The past is prologue

Sounds interesting. What posting rate are you expecting?

I would expect around 3-5 times a week, though there are obvious reasons some weeks could be slower- for example in the first stages where we use solo play rules, anyone who has no adventures for the year we are in will have fewer reasons to post...

Ah, OK. That makes more sense. That way you get to choose your own house. There is a related question. While the other player chooses the projects and when you'll be taught, can you still choose what you are taught? Otherwise I could see choosing to make one sort of magus and ending up with something completely different. For example, wanting to make a Corpus/Mentem focused Verditius but ending up trained in the four elements and not at all in either Corpus or Mentem.

I tend to agree that we ought to have at least some chance of getting an apprentice trained somewhere like what we'd want.

We might be able to set forth a general policy of training.

Season 1: Personal training
Season 2: Assistance in lab/focused learning
Season 3: Assistance in lab/focused learning
Season 4: Free study season to study as they wish

Giving a free study season could allow the apprentices a chance to focus on what they want rather than what the master needs.

That is somewhat realistic, however, keep in mind that: 1) you are designing your parens, including what their specializations are. While they may train you contrary to this, it is unlikely. Also 2) this will go beyond your apprenticeship, and if you finish apprenticeship with a mastery of the 4 elements and decide to turn around and study mind magic and specialize in that there is nothing stopping you from doing so. Of course payers can also discuss things behind the scenes... Your apprenticeship can start as early as 1100 AD if you wish, or be much later, but advancement will not be based on a generic 30 points per year.

It sounds like we'll be focusing on character advancement for the first part of this game, using the solo-play rules from an earlier post. I am assuming these rules https://forum.atlas-games.com/t/solo-play/9494/1? I have enjoyed using these rules to advance a magus NPC in a table-top game, and like the idea of using them along with more traditional pbp stories.

Trying to get a handle on timing ...

... and later ...

If an apprentice ends his/her apprenticeship early, will we also be using the solo-play rules for them, until 1220?

I agree with Trogdor's seasons suggestion.

What else should we know before throwing out character concepts?

The seasonal advancement for apprentices is up to the masters- if the masters choose to follow that formula that is certainly fine. The solo play rules will be used, not only after apprenticeship but during, including the right of your master to send you off to deal with some adventure on his behalf should he chose to do so.

What I have at this point for the game beginning is as follows:
The covenant of ___ began as a chapterhouse in 1061 when Roger I decided that the ruined town of Locri was vulnerable to Saracen raiders as a landing spot, but with people having already abandoned the location on 2 occasions it would be hard to support as a defensive position. When it was pointed out that the location had a pagan temple which had been leveled but a century earlier by Saracen raiders, it was gifted to a covenant from Normandy along with a writ of crenulation and a rent that was expected, and the expectation that the magi would defend this land for themselves from Saracen invaders.
50 years later the chapterhouse has become a covenant, with a mixture of people of Greek, Roman, Norman and Saracen heritages. The following boons and hooks are mandatory:

Writ of crenulation (minor boon), indebted (minor flaw)

obviously naming the covenant should be one of the early tasks.
When we get to the point of "founding" in 1100 AD the covenant will have already grown from a chapterhouse to have 2000 bp. The players will also need to agree on additional boons and hooks as of 1100 AD ("solo" play may change these as things progress).
Vis sources are generally likely to be of a commercial rather than supernatural nature- for example a scriptorium that generates magical texts sold for vis as opposed to vis from flowers in a magical glade. Italy as a whole has been well settled and domesticated, so natural vis is rare. Not impossible, just rare.
The Roman Tribunal has books referred to as authorities- these books cannot be covered by cow and calf within the tribunal, though commentaries on them may be- I am planning to generate a list of these, but they tend to be high level and of middling quality, so most people will not start study with them, but because of standardization of these authorities commentaries on them are fairly widespread.

Obviously anything you want to know about the history of Italy in the 12 and 13th centuries could be relevant, but there is plenty out there on Wikipedia and other sources. There will be some other restrictions on boons and hooks related to the history of Locri. For example the temples were to Persephone and Aphrodite, so any attunement of the aura should follow from this. Remote is not a possibility since there are two towns within 6 miles, and so forth...

As a note- Locri was first abandoned in the fifth century AD, and there was open resistance to persecution of Paganism in the Byzantine empire including a pagan majority of the empire through 602 AD. The temples are recorded to have been destroyed by Saracens in 915. The earliest the temple could have been built was 580 BC- so pretty much any level of aura is possible...

I wasn't thinking so much along the lines of what Trogdor suggested. Rather, I was simply thinking we might choose what is taught in those guaranteed 14 (1 used for opening) seasons. Everything else up to the person playing the parens, including when those guaranteed seasons are.

Again, you the player can suggest, but it is really up to the person playing the parens. Which is both realistic and, I feel, a fair tradeoff for the extra amount of power this can translate into.

There will be a certain quid pro quo, that should keep us all on track. I may be training someone else's apprentice character, but someone else is training mine. What goes around comes around. We'll all have incentive to keep the apprentices on track.

Sounds good. I think I've got a good concept in mind that could fit a lot of variations, just so long as the point of the covenant is not generally headed toward the infernal.

The point is not headed toward the infernal, however it is heavy on intrigue in the Roman tribunal, and where there is the head of the Church, there will be infernal forces trying to corrupt it, and I will not forbid anyone from pursuing the infernal if they so wish- including taking things to private communication so everyone does not know. This would be a quick way to escalate a grog to mythic companion status after all... for the small cost of his soul...

No problem there. This concept just veers strongly against the infernal.

If we were to start the game with about 3 people, and hadn't attracted more by the time we finish covenant management I would probably want you to each manage an extra magus through the startup for new players to take over...

I could handle that.

Oh, gosh, would that actually be four magi: two parens and two apprentices/magi?

We did have a third person express interest as well, I was hoping to have 6 magi and 6 apprentices, which become magi before 1220.

I'm definitely interested in playing, but I'm not sure I'll have the time to devote to two magi and apprentices ...

I am interested, but I need to check a few things first to make sure I've got my head around this.

We're starting a creation process from 1100, aiming to get to 1220 for the campaign proper to start.

How old are the parens in 1100? Freshly gauntleted or a bit older?

How old are the "apprentices" supposed to be in 1220? Freshly gauntleted, allowed to be gauntleted sometime close to 1220 to have some variation, or you apprenticed them in 1100 and they're 105 years past gauntlet in 1220? (I gather from the replies they could be anywhere on the spectrum but is there any guidance or preference?)

Are the parens supposed to be dead/out of the way come 1220?

What books are we allowed to use? I ask because the long time span of the prologue makes me interested in some of the grander mysteries - for instance, could my Parens deliberately make themselves an immortal or a living ghost and effectively become a magical NPC in the 1190s, making room for the younger generation of magi? Could we use hermetic architecture on the covenant? Could my parens begin research into one of the Hermetic Projects but be a decade short of completion in 1220?
Other things from books - would a Nephilim (from RoP:Divine) companion be allowable - they usually start age 70 and their advancement totals drop to 1 pt/season some point after the age of 150, so this is one saga where you could employ this type of Mythic Companion and have them peak before the main action starts.
If I commit to the ridiculous amounts of bookwork, can I use the labour points and craftsmanship rules from city&guilds and have a master crafter in the prologue help train a verditius and leave behind a top quality smithy and a cache of super-crafted items for the grogs?
If I attempt to build a Great Work (ie a book in architectural form as per covenants p102) in the prologue, is it OK or does it count as us picking the Edifice Boon and require an extra hook?

If I take a merinita Creo specialist and I make a T:bloodline spell to get as many members of one family buffed, how does that work - can I D:instant Creo ritual the family matriarch and all of her descendants currently alive get buffed for life? Or would I have to make the spell duration "while" and ensure no-one in the bloodline accidentally breaks the condition, while they all get warped?

Sorry for all the questions, I'm just thinking of all the long-term things you normally don't get time to do in all but the fastest-paced sagas.

The parens may be of any age in 1100. By 1220 they should be ta a point where they are no longer engaged in adventures, whether that means dead, departed, in really long twilight or permanently holed up in their labs.
The apprentices may be of any reasonable age in 1220 (obviously if they started an apprenticeship after 1100 200 years old is not reasonable), but should be able to see the adventure through until 1270 or so if necessary, so pushing on final twilight or death in 1220 is not a good idea.
Making your parens a living ghost or daimon would be a great way t keep them around and make them unavailable for adventuring.
Books allowed for initial character creation include: main, all house books, all realms of power books, city and guild, artes and acadamie, The Church, and Lords of men. Development after creation can include The Mysteries and Ancient magic, though not all of ancient magic will be appropriate. The Mysteries may be used to a limited degree in initially creating the parens, which will require discussion with the storyguide.
Mythic companions (including nephalim) are not part of the plans at this point, exceptions being made for anyone selling their soul and Heroic redcaps.
Yes, a master crafter can leave a top quality smithy and super crafted weapons
Instant target bloodline would instantly and permanently (if ritual obviousl) affect all her ancestors and descendants alive at the time of the casting. If you make the duration "while" then as long as the condition is not broken it will add new family members as they are born, but yes also cause warping.