(Lack of) sleep and Gift of Vigor

Suppose character A has spent 16 hours awake, and is ready to go to sleep. Magus B instead has just awoken from 8 hours of restful sleep. If magus B casts the Gift of Vigor on character A, is the result that A is now as fresh as if he'd just woken up, and magus B can go (back) to sleep in his stead? Or does sleep entail something other than recovery of bodily energy according to Ars Magica's "biology"? I've tried looking in A&A but without much success.

You can argue, based on the Gift of Vigor's description: the spell can only transfer short term fatigue levels. Spell is to help wizards cast more spells. Spells cause short term fatigue level, so Gift of Vigor can transfer only short term fatigue levels.

Sleep deprivation is a long-term fatigue level.

I would say Magus A is fresh. It's just not going to happen that often to worry about it, IMO.

Apprentice abuse. Apprentice feeds master fat levels, and the master uses the extra time in the lab. The apprentice does the sleeping and instead of the master being down one season a year, he is up one.

The Apprentice has to have Arts sufficient to cast the spell and the spell itself. It is a 20th level spell, which suggests it's taught later in the apprentice's career, where his lab total for Rego Corpus is 20+. It's more reasonable to presume that the apprentice is better able to help the magus in the lab (adding Int+Magic Theory to the magus's lab total) than any bonuses that he might receive from this kind of setup.

And, it isn't abuse. A master can do whatever he wants with his apprentice, so long as he teaches one season per year.

20th level means... maybe 90 xp. (9*2+2=20) Open the arts and train for 6 seasons. Tops. Then you gain 13 seasons over the next 13 years. That's a damn good investment. Plus you can pump the apprentice for books or items or whatever in the seasons he is awake.

There is absolutely nothing to suggest that he gets another season of work out of the deal. I might give a bonus, but it certainly wouldn't provide another season, and the bonus will be slightly less than whatever his apprentice could provide him otherwise.

The magi isn't sleeping. There is ample precedent for not sleeping leading to two extra seasons a year. Notably the no fatigue quality says that no sleep leads to two extra seasons, and the Becoming says that no sleep leads to two extra seasons. In fact:

Not sleeping means extra seasons. Straight from RoP: M pg. 40

This is why context is so important to everything that is done in Ars Magica.

Yes, there are paths to what Magus A wants, if extra seasons of study are what he really wants. It's possible that an NPC might even pursue the method described here. But a fully fleshed out player character will never get away with pulling a stunt like this, without some serious risk.

There are paths to ultimate power in Ars Magica. Ars Magica isn't a game about how, like D&D is. It's a game about why. Why is the character doing this? Is he hoping to transform himself into a being of magic, through repeated castings of the Gift of Vigor, while also researching the same transformation? Yeah, that makes some thematic sense. If his research is completely different, and he's a player character and just trying to receive a mechanical bonus, no. He might get a mechanical bonus. Sure. But he might not like the cost. Nothing is ever free. A creative enough SG will find a way to make the character pay for his choice or will do something that will interrupt the choice.

If an NPC is doing this, he's probably an antagonist who's draining the Tribunal of available apprentices. He takes an apprentice, and does this to them for 13-14 years, and then there's a lab accident where they die, but he survives. Or he kills them outright, or any number of possibilities.

A magus who takes an apprentice usually wants to pass on a legacy. Some do abuse their apprentices, even kill them, but 90%, or more, of them want to leave a legacy, demonstrate their prowess as a teacher, or something. There are many times where the bonus an apprentice can provide is actually more valuable than the two extra seasons a year one could get. Also, the two seasons is a best case scenario, it actually becomes 1 season, because for that 1 season, both the magus and the apprentice need to be awake at the same time to do the teaching.

So, back to my first response. I'm not to concerned about this being abused. If I'm playing with munchkins, I just SG fiat it doesn't work that way, you want the benefits of Becoming or the Quality of No Fatigue, pursue those paths. The Gift of Vigor on a daily basis over the course of a season or more won't work. If there's an interesting story, talk to me and the troupe about it, and we'll figure something out.

The apprentice is still awake for two seasons a year. That's enough time to study. Also due to the power training early the apprentice gets early in the time he actually ends up with more experience than "standard". (26 seasons of exposure or 56 xp, but 4 season of extra training early for 60xp.)

There are rules in covenants about what happens to people who use magic to avoid sleep and therefore spend more time in the lab. They're in the section on laboratory routines.

(I think that you'd need a different spell than gift of vigor to do long term fatigue however)

I would apply both personally.

Yes, in order to teach the apprentice, the Master has to allow the apprentice to be awake, so that's 1 season. The master receives no benefit for just 1 season of keeping the apprentice awake, so that's two seasons. The other two, the apprentice sleeps, and the master is awake, and gets an additional season. Is that how you're working it out?

So, what does this apprentice really look like. We'll presume the master didn't pick anyone who was all that capable with Rego or Corpus. The master isn't interested in teaching and never developed the ability, and has a -1 Com, on top of it. His SQ is 8. The master is selfish, so he'll never put exposure xp into teaching, and will instead invest that back into whatever he taught the apprentice.
Year 1: Open Arts; Teach Corpus x 3. for a total of 27. Next Year, he'll be high enough in Corpus.
Year 2: Teach Corpus x3, Teach Rego
Year 3: Teach Rego x4
Year 4: Teach Rego x2, Teach Spell Gift of Vigor; Whatever, no magus teaching, and no fatigue pump available
Year 5-15: Teach whatever, Fatigue slave x2, Apprentice does whatever

I'll concede, depending on the apprentice's covenant privileges, that 15 seasons of reading could make the apprentice pretty respectable power wise, depending on the Quality of the library. He has some problems to overcome, though, before then. He doesn't know Latin, so someone needs to teach it to him, so the Library will be off limits to him because of that until he gets to Latin 4, and Artes Liberales 1. A reasonable teacher SQ for a single Gifted Student is 10 (Com 2 + Teaching 2 +3 (std) +6 single student Bonus -3 Gifted), so 6 more years before he gets access to the library, for his last 4 or 5 years, he might be allowed access to the library. He still has to learn Magic Theory in there, somewhere, maybe the Master does teach it to him eventually. That's what the apprentice looks like. What does this cost the master to get the benefit of an extra season a year for 10 years. It took him 10 seasons extra of teaching to get, wait for it. Wait for it. 10 seasons of benefit from his fatigue pump.

Now, I know this all changes for a magus who has high teaching capability, but if he has high teaching, he's not going to want to waste an apprentice as a fatigue pump, he's going to train the apprentice, and probably impart some of his favored virtues, may even without any of his hated weaknesses. And we go back to where I was in the beginning. It's not going to happen enough to worry about.

The if the apprentice constantly feeds the master fatigue he'll be awake for 8 hours a day. Sleep naturally, feed fat and sleep for 8 more, and finally be awake for 8 hours.

This is a stupid master. Assuming a non-idiotic master, he'll be able to get a lab tech to make him a nice teaching lab. That's +3. Read a half-decent book on teaching for a season or two and he'll have two teaching. Finally he specs in apprentices. That's +6 total. He might need to work a little harder if he has below average communication. That costs 3 season tops. So 15Q not 8.
So it actually looks like:
Year 1: Open, Teach corpus3 4 seasons here.
Year 2: Teach Rego
3, Get taught spell 4 more seasons here.
Year 3: Get taught, fat slave*2, exposure xp in something or reading. Years 3-8 will be latin exposure. Probably 9-15 reading, although you could get away with exposure. 13 season gained. That means at least 2 seasons of profit. Later apprentices will be even better.

Even magi with decent teaching only teach 15 seasons a year normally. This deal benefits the apprentice with xp, and magi profits a few seasons worth of time. Now the addled part might get in the way, but a little magical druggie never hurt anyone. If they want to be kind to the apprentice they feed the guy some books.

The draining nature of the spell on the apprentice causes him to sleep the entire day away, as if the life has been sucked out of him.

No, it's a selfish master. You're looking at it like a player. I'm looking at it like a character. You're ignoring the time it's taken to refine his lab and install the virtues to get to the +3 Teaching (and the opportunity cost of not having bonuses to other things). Which is a cost of 5 or 6 seasons that needs to get added to your total price. Add to that the cost of improving the teaching ability. I personally don't like the apprentices specialty here. I can't say that I haven't used it, but I don't like it, I think it's cheap, and any saga I run in the future will make it go for a specific subject.

From your 2 seasons of profit, I take 5 seasons of improving his lab for teaching, assuming a Size 0 (occupied or otherwise) lab, with room for the magus to refine it (either his MT is high enough to add 3 more refinement spots, or he takes some flaws, but we'll assume that his MT is high enough), and installing a Greater Virtue that can give +3 for teaching. So he now has 3 seasons of loss, and a lab that isn't as effective as it might be, if it weren't setup for teaching, so whenever he doesn't have an apprentice (they don't grow on trees, you know), he has to reconfigure the lab, at the cost of two more seasons.

Not necessarily true, the minimum is 15 seasons of teaching over 15 years, at least once per year. A good hearted magus with poor Com will probably teach more than is required to make up for his own failings. A proud magus might, too, because his apprentice is a reflection upon him. Then again you might have someone like a Bonisagus character I played for a bit who had a SQ of 25. He was a Good Teacher, had +3 Com, a lab configured for teaching, and a good Teaching Ability score. He wanted to teach. He had two apprentices at one time for a bit. One his daughter, the other was an apprentice whose first master abandoned him, second master fostered him indefinitely, and third master was murdered.

I'll grant you the mechanics could be used to allow you to do what you want to do, but such a character isn't interesting, and such a circumstance is boring and without feeling or character.

A magi shouldn't be refining his lab in all honesty. At all. Mundanes can learn magic theory, they should do the refining it. You don't have a Verdi smith your sword. It takes... maybe 6 seasons of training to learn how to set up a lab. So its really, 6 seasons of training, 1 season of set up (elementary flaw) and one season of installing a lesser feature/focus. Or 4 years of a mundane's work, or 4 pounds. You can have more than one lab.

Say's you. This is a master who leaves a better trained apprentice than the average magi. More of a not-infinitely-selfless master.

Erm... no. Its just a good night of sleep to recover a fatigue level.

This isn't the whole of the character. Its a character who wants a little more free time. Doesn't everyone? What makes him interesting or uninteresting is what he does with his extra free time.

What? Sure you have Verditius smith your sword, and make it an item of quality with a +4 to hit that isn't considered magical. They can do it in a season, and it's probably the best sword you could ever get your hands on. It costs, what, 3 pawns of vis?

But, the mundane people who have magic theory, they have to have it to at least 4, of not more. They had to get that training somehow, at the very least learning Latin, and what other job aren't they doing that could benefit the covenant more? And yes, it's possible to have more than one lab, but only if your covenant's finances are sufficient to handle extra labs.

I'll stand by my assertion that the magus is selfish. The Bonisagus I referenced, even having two apprentices will churn out better apprentices than your example master who abuses his apprentice for two seasons a year. And, as you said, you can have more than one lab. Seasons where the Bonisagus wasn't teaching either apprentice could have them fixing arcane connections or distilling vis from the aura. Both extremely valuable and necessary duties that your example master's apprentice would never really have the time to do.

I know what it is, but this is abusive enough that I'd just go back to the OP's suggestion that sleep is necessary, and then the spell does absolutely no good. It's more than fatigue, whether short or long. Regardless, something bad is going to come of this, especially if I'm the SG. The apprentice will hate the master. Let me also ask, if a player was playing the apprentice character, would you even consider doing this, without the other player's agreement?

Everything about the character should be interesting. Look, this can work, if you can come up with some good story behind it, you are more likely to get this past a reluctant SG. As I indicated, a stingy master who doesn't bother learning to teach, can only give a SQ of 8 decides to do this, but ends up even (he thinks he's ahead of the game, or will be), that's interesting. That's hubris and pride and vanity talking, only to be undone by gaining no actual benefit from all of his effort, except a scorned apprentice who will become his enemy later in life, and rejects him as a parental figure.

I would expect a Verdi to value 1 season of his time WAY above that. Maye 15 pawns and we start talking. Maybe up to 5-10 pawns for each +1 unresisted bonus, so 20-40 pawns for the sword. No books with me (and MC are far from my area of expetise, since I do not like them much) so no sure at all how it is in RAW, but certainly given the easiness to get vis, in the current RAW 3 pawns for a verdi's season is really really low IMO. Verdi tend to make masterpieces, and charge accordingly IMS.


It is entirely true that a Verditius may want more than 3 pawns as the price of his work, it is still the price.

An Item of Quality takes 1 pawn of vis, and twice the vis necessary is 2 pawns, so, three pawns total.
It is low, granted, but the Verditius is free to walk away from it. But as a favor for a friend or a covenant mate, or regular customer, I can see him selling an Item of Quality now and again.

There's some argument you could go the Vis extraction cost route, and I'd certainly argue that's a more accurate/fair price, presuming he has a decent CrVi lab total. But the raw says that price is to be used only if the project doesn't require vis.

Edit: the formula is 2xamount of vis he can extract in a season. And it's still a more fair/true price.