How to get your house-virtues?

If you play your apprentice, how and when do you get your house-virtue? Does this cost any time?

IIRC, the bjornaer virtue is initiated at the ritual of 12 years (and there's even a scipt for it).
The other must work in a similar fashion. As per time, skip a season, and that should be enough.

I have to say I hadnt really ever given this much thought. I had always assumed it was somehting the apprentice absorbed over time ratehr than something which was granted by ritual. With heartbeasts I suppose a ritual makes sense but some of the others seem more likely to be respose to environmental factors.

Not necessarily a "This season you don't have it, next you do" sort of thing.

Tytalus get "Self Confident" - that might occur over a long period of time, or during their gauntlet - either makes sense. Bonisagus' puissant Ability (one or the other), if it is not present from the first, clearly evolves over time, sometime during the course of the apprenticeship. Flambeaux are not limited to choose only potential apprentices who demonstrate affinities to Perdo or Ignem - that would be a big plus, but one assumes that if they don't start with such, they acquire it over time.

How much time, exactly? Hmmmm... enough.

At this point, my inclination is, when playing out an apprenticeship, the SG should provide the virtue after an important in relevant story event. For instant a Tremere apprentice might get his focus after his first Certamen, or a Bonisagus could get his after creating his first piece of orginal research or something.

My bad. I was still somewhat asleep, and thought only of the Mystery Cult houses :blush: :blush: :blush:

(been there, all of us no big.)

I would say depends on the Virtue and the House.

It's clear from the Houses supplement on Ex Misc that the "Comprehend Exotic Magics" virtue of Pralix' lineage is specifically taught, and can be during a season.

Enigmatic Wisdom could go either way, as a formal tutoring or as a slow absorbtion from exposure.

I won't list additional examples. I'm sure folks can figure them out on a case-by-case basis.

I think a good answer to most such questions is, "Whichever way makes for a more interesting story."

Well, Houses of Hermes - Mystery Cults (page 49) specifically states that Enigmatic Wisdom can be learned by anyone studying with someone with it for four seasons. That makes nice sense, given that it's as much as way of thinking as a body of knowledge.

It also raises some interesting questions if you have covenants where Magi train each other's apprentices in different arts - Not least of which being how people would react, say, to a Bonisagus with an ovbiously Criamon tattoo across his face.

How do you see acquiring virtues and flaws in-game?
I can image gaining the cripled flaw doesn't need much time per se (and can be removed by a good enough magus without much time later on). Flaws aren't that hard to get anyway. The criamon in our saga got a nifty virtue from a twilight experience.
But how about gaining hermetic virtues, many will be gained somewhere during apprenticeship or even after. How can gaining such virtues be balanced in the game?

We give characters V&F that feel adequate during gameplay. Our librarian (autumn covenant) gained book learner when he hit a knowledge of 7 in library lore, for example. It soubnded OK for him to have just that. For hermetic, V&F, climatic episodes tend to work OK. Twilight, getting a 30 in your arts, blowing your lab to bits, blowing up half the covenant, interacting with a might 60 supernatural creature.... Important events or target numbers, in the life of a magus, that can have a profound impact on him, basically. It works for the other characters as well

We also give flaws in the same sense. A character with a 6 or 7 in Infernal lore is bound to acquire some infernal or evil-related flaw



I was thinking to have a debate with my apprentice at the start of every season training, if he wins, I'll train him in what he wants, if he loses, I'll train him according to my wishes. This should give him the knack with intrigue he will get at the end....

Heh, excellent idea.

It could be a logical thing that a House training can provide Virtues, but in order to preserve game balance, I took an another path:

Following my opinion, I consider that every Magi has a "little something" since his birth. For exemple, Flambeau Magi born with Puissant Perdo/Ignem, and this quality is revealed during the training. The others, who do not possess this Virtue, are considered reject, and killed, or go Ex-Miscellanea.

Although this don't seem much logical, it is necessary; let's say an apprentice can learn a House Virtue in a definite amount of time. What prevents Magi to learn the same Virtue later? We'd obtain situation such as: "Hey, Flambeau buddy? D'you mind teaching me Puissant Ignem, I could teach you Puissant Magic Theory?"

Furthermore, what prevents to learn ALL hermetic Virtues in this way? If a Flambeau could teach Puissant Ignem, what prevents him to teach his Puissant Terram he bought at character creation?

Puissant Arts could manifest themselves when the master first open the apprentice's arts, rather than being taught.

The free minor virtue is more or less a result of having the Gift: Gifted non-magi get to pick one for themselves, Magi get their House virtue, Mythic Companions get whatever is in their template.

As I see it, the House virtues are taught through the long process of apprenticeship (except for Mystery Cult Houses, that simply do an Initiation). The description of House Tytalus does an excellent job of describing how Self Confident is acquired through the gruelling process of apprenticeship. Supposedly Affinity with Ignem and so on likewise require long and ardous or dangerous experiences. So what's preventing magi from picking up Puissant Magic Theory is that in order to do so they would need to spend something like 15 years in apprenticeship to a Bonisagus magus, doing all sorts of menial works and assiting him in his lab. There are easier and faster ways to improve their Magic Theory score, or to gain the Puissant Magic Theory virtue (through Mystery Cults, seeking a Faerie blessing, pursuing Original Research, and so on).

It is indeed a very interresting point of view, and I think I'll adopt this for my sessions

We are "currently" allowing some(rather alot really) virtues to be teachable, with a minor requiring XP as if getting a score of 4 in an ability and score 7 for a major virtue, and with XP gained reduced with 1/3 for each minor/major virtues already learnt this way with Int bonus reducing that reduction(or increasing it if negative).
Might reduce the required XP to equal those of score 3/6 instead.
Anyone with the virtue can teach it or write a summae on it.

One reason for this was that the rules on orignal research together with hermetic virtues being described as they are, together the end result is, get your hands on the lab notes for researching any and all hermetic virtues, and you can learn them right away. And since almost any hermetic virtues can be argued as having been previously integrated through research...

Direwolf's approach is a real house rule IMHO.
TMRE gives loads of examples for how hard it is to learn virtues. If you don't want to give virtues as a means of 'adventure reward' or some other bonus, let your players sacrifice time, resources and possibly flaws to gain virtues.

Aye, but those are specifically ways of getting non-Hermetic, magical Virtues. Or should be, since the whole point of a Mystery is to teach magic and bypass that nifty -[Total of all arts] penalty to teaching Supernatural Abilities and Virtues.

Whilst I agree that there's a lot to be asked of the current rules, going too far the other way isn't good either. Not all virtues are equal. Some represent being well known, some represent having a knack with some potentially mundane thing and some represent incredible mystical power ... which is useless without the spells and arts to back it up. By all means, acquiring a virtue (any virtue) should have story repurcussions, but making everything a Mystery is going far too far.