o That a Covenant Charter can legally be more limiting on magi than The Code, and The Code cannot then be used to bypass the Charter Oath by someone who freely, knowingly and legally entered and swore to such a Charter. (That would be a breaking of the Covenant Charter - the point is that such a more restrictive Charter is not seen as a breaking of the Code, as entering into such an agreement is seen to be voluntary and optional.)
This is critical for Covenant Charters which, for instance, wish to tax a small portion of all vis found by magi, or which require "seasons of service" to the Covenant (either of which could be interpreted as "depriving a member... of his magical power").
o That Tribunal Votes cannot be won, lost, or otherwise coerced or influenced by Certamen. (Risking the vote in a Certamen battle would not be "using the vote prudently", a violation of the Code, and thus is prohibited - see page 89).
Note that unless prohibited in the Charter, a Covenant vote can be wagered in Certamen. Some Tremere object to such inclusions... (but they don't have to join that Covenant, now, do they?)
o That a magi claims an apprentice when they register that claim with the Tribunal Quaesitores and/or Redcaps (similar to the process of registering a vis source, etc.). The yearly requirement of 1 season of training begins the season following that registration.
The minimum 1 season of training/year must be provided by the magi themselves, or via an equilateral fostering agreement.
Killing another magi's apprentice before the opening of the Arts is a minor offense; after the end of that season it is a serious offense.
Killing one's own apprentice without just cause before the opening of the Arts is seen as a minor offense to the Order, depriving all magi of potential apprentices and thus "magical power".
[i]This section includes a major change in the existing Code, referred to on page 106 of the Core book (under "Apprentices"), which we found flawed. The problem perceived was the time between the "finding and adopting" of a very young Gifted child and the "opening of the Arts", which is the RAW moment of "claiming the apprentice".
RAW, a prospective apprentice is no different than any other grog, regardless of training or Gift, until the Arts have been opened, but children cannot have their Arts opened until age 7, on average, so if you "adopt" a 5 year old (when many magi start their "training"), the Arts possibly may not be opened for 2 years or more, leaving the child as vulnerable as any inanimate property. Different spins on this change have been included variously in our sagas, but the gist is the same.
Because of this change, the "train themselves" rule prevents a mage from claiming hundreds of prospective apprentices and putting them thru a mundane training production line under tutors before deciding which one(s) to open the Arts for. Likewise the prohibition to killing one's own apprentices before determining their Arts (one of the few legal ways to get rid of an unwanted apprentice).
(Note - Sagas which prefer the "A mage can hire someone else to do the minimum training" approach should consider these possible complications and abuses.)
(Backstory: A young Tremere of Novgorod was claiming anything that hinted at The Gift, and then killing them if, on closer inspection, they did not meet "his high standards". After 5 apprentices died in 7 seasons in this fashion (in several instances an additional being adopted before a current one died - none were given the season of training, as none lasted more than 3 seasons), a 6th and 7th were "saved" by a Redcap, and soon were taken under the wing of young Bonisagi. At Tribunal, the Redcap was fined 1 vis (to the Tribunal) for "interfering", and the Tremere pronounced "not guilty", but this last interpretation appeared later that same Tribunal, and that Tremere did not adopt or claim another apprentice until the season after the next Tribunal (almost the first day after, in fact), and that choice was eventually raised to pass her gauntlet.
The tale of this incident had spread rapidly (as rapidly as Redcaps could spread it), and most Tribunals adopted variations on this last part, some even before the Novgorod Tribunal met - which House Mercere credits for the outcome in this case.)[/i]