I'm appealing to your knowledge to make a list of things which may push one magus A to ask a magus B.
Currently here is my list. It is by no mean exhaustive, and I hope you will expand it!
For the purpose of this list, only what can be thought as a service is considered. Not selling items or books. Making them count (which is indirectly the same).
write a book about something
make an item
make a labtext
make a Longevity ritual
help finding a familiar
offer protection during wizard's war (do not take part in)
offer support during wizard's war (take part in)
teach ability or art
set up a lab
open an apprentice
help in lab
be champion in certamen for
vote in such way during a covenant/tribunal meeting
not to do something (offer support during wizard's war, eg.)
I'm asking because some players have had a punishment in game for a high crime and need 49 seasons of service for the Order. I'm looking for ideas to vary the content of what magi may ask them for that; obviously, only legitimate ideas are expected since it's all part of a tribunal punishment and follow up.
But with 3 magi, 49 seasons, and no reason for a tribunal to be idiotic and use 3x 1 season to clear the same dungeon, given the fact that it is a result mission, which mandate the magus confronted with the task to gain help... from other magi. So that would mean 147 seasons of adventure. Even as our saga is 3 years long, I clearly have no idea for so much adventures, besides the magi are not the kind to indulge in such petty task as dungeon crawling. They would just send up their mundane troops, and if those would fail, send their group...
But obviously SOME dungeon crawling fool adventure (OotS copyright :p) are involved. I just need to figure them out since the magi are quite powerful (as PC are compared to NPC of the same age) and would never open a door. They would rather destroy the tower. You know those kind of players which never go through the door you envisionned.
Sahir/mongols are already part of the main saga thread I make as Betastoryguide, and they know more than the rest of the order, which is quite low since the "enemy" seems to have been lurking in the shadows for 400 years at least recruiting allies, enslaving discreetly magi after magi.
My PCs are already suspecting that events in Novgorod (wipe of the covenants by mongols during 1240+-), 7th Crusade in Egypt, the shadow flambeau of Iberia are part of the great plan of their "enemy" against the order. Since those events can't be related to any specific persons, they may be alone to be "aware"... if they are right.
Thanks already for your time and answers. It's never lost to read the meaning of another player even if we do not share the same opinion on matters.
Have fun, and good day.
Investigate Enchantments (not necessarily Hermetic!)
Fix Arcane Connections
Teach a Certamen Style
Perform original reasearch and/or integrate non-Hermetic magic, and write/teach the results
Spend a year and a day as a dryad's lover, or similar "spend time with supernatural creature" tasks
Act as a Mystagogue, if the Initiation requires significant time on the mystagogue's part
Do lots of mundane work using low-level craft magic
Spend time impersonating someone, or acting out a role (e.g. pretending to be a local craftsman).
Investigate hermetic crimes
Perform a pilgrimage on behalf of the Order/House/Tribunal etc.
Represent other magi -- this is a typical task for Redcaps, who attend Tribunals and cast the sigils of other magi as instructed
The magi might be good at something useful to others, like enchanting or finding vis sources, or have a practical spell. If so, call on them to do that for the benefit of the Tribunal or several other covenants, presumably the ones harmed by their crime.
Develop and copy spells/enchantments, to order, in their specialties, into libraries. Possibly a number of useful, dull spells, or something large and difficult for others to do. This would require monitoring to be certain these criminals are not slacking. The criminal magi do get the spell, but so do many other magi. It might be amusing if they later discover a mandated effect to be essential to confront The Enemy.
Creating casting tablets.
Researching potent versions of certain spells (initiating the magi doing the drudgery if necessary?).
Opening objects for enchantment without instilling effects.
Obtaining (some of) the materials needed for one or more Fenecil's Rituals, maybe even a new one?
On another note, could the 49 seasons of service count as an Ordeal for the right Initiation Script(s)?
If the players in question include a Mercurian, casting ritual spells.
Alternately, since this is a huge penance, it's appropriate to assign them big, multiseason adventures or snipe hunts. "We've heard that a copy of Ptolemy's Geographica can be found in Egypt. Go get it for House Mercere. Do not copy it for yourself."
1: Doing work for Quaesitores or Redcaps is absolutely service to the Tribunal. You can make items or Longevity Rituals for Redcaps, or else Hoplite-Quaesitores who don't have time to screw around in the lab because they're investing seven-league-boot leather in investigations may ask you to assemble a season's worth of spells that they want to learn and teach 'em to them.
2: If you're not doing anything under the Praeco, Presiding Quaesitor or Chief Redcap's order this season, it's entirely reasonable for another magus to offer a payment to the Tribunal to rent you for a season.
It's 49 seasons, they're not all going to be filled with adventure. Tribunal service ought to mix up dangerous adventures with "scut-work fit only for apprentices."
As a note, I really like the idea of having them learn/design spells for teaching busy Quaesitores, I think that's clever. Also, making large numbers of charged items for official use. I could definitely see a Tremere covenant bartering favor with the tribunal to force the players to make a large number of charged or lesser enchanted items for their war supplies. I agree it's very important to mix in dangerous penance with trivial penance. if the players have a dedicated teacher or crafter or instructor, a rival covenant could try spending one of their owed favors to 'borrow' the stonemason to do some work for them, and conveniently interrogate them for information.