Magister

The Magister is a Scholar. The name Magister is a title that translates to “Master,” referring to the Bachelor of Arts degree he has earned at university. Choosing this trade indicates that the character has studied long and hard at university and earned both his Baccalaureate degree and coveted Licentia Docendi of a Magister – the Master’s degree.

Many students drop out after the M-gram, never achieving even the BA, but still go on to perform admirably as professional clerks, even in government service.

The Scholar character must first be a Magister before he may be equipped with any of the higher Scholastic Trades. This brings with it the same respect and social standing as a gentleman, and the opportunities to rise in status to equal a knight, depending on the patron he is able to find and the position to which he is eventually appointed in service. This also frees him to circulate as a peer in the scholastic community, allowing him to teach in any of the various universities sponsored by the Church, in every realm where it holds sway.

“The teacher crows like a cock in the night and says : ‘now it is time for us to awake from sleep.’ … Let the teacher shake himself till he is awake … Let him beat himself with the wings of his thoughts. Then let him wake up other men to labor ….”

The Scholars’ Path, so to speak, can be seen in the listings on the Scholastic Trades roster to encompass a number of areas of knowledge. These are marked as PhD’s to indicate that they require significant study beyond the Magister. The skill sets each provides may look a bit truncated, but that is because they are building blocks like all the other trades, intended to add on to the Magister’s skill set. The specific scope of each and the skills that express each are addressed in their specific descriptions, as follows.

This trade is designed to represent the standard educational channels, , the character is assumed to have taken the standard liberal arts courses including the Trivium (Grammar, Rhetoric, and Logic) and the Quadrivium (Astrology, Music Theory, Arithmetic, and Geometry). These are considered the foundation stones of all medieval education.

The Magister’s knowledge of Music Theory, through his experience with the Quadrivium, allows him to take the Musician skill with a single musical instrument, NOT to include the Voice, as the mathematical principles of music cannot be examined through it as they can be with an external instrument.

In many ways, this trade is an elevated and perfected form of the Lore skill; however, while the Lore skill encompasses knowledge that is readily obtained in the world, folkways and tales, local stories, practices, and oral traditions passed easily and naturally around among the common people, the Scholar skill encompasses scholarship and book-learning, all the higher realms of education. Scholar encompasses the knowledge of the great writers, regardless of the magnitude of their reputations – philosophers and theologians ancient and current, historians, poets, and playwrights, astronomers & astrologers, linguists and cryptographers, all the great thinkers, even the inventors.

All Scholar characters are familiar with all these subjects, but the player must choose his Areas of Expertise for his Scholar character from among this list, or come up with others, subject to the GM’s approval. These may be up to (AWA ÷ 4) in number. The player should be mindful that the Areas of Expertise provide the basic foundation of the character’s identity as a member of the scholastic community, the basis of his professional reputation. They indicate the subjects on which the scholar’s studies were most intensely concentrated at university. These subjects of study are each tracked as separate skills but as directly related skills all of the same nature (Lore), one AWA-slot may contain up to (AWA ÷ 4) such fields of Lore.

Because of their importance and position at the core of medieval higher learning and the Scholar character’s education, the Trivium (Grammar, Rhetoric, and Logic) and Quadrivium (Astrology, Music Theory, Arithmetic, and Geometry) are so intrinsic to the process of education that each of these groups is considered to be a single field of Lore for the purposes of filling AWA-slots. In the same manner as the fields of Lore above, one AWA-slot may contain up to (AWA ÷ 4) of the Scholar character’s assorted Linguist skills, as directly related skills all of the same nature (languages). These include not only the languages common to the community of scholars (Philosopher’s Tongue = Greek, Scholar’s Tongue = Latin, GM’s discretion), but foreign languages and even dead languages, of which the player may choose a total up to (AWA ÷ 4) in number with which his Scholar character may begin play. The player should consult with the GM if he wishes to equip his Scholar with knowledge of foreign and/or ancient languages, to see which might be the most appropriate for the game world.

The Areas of Expertise are the avenues on which the Magister character is expected to focus on cultivating greater knowledge as he develops as a Scholar in play. Within his Areas of Expertise, the Scholar character is very familiar with all of the great men who pioneered the field of study, whose theories are in favor and who is discredited, whose works are reliable and whose not, and all the great scholars currently prominent in his field, even in the international community, and indeed may be in correspondence with them, as long as the Scholar takes care to introduce himself fully and provide/describe his credentials and ask permission first. Letters of introduction as references of the PC Scholar’s good and upright his character are also a good idea preceding any request to correspond. Scholarly discourse and discussion via correspondence was very common in the period of the game, and the common language shared by the international community of scholars (Latin) made it easy.

Outside his Areas of Expertise, the Scholar is familiar with the greatest of scholars and most trusted authors of codices in the other fields, and where to go to find the information he desires. He is familiar with the greats in agriculture and industry among the religious houses, great linguists, classical and contemporary authors, great architects and those who invent machines, who are masters of arithmetic and geometry, philosophers, and historians both current and classical, and the general body of learned works currently in vogue in the international community of scholars. In- and outside his field, this trade provides the character with the knowledge of which schools in what countries are renowned for teaching which subjects, which are the most prestigious, and which the best in quality (not always one and the same), which the best priced, and which caters to what social classes and/or is favored by the students from which countries.

This trade can, at the player’s option, also encompass the specializations in aspects or topics typical of high culture, called Connoisseurs specialties, listed under the Life Skills. These areas of special knowledge include ancient and antique examples of the area of expertise, and can range from rare and valuable coins, high style in furniture, cuisine, and fashion, to fine gems and jewelry, wine and liquors, beasts of myth and legend (including their reputed attributes), spirits (faerie, demon, and attendant spirits of the Light and the Darkness), and any and every field of the Artisan skill. Heraldry is another useful Connoisseur specialty, especially for a character (a Courtier, perhaps?) who aspires to one day being admitted to the College of Heralds.

A Connoisseur specialty in dance and/or music for one who is also a Courtier would give an advantage and provide the equivalent of a much higher SL (add the Connoisseurs SL to the dance or music SL for the purposes of knowledge, discussion and debate). This would have no effect on how well the character could perform in dance or on an instrument, only make him more knowledgeable, and perhaps a better teacher if he became so inclined.

These specialties can bridge the barriers of culture in knowledge without the character needing to also take the corresponding foreign Cultures skill, though the foreign Culture skills do help. The ability to recognize examples of the aspects of high culture originating from different (foreign) cultures and peoples is considered a separate Connoisseur specialty.

IF the character is already equipped with a number of Foreign Cultures skills, the Connoisseur specialties are automatically assumed to extend to those other cultures, as well.

The character may have more than one scholarly or cultural specialty, but the player must track each scholarly Area of Expertise and/or Connoisseur specialty separately by SL and SP’s, any of the skills of the healer trades, Weapon skills, Languages, Musicians’ instrument skills, the different Arts by which a single charm can be cast, and so on.

The magister understands the value of  Rhetoric and even Bombast in the Presence skill of the Orator, so necessary to his preparations for a life of teaching.

Trade Skills

Connoisseur †

Grammar School

Linguist

Foreign †

Scholar’s Tongue

Philosopher’s Tongue

Magister’s Lore

Trivium & Quadrivium

History & Mythology 

(ancient & recent); (domestic & international); (Church & State)

Classical Literature

Plays & Poetry

Religion & Theology

Cultures/Societies 

(ancient & recent); (domestic & foreign)

Elective Areas of Expertise †

Social Graces (domestic)

Perception

Savvy

Presence

Disputation/Debate

Interviewer/Interrogate

Orator

Repartee

Aside from being a well of information and scholarly learning in his scholarly or cultural specialty(ies), one of the main values in being a Magister is in the enhanced ability as a teacher.

Anyone, whether PC or NPC, may learn any skill by following the carefully explained and repeated examples and teachings of those who don’t actually have the Magister trade, as any common master of any trade who has taken on an apprentice, guiding the student (apprentice) through the task over and over, and over again. The emphasis in teaching by the unskilled is on rhyme and rote, accomplished through endless repetition of acts and processes, physically and also verbally. The student can’t help but learn under those conditions; the knowledge becomes ingrained by repetition into his very muscles and tendons, in what is called “body memory.”

The teaching skills of a Magister certainly aren’t required in these cases, but they certainly can be useful for engaging the student’s mind also and thus speeding the process up tremendously when they can be brought to bear in addition.

Being taught any skill, physical or otherwise, or area of knowledge or Lore, by a Scholar is faster than being taught by rote by anyone of equal skill/knowledge who lacks the same scholarly training. This is due to the fact that, being well-trained as an Orator, Scholars are skilled at verbal example, relating to the audience the concepts they wish to convey using images and references with which the audience can most easily identify. When the Scholar is at a loss for a common point of reference to get his point across due to differences in background, he has the verbal skills to get his student(s) to provide them for him. All the scholar has to do is remember to use the language of the class or station he is teaching so they can relate to him.

A Magister may teach any skill he possesses or lecture on any topic in which he is schooled, but the benefit lies in the fact that under his tutelage the student obtains SL 1 faster, or the SL being taught (up to that at which the Magister himself possesses it, at best, or his own TR as a Magister, whichever is less). Personality and style in teaching show their marks in the profession of the Magister, for they directly influence results and reputation, and it is the Magister’s reputation that draws students to him, and attracts the attention of wealthy noble patrons to woo him as an ornament for their courts or households.

The Magister (Latin), or Master (vulgar), is a very prominent and visible member of mainstream society in the medieval game world. When engaged and working for a patron, he fulfills a combination of the roles of teacher and chaperone, to tutor the children of nobles and some wealthy commoners, to act as a chaperone to guard the virtue of their young charges, or as a professor or master teaching undergraduates in a university setting. Service to wealthy burgess families teaching the children is the first rung on the lay-scholar’s ladder to success, from the wealthy burgess’ house to some local lesser noblemen’s house, on that noble’s recommendation to the service of his liege lord, and on up the social ladder. Those Scholars who teach in the universities are usually the most accomplished thinkers and orators of their countries, commonly internationally renowned, and often have quasi-political factions of students who follow their teachings. The term “quasi-political” is used here because, when two masters in a school disagree, or when the masters as a body divide over some issue, whether scholastic in nature or not, the students that study under them divide into factions and take the issue personally, even to the point of fighting amongst themselves, to the point of trading blows or resorting to weapon play. Considering the fact that the universities commonly dominate the towns where they are sited, these clashes most commonly occur when there are changes of political officers in the town, or in the officers of a college or for the university as a whole.

A Magister can teach anyone any skill or knowledge that he himself has, like any other, but only a Scholar can teach esoteric subjects like philosophy, interpretation of literature, poetry, and theatre, dead languages, and the fine points of etymology (the roots and derivation of words or names), or any other of the myriad scholarly specialties of this trade in the classroom and have any hope of keeping his audience entertained with them so as to actually impress the knowledge on them.

The Magister’s trained skill of Oration, developing a fine-timbered clear speaking voice, is a skill cultivated by Scholars for just this purpose, as well as for its great usefulness in debate.

The Magister’s skill as an Orator, long practiced in his scholastic career and so necessary to his teaching, is granted at SL10, plus his (CHM att. mod.).

The only other avenue to learning about such things is extensive personal reading, and that can be a rather expensive proposition unless one has some very wealthy connections/patrons or otherwise has access to some valuable repositories of books.

The helpful “how-to” books and scholarly treatises circulated to teach and preserve knowledge are only of use a) to those who can read and b) if the reader already has a background in the topic covered by the book (served an apprenticeship). Most treatises that survive down to us today rarely touch on what was considered common knowledge and background for the topic discussed. References are commonly made to other classical and contemporary authors and their works without going into detail. The reader is simply assumed to understand.

So the value of the Magister’s skill is assured, at least in training novices.

IF a pupil does not already have at SL1 the skill he wishes to be taught by the Magister, the Magister must begin by teaching him SL1 first. It is assumed that a full day is devoted to this pursuit once engaged, that all of the pupil’s and Magister’s activity slots during this time are accounted for by the teaching/learning process, save one slot for domestic and incidental business at some point during the day (player’s discretion). If less than this amount of time is being devoted to the new skill, the time required to master it should be increased proportionately, i.e., if the character only devotes half the time per day, double the time required. If he should skip a day, another day should be added at the end.

A Magister may instruct no more than (HRT + CHM att. mod.) + (TR) pupils at one time and still keep the proceedings orderly and the lectures and any demonstrations needed on-track and beneficial to the students. 

Once the pupil has learned SL1, the Magister may be sought out either for the odd lesson to gain a SP towards advancement or to undergo an integrated course of study to achieve another whole SL, as was done in the case of learning SL1, at the student’s discretion.

The process for teaching SL2, or any higher SL should the pupil already be versed in the skill he is seeking help to improve, is the same as that detailed for SL 1, only the SL included in determining the DV to teach/learn is higher.

  • When sought out for the odd lesson, the Magister may impart up to [(Magister’s SL or TR, whichever is less) – (student’s SL)] SP’s-worth of knowledge towards progression. 
  • This is assumed to take one (1) full “time slot” for that day for both Magister and student.
  • This may be done no more often than once every week, but may be done completely hit-or-miss, when both have time. 
  • Every time the student comes back to the Magister for the odd lesson to gain SP’s towards earning the same SL, he receives one (1) less SP, until he gains the SL sought or the Magister can no longer provide any further insights for him.

For example, a Magister of TR15, teaching a student the fine points of the history of the kingdom, which Lore he has at SL30, is hobbled by lack of skill in conveying what he knows, even though his skill as a Magister is above average. His student is familiar with the topic of study to the tune of SL10. As his TR15 is the greatest SL the Magister has the skill to convey, the first meeting with the student may yield only 5 SP’s. The student must then go forth and continue to work at that skill on his own. The student may return the following week if he still has not achieved the desired SL, this time gaining only 4 SP’s more. 

IF this proceeds apace every week, he gains 3 SP’s more, then 2 SP’s, then 1 SP at each meeting over the next 3 weeks, for a total of 15 SP’s over the course of a month. If the student is not doing independent reading to gain additional SP’s, those 15 SP’s are insufficient to obtain the higher SL sought. He needs (current SL + 12) SP’s to gain a level, or 22 in this case.

The Magister may only contribute SP’s towards SL progression through his teachings to pupils whose SL/TR with the knowledge being taught is less than the Magister’s own. If the pupil’s SL with the skill he wishes to be tutored in is greater than the Magister’s SL with that skill there will be nothing for the Magister to teach him. If the Magister has a higher SL with the skill but his SL in the Magister skill is lower than the pupil’s SL in the skill, the finer points that the pupil needs to learn will be completely lost. Those aspects and nuances will be beyond the Magister’s ability to teach.

For example, the student with an AWA att. mod. of + 3 seeking training in his Lore skill (currently SL5) under the tutelage of a Magister who has the Lore skill at SL 15 and the Magister skill at SL 10, would only be able to glean 8 SP’s worth of instruction from the Magister towards his next progression check (Magister lesser SL10 and pupil’s AWA att. mod. + 3 = 13; 13 – current SL 5 = 8). If his Magister SL were higher, the Magister would have the knowledge of the techniques of teaching that he needs to impart the greater secrets that he himself knows to their full extent of SL15. 

Also, as teaching depends upon communication and relies entirely upon the establishing of mutual understandings, the Magister’s SL is also limited to that of the language shared with the pupil, in which he is teaching. The limitation may be based on either the Magister’s SL or pupil’s SL with the language, whichever is lower.

The racial abilities and racial insights granting skill bonuses may not be taught; they are developed of inborn potential by those of the races to which they apply. Indeed, those abilities may be absent in those members of the race raised outside the race’s traditional habitat and society (GM’s discretion).

Trade abilities not listed in the trade skill rosters may only be taught by trade members to other eligible trade members. Should any student fail to learn a skill or ability (pupil’s AWA + 4) times from a particular Magister, he may never learn that skill or ability from that Magister. Attempting to teach non-trade members specific trade abilities, especially those that carry a TR requirement, or attempting to teach a student who has failed (AWA + 4) times would merely be a waste of time:

“Never try to teach a pig to sing;

It only wastes your time and annoys the pig.” ~

Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) 

Due to the Magister’s great exposure to and experience in dealing with people through his skill, all Magister characters may choose to develop the Savvy skill as an elective skill. The services of a Magister can be very valuable, depending upon the skills he knows.

As a rule of thumb, the Magister PC should not charge more than the customary rate for his services for the period the student is tutored in it. The standard rate for a professional man of the Magister’s caliber ranges from 8d. to 1s. per day. He is highly esteemed, considered the equal of any man of gentle blood [gentleman], and having the opportunity to achieve the status equal to a knight, in time. The specific nature of the skills or knowledge a client approaches the Magister to learn is really irrelevant to the rate charged; the client pays for the prestige of being taught by a Magister. Because there are common master of physical skills willing to pass their trade on to serious students for far less, most go elsewhere to learn those sorts of skills/knowledge.

Most clients seeking a Magister are looking for training in the intricate knowledge and scholastic skills involving intensive book-learning such as the Magister himself had to go through, to attain that level of learning without the bother of attending classes to obtain a sheepskin (diploma/degree), including the Physicker’s or Surgeon’s craft among the healer trades (if the Magister has that knowledge), or Alchemy, Astrology and Astronomy, or Artificer/Mechanician or Architect (should the Magister be schooled in one or more of these), or should he be so schooled, the charms and skills or trade abilities of those who practice magick.

The Magister that continues to pursue his continued education with a nimble and wide-ranging intellect, an especially inquisitive mind, and/or is one simply hungry for knowledge in certain areas, pushes ever onwards to banish his own perceived shadows of ignorance.

Many do not, merely contenting themselves with the place and role the medieval fantasy game world society chooses for them. It is a comfortable place and living, respectable and even notable. Such Magisters tend to stagnate and do nothing more than simply maintain the knowledge gathered in university. Any new reading they do is incidental to other works with which they are in the habit of maintaining an acquaintance. Any LoA’s achieved in knowledge are few and far between, and hit-or-miss in nature, only.

Upon reaching the Master LoA as a Magister, the Scholar is accorded the rank and honors of “sage,” his further studies acknowledged with the receipt of a PhD, referred to commonly as a venerated Antiquarian or Historian or Philosopher. Socially he is received as the equal of a knight. It is only at this point that he is welcomed as an equal in the company of the other higher scholastic trades that are also distinguished by a PhD.

The Trades of Alchemist Simple, Lawyer, Herbal & Physicker are all areas derived from the applied pursuit of Natural Philosophy, those of Alchemist True and Wizard from the applied pursuit of Natural Philosophy & Meta-Physics, while Architect, Astronomer, and Artificer are all areas derived from the applied pursuits of the Mathematician. These are all represented as PhD-level Trade-modules, available to add to the Magister Trade to start with during character creation. There is no requirement that a scholar character start with his education that far advanced, however. One of these also becomes available to the newly made Sage-Magister to be designated as a new area of concentration for his study, if desired.

IF a player waits until his character reaches Master LoA as a Magister to designate a new area of concentration for his new PhD as a Sage, the scholar character does so at TR1, to be improved over time from that point forward, normally. Indeed, if the player intends a character to grow and improve in such a specific direction (already established with a separate trade description, as above), that up-coming PhD being worked towards must be specified no later than when he achieves Artisan LoA.

So busy are those that reach these LoA’s that they rarely perceive it until others inform them of their achievement. Those that reach these heights also discover that, the more they know, the smaller the piece of the Great Puzzle of the world they seem to have in their grasp. They shake their heads in bemusement at the pontificating that goes on among those less learned, but far more numerous scholars. At this LoA, the sea of their less learned colleagues are equally as likely to revere them as call them crackpots, depending on what scholastic sacred cows the papers they publish aim to overturn.

Despite the fact that a Magister is qualified to teach, at this LoA he is considered to be ostentatiously over qualified to do so, and commonly expected to focus primarily on his own studies into his preferred fields and pursue his epistolary relationships with his peers both in and outside the scholastic world. If he has gained sufficient renown, his correspondents may include kings, high nobles and ecclesiastical lords.

He has no real interest in teaching, being drawn far more to digging through ancient carvings, scrolls and texts and looking for new and especially original sources of ancient history, in gathering rare written works of their favorite authors and especially ancient texts together and copying them over to pass them to friends and thus ensure their further survival down through the years. If prominent enough, they may end up translating them in person specifically to bring them to the attention of the scholastic community, his peers, for their edification, use and consideration, and in pursuing his correspondence with those peers in discussing the various more popular theories in which he has an interest.

The Sage-Magister is likely to spend a good deal of time corresponding with his peers and answering the letters of the curious, as well, for his reputation for learning in the area of antiquities are likely to draw both comment and question, giving him a number of contacts in the (international) scholastic community similar in scope to that cultivated by the Courtier and Rogue trades, but also extending to contact with personages of great rank who may also have the leisure to consider or even pursue such matters.

Despite the fact that the Sage-Magister shies away from the idea of teaching in a large, busy university city setting – perhaps from the public in general – it is very likely he eventually might be sought out by individual ambitious, curious Magisters, or even secular scholars who have no formal degree but have an equivalent education, but any and all well-versed in the cannon of his works and seeking to follow in his steps. One or two of these, maybe even a small handful (4-5) might be received into his home and taken on after the fashion of apprentices.

Alternately, should the Sage’s reputation become great enough in the scholastic community for it to bleed over and gain notice in the secular world, the Sage-Magister might be sought out to hire for the benefit of the children of some great and powerful noble, or an invitation arrive for him to come to the court of some great king or prince to continue with his research, his theories and his writings, but to share them as an ornament of the court, to increase that magnate’s prestige by answering questions in the public forum for the edification of the attendees.