A non-Guernicus Quaesitor fresh out of gauntlet?

In my saga a player has expressed interest in a Tremere Quaesitor PC - the idea being playing out conflicts of loyalty to her role vs. her House. However, from HoH:TL it seems that non-Guernicus magi have to go through a fairly long period of training and evaluation after their Gauntlet before being allowed to become a Quaesitor. I was wondering: would it be reasonable for a Tremere maga to have joined the Quaesitorial ranks immediately after her Gauntlet without stretching canon with a truly improbable backstory (neither I nor the player want to do this)? If it helps, the Tribunal is the Rhine, where Quaesitors are scarce, and the practice of fostering common.

Hmm, I was compulsing GotF and HoH:TL ... and missed the very basic description of the Houses at the beginning of the core ArM5 book:

A starting maga can only be a quaesitor if she was trained in House Guernicus.

So I guess that settles it!

If a Guernicus maga gets killed on a punitive expedition and her surviving Tremere hoplite adopts her apprentice, after - say - one or two years this apprentice passes a Tremere gauntlet and joins that House.
But Quaesitores may still coopt this newly fledged magus as a Tremere Quaesitor after short time: e. g. to honor the killed maga, for urgent need to replace her, or for political reasons.
In any case, this candidate was "trained in House Guernicus" for longer than in House Tremere.

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That ... I think goes against the spirit, if not the letter, of what's written in the corebook :slight_smile:
But it's a clever twisting of words; and the actual outcome is not unreasonable.
I'll need to check in Apprentices if it allows the apprentice to learn the Tremere focus in certamen.

In the suggested scenario, i'd have the Magi take the Guernicus virtue, and no the Certamen focus. he didn't train long enough to gain the focus.

Actually, reread page 42 of Apprentices.

For over half of the Houses, it
takes 10 seasons of one-on-one
interactions with a parens for an
apprentice to gain the free Minor
House Virtue.

This rule pertains to seven of the
twelve Houses, all four True Lineages,
and three of the Societates. The
fourth Societas, House Ex Miscellanea,
is a special case because an apprentice
of a House Ex Miscellanea
magus receives a package of House
Virtues and Flaws

That's not the only way to gain the Virtue!
Read the passage immediately above that you quoted: "The House Virtue does not have to be specifically taught, although it can be. Often it is learned over time ..."
I assume "specifically taught" means " taught according to the process described in the previous two pages". Assuming no other Hermetic Virtues/Flaws have surfaced yet, the new master can teach the Certamen Focus over a season if he manages a total of Teaching+Com+3+6(for one-on-one teaching)=15... so Teaching(+specialty)+Com=6, which is certainly quite reasonable.

Such an Apprentice would have developed Hermetic Prestige, which means the teacher need to get a minimum of 18 in teaching, in one season to teach him mMF Certamen. Not very likely, but then he'd have both virtues.

So what? The question is if it is a good and plausible narrative.

The non-Guernicus quaesitores take the role of senior judges to improve representation and impartiality, a role which requires the wisdom of age and experience. The Guernicus quaesitores take a wider range of roles, as investigators and junior advocates, through which they can gradually acquire the wisdom. I don't think training is the point; experience is.

Another question is if Tremere would risk taking such an apprentice into the house. The player stages a conflict of interest, and Tremere could simply dodge that problem by rejecting the apprentice in the first place.

On the other hand, it is not as if appointment is based on strict rules and impartial assessment of qualifications. One can perfectly well imagine a particular situation where the machinations of Tremere and Guernicus politicians lead to such an unusual appointment. In that case, I think the SG should design some powerful mentors with their agendas, and that is the magus' story flaw.

If the SG is not prepared to tell the story of the complications from this arrangement, it is a bad idea to allow it.

The previous Tremere Q was the parens. Was Q all during the Apprenticrship. Parens decides to "retire" and pass on status to newly gauntletted apprentice. Certamen might be involved to get this passed.

On the downside, newly Gauntleted Tremere does not have his voting Sigil.
Can you trust the judgement of someone who can't vote?

I wholeheartedly agree with that point of view.

I my mind this is no different from a starting magus taking any of the other house specific virtues (E.g: The Enigma, Faerie magic, Heartbeast or Verditius magic) All of these require a good reason for why a character outside the respective houses has this virtue, but the game explicitly allows it, by making these virtues part of the list of selectable virtues at character creation.

Sure it usually requires troupe approval, a good reason etc. But the scenario presented in the OP seems to me to be a case of player and GM agreement that this would make an interesting character to play. Which pretty much means that it checks all of the boxes of approval by definition.

Well... you can certainly take Hermetic Prestige even if you are not of House Guernicus, but it's a Virtue that can represent many things - it's not obvious that you can take it to represent Quaesitorial status at character creation if you are not of House Guernicus.
ArM5 p.12 seems pretty clear on it, as does HoH:TL - you have to undergo what is essentially a Guernicus apprenticeship before the Quaesitores will allow you to hold the position. OneShot gave an interesting twist to it: what if the magus had undergone such an apprenticeship, and ended up Tremere by accident? I think that might work, but it's a bit stretchy: it creates a Tremere who's not quite a Tremere, so to speak, so it breaks the other side of "I'd like to play a Tremere Quaesitor".

The issue here is: what is one trying to achieve? In some cases one is interested in trying out a particular mechanical construction, so it's ok to stretch the story a bit if the troupe agrees. But in other cases, and this is one, the goal is to explore a particular facet of Hermetic society: what does it mean to be a Tremere, who is also a Quaesitor? In these cases twisting the backstory so that technically yes, the character has that role, but in a fundamentally different way than most characters with that role, may well be counterproductive.

It's a bit as if a player said: "I want to play a landed knight, because I am interested in exploring what it means to be a landed knight in Mythic Europe... but my companion slot is already taken by a hedge wizard! Can my Hermetic magus be a landed knight?". Then the answer is "That typically would not be possible... but we can certainly stretch stuff to allow it. However, if you want to explore what it means to be a landed knight in Mythic Europe, playing a Hermetic magus who is also a landed knight might not be a good choice, because it does not really allow you to explore what being a landed knight is about."

So after thinking about it, I guess my troupe will just ditch the idea of starting the Tremere out as a Quaesitor. If she wants to pursue that path, she'll have to "earn" it in the eyes of House Guernicus. But thanks a lot for all the input!


If House Tremere wants a given apprentice to go into a quaesitorial career, they can prep that path.

So, the new magus is fully trained and put forward to have as short a training period as possible, a patron found, and resources assigned.

I liked everything in that post, especially the part about a hermetic landed knight is not really investigating the same story, so while possible, is it an outcome worth chasing?

My take is the player wants to investigate the conflict involved in competing loyalties, as well as the distrust by those around them wondering where the loyalty lies.

A lot of hermetic society is convention. From what I can see, one can become a Quaesitor if given an invite. You could have a situation where some Tremere magi convinces a collection of Guernicus magi they have an apprentice who has shown an aptitude for law, seeing through lies (clear thinker virtue), and the apprentice wants to become a Quaesitor. Tremere want to make a deal she is offered a position as a Quesitor straight after Gauntlet , and Tremere are willing to give Guernicus access to the apprentice during the apprenticeship.

One could suggest an arrogant Guernicus who is convinced in his ability to teach the Tremere right from wrong, is finding the inducements Tremere are offering really tempting, and considers having an inside person in Tremere useful, accepts the deal.

The story while unusual, is plausible. The player is investigating conflicting loyalties, and also will have distrust due to the peculair way she became a Quaesitor.

Seems to me another way to explore this without making them a Quaesitor from gauntlet might be an early story where the Tremere PC uncovers some sort of crime committed by another Tremere and the character is led to believe that if they merely tell the house that this possibly important Tremere will get merely a slap on the wrist. Something like that definitely would test their conflicted loyalties, in this case it’s more between the House and the Order/the law. It would also provide a reason for the PC to be noticed by the Quaesitors and then invited to become one. Playing through the semi-apprenticeship seems interesting as well to me but perhaps your player would feel different.

Obviously there are ways you could explain them being a Quaesitor from close to gauntlet if you wanted, a number mentioned above, but getting there might be fun too.

In fact I would say, that you have admirably demonstrated that by RAW you cannot take the virtue to represent status as a quaesitor. The question here is: Do you want to play RAW or do you have a compelling reason to abandon RAW? There is nothing wrong in doing so if you feel like it would improve the story that you tell. That is the point I was trying to make with the mystery virtues.

I fail to see the problem here, or rather it seems to me that you have managed to describe the central theme to playing a non-Guernicus quaesitor, and in particular a Tremere quaesitor.
Namely that as a quaesitor the character would be expected to pursue the fulfillment of hermetic law above all of their other duties.
As a Tremere they would be expected to put the interests of house Tremere above all else.
A Tremere quaesitor, especially a young one, would in all likelihood face significant pressure to use their status as a quaesitor to further the interests of house Tremere, which in turn be necessity involves subverting their duty as a quaesitor.

I do think that you have options for allowing a Tremere character to start as a quaesitor outside of having them having finished almost an entire apprenticeship as a Guernicus before being adopted at the very end by a Tremere, and others have brought them up in this thread.