- Apprentice — Apprentice magic users are granted access to all first level spells and are granted the right to own a spell book (wherein are copied all first spells known by the apprentice) and to wear a magic user's robe (where coloration may indicate the identity of the apprentice's master, guild or school).
- Scribe — Scribes are granted the right to wear the symbol of a golden feather upon their robe (normally in the form of a broach or other kind of jewelry). This symbol grants to its bearer the right to use their guild's library and to purchase those materials necessary to create spell scrolls.
- Astrologer — During this final apprenticeship level, magic users are trained in the sciences — particularly in how the movement of the stars affect magical energies. They are granted the right to wear the symbol of a star upon their robe.
- Thaumaturge — At this point, all magic users must make a choice. Either they make formal ties with the Church (either individually or through a guild) or they become renegade. Those who choose the former are granted the right to wear a magic user's hat (a tall pointed hat with either a wide brim or no brim at all depending upon the region or guild). Those who choose the latter normally find themselves hunted down and imprisoned or killed.
- Magician — Magicians are granted the right to wear the symbol of the star on their hat. This grants them the right to request access to the library of any magic user's guild.
- Sorcerer — Sorcerers are granted the right to wear the symbol of the crescent moon upon their robes and hat. They can expect hospitality from any guild.
- Magus — Magus are granted the right to openly carry a staff. It grants the bearer the right to hear cases before civil and ecclesial courts.
- Wizard — Wizards are granted the right to carry ornate staffs. They cannot be denied access to any library without scandal (and most probably a visit by one or more inquisitors).
- Archmage — where arch means over. These magic users have the right to start their own guild or school and to take on apprentices.
Obviously, these level titles indicate a very robust guild structure that (based on some of the comments from my last post) will rub some players the wrong way. Understandably, this guild structure is not for everybody nor for every table. This is one of the reasons I think level titles should be tailored to each campaign world (taking into consideration the temperament and desire for each gaming group).
This particular list is based upon the implied culture found in Holmes. Arcane magic is something extremely dangerous that needs to be heavily monitored. This is why there is so much cross-pollination and self-regulation implied in the rights granted to various levels. Although magic users working outside this structure run the real risk of being constantly hounded by authorities, it must be understood that players always have that option. While they might be able to find more freedom when it comes to the kinds of research they want to do, their resources will be severely limited — primarily to that which they find while adventuring.
Personally, I like these robust structures because they encourage player choice and creativity because it helps make their choices matter.
I like it. My only nitpick is the use of both 'magician' and 'magus', which I would wager might cause some confusion with trying to remember the order. So I'd probably look at finding a replacement title for 'magician' personally.
I may steal this list for use by guilds/academies/colleges in my own games. :P
Begun, the Title War has. ;-p
This is a very interesting way to integrate mu's into civil society. I like the idea that the stuff on the pointy hat is a badge of rank.
So I'd probably look at finding a replacement title for 'magician' personally.
I couldn't think of something else that was generic enough. For example, I don't care for Seer, Conjurer and Enchanter because they refer to specific types of magic...if you can think of something, I'd appreciate if you would send it my way.
I do believe there are more salvos on their way...;)
I have a love/hate relationship with the pointy hat with stars and crescents. This way, I get to err on the love part of the relationship.
I was never a fan of the level titles in D&D, partly because they're silly, although also amusing. ("Lama" always segued into a Monty Python routine. :) )
The other reason I don't like them is that I've never liked what I see as game mechanics (such as levels themselves) becoming a visible part of the game world -- it's like exposing the ropes and scaffolding behind stage scenery. If a player in my games asked a NPC "What level are you," he usually got a confused look back from the NPC.
That aside, you're doing a great job integrating levels and titles into your game as a real, organic part of the setting. The guild structure is perfect for this. My WFRP games made heavy use of guilds, which became both sources of aid and conflict for the players.
The obvious replacement for "Magician" is "Mage" IMHO. In my homebrew OSR Thaumaturge is the general term for the MU so I'd have to come up with something else. However I like the IG effects of each new title. So something for me to think about.
"Arcane magic is something extremely dangerous that needs to be heavily monitored."
To me this all makes more sense if there are rules for arcane corruption, catastrophic spell failure, and/or other unforeseen supernatural consequences for using arcane magic. D&D has never placed an emphasis on making magic-users anything other than low life expectancy living wands. It's too bad.
To me this all makes more sense if there are rules for arcane corruption, catastrophic spell failure, and/or other unforeseen supernatural consequences for using arcane magic.
I've house-ruled this kind of stuff for years...
@FrDave: I thought about Conjurer as well, but agreed that it was too specific in the type of magic, at least within the D&D system. I also considered Warlock; whether that's tied too closely to an evil alignment may depend on the players. I think I could pull it off at our table, but it would take some getting used to, as we have several former Warcraft players.
BTW, that picture has fascinated me for years. Especially the hoof and antler staff. :-)
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