Napkin scrawl apprenticeship time distribution

I just took a second to think about how I'd use an apprentice's time over the fifteen years of their apprenticeship.

Certainly it would change depending upon the particular magus and the particular apprentice but I'd like some feedback on my choices and how you see it differently

You've got 15 years* 4 seasons per year so a total of 60 seasons;

You spend 15 of these seasons teaching your apprentice so you've got 45 left to get some work out of them.

Right almost from the get go they can start copying laboratory texts (artes Liberales 1 and Latin 4(appropriate specialization)), because they can do this at very little cost to you and because down the line you'll want to load up on texts for big projects that take advantage of you apprentice's score in the last few years of their training I'd imagine that it's not uncommon for the apprentice to make copies of both sides of a deal where lab texts are traded. That is they copy the lab text(s) of their master to trade to another magus and they copy the lab text(s) of that magus that the master receives during the trade. I'm thinking 10 seasons that leaves us 35

Fixing Arcane connections: They'll need a lab and they'll need to have their arts opened but once again the barrier to entry is fairly small. I can easily see magi having their apprentice get some practice in by fixing connections for their sodales. If the magus is spending a season in the library this seems like a good choice. I'm thinking perhaps 8 season that leaves us 27

Extracting vis: When the apprentice gets a bit of experience under his or her belt this will probably be the go to activity for the apprentice during the seasons when the magus isn't in his laboratory. I'm pegging it at 12 seasons this leaves us 15

Adventures: With or without the magus along apprentices are too useful as magicians not to be used in that capacity at least a bit, I'm thinking one trip every three years so five seasons leaving us 10.

Laboratory assistant: This is the most stereotypical activity but also the hardest one to get just right. I think that most magi upon starting to train an apprentice also start designing three or four spells or items that will really benefit from the extra few points that an apprentice brings to the lab at the end of apprenticeship. These projects could be what the apprentice was extracting all of the vis for. I'm thinking that two projects at three seasons and two projects at two seasons is about right. So 10 seasons using up all of the 15 years worth of time.

To sum up, I see a typical breakdown of a 60 season apprenticeship as follows:

15 teaching
10 lab texts (edit : and casting tablets)
8 AC's
12 vis extraction
5 adventure
10 lab assistant

How do you see it? What activities have I missed?

1 Like

Don't they need Profession: Scribe to copy lab texts or any other book? You might also lose a season or two having them being trained by others, Magi often allow the apprentices to learn their Artes Liberales from others for example (but doesn't have to be the case).

If memory serves they need fairly strong profession scribe score to write a book without loosing any quality. Lab notes however don't have a quality score and are thus unaffected.

Certainly If you've got folks willing to trade for inferior copies you could have your apprentice turn out some other books as well, I just don't see it as particularly likely.



Why would a Hermetic Apprenticeship not get two free seasons per year , in line with all others listed in the RAW.
The one difference being that they are not affected by either Wealthy (page 50) or Poor (page 58).
page 107:

15 seasons of personal teaching , first season of which is opening the Arts.
15 seasons of Lab work , for any activities the master chooses.
30 "free" seasons for the apprentice to have adventures , practice , do extra study , etc.
15 of those seasons would go on Arts & Abilities.
An apprentice would be "encouraged" to extra study in magic theory at the very least , to increase lab utility.

As the quick start rules do not allow for practice , exposure or study xp ,
it is rather moot assigning seasons and activities for them.

Whatever distribution one proposes, it should yield in the ballpark of 240 xp + 120 spell levels for the apprentice, since that's what (unextremely) detailed character creation gives you. The OP's proposal seems really heavy on Exposure-only activities, so I'm not sure it would be realistic (unless one is aiming to be the Tormenting Master Flaw!).

Learning spells!!! Sorely missed. At least a few season of independent study by books or from a separate teacher.

Do you really fix ACs THAT often?

15 teaching
5 adventure
10 lab assistant
15 study from books or other teacher
10 independent lab activities( Vis extration, ACs, copy lab texts etc)
5 learn spells from books, lab work, lab texts or teacher

With a more demanding master, move as many seasons as wanted from the study over to either lab activity.

Lets say 10XP per Teaching Season(it fits a 0 Com 1 Teaching magi with no bonuses which shouldnt be too unrealistic), then lets stick to minimum XP for adventure, 5 XP each, leaving 40 seasons of exposure...
That makes 150+25+80... Although he forgot about spells and didnt leave ANY time for other studies, it still makes for 255 XP.

Lets look at my suggestion?
150+25+50(all seasons with just exposure)+150(assuming average 10XP per independent study) +5*whatever amount of spells you think can be bundled up each season spent, i would expect 20-60, ill stick to the lower side and say 30, making it a total of 150 levels of spells.
So, 375XP + 150 spell levels. I usually fluff it to bring either up or down a bit to suit a character though. Mostly more like 300-360 + 150-250

Why 05 in particular for adventure?
Is that based on having a Major Story Flaw?
Or is it just to round-off to the nearest multiple of 05.

No particular reason at all. 1 or 3 or 8... I just picked the estimation from OP as its close enough to what i might expect.
When i´ve seen apprentices in play, the amount of "adventure" they´ve gotten on or in has varied very wildly from 0 to something like 25-30+. Apprentices are fun to play. 8)

The quickstart value of 240xp for 15 years is a crock anyway.

All the "educated" Social Status Virtues , such as Magister in Artibus (page 45) , give you:

Art & Academe:
Simple Student (page 92) , 30 experience points per finished year that he can apply to Latin or Artes Liberales.
Baccalaureus (page 90) , compatible with Hermetic Magus , 90xp for Latin and Artes Liberales
Magister in Artibus (page 91) , compatible with Hermetic Magus , Academic Reputation of 02

If Hermetic apprenticeship is not an education , then what is it?
Seems that you get shorted on starting xp , so that the game is not unbalanced for other beginning characters.

We'd let our apprentices copy far more books. An apprentice can easily do that, and 3 tractati per year for 15 years (well, roughly) is far more valuable than lab texts or AC. Our apprentices do the assorted goodness of that as well, but only on priority, mostly driven by a story need for one of these items.

And no, our apprentices do not get 2 free seasons per year. Sucks to be apprentice, but a magus has 4 genuinely free seasons per year, and so does an apprentice. Only, the magus dictates what the apprentice may or may not do. So the apprentice ends up copying books.

if you only give one season a year, which is the minimum, your apprentice get weak parens...
to be able to learn everything, specially if he does not know latin nor reading, you need around 2 seasons a year (anyway, you could give non hermetic teaching to a specialist)

if he spends 3 seasons as laboratory helper, he earns 90 xp in magic theory (2 each season) and the pater finishes with 3 in teaching at least if giving only one season teaching to his apprentice

The apprentice does not get Weak Parens, by any means.

15 seasons of teaching: 15x10XP (very low) + 15x3 seasons exposure = 240 XP, the standard Hermetic apprentice.

Now, I know that spells are missing from that, but we give our apprentices a few seasons Latin and Artes Liberals instructions by external mundane teachers (hey, they need Latin 5 to write those books!), and the 10XP for one-on-one teaching is exceptionally low. Heck, you get a total bonus of 9 for one-on-one! All in all, apprentices even with 3 seasons of labslave work are generally better than a freshly-made ArM5 rules magus.

We've sort of hand-waived these things away, as the rules as written simply do not work. Only with 3 seasons of labslave work do they even remotely fit. I've been toying with the idea of giving new magi Latin 4 for free with the apprenticeship (Latin 3 and 20XP for Ex Misc), but as we don't have new magi it's a moot point. I might do that should I ever do another saga. I have a couple of ideas on how to make the world and the rules mesh better together, like needing at least 1 vis to study Arts, even from books...


Yup. Aurulentus is right. This is especially true when we consider that the master will pick up exposure in Teaching. If the master does no other teaching, the specialty should be in apprentices. So within a few seasons the master would need to have Com-1 to be able to maintain 10 experience per season.

What we did was to look at it from the point of view of the magus taking the apprentice. We house-ruled the * Parens virtues to bring about a reasonable effect. We figured the master would have someone else train the apprentice in Latin. We also figured the magus would want the apprentice to learn some Magic Theory early. It's better for the magus to give up several seasons of assistance early on to have the apprentice study Magic Theory. You get a lot more benefit from it later. After a few hundred years this would become at least somewhat standard practice. We also noted the comments about masters spending time doing other things (such as reading) and that apprentices could accomplish some things on their own. We also figured there is some reputation based on the apprentice, so the master would take some pride in having a competent apprentice. Here's what we use as a baseline, assuming I extracted it properly:

Year 1: Opening the Arts, 3 seasons with a Latin instructor (2 in Latin, 1 in Artes Liberales)
Year 2: 1 season with a Latin instructor, 1 season of the master's instruction, 2 seasons reading Magic Theory
Year 3: 1 season of the master's instruction, 1 season reading Magic Theory, 2 seasons free reading
Year 4: 1 season of the master's instruction, 3 seasons free reading
Years 5-10: 1 season of the master's instruction, 1 season free reading, 2 seasons in the lab
Years 11-15: 1 season of the master's instruction, 3 seasons in the lab

We have the master teaching at a quality of 10 for the first few years and then 11 after that. We have the Latin instructor teaching at a quality of 16, which is quite simple for an experienced dedicated teacher/scholar.

The master actually gets a lot more out of this than just by sticking the apprentice in the lab right away. After the three seasons the apprentice should have Magic Theory 4 given normal starting summae. Typically some of the first seasons in the lab are used to work on the lab itself, adding at least +1 to lab totals, depending on the area. Let's compare this to the magus who takes the apprentice into the lab for 45 seasons. It will take the slave-driver about 4-6 years before being able to teach the apprentice Magic Theory, so a reasonable estimate is probably Magic Theory 1 for the first 5 years and Magic Theory 3 for the last 10 years. Meanwhile our master has an apprentice with Magic Theory 4 for about 10 years and probably Magic Theory 5 for the last 5 years. Let's count the lab bonus as another +1 on average. Let's figure the Magic Theory specialty will always apply since it's likely. That gives us roughly, ignoring Puissant Magic Theory and the like:

15 seasons with +Int+2
30 seasons with +Int+4

Our masters:
12 seasons with +Int+6
15 seasons with +Int+7
all seasons ever after with +1

Trivially, our masters gain +2.5 for 27 seasons and lose +Int+2 for 15 seasons. With a typical Int +3 those nearly balance... That is, until you take into account the way lab totals work, realizing that bigger bonuses less frequently help more than smaller bonuses more frequently as a general rule. Also, our masters have a perpetual bonus even after the apprentice leaves because they made sure their apprentice was good enough at Magic Theory to work on their lab. There are other things our apprentices could pull of better on their own, too, such as extracting vis, opening items, etc. Additionally, our master got to study lots from books themselves or do other things while retaining the advantage of the apprentice. Finally, the teaching of spells is very efficient comparatively, so the masters usually spend a couple seasons teaching spells instead of teaching Abilities/Arts, allowing the master to make sure his apprentice is competent.

This seems to be a win-win situation. The master gets more and the apprentice gets more. But this ends up being way off from 240 experience + 120 levels of spells. It is off in the same way that regular advancement is off from the post-apprenticeship quick and dirty method, though.


In character:
"She doesn't get two free seasons per year because three seasons of labor is already a preposterously good deal for the season of education I'm giving her! There's generosity and then there's impoverishing yourself for someone with no good reason, two additional free seasons definitely falls into the latter camp."

In character:
"No doubt, certainly I'd see to it prior to apprenticeship if there were no one else nosing around the child. But I can't rely on my apprentice not being poached by someone else. It's probably best to set them up with a mundane assistant to learn Latin artes liberales and profession: scribe for the first three to five seasons after I officially claim them as my apprentice. That regrettably takes away three to five seasons of actual productivity.

I'm looking to make a believable in game schedule. A distribution of activities based upon what a starting character gets is not my goal here.

I'm looking at it from the point of view of the master, not of the character generation rules. If there is a difference my feeling is that the character generation rules have it "wrong". (Not that I'd change something, a more believable, weaker, starting character allotment would make characters that are a bit less fun).

I don't see how that would work. If you're allocating 3 seasons/year, then you just have 1 season/year with the master. The first season would be to Open the Arts. The next three at least (with some exceptions) would be needed for Latin. Then you need a season for Artes Liberales. Then you need a season for Profession: Scribe. Then you need a season for Magic Theory.

Off-hand, I don't remember how much Profession: Scribe you'd need to copy tractatus without losing quality. At this point we have at best Profession: Scribe 3 (including specialty).

Six years are already gone from the 15 years of writing. What do you do with those first six years? If this were my apprentice, I'd give them a full three years of instruction (not from me) in Latin/Artes Liberales/Profession: Scribe while I Opened their Arts and taught Magic Theory. I would get a lot more copying done over the next twelve years for having trained them properly.


The spells should come from the seasons with the pater/mater.

No, I hardly ever fix AC's. That's why the apprentice does so many. Fixing an AC is a waste of a season for a full magus, however right from the moment that the apprentice has arts that have been opened and they have a single level of magic theory they can fix arcane connections. I can imagine every magus in the covenant wanting to get one or two fixed that they've been wanting to have but just have never had a free season to squander to do the job.