Arm in Modern days...

Well the topic says it all...

I do wonder however, there are quite a few interesting things in modern times which gives us a bit of pause. :slight_smile:

Plastics... Aquam, Terram or something new entirely?
Electricity .... Auraum? Somehow this feels more like Vim really. (Bleepin' Verditii rebuilding the world like that?)

And of course, study quality from computers. :slight_smile: Lower or higher? :slight_smile: I imagine that a text written FOR the medium would get a higher quality. (Easy enough to add in both sound, images and text etc.)

Any suggestions welcome. (Well except for playing a certain White Wolf game instead... I loathe the D10 dice-pool mechanics. )

You could always play a certain game-setting using ArM rules...

Anyway, to simplify matters I would posit the Order still exists much as it did in medieval times but is now much more secret. I would establish tribunal and grand-tribunal rulings that consider revealing even yourself to be a wizard bringing danger to the Order. Something very similar to the Masquarade in some other game would be applied by tribunals.

I would make the Order fairly small. As the ages progress magic is fading - raw vis is rare and precious, and people with the Gift are rare too. Where once the order numbered thousands out of a far smaller population, now there would be less than a thousand despite spreading throughout the world. People with the Gift will be treasured and drafted into the Order by any means possible, even old ones and ones trained in incompatible traditions.

Single-magus "covenants" or at least "chapter houses" are likely to be far more common.

I would not make regios common. I think having magical places will take away from the point of playing in a modern setting. Perhaps as magic fades from the world so do the links to these magical places.

I'm thinking of magi's labs within effluent manors of "eccentric" foreign millioners (the magi or their mundane pawn), a covenant as the inner circle of a corporation, and so on.

I think plastics should be terram - they are dug from the earth (oil), and they fall under "general matter". Electricity I could see as Vim, but I think I will keep it in Auram. It still fits within storms. Controlling a computer would still be Rego Terram though, I think - although using Rego Mentem might be an interesting twist...

Study from computers I wouldn't allow. I would rule magic texts must be written by magi on resonant materials, thereby disposing of the whole "copying texts" issues. This assumes an image of magi studying magic of the ancients, not modern hack-masters. For the latter, I would approve building computers to house magic as a magical items; not any computer would do, but the wizard's magical laptop would truly be magical. I would not change the quality, the less fussing with the rules the better.

I agree with much of this. It is logical and fun...

As for the scarcity of the gift of magic... I imagine that longevity potions are at the least partially to blame. Yes, the gift is not entirely about inheritance. But nor is it all surroundings either or the children of grogs would all be magi.

And the magi has used longevity potions (albeit unwittingly) for hundreds of years to cull themselves out of the world. hmmmm Perhaps some penalties or conditions to be met before indulging in that "vice" nowadays?

... and of course knowing my players I shall have to come up with a better system for handling drugs than merely "Roll 9+ Stamina or take effects of the poison." Flambeu on PCP anyone? :wink:

But most interestingly... would the houses still be the same? I am rather thinking that the new image of the order as entirely secretive would have shifted things quite a bit. I can see the Verditius sitting .... Bill Gates is that You? ... Now THEY would love it.

Tremere.... Well, if we are to believe WW once again, I am pretty sure that THEY would have been all but erradicated by the order for turning diabolist/ ... be-fanged. :-[

Bjoernar... All but extinct I am afraid. Their flame has gone out

Criamon, the Criamon with their search for the Enigma seems like another tradition that'd benefit a lot from the modern era, being able to travel and meet others seeking enlightenment all over the world.

Bonisagus... Possibly a house of those whom has been. Once great and revered they are now clinging to the old and hoping for a rebirth that might never come.

Tytalos... Bringing subtle to the magic battlefield in hundred new ways I am sure. Mostly scrying and targeting.

... and of course instead of the Dominion, a compact aura of belief "there IS no such thing as magic."

Exactly the same quality. Adding sound and images was never a problem. Imaginem can be so damn useful :slight_smile:
The advantage of computer files being: they need less storage room.
I also like the the idea of alt.magic.whatever-newsgroups. Firewalls getting a whole new meaning in the process...

The herbam-books IMS had the tendency to grow, and they regularly needed water, unless you wanted them to wither, lose quality and die.

No need to use those mechanics, but the "dietary" arts System used in that game works better for Computers, plastics and nuclear plants as "our" standards do.

To quote ArM5:

Take a look at a very obvious Creo Auram spell:

"The incantation of Lightning"

As for VIM. Magical energy and electrical energy are not the same thing. It's much like the difference between potential energy and kinetic energy.

Ah!, but who says electricity and auram lightning are the same? (Yes, they are, I know, but ArM modern might not agree. I would make it VIm since it seems way more cool: a piece of magic integrated in day to day stuff. THe race of inventions in the 18th century onwards might have been an experiment by the OoH to "spread knowledge", for example, and it went out of control, for example, and suddenly some stuff that is extremely magic-heavy is thought as everyday stuff.

You have loads of possibilities in 800 years of evolution for your OoH.



I disagree.

That would be suggesting that you could use car batteries to power spells, and scry with plug-in crystal balls.

That would also mean that people without "The Gift" could potentially harness magic, as science quickly caught up.

If one considers an aspect of auram nature to be vim, then one could argue that since fire is a form of energy via chemical reaction, and NOT an element, let's throw THAT into vim, as well. After that, why stop there? Let's toss in the other elements...make Mentem (since thoughts are electrical impulses in the brain) part of vim, too... gets to the point of "why even have the different forms? we can just use vim for everything." It's a power-gamer's unilateral wet dream.

In my view, VIM is an energy that can only be harnessed by the Gift, and those of the Magic realm. It doesn't manifest as electricity, nor can it be a substitute without actually using that vim to create electrical energy.

Oooh - Tesla!

But yeah, it's better to leave lightning and electricity as auram IMO.

Makes his role in "The Prestige" that much more interesting, methinks. 8)

If you'd like to see one example of how a modern setting for Ars Magica was handled, follow the link below... ... intro.html

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Fascinating topic, Oberoten!

Well, a few breakthroughs may have been made over the years. Perhaps the rarity of raw vis would urge someone to break the limits of creation. The life span of the average person has nearly doubled. Has someone pushed the limits of aging? Also, a modern astronomer or astronaut mage could possibly break the limit of the lunar sphere. Much to think about!

OK, this is where I can chime in.

Until recently, I worked on developing the machines that make and inspect computer chips. The stuff we can get these machines to do really does border on the magical (in the Clarke sense, anyway) and I have spent many a late night pondering a particular problem thinking about how much we, as a society, are guessing at.

We were engaged is some truly arcane stuff (how does one build a metal line whose width is less than half the wavelength of visible light? What do you mean that reflected light behaves more like ping pong balls a gravel road at this scale? Did you know that silicon crystals are almost completely transparent to IR? Can we use that?)

Believe me, Verditii making items that channeled Vim to create magic items that look terribly mundane to the normal person (and most of those of the initiated, too!) can very easily describe the bulk of my professional experience without too much squinting and tilting of heads.


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hullo - been mulling over AM modern for a good while - nipping ito the forums for inspiration and clarification... some thoughts:

people seem puzzled by high tech - an easy way around it is to treat tech like a dominium.

A mage can use a pooter but not for magic as it is not personalised. You have to scribe documents onto hard copy and learn from handwritten books not programmes. An online site will hold interest and spark ideas but no practical application apart from creating a wealth of ideas.

you can drive a car if you have passed your test - understand physics by reading text books and watching BBC science programmes - but only as a mundane scource of information. Science for scientists please - why would a potential mage spend years on studying jet propulsion when dusty old tomes call out to them..

applying magic to scientific advances in electricity mechanics and radiation have been discussed elsewhere - I suppose the easiest manner to deal with these is to apply magics to the source or conduit. you could fix a flat battery with Au. protect your flesh against a radiation leak with Co or even access an encrypted data file using In (with big penalties)

magic and the houses have withered - there are a great deal of hedge magicians around nowadays with the rise in interest in crystals, wicca and paganism. Voodoo still has a strong following along with numerous world 'local' magic traditions. Recent popular wizarding series have allowed the disbelief in magic to dissapate opening up possibilities, drawing in enquiring minds..

There are still practitioners who have studied tomes through universities and libraries - recognised academics and enthusiasts for the most part who have kept the flame alive. The gifted have been pushing their own boundaries seeking out sources

there are still creatures, vis sources and knowledge to find. These things have a tendancy to avoid the mundane land clearance and adapt. The tree on the green in the new housing estate, books in the British Library or the Vatican archives along with their custodian raise few eyebrows. Victorian Stately gardens are laid out in a formulaic manner..

It's all there.. but just out of sight from those who dont want or need to know. However, creatures have a want to be feared, books call out to be read, fairy rings to be danced in

I recon a mage would need around ten years to learn all of the basics from a comprehensive source - maybe over1000 yrs, arts and form summae have been compiled and condensed - or the beautifully bound collected works of Bonisageous collected dust and then interest..

and then what to do ?

A mage that has been around 1000 years probably has a might score, so he would subtract it from learning totals.

There's always the argument for using Mage:the Awakening or Mage:the Ascension. Some people here hate those rule sets, but they're at least made for the modern world.

I'm not sure the Ars 5E rules with seasonal advancement make for a good modern era RPG.

@niallchristie any updates to that link?

Your wish is my command. :grinning:

Edit: This post was hidden by the forum because apparently it requires "moderator attention." I don't understand why... :confused:


Thanks @niallchristie! What kind of saga/stories did your group have in this setting?

Sadly we didn't get to spend as much time on our saga set in this setting as we would have liked, but we did a lot of initial exploration of the setting and world-building, some intrigues with rival magi, sneaky faeries, and the like. I seem to recall (it was a long time ago) that a lot of what we did was influenced by Neil Gaiman's works and the X-Files, which were big things at the time. :grin:

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I'd postulate that magic would look substantially different in a modern setting.

Like Conciatta from Legends of Hermes, Magi through the years would have consolidated magic in different ways. Perhaps there are no longer 15 forms and possibly not even 5 techniques. Several supernatural virtues would have been integrated into hermetic theory and available to all magi.

This has the potential to make magi quite a bit more powerful which could be offset by the argument (re: Longevity rituals) that there are fewer magi in total.