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According to the books, a mage with five dots in life sphere could use Perfect Metamorphosis.

Perfect Metamorphosis: The mage can alter their own Pattern according to their wishes. They may assume any form they wish, free themselves from corporeal needs like hunger and become immune to all known diseases.

This can basically let a mage make themselves younger whenever they get too old, so why did Tremere and his followers choose to become vampires rather than just developing their life sphere?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ The final question in your body seems to ask the exact opposite as the main question? Don't you mean "why didn't they develop their life sphere instead of becoming vampires?" \$\endgroup\$ – Theik Apr 20 '18 at 13:43
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In story, Tremere took his action as the Technocracy was first rising. At that time, the paradigm of the world (or, arguably, at least Europe) was changing rapidly away from the style of magick practiced by the Order of Hermes. It was unclear at that time if rotes such as Perfect Metamorphosis (as well as the other ways of achieving agelessness) would continue to function properly as the Technocracy marched on while becoming a vampire offered a permanent solution that was unlikely to be affected by the changing paradigm.

Out of story, it is noteworthy that the basic lore of the Tremere was set well before Mage was really fleshed out. The first edition of Vampire the Masquerade came out in 1991. Mage the Ascension didn't come out until 1993 and most of the rotes that could be used for immortality came out in expansions.

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    \$\begingroup\$ If we take the rules of Mage Dark Ages (they are more or less in type with Tremere) it is even possible that Hermetic willworkers could simply not have access to that type of magik. They will simply believe it was not possible, and their belief make it real. \$\endgroup\$ – Random Apr 21 '18 at 9:41
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In the Mage version of the story, Tremere was experimenting with vampiric blood and accidentally became a vampire. It's implied that he was trying to find a shortcut around having to become a Master of Life to gain immortality.

Tremere’s Primus secretly became a vampire and turned his House into a clan of undead monstrosities. (M20)

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    \$\begingroup\$ “I'm sure nothing bad will happen if I play with this distilled Curse of God… oops!” \$\endgroup\$ – okeefe Apr 20 '18 at 16:33
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Higher up and more experienced House Tremere mages actually already did have immortality, having found "regular" (for mages) ways to obtain it.

Tremere himself was from the 8th century originally, being several centuries old by the time that the House became a Clan.

Which it did, because their Hermetic Magic started to fail and not work as it should. Something largely attributed to the "Consensus" and rise of the Technocracy.

Hence why, with their current magic and immortality failing, the House started looking for alternatives - leading, to their ultimate experimentation with vampires.

Which did not actually work the way it was intended to have: when the Council took the potion, the intent was they'd gain all the benefits of vampirism without any of the negative side effects.

And of course, as we know, that backfired and the Council all became bonne fide vampires.

Following which, they started gradually bringing other members of the house into the fold.

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