5th ed changes.. why?

I've played 4th ed for some time and have bought the new one yesterday..

One of the two major changes I notice is that you now pay a lot more expirience for advancing i an ability (5+10+15..) than you du for Arts (1+2+3+..) and you did in 4th ed.. Why shoul it take more time to advance in an ability than in something magical? Is it harder to learn to ride or be stealthy than to cast a magical spell?

The other thing is the reduced number of abilities.. In 4th ed you had a lot more different Abilities to choose from (esp. in the Martial Abilities section). Now, if you're trained in using a sword you can use a spear or a lance! WHAT?! Two completely different weapons with the same skill?

Can anyone explain why some of theese changes have been made? What are the reasoning behind it?

I'll take a stab at answering these as i see them.

Firstly skills and arts. A language skill at 5 makes you fluent with a mild accent (IIRC) whereas an art score of 5 makes you mildly competent. Art scores are supposed to be higher than skills. A rating of 8 in brawl makes you a master pugilist. A rating of 8 in ignem gets you laughed at by the other flambeau. It is thus not really accurate to compare the two as if they were similar.

Secondly it was plain unrealistic under 4th edition the way that weapon skills work. My regular gaming troupe consists of myself and 2 other guys, all three of us experienced martial artists (and all three sadly very much lapsed) and the old rules never seemed right. If you are a master swordsman you do not simply lose your ability to fight if you pick up a shield. A lot of weapon fighting is not related to the specific weapon you are using, knowing how to move and how your opponent is moving is a broad skill and by reducing the number of weapon skills ars 5th ed simulates this better than did 4th ed.

Using a spear in combat IS diffferent to using a sword but it is unrealistic to think that a warrior in the middle ages trained in a single weapon only. For instance, to be a knight you would be required to be a good swordsman and be able to use a lance or spear from horseback. You'd also want to know how to use an axe, a mace and maybe even a flail, after all, if you don't know how to use them, how can you adequately defend yourself from them.

The scales are completely different. You do not use arts as you do abilities. That the numbers are larger for arts do not mean they are easier. All it does is give a finer gradation for the difficulty of spells.

If you want to compare skills and arts, compare the amount of experience:

15 XP, Skill 2, Art 5: the minimum for training someone (for both arts and skills)
30 XP, Skill 3, Art 7: Basic skill, you can cast 3rd magnitude spells
105 XP, Skill 6, Art 14: Skilled, you can cast 6th magnitude spells
225 XP, Skill 9, Art 20: Master, 8th magnitude spells - becoming an archmagus involves creating a 7th magnitude spell, IIRC.
855 XP, Skill 18, Art 40: Theoretical maximum

The main difference is that magi tend of course to have good books and much, much longer lives than mundanes.

You also get a lot more experience than in 4th edition, whether you are a magus or not, and virtues to get even more are easily available. Not to mention that flaws are nicer overall than they were in previous editions.

Did you check the conversion guidelines at the end of the book? They might help clarify things a bit.

Skills in ArM5 are broader. For combat, the rationale is that warriors didn't "just" learn to fight with a sword, but learned the usage of shields and various other weapons. Honestly, there is not much lost in not having a separate skill for individual weapons. There are enough sinks for experience as it is.

If you fight with swords, pick a 'sword' specialization.

Have you checked the design notes posted on the ArM5 page, in the column at the right?

Welcome aboard, by the way. :smiley:

My impression has been that skills were considered too easy for Magi to gain.
They were able to boost social skills to offset the penalties of the Gift too readily.
(The Gentle Gift now being a Major Hermetic Virtue)

If Magi were gaining skills too easily , then this devalued Companions.
The expectation seems to be , that PCs , especially Magi ,
should not be Masters of several skills unrelated to The Hermetic Arts.
At least not without Art Scores suffering.

This difference that you noticed regarding experience is not in fact a major change.

When studying an ability from books or from a teacher in fourth edition one always divided the study total by five before recieving experience points. You didn't divide your total by five when you studied arts. In fifth edition you do not divide the experience gained by five, but the cost of raising an ability is five times as much as an art. The change is not that learning abilities is harder, it's that there is less arithmatic involved. There is one very significant difference between the editions regarding the advancing of abilities however, that difference is adventure experience.

Adventure experience has been significantly toned down in fifth edition, rather than recieveing a few experience points per session that stacked on top of your seasonal total you take adventure experience as a part of your seasonal total. This was done to bring adventure into line with other sources of experience for the sake of susspension of disbeleif. I don't believe that it was done to tone down abilities.

There's also a significant difference to exposure XP. It can be applied to more things in 5th ed. (any ability or art used throughout the season, rather than just Casual Knowledges in 4th) - but the XP is worth less on abilities than it was, as in 4th it would always allow you to learn the first rank of an ability if you had exposure to it. Not now that you need 5 XP for that, though.

I was quite surprised to find that you can learn magic by exposure in 5th ed.

I think the idea is that Exposure Experience is so low, there was no need to limit it in any way, but also as a way for solo NPC wizards to gain some experience to justify how they might gain power.

It makes sense - it was just quite a big change, especially since one art XP is much more impressive than one ability XP.

Particularly if you have the Elementalist virtue, or something like it - it can be four XP for an Elementalist.

I hadn't thought of Elementalist. That is quite a nice bonus, and one that is specifically prohibited by the similar "Secondary Insight" Major Hermetic Virtue.

If you find the Elementalist is outpacing your other players, you could certainly adjust their Major Hermetic Virtue to be in line with this other one, and only allow the bonus experience to come from studying books, with a teacher, or vis.

It should be noted Secondary Insight is much more flexiable than Elementalist, but Elementalist allows you to ignore some Requisites, so that may have already been factored into their status as roughly equal.

Oh, I don't have a problem with it, it just caught me by surprise. We'll see how it figures in the long run, but the player certainly isn't abusing it. She's passed up a couple of opportunities to put exposure XP in Elemental arts. I only mentioned exposure here as a notable difference with the way XP is figured in 5th.

I'm not so sure I agree with this. Elemental Magic states that it gives extra experience in the other elements "[w]henever you successfully study one of these Arts (that is, gain at least one experience point from study)...." [ArM5 p. 41] To me, that excludes Exposure and Adventure experience - otherwise, what sensible elementalist would not, when given 4 Adventure XP, put one in each elemental Art and end up with 16 XP?

This is consistent with Secondary Insight, which is a lot more explicit in what warrants the bonus XP: study from a book, a teacher, or raw vis.

Regarding the original thread, I'm much more fond of the ArM5 approach to XP. Multiplying Ability XP requirements by 5 simply brings Abilities on the same scale as Arts, which opened up a lot of avenues to simplify the advancement rules. Simplification, without losing the robustness of the setting and system, is what makes me such a fan of 5th edition over 3rd or 4th.

That definately is a problem. However even exposure mentions it is "study", so this sounds to me like something that needs to be eratta'd. Personally, as a house rule, I'm going to make it :

"Whenever you successfully study one of these Arts (that is, gain at least one experience point from study), you gain an additional experience point in each of the other three, assuming they were not also increased this season in any way."

Or adding "You may only use this ability once per season, reguardless of how many experience you put in the four Arts."

Hmm, that's a good point. I'll be using the house rule angafea suggests for that.

Though, I should point out that the question you ask isn't about the elementalist, but rather the player thereof - the character doesn't get to assign xp, and the player might not want to take such advantage. Mine certainly didn't, and she's had the opportunity.

In ArM4, Hermes Portal once suggested changing the Arts to gain XP just like Abilities, at /5 of the Study Total, and to change the spell magnitudes to x3 instead of x5 - basing their difficulties on the x3 scale of ease factors just like abiltiies. I thought this was a very interesting move towards a more consistent and unified system.

ArM5 chose to go in the opposite direction, requiring x5 XP to improve an Ability instead of slowing down Art improvement. Like others noted, this doesn't mean it's harder to learn Abilities, it just means that the scales of what is "compentent" is different. The x5 XP costs mechanic is better than the /5 XP gain mechanic, as it preserves the "fractions" of gained XP. Other than that, there is no real change there.

In ArM4, I toyed with the idea of making Arts improve like Abilities but not changing the difficulties to x3 per magnitude, hence making magic far more difficult. ArM5 is far better than ArM4 in slowing down the pace of PC advancement so that PC's peak power is comaprable to that expected in the setting - but PCs still become too powerful too quickly. I wonder if making Arts progress at x5 XP costs, like Abilities, will be such a bad idea.

maybe it's true arts go high quickly IF you study them a lot... but for a rat laboratory, a ridiculous 2 xp in exposure by season would be miserable, you wouldn't be able to go stronger..... verdicius per example would be fu.....ed since they use most of their time on their items.... they would be slowed down a lot on xp and unable to follow the rythm of other magus based on more study and less enchantement. In no time they would be outclased in enchantement since their bonuses are to long to get... or they would wait an unlogical amount of time before they can do anything good in their laboratory.... well actualy it's already hard to get levelup with them....

But in turn they will have.. items! They can sell them, trade them for vis or rule the world with them. You cannot have your cake and eat it too - the same goes for your seasons.

Or, it just goes to show that you have to do some hermetic study and research before headng on to "applied" magic...

While it doesn't match up with the rules,

I throw a few more experience points for the act of creating a spell or item beyond simply exposure. Sort of along the line of learning by doing, the greater the attempt/difficult the greater chance for useful lessons.

I also provide a few experience points for teaching of a particular subject, nothing huge but a little more than exposure points. I've found that particular subjects I've taught, I tend to master more readily (e.g., teaching the parol evidence rule or similar arcane subject makes you learn the ins and outs of its function).

This work equally for the non-enchanters, as they will need to spend time making spells instead of items (a magus who doesn't bother to make spells or items will have little practical use...)

They're no different than other magi in the gain arts vs do something with the arts they already have department. They never have been. If anything the verditious in fifth edition see a greater advantage than in previous edditions because verditious magic has been powered up to be a real virtue.

In fourth edition a verditious who spent most of his time enchanteing could get a comfortable magic theory or craft score at the pathetic rate of 1 xp per season, it took more than magic theory and craft to be a powerful magus in fourth edition. The verdious are no more disadvantaged in this manner in fifth edition than in second, third, or fourth.

And if my memory doesn't fail me, in third edition, increasing your magic theory was even harder...