I have always thought that you would have much more powerful magi coming out of apprenticeship if they spent their time reading books and improving their arts rather than the traditional magic system. I have read Aprentices and their explanation of why such a system wouldn’t work. Here are three ways that I could see a school system being implemented anyway.
- The Gentle Gift. By the rules in Aprentices, The Gentle Gift can be taught to an apprentice. Suppose you had a magi with the Gentle Gift, Good Teacher. Raise his Communication to 5 with spells if needed, and raise get his teaching score to 7, with a specialty in teaching magic virtues. Build his lab so that it provides a +3 bonus to teaching. Get his Parma Magica Score to 9 or so. So, his teaching score quality would be 5+8+3+3+5=24. Thus, even if an apprentice has already expressed one minor magical virtue, he can be taught the Gentle Gift. Nothing in the description of teaching magical virtues says it has to be done one on one. Assuming that the teacher has a class of five or fewer students in a season which are covered by the teachers Parma Magica, you could have a school of Gentle Gifted magi. They are taught Latin and Arts Liberales as normal students would be and are given directed reading to teach them the Arts and
This assumes that Inherited Virtues don’t count against the teaching total until they manifest. It also assumes that Hermetic Virtues don’t have to be taught one-on-one, nothing in the rules says that they do, but it still seems like a reasonable position to take.
The long term impact to the order seems divisive, with those who have gone to the school and had superior study opportunities in contrast with those whose gift is incompatable with such training. I am unsure what happens when someone is taught a Major Hermetic Virtue when they already have a Inherited Major Hermetic Virtue. Under the model I have proposed, I don’t know what happens when someone with the Inherited Flaw Blatant Gift is taught the Gentle Gift. Would they just cancel when the Blatant Gift manifests? If so, could the instructor spend another season teaching the Gentle Gift? Would the previous version of the Gentle Gift count against the teaching total to learn the Gentle Gift.
2. Magical Human Tutors. Another solution, which probably leaves the current structure of the Order less disturbed is to find some low might score magical humans ideally whose might score is 2 and who have the Virtue “Unaffected by Gift” willing to follow direction. Then you craft a number of magic rings with a “Disguise of the Transformed Visage” effect on them to make them look human. If you were successful in finding Might 2 magical humans, your lab total is only L20 (Base effect 4 , +1 touch, +2 sun, +3 environmental trigger, +1 for twice a day and +1 for +2 Penetration) so these rings only need 2 pawns of vis to create. Once you have created such items, send the magical humans to Paris to study at the university, Latin and Arts Liberales and Teaching. Sure, their advancement totals are penalized by their Might, but that just slows you down a little. Being under a constant enchantment will allow them to avoid acclimatization outside of the magical aura.
Once you have done that, you have tutors who are unaffected by the Gift and don’t suffer warping for being disguised as a human and avoiding the interaction penalty for being Magical Humans. Assuming that your magical humans have a Com+Teaching score of at least 6, your tutors can provide 15 XP in Latin or Arts Liberales in a season. If you can provide a L6, Q15 Magic Theory Summae and gain a copy of all the roots, you can do the following
First season, the magi opens his apprentices roots. On the second season, he drops the student off at the school and picks him up after five years. Over those 19 seasons, the student does the following
Season 2-6: Is taught Latin, apprentice now has Latin of 5
Season 7: Is taught Arts Liberales, Has Arts Liberales of 2, can now study from books
Season8-14, reads Magic Theory Summae: has Magic Theory 6
Seasons: 15-20, reads 6 of the 9 roots.
Season 21, is returned to magi, who is now responsible for training the apprentice in his house, one season a year as normal. Since the apprentice is still trained for ten years by his house, he still gains the house virtue.
This seems like a good deal for all involved. The apprentice seems like he would be stronger than if he underwent the current system, and the magi almost certainly has a more capable lab assistant than he would have otherwise.
The tricky thing with this one would be the Bonisangus who decided to snatch apprentices as soon as they graduate. How this would work out would be interesting to see.
- Post Apprenticeship. When a magi ends his apprenticeship, he is still not very powerful compared to where he will be latter on in life. It is a lot easier to devise a solution to a problem when your relevant lab total is 50 than when it is 40 or if it is 40 instead of 30. Some newly gauntleted magi are going to want to strike out on their own immediately. However for some, the ability to study from books for five years and improve their arts or Magic Theory or learn spells from texts
I think this option does has the least impact to the setting. In a lot of ways, it would make a great framing story for why a group of different magi got together to start a covenant, they all met at Ninkas’s Isle and ended their studies at the same time. In fact I am going to start up a one shot using this as a framing device, but that is a topic for a different thread.