A new player with a few questions

Hello everyone,

I apologize if this is the wrong place to post this. as the title suggests I am relatively new, having picked up the core book a few years back. I became quickly enamored with this game due to how it handles magic, but being in the location I am, finding a game that is being run is slim to nil, and convincing new players is a hard task in and of itself. But I decided to take this lull in being able to play to acquire the books that have been released, starting with books that expand magic and theory. I already own the core and through the years have obtained Rival Magic, Hedge Magic (revised), Ancient magic, Tales of Mythic Europe, RoP Divine, and RoP Faerie (just snagged the last one for $18). I want to get the last two books in the RoP series. Infernal is going to be easy, but everywhere I look Magic is $60+, and even that is a rare find. Where does everyone buy their books? Or is RoP Magic so rare that I am only going to find it at that price. In any case, since it will take a bit of time to save up for it, I wanted to ask the forums what book they would recommend for my next purchase? As I said I haven't played it before, just read it, and the flavor of the book are worth reading alone, but should I choose to run a game, what would one suggest as a good starting point?
I have thought about City and Guild, Art and Academe, Covenants, Hermetic Projects, and Legends of Hermes. But I am not set on these as I do not know where to continue my collecting.
I thank you all for your time and consideration on this matter, and again, I am sorry if this is the wrong place to post this.


I can't say much about the availability of supplements as my own FLGS no longer carries Ars Magica, but I would note that e23 carries .pdf copies of most of the current crop of Ars Magica 5E supplements if you don't need a hardcopy.

As far as other supplements go, I'm partial to Art & Acadame and Hermetic Projects myself, but they seem to be acquired tastes.

It sounds like you've not yet read the Houses of Hermes trilogy. Unless you want to set your game in a new setting without the Order and the traditional twelve Houses, these three books will be invaluable to you. I certainly refer to them constantly.

Ah, I forgot about the House books, those would definitely be necessary. They will be my next endeavor after RoP Infernal. Still, kinda bummed I can't get Magic more cheaply. I looked into PDFs but I prefer hard copies. Something about actually holding the book and flipping through and smelling the pages. A computer can't replicate it, lol.

You can order the physical book for RoP:Magic online at Warehouse 23 for about $30. That's the cheapest you'll manage as far as I can tell, if you're not willing to go for PDFs.

The PDF versions of books are invaluable for being able to search quickly. With the exception of the main Ars Magica book, they don't have an index. And while a table of contents can get you far, it sometimes isn't enough.

I generally like how a book fits in my hands, and enjoy turning the pages. I also enjoy being able to read in bed without the need for an external light source...

This is definitely the right place to ask. And I don't get to play much myself anymore too, for similar reasons, alas.

Anyway, about recommendations - I'd strongly recommned The Mysteries Revised Editions as adding to magic. Also Houses of Hermes: The Mysteries.

I haven't read it yet, but I suspect Transforming Mythic Europe would also be great.

The "core" would be the Corebook, the three HoH books, and Covenants. You really want all of those to be running a campaign.

I'd recommend Lords of Men as well, just as a reference book for the mundane world.

Beyond that, whatever you're interested in. If you like buying books for flavor alone, let me recommend The Cradle and the Crescent. That was the book that really got me hooked on Ars Magica; the particular flavor of the Suhhar is just wonderful.

I decided to just grab it before they run out of it. 40 with shippin is cheaper than 79, which is what it was at last I checked.

@YR7: I have a friend that is writing two fantasy themed books and plays D&D. I told him about Ars, but he is skeptical, so I have been trying to get the core book I own to him. It is just hard what with work schedules and other endeavors. Quick question though, I though The Mysteries (Revised) and HoH: The Mysteries were the same book, the former being an updated version of the latter. I assume I am wrong?

@Ramidel: I own the core book, but not the other four. I want to run a game (Or play one) but finding people in my area is a slim chance. Still, After the RoP books I am going to look into the others. The Cradle and the Crescent, that one deals with middle eastern traditions, correct? Such as the Djinn? If it is the one I am thinking of, in any case, I was very interested in that one.

I think Ars is great for writing. Even for characters who are actively played, there is so much room in what they do in a year that you can write short stories or vignettes about their activities.

They're two different books. Houses of Hermes: Mystery Cults is the HOH book for Bjornaer, Criamon, Merinitia and Verditius. The Mysteries (Revised) is for pan-Hermetic mystery magic.


What I myself would consider the main books needed for running a game, besides the core rulebook, would be:

  • The three Houses of Hermes books, which detail four of the twelve Houses each. All together give you a great in-depth look at the Houses, and by extension the Order of Hermes.
  • The four Realms of Power books, which detail the creatures of the four Realms. All together give you a complete look into any and all supernatural creatures that exist in the game.
  • Covenants, which will give you more options for creating a covenant, the central building stone of (almost) any saga. Though as a novice player/SG, I would say this is maybe the one you could pass, since the added complexity could do more harm than good for a group that has never tried Ars Magica. In any case, I'd recommend not to use the economy system in your first saga, counting every mythic pound, but instead to rely on the poor/normal/wealthy hooks and boons system from the core rulebook.
  • One Tribunal book for the area you plan to play in. This will help you out a lot, and will make your life as a SG much, much easier, helping the hermetic community come to life in your game. The more "standard" one for a new game is most probably Faith & Flame, though Against the Dark can be very helpful for a new troupe since the Tremere hierarchy there can help new players, overwhelmed by the many options the game offers, to focus on clear-cut missions with definite goals.

As for personal recommendations beyond that, there are plenty of things that could pick your interest.

I personally love the "mundane sourcebooks", so to speak: Art & Academe, City & Guild, The Church and Lords of Men.

Also, getting some adventure books would probably be a very good idea, as well. For a new group Calebais, Tales of Mythic Europe and Hooks are probably your best choices, since they have ready-to-play adventures that are simple and well-suited to beginning characters. Antagonists is also a good choice in my opinion, since it will provide you with an array of NPCs that you can set quite a few stories against, helping you to start thinking more in the long term as far as storyguiding is concerned.

On a personal note, I also particularly love The Cradle & the Crescent, The Sundered Eagle, Ancient Magic, Hermetic Projects and Mythic Locations, for no particular reason beyond personal taste and them all being finely crafted products.

Hope it helps.