Napkin scrawl apprenticeship time distribution

I like your analysis but I feel that one of the initial assumptions was wrong thus sending you in a direction that I think is less believable. That assumption is that the primary use of an apprentice is as a laboratory assistant.

A laboratory assistant is often of limited benefit. When you're learning or creating non-charged devices from lab notes they only help if their bonus is exactly that last little bit you needed to get the level. If you're inventing new spells and devices the bonus from a lab assistant may or may not save you a season, if its a small bonus it's more likely than not that it won't. I see magi spending less than half of their time in the lab, Of the time that they spend in the lab a fair share of it perhaps half of it won't benefit from a laboratory assistant. In my initial post I assumed that the magus upon acquiring an apprentice would start to read and plot the construction of a few big effects that really stretch his or her ability to be taken on near the end of the apprenticeship period when he or she can glean a real benefit from a lab assistant.

Ability to function as a lab assistant isn't going to be as key as your analysis makes it, thus my take is that they're instructed less and they work more.

My original take

So with an adjustment for getting taught Latin, Artes Liberales, and profession scribe for four seasons I get this

15 teaching
4 mundane instruction
9 lab texts
6 AC's
11 vis extraction
5 adventure
10 lab assistant

Is this schedule simply what suits your saga or something closer to RAW that has more general utility?

Given that many Jerbiton covenants will be near universities , it would be better for the Master to simply have them Educated.
Two of your three seasons of indentured servitude are: Attend University.
Do this for 4 years and get 30xp (simple student) +90xp (bacclaureus) on Latin & Artes Liberales.
As well as the student gaining age-based xp.

You still get the 4 seasons of teaching by the Master and then 11 far more productive years.

And 4 seasons is enough to get you what level of Latin , Artes Liberales and Scribe?
Surely , unless there is a native language in common ,
Latin needs to be high enough to get across the information that is required for learning.

That's mostly fair. But you could apply the same principle to Profession: Scribe instead of Magic Theory if you want and come out with about the same result. The point isn't so much about Magic Theory as that training prior to work allows for more/better work. Tell me what you want the apprentice to do for the master. I can show you how it is beneficial for the master to give the apprentice several years of instruction without any demands at the get-go. We chose Magic Theory because the example magi didn't tend to be trained so well in Profession: Scribe but were trained in Magic Theory.

I accidentally doubled up some seasons, which made things confusing. Sorry. They usually get fewer than those 12 seasons in the middle. As I mentioned in another part we usually put the apprentices to work on the lab, not just as lab assistants. You still need a decent Magic Theory score. But then there are lasting benefits, and the magus can be doing other things. So it's not just assistance in the lab.

As for assistance in the lab, I'm close to agreeing with you, but there are some other crucial points. One is that magi sometimes trade around apprentices (specifically noted for some Houses). If your apprentice is good, you can get a good price or a good trade for them. Let's say you and I both have apprentices and are of such a mind. Then we can each use them half as often for twice the bonus. So now I want to use the same procedure even though I only need them half as often. Second, it's really not just the huge effects that will benefit, but also the mid-level effects, especially outside of your specialty. Let's say you have a typical lab total around TeFo30 outside of your specialty. You could make a level 15 effect in 1 season on your own, so why bother. But what about those level 20 or level 25 effects that you should be able to cast OK. Let's say the apprentice gives you +10, which is fairly typical via the method I describe. Then the level 20 takes 1 season instead of 2 seasons and the level 25 takes 3 seasons instead of 6 seasons. It's not just the big stuff where they make a huge difference, it's also the mid-level stuff that you're not great at. Anything at all that pushes your limits can benefit immensely from a +10.


Latin = 15 + 15 + 8 + 8 + 8
AL = 15
Scribe = 5

That should be enough. I am also wondering which task the apprentice will do on his 3 seasons of Latin practice.

I would love to earn my living as a student.

30 seasons of Lab work to earn your living.
15 seasons being taught by your parens, if that's what you wish.
15 "free" seasons for books, mundane teachers, adventures, etc.

You can't get this from the quickstart rules , by RAW , at 16xp per year though.
It takes 4 years , not 4 seasons , to get 64xp.

Nothing too useful is the answer. If it goes into anything very useful, then your focus is not practicing the language, it's doing that useful thing. In that case generally you get exposure experience.


340 xp = 120 spell levels {EDIT +6 xp exposure as (260 + open Art) - thx callen}
1212 xp = 144 xp
2 xp = 90 xp

Your magus had something like Com+1 and Teaching+2, and a Lab Total in the easy 40. Your apprentice is still missing 6 xp, but a single season of lab work applied to Latin practice would fix that, as would some exposure getting you to Teaching+3 or the right specialty.

If you add up Erik's numbers, you will come up with the 60 seasons of apprenticeship. Therefore 4 seasons of mundane instructions are enough to get by.

While not strictly RAW, I would allow some lab work season as Latin practice. If you can do it for Area Lore or trade and crafts, why not for Latin which is the lingua franca of the Order.

A few corrections/comments: You missed 6 xp for the seasons of exposure reinventing spells, so you're really missing those 6 xp. Probably Com+Teaching=2 (plus the specialty). Also, that is the magus's best lab total being used. I find TeFo40 to be pretty weak considering many apprentices can pull that off even with the 240 & 120 rules. But dropping that to two seasons and replacing the third with Opening the Arts would also fix that omission. Also, you can't do a season of lab work and take practice in Latin (unless you want true abuse - but not misuse - of the learning rules where I can very easily show how a beginning teacher can give a student about 270 xp with ease in a single season if they themselves know enough, which is trivial if this abuse is allowed).

Of course, the problem then becomes what they're doing for exposure since they're incompetent early on.


Let's see what this could look like. I think you'll want 5 mundane instruction. Let's assume the 16 points from a professional instructor from my example above.

Year 1: Opening the Arts, mundane instruction in Latin x3 (Latin is now at 4 with 2 points of exposure in the fourth season)
Year 2: Master teaches Magic Theory, mundane instruction in Artes Liberales & Profession: Scribe (these are both at 2), 1 season on lab texts
Years 3-10: Master teaches ?, 3 seasons of lab texts/AC's/vis extraction
Year 11: Master teaches ?, 1 season of adventure, 2 seasons as a lab assistant
Year 12: Master teaches ?, 1 season of adventure, 2 seasons as a lab assistant
Year 13: Reinvent spells with master, 1 season of adventure, 2 seasons as a lab assistant
Year 14: Reinvent spells with master, 1 season of adventure, 2 seasons as a lab assistant
Year 15: Master teaches Parma Magica, 1 season of adventure, 2 seasons as a lab assistant

I then have a couple questions/comments:

  1. Would it be more worthwhile to let your apprentice read Creo and Vim each once in year 3, losing two seasons of vis extraction? The apprentice can probably only extract 2 pawns otherwise (Int +3, MT +1 to +3, Creo +4 or +5, Vim +4 or +5) unless you really focus on something there. Sitting the apprentice down with two texts should raise this considerably, especially if done with summas before instruction. Creo and Vim should both hit 7, so about a +5 increase overall. This would change your take from 11x2=22 to 9x3=27. Even if the apprentice needs a third season of reading to get the extra pawn, that's still 8x3=24.

  2. The same question applies to Magic Theory since it helps there and with being a lab assistant and with opening items.

  3. Note that will the vis extraction and AC's you can't have a refined lab, even if only a single point. (I'm assuming that we're avoiding the abuse of every player saying "I'm making my lab for transient use.") So you'll either need a second lab or for your covenant mates not to mind you using a guest lab (if it exists) extensively.

  4. What score do you need in Profession: Scribe for copying other books? You'll probably run out of lab texts pretty quickly, and you don't want them causing problems with other books. Of course, if you want them copying your lab texts, then they do have to be able to decipher them unless you put all that time into copying them yourself. At that point, wouldn't it be cheaper to hire a mundane scribe and use your apprentice for what a mundane can't do?

  5. The adventure part would probably be highly variable. I expect Flambeau would probably take their apprentices out more while a lab rat would do it less. Also there's the question of risk since you have a valuable lab tool with you.

As for a rough estimate of experience:

Mundane instruction: 80 (16 points noted above)
Magus instruction: 132 (assuming 11 points)
Exposure: 76
Adventure: 38 (about 7.5 per adventure)
Reinventing spells: 120 spell levels (assuming a top lab total of TeFo60, which shouldn't be hard)

That would be roughly 326 experience and 120 spell levels.


Callen, I think we've come to agreement. I think that the quality of the teacher might often be a bit lower when the master just pulls a covenfolk for the job rather than hiring a professional, but that would only amount to perhaps 17 or so fewer xp.

Another issue is the tech +form total of 60 for teaching spells to the apprentice. I admit that I've quite forgotten what the rules were for teaching spells. I'll have to look them up then hopefully find more to disagree with you about. (Otherwise I'll have no agenda to push in the discussion, how boring would that be?)

Also, dont forget that its relatively easy to find a GOOD teacher for the covenants who wants to be serious about it.
Lab bonus for teaching +3, +3 base, +5 Good Teacher, +3 Com, +6 single student(if you have a teacher hired, no reason not to have him work as much as possible, so better to have teaching be 1-1 then unless there are lots of apprentices or other students)...
With a score of just 5 in Teaching, that makes 25 XP... 30 XP is perfectly possible as well even if it starts stretching things a bit.

I'll save you the time. You can reinvent any combination of TeFo you want. (That may be the only exception to the general rule.) The teacher is limited to a total number of spell levels equal to the teacher's best lab total used. That means you should always teach one spell from your specialty area. The student is limited in each individual TeFo to the student's own lab total for that TeFo.

Then we can look at a few factors. You generally can't start training an apprentice until you have a score of at least 5 in every Art. That generally won't happen until several years out of apprenticeship. Then you still need to find an apprentice. Then the apprentice needs to learn Arts before spells, so the spells will generally be taught toward the end of apprenticeship. That should mean any master teaching spells to an apprentice should be at least 20 years past gauntlet, probably noticeably more. You should know several spells in your specialty area since it is your specialty. Your specialty area should have a lab total of at least 60 by 20 or more years past gauntlet, especially considering a focus can apply.


We find we always like to have the covenant hire an educated mundane or two for the covenant as scribes and instructors. If nothing else, it helps to get your grogs fluent in Latin. So we don't usually just grab covenfolk. But that certainly could be done, and thus Weak Parens.


I was thinking that nearly every covenant I've had has someone skilled in Arts liberales , Latin and more often than not typically profession scribe but without such a high communication or teaching skill.
(and I read up on the spell learning process before I saw your post 60 levels per season seems reasonable if the magus is sufficiently old.)

A point that I wanted to make earlier on but it had slipped my mind is that, in terms of copying, lab texts and casting tablets are the same thing. Certainly apprentices who can make casting tablets for you are a boon .

In all the fast-track teaching of 4 seasons to get the apprentice up to speed in Latin et al ,
there is the small matter of the -03 penalty to Advancement Totals from the Gift ,
if you have a mundane teacher.

Not a huge problem , but is it being taken into consideration?