Pondering an Education Virtue for Children

According to both reason and the rules in Apprentices, a child character under the age of 14 cannot take virtues like Educated or Warrior, because they simply don't have enough time in their background to have gained the extra experience points. I'm pondering, however, creating a virtue that would serve a similar function. Modeled on the idea of Skilled Parens, as described in Apprentices, I'm thinking of a virtue that grants a child character access to a teacher for a time... an NPC with enough teaching skill to provide the child with a guaranteed exp boast equivalent to the various +50 exp virtues. I know, most child characters advanced through play will have more exp than a starting character anyway, but it's a thought experiment as much as anything else.

So, my thoughts are that the virtue would grant a Teaching Source Quality of 12, for one "work" season per year for up to 5 years. I'm thinking it's a Child virtue, so it cannot be taken by adult characters and must be traded in at the stages of maturity for the equivalent Educated/Warrior/whatever virtue.

That's what I've got at the moment... have at it. Give me your thoughts.

Sounds ok to me.

I do not see the point of the mechanic where the viture has to be traded in at adulthood for educated. By this stages the character already has the experience points so whats the point of the educated viture as it serves no purpose after character creation.

Just leave the characted with "childhood teacher" or what ever you call the virtue.

IMO, this is exactly what Privileged Upbringing does. What are you wanting to accomplish? Have a reason for a sub-14 y.o. to know Latin when he enters play?

Well, essentially what I want to accomplish is to have a virtue for child characters that fills the role of Educated/Privileged Upbringing/Warrior. Something to guarantee that when the character reaches adulthood they have at least as much experience points as a similar character created at adult.

For example, let's say a player creates a character who is page (a 10 year old knight-in-training). When the character reaches adulthood and becomes a knight, the player wants him to have the equivalent of the Warrior virtue. He can't give the 10 year old character Warrior. Now, one way I could accomplish this is to have the covenant have a Trainer bought with build points who can train the page to be a knight... but for whatever reason let's say we're not doing that. I'm looking to design a virtue, or some other mechanic, that can take the place of that.

Why have a virtue at all? Why not just play the character in such a way that he gets the extra advancement? I guess I'm feeling that the virtue is a way to guarantee that extra advancement is received... a way for the player to say "this is what I want for this character" and be assured of getting it.

That's what I want to accomplish. Not that the 10 year old knows Latin when he enters play, but that by the time he is 21, he is guaranteed to know Latin.

Edit: Honestly, this is something that I was really wanting to see in Apprentices (an otherwise excellent book IMO), but isn't there.

Life doesn't have guarantees. :smiley: If you bring a character into play, you have to accept the possibility that his life might end up differently than had you generated him per the character generation rules.

If the character is in play, it becomes the player's and the SG's responsibility to see that he achieves those goals. Virtues that provide experience points shape the history of the character and should not determine the future. If you want the character to have Privileged Upbringing or Educated be a defining characteristic of the character, I don't see a problem with you providing the necessary experience points to do it, and then hanging the Virtue, or any virtue, on the character. Let me ask the unanswered question though: if you don't bring in the Trainer how do you explain the Virtue providing the experience points? What's the story reason that this knight-in-training can be called a knight, and have the Warrior virtue? If the character doesn't enter play, it's moot, use the virtues. If the character is in play and being developed and (I dare say this is the most important) actually being played and part of stories, his development should mimic the virtue he would be striving for...

Lots of things can happen along the way on that path to knowledge. Maybe a teacher dies, and the character has to go away for an education for a time. If he's in play, the player needs to drive the character to the goals. If he's not in play it's moot, he has the Educated virtue, and the player creates the back story to explain why/how/where he was Educated (if he so desires).

That's your view and you are welcome to it. I take a different view. Hence, I am working on this. Do you have anything constructive to contribute?

You want guarantees...for a character that is in play?
Think about what you're asking.

If you want to create a mechanical system for something that should have an impact on stories, you're more than welcome to do so. My constructive advice is to not bother, that it is likely more effort than it's worth. But hey, whatever.

IIRC what needs to bring stories are flaws, not necessarily virtues. This is a virtue, so it does not need to do it.

I see no problem giving the young squire Warrior (no "buts": the plain virtue of the ArM5 rulebook). He is a knight in training after all and should be granted access to martial skills as well as social and physical skills. After a character is 10 I see no problem in giving him whatever virtue that does not have an age cap (like magister in artibus). Before that well, I would agree that privileged upbringing covers it (intensive teacher training) or you are just one of the general lot and do not get XP boosts. Even if you are travelling a lot it is unlikely you get much stuff (except languages) that would need XP boosts there.


I wasn't saying anything about stories coming from Flaws. I was saying how a character develops, once it is in play, is a function of stories. I left unsaid it is also a function of the player's and SG's desires for the character. Some virtues don't make sense to characters that are developed in play.

I suppose this is why he wanted to "control the downtime" of the character. he is not necessarily in the spotlight all the time. hell, our own grogs and some companions are advanced in 5 year XP blocks. he wants a way to say "hey, remember he gets a good education!" though a virtue, even if he is sometimes in play. I do not see it as being so strange :slight_smile:

I don't see it as being strange, either. But it's also relatively simple to indicate with a note on the character sheet, very uncomplicated and very natural.

Again, as I originally said, Privileged Upbringing still fits with the premise. The premise was:

Apply Privileged Upbringing to Children, and if they continue spending experience points in a different area, it becomes educated/Warrior/whatever. Keep in mind that Privileged Upbringing (PU) grants 50 xp to spend on a specific class of abilities, but without Educated/Warrior/Whatever the character cannot spend anymore experience points on those abilities after the 50 from PU.

In Apprentices, Skilled Parens has already been revised along this same line. For an apprentice character with Skilled Parens, that character is guaranteed one season of training by a magus with a teaching source quality of 18, instead of the usual +60 experience points and +30 spells. All I'm trying to do is apply those same kind of guidelines to non-magi characters with Educated/Warrior/Privileged Upbringing/etc. It's not that big a leap.

An alternative is a "Tutor-Education" concept where the Child gains an Affinity in Logic Abilities.

On a sidenote, I was reading Apprentices again about exchanging Virtues/Flaws at Maturity events. I was looking at it for Grogs (where they join the covenant before age 18). But I conceived an evil idea:

-Good Student

-Exchange for Book-Learner, Free Study or Good Teacher

Thematically, it fits since they deal with learning significantly more from sources. Also, for Good Teacher, a student who paid attention would become a better teacher. It allows you to maximize your education as a child and then turn it into something which continues to benefit you in later life. As Good Student tends to fade once you're past Gauntlet with the decreasing opportunities to actually be taught a skill/Art.

Technically not legal under the rules: "Virtues and Flaw that mechanically affect experience points cannot be replaced by can be gained." (Apprentices, page 15).

I bet you're no fun at parties either :wink: Good to know, as I said, only really started reading Apprentices last night.