Theban Apprenticeship

So I'd been planning on playing a Theban Jerbiton antigone that was just/recently out of his apprenticeship. However, whilst reading the Thebes tribunal book I struck on a bit of a problem. Theban apprentices are chosen by their masters at tribunal meetings and then (since they've usually gotten a little bit of extra training before they officially start) they go through a bit of a shortened 14 year apprenticeship. The problem with this is that the next Theban tribunal is at 1221. So... my interpretation of this is that if you want to play a recently gauntled theban magus at the default time you either have to be an immigrant, be 6 years past your gauntlet, or your master needs to have committed a low crime to claim you early rather than at the apprentice presentation at tribunal. Am I missing something or did this tribunal book break the "default" game (which I'm assuming is spring covenant of mostly recently gauntleted characters)?

One alternative would be to have been originally apprenticed outside Thebes, then traded to a magi inside Thebes. Perhaps the original magi went into Final Twilight or was convicted of a High Crime and was marched. Sending an apprentice to the Primus to decide where he would go would seem to a choice a magi might make.

Alternatively, 1220 your spring covenant magi could all be apprentices one year off gauntleting - your initial year consists of strange situations occurring to force your characters to meet up, and as your final year progresses you agree to start a new covenant as soon as you get gauntleted at tribunal. At tribunal, you'll probably be asking magi of the area where you can find a magical entity to sponsor your new covenant.

This is without a doubt the best option anyone could go with!

As players you can do just one story, maybe over say six game sessions or so, play out your groups magi going thru your last years of training. Maybe some of you know each other, maybe you are being politically maneuvered to be in competition with each other, but you play the hundreds of other fun and rewarding possible stories.

A second solution, and this is the solution my own TT game went with when we started our game in the Theban tribunal, we started our game in Winter of 1216. It gave players the choice between being freshly gauntleted in 1214, or be somewhat experience magi from the 1207 class. We have excelled with the differences! Of course only half of our characters are from Theban Tribunal. Two players went the route of being from outside the Tribunal and are on route to gaining politi status.

I say stick with the Jerbiton and your story and adjust the year. Start playing in 1215 thru 1217.... hell even 1214 right after Tribunal. However I think the most rewarding choice is darkwings, play out the final year of being apprentices. This allows you to learn about who your character is without having to be barraged by story elements and conflict.

I am jealous... I kinda want to play an apprentice. ((In our game we have three children who we are in charge of caring for until 1221... we look forward to our planned story to RP those children in a year or so!!! :smiley: ))

We just started a Theban saga, and faced that same problem ourselves, with two of the magi being theban and two foreigners (one Frank, one Muslim). We all wanted to start playing not too many years away from the next Tribunal, since that would allow for some stories about the foreigners getting archons to back them for politi status, but not having to play seven full years of it.

So we thought about the what would happen if a Gifted child was found say a year after a Tribunal. The rulebook clearly states that the child would have to wait six years before starting her apprenticeship, but that means you could have magi starting their apprenticeship at 16, for example, depending on how old they were when they were found. So we houseruled that there might be a kind of "unofficial" pre-apprenticeship, were a magus might be doing some prior training for the would-be apprentice before handing her down to her "proper" master at the next tribunal, thereby allowing for the kid to not waste so many years. Besides, IIRC the book mentions something to that effect.

In short, we ruled a character could have started apprenticeship, say, 2-3 years before the next Tribunal, then switch to her "proper" master for the remaining years until Gauntlet, allowing magi to be Gauntlet'd a year or two before the starting date of 1220. They would still need to be "officially accepted" as magi in the next Tribunal, but would be more or less a full magus until then, just like Covenants can be "approved" prior to a Tribunal, and then that status be "ratified" at the Tribunal proper.

We even made up a Minor Hermetic Flaw to represent the adverse effects of having to swtich parens midway your apprenticeship, which is more or less the same as "Weak Parens" from page 61, though with a different explanation of why your learning was impaired.

Interrupted Apprenticeship
Minor, Hermetic
You were found in the Theban Tribunal some years away from the next Tribunal. In order not to have to wait too long for your Apprenticeship to begin, a magus took you as her apprentice temporarily, until the next Tribunal when you were appointed your proper parens for the rest of your apprenticeship. Either your pre-apprenticeship master didn't put much of an effort into teaching you, or her ways were quite different from your proper parens' ways so that changing masters midway hindered your learning. In any case, your apprenticeship suffered from the changing of masters. You gain 60 fewer experience points and 30 fewer spells from apprenticeship, for a total of 180 experience points and 90 levels of spells.

I liked how you dealt with the Theban situation and the way of thinking it out and being flexible.... but that flaw looks a bit crushing. Of course then I remembered that the flaw Weak Parens was only a minor flaw and suddenly I was walking around the house like some insane power gamer saying things like, "Why would anyone take that? That flaw is a minor flaw and is a crushing 90xp subtraction from your character."

So then I was hopefully looking at errata hoping to see some ray of sunlight that would say that, "Oops we meant the flaw was a Major one." :laughing:

For some reason it just struck me how the transition from the staggered Virtue/Flaw system to the Major/minor one of Ars 5th kinda created this one big purple gorilla in the character making dining room. I wonder why it wasn't given a minor/Major version for the Virt/Flaw list. Like the minor would be a plus or minus of say 20xp and 20 spell levels, and the Major would be a plus or minus of 50xp and 50 spell levels.

Of course this is a topic discussed before and should be in a different post, but hah! it just hit me now after half a decade of 5th edition the oddness of Strong and Weak parens.

PS. Yirkash, good luck on your Theban adventure... we started our Theban game a couple of years back and Theban Tribunal is elegant and perfect in nearly every way. :smiley:

I don't find Weak Parens so crushing, TBH. It's the same as being three years younger after apprenticeship, so you probably make up for it soon enough. Besides, in this particular case it's a trade-off for not having to spend many years in the 15xp/year stage of pre-apprentice adult life.

Let's look at this through some practical examples. For the purposes of this example, I'll add up spell levels like they were experience points.

Imagine a standard theban maga of 30, who started apprenticeship at 10. She gets 5 years of adult life for (15x5) 75xp, then 15 years of apprenticeship for another (240+120) 360xp, plus an extra 5 years of being a gauntled maga for another (5x30) 150xp. For a grand total of 585xp.

Now imagine another 30 year old theban maga who had to wait 5 years for the next tribunal to start her apprenticeship. She gets 10 years of adult life for (15x10) 150xp, then 15 years of apprenticeship for another (240+120) 360xp, and no time as a gauntled maga. For a grand total of 510xp.

Now imagine that same maga with the Interrupted Apprenticeship Minor Flaw allowing her to start her apprenticeship at 10, then switch parens after 5 years when the tribunal comes around. She gets 5 years of adult life for (15x5) 75xp, then 15 years of apprenticeship for another (240+120) 360xp, minus 90xp from the Flaw, plus an extra 5 years of being a gauntled maga for another (5x30) 150xp. For a grand total of 495xp.

So the maga with the Flaw is 90xp short of a normal maga, but only 15xp short of what she'd have, had she waited for the tribunal to start her apprenticeship. Doesn't sound like such a bad deal, TBH.