Alt setting - Covenants or no covenants...

Alas, my gaming budget doesn't allow me to pick that one up.

In fact, I had planned to have magi have to "work" to support themselves. Most would be, I'm assuming, be clerks, physicians, teachers, priests and perhaps even wizards. The ruling forbidding court wizards would, I think, not occur since many magi would see noble patronage as a desirable goal. At the same time, I could see "pure" wizards disdaining court life as a distraction from the "true study of the Arts."

The standard size for herbam is a cubic pace.
A ritual to create 10,000 pieces of wood that are each a cubic pace in volume is only 20th level still, 4 pawns of vis.
(Base 2, R:T, D:Mom T:Group Size +3 (on the group) That's a lot of wood.
Linen? Same.
Flour? Same.
Sure, they might have restrictions on silver, but there's everything else that can be created with magic and made permanent.

Increase the size by 1 will probably solve this problem.

Make the servants skilled tradesman/crafters, whatever.

Why would masters allow their newly gauntled magi to stay in the new covenant?
There are two ways to look at this. The newly gauntleted magi would likely have to perform substantial covenant service and would have some sort of vis salary that they would have to live on, and would have to sign a charter that they wouldn't necessarily agree with, and couldn't change for some time. Their pater may become adversarial, too. There are many reasons for the magi leaving the nest, the simplest is: I taught you all I want to, now get out. :smiley:

Which is exactly why I tossed several of those rules in the trash bin, IM-not so humble-O. :slight_smile:

Edit: I personally think the Size rules for spells are the single worst, most game breaking, addition to 5th edition. They were the first thing to go, when I got my hands on the rule book, still shiny and new. You may ask how I handle spells effecting large things or large numbers of things, and the answer is simply storyguide/troupe fiat and a shared sense of what is "right" for the game. I have been blessed with a troupe that embraces, or at worst accepts, this.

But in a setting where you isolate magi, they need some of these things added back in.

What rule? It's a spell guideline, and doing away with it has cosmological implcations, such as, if it doesn't exist in your saga magi can't cast Wall of Living Wood. Or are you saying that Creo rituals don't work on Herbam products? But it does on Terram? What can be created via a Creo ritual?

Said before, I'll say it again. Just because a magus can do something doesn't mean that they should do something. In an isolated setting, I can see magi doing exactly this to survive, perhaps thrive. If a player want's their character to do something, why should I prevent that? No, IM-not so humble-O, it's my job as SG to craft a response to any abuse that develops. There's a cost for every decision made. I just make them aware of the costs...

I was specifically refering to the Size rules... which did not exist in the prior editions and which, IMO, are responsible for the absurdities like spells to create a barn full of grain, or 10,000 spears or bolts of lightning. Sure, the old Group guideline was more vague, but IMO that very vagueness is why it worked. Adding more specific rules for size - of group or individual - did not improve in the game. On the contray, I think it harmed the game.

... but while we're talking about Credo rituals, I also greatly disapprove of Momentary Creo rituals. What was wrong with the old Permanent duration, I ask? What was wrong with having the creation of single silver coin be a level 30 ritual spell, instead of making enough gold to feed a family for 300 years with a level 20 ritual? What benefit did that add to the game? Again, I believe this harmed the game, because it harmed the "suspension of disbelief" surrounded magi and Mythic Europe. Between these two rules, magi create near-infinate amounts of food, gold or nearly anything they desire with a few fairly easy rituals. This has the twin potentials of A) allowing magi to casually shatter the socio-economic structure of Mythic Europe and B) removing any need for magi to interact with the world to get the resources they need to live (other than vis). This does not help the game.

You - gentle reader - can, of course, disagree. You may find your gaming experience enhanced by these rules. If so, you are free to ignore my rant as the ravings of an old school lunatic who doesn't really understand. I am not harmed by that.

For my sagas, I remove the Size rules for spells because I loathed them at first sight and I removed Momentary Creo rituals in favor of the old Permenant duration (tweaking a few guidelines, like instant healing, where I felt it added value) because I prefer it.

If a player of mine wished his character to murder Pope Urban II in cold blood before the entire Curia, and had a compelling in-character reason to do so, I would not forbid him from doing so... and he would face the in game consquences accordingly. It could, indeed, make for an interesting storyline.

On the other hand, if a player of mine wished to use a poorly phrased or poorly thought-out quirk of the rules to make his character a demi-god, I advise him not to let the door strike him sharply in the postior as he exited my house... though I might not phrase it so politely.

It is the role of the storyguide to moderate the game and to ensure that everyone is having a good time - including the storyguide. Part of that includes a social contract regard what the style and tone of the game is to be, and part of that is to abide the spirit of the rules, the setting and the story. Abuse of the rules is not something that needs to be or should be tolerated.

10,000 bolts of lighting? Easy, that's a ritual spell. Incantation of Lighting but with Group+3=55th level. Sure, through 10,000 bolts of lightning at one person and take nearly three hours to do it and use 11 pawns of Creo or Auram vis.

Make 10,000 spears? Ok, what are you going to do with them all? Let me ask this, were the players in the saga abusing these guidelines? Did they seem interested in abusing the guidelines?

Momentary Creo rituals that raise stats? Those guidelines are easy to remove from the game. Or make them a House Mercere only thing. They can do touch versions of the rituals. They charge a lot. Oh, you want the personal version of that? Well, that'll cost you...a lot. Probably more than the character has. I don't think it harmed my suspension of disbelief, this is, of course a game about Magic and those who use it. It is possible for newly created characters to be extremely powerful in a narrow field. I think it's great. I can write stories that focus on the things that they can't do so well and things that I either think or they have suggested that they need to improve.

I'm disagreeing, but I'm not ignoring the rant. I'm interested in what happened to make you rule as you did, as I asked above, were these abused?

I rub my greedy little SG hands together when someone decides to go off and create hundreds of pounds of stuff. As a player, I'm thankful for the rules, because I was able to create enough wood to build a river barge... I probably didn't need 10,000 pieces, and I designed it so that it only creates enough wood for 1 barge and called the rest close enough. That kind of spell doesn't seem possible under your framework.

I'm failing to see how use of the rules is abuse. Sure, if it's abuse, then it is ripe for a HR. But if it's being abused, I, as SG, has had just as much a role in allowing that as the players have. Serious discussions need to happen and we have to come up with a workable HR.
I'm not going to make an a priori argument because something can be abused, because almost everything can be abused. I'm an adult, I tend to play with adults. I don't care for munckinism. Don't make me HR something is the sum of my SG philosophy. Making up HRs is work, for everyone involved.

For example, someone could divide the season up into months and get fractional experience from each of those months. I really don't like that possibility. I haven't made a HR about it, because no one has gotten there. Maybe someone has a good justification. Maybe the rest of the table agree with that justification, or another player will disagree strongly. Maybe I'm a lazy SG. I don't know.

What happened was we played a very successful and enjoyable 4th ed saga for many years. When 5th ed came out, we looked at the new rules and saw things we did not like. Time spent here on these very forums increased my dislike of many of them to a burning hatred. I don't believe these rules enhance the game and I do believe they detract from it. So, they are gone from my table. End of story.

Mine is the opposite. I've never met a role playing game that I've played by the "rules as writen" for more than a few sessions, most not even for a single session.

Never let the rules get in the way of the game is the sum of my SG philosophy.

Edit: BTW, thanks! I have been dying to get that rant out of my system for literally years!

Rules establish a consistency for the players and the SG. If I don't follow the rules then the players don't have a world view that they can hang their hat on. I'm willing to say that I don't think this works, we need to fix this. I'm not willing to say, I don't like that rule and wing it. If I take that statement to its extreme, players won't have anything to hang their hat on, and I could blithely change my mind about a rule one session to the next based on my own need to tell a story. If I'm sharing SG responsibilities a common rule framework is even more important. So, I'm not sure you really mean what you wrote, at least the rest of this thread doesn't read that way.

I've enjoyed that chat, and my hope is that I didn't seem antagonistic. I came from Third edition long enough ago that I don't remember it, and my ex-wife has that book, or at least I left it with her. Fourth edition I have limited experience with, but I did download the free PDF before jumping into 5th edition a year and a half ago. Int seemed to be the uber characteristic and Gentle Gift seemed like a no brainer to take. Guidelines were a mess to put it mildly. :smiley:

Well, exactly. I mean, my whole current project to create a consistant framework of setting and rules on which we can all hang our hats. It's just that my vision of what the framework should be differs from the canonical setting and rules. I have often wondered, at what point have I stopped playing Ars Magica (or any other game) and started playing my own game based roughly on the original mechanics.

No, quite the contrary. I too have enjoyed the chat. I hope I didn't come off as too antagonistic myself. I know a dam burst somewhere in my thoughts and a big old rant that has been brewing for years burst forth. It is a true pleasure to get it out and work past it. I honestly thank you for that.

See, I quite liked them. :slight_smile:

Of course, generally speaking, I do believe 5th ed is a great improvement. I mean, if it weren't, I'd still be playing 4th and the thought has never seriously entered my mind. There are just elemtsn to the current magic system that i vehimently disagree with... but even that is a good thing for me. If there wasn't something to tinker with, I wouldn't have nearly as much fun. It's just the way I am.

For some reason this post is not displaying on the thread, but the Ars forum indicates that this is the last post. I'm just responding to make it show. I have nothing else to say, I just wanted the response to show up...

Thanks. I was wondering what had happened to it.

By 'previous editions' I assume you must mean the 4th edition, which was the first edition with actual guidelines, yes?

Now, the size rules that you so seem to abhor were introduced because in 4th,

would've been a valid Boundary Target, so it would have been fairly trivial to

with eg a T: Boundary version of BoAF. That's level 50, unless you modify further.
My actual player went with R: Touch, D: Diameter - 2 mins of +30 to everyone and everything within his boundary.
He went with an Intangible Tunnel to fix the R: Arcane problem.

Personally, I was so very please to see the size rules.

What actually messes up those Creo Rituals is the combnation of very low guidelines for creating certain things (ie a plant product), combined with Rituals having to be level 20+. That means everybody and the dogs realise that they might as well throw a few magnitudes in for T: Group and Size when creating stuff, just because they are otherwise wasting magnitudes.

One thing I just realized. One benefit of the covenant system is that it allows female characters without forcing players to have to shoe horn their characters into a traditional female social roles.

Also thinking of nuns and there vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. How would the order form if many of it's members are clergy and beholden to the church hierarchy. Which oaths and loyalties are expected to take precedent. Would hidden magi be expected to be disingenuous in there oaths to other powers.

Maga Fideleuos you are accused of interfering with mundanes adding the Lord of Somesuch in his rivalry with his neighbor.

I am married to the Lord of Somesuch and swore to obey him before God and the Church.

Your oath to the order clearly takes precedence over your marriage vows and as such...(arch angel appears grabs the accuser and rips his soul out casting it into hell)

Case dismissed.

I think the Peripheral Code would develop differently, especially related to interferance with mundanes. The prohibition against court wizards, I don't believe would fly simply because if magi need to earn a living being a court wizard is just too obvious a path. However, in "researching" (read: looking stuff up on wikipedia) medieval magic I came across the idea "high magic" is concerned with unlocking the mysteries of the universe and empowering the magus, while "low magic" is concerned with practical uses for magic. Since I think the Order would be primarily concerned with "high magic" they would distain magi who used magic for practical/mundane purposes.

Following that logic, Maga Fideleuos using her magic to help her husband in his mudane rivarly would be using her magic for "low" purposes. Probably not really a Low Crime under this model, but definately a bad repuation akin to Hedge Wizard.

I think the crime of Interferance would hinge on the "bring ruin on my soldales" clause. If by helping her husband Maga Fidaleuos caused Magus Albertus, the curate of the rivals parish, to loose his sanctum (burned in a raid) then Magus Albertus could bring charges against Maga Fidaleuos. Therefore, Fidaleuos would have to very careful how she acts. If she knows that assisting her husband will bring her into conflict with Albertus, then a Wizard's War would be in order.

I'm not sure any part of the code is enforceable under this model. If Magi don't hold themselves apart from medieval society then they will have to be expected to honor the complex webs of fealty and subservience it runs on.

You molested the fae.
They where encroaching on the lord I serves land.

You sold Magical Items to a lord.
I'm a woman you idiot I don't own my own lab let alone the items I make in it. I can't sell something I never owned.

Your provocative actions hunting the Infernal have endangerd our order.
I'm a priest. Exercising Demons is a calling.

You taught Parma to someone out side the order.
Not my decision I'm a Nun and was ordered to by my Bishop.
Enough excuses there can be no forgiveness for such a blatant act of...(lighting bolt strikes accuser)
Sorry my husbands a little overprotective.

If anything thinking about your suggestion has highlighted exactly why the code and the covenant system makes sense in the default setting. IMOHO it keeps things more historically accurate not less.

Well, yes, but I think this just highlights the sorts of problems that lead LuciusT to look at an alt setting.

First, the code does seem to require Magi to hold themselves apart from medieval society but the mechanics of Covenants and of default Magus lifestyles don't support this. The original authors seem to have imagined medieval Europe as a big empty space where wizards could put giant marble castles filled with servants. The current rules which require magi to grow or buy their own food just make this worse.

Second, having player characters and other magi hold themselves apart from medieval society takes away a lot of the fun for some of us. That's more subjected and determined by the mix of fantasy and history we want in our own sagas.

Exactly. What's the point of playing a game set in Mythic Europe if your characters aren't actually in Mythic Europe?

I disagree. Certain interpretations and rulings within the Peripheral Code are unenforceable, and likely would never have come to be at all, but the Oath can stand with some differences in interpretation.

This magus would have committed a crime, under my setting. He should instead have bargained and negotiated with the fae on behalf of his lord, rather than attacking them.

Selling magical items is not forbidden by the Oath, only the canonical Peripheral Code and such a ruling likely wouldn't come to pass. However, since making and selling magic items for gain is clearly "low magic" no "true maga" would do such things. Hedge witches would do it all the time of course. However, your charge further implies that the maga in question in held in thrall... and unlikely circumstance for a woman with the will and education to learn the Arts.

Again, not forbidden by the Oath.

Assumes a number of things not necessarily true. Also technically not forbidden by the Oath. (damn it i can't type out a proper response the screen keeps jumping...)