LR for redcaps

Idly thinking today.

Over the entire order, how many Magus-seasons are dedicated per year to generating Longevity rituals for the redcaps/other non Magi?

For house Mercere we have about 150 redcaps in the entire order

For those with no connection to the magic realm, the LR provides LT/10 bonus, so call that +3

For those with a connection to the Magic realm the LR provides LT/5 so call that +7

When a crisis hits the LR does not have to be reinvented, merely repeated, so I suspect that the truly mundane redcaps will probably just rebrew the same LR, as getting an extra +1 is not worth the effort in finding a capable Magus, whilst for the connected, it's easier to find someone who will give a material improvement.

Without going through the numbers explicitly, I can't really get a feel for the numbers, and was wondering whether it "feels right" to have one (or two) Magi in Harco who deal with all the LR for the redcaps as they are needed less often, or does each tribunal have a goto specialist that House Mercere hires on a retainer?

The numbers seem to complicated for me to run as there are too many initial assumptions, and I can see story implications for either answer, so I guess what I'm asking is what assumptions seem reasonable to you? I'm not going to treat your answers as gospel, just curious.


Yes. :smiley:

Two magi in Harco are probably just enough or just short of being enough. Let's assume that there are two magi who do this throughout the Order for all of the Redcaps, and they provide exclusive services to House Mercere. Their contract is no more than two Longevity Rituals per year, that means that they can make a total of 4 rituals per year. I'm not sure how to go about developing a model that represents how many Redcaps out of 150 need an LR each year, but 4 sounds about right, or at least not horribly unreasonable, when you consider new ones or Redcaps purchasing a new, better one for whatever reason. There may also be spouses involved here and there. At times where there's a backlog, they might bring in someone else, if they can.

And there's nothing to say that an individual Redcap can't go to another magus who also does (better) longevity rituals than what House Mercere has on retainer, if they're willing to pay the fee and have the vis to do so.

I can envision the magi doing this for House Mercere are taking this job with the idea of making a lot of vis to save up for some project, and it could even be a revolving door of sorts for longevity ritual practitioners to get name recognition and develop a reputation.

The short answer: the answer could obviously vary, but 1-2 seasons/year from experienced specialist(s) are probably enough for the whole House.

Number crunching:
a. The house has some 150 Redcaps. However, a fraction of these are Lone Redcaps for which the House provides no LR. Another fraction are Redcaps in good standing that could get their LR from the House, but in fact receive them from other, "better" sources (e.g. Thebes). So, let's say very roughly 100 Redcaps are "supported", possibly less.
b. How long does a Redcap live? Tough question, it depends on so many factors. But, roughly speaking, I'd say very roughly 100 years after gauntlet, possibly a little less.
If we assume the population of the House stays roughly constant, this means an average of about 1 new Redcap/year joins the House, and 1 old Redcap/year dies; if the numbers above are skewed, this could go up to 2/year, but not really much higher (e.g. if 140 Redcaps are supported, and they live some 70 years after Gauntlet).
c. How many different LR does a Redcap get throughout his life from his House (re-brews don't count)? I'd say just one, already created at maximum effectiveness by the House specialist. There's no point at all for the House to go through a succession of progressively stronger rituals, when it can design just the "last" one to begin with; all the time spent to produce the weaker ones is just wasted.
Thus, the House needs to create 1-2 new LR/year. I envision a tiny lineage in the House composed of some 4-5 magi specializing in longevity. They have no obligations in the first half of their lives; in the second half of their lives only they are each required to spend 1 season every 1-2 years making LR for the Redcaps. It's a light enough obligation, and probably with ample compensation (beyond the obvious honour of taking care of such an important duty) in terms of vis, access to excellent labs, books etc.

That tiny Lineage is just under half the Gifted Magi.

Coupled with the fact that they need two high powered Rego Terram Specialists for the Mercere Portals (One for each end)

and One is the house quasitor

There isn't much room for the Mutantes tradition.

I think that House Mercere doesn't do it's LR's itself, but hires the best it can afford from other houses.


I disagree. There's a reason why the two House Virtues are Puissant Creo and Puissant Muto; canonically, Merceres got good with Creo to make LR and more in general CrCo stuff. I'd say about a third of the dozen-or-so Mercere Magi are Mutantes, a third are Longevity specialists, and a third do other stuff. We know that about half are "Mercurians", but this can easily overlap with being a Longevity magus or a Mutant.

Note that you can certainly be a Quaesitor if you are a Mutant or a junior Longevity specialist (in fact - noble's parma - couldn't a normal Redcap be a Quaesitor?); and you don't need to be a "high powered Rego Terram Specialist" to create Mercere Portals (in fact, it would be somewhat of a waste to have several people specialize in "high powered Terram magic" just to make the portals, given how few of them get created).

Well, you need to be able to achieve a ReTe lab total of at least 65 to be able to build the portal. That requires a certain level of specialization. Not completely incompatible with being a Mutantes, of course, and ReTe might be a secondary specialization. But still, I wouldn't go so far as to say that you don't need to be a specialist...

That's to build a Mercere Portal, but Hermes Portal the spell, which requires two simultaneous castings is 75th level.

Hmm, you need a magus with:
Rego 15
Terram 15
Magic Theory 9
Intelligence +2
with a familiar and possibly an apprentice (or a junior magus helper) providing a bonus of +9
working in a +5 Aura
in the specialized, movable lab the House uses for this purpose (+10)

I agree, within such a small house there may not always be a senior magus with a Re+Te of 30+. But if the House needs one, it can just select the closest candidate and hand him two nice Q15L15 summae to read for a few seasons ("Each will be counted as a season in service to the house!"). Push comes to shove, it's 14 seasons (if he starts at Re5 Te5, the minimum to train an apprentice) - and more likely, it's just 5-10 (if he's already good in one of the two Arts). I wouldn't exactly call that a "high powered specialist". Then, he can be the magus to call upon once a decade for the two seasons necessary to build a portal.

Uhm, who talked about Hermes Portals? Those are Rituals, and known throughout the Order.

Sorry, when it was written one for each end, I went with Hermes Portals. A Mercere Portal only needs one magus to make each portal.

Actually, HoH:TL is quite vague as to whether an actual spell casting is required. It says that there is a magical connecting ceremony similar to Hermes' Portal is required, but that ceremony doesn't require a roll. The section that describes the linking ceremony doesn't specify anything particular -- only that it is learned when you spend a season studying an existing Mercere Portal. It may not even require raw vis, for all we know.

Those stats certainly consist of what I called a secondary specialization for a magus... Starting from scratch, even with L15Q15 summae, that's 16 seasons of study for the Arts alone. To get your Magic Theory from 5 to 9 is another 10 seasons of study. A significant investment of time, even if it counts as service to the House. Time that won't be invested in the magus' area of interest.

So I'm not saying that it's not being done -- only that the House will have specialists (either "high powered specialists" or what I called "secondary specialists") to do that. More than 2, for sure, if simply because the House wants to make sure an accident (i.e. one of those magi dying) doesn't cripple its ability to make new portals.

Hmm, no!
Most senior magi - particularly senior magi that spend quite a bit of time enchanting items for the house, making potions etc. will have that level of Magic Theory "on their own". Also, a senior magus who has an apprentice does not start "from scratch", he starts from a minimum of Re5 Te5. So, the worst that the house can find is someone who will have to study for 14 seasons. But that's only if every single magus in the House has avoided both Rego and Terram like the plague. It's far more likely that someone who already knows a little more than the minimum can be found - let's say, cutting that time in half.

Sure, 7 seasons of dedicated Art study is a non-negligible amount of time, probably less than training an apprentice but still of the same order. In fact, it's of the same order of the time necessary to raise all your Arts enough to train an apprentice! But I wouldn't call it a specialization, even a "secondary specialization".

Hmm, no! There's probably only one magus who knows to do it at any given time, possibly two, sometimes none.
The catch is that even when there's no magus around who can do it (say, because the last one who could do it died) the house can "re-instruct" a senior magus within a few years, and with only moderate effort on his part (note that Mercere portals are not exactly things you create on a week's notice anyways).

I disagree that it's that simple or that easy. Most magi, even those in House Mercere, will not want to invest that much time (years) in an area they may not be interested in. That is even truer for the senior ones, who have already investing time in their own specialty. And to assume that the House considers that they can simply train more if they need it, well, that is a lack of planning and foresight that I cannot reconcile with the way House Mercere does things.

But that's ok, as this is really a YSMV issue. And beside the point that the OP brought up. :mrgreen:

Especially when you keep in mind that each network takes at least a year (year and a half with linked triggers installed) to create. Any magus who learns it won't be installing very many sets in his lifetime.

I played a Mercere craft magic magus. One of his eventual goals was to manage this duty (because he was a Rego specialist), but I wasn't charging full tilt at it. A 65 is reasonably daunting for a someone without a magical focus in the area.