Anno Magica 2024

But who does this? I did last time I ran and now I am reusing my old write-ups, but I don't really see much else.

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The latter may not be a problem soon, depending on what licence is used and what is released under it.

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(Almost) Nobody, sadly. I run a session weekly, and if I had the time, I'd redact all the scenarios and adventures I come up with, but actually prepping and running the game is already a lot of work. I'd have to work up my notes so that they are readable and runnable to a level I know I'm not going to be able to- and I suppose many SGs here feel the same way.

What we can do as a community is share chronicles of the sagas we play in. No need to be an SG, no need to write up anything professionally. Just sharing your experience of play and maybe if you are the player who narrated the adventure, ask for feedback.

I think if everyone with an ongoing saga makes just one of their players post and share what amazing game they're being part of, the community would get a huge boost. Sharing stories and encouraging mouth to mouth is what we can do.

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And the most value IMO is not in the complete write-up, not even the ready-to-play ones. The most value is in the highlights, be they a character, a scene, or a goal, because they form the anchorpoints for new stories. Just writing up a fragment with some detail would be a great contribution.

... problem is, of course, that in experienced troupes, even the individual encounter is so deeply linked to decades of saga history that they may not be meaningful to anybody else ...

... but the good thing is that if one just writes up the few that are, it is not a lot of work :slight_smile:

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That's a good point - I've been enjoying reading the Druid's Dale writeups on the Gaming Chronicles blog, which are similarly high level summaries with some fun moments.

I'm starting an Ars Magica saga in August which will be relatively short - about 12 sessions of 3-4 hrs each. I'll consider writing up (or encouraging a player to write up) summaries here. As it's a shorter saga, the references shouldn't get too arcane to follow.

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And i think that's a big hole to fill. For some other games there are massive amounts of plug and play scenarios, encounters or even (sub)-campaigns. We lack this, which along with the lack of guidelines/advice for new story guides makes things very difficult for first timers.

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If only there was someone who tried to remedy that...

Calebaïs is pretty plug and play. I always recommend Guardians of the Forest to new SGs for the mini-campaign at the back, as well as Thrice-Told Tales as (imo) the best adventure collection for Ars Magica.

Since I've been playing a lot of Pathfinder: Wrath of the righteous, lately I've had this idea of transplanting characters from golarion to Mythic Europe, discover the OoH, Parma Magica... the thing being to "use" Pathfinder's renown and player base to attract new players to Ars Magica. Sadly, the cosmologies are too widely different as to be incompatible :smiling_face_with_tear: Too bad, as I was having an (intellectual) blast with that new hedge magic system :crazy_face:

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I am running the Rhine Gorge for the second time and the information there is just not enough for a new SG to run a game, it was absolutely not plug and play for me, and o had played an ArM game before, just not SG'd . My notes from the last saga are more in the 100 page range. Lots of vital information is missing: how to plan an adventure, what "standard" adventures might be, how to handle pacing, labwork vs adventuring etc

There need to be example adventures that can be either used more or less "as is" or at least worked examples so that people don't just end up starrring at a learning curve that looks like a sheer cliff.

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Regarding that, we need something like Nigrasaxa but for 5E.

Yeah that's fair. Sounds like the starter set David Chart is working on. But I do think that between the advice on Stories & Sagas in the core book, and the Rhine Gorge mini-saga, someone can do a decent job as a new SG.

We could try to persuade the author of Nigrasaxa to do something similar for ArMD.

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:wink:
I've been subscribed to your Patreon for a while and read the draft files. I'm very excited for what's to come!

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For some other games, those are considerably easier to make, and make generic and reusable. One of the authors explained why they gave up on the traditional plug-and-play scenarioes. They found themselves failing at writing something which would work when the party of Bjornaer show up all turning into vultures (or something, I cannot exactly remember the example he used).

Ars Magica, giving more freedom and agency to players, at a higher starting power level, requires the SG to improvise a lot sooner.

Unless the troupe agrees to play pregens of course.

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For sure and a dungeon will need to be differently for a MuTe mage or a ReCo necromancer. But having a small inset saying adventure though for "such a party" would helpwitu the choice of adventure for the troupe. Saying this adventure was designed for "3 shield grogs", " 2 combat magi, their shield grog and a novle schemer" or " a social mage, a shield grog and a magical rottqeiler with second sight" would then help the possible SG, same as having some tags pike [infernal] [plot] [combat heavy] or whatever else.

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I agree that you can do it, and it can be useful, but there is a vaste number of variables, and you try to specify them all, your target audience for plug-and-play appliction tends to the empty set.

The endeavour has merit, but it is not plug-and-play.

I agree with @loke, plug-and-play is not a viable objective, in my opinion. But @Jank is right as well, something other than 'I have this here, hope you learn by osmosis how to do it!'. Adventure design is hard, but it's not rocket science. There's procedures of play, decades of people decoding and distilling what makes an adventure great. The key is to teach an SG how to read an 'Ars Magica Module' and be able to adapt it to their table. Sort of like SG-fu, if that makes sense. Being able to adapt and roll with the punches. I believe it's possible, though not immediately viable.

The first part is true. It is not rocket science. In rocket science you compute the trajectory at the drawing board, and when you launch, it is hit or miss. The adventure is designed as you play it. You have to adapt to the situation, and to unpredictable players in particular.

For this very same reason, the procedures of play do not help very much. You have to adapt to players who do not, and should not, follow your procedures, and thus procedures will only get you that far.

This proficiency and expertise is not just taught, and it certainly not explained in a book. It takes real life practice. Familiar situations require only narrow proficiency and thus little experience. The more unpredictable the situation, the more experience is needed.

And this is why Ars Magica is not a beginner's game. (That was not entirely clear to me when I started writing this post, but now it is.) You had better earn some experience in those other, more predictable game, before you expand with increased entropy.

While it does take practice and experience to become good at running a game and adopting an adventure to a particular group, quite a bit of what is needed can be taught and explained in a book. Not everything of course, but it should be possible to lower the learning curve quite a bit.

I think the problem is not so much that one can't explain how to run the game, but that a brand new player faced with those explanations in addition to the rules will feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information.

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