This really deserves a new thread
Oh, I usually let the players drive the saga. If that's what they want, I gladly serve it up. I have to find a common ground between my perception of the game world and theirs. As it is, I do have a mix of players, a lot who have been around for a few editions, a few that started with 5th. The idea you speak of, a Tremere wanting to join Bonisagus, that or a similar situation has yet to occur. I do have one guy who plays a Tremere Quaesitore, which makes for a really cool character. But in any case, I figure that somewhere out there you may have one or a few magi that have managed to join Bonisagus from the outside through the ages. It happens, it is just very rare.
I think that was an awesome book myself
, see, I am the guy who quotes that material. I have used the "charcoaled fairies" comment many-many times . I like to attribute the quote to Vanacastium. The generic opinions sidebar was the general style of those authors back in that day. All the old WW-WoD games had them too. IMO, House categories are a different variation on the same concept.
I am prone to knee-jerk comments and bold statements. Perhaps if I put it another way. The House Categories, as far as I can figure, were invented as a way for new players to easily understand the concepts of the different houses. This is an admirable goal, and I suppose it accomplishes that. But it is a bit of a simplification that slightly "monotones" the magi of each House. Just slightly though. The later Houses of Hermes books and other materials reopened the vast selection and variety found within these Houses. Thus, even in fifth edition, the House categories are generalizations and not absolutes.
In my mind, every House has a True Lineage somewhere within it, every House participates in Societates, and every House has members that pursue Mysteries. And originally, I think it was only House Tremere and House Verditius that were exclusive. No one had ever defeated a Tremere Champion in Certamen, and the Verditius Magic Flaw (-1) was required for House Verditius. All magi had Enigmatic Wisdom in 4t & earlier editions, and Faerie Magic was readily exported to magi outside of House Merinita.
I generally don't discard anything. I use it, perhaps mutate it, or even ignore it and stick it in the background. No need to resolve things that never come up. And we threw this whole thing off topic. What is more appropriate for me to say is that the House categories are best used as generic general ideas, not thought of as an essential core concept of the game. It was a feature added latter, not a Jenga peg that will cause the whole setting to collapse if you jiggle it.
The Criamon thing did come up IMS though. Rather, it was Enigmatic Wisdom. The debate was if you needed to be a member of the Criamon cult in order to have Enigmatic Wisdom or not. One character had gained it from Magic Realm vis, just as the example in RoP-Magic. I mentioned that the Gorgiastics have Enigmatic Wisdom but are not Criamon magi nor do they believe in cyclical time. The Enigma has a different meaning for non-Criamon magi who have it (though like the Gorgiastics, they cannot have an EW score higher than 4).