opening a familiar's gift

Note that there are really two types of "protections" of an apprentice.
The first are rights of the apprentice himself, e.g. the right to be taught at least one season/year.
The second are rights of the master, that indirectly protect the apprentice: e.g. the right to claim deprivation of magical power if someone kills the apprentice.

The second types of rights can certainly be invoked by the master.
The first types of rights may or may not be claimed by the familiar apprentice - this is likely to be controversial, very much in the same way that a non-human magus is controversial.

No, because it's already your familiar.
Remember, another magus is not forbidden from abducting your "apprentice" whose arts are unopened, because the abductee is not technically your apprentice and the abductor is thus not depriving you of magical power. But if he takes away your familiar, he is depriving you of magical power.

What happens at the end of the training? Can you have another magus as a familiar? Of course it does give them the benefit of not suffering a might penalty in studying...
can a familiar-magus take a familiar?


That's a story, not a rule! The answer depends on what happens at Tribunal. However, stealing a familiar is certainly a high crime whether or not it has the Gift. A very reasonable Tribunal ruling would be to give the magus' new apprentice to the original magus as punishment (or part of punishment) for kidnapping the familiar...

We can sharpen this:

Your familiar is Gifted. You open the familiar's Gift (good luck with that! Might certainly increases the lab total needed, as does any supernatural ability, and it would be very reasonable in some sagas to count qualities that grant powers and similar as also ruining life, but anyway), which makes the familiar now your apprentice too. Then a Bonisagus takes your familiar and claims that the Code itself allows him to do this, so his right to your apprentice is greater than your right to your familiar.



according to ROP:M, the mage's InVi must equal (30+2xmight)x2, or 60+4 x might...

It's going to be a brave Bonisagus who tries to play political games with a magus who has an InVi lab total of 100+

Your math order is wrong in the example.
Let's say might 15.
Calculate in the parenthesis first. Multipcation first so 15*2=30+30=60 Then times 2 = 120
Still a big total

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since you multiply before addition, 60 + 4x might is identical to 60 + (4x might), which is identical to (30+2xMight)x2, which for might 15 is 120.

Ofcourse, these are all incorrect, since RoP: M state that the labtotal needed is only (30+Might)x2, which comes to 90, whether you calculate is as (30+15 = 45)x2 = 90 or (30x2=60)+(15x2=30) = 90.

Yay, Ars Mathica!

A lab total of 90 for opening the Gift is still fairly high, but doable. And a magus with this kind of power in the lab does not necessarily have a lot of political power. He could be a recluse lab rat with little influence and few allies. And IMHO a magus needs a lot of clout to dare challenge a Bonisagus' rights. I really like the conundrum with the Familiar turned Apprentice and then Boni-snatched!

Intellego Vim of 90 is darn high. I did an intellego magus who's best from is Vim here: He has affinity and puissant in both intellego and magic theory

Using 30 xp per year and doing all of the lab work with actual totals ( that is never taking 30 levels per year). His InVi lab total 120 years out of apprenticeship (Int + aura+ MT + In + VI + familiar) is 86. I didn't give the familiar full xp so she certainly would be capable of a few more levels of magic theory and an aura higher than 3 could be justified. He could also have done something to his lab (he never had the time) and even as it is he could use a more intense lab routine to get his total to 90.

So yes it is doable, but if you want it done by a magus less than a century of age they'd need to have an applicable focus or be really monomaniacal about

Eh. I did monomaniacal. Somewhere 10-15 years out of gauntlet I pulled off a CrMe lab total around 200. And, believe it or not, this was only partly by being a lab rat and partly by being politically active. Being only a lab rat would have made this much harder to pull off. Spending a lot of time building up a lot of favors and having a good Leadership score did wonders.

Let's just look at a Vim specialist, not caring too much about Intellego but having some. Affinity+Puissant Vim can give you a starting score of 25 easily enough. Ten years out of gauntlet it would be easy to have In10 and Vi30. Ten years would also allow MT 7, including specialty, with ease with Puissant/Affinity but doable without. Put some seasons into the lab (don't even have to be your own) and you should have at least Vi+10 with ease. Including the bonus for the familiar and Int that should get you to 70 already, enough for a Might-5 familiar. Unusual lab routines could pull off a Might-10 familiar with a lab total of 80. And this is someone who is fairly young and isn't overly specialized in InVi, just in half of it.

So, this Familiar which we want to Open the Gift for...can it assist? If the Familiar has learned Magic Theory is can normally assist, but Opening the Gift of itself?

Can any gifted person aid in opening their own gift? I Have a proto-apprentice and have taught the MT for a while (assuming I have not been detected keeping a gifted student as a lab rat, and therefore not prosecuted for it). Can they assist in opening their own gift?


Familiars can assist their magi in the lab. This is an exception to the rule requiring the gift and magic theory to be a lab assistant. This is from page 105 in the section regarding the bound familiar.

There is no statement in the rules preventing the assistance when opening the bond that I see. There is a suggestion that apprentices be taught Latin and magic theory before apprenticeship so they can be of help. To me, this implies that people can assist in opening up their own arts.

Oh that bit's fine, it's just something to me about assisting in opening one's own gift.


In the real world, people who know how they learn can generally get more from teachers than those who don't understand their own learning. And that's if it's not really a magical process. As a magical process, if you can do things like take part in your own longevity ritual, why not in opening the arts?

good analogy.

OK: I'm fine with it now.



All agreed. If you need a really huge lab total for something, and are willing to owe, a very good first door to knock on is Coeris.

(I don't usually speak of high numbers being "broken", but I do make an exception for certain cooperative magics in AM. Hermetic Magic isn't the best at this. But others can break the setting in half pretty reasonably. Ceremonial magics ftw... but you need friends or followers. Trying to use pre-AM5 material just makes it worse: I'm looking at you, oh Bear&Dragon volkyv (I think I remember the name almost correctly.))

Still, you and I like optimizing (and bloody well hurrah for us!), and some sagas won't allow Vi30. Many sagas will not allow a starting magus to dump ~170xp into one Art, and finding enough tractatuseses to make it the rest of the way might be even harder to pull off. Even in the ones that do, most characters will not be Vim specialists.

Maybe the best way to get a familiar whose Gift has been opened is to find one; a magus with a Spirit Familiar can fairly justify this. Heck, why go through all that trouble to become a Living Ghost if you can become a familiar who can continue to do everything a magus can do, without penalty? Of course, there is a small matter of becoming a spirit, so this path might be accidental. Maybe the real secret of the Rhine Tribunal is that some of those dead magi really are still active....



Would the Order even accept a non-human as an apprentice/maga, or would a Gifted non-human just be categorized as some kind of magical creature?

I think as long as they are gifted, have passed an apprenticeship and swear the oath - they'd get a place in ExMisc. As they are powerful enough to be considered for "join or die".
In story that would be a great topic to play out though.



Nothing in the Code speaks of human vs non-human.

In some cases, it would be very difficult to tell the difference.

The Rhine Tribunal would probably rule that a Hermetic Magus with Magic Might was a legitimate magus, to support their extra-sigil custom. House Bjornaer would probably not like anything that suggested that a magus in Heartbeast form was any less of a magus, since it was no longer truly human.

Magi who become Faeries or otherwise change realm no longer have the Gift.

The Sahirs rule that anything that can be summoned is not a Sahir. This is probably irrelevant among magi. (It matters to Sahirs since they do everything via spirits; a clear distinction between spirit and sahir is important. Sahirs also don't care about Realms very much; magi do.)

Also probably irrelevant: At the Tribunal weekend held in Silicon Valley some years back, I recall a preference not to rule upon the issue, which was a storyline brought on by a player whose Faerie magus (all 3 Becomings) insisted, with an emerging near-total but informal consensus that a faerie could not be a magus but that the issue should be tabled until after the character was killed; meanwhile, another magus reputed to have reached Final Twilight decades before was accorded full respect, though this might have changed had he claimed the rights of senior magus present.

In AM2 core rules, Grimgroth's familiar became a maga. But that was 3 editions ago.

I suspect that if the creature had the Gift and its Hermetic Arts were opened, most Tribunals would accept it... but the character might have a story flaw to represent those magi who distrust or revile him. Outsider, Enemies, Judged Unfairly, some bad reputation...

Have fun.