Gaining virtues for companions

What is the best way for companions to gain virtues? I realize that some would be through adventures (e.g. Wealthy) or you must be born with it (e.g. Faerie blood).

What about training or some form of cult (e.g. Cautious with Simple Weapon, Magic Sensitivity)? Are there examples of cults imparting Cautious with Ability? Is it reasonable to have cults that teach mundane virtues?

Thanks in advance.

A mystery cult can initiate a virtue for a mundane, however a requirement is that there must always be an ordeal for every initiation. Other options exist, including pilgrimages.

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Virtues generally aren’t taught or trained, with the exception of Hermetic apprentices and certain hermetic virtues. Initiation (expanded rules for initiating ungifted are in Hedge Magic), Pilgrimage (mentioned in The Church), grant by a mystical being, warping, and perhaps some I am not remembering are all open to ungifted.

One could gain Faerie Blood, Strong Faerie Blood, or Magic Blood in play though the most common source would likely be significant warping from a suitable faerie or magic being source.

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Would "Hero Cults" be the term used for cults that initiate mundanes? I've seen the term, but could not tell from context....

That would be a term for some of them but I don’t think it would be a general, inclusive term as there may be cults which initiate mundanes to serve their communities without the “hero” implications. In particular virtues like good teacher, virtues relate to crafting and the like where the recipient becomes more of a support person for others would fit this bill.

EDIT: The Cult of Heroes is a particular cult within House Mercere.

I thoroughly recommend Pilgrimage as detailed in The Church.

I think RoP: Faerie mentioned the possibilities of gaining virtues or flaws through stories as appropriate?

Social status can be granted by the appropriate body - kings or lords granting titles or land, universities conferring degrees, the church ordaining a particular office, a knightly order making you their local preceptor.

Cults can certainly teach mundane people virtues (and indeed, according to The Sundered Eagle, the mystery cult in Eleusinia teaches people Self Confident).

Due to the specific mechanical meanings it’s important to use the word “initiate” instead of “teach.”

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  1. wealth and social status can be advanced through hard work (labor points)
  2. initiations can be performed which require an ordeal
  3. Pilgrimages can rid you of flaws (perhaps from an initiation) or gain certain virtues
  4. Faeries may "grant" virtues based on chars which essentially exchange vitality for the associated virtue
  5. in utter desperation you can sell your soul

Another option is to adventure with a magus in the Magic Realm.

Isn't travelling the Magic Realm to get Virtues along the lines of "get warped"?

Yes and no. Spending seasons in the magic realm if you do not have a magic based supernatural virtue will result in warping, but the virtues come from the expenditure of vis to transform which is earned instead of experience if you spend a full season in the magic realm. I suggest bringing a good book (as in high SQ to convert to vis)

Which book has these rules? RoP:M? I did not realize that I could convert a book into vis in the Magical Realm. Also, does a magical regio (regionne?) count as "Magical Realm" for these purposes?

Rules are in RoP:M, yes.
And books do not convert to vis directly. Study/xp does convert to vis in the Magic Realm, and vis can then be used for obtaining virtues/flaws while in the Magic Realm.
And no, a regio does not count, though regios are one possible way of reaching the Magic Realm.

Page 20 in RoP:M for anyone else that is interested.

The Vis gained instead of xp while in the Magic Realm is special in that it can be used to "transform" a character who does not have Might, where as any other Vis found in the Magic Realm or brought there by the character cannot. This is in general far more powerful than the effects that can normally be gained from Vis, so while it can be used for other things saving it to power transformations is normally a better choice.

Note that it is possible to gain XP while in the Magic Realm, but only by "comprehending the Twilight Void". This is a special case since success adds XP while failure loses it from an Art or Ability. If it is a gain, the person actually has the choice of adding the XP to the Art/Ability or converting it to Vis.

It can also be abused by someone with Enigmatic Wisdom and a high Boundary/Vestige Travel Score (Perception and an appropriate Ability, Second Sight or Magic Sensitivity, picking areas associated with highest Arts) who also has a high score in an Ability that provides Familiarity (Magic Lore, Enigmatic Wisdom, Area Lore [Magic Realm]). Characters who can consistently generate a high initial Travel Total (15+) can perform 1+ per day on average. Though having a high Twilight Void Travel Score (Stamina and Concentration, plus sticking to the area of your highest Art) is an important safety feature if trying this.

Trying to abuse Comprehend the Twilight Void is a sure path to Warping Points and Final Twilight for a being without Might however. For those with a low Might and high Enigmatic Wisdom, they can easily generate 30+ simple dice of XP/Vis (and points of Essential Traits) in a season. Higher totals scale this almost infinitely. The points of Essential Traits can actually be more valuable than the XP/Vis since they can give effective Attributes up to 10 in limited areas and provide limited immunity to magical effects.

I would never recommend trying this though, since botches are a very real danger and when you are dealing with so many rolls rapidly become a very real probability. Even "Cautious with Ability" Virtues would not help much, since you would need three of them in Abilities not normally taken with (Second Sight/Magic Sensitivity, Concentration, and Enigmatic Wisdom).

EDIT: Note that all of the above is without Magic Realm Magic. If you have it and appropriate spells then much of the danger on the two Travel Scores are removed. However you still need a high Intelligence and Enigmatic Wisdom to pull it off.