Basically, I was planning a more high-fantasy saga for my troupe (first time Alpha SGing, though I've played for three years and have done some Beta SGing) and they wanted to try being "special snowflakes" rather than starting from the same place as everyone else. I got the cogs in my head spinning, and decided to start with the usual prophecy business, to give them an excuse to have special opportunities and lots more power than everyone else of what would be considered their "caliber."
A gate to another world appears, through which any magus can pass, but they are only allowed a single 24-hour period before the world ejects them out, and they must spend as much time outside as they spent inside before they may return (thus removing the ability to do, say, labwork in there), with the exception of the eight chosen children: born within the same hour of the day, same day of the week, over the course of eight weeks, in the same town. All would be Gifted and possess immense power compared to their fellow magi, yet rather than being total outcasts, they would all be born with an immunity to the negative emotions birthed from one another, and through this sanctity with each other they would form deep bonds, bonds deep enough to bind them together as they venture into the strange world with little help. Each magus or maga may gift three other people with the ability to enter the new world and remain there, but the transference will only work on a single Gifted individual, and all must be affiliated with the Magic Realm in some way. Due to the involved mental processes, the Gifted individual's total Magical Abilities and Arts combined scores must be equal to or less than the combined scores of Magical Abilities and Arts possessed by the chosen child.
It's a lot of big words, but what it basically means is that the eight chosen magi each can take another Gifted character (I'm personally going to require a Hermetic mage) and two unGifted with them, but the Gifted characters can't be more skilled than the chosen magi.
So, my ideas were twofold as to how to increase their power right out of Gauntlet. The obvious one is that, seeing how incredibly important the children are, once they're found they'll be given to the most exceptional magi to be trained as apprentices (and we're making an exception to the rules for you Bonisagi, because we can't afford you screwing up these kids' Gifts by studying them!), and I'll play through the apprenticeship to give them what will likely be a LOT more xp than is normally granted to starting magi. Second, and more importantly (as it's the whole reason they have such prophetic power) is that they will be what I call Mythic Magi. I'd like to call them something else, because that sounds redundant, but it's what I've got right now.
A Mythic Magus is much like a Mythic Companion. They get two Virtue points for every Flaw point, and as an added bonus, as Gifted characters, I'm also allowing them two Major Hermetic Virtues rather than the one they're normally limited to. Rules involving things you can only have one of by virtue of the thing itself rather than being a Major Hermetic Virtue, such as Foci, still apply; you can't be a Tremere with MMF for trees, for example. Other than the parts about playing through apprenticeship (or really, more like doing extremely complex character generation as a group) and the Mythic Magi bit, they're generated as normal magi. (Their required Minor Virtue for being Mythic is Unaffected by the Gift, btw. Sorry, kind of a waste once Parma is learned, but it's a backstory thing)
Their companion-equivalent slot will, in fact, be another magus, generated with the normal complex character generation rules with normal amounts of xp, and given the Magical Arts and Abilities requirement they probably won't be more than ten, MAYBE twenty years out of apprenticeship at MOST. In fact, I might cap it at 15 years just so they don't seem too advanced and so that if one player is more Arts-focused at character generation he doesn't also get too nerfed of a companion... magus. Ugh, words.
Lastly, their two unGifted. Hm... They'll be playing the role of grogs, but I'm CONSIDERING having them built as Companions with a stipulation of "no Story Flaws or Major Personality Flaws." They will require a Supernatural Virtue associated with the Magic Realm either way.
Anyway, my big question today is, since my players won't really be familiar enough with the rules to pull off hacks with thousands of free xp during character generation, most of their bonus power will come from the more powerful Parens (I might not stat them, and just give them a base 19 Source Quality for teaching, which goes up to like 23 or 25 if the chosen magus takes Skilled Parens) who will probably teach them more often to boot, and of course their position as Mythic Magi. Do you guys think this will be enough to set them a significant amount above their peers? Or would any magus with a couple years under his belt to catch up xp-wise mostly match them despite their having more Virtues? Is making them "Mythic" a big enough bonus to make them genuinely more powerful, or is their only reason to be considered special, at this point, the fact that they can stay within the gated world for an indefinite length of time? (World in question has an aura of 10, with regios that reportedly contain even stronger auras) Possibly the most relevant question from the players' own perspective, will the Virtues be enough that if they build each of their magi with equal mechanical skill, the Mythic Magus will maintain a notable advantage over their other character to the point where they can feel the difference in play?
And before it is suggested, I brought the very most basic parts of this idea up to the players (I really only got to "you guys and a select few of your choosing will be the only ones who can stay in the new world they found") and they immediately told me they'd like to, through whatever reasonable-sounding Tribunal decision I have to cook up, go into that world right out of their main magi's Gauntlets. So advancing them a few years for stronger everybody doesn't really work. So there's that... Yeah. Opinions?