What would it take to form a new house?

Actually, the Quaesitores can't do that. Not according to the Code of Hermes. Bloc voting is fairly standard policy in the OoH already (Tremere, anyone?) so it is far from a crime. Moving to new covenants is also fairly easy for the magi of the Order. At all tribunals and grand tribunals the rulkes is "one vote per magus", without special attention to your status as a noob or archmagus. Archmagus have power and prestige, not voting rights.

So if they are in, they are in for good and can do what Lamech said :slight_smile: The current status quo would be shifted, and that is what might cause the proposal to fail (or gain supporters), but the counters presented do not seem very valid to me. They are either members of the order or they are not, but you cannot stomp them breaking the code if you have already admitted them into the fold and they are not breaking the code

Archmagi and masters get the sigils of "retired" magi if they happen to live in the Rhine. But that just means a few more votes.

Is it RAW that only Archmagi may attend Grand Tribunal? Unless I'm mistaken the (regional( Tribunals agree in any way apporpriate and legal to them who to send to GT and what issues to raise, limited to but a few magi and issues per Tribunal.
Also, only the Guardians of the Forest treat the issue of Archmagi and as no other tribunals have the same progression of ranks I don't think there is a need to be Master before becoming Archmagus.
It does not mean that there are no Archmagi outside Rhine because only the Rhine describe specifics for Archmagi at all!
Also, becoming a Master in the Rhine does not need rigidly to involve magic spells, I'm sure there is enough wriggle room for magi to prove themselves in other disciplines. It could be with devices, with impressive feats of spontaneous magic done often enough to not just be a fluke at one time, or being very skilled with Parma Magica or Penetration. Or even doing Quaesitorial work. Or are Verditii nerfed from the get-go for not focusing enough on spells, even though they can create impressive devices to cement their Masterhood?

We know this is not true. The Soqotrans are an order of four tribes that have combined into a single political unit, and no-one is even considering war with them.

Wars don't just spontaneously happen. Wars happen for reasons, generally, when people on each side determine that the lives of their children mater less than victory.

People talk of how the death of such and such an Archduke started the First World War, but killing him didn't flip a switch: at every stage people made decisions that made the war larger. The war wasn't inevitable, nor was its historical shape inevitable to the actors at the time.

Similarly, if some Hermetics decide to fight a war against a new group, it's not going to be based on the idea that the Order owns all of Europe. It'll be because individual magi think the war in their long term interest. That's why there's been no war against the Geonim, the Sahirs (although there have been clashes), the Order of Odin, the Soqotrans...there are so many groups the Order could have said "No, that's it, we annihilate them." and instead have gone "That's not convenient just now."

"All wars arise from population pressure."-Heinlein, Starship Troopers

It's very basic, but it is very much true. Wars happen because two competing populations contend for scarce resources. The Order, for the most part is very secure in its resources. I could see Rome or Normandy beginning their own crusade to claim vis in these far off lands. Of course, that won't be the stated reason, but it will be the underlying reason, IMO.

It's way oversimplified. 8)

That's why it's true!

Clarification: This bit about the rival order was originally posted by Jionra. I just managed to mangle the quoted text completely, so it appeared that I wrote it. I edited my posting to only include the things I actually intended to look like I said. :slight_smile:
Because I don't actually agree with Jionra.
I apologize for this mistake, and can't fault anyone for for not spotting it. I really need to view my postings before I post. I'm doing that right now.

(Disclaimer) I'm still a greehorn to ArM, so please forgive my flaws when it comes to the lore.

Here are a few reactions to what I read in this thread :
-I don't think it would be wise for a would-be new House to be accepted to defuse a war threat. This wouldn't be a good omen for the future of this House in the order. Besides, many magi would probably see such a house as an enemy, and any group of nuts deciding to attack it would probably be starting a war, Diedne-style.
-I don't think that a small group could start a House either. Why would they do that rather than creating or joining a convent, or associating in any of the other ways that already exist in the order ? Why would others bother with tiresome politics just for the sake of a few magi, rather than pushing them to ex-misc ?
-In fact, houses in ArM are mostly a way to perpetuate a skill, tradition, etc. that is time-consuming enough to be the main activity of a magus through his aprenticeship.

When I sum things up, here are the things that would lead me as a Magus to vote for someone else's new House :
A) doesn't threaten me, doesn't look suspicious, doesn't overlook me. Any of these reasons would be redhibitory, and that's why a House based on a mystery would have a hard time convincing me.
B)Doesn't create significant new problems in the order. The new house should swear by the Order's rules, be always ready to help house Guernicus and have good relations with houses Flambeau, Tremere and others.
C) doesn't go against my specific interests, or the specific interests of my house. I'm a Mercere and you want to create a new vis-trading house ? Nuh-uh.
D) Does bring to the order something I value, or my house values. For instance, a new House very skilled in spontaneous spells would probably be interesting for Bonisagi to study.

IMO the most likely way for a new House of Hermes to emerge would be for an old House to be split in such a way that it's disfunctionality annoys the rest of the Order.

Take the Tytalus, with their two feuding Primi. It wouldn't be much of a step to make a game where they are not split simply on the basis of each members personal opinion for fun, but there was a real underlying point behind the feud. Say that one side are the Titanoi summoners representing the oldest traditions of Tytalus himself and on the other side are the more political game playing Tytalus with all their agents, both sides begin trying to recruit members from other Houses to try and leverage enough support to win the argument. The political ones recruiting more from House Jerbiton on the argument that they need help and support rooting out the last remnants of the Diabolists, wheras the Titanoi recruit Hermetic Sahirs and the Witches of Thessaly amongst others from House Ex-Miscellania, who might join up believing a new House would give them more respectability than staying with Ex-Misc. With enough numbers recruited in on both sides the House would grow so big and so dysfunctional, and have annoyed other Houses with the poaching that the Grand Tribunal might order a split.

Or it might be as easy as saying that with the House Ex-Misc plan to organize their House using a Census leads to so many extra members being listed than were believed to be members, and at the same time two or three Hedge Traditions that were partial joined up were convinced that the Census was a threat to them, a last chance to join up if you will, as their identities were well known to the Order by the members of their Tradition who had joined. Which leads to a surge in joining and the House suddenly having much more political clout in a lot of Tribunals. With the average size of the other houses being 90 members, and the size of Ex-Misc being 180 before the Census started, how many members joining would scare the Grand Tribunal enough to force a split in Ex-Misc? 300 members, 350? Not impossible for them to grow that big within just a few years with some swift recruitment.

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That is an AWESOME inner house conflict!!! Added to the "cool story ideas" archive :slight_smile:

In general, I find houses to be way less important than most people give them credit. The OoH is about individuals, not organizations at house level (covenants are what matter most of the time when it comes to voting at tribunals). So the creation of new houses is not that difficult. In fact, the divisions outlined in the the Rhine tribunal seem much more important to me (philosophies that break house divisions) than the house divisions. I split in tytalus or (even more likely, Merinita) seems really feasible. Except that the OoH is conservative in its institutional design, so it might be difficult to allow this. I can easily see ExMisc having a constant influx of dissafectionates of other houses, though, and ExMisc being a true power house in the end since a lot of powerful and organized traditions would be there. Not a bunch of hedgies but a fair number of organized and Roman traditions as well. Being an ExMisc would mean nothing in the end if you do not know the actual tradition of the guy you are talking to.

Having said that, in our last (large) saga we created a house (Gruagach) and 2 new tribunals (Mann and Saxon) and moved a few tribunal borders, and it was FUN, so I say go forward with your political Tytalian war. Add a third Hyppian faction for added spice.


It bears reminding that even if traitors to the order betray Parma Magica to the tradition, if they have enough numbers* and poitical pull, the hedges/rival order could join as a new House.

Ex Misc set a precedance, after all, so it isn't illegal.

*They'd need enough that it would be problematic for the OoH to just march them immedatitaly.