The Gifts of the Tremere

I have a young Tremere in my game, and he is beginning to have the support available to him from Houses of Hermes: True Lineages.

His options include a moderate sum of money, 4 pawns of vis, a minor book on an Art, or a minor magical item.

I know this can vary quite a bit by the circumstances of the campaign, but does anybody have any reasons that these base values sound too high or too low to them?

Money: 40 pounds
Book (Level 10, Quality 15) This would of course vary quite a bit by what the loaner has available.
Minor Magical Item (Level 25, non lethal).


In my game an average quality book is 8-10.. 15 would be fantastic and when the magi have found one they've scrambled for it to purchase it.

Money: what do the magi need money for. My players have only shown a passing intrest in cash and only then becuase they are a spring covenant and sometimes need to look after those things, even then they just want the covenant to support them. 40 pounds is alot of cash, but most of the things magi want cash is of no use.

4 pawns of vis is not a whole lot.

I don't know if i would go as high as 25 lab total for a minor magic item though, maybe a 20 lab total if it wasn't lethal.

I would imagine that most of the magi would ask for the Vis or a book. And calling in a favor from your house-mates for a 8-10 book seems like alot of work for a couple seasons of study from a minor book.

What has house tremere asked for in return from him? Unless he has been working hard for them, then he should not be receiving anything. If he has been giving up his seasons to advance the house then that is a fair payment.

Excellent, that's exactly the sort of info I'd like.

I was going by the "Hermetic Books: Definition of Categories of Value" in the Covenants book, that states that "Vain Summae" have a quality of (25-level) or less. That's the lowest level they list. I'm guessing that fits the definition of "minor", but kinda felt like you did, that it was very tough. I assumed there had been an upswing in exp/season in 5th. I don't want to penalize Book students vs Vis students.

I chose 40 pounds and level 25 as the smallest denomination listed in Covenants.

As to what he's done for the Tremere, not much yet, but he has blown a few seasons with them, and these are listed in True Linages as the benefits Tremere supplies their lowest level members in exchange for their service, so they don't fall behind their covenant-mates.

Thanks for the info, I hope a few other people chime in as to what they've been doing with that rule, or what they consider low level books.

With regard to money and vis - Are those values per year, or occasional gifts once every few years? I'd try to peg his level of support on the kinds of long-term behaviors his house patronage ought to enable.

40L/year is a bit high, considering that a "Typical" source of income (from Covenants) would be 100 L/year. Likewise, IMS 4p/year would effectively be the "personal vis source" minor virtue.

I'd think ~10L/year or 1p/year (or an aggregate lump sum periodically) would be a reasonable. 10L/year is enough to support two spring magi or 3-5 soldiers, and 1p/year is enough for a young magus to study from every year or two or to use to make a magical item every two-three years.

In lieu of an actual cash grant, it might just be reasonable for the exarch to loan or gift him a few useful retainers. The exotic stuff - mercenary companies, spies, teams of thieves, etc. - are no doubt saved for those who have their own sigils, but most Spring covenants could use someone competent at balancing the books or an extra shield grog or two. The Gift makes it hard to attract trustworthy personnel - especially if you've a blatantly Gifted magus at your covenant. (See the loyalty rules in Covenants.)

I think an L10, Q15 book sounds about right. Pre-Covenants, I did some work with a spreadsheet and decided that L10, Q14 sat at a sweet spot in terms of utility vs. ease of production. To write one, a magus only needs a Com of +1, and they offer advancement from a score of 0 to 7 in two seasons and 0 to 10 in four. The library rules in Covenants increased (my) Quality-expecations, but the exarch is going to be sending primers to a young Tremere anyway, right?

As for the magical item - four-five magnitudes sounds pretty good to me. That's a big enough effect to be quite useful, but low enough that even a moderately experienced magus working in his specialty could have created it in a season.

I agree. a level 10 quality 14 book takes com +1 art 34, com +2 art 32, com +3 art 30, or com +3 good teacher art 24. Art 34 would be expected in one art by the time a character is 40 years out of apprenticeship if the character isn't a generalist. I've a fifth edition character twenty years out of apprenticeship in my game with a 32 creo (including puissent so for writing books he's only 29). With characters living more than a hundered years beyond appenticeship, I don't see how there could be an easy justification for making a book of this quality rare or valuable.

As I read it, this is a "one at a time" sort of thing. They can loan you 40 L, but you don't get any more help from them till you repay it (thus you might never get any more help till you get a promotion). You can have 1 book "borrowed" at a time, and can't get the loan of another till a season after you return it. The Vis is the same as the money, you're expected to repay it.

Good discussion, thanks. I really like the "sweet spot". :open_mouth:

It's not a favour. That is, it's not something that the guy owes you and you pay back as some sort of loan of time. Tremere support is about making your underlings more powerful so that they can do better stuff for you on behalf of the House.

Money is useful for magi, because they can use it to pay mundanes. 40 pounds could pay for a few specialists, mercenaries, spies, scribes, masons, specialised equipment, repairs for the covenant/lab, etc. All useful things that don't require the Tremere magus to spend the money on himself.