Ability Totals for Companions


I haven't played Ars Magica in a while and never with the 5th addition rules. I was writing up an companion and saw a problem with the Abilities purchases. They give you totals for early child hood which is up to 5 years old (45 pts for a specific range of Abilities). Then they say that for every year after the character gets 15 Exp points per year. Now, for a Mage this is going to stop around 10, which gives him about 75 Exp to spend, which I didn't see a problem with, but when you go to do a Companion, where do you stop Early Child hood? If I bring him up to 20 then I get a whopping 225 pts of Exp. My problem is that I dont see where to spend it all if I can only buy them up to a max of lvl 5? Am I missing something here? Is there something else I should be spending them on? :question:

Well, your character will definitely want as high a score as possible in whatever ability he/she uses to earn a living (Craft, Profession, etc), most characters will likely also know at least a few snippets of foreign languages, and of course any of the "Childhood" abilities are appropriate for characters from a wide range of backgrounds...

I don't see what's the problem. Early Childhood is until 5y old, every year after uses Later Life except for Magus. You could do a 30y old Companion with {45 + 15*25 = 420 xp}. Of course, you cannot spend more than 105 xp on a single Ability, but would you really bring 4 Abilities to score 6 and learn no others?

If you look at ArM5 pp22-3, the most focused Companion Template (The Rogue) spends its xp on 9 Abilities. Can you think of any Ability he could remove without penalizing him too much?

Would you like to send in an example character you have created? It might make the discussion a bit more concrete.

Yes. Companions (and grogs) get 15 XP per year after early childhood (unless different due to Virtues and Flaws).

By the time you have brought some languages (you may or may not need some beyond Native Language), purchased decent Scores in a couple of "professional Abilities", and purchased reasonable scores in the assorted "everyman" Scores (Folk Ken, Awareness, Brawl, perhaps several Area Lores, etc) then you are usually desparately short of XP.

If you haven't played Ars in a while it might be that you are still thinking of XP as they were in 3rd edition. In 5th edition of Ars a level of 1 i an ability costs 5 XP, 15 for level 2, 30 for level 3... So you do not get that many XP per year as it might seem :slight_smile: In fact a common suggestion is to invest between 1 and 3 virtue points in virtues that grant you extra XP in order to have a competent character that is less than 25 years old.

As Timothy suggested, posting one of your characters would be useful here :slight_smile:

As gor your question, you get 45XP + language 5 for the first 5 years. Then you get the 15/XP year for all the rest of your years. So if you are 25 years old you get language 5 +45XP + 20*15XP (the first 5 years are discounted) = language 5 + 345XP.


Also consider that a journeyman in a Craft is acording to City & Guild 42 supposed to have his craft at 5 what means you have to spend 75 points just on the single craft of his trade.

Thanks you. all this has been helpful...but I have to admit that 5 mins after posting I took a closer look at the tables and realized i was reading off of the Buys for Forms instead of for Abilities which are right next to each other. (Douh!) I remember doing the same thing when I played Version 4 years ago. Anyway...I'l love to post the Companion I was coming up with...a sort of troublesome Giant named Roland living on the Covenant grounds when the Mages get there. Since I'll be running the game mostly he may be more of an NPC Flaw for the Covenant.


Ouch! 18 Abilities at score 5 for a 20y old, I can see why you were in a bind here. :laughing:

HAH!!! :laughing: :laughing: :laughing:

Doesn't sound too bad to me. :smiley: Sounds like the kind of SG I would like to have. "Oh hey folks we are going to use the Arts chart for score in abilities"

"Umm... story guide? I have run out of places to put XP so I am going to create a Creative Dance category... though I will only have a 4 in it."


PS. I am super goofy today sorry

I have been toying with just that idea, increasing the amount of points for characteristics as well (and of course removing the level 5 limit for the level 10 in arts). Turning everything Accelerated. Makes the die much less important and unifies the system again instead of the mess of a double scale that we have now. That is something I like, but I never fully fledged it. It is just the opposite of the Arts as Abilities of Michael de Verteuil: abilities (and characteristics!) as Arts.


At the moment you have an unaging + stong faerie blood + wealthy character, with 70+ years... will understand how much big XP pool can be when you create a char.

Just as an example a fair lady - Faerie knight, defender of the road:

Name: Gaunliena
Int: 0, Per: 2, Str:1, Sta:1, Pre: 1, Com: 0, Dex: 2, Quick: 1

Virtues: Strong Faerie Blood (Morgana - Old Gods), Second Sight, Knight, Wealthy, Affinity with Ability (Single Weapon), Improved Characteristics, Unaging

Flaws: Greater Malediction (Cannot enter Divine Temples), Lesser Malediction (Takes Light wound for every lie told), Dutybound, Faerie Upbringing, Faerie Friend, Pagan

Middle England Lore (Faerie territories): 3; Hermetic Lore: 1; Animal Handling (Horses): 3; Awareness (Keeping watch): 3; Bargain (Road toll): 2; Brawl (daggers) 3; Carouse (Staying sober): 2; Charm (First impression): 4; Chirurgy (Binding wounds): 3; Concentration (Citing poems during sword fight): 3; Etiquette (Faerie): 3; Folk Ken (Travelers): 3; Hunt (Tracking): 4; Intrigue (Faerie courts): 3; Leadership (Inspiration): 3; Language Norman (Poetry): 4; Language French: 1; Music (Harp): 3; Saxon (Poetry): 5; Faerie Lore (Sidhe court): 5; Profession Scribe: 2; Profession Poetry: 4; Ride (Warhorse): 4; Stealth (Forest): 4; Survival (Forest): 3; Swim (Wild rivers): 3; Teaching (Single Weapon): 4; Bows (Short bow): 4; Great Weapon (Long spear): 5; Single weapon (Long sword): 11; Second Sight (Illusions): 5

Warping score: 2

As blood of Morgana, while she finds the appropriate poem for the task her ability would get a hefty 6 bonus (even single weapon). Her Faerie hound and trusted friend makes sure with his breath of darkness (kinda illusion) to even the odds if a group decides not to adhere her warnings or brakes the deal thinking they are much stronger than a silver armored faerie knight lady on a horse with a lone black dog.