Variant Tremere House Virtue


Someone, apologies for not remembering who, posted his ruleset for "Ars Magica 6" in which all virtues were Major, including House Virtues.

Someone else, again apologies for not remembering who, posted that Certamen would not have gained acceptance as a fair means of settling disputes if House Tremere was obviously disproportionately better at it, since not only would Tremere magi have an unfair advantage, but that Certamen being a fair reflection of magical power that might actually be brought to bear during a real conflict would be undermined.

Someone else, I suspect it was Chris but a third round of apologies if I atrributed this wrong, posted something about the Tremere notion of tines being less than efficient.

So, a new virtue for Tremere magi only

Major Hermetic Virtue: Tines

Choose two Forms and two Techniques. In each of these Arts, you get a 25% bonus to gained experience, rounded up. This acts as an Affinity in these Arts, so you may not also take an Affinity for these Arts. You also get +1 to each of these Arts, which acts similarly to the bonus gained by Puissant Art. If you take Puissant Art for any of these Arts, the bonuses stack. Finally, you roll one less botch die for any roll including one or more of these Arts, and this can reduce the total number of botch dice to 0. You must be a member of House Tremere to take this virtue, which counts as your Major Hermetic Virtue.

Of course, using this virtue means that Tremere now don't get to take an elective Major Hermetic Virtue! Still, this is a rather good virtue. The four lesser Affinities are worth around 2vp. The +1 bonus to 4 Arts is probably worth 1vp. This package would be slightly lackluster, but reducing botch dice for spellcasting (and Certamen!!) down to 0 is an uncommon and valuable benefit.

Unless every House gets a free Major Virtue, adjustments need to be made to fit this in. One way to do this is to change the free House Virtue to Good Parens, and offer this as an optional virtue. Or, have Tremere magi pay 2 extra vp. Or, roll this into a Minor Hermetic Virtue which provides Tines but which also requires Tremere magi to spend one season per year serving the House, usually represented as Exposure xp with nothing else to show for it.



I don't know about the ArM6 rules someone may have posted.

But a commonly heard suggestion about changing Tremere House Virtues is to switch the mMF for an Affinity or Puissance in one of the abilities used in Certamen. These abilities are of common use, and one of said virtues would be of use in other magic actions as well.
The way Certamen changed in 5th ed from a over specialized ability to instead use normal magic abilities could perhaps warrant this solution. If the Tremere have an advantage likely to be decisive, then people in sagas would be loath to duel with one. And if Certamen consequently is not used very much then why select a House to play which was an effectively useless house virtue, which - to add insult to injury - also prohibits them from having a "real" magical speciality?
Arguments can be made as to why magi Tremere don't have and don't need magical foci, there are plenty of solutions: Be generalists, select Strong Parens, use Potent Magic etc. But the real question is whether a Puissance or Affinity is good enough to make the Tremere stand out in Certamen, as their theme suggests? I haven't tested it but maybe the Certamen Schools give enough of an edge.

This is really good.
Looking at the Totals p90, that's Finesse, Penetration and Parma.
I can't see Concentration in there at first glance?

I'd force the skill to have specialization (certamen), to reinforce the theme a bit.

Concentration is indirectly used to avoid distractions and consequently lose. Also it’s a General not an Arcane Ability.
The bonus isn’t huge, but the magi Tremere will be different depending on which ability they have the Puissance in.

Ah thanks.
What difference does it make that it's General? There's plenty of House Virtues that aren't directly Arcane...

In any case:

I have a file called "Ars6thSubmissionCopy1" written by Mark Baker, I think they're an Australian Ars player? I'm having difficulty remembering their forum name searches forum ah, it's arghmark

Discussion was here

None really, it’s mostly an academic distinction. All of those abilities are highly useful when casting spells as well.
Although, being General rather than Arcane means it may be easier to find a teacher, since it can be a mundane.

But no, it doesn’t matter.