(third revision; existing Redcaps are grandfathered under the old rules; dropped 100xp from Apprenticeship then added 50 levels starting & 2 levels/year for Redcap Items, the equivalent of dropping two Virtue points and adding two points; dropped Vis Salary for NPC and new PC Redcaps)
Recaps are Companion Characters, but treated as Magi during Creation and Development. They have fifteen years of Apprenticeship, Advance in Cycles, and have the status of Magi. Redcap Characters have the Major Virtue of Redcap (ArM5, p48), and though somewhat more powerful than other Companions, they have greater responsibility and less free time (and I want to encourage Redcap companions in this saga).
Creating a Redcap Companion
As an Apprentice, a Redcap receives 300xp and begins with 100q.p. worth of Redcap Items, which may be upgraded/exchanged at an improvement rate of 4q.p. per year. They also receive a level 50 Longevity Ritual when they begin aging. Finally, all Redcaps begin with a free Minor Redcap Virtue, which is the result of training or selection. In Development and in Game, they are expected to devote half their time to their duties. They gain 5xp in Abilities relative to their duties, such as local Area Lore or Language. This counts as a combination of Exposure and Practice. Each season of service also earns them 2q.p. on account towards the improvement rate on Redcap Items. Redcaps can spend their free time as they wish, advancing as magi in abilities (average 10xp per season), earning Vis Wages (3 pawns per season), working Overtime, or whatever. Player Character Redcaps earn a Vis Salary of 21 pawns per cycle, just as other magi do. However, they no longer receive a discount unless the put time into it (see Hermetic Economics). NPC Redcaps receive a bonus of a Rook every cycle if they are independent members of a covenant and still connected with their house. Those who are constantly in motion or members of a Mercere Lodge (or are disassociated wanderers) receive no salary or bonus.
A Newly gauntled Redcap has the following Minimum Ability Scores: Artes Liberales 1, Latin 1, (Tribunal) Area Lore 1. However, these are base minimums, and a properly trained Redcap is expected to have the following minimum Ability scores: Artes Liberales 1, Latin 4, Order of Hermes Lore 2, Magic Lore 1, Mythic Europe Lore 1, Profession-Scribe 1, (Tribunal) Area Lore 2, (another) Area Lore 1.
All Redcaps begin with a Free Minor Virtue as a result of their training or the cause for their selection. Examples include: Arcane Lore, Clerk, Educated, Faerie Blood (Blood Cap), Magic Items, Personal Vis Source, Warrior, or Well Traveled.
Redcap Items are devices and enchantments intended to assist Redcaps with their duties; facilitating ease of travel, communication, handling vis, etcetera. This never (rarely) includes anything capable of harming or ensorcelling others. This equipment may be improved and upgraded over time. Redcaps start out with an account of 100q.p., which increases on average by 4q.p. per year. This can *only* be spent on Redcap Items. Most are simply Lesser Enchanted Devices, with a cost equal to the exact level. Charged Items cost equal to Magnitude + Charges. Rare Invested Items cost twice the sum of levels. An improved Longevity ritual costs equals Level - 50. They can also exchange it for cash money, 1q.p. equals 3£ of silver or equivalent material/property wealth. Finally, Redcaps have an even exchange on vis, 4q.p. obtains a pawn of any Form, and 8q.p. for a pawn of any Technique.
Redcaps may spend their personal vis on Redcap Items, from approved sources, and receive a similar price break (see Hermetic Economics). But for other items, such as books or weapons, they must pay full price.
Redcaps are expected to devote half their time to Redcap Duties, averaging two seasons a year. As mentioned above, each season results in 5xp Exposure/Practice and 2q.p.. This is usually hand-waved and treated as a general background activity. However, they can also be treated as opportunities for stories and adventures, for both the Redcap character and member of their covenant.
Redcaps can choose to work Overtime for a third or fourth season a year. Opportunities are readily available (there's always someone looking to slack off and places where workload exceeds manpower). It is also an opportunity (and excuse) to have the character visit foreign and exotic locations. Overtime seasons do not earn credit to the Redcap's account. Instead, they are paid a bonus/bribe, traditionally 2 pawns of vis (8q.p.). They still get the 5xp for Exposure/Practice for the task. Extra Duty earns Redcap Acclaim (see below), but can be hard on the health (-1 Aging penalty if you do this two years in a row or work a full year, -2 if you do both).
It is also possible to take some time off, either because of an emergency or just because you are lazy. Goliards do this frequently. Traditionally this is done by spending 3 pawns of vis (two as a bribe and one as a penalty to the regional Master Redcap). This causes them to loose points in Recap Acclaim and possibly earn a bad reputation (see below). At most, a Redcap can slack off half the time and must still devote at least a quarter of their time to their duties, or their will be consequences.
Cycles & Vis: Wages, Bonus, & Salary
Redcaps advance in Cycles, but do not have to scrap an abstract season. This is figured into the abstract of their duty & service. They can spend their free time in various ways, and like other magi they can spend up to one season per year earning Vis Wages of three pawns. Redcaps do not receive a Vis Salary though. This is because, for most of their career, they are either wanderers, members of a Mercere Lodge, or part time residents of various covenants. The current Player Character Redcaps at Andorra do because they are important officers and hold the rank of Master. Newly incoming PC Redcaps would be Journeymen and receive no salary.
Redcap culture values hard work and commitment to duty. They measure themselves against each other and high ideals exemplified by their heroes, and progress amongst the Redcaps has ever been a meritocracy. Redcaps measure relative prestige with an informal system of House Acclaim, a system similar to that used by House Bonisagus and House Flambeau.
Example Acclaim Awards & Penalties
|Action or Condition||Award/Penalty|
|Clean Record (any year in which you have positive acclaim and receive no penalties)||+1 per year|
|Hazardous or Strenuous Duty||+1 per season|
|Specialized Duty||+1 per season|
|Working Overtime||+1 per season|
|Holding Post as an Officer||+1 per year|
|Securing a new Magical Resource||up to +10|
|Skipping Work||-2 per season|
|Overcoming Extreme Adversity in completion of duties||+1 to +3|
|Doing a Bad Job||-1 per season|