A Fan's Dream: Ars Books I'd like to see

As I've purchased a dozen or so Ars books over the past few months, I've been pleased with each and every one, finding them all chock full of useful, well-written stuff, with a great mix of new (but not cumbersome) rules, enough flavor detail to spin my own tales, and plenty of story seeds, spells, and other things to help me craft those tales.

Perhaps this is a newbs' arrogance, but I've also noticed some areas of the setting that are not as detailed as I'd like. So far, I've thought to myself, "I'd like to know more about the apprentice process," and "I wish there were more options for Grogs" and to my delighted surprise, Atlas has delivered.

What areas of the setting would you like to see expanded in future books? I can think of 2...

"A History of Mythic Europe"

Most flavor books I've bought, such as the tribunal books, have a wealth of information on the mundane and hermetic ancient and recent history, as well as the situation as of 1220, but provide only the most fleeting ghosts of an image of what might happen next politically, militarily, scientifically, magically, etc.

This is great when my saga begins, say in the Thebes Tribunal in 1220, but 20 years into my campaign, when the characters venture out into Persia and the Mongolian Steppes beyond, I'm left to do 99% of the research and creative work, as story seeds, political details, etc, have become outdated.

I'd love to see a book covering a broad scope of "future history" in Mythic Europe. I could see this book covering perhaps 100 years, 1220-1320, a decade a chapter. Major events of interest, primarily mundane, that match or mirror real world events (such as the mongols' forray into Europe in the 1240's, the 5th crusade, the divided papacy) could occupy the main text, while realm-specific stuff and other things that might be more YSMV could be covered in sidebars: possible hermetic breakthroughs, new technologies like cannons, etc).

This wouldn't have to attempt the impossible task of covering "every" real or imagined "historical" event in mythic europe, just ones of significance or interest.

This could also be organized by tribunal/region, and detail interesting events in each. Or it could be organized with one event per chapter...

What do you'all think of a book like that? Would you buy it if they made it?

I would like to see a single city done in great detail. Complete with magical/ supernatural backgrounds. Sample Npc that might be of use to a campaign. The different auras worked out in detail. Various threats or opportunities for magi. And story hooks, so many story hooks.

Paris, Rome, Arce. The list goes on through a dozen cites.

In case you have not heard of them - dig up Hermes Portal, Sub Rosa, and Mythic Perspectives. Rub Rosa is still in print and I think the others can be purchased from Warehouse 23 and the like. They often have great material.

Inspired by Shadowrun: "Shadows of Mythic Europe"

A regional book detailing Europe as of 1220 - what nations are there, some details on their rulers, relations, cultures, plot hooks, etc. Just to give a comprehensive overview in one single tome.

... on the other hand a book about medieval crime might be interesting as well. But I guess that'd be very hard to do given all the different law system back then.

Well, Sub Rosa is a PDF magazine, but yes, it is still around. Issue 10 isn't far away in fact.

As for dream books, I have a few, but I'd really like something like the Storyguide's Handbook thread that we have in Sub Rosa; discrete articles or chapters that give storyguides (and players) guidance and ideas on how to get the best out of certain parts of the game. A little storyguide hand-holding, if you like.

This is available from your local library. Mythic Europe is very similar to Real Europe in that respect.

Supernatural elements tend to be more localised, because if they weren't Mythic Europe would look a lot less like Real Europe, so it's hard to give useful information about them at such a broad level.

That is one we've considered, but it's not in the works at the moment.

I still say I'd like to see a nice fat bestiary.

The old third edition Mythic Europe book is still available as a PDF from E23 (e23.sjgames.com/item.html?id=AG0600). I think that probably gives you what you're looking for in an edition-agnostic format. It is still, to this day, one of my favourite Ars Magica books.

And it's filled with superb William O'Connor artwork that, for me, is worth the price alone. He captures little vignettes so well that they do spark their own stories. I know I've included scenes and stories in my sagas lifted from and inspired by his artwork.

It's fifteen bucks of pure gold.

I have yet to find a book that describes Europe specifically as of 1220 as a whole - the literature tends to have a more regional focus as well as a broader chronological reference point. This serves well enough to add detail to a specific locale, but it doesn't give you a comprehensive overview of the "current setting". Since the actual sources hardly offer much coherent detail, most of this would be fictional embellishment anyway.

Thanks, that actually does sound like what I'm looking for. I'll try to find a copy. Nonetheless I figure I'd prefer it with the more coherent writing style (and nicer covers :stuck_out_tongue:) of the fifth edition books. :smiley:

Very true, even if medieval isn´t my focus i´ve still read a LOT over the years and i still have a simply just no good knowledge if you move from the times/regions/subjects that i focused on for one reason or another over to in general and the whole area overall.

OTOH, the problem with a book like this is simply that it either becomes HUGE or not good enough.
And overlaps tribunal books, which are much more needed in my view, even if an overarching book on top of that might still be highly useful.

Given that most tribunal books were published in previous editions, an "Atlas of Mythic Europe" could serve well to update most of the relevant information.

We still have two tribunals with no tribunal books (well, one of them's at the printers I believe).
They should see some love first, dontcha think?

I would like to see an Ars Magica novel. A sprawling tale that brings all the various Arm5 books together into a single narrative.

An epic of adventure, love, revenge and redemption that covers every mystery cult, rival, hedge magic, House, Society, regos, faerie, demon and divine, and tribunal. I want to see intrigue at Tribunals, wizards wars, church and kings, Christian, pagans, Arabs and Jews, Exotic cities, Mongols and Knights and monsters and peasants and merchants.

How's that sound? Did I leave anything out?

Oh yes, and Ancient magic and Rival Magic.

I'd like to see a real campaign or saga book, something along the lines of the old series of Mistridge material but of course reflecting the high level of historical knowledge gained by the AM developers and writers over the past decades. The line is crying out for some actual gaming material, beyond just rules and background. Story seeds are great but they're not enough. Short adventures ala "Tales of Mythic Europe" are hard to fit into existing sagas and don't provide enough material to base an entire saga around. Something with a larger scope is called for, maybe even a saga that uses predefined characters to ensure that everyone can follow the intended plot.

Other than this, I'd like to see followup to material that's already out there that expands depth. "The Cradle and the Crescent" offers a fascinating high-fantasy Arabian setting but it's not enough on its own. It calls for a second book that shows how the magical mid-east actually functions and at the same time provides examples that help us understand the complex new rules for sahir magic. I could say the same for many other books. "Rival Magic" provides some fascinating ideas along with arguably too many new rules. Let's get a followup that focuses on stories around the giant magicians or the Amazons, now that we've done the boring rules part.

Adventure books. In all scales -

X Adventures: Adventures along a theme, such as "Faerie adventures", "Regio adventures", "Magic Realm adventures", "adventures for elder magi", and so on. Clearly, such books would be rare to non-existent, as adventures don't sell well enough; but we said "dream", right?

Saga Arcs: Small books/pdfs, each containing a single saga arc; a single storyline unfolding over years or decades through a series of adventures.

Saga in a Book: A complete saga in one book. Something like "Land of Fire and Ice", only bigger. With enough ready-made adventures for a fairly-short but still respectable saga, or a full-blown saga if further story-arcs are woven into it by the SG(s).

And then, of course, are my high-fantasy dreams:

High Magic Ars Magica - a book on how to run Ars Magica with assumptions and setting maxing out the magic in the setting. Including, perhaps, a tribunal described under such assumptions. Perhaps one that is already described in the "standard" way, to make the differences more apparant and provide more material for those interested in the tribunal.

High Fantasy Ars Magica - Ars Magica set in an alternative, standard high-fantasy, setting. Probably with some rule-tweaks to make it work better for such a setting.

Ars Magica Birthright - combine the season-based character advancement and labwork of Ars Magica with a season-based realm-management (AD&D) Birthright rules. Combine the mythic blood of Birthright's "divine" scions with the mythic companions of Ars Magica. Combine the rich magic and raw vis of Ars Magica with Birthright'x realm magic and "source" of magical power. Not a chance for this book to ever be published, but I find the two game products to fit together in interesting ways.

I'm also in for adventure/saga books. In fact, something in the line of The Four Seasons Tetralogy from 2nd Edition in a single book, with the development of a covenant from Spring to Winter inside the scope of a fully-developed saga, would be... terrific. Yes, I'm dreaming too!

I agree, some saga books, including context, adventures, NPC and such would be great!

I've love to see something like the 4th Edition Promises, Promises and [/i]Nigrasaxa[/i]. Getting into Ars Magica without an introduction from existing players has been awkward at times - although introductory material like this is immediately problematic since much of the existing fanbase doesn't need it. That's no doubt why these mini-campaigns were free downloads, which means you need to pay someone to do the work but there's no direct return. A collection of mini-campaigns might have more luck.

I'll also echo those people interested in a Mythic Europe book. I think something like this could follow the release of the Hibernian and Provencal tribunal books, and act as sort of a mini-updates for all of the pre-5th Edition tribunal books. Each tribunal would get a short chapter that briefly introduces important mundane matters but largely focuses on the varied hermetic landscapes. Then tie everything together with a chapter that touches upon Order-wide issues: the upcoming Grand Tribunal, internal thoughts on the "Order of Odin" and "Order of Suleiman," Mongols, et cetera. I realize this proposal is hardly simple, but I think it would be valuable even for those with libraries of old Ars material.

I'll second that idea. A book like this, covering one or a few major cities of Europe (although one would be best) would be a great way to tie together a number of fabulous books (C&G, tC, LoM, Covenants) into something that a less-experienced SG could really make use of, and the higher level of detail would make the product useful for experienced SG's as well. I wouldn't worry, if I was the publisher, that the product might have a limited audiance - if you build it, the magi will want to come, to stay or at least to visit.

I'd throw in a chapter that covers notable events over the life of a saga starting in 1220 - gotta throw that in, my previously noted frustation with books that give thousands of years of historical detail but no suggestions on what might happen after Jan 1, 1220.