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Old 06-25-2021, 04:34 PM   #1
Sam Baughn
 
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Default Mage's guild / school membership exam.

One of the PCs in my game recently joined the Tredroy mages guild. Since I wasn't expecting it and the only information given in the book is that you need to get past a door secured with Magelock-16, I had to improvise a quick series of puzzles. Since then, I have been thinking about how I could have done it better, but honestly I'm kind of stumped for ideas and wondered if anyone here had done something similar, or had some good ideas to use next time someone wants to join such a group.
I think generally most (respectable) magic groups would want a test which:
  • Doesn't kill or maim candidates.
  • Can't be passed by a non-mage without extreme inventiveness.
  • Tests for magic, intelligence, and moral character (or at least the intelligence to fake it convincingly).
The obvious method is just to have a bunch of qualified mages cast information spells on the candidates, but that's boring. I'm picturing something more like a puzzle-heavy solo micro-dungeon, which is roughly what I tried to in my game.
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Old 06-25-2021, 06:11 PM   #2
naloth
 
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Default Re: Mage's guild / school membership exam.

Written on the "members only" door: "Say word and enter." Possible answers: The word could be "mellon" from LoTR, "Shamballa" from Dr Strange, or "mage/wizard" in any number of languages. Perhaps you need to know a knock spell. It could be a guild id badge with a rotating password.

Student test: Each of the five* elements, placed in the right area. These can be created my magic or naturally occurring examples. *Or 7 elements. Pick whatever you like adjusting how cryptic pictures are for each area.

Commitment test: This requires a sacrificial body part (eye for knowledge is fairly traditional but maybe genital for a vow of celibacy) for entry. You might be even able to offer someone else's body part. I'd have a hieroglyph of a huge eye with a hand inset underneath. Bonus points: all insufficient body parts are incinerated without a further clue.

Moral test: A variant of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, where you need to order the levels correctly. The levels correspond to the organization's ideals instead of the usual levels. Catch: each correct answer injures the one answering in an escalating pattern until the last one is in place.

Obstacle test: The barrier can only be passed if you're traveling at high speeds (M>10). Think platform 9 3/4 but with much higher speed requirement.

Faith test: A statue emits a searing light onto a circle. Standing in it makes it feel like your flesh is being peeled off, but really it's doing a slow teleport. After a minute anything standing in it bursts into flames and completely disappears. Of course, that's the teleport effect moving you to the lobby inside and the discomfort is to keep out rubes and pests.

Mix and match for fun. There's no reason why you should be limited to just one of these to get in.

Last edited by naloth; 06-25-2021 at 10:26 PM.
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Old 06-26-2021, 02:56 AM   #3
Willy
 
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Default Re: Mage's guild / school membership exam.

Just take a look at Classic Tredroy, some of the Duties, teaching and Advantages / Disadvantages of the Mages Guild from Apprentice up are there described, for one thing the Tredroy mages guild is to a big part a enchanters gguild and lerning to enschant things is necessaryto be considered a journeyman, among a good deal of other things, not to mention you have to pass this doors via using magic. Classic Tredroy P. 19, itīs availablke at W23 for a bargain price. This gives you also a deaper understanding of the City and how it works, including maps and much more.
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Old 06-26-2021, 05:34 AM   #4
Michael Cule
 
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Default Re: Mage's guild / school membership exam.

Yes, qualifying as a full member of the Mages Guild of Tredroy requires you to enter the building without asking the Doorkeeper to open up for you. You don't actually have to overcome the Magelock (at least in my Tredroy): getting in via teleport (to the small area behind the door that isn't protected against that) or walking through the walls in insubstantial form is allowable. (Again there are protections against that sort of thing in most areas.)

That test applies when you're coming in as a trained journeyman from another guild or when you're an Apprentice from the Mages Guild of Tredroy proving you qualify.

To become an apprentice at the Guild is another matter. I think it primarily involves finding a Master willing to take you on and train you. There may be exams required by the Guild but you still have to convince a Master.

What would they test?

Your level of Magery. If you're only a Mage-0 they are going to point you towards working with a hedge witch or other discipline.

Your general level of education. Papers to test literacy, numeracy and general knowledge.

Your intelligence... But I'm not sure how they would do this. Puzzles, logic problems, practical tests of the sort that officer selection boards like?

Your (or your family's) financial resources. There may be scholarships available. Or not. Bribery might work. Or not.

The one occasion when this became a concern in my games the applicant was a uniquely gifted Northman and the contest was between the Masters for who would take him on. But those are the sorts of things they were looking for in an apprentice IIRC.
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Old 06-26-2021, 07:00 AM   #5
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Default Re: Mage's guild / school membership exam.

Needle in a haystack: a lock (or incomplete mechanism) and a 2 meter deep pile of keys/tumblers/gears. The correct piece and only the correct piece is enchanted. A trivial thing for Magery 0 to detect and select the magical piece; set a time limit that makes it functionally impossible for someone without Magery.

If you're looking for Magery 1, I'd probably look for Shapeshift or Missile Shield; A volley of darts with sleep poison, perhaps, or a barrier that only allows living non-humanoids through.

Perhaps Recover Energy or Energy Reserve is another litmus test, so something that requires you to pour more Fatigue in faster than a baseline human can do without falling unconscious. Easily bypassed with Powerstones, but the guild may consider this a feature rather than a bug.

Something that requires a magical touch spell, on the opposite side of a ten foot gap or poison font, etc. They're looking for someone who has a mage's Staff, but flight or the like would be an acceptable alternative.

My favorite moral test is always judging cases. Present five statuettes representing criminals and five specific sentences, match them correctly.
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Old 06-26-2021, 07:13 AM   #6
ravenfish
 
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Default Re: Mage's guild / school membership exam.

I would take advantage of Magery's ability to sense magic items. There is one enchanted item in a pile of otherwise identical mundane items. If you can pick it out, you are a Mage.
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Old 06-26-2021, 08:17 AM   #7
Stormcrow
 
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Default Re: Mage's guild / school membership exam.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Cule View Post
Yes, qualifying as a full member of the Mages Guild of Tredroy requires you to enter the building without asking the Doorkeeper to open up for you.
That's an interesting inversion of the wizard school of Roke in A Wizard of Earthsea. There, to get into the school, the door warden tells you you have to find past the door. No magic you have will do the job. Finally, you realize the only way in is to ask the door warden to open the door for you, and the price he names is telling him your true name (the most precious thing you possess).
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Old 06-26-2021, 09:46 AM   #8
RyanW
 
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Default Re: Mage's guild / school membership exam.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Cule View Post
Yes, qualifying as a full member of the Mages Guild of Tredroy requires you to enter the building without asking the Doorkeeper to open up for you.
I think I'd add one non-mage member who earned his membership (and got the previous doorkeeper fired) via a Brer Rabbit/Tom Sawyer sort of gambit.
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Old 06-26-2021, 11:00 AM   #9
Michael Cule
 
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Default Re: Mage's guild / school membership exam.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormcrow View Post
That's an interesting inversion of the wizard school of Roke in A Wizard of Earthsea. There, to get into the school, the door warden tells you you have to find past the door. No magic you have will do the job. Finally, you realize the only way in is to ask the door warden to open the door for you, and the price he names is telling him your true name (the most precious thing you possess).
Yes, I know. And I must admit that I created the Gatekeeper (or Porter) to account for the fact that apprentices must get in and out of the building but aren't likely to be able to open the door against Magelock until they have completed some years of study.

I think that it must be possible to create a spell or device that can tell what level of Magery a person has. The 'Find the enchanted object' will work as a first test but you need to know what level of Magery any applicant has. Even if there's no spell designed to do that in MAGIC, I feel happy saying it can be done.
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Old 06-26-2021, 11:08 AM   #10
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Default Re: Mage's guild / school membership exam.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Cule View Post
I think that it must be possible to create a spell or device that can tell what level of Magery a person has. The 'Find the enchanted object' will work as a first test but you need to know what level of Magery any applicant has. Even if there's no spell designed to do that in MAGIC, I feel happy saying it can be done.
Aura (Magic p. 101) will do it, if you read the punctuation carefully.
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