Bethnic or Summerset?

I am working on improving my Watchful, and understanding the Correspondence, to gain access to the University. However, I now realise a choice is before me: Bethnic or Summerset. What are the differences? Advantages, disadvantages? And are you able to change your preference? Really the latter is the most important, as I’d like to discover the colleges for myself, but I would like to know if the effects of a college choice are permanent.
My thanks,

In truth, you have no need to pick a side in this case. It’s quite easy to… play both sides against the middle, so to speak. Your affiliation with each side may be measured separately, but many actions raise BOTH, and there are remarkably few cases of ‘taking sides’ where you might raise one at the expense of the other.

So, I’d suggest becoming friendly with both, really. After all, they both have their uses…

As for the differences… Summerset is a traditionalistic, Anglican college. Religious, old-school, proper… and absolutely SEETHING with ‘forbidden desires’ right underneath the surface. Becoming friendly with them is worth the effort just for a chance to see what really goes on behind the wholesome, austere facade. (Plus, they throw great feasts!)

Benthic are ‘progressive intelectuals’ writ large. They’ll accept devils, soulless, clay men… even WOMEN amongst their members! Shocking, I know. You’ll also find quite a few ‘revolutionarily-inclined’ elements amongst them. Radical thinkers abound! They’re also quite… ‘forward-thinking’ when it comes to what constitutes acceptable risks in research. This, of course, also makes them quite hospitable towards someone plumbing the dark, burninating depths of The Correspondence. They also play a mean game of cricket!

Now, all that aside, I assume you’re at that bit right at the start where the head of each house wants to greet you? Don’t fret - you get to say hello to BOTH. I don’t even remember if you actually get a bit more approval from the one you pick first - but I don’t even think so. And even if I’m wrong, the difference is miniscule.
edited by BlakeTheDrake on 5/12/2015

It’s worth noting that Summerset does not accept the soulless, so, if you want to do a lot of Summerset stuff, don’t sell your soul. Unless you’ve already misplaced your soul, in which case you might want to look into finding it.

Despite its friendly relation with intellectual devils and a libertarian outlook on the soul trade (very bad idea in my book) I always pictured myself a Benthic man. The Summerset Provost is a thoroughly unlikeable person in my opinion.

It is not. You are free to make friends with both college at your leisure, and as you approach the end game with Notability and Making Waves you will be making friends with them whether you want to or not.

I cannot figure out how to get into Summerset. Where are the instructions for this?

Another (relatively minor) thing to consider is that University connections are necessary for high-level Mysteries conversions. As you’d expect, it’s best to gain favor with both colleges, but Benthic is slightly more valuable since their connection is used in two trades (Journals->Implications and Implications->Incunabulum), while Summerset is only used in one (Tales->Implications).

Benthic are far too casual with their souls, but Summerset are snobs. Trodgmey spends most of his time with Benthic, but with a bit of a sad and grumpy face.