At the suggestion of Ravenscroft, here's a few home rules at Anazitos Gnosi:
Pussiant Certamen as a Tremere free minor virtue
Starting language level 4 with 70 points to spend on starting background.
Language cost: the group wants to be a little more multilingual. So choose "nationality language" (using term very loosely). If want to learn a related language, cost is 1/3 less. If want to choose in same family (low v high german), cost is 1/2 less.
Character creation: if a character can generate a compelling story we will allow a linked minor/major or minor/minor story or a blend of a 2nd class and a story. For a corresponding "balance", a hermetic flaw equal to the each story or class must be chosen. A couple of players have done really good jobs in fleshing out their characters. Also does hurt that he have multiple story guides guiding differing "teams" out of the covenant.
Not really a house rule, but adopted some of the Mysteries in 4th ed. into 5th edition.
House Miscellani - get to choose one major virtue free or 3 minor virtues. Created a supernatural virtue that creates an affinity and pussiance for a particular "sphere" of magic. Think magical foci for the hedge wizard set - so can have necromancers, wind wizards, ... that are barely integrated into the order but have a specialization/power in their expertise.
Increased "exposure" experience points slightly for magical activities. Also allow some experience points for teacher in teaching and the art/ability taught. (learning by doing)
Covenants - all about telling the story. Our covenant has alot of surrounding stories where we write the stories first, then follow up with the benefits to enable the story. So we have a covenant on Zante that sits on a tribunal border (Rome v Thebes), surrounded by warring/adversarial parties (pirates, Venetians, pirates, the Duchy, Despotate of Eprius) and needing to have a mundane patron to hold on to what they have (favors, mundane politics). Meanwhile, the aura of the tribunal is very special requiring covenant to act as a protector, perform rituals). Right now we have an imbalance with hooks to boons, but it really doesn't matter.
Certamen is no longer an Ability in 5e, so you can't have Puissant Certamen. (Puissant Arts apply exactly and only to Art scores - not activites).
If you are using TMRE, you can use "Potent Magic: Certamen" to gain a +3 or +6 bonus when working the magic of Certamen.
Do you mean Social Class? or are you thinking of "some other game"?
consider using The Mysteries Revised Edition - I can assure you with complete confidence that the bits of TM 4e which were dropped or changed, were done for very good reason!
encourage your magi to read Books - Ars Magica is a bookish setting, and really rewards books study!
You could take "Special Circumstances: Certamen" (p. 49). Strictly speaking, the Virtue's description says the bonus applies to spellcasting and resistance rolls, and certamen is not really spellcasting - but it's closer to applicable than is Puissant Art, so your group may be willing to stretch the rules far enough to let it work.
The best part is that you can take Special Circumstances multiple times, which I think is the crux of the matter (the free Tremere focus precludes another focus in the rules-as-written).
Here is my list from a thread last April. I've edited them somewhat to take into account my new prefrences. I haven't editied them to take into account the errata for covenants.
Wards that have non-moving targets such as ring/room/structure/boundry do not need to penetrate to function.
Aegis of the Hearth does not need to penetrate in order to function.
Tremere magi may have a second magical focus in addition to their certamen focus.
Books will be created using the rules in the covenants book with the following alteration to the quality determination box located on the top of page 88. Al books will have a base quality of communication +3 and may receive bonuses for a skilled scribe, bookbinder, and illuminator. Books regarding magical topics will receive a one point penalty to quality if they do not utilize resonant materials (no quality bonus is gained by the use of resonant materials).
charged items receive a penetration bonus of +1 per additional level of power enchanted into the item rather than +2.
A mundane object that has not been magically altered in shape or substance (but could be altered in some other way such as appearance, temperature, creo vim magic stink, etcetera) and that is not moved by any magical force will not be kept away from the caster by parma magica. Instead the parma will deform elastically around the object. Thus the parma still exists between the object and the magus and effects such as the object being exceedingly hot, the object weeping poison, or the object growing spikey bits will be resisted.
Chiurgion's Healing Touch and similar spells, in addition to healing a wound, may reduce the severity of wounds. Chiurgionâ€™s Healing touch may reduce the severity of any wound by one level. A similar spell designed to heal medium wounds would reduce any wound by two levels in severity.
Rules for movement in combat will be adapted from 4th edition.
Didn't make myself clear:
For how to address an alternative to Tremere minor magic focus, refer to the recent thread. The Pussiant applies not to an actual ability but an attempt to mirror a special skill by an increase in a die roll for the performance of certamen.
As for class, I mean social class. Under the rules, magi take 1 social class - hermetic mage. With the right story we could have more than 1 social class for a mage. Mainly thinking ex misc magi, but other stories could arise.
For Mysteries 4th, not taking rules, taking the cults - particularly lineage of Maria, the Isisian cult and Gygony and then adapting those into the 5th ed rules.
As for learning by doing v "book learning", the hermetic paradigm trends towards bookishness but a valid means of magical learning IMHO is the experience and practice. Mystery experience (sacrifice, ordeal, impressions, experimentation into the roots of magic) seems to be a nice contrast to the more traditional bookish magi.
Characteristics page 30
Give Players 14 rather than 07 points to purchase stats. Improved Characteristics (page 43) would give 06 instead of 03 points.
All Virtues and limitations relating to Stats higher than +03 remain the same.
Players may use experience to increase stats (as per Ability)
(only to a max of +03 , Virtues used to take higher values)
(i have a costing for buying up negative values)
If a player has a background that relies on having a low characteristic ,
i certainly won't discourage it.
Reintroduce the benefit of having a Mythic Characteristic (+05) from 4th Ed. , page 46.
Still sticking with the restriction on Lab Work for Magi.
Guess i was just in a doubling mode.
One of my pet hates from DnD is having crappy stats.
It is not so crucial in Ars Magica ,
but i find characters on the less than heroic side of the spectrum with only having 07 points at character gen.
Having the PCs feel they are above average is part of my reasoning.
You have Int , Per , Str , Sta , Pre , Com , Dex , Qik to assign points to.
To have all stats at +03 would cost 48 points.
(admittedly an unlikely character without the use of Creo Magics)
No one is likely to buy the Improved Characteristics Virtue more than a few times ,
there are too many other important ones.
I would probably limit the increase of buying stats up from their starting value ,
as otherwise everyone ends up with all stats at +03.
Players should be able to increase physical stats to some degree at least.
As I'm just starting up a new saga, I've been considering a house rule and this seems the thread to get some advice.
I've been looking at Rego craft magic and I want to a mod that allows a magi with an appropriate craft skill to be better than an equal finesse magi without the craft skill where appropriate. e.g. A Verditius with Craft: Carpentry 5 and Finesse 3 should,IMHO, be better at ReHe carpentry than a magi without the Craft skill, all else being equal.
Simple solution is to add the Craft to the Finesse roll. My question for those who've run more 5th ed.: Is this too unbalancing? If so, any suggestions?