Would you want a Tremere or a Criamon in your covenant?

The your topic is similar told me about a 13 year old thread about Would you want a Tremere in your covenant topic. It was an interesting read, but got a bit heated. So I'm going to ask the question in a new thread, with no past issues. This is a player question, unless you have a specific character in mind?

Would you want a Tremere in your covenant? I think in general, my answer would be yes. A colleague with access to those resources, and possibly able to do Certamen for us, sure sounds useful. I think if I was near Transylvania, I would be more nervous, as would I find myself part of Translvania after a Tribunal...

Would you want a Criamon in your covenant? My answer is no, they are just too darn weird for my taste. I do not understand them (I know why they exist game-wise) and it's an x factor I do not need. To me, the Tremere is much easier to go along.

Appreciate any thoughts you would wish to share.

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I am the opposite, in that I would not want a Tremere in the covenant, but would be ok with a Criamon. The next two paragraphs are written from the point of a single member of one of those houses in a covenant.

I have disliked the Tremere in AM since I started playing in 3rd edition. While with AM5 much of the rough edges and the vampire thing have been removed, they are still a power hungry group that wants to force the rest of the Order into their way of thinking. Any Tremere in a covenant will attempt to work themselves up the covenant leadership and direct the covenant onto the Tremere path. Not only is that path disruptive to other styles of play, it is boring in the extreme. So hard no from me.

Criamon on the other hand I have no problem with. Yes they are weird. However they are not likely to actively and forcefully attempt to politic your covenant onto the Criamon path. The Criamon understands that even members of their house sometimes can no longer walk the path of the enigma. Let the weird wizard do his own weird thing, I will do my own thing.

It comes down to a Tremere in the covenant being a restriction, which can easily and rapidly raise to a conflict. Great if everyone is playing Tremere, not so great if everyone else is following a different path.

I would not mind either a Criamon or a Tremere in my covenant - depending on the specific character of course.

Having a Tremere in the covenant makes it more likely that one can get support from House Tremere, and reduces the risk of conflict with other Tremere magi. It is when the Tremere leaves the covenant that one might start getting nervous - since they will no doubt have noticed any weaknesses in the covenant's defenses and having left the covenant might no longer feel the need to be loyal towards it.
It can also be useful to have someone around who actually understands such things as logistics or group tactics for magi in combat - subjects most magi are woefully ignorant of.

Criamon magi may be weird, but most of them just quietly do their own things and do not cause trouble for anyone else.

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The other house which seems to raise issue and should probably be discussed is Guernicus. Because who wants to live with the cops? On the other hand having the cops as an ally is a good idea...

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If you want a Queasitor around or not depends on if you are planning on breaking the Code of Hermes or not.
Breaking it with a Quaesitor looking over your shoulder is a bad idea. On the other hand, if you are just going to bend it a little you can instantly get an expert opinion on just how far you can bend it without getting into trouble.
Having a Quaesitor around should also make any neighbouring covenants a bit wary of using extra-legal methods against your own covenant.

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I would say more expecting than planning. I may not plan to break the rules but I may also want to have a bit more freedom to "color outside the lines" if the situation warrants it.

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I would not consider a Criamon to be a house that raises issues/conflict. Those would be Tremere and Tytalus. Tremere as I explained earlier, Tytalus because the very nature of their house is conflict. Having both in a covenant is really playing with fire.

Flambeau, Guernicus, and Verditius have the potential though are not a given. While some Flambeau just want to fight for fighting sake, most are more likely to try to defend their covenant mates rather than fight them. Guernicus are not all "cops", many of them are more "lawyers". Verditius can be very demanding on covenant resources and once they start developing hubris can become right bastards.

It's even more fun if you start your story with "A Tytalus, a Tremere and a Flambeau walked into their new covenant."

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I've never liked horoscopes, as I think it's foolish to think humanity can be defined by 12 broad categories.

Same with houses. It would depend on the individual magi.

There are stereotypes around a house, however, unless learning about the Enigma causes brain damage, I can't see why some Criamon might be non-creepy. One could even break the mould and have a communication +3 gentle gift Criamon. It's possible.

Same with the Tremere. The Tremere might not be the loyal Tremere soldier, and is faking it because it's expected. Admittedly there is the problem that even if the Tremere doesn't fit the stereotype and his loyalty is to his covenent before his house, there is the shadow of the rest of Tremere and how they will act, hanging over the Tremere mage.

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In addition to depend on the individual magus as I think not only @Fishy has mentioned already, it depends on the player, the SG, and the saga.

Criamon tend to be harmless, so I do not see an IC issue. Possibly a waste of space, but not a big issue. The Criamon are weird, and weird is hard to play convincingly and entertainingly. I think it takes a certain kind of player, and maybe a certain kind of story, to be worth doing, but there is nothing categorically wrong with a Criamon in the covenant.

Tremere have their own agenda, and there are reasons to be wary of them. If the saga play them to as a fifth column to the extreme, you do not want them in your covenant, but they do have resources which are worth having onboard. I really think this is a question of how bad you want to make the Tremere in your story.

I guess similar points can be made about the other houses; quite a few has already been made in the thread.

Now I just want to hear the various conclusions of 'A Tremere, a Guernicus and a Criamon walk into a covenant..."

All individual mages have their own agendas, and all the Houses have their own agendas.
In the case of House Tremere indvidual mages are just more likely to work towards the House's agenda than is the case with other Houses.
However, House Tremere isn't really much into betrayal and backstabbing - they want other magi to be able to trust them, and tend to be pretty open with what they want.

It can of course happen that the interests of House Tremere and the interests of your covenant come into conflict.
In that case it is actually a good thing to have Tremere magus in your covenant - it gives you an extra channel of communication to the Tremere leadership for discussion and negotiation, and House Tremere would be more reluctant to use force against your covenant if they have one of their own living there.

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Sounds like the Seuthopolis oppidium in the Transylvanian tribunal. Mainly occupied by Guernicus Quaesitors and Tremere hoplites, their chief hoplite is a Criamon. A Criamon on the Path of Strife to be more exact.

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True, of course, but the Tremere agenda has a tendency to involve everybody else. While that is not necessarily exclusive for Tremere, it is not as protruded in general.

But the point here is that some troupes play up the «own agenda» part, and down the «need to be trusted part». This is probably more true for players who earned their spores in 3ed, than it is for more recent converts. However that may be, it depends on how you portray the house in your story.

Another point to make is that Tremere is surely most fun to play if you play the intra-house relations. Otherwise it is just any other character with an extra-ordinary stream of tasks and rewards from outside the story. Thus the Tremere should generate a story where the other PCs may or may not fit in. If there is room for that story, great, if there isn't, it may be better to play something else.

Again, this is about all other things than this or that house.

I'm from that 3ed edition Tremere are untrustworthy d-bags group of players. Never liked them then and don't like them now. They still feel like d-bags, with a fresh and shiny coat of "We're friendly, honest!" paint slapped on them.

Even under the rewrite for 5th, if you let one join your covenant you are allowing someone in who will ultimately have more loyalty to their house then the covenant, is expected to provide information/spy for them, and has an overall goal that effects all the other Magi.

I would consider the magi from those Houses on the same level I would another House, to see if they would be a good fit. There are good reasons to accept or deny members from any House. For Tremere, it's the politics, sure. Even a Bonisagus might get denied on the basis of having to share their research, in a covenant that is centered on a mystery cult, for example. And Verditius tend to build Hubris and look you down after a period of time.

Sure, House Tremere tend to be a bit more active in pushing their agenda than other houses, and it is harder for a member of House Tremere to stand on the sidelines if their House wants them involved.

However, from the viewpoint of an individual covenant it is generally a good thing to avoid having your agenda come into conflict with the agenda of House Tremere, regardless of if you have a Tremere magus as member or not.
With a member of House Tremere you should have a better chance of an early warning if agendas conflict, and better chances of coming to some kind of agreement or compromise with House Tremere.

So overall I don't see that having a Tremere in your covenant is more likely to cause problems for your covenant than mages of other houses. It is the kind of troubles (and hence storys) that is likely to be brought that will wary between Houses.

True, and equally true for so many other magi and houses. The stereotypical Bonisagus lab rat is loyal only to his pet research project. Most Bjornær are loyal primarily to their clan it its conception of the greater good. Guernicus is loyal to the Order before the covenant. Tytalus may not be loyal at all, but they sure stir up enough trouble.

I agree with you that this is how it should be. Tremere politics should be balanced so as to make Tremere playable in a story with other PC magi. Yet, it is consistent with canon to play as the big Evil, and then the PCs may do right to avoid them. (Not that you cannot play Bonisagus as the big Evil, but fewer SGs seem to think of that.) It is not about what Tremere is, but what you make them in the saga.

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Would I want a Tremere in my covenant? Absolutely. Law-abiding, reliable, comes with useful external allies who we can call on for defence or if we encounter any sort of threat to order (or the Order). The only people who wouldn't want one are lawless troublemakers or Tytali (which is pretty much the same thing).

Would I want a Criamon? Meh. Weird, obsessed with their mystery, and thus developing power they won't be able to share. Not necessarily a problem, but definitely not a first pick for a sodale. At least Bjornaer and Verditius and even Merinita can be useful. Criamon... aren't (at least, not publicly).

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I would give the opposite answer.
Criamon: mostly harmless weirdo, probably has a sincere desire to help.
Tremere: snake in the grass. Probably will be tray the Covenant for the benefit of their house when the time comes. Will probably try certamen bullying if they don't get their own way.

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