A Few Newbie Questions

A friend of mine and I just did a test-run of the system and a situation came up where an ogre was charging his magus and we needed to determine initiative. This brought up the question of movement, and I wasn't sure how far my ogre could run in a round. Is there a movement score? Perhaps I've overlooked it.

Also regarding initiative, in a situation like this (when a combatant is charging someone with the ability to either cast spells or fire ranged weapons) do you arbitrarily decide to let the magus go first since he can attack at range?

I'm assuming you wouldn't add the ogre's melee weapon bonus to his initiative if he's 10 paces away.

I was looking at the grog Amelle posted on the Atlas website


Under her Abilities her Athletics score is 0+1. Why is this represented as 0+1 instead of just 1?


There are no formal rules for movement , In the example above I would not count the ogre's weapon bonus but I would count its base Quickness.
I tend to roll initiative once byt modify the dice roll whenever a character changes what he is doing (I,e changes weapons or starts casting a spell)

I would in this instance decide that the Ogre can cover 10 paces in a combat round and so can threaten the mage so I would then give it an arbitary penalty to its inititiative to represent the distance it has to cover. As an Ogre probably moves fairly quickly because it's big I would give it about -3 on initiative to see if the mage can get an arrow or spell off before the Ogre reaches him.

You could just rule that the mage can get the spell off 1st . I tend to think of a combat round as about 10 seconds but I am not sure why,

Good Question I don't really know.
I think she has skills at 0 with a speciality effectively giving +1 when that speciality is used. This is not something I would do or allow so it could be something I haven't thought off.

Frankly, any mage stupid enough to let an ogre get within 10 paces before deciding to cast a spell deserves to get splattered, on mere principle. :wink:

Typically scores are written as x+y(z)
where x is the level Y is any bonus from puissant ability and z is extra experience points towards the next level.

Amelle was written before the fifth ed book was published so perhaps it is some relic from an earlier draft of Satyr blood that was changed before the final book came out.

Here is the FAQ entry for movement in combat. It has the fourth edition rules for movement. These work well enough for my purposes.

No movement rules. You can search for the Ars Magica 4 (the 4th edition of the game) movement rules if that really bothers you. If the narrative is more important to you, roll for initiative adding only the quickness of both characters to the roll. Make for a more tense situation IMO :slight_smile:



Yeah, the ogre vs magus cage match was purely to try the rules, throw some dice around and see what happens. We've never played this game before.

Simple initiative roll sounds great to me. I'm fine not having unnecessary rules, just wasn't sure if there was a rule that I'd overlooked.


Page 172, fifth paragraph:

"A single combat round, consisting of one attack from every party to the combat, takes about six seconds."

From the travel section on page 181, you can extrapolate out using the rate for travel in a day... 20 miles in 8 hours, and consider combat to be about 3 times that. (At least, that's what we did. It seemed appropriate given that people are moving with a sense of urgency in combat, but taking some precautions.)


22feet/round *3 for combat=66 feet/round

Depending on how you set the length of your pace...(some define it as 3 feet, the roman pace was about 5 feet.) This gives you a range of 13.5 or 22 paces. I think we put it at 15 paces, which is voice range for "firm words," so it fits in nicely to that established measurement.

We allow athletics rolls to exceed that distance in a combat round, with an Ease Factor of 9, adjusted for load. The Lion and the Lily states that a man can cover 10+(2*athletics) miles in a day, which I'm guessing implies athletics as (Athletics+Stamina+Virtues/Flaws); that would allow for adjusting that base distance ahead of time...but the whole thing adds a lot more bookkeeping than is really necessary; we only figured it out when we got into a fairly complex combat where one group was trying to come to the aid of another group.

So there you are... a round is 6 seconds, and the distance one can cover in that time is about 22 feet walking, and some multiple of it for running/hustling.


I would say 2 paces per second, so about 12 paces. This is at standard Size. I would give Size +1 Pace / second. Then I would apply Quickness as a bonus or penalty.

([2 +/- Size] x 6) +/- Quickness = Paces / Round