Affinity: a question

I've read and loved Ars Magica since the '90s but I really played not as much as I loved to.
Now it seems that I may start something again...and I got a question on the "Affinity" virtues (both types, abilities and arts, as described on core rules page 40).

I've always thought that the Affinity virtues apply only to character creation...but is it correct?
And is it fair?
During creation I can apply them, but I can create characters of any age...
If so, why shouldn't they work later on during play?

Thank you in advance, if you can answer me!

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If you have played since the 90s, what you «always» thought is quite deceptive ... as affinities are entirely different in 3ed and 5ed :slight_smile:

In 5ed affinities increase advancement totals as well as starting xp, so they apply at chargen and in play.

What may be confusing, is the inconsistent wording in 5ed, using advancement total and study total interchangeably. The recent errata might make it a little clearer.


Thanks a lot.
I've known Ars Magica since then, but I've never played it enough.
I frankly cannot consider myself an expert. that I want to play it more seriously, I'll apply Affinity also in play.

Welcome to the ars magica forum, Luca!

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To clarify, do Affinities in 5th ed. still grant Abilities (e.g. Affinity: Terram) that you can increase with story experience as the saga progresses?

That's how they work in 4th (and might have been in 3rd, but Noble's Parma on the latter).

They're totally different. Compare/contrast these:

4th: Affinity with an Art is an Ability that stacks onto an Art.
5th: Affinity with an Art increases the rate at which you learn an Art.
5th: Puissant with an Art adds a fixed +3 to the Art for most purposes.

So in 5th Puissant with an Art behaves more directly like 4th's Affinity, but at a fixed value requiring no experience. In 5th Affinity with an Art lets you reach higher totals with the same investment of starting experience or study, so the more efficient increase is still there but with a totally different mechanic.