Miscellaneous questions

Hi all,

I have a small conglomeration of questions, none of which merits an entire post. So here they are, aggregated for your pleasure.

  1. Tribunals: For a 'resolution' to pass, is the relevent total aye-vs-nay or aye-vs-non ayes? Eaier to illustrate for example. Say some mage makes a proposal: Designating a particular faerie as an officially recognized Ally, proposing that the Order declare a particular area to be off-limits, whatever. He calls for a vote. 10 mages vote aye. 5 mages vote nay. 30 mages abstain. Does the vote pass or fail? I could see it either way: Well, there were a total of 15 votes cast. 10 Aye, 5 Nay, so the Ayes have it. In this system, an abstention is very different from a nay. Abstaining actually reduces the set of voters.
    On the flip side, there were 45 mages at tribunal. 23 votes are necessary for majority. Since there were only 10 'aye' votes, the vote falls short. in this system, abstaining is the same as voting aye.

  2. Tremere without sigil: As they have no sigils, they of course don't cast their own vote. Their great-grand parens casts a bloc of say 14 votes, since they hold the sigils. However, does House Tremere allow non-sigil holders to actively speak and debate at tribunal? Can a Tremere argue a particular point, even without his sigil? Or are they discouraged from offering an opinion until they have a Sigil? I can see it going either way: They might say "We vote as a bloc, but you may speak your mind freely." Or, the argument could be "When you earn your vote, you earn your opinion. Until then, we'll handle the talking for you." (I assume there isn't a general tribunal rule that states if you can't vote, you can't speak either).

  3. Spontaneous Magic: This is a variant of another question that was just asked. Say your goal is to make light. You will cast a spontaneous spell to do so. Assume you have no merits or flaws related to spontaneous casting (Diedne Magic, Life-Linked spontaneous Magic, etc). You specify Range as Reach, Duration as Sun, Target as Individual, with knowledge that you'll need to dedicate a few magnitudes to bumping up Range and Duration. Must you specify an exact level of effect, or can you leave that open? Say that you ideally want enough to Create Light equal to a cloudy day, which is level 4 before R/D/T modifiers. If you get just enough for level 4, then you get light equal to a cloudy day. Perfect.
    What if you have either more or less than you want? Is it all-or-nothing? Say after modifiers, you roll high enough to have light equal to a perfectly sunlight day? Do you get light equal to a sunlight day? Or is the 'extra' roll wasted since you only focused on getting enough for a cloudy day?
    On the flipside, what if you roll rather low, so that the result indicates that you get enough for candle-light at Sun duration? Do you get light equal to candlelight? Or do you get no light whatsoever, since you fell short of the goal you specifically stated (cloudlight)?
    Basically: Ask for cloudlight, roll candle: Get nothing or get candle?
    Ask for cloudlight, roll daylight: Get cloudlight or get daylight?

Is it permissible for a Magi to just say "I'm going to try to get a bright light" without specifiying "I need cloudlight?"
What are your interpretations?

3b) I may as well make a corollary question: Can a Magus leave, say, duration open-ended? "I need to change myself into a wolf for as long as possible, preferably for Sun duration." Rolls lower than required for wolf transformation at personal/sun/individual "Well, that's good enough to change into a wolf for Diameter, but not Sun." Can he transform into a wolf for Diameter duration? Or does the spontaneous spell fizzle?

Thanks all!


I don't think that there is an answer to this in canon. You can decide what works best for your saga, and it could easily vary by Tribunal.

I don't think that there is anything in canon that specifies what happens. Again, you can decide what works best for your saga, and it could easily vary by Tribunal, or even from issue to issue, or Tremere to Tremere.

With Spontaneous Magic you can make the effect open-ended. And you can change the Range, Duration, or Target after rolling --- but not the basic effect. Read what it says about Spontaneous Magic in the Hermetic Magic chapter of ArM5 --- it address exactly this question.

Well, the younger Tremere cannot actually be denied his vote at Tribunal: this is addressed in True Lineages. Since they can vote I assume the can speak at Tribunal, even against the wishes of the House. How long such a rogue remains a Tremere would be an interesting question.

Since a good little Tremere does what his parens says and always asks permission to speak, my thought is that it would be handled like politcal party votes are handled in the modern world's legislatures. Perhaps on a vote the Tremere (as a House) are sure to get there way on, but which really bones the lone Tremere in some dinky Spring Covenant somewhere, the lone Tremere can privetly get permission from his parens to speak out (and maybe even vote against) the house position, since the outcome is "safe." Maybe on votes the House as a whole doesn't care about the younglings are even allowed to vote regardless of how it affects the outcome. But on the serious votes where the House has a strong posistion and the outcome is up in the air, there will be unity, and you stray from the House line at your extreme peril. That's when a Tremere Magus proudly sits very, very quietly and defers to his elder on the vote.

I think that in the interest of giving the player something to do, talking at Tribunal and letting him vote on "non-House" matters is a good idea. I'm not sure how close it is to canon, but I think it's better this way.

On matters of House policy, I wouldn't let the young brat speak against his superiors. Certainly not in public! The Tremere gather before every tribunal, and in that meeting one can (respectfully) plead with the Tribune, arguing in favor of some position. But to go against your House in public? I'd measure the life-expectancy of that Tremere as about one Wizard's War.

Young tremere speaking out a little on issues where the vote is established is a good political ploy. It makes other think the youngster perhaps can be swayed and thus others will court the vote and support and the youngster can then report it to the elders. Illusion of dissent can give good information gatherting.

It actually specifically says how the house reacts to such things and how they got around it in the first place.
Tremere basically said that no member of his house would be so dishonourable (or some such) as to disobey the traditions of their elders. In short, as a simple logical standpoint, if you decide to exercise your vote when you haven't earned it, you're disobeying those traditions and so technically not a Tremere any more, it's pretty much a kickable offense as far as I'm aware.

But no, they can't be denied, it's basically your right to make the choice of whether the vote is worth losing your house

Although you can vote on non house important issues as you like, I'm still under the impression that you still only earn that right when you get your sigil back. Even when you have your own vote, you're expected to vote in the bloc whenever there's a suitably important issue that the house decides on

Thanks, all. I actually think I'd enjoy playing a Tremere sometime. Once I house rule their virtue to be exchangable for Skilled Parens, for example. ( Not a Certamen fan. Personal preference). I find it enjoyable to play a character that has a mentor/boss, someone to tell me what to do. I prefer to avoid thinking about what that may say about me, lol.

I like the 5th edition interpretation of the Tremere. I might vote them 'most improved from previous editions.' My friend Brian jokingly said to me "Jim, why am I not surprised that the bad guy is a Tremere?" I like the idea that they may be heavily regulated, but they care about their young. This is their method of careful, rigorous training. They actively want their apprentices to flourish and be respectable; this is their method of helping that process.
I find it works much better than the "mwa ha ha" versions in previous editions.

Skilled Parens is a very good House virtue for Tremere, indeed.