Te Archmage's Challenge in my saga is about to happen. It's mean to foster unity and comradery in the Rhine, and is targeted at Apprentices, a series of three of so contests that will use "skills all wizards should know".
So, one will be a certamen match.
What about the others?
Anyone have any ideas?
I guess there could be a Magic Theory test or somesuch, but it seems a bit boring.
Perhaps a scavenger hunt to gather the compenents for an item that would be best enchanted for doing X, and thus the shape/materials chart and what the PCs can wrangle from the area around Durenmar becomes important? Hmm... dunno...
Anyone have any ideas. I'm trying to give a spotlight to all the PCs.
Magnus, the Tytalus, will be the star of the certamen match.
Renaldo, the Bonisagus, is beefy in the magic theory and Rhine Tribunal Lore dept.
Caliana is the Rego Mentem social Jerbiton with the Gentle Gift.
Valerian is the Imaginem Merinita with Strong Faerie Blood.
Maximus is the Giant Blooded Verditius with high scores in the elemental magics, and lots of crafting.
In the sagas I've played in, I've noticed that beginning players often like to throw magic at most every problem that presents itself simply because they can. After their first horrific botch or two, they then become a little bit more cautious and start looking for alternative (mundane) solutions.
To drive that point home early, it might be interesting to set up a situation with an obvious (but difficult or dangerous) magical solution and an easy (but non-obvious) mundane solution.
This isn't a great example, but that might be something like, "Without talking to the abbot, determine his birthday." The abbey is in a divine aura, so InMe will be difficult, but it shouldn't be too hard to gain an answer through social engineering.
I can't remember if this is in an Atlas product of in a White Woof product, but I seem to remember a gauntlet where an apprentice to had to unlock a chest. Bascially any spell thrown at the chest was canceled, and no matter how hard the apprentice tried he simply couldn't open it. He failed his gauntlet like two times. On the third attempt he walked over and opened it, it was never locked in a mundane manner.
My troupe has a soft spot for these sort of challenges. I think I recently mentioned my brothers Bonisagus's gauntlet. Basically he decided his apprentice (played by another player) would always recieve and F on his graded Hermetic Test. As soon as the newbie player asserted himself and contested the results he would be accepted as a Magus of the Order. That one took I think two or three attempts before the 'riddle' of the Gauntlet was deduced.
My RedCap apprentice paid a Quaesitor to declare her a Magus of the Order so she wouldn't have to go through her Pater's chosen Gauntlet. This led to several controversies. Before the issue of buying my Magehood was resolved, my Pater declared me a Magus so it sort of became irrelevant. For the sake of arguement though, I do wish that I had bested my Pater by becomeing a Magus before he could declare me one. That would have been rich. Sigh.....
The apprentices have a day to run out into the Black Forest.
The need to assemble materials to make an item of worth to a covenant and explain why their idea is the best. They'll be judged on use, how good the components are to their purpose, and as a bonus, if they can score Vis that would help in enchanting it, they get extra points.
I think this was an example of a Jerbiton Gauntlet in one of the old 2nd or 3rd edition books. An apprentice walks into a room with a large chest, and his master tells him to describe the contents of the chest. The apprentice tries Intellego Herbam to see inside, Muto (probably Rego actually ) Herbam to change it to glass, Perdo Terram to destroy the bindings, Rego magic to force it open, etc... Everything fails because of the countermagics placed on the chest.
After the apprentice exhausts himself repeatedly, the master finally asks if the apprentice admits defeat. The apprentice does and the master calls in a grog and tells him to open the chest. The grog walks over and casually flips open the unlocked chest. The master says to the apprentice, "Better luck next year."
Tiddlywinks played using only spontaneous Rego (whatever tiddlywinks were made of other than plastic). Or perhaps marbles. Or bocci! Sponting with open arts alone would be fun and tiring. Then the apprentices could all go off to bed and the grown-ups could play.
All apprentice should be able to creo something or muto something. Using rego they should be able to give the object motion.
The skill is making the object beautiful and a work of art which requires skill or finesse.
The point of the excercise is to teach apprentice not to make ugly creations. The 13th century takes great pride in the appearance of items and are willing to spend more money on beautiful items. Functionality was only considered part of the item.
The contest is best led by a House Jerbiton with some artistic skill not only creating something but also creating an artistic piece at thte same time.
You could combine the series...start at Durenmar with a riddle, that riddle points them out to the forest for the items, and the Rhine Tribunal Lore might help...
Then have a scavenger hunt for different materials throughout the forest. At each point, you have a full fledged magus with a puzzle that can be solved either mundanely or by magic. Resolving the puzzle gets the item, and the clue to the next item's location.
This allows the senior magi to get a feel for the apprentices' problem solving skills, provides supervision-- doesn't the King of the Black Forest Fae hate Durenmar? What better punishment than to hurt the magi's "children"-- and allows each magus to shine in turn. Bonus points for them when they fend off a simple fae attack? Maybe a few goblins with minimal Might that try to steal their items?