Not all Redcaps need be created as standard companions using the Redcap Major Social Status Virtue.
Lone Redcaps (See Houses of Hermes: True Lineages, page 106) operate more independently than normal Redcaps and are not associated with a particular covenant. They lack both the magical items usually granted to a Redcap and are not offered a Longevity Ritual when the begin to age, unlike Redcaps created using the usual Redcap Major Virtue.
Examples of Lone Redcaps include unGifted characters assigned roles other than carrying messages, the wayward Goliards and individuals adopted into the House to foster special aptitudes of value to House Mercere – suggested appropriate templates include Bloodcap, Goliard, Minstrel, Spy or Vagabond. As companions unsupported by their covenant, Lone Redcaps can purchase the Wealthy Virtue or suffer from the Poor Flaw but are otherwise created using the same process as above.
Wealthy and Poor Redcaps
Redcaps created using the standard Redcap Major Virtue cannot purchase Wealthy Virtue or the Poor Flaw, but Lone Redcaps can. Per the Detailed Character Creation rules detailed in ArM5, pages 28-32, Wealthy characters have 20 XP per year and Poor characters only 10 XP per year to spend in the time pre-apprenticeship or following apprenticeship.
This variation makes the use of training packages more difficult, although the 15 years of Redcap apprenticeship and spending the 50 XP from the Well-Traveled Virtue are unaffected. One way to model this is to assign a Childhood package as usual and then calculate the number of years pre and post apprenticeship. Multiplying this by either a factor of 20 or 10 and then dividing by 15 gives the equivalent number of years available to spend using the standard Training Package rules.
Years available for Training Packages = (years pre-apprenticeship + years post apprenticeship – 5 years) multiplied by Wealth Factor* / 15
*Wealth Factor is 10 for Poor or 20 for Wealthy
Any fractions are dropped and the remaining XP is left to be allocated as desired.
Like Lone Redcaps above, retired Redcaps are not usually associated with a particular covenant, although they may live at a Mercer House which may be considered a chapter of another larger covenant. Their degree of independence from their former roles and the time which they need to spend to support themselves vary once they are no longer in the active employ of the messenger service and they can purchase the Wealthy Virtue or suffer from the Poor Flaw.
A retired Redcap is initially created as above by choosing a Childhood, adding the Redcap Grounding and any pre-apprenticeship packages and then applying one of the suggested templates. Life following retirement provides the opportunity to learn different skills, reflected by an increased range of Training Packages that may be appropriate. Retired Redcaps that manage inns or setup hospices to service Redcaps and other travelers may find the post-apprenticeship Innkeeper template applicable.
See the new Retired Redcap Minor Virtue below for further details.
Exceptional Redcaps can be created as Mythic Companions, either by taking the Blood of Heroes Special Virtue (see Houses of Hermes: Societates, pages 103-104) or by creating the character as another form of Mythic Companion using the Maestro Special Virtue (see Art & Academe, page 133-135) or another Mythic Companion Special Virtue. The 15 years of Redcap apprenticeship and spending the 50 XP from the Well-Traveled Virtue are unaffected, but if considered as a magus-level characters, the Mythic Redcap gains 30 XP per year post-apprenticeship. This effectively means they can pick 2 three-year or five-year packages for every allocated time period instead of only one package, similar to magi as detailed in the “Training Packages for Magi” article.
All Gifted Merceres must spend at least on season every seven years carrying out the messenger duties of a Redcap, too short to be accounted for by a training package. Some however spend much more time on the road, often to either understand the needs of their unGifted brethren and to emulate the work of their revered Founder. Any of the above new Training Packages suitable for Redcaps may also be appropriate for a Mercere magus. Such traveling magi may likewise benefit from the modified packages intended for use with the Well-Traveled Virtue if the possess that Virtue.