb Silver, Lock Box Standard Equipment, Cart w/ Horse
1 15 lbs Silver, Lock Box 1x Excellent +1 Item, Small Wagon w/ Horses
2 30 lbs Silver, Lock Box 3x Excellent +1 Item, Wagon w/ Horses, Riding Horse
3 50 lbs Silver, Lock Box 6x Excellent +1 Item, Wagon w/ Horses, 2x Riding Horse

Magic
[Special Gift is 5x Pawn Vis and a single enchanted item (Up to level 30)]

Level Vis Item
0 1x Pawn Vis No Enchantments
1 5x Pawn Vis 30 levels single use items (Max 10 level)
2 15x Pawn Vis 50 levels single use items (Max 20 level)
3 30x Pawn Vis 75 levels single use items (Max 30 level)

Writing
[Special Gift is 1x Summa (35 total)]

Level Books Lab Text
0 No books 1 Lab Text (up to level 20)
1 1x Summa (26 total) 50 levels of Lab Text (Tablets take Double)
2 2x Summa (26 and 28 total) 150 levels of Lab Text (Tablets take Double)
3 3x Summa (26, 28, and 30 total) 300 levels of Lab Text (Tablets take Double)
6 Likes

For setting up a new Spring Covenant, this is certainly better and more balanced than the BP system in [Cov] :slight_smile: I can see myself adopting if I ever decide to boot a saga that way again, so thanks a lot for posting. Gifts to the new covenant might make more sense than gifts to the individual magus, though. In Rhine this is institutionalised. Elsewhere it may depend more on the purpose of the new covenant.

If the typical magus joins an established covenant, this is very generous as personal gifts. Especially the option to get a 35BP book as a special gift, those are supposed to be political tools [Cov]. A possible spin could of course be dowries paid the covenant taking on the young magus. Then it feels less excessive, but I fear the game consequences in a saga with a rapid turnover of players, with new magi repeatedly entering with fresh dowries ...

We have played it as gifts to a newly forming Covenant through the varies Magi who are forming it. It forms the basis of almost everything that was gifted to the new Covenant, though we have allowed things such as Magi spending a few years working to be given time to copy books and labtext.

Magi joining later have not been given anything from the table, though letting them have from 0 to 3 normal points and no special points would be an option.

That's more game balancing, but it breaks the narrative of gifts to new magi to get on in the world. It becomes gifts to the project of founding a covenant. I like that. In practice, have your players treated the gifts as personal or communal property? I.e. have they clung onto the vis for personal projects and hidden the summæ in their own labs? Or has it gone into the covenant treasury?

2 Likes

In the games we have used it, the items have mostly gone into the covenant treasury. Items that have not normally include some of the Excellent items received from Wealth and a shield grog or two being considered that Magus personal shield grog, especially if they are a sibling/childhood friend.

That is not to say that we have not had the Magus who brought a special gift Summa and asked if they could study it first has not happened. But we have not had it happen that the Magus tries to keep the Summa locked in their lab, not allowing anyone else to access it. Spring covenants already have a hard enough time being established, not sharing the resources that they have makes it more likely they will fail.

2 Likes

This is interesting. I’d like to see how it plays out. Thank you for sharing!