We had been discussing about Confidence in our troupe and we had been thinking about removing it from the game, as we find it quite arbitrary and we don't like the freecard-ish look of it. And I also think it's already well covered in combat by the exertion rule. So I had been thinking how to get rid of confidence.
In physical activities I think an extension of the exertion rule would work just fine (i.e., a character may use athletics to climb a riff to get away of some danger, but if the climbing is difficult then he could spent a fatigue level and double his Athletics skill, and everything sounds reasonable). In non physical activities I feel there may be some trouble, but maybe it would be just ok to do the same thing, or trade the fatigue cost by something else, or by a long term fatigue level loss (I think of a companion trying to win a certain ring by gambling and trying to perform at his best, or a bard trying to play a song at the top of his capacity; they may well end covered in sweat and exhausted by their efforts, right?).
The may problem then is that our Tytalus is left without a house virtue. But I just can't figure which one could he be granted.
So, any ideas of what virtues would fit for a Tytalus as house virtue, if Self-Confidence is tossed away? Strong-willed seems like a natural replacement, but I find it a pretty lame virtue.
You could replace by a free "Puissant" with a non-hermetic skills, to reflect the tendancy of Tytali to build specific expertise in non-hermetic skills.
That sounds quite good (he could defintetively trade Self-Confident with a Puissant Brawl, Charm, Intrigue or something of the like), but I don't see why stop at the non-hermetic skills. He already have both Puissant: Penetration and Puissant: Parma Magica, that could be fitting as well (he spent 15 years trying to resist his parent's spells and hit him with his own magic...).
(As this Tytalus already happily paid for these virtues this is more a rethoric debate, anyway).
I was thinking about their ability to take Personae (HoH:S p87). Having a good skill relevant to his Personae will help him fullfil his role and maintain his cover.
The other reason I was not including Hermetic skills as House virtue is because it usually belongs to another House. It does not prevent the mage to acquire these virtue as any virtue, it is just that the House virtue is more focussed on what is a more or less well kept secret: Personae - it is a unique Supernatural ability, thus it would seem reasonable that House Tytalus would emphasize what could strengthen it.
A puissant "Craft: tailor" would allow the same mage to have a Personae as a guild master in a city, a simple tailor in a nearby town and an apprentice in another one. Since each time he performs an action that confirm his role, his gains XP in the relevant reputation, it will strengthen his Reputation and enable him to partially off-set the effect of the Gift. Or at least let people be willing to overcome their initial negative reaction to interact with him.
Is Persona unique to Tytali? I'd always thought of it as a generally available skill that happened to be of particular use and relevance to them (and therefore particularly common in that House), but I wouldn't stop a Tremere Assessor, say, taking it.
Going back to the original question, Magi Trianomae already have Puissant Intrigue, which is a big mark against one obvious possibility. You could probably give Puissant Corpus to Leper Magi? Harder to work out what's best for Titanoi (I wondered about Puissant Mentem, Rego or Vim, or something that's related to Spirits but minor), and that still leaves you with a problem for Tytali who don't fit into those categories.
I found Jack of All Trades from Grogs to be key in pulling off whatever disguise my Tytalus needed.
Hmmm, Persona is an optional virtue, not all Tytali have it, so Puissant Persona seems a bit restrictive: it just forces you to get the Persona virtue. And I like Tytali making disguises!
Puissant Corpus for lepper magi sounds quite sound. Puissant Vim is pretty historically consistent with the history of the corruption of the House back then. Denying Puissant Intrigue just because Trianomae already got that one doesn't sound enough reason to me: it's listed as one of the three "attack" abilities in the debate rules as societates, with Folk Ken and Artes Liberales, and its description of the debate style seems quite fitting for Tytali. So I'd let our Titalus choose one of Puissant Vim (that would be Corpus, if he were a lepper magus), or Puissant Artes Liberales, Puissant Intrigue or Puissant Folk Ken.
Jack of All Trades seems quite good for grogs as they don't usually have long lives and earn half the XPs magi earn each year, as it let them try almost anything, but I see it pretty thin for a magus. If I were to choose another possible virtue for Tytali from Grogs, that would be Natural Leader.
If you're using stuff from outside the core rulebook, you'll need to look at a number of other things as well. There are quite a few spots where a point of Confidence can be used to activate something.
I don't like Confidence either. It's a pain to use with NPCs and it distorts task difficulty too much. I've considered changing it such that spending a confidence point allows a botch to be rerolled, rather than adding the +3 from RAW. That seems to have the potential to kill two birds with one stone, since I also dislike frequent botches.
We play Confidence as a kind of the Fate Points in FateRPG. Well, exactly as... You can use it for a +3 in any roll (+6 if Self Confident), but you only get them back if you roleplay your flaws or if they take an important part in a session (for history flaws). We have really liked this approach.
My NPCs don´t have confidence on their own, instead I have a pool of Confidence Points equal to the number of players in a session and I use them as I see fit. I also use my Confidence Points to activate (compel in FateRPG) flaws. If the players accept the problem that the flaw brings to the table they earn the Confidence Point if the don´t want the flaw to activate they must pay a Confidence Point.
This get the confidence more present in the game. Nothing new, just borrow from FateRPG.
You also have to decide what to do with True Faith, which uses essentially the same mechanics as Confidence (with a more frequent "refresh").
Yeah, I know. Our dear infernalists need something not to be warped as a clumsy Merinita addicted to use vis prava to cast high level spells in Divine auras. The idea is either to just ignore it except for these people, or just rename it. For example our infernalists could change it to "sin points" or something of the like...
...and these as "faith points". But that's a quite theoretical scenario to me: no one in my troupe is interested in the Divine at all.