In one of my current saga, one of my players expressed a strong interest in writing books. He is new to the game, so he didn't planned it during character creation : no great communication score, no good teacher virtue. I could let him swap one of his virtues, but we are already in the game since a few years, so I would prefer not to.
I explained to him how writing books works, and he is a bit disappointed to be able to only write very mediocre books at the moment. I know a com characteristic score can be improved with creo mentem rituals, it is expensive but not really difficult (just requires vis and time). But of course the virtue "good teacher" is really what is required to write the best books. I told him his current mystagogue could maybe initiate him with this virtue, but I would like to know of all the ways a character could gain a new virtue after character creation, so I can give him all the options :
initiation by his mystagogue (or by himself theoretically ?)
gaining the virtue from gaining enough vis in the Magic Realm
being granted the virtue by the power of a powerful mystical creature (can all realms grant virtues ?)
There are also a number of supernatural traditions that can grant Virtues. We have examples among infernalists (using Incantation+Diablerie), faerie "wizards", including many priests of the old gods, (using Grant), and hedge magicians (such as Gruagach or Learned magicians).
The latter include some practitioners of very weak magics that can be introduced in play as grogs because all it takes is one Minor Supernatural Virtue: e.g. those with Figurine Magic (HoH:TL) or those with both Lesser Craft Magic (RM) and the Good Teacher Virtue. I think the latter make a particularly good "source" of minor Virtues, because they require an item naturally containing vis as a focus to confer the Virtue -- e.g. the finest quill from a magical goose -- and this is just a source of adventure.
Also, in addition to "standard" initiations, you can have a close equivalent by completing a quest in faerie Eudokia (RoP:F) or a Divine Pilgrimage (RoP:D); or the appropriate Path of the Forest (GotF).
Finally, let me add that it's not just powerful supernatural creatures that can grant Virtues (and certainly not all of them can), but also significantly weaker ones -- you can certainly create a companion-level faerie who does so. Incidentally, faeries are interesting for granting Virtues because they can be easily "reshaped" by mortal creativity (RoP:F) -- so you can change any faerie into one that suits your needs by the appropriate actions. Also, instead of granting Virtues "directly", some faeries have a Major Virtue that allows them to leave behind their "essence" in an object granting a Minor Virtue to the bearer. And of course, talking of objecs, there are objects of Virtue -- while RoP:M describes none that specifically grants the Good Teacher Virtue, it does not mean one does not exist!
Being new to the game you are giving two messages to that player: first, that because Ars is complex and so, the pain he went through when designing his magus wasn't enough to get what he wants. And second, that he needs to get through the ordeal of getting even more complexity by looking for means to increase his com and get another virtue to get what he wants. So he got through a nightmare and he have to get through a new one just because he didn't do it right the first time. That's probably going to get a frustrated player.
It's doable, but what I would do is sitting with him and redesigning his magus. Get rid of a virtue he won't use or is less interested in and get Good Teacher, and raise his Com, and done without needing to have to look for a specific kind of Faerie or a friendly and generous Gruagach or enrolling into universities or going to a hard infernal aura and wish it aloud just in case a suitable demon is listening.
Thanks to all for all the good ideas. I like the faerie path a lot, because he is of house Merenita, so it seems a great opportunity for him to interact with the faerie realm.
Being new to the game you are giving two messages to that player: first, that because Ars is complex and so, the pain he went through when designing his magus wasn't enough to get what he wants.
He was new to the game 4 years ago when we began. This interest in writing books is very recent and seems more a character development than a mistake at creation. I already switched two of his characteristics to help him, but I don't really want to go any further because another one of my players had the bad habit of redoing his whole character every other session (in another game system) and I don't want him to go there again. Playing with them for 20 years, I think I know them well, and I don't think the Merenita will be frustrated if I give him an opportunity to gain the virtue by using the special affinity of his house to the faerie realm... It's not like I will require him to loose years, just maybe a season and an adventure.
I'm a huge fan of Pilgrimage, and going on a mighty journey and generating stories to try and improve. There are many Christian saints who were writers or teachers (like Matthew,Mark,Luke and John for starters) and a pilgrimage to allow you to share knowledge with others seems perfectly reasonable.
The other great story based method is Faerie, so I'm glad it's your Merinita player who wants to do this as the makes the choice obvious.
Pilgramage is great especially for the unGifted. A Jerbiton centered mystery tradition could certainly grant the virtue, but with him as Merinita I'd probably go with finding a faerie ritual with the lesser charm flaw to balance it out- so he has to perform a secret faerie ritual before doing his writing. Depending on which ancient deities are faerie in your game he has some obvious go to possibilities- Braggi, a muse, Thoth...
Sorry, I forgot that I'm the "let's do everything with Magic Things!" guy.
What about a Magic Thing?
Thing about a quill who belonged to a mythic writer, with the power to grant the Good Teacher virtue to someone using it (and maybe now that we are on it also Good & Greater Communication). Make the character heard a story about that item, get him on an adventure and give him the quill.
Then years later you of course start bringing all kind of people into the covenant trying to steal the quill, from bards to accountants to hermetic best-selling authors.