When an apprentice "fails"...

In another thread, much mention was made of "gifted lab assistants" who were not apprentices, and, hopefully, not able to ever be apprenticed, for whatever reasons. The perfect lab assistant.

Age might be one deterrent to being apprenticed, but is not an absolute barrier - if the Parens is willing to try teaching an old dog new tricks, good luck. Pre-existing Supernatural Abilities might also exclude a magus whose InVi lab total is insufficient, but, again, it's not an absolute - in theory, there is some magus with a focus in InVi who can open the arts of even the most supernatural of apprentices.

But the virtue "Failed Apprentice" (p 42) specifically hints at other elements that completely prevent completion of apprenticeship, an "incomplete Gift", or "some griveous mishap". But most importantly for successful magi, the failed apprentice ".... may learn Magic Theory and serve a magus as a laboratory assistant." And the ears of magi perk up across the Order...


Has anyone ever delved into this corner of the rules, and sprung some "grevious mishap" on a magus' apprentice? If so (or even if not), what sort of mishap would you suggest? How/When does a Parens realize their apprentice's Gift is "incomplete"? How rare/common would be this unfortunate turn of events?

Would it be possible for one Parens to be unable to complete training, but another have the Arts or insight to complete the task? Once "failed", is there any hope to complete the regimen of apprenticeship, to prove themselves worthy despite their initial failings?

If the Failed Apprentice is sufficiently magical to attain the status of "Hedge Mage", what process would then welcome them into the fold of the Order? Or is their fate sealed, to either be marginalized and patronized for their days, or perhaps quietly marched as an embarrassing footnote to one Parens' failings?

(In theory, an apprentice who consistently fails (and yet survives) their Gauntlet would fall into this category, tho' they would certainly be too magical for the Order to ignore. Perhaps they would simply be stamped "Ex Misc" and then carry that stigma for their days?)

What parts of the Code would apply once an apprentice is labeled "failed", and the blood hits the water and magi realize this potential lab assistant is no longer protected as an apprentice?

Assuming a reasonable grasp of the realities of the Order (and their situation), what could a recently Failed Apprentice do to prevent mere, immediate and indefinite slavery? The passage in the virtues mentions "welcome" and "compassion", but imo that sounds like wishful thinking, and euphemisms in the same way that many slave owners were compassionate as they welcomed their new property.

I think you are too modern here. Of course a Christian cannot be a slave, but the "normal" people in the middle ages were not the knights or the monks, but the serfs. So why bother about exploitation? Failed apprentices may even be allowed to read and marry, because happy teachers and scribes are more productive: For me, an interesting job, being able to marry and to read, plus the lifestyle and longevity potions sound like heaven compared to a peasant in his medieval hut.
Most of those people would also still show signs of the gift and might feel more comfortable at a covenant than on an early pyre (with some Templars and other perverts for company).

Sidenote: it is good that they didn't have Stalin and statistics back then, otherwise he would have been a wonderful item for a Hedge purge.

To criticize as "too modern" is a contradiction to the way most magi appear, or appear to be played, which is with a modern sensibility toward freedom and individual rights, at least where ones self is concerned. And a failed apprentice would have seen that lifestyle, the power and prestige, and then seen it lost again.

While an apprentice, life would most likely have been less than all that, but as a FA one does have some value in a niche that is largely outside the norm. Some might just accept their fate and melt into the lab, but I would think that the mentality, the ego of your average mage - gauntleted or no - would not allow many to slide into the role of lab serf any more than any other mundane lifestyle.

But that was only one portion of the topic - no other thoughts or comments? hmmm.

Christians used to sell their enemies to the Muslims on a pretty regular basis in period. It was wrong, of course, but that doesn't seem to have stopped people. Muslims did the same the other way. There are some interesting figures on this, basically Muslims liked fit male slaves, for work or fighting. Christians preffered young women. Lets just leave that there, shall we?

Of course Timothy is right (once again :smiley: ) - on a fact level. I didn't mean

on a fact level though, but wanted to sound like a medieval moralist, a typical self-righteous member of medieval Europe.

Oh, sorry...We need a smiley that means "I am posting in character." I suggest the little ninja smiley you see about the place. Lacking him, we only have Mr Green.


My apologies in advance for trying to draw this thread back on topic . . .

I would suggest a very significant botch leading to Twilight as a possible event to be a grevious mishap. I think more likely in my experience is that the magus thinks the potential apprentice is fully Gifted, but there is something horribly wrong with the Gift. Maybe a Twilight episode that the apprentice failed to understand greatly magnified an inherent flaw in his magic.
Examples might be:
-He can't cast spells at all or barely can. Spont rolls are divided by 10 and he can't cast Formulaic spells.
-He can only cast Ceremonial spontaneous spells or maybe Rituals.
-He's got Deficient Arts in everything and several Incompatible Arts.
-Casting spells inflict Wounds instead of Fatigue, even Formulaic ones.

I wouldn't do this to a PC without the player's prior approval and cooperation.

You could do this, but what would be the reason for one magus being unable to complete the training? Say he's maxed out and all 10 Virtues are of a Supernatural nature (3 Major and 1 Minor), so only someone with an InVi Lab Total of 105 can Open his Arts? They could still be opened by someone else, but he would lose all of the Supernatural Abilities. Maybe his Supernatural Abilities are keeping him alive? You can't Open the Arts of someone in a way that makes him lose his Faerie Blood Virtue, so maybe he has maxed out in those special kinds of Virtues that cannot be lost?

It's my understanding that this is discussed in Hedge Magic RE.

I think it would depend on why the apprentice is failing. If he is failing because he can't cast any spells or perform any magic, then I don't think that he'd be let into the Order. If he's failing because his parens is psycho, then the Quaesitors would take over and set a Gauntlet for him. I believe this is addressed in HoH: True Lineages.

If you're not a magus, you're either property of a magus or raw resources. Those are the only three categories under the Code.

I don't think there is anything a Failed Apprentice could do. The handcuffs would surely be golden, but they would be handcuffs. A gilded cage in Mythic Europe would be a better life than 99.9% of the general population. If the Failed Apprentice is yearning to breath free, he or she could attempt to escape, but that attempt would very likely fail if the magus in question had any ability at all in Intellego Corpus.

Maybe the Failed Apprentice has a Virtue that means he cannot be detected by Intellego Corpus spells? Short of that, I don't see many options. In any event, unless you're running a solo The Fugitive style saga, this would probably be best as a story seed involving an NPC.

Hmmm - I can see your point, and have to agree with it.

I had envisioned the apprentice (NPC) after the failure, but without having (yet) been co-opted into the life of a lab-slave - perhaps bitter, perhaps determined to prove himself one way or another, but still free to choose his own destiny. But, especially with such a high value placed on his services (and such a low one on his free will and personal rights), it seems it would be rare for such an individual to get to that point in the first place.

Meh - thanks for kicking that ball around. :wink:

This could easily happen, try taking an older person with years of being independant who has some spark of the gift or supernatural ability. They "KNOW" they can do more if only...