The Hermetic Market for Gifted Children

I'll jump in here on Jonathan.LInk's side - from what I read of the quote from Apprentices, it is the APPRENTICE that is protected as magical property. Gifted children that have not had their Arts opened yet do not count as apprentices. Looking at the meta-rules, I'm thinking that the rule is protecting the season of mystic investment the act of Opening the Gifts represents: in many ways, the apprentice is like a season of lab work that resulted in an enchanted item.

The only exception I found was the "it's not the beginning of a season yet, so therefore I can't start the Opening of the Gift ritual yet" clause. In that circumstance, I would argue that yes, the Peripheral Code agrees that the child is your apprentice, and thus has protection.

Other than that? If they are under your authority/property (like any other grog), then a rival magi would probably have pay some sort of wergild, in the event that he killed one (or stole it) - like any other grog. The next question, then - is how much wergild is an educated youngster worth? (Which is basically the fee we're talking about, and the importance of some sort of general fee schedule being set up beforehand and agreed-upon by the Tribunal.)

I can't find references that it must start at the beginning of the season. Even if the were there, I'd suggest that the season is a construct to make life easy for bookkeeping purposes, only.
About the only reason I can see to delay opening the Arts (from a character perspective) is if the apprentices has a supernatural ability worth preserving and getting the apprentice back to the lab will allow the master to use his lab bonuses to improve his Intellego Vim lab total for opening.

I believe it's either in the Core rulebook, or in Apprentices (I was reading it last night - I'm at work currently). There was an additional discussion of how to use that technicality to keep someone from counter-kidnapping an apprentice: do the kidnapping a day or two before the season change, and so by the time they catch up with you the ritual has already begun. But, the discussion goes on to comment that "waiting for the season to start" is a legitimate postitive defense, and so you'd probably be able to get the apprentice back at Tribunal, if it could be shown that that was the only reason you were waiting.

I've taken the whole Season thing to originally be a bookkeeping convenience that expresses in-game as a Hermetic Astrology issue. That is, in-game there really are calculations that are dependent on the solaces and equinoxes. I use a similar justification for why it takes a season to learn a spell - the magi really does need to practice the spell over the course of a season, as that covers enough environmental variables to get sufficient practice.

If a contract has been signed and the person steals the child upon 'verification' then the vis they have promised In the contract (for a finder's fee plus any training) is certainly magical resources they have deprived you of. The student is not magical property. If they grab the child after you have signed a contract with someone else, well things get hairy...

The closest I can find from what you've put inside quotation marks (and I've searched for snippets of what's in quotations marks and can't find anything exact to that) is the following from the main text.

Which means if you do start opening the Arts on day 89 of a season, that his apprenticeship started on day 1. Of course, the loss of a season might be a small price to pay to avoid having him stolen out from under you, and if you're the one who did the stealing, starting the process right away makes him yours.
As far as the season thing, that might be reasonable if the person had Hermetic Astrology, but there is the whole absence or interruption from time in the lab issue...

Nope. Still depriving you of magical power. Admittedly, it's a little tigher a swing at tribunal, but:

"I was going to be paid vis for the boy, thus, in stealing him, magus X has deprived me of those vis." is a valid arguement.

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What if the candidate decides he likes a different magus more? Before he's an apprentice it's suggested he has more rights under the Code than afterwards. The candidate runs away to the better master, and the master takes him.

The seller didn't have possession of the vis, he had a promise from another person for the vis to deliver a candidate. He could acquire a different candidate and still fulfill the contract.

Don't have access to Apprentices, but there is nothing in the Core Book afaik. Closest is the "distractions from labwork" subsection (p 103), that state that you can only lose up to 20 days from labwork or the effort fails. So, begin the opening 20 days late, and just pray to Bonisagus that you don't miss even one more day.

As to "pretending" to open the Arts late in the season as a pretense to claiming the candidatus... the obvious counter-argument is that i you can't do something, and you know you can't, then you really aren't doing it - and "pretending" to open the Arts or "knowingly and intentionally failing" to open the Arts is not sufficient. Whether the particular Tribunal buys that or not is a diff matter - the effort itself (even if bald-facedly futile) certainly shows serious intent, and it seems that does carry some weight, so it's not as much a slam dunk as it might be on paper, either way.

Without digging out past threads and old notes, iirc a "standard" fee for a season of a generic mage's effort starts somewhere around 3-5 vis.*

(* This is based loosely on a decent Lab Total for extracting Vim Vis from the Aura, plus slop, the assumption being that any mage could have achieved something close to that in their time, so that's the baseline equivalent. Then add to that the fact that the mage almost certainly didn't want to spend that season extracting Vim vis (or that's what they'd have been doing instead of "X"), which is where the higher end of that "3-5 vis" range comes from.)

Of course, if the season has been spent in a uniquely productive or desirable fashion, such as by a mage with specific talents or resulting in a personally-tailored result (such as a Longevity potion, perhaps), a higher value may reasonably be placed on the end product and so the season required to produce that result.

Then there are 2 magi pursuing redress in Tribunal, and a verifiable value for the lost property. (Pretty clear that only the value of the contract could be enforced - the mage who was going to buy the child certainly doesn't pay (because the contract wasn't fulfilled), but neither do they get the child.)

No there is only one, at best. The person acquiring the candidate hasn't given up anything nor has he lost anything magical, yet. You keep assigning value to a candidate before the candidate is an apprentice. The Code doesn't support that.

You keep saying that as i it were in the Code in so many words, yet STILL can't provide any citation. You may well be right, in which case I'd be eager to correct my misintrpretation. But meanwhile, repeating yourself is getting boring, and doing so while ignoring repeated requests for a citation is simply rude to everyone on these boards, and confusing to people who think you actually know what you're talking about. (Which in all honesty I find I am having to start to doubt more and more, myself.)

"The Code" is hard to cover from memory - lots of half-remembered and mis-remembered and simply "house-ruled" interpretations get thrown around. So until you provide a citation, I have no particular reason to believe it just because you're repeating it, and nor does anyone else. In recent threads you've done the same and then finally changed your position to something like "Well, the Story is more important than the Rules" - and I have neither time nor patience to play that game with you again.

So if it is, in fact, to be found in the Code, then please be so kind as to share that source with everyone - otherwise I have to assume it's just your personal opinion, nothing more.

In short - put up or shut up, JL. Either cite, or start using "imo" more often. I would welcome either one equally. Really.

Just because you want to be paid Vis, or even if you where promised Vis, for an item does not automatically mean that a Tribunal would conclude that that thing is connected to your magical power. Such things vary form Saga to Saga Tribunals to Tribunal.

In Tribunals where Magi raiding each other's non-magical property is an expected thing there is likely some very strict requirements written into the Peripheral code about what constitutes an attack on magical power.

I believe I quoted it earlier:

The statement "taking of another magi's power" (in other parts of the docs) is specifically attributed to the stealing of an apprentice. Not "Gifted child who may be an apprentice", but an apprentice itself. So, all of the value claims are about apprentices.

Now, it sounds like you're demanding that Jonathan.Link show you where it explicitly EXCLUDES gifted-but-not-yet-apprentices from the "depriving of magical power" rule. And the answer is "tautologically, within the definition of 'apprentice'". Could a Tribunal have a bit of Peripheral Code that states that ALL Gifted children count as Magical Power, regardless of whether or not they have been apprenticed? Sure. I can definitely see that in a Gift-scarce saga, where Gifted children are precious resources (more so than they are in real life, of course.) But I'm not seeing that explicitly called out in the docs.

And I've been asking you to cite your assertions, which I find just as boring. And we have, both KevinSchutlz and I have cited numerous items in Apprentices and the core rule book. Apprentices are part of magical power of a magus, Gifted individuals who aren't apprentices are not.

You're not even reading the parts we cite. Nor are you providing your own citations supporting your assertions. Just because you're repeating it I have no reason to believe you, nor does anyone else. I never said what you put in quotes, that's a really poor argument.

I have cited, but you have not. Having IMO in your signature isn't sufficient for me to take your assertions as not needing citation.

This sounds something like what would exist in the Theban Tribunal. And of course, apprentices there choose their masters, based on the number of tokens they receive, IIRC.

Well, first, there is NOTHING "automatic" about a Tribunal - prejudice and politics can always throw a vote and skew a ruling.

However, I would suggest that, for these boards (or, as the OP, at least for this thread), we ignore that level of "what ifs". :wink:

(and I'll get to the part I edited out below)

Likewise, let's not consider individual tastes. "Imo" (or words to that effect) will cover parts of the code that are open to such interpretation.

While very true, I submit that most Tribunals would rule that to one extent or another vis = Magical Power, or a part of it. MP is not just what a mage can do by themselves, but what they acquire to both improve themselves magically and act with their magic - and vis is a large and valuable part of both of those. It would, imo, be a tough sell to claim that two otherwise identical magi, one with a rook of vis and one with no vis, are still "identical in magical power" . Unless one defines MP far differently than I understand it (which is fine, I'm just sayin'), Vis is clearly a part of magical power.

Very likely, yet we (may?) have no examples of them. :confused:

That is a good point - asking is not the same as valued in. And while some sources suggest an "equivalent" ratio of silver:vis, most magi would laugh at the notion, and wizard's-leap to make that trade.

While a few categories are in the middle, some things (equipment, animals, buildings, grogs) are more commonly measured in silver, while some (a Magi's season of work, hermetic books) are more commonly measured in vis. Few Tribunals would (all things equal, ahem) rule that vis should be paid for a mundane loss or silver paid for a magical loss.

My premise of setting the value of the candidatus in vis is based on the premise that a Mage has spent their time to procure them, and a mage's time is valued in vis, not silver. (And under the assumption that no CoH counter-citation for "a child is not valued in vis" is forthcoming.)

Now, admittedly, the same child might have been found by a mundane, and so have been offered (perhaps naively) at a price in silver - but this one wasn't. And the Tribunal is not being asked to compensate a mundane for their time, effort and loss, but a mage for theirs.

That is the diff, and a big one imo.

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Yes, but that does not show, or even loosely imply, that a candidatus has no value in terms of magical power, only that a mage has no claim to him as an apprentice before the Arts are opened. I've tried to emphasize that my position is irrelevant to this, but JL keeps returning to it as if apples proved oranges don't exist.

More, the phrase "may be punished" jumps out to my eyes. Are they using "may = might be" or "may = can be"? And if of no real value, then why would there be punishment? Can anyone explain why the loss of mundane property, one insignificant child, would be punishable?! I seem to remember quite a few recent posts that state, very matter of factly, that mundane theft is NOT punished, as a rule.

So if it's not mundane theft... hmmm... :wink:

Fixed - the wording in the CoH is not "taking" but "depriving" - which is FAR more open-ended to interpretation. And apprentices are NOT the only examples of breaches of this section of The Code - loss of familiars, loss of physical magical items - admittedly just going from memory here, but I believe there are many different examples citable.

My issue with JL's claims is that he is presenting the absence of proof as proof of the contrary - that (in his own words) "You keep assigning value to a candidate before the candidate is an apprentice. The Code does not support this."

So what? I don't NEED the Code to support it - I believe it's self-evident, have tried repeatedly to demonstrate that. And because of that, yes - until someone cites otherwise (or can disprove my logic), I feel justified in my position. The Code does not support that my mage can snap his fingers or can sell his horse for silver - but I bet he can do both.

But perhaps that position has been lost in the babble. In homage to the classic Socratic style, I'll re-present, yet again, it as a series of propositions, with comments added below some - if any can disprove one of the propositions, let them. Otherwise... it cannot be but so. :wink:

(And this is why ~I~ have never felt I needed to provide any "citations" or state "imo" - b/c nothing I'm claiming is anything but self-evident at face value. Unlike some other's assertions I've had issue with.)

And remember - "rights of claiming" are entirely separate and irrelevant. I'm heading toward the part of The Code re "depriving a mage of Magical Power".

1) Loss of vis is equal to loss of Magical Power.

(A mage with less vis has less "magical power" than the same mage with more vis. This is an important concept, and, yes, not every Tribunal will blah blah - but I believe the principle is sound enough to bring to Tribunal in the first place.)

2) My mage had property (slavery notwithstanding - I trust we've amply covered that issue).

3) My mage suffered a loss in property due to the actions of another mage.

(Note - NO ONE is saying the claiming was illegal - but in that claiming, I'm proposing that a different part of The Code was broken. That alone, a paradox over 2 parts of The Code, where the accused is following one part but breaks another, is not unheard of, and the one does not disprove or mitigate the other. And I can provide citations for this if anyone can't think of examples on their own.)

4) That property had value.

4.a) Now, if that value is mundane, equal to any grog, my position is weak at best. Fail.
4.b) If that value can be measured in Vis, then the complaint has merit.

So - what is the value of a candidatus?

5) A valid measure of the value of a thing is evidenced at face value by the selling price, that anything that can easily and readily be sold for vis therefore has a value of that vis.

6) A candidatus can easily be sold for a i[/i] price of, say, 3 vis. [i](This is based on a season of labwork work - an arbitrary but not inappropriate measure for a season for a mage. I am confident that a Gifted child can command such a price, but 1 vis would be adequate.

Even more evidence for this by citing any previous purchase of a [/i]candidatus by any mage for vis - and I bet that wouldn't be hard to find.)

7) Therefore... because my mage has lost property worth vis, he has suffered a loss of magical power due to the actions of the other mage.

That's my position, as clearly as I can lay it out. I don't need the Code to specifically "support" it because it only relies on the "depriving magical power" clause. And I don't have to qualify many of those with "imo" because they're either obvious or nut-and-bolt simple logic. My mage suffered a loss of property - imo... whatever. :unamused:

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Obviously there already is a vibrant Hermetic Market for Gifted Children, since there are no obstacles that you see. If your character would have no troubles establishing the market, then it should be already well established in your saga, and it would be little different than being a specialist selling your services and also having to deal with competition of other magi who do the same.

No JL - don't back down now! The Code does not support this - you've said so repeatedly and emphatically. Please do explain to us why! :laughing:

My point was, if it is easy as you say it is, someone would already be doing it. It's kind of an Occam's Razor thing. Certainly once you start doing this, you can expect some competition, right? If it's so easy a caveman can do it, then it will be done by others.
What I say probably won't satisfy you, since you think this is fait accompli and have from the get go.

So, you believe it is possible, and you believe it is easy. For that reason, based on your belief, you shouldn't be the first/only person doing this.

I'm not the only one who is saying that the Code doesn't support your character here. I think there's work (stories) that your character needs to undertake to grant your character the rights to keep a stable of Gilfted Children and ensure you get paid. The Code, as I've seen it presented in various sourcebooks published and quoted here doesn't make your stated goal fait accompli. It's pretty obvious that you want this, and you think you should be able to snap your fingers and make it happen (see above). I've just said that no, you have some work to do to ensure that the Tribunal enshrines your rights, or the rights of people who do this. Just as the method for selecting apprentices is enshrined in The Sundered Eagle (I'm not going to quote it, since you won't read it) for Thebes, and in Normandy, you can steal candidates while they're on their way to a covenant (and I was recently played a session where this happened).

But very well. Your contention about stealing an apprentice, because it impairs your ability to earn vis...

It's a stretch to call selling a candidate as a vis source, again, with the premise that if your character does it, then any character can do it. The InVi specialist might even one up you and offer services of Opening the Arts to apprentices who have Supernatural Abilities that the master might want to preserve. Time may have a value in vis, but there's nothing enshrined in the Code that says your time is worth vis, is there? Can you cite that potential vis not earned is depriving of magical power? You're building your case on a set of assumptions that have no basis in the Code.
Calling the candidate, someone who you are intending to sell to another a member of your covenant's covenfolk is a weak argument, as well. He likely did not grow up in your covenant, nor do you have any intention of keeping him at your covenant, either as an apprentices or as a member of your covenfolk.

Certainly the right of a magus to take any Gifted individual not already claimed as an apprentice is enshrined within the Code.

I can walk up to any of your candidates, and say, I want to teach you. Indeed, your character may even have witnessed it, and then, I can take him away and begin Opening the Arts. I don't need to pay you. Hire a Quaesitor and bring the charge. I'll pay a weregild in silver. Probably what I'd pay a Redcap who would already be doing this in your saga where you think it's simply so easy to do.

Now all this can be solved by stories where your character is changing the Peripheral Code in your Tribunal. It takes time, and maybe here there you acquire a candidate for sale and do it, and maybe you get burned and someone steals it and you now need to make this an issue at Tribunal to protect your rights and highlight the service you're providing to the Order, and defeat challengers who say you're poaching apprentices from other sources.

This particular part is valid. You can STILL take the person who took the candidate to tribunal over it if you want, since it's wasted your time in finding the apprentice, but as far as the contract is concerned, you need to deliver A candidate, not the specific candidate. So the other party won't give two flying monkeys if you can or can't get the candidate back or win the tribunal case.