ArM ORC Potential Projects

This is a purely speculative thread. I am posting it separately from the main open licensing thread to avoid cluttering it.

This just spinning off some ideas that might be done by someone based on ArM and/or Mythic Europe. I have no doubt some of this material is partly addressed somewhere in the ArM library.

Vinland: Norse and other medieval settlers in the Western Lands. With or without the Order.

Phantom Islands: The various mysterious and regio-shrouded islands of the Atlantic.

Hidden Lands: Large scale regiones, as for example The Kingdom of Prester John.

Tribunal Books new editions: Rome, Loch Leglean, Novgorod

Campaigns:
Forming the Order
The Dominance of Tremere
The Corruption of House Tytalus
Schism War!
The Horde (Mongols)
Black Death
(Post AD1400 subjects)

Ars Fantastica: High Fantasy in (loosely speaking) Europe
Really, there's a variety of Ars Alternica options, from No Order to The Order Rules to The Order Integrates.

And, of course, the ArM rules/Hermetic Magic system divorced from Mythic Europe and the Order entirely. How grounded or airy is a design decision.

Thoughts?

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Plus (how could I miss this) the various fan made projects already extant, with a good scrub and polish.

The Great Grimoire: The Magic of the Order - spells, lab texts, myriad applications.

The ArM5 Index!

Bestiary

A Character Codex: NPCs from across the world.

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A collection of various Summa/Tractatus that appear in official products...

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I think that might be a little beyond "system but not setting." but I would think some purely fan-made open-use libraries would probably be fine.

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The Art of Combat: rules for Ars Magica combat that actually work.

Ragnarok: A complete saga, from a spring journeyman covenant to archmagehood and winter. This is a Nordic-themed saga where the fading of the faerie gods' power releases the Jotun trapped in the Magic Realm, which are essentially the wild Magical personification of the 9 Forms (the 10th, Corpus, being the Image in which the humans, angels, demons, jotun, etc. are made). The PCs would initially be expected to aid the powers of Magic, but eventually would likely want to switch sides as the return of Chaos under their rule would be bad for humanity.

Tiny Magi: A streamlined version of 5th Edition with more difficult magic, making magi more minor players in a Mythic Europe where the supernatural outer-Realm entities such as angels, demons, and faerie gods dominate. Hedge wizards are more on par with Hermetic magi in terms of power, with some being within the Order and some outside it.

The FATE of Ars Magica: A complete reworking of the mechanics of Ars Magica to be based on more granular and story-focused mechanics. Still including things like improving the Arts by investing time - that can easily be adapted into a more story-based and granular approach. E.g. "Studying from the Book of the Dragon for a year, you gain Insight into the Art of Ignem; increase your Ignem score by +1, to a maximum score of 5. This requires expanding 1 pawn of Ignem obtained from a dragon or wyrm".

Ars Magica: The Novel.

And, as long as we're dreaming:

Greyhawk, Ars Magica edition: the classic D&D setting redone using the Ars Magica ruleset. Recapitulating From the Ashes, it focuses on the motif of the fallen magic kingdoms. The Bakluni and the Soluise empires were destroyed in the Twin Cataclysms; then the Great Empire ("Rome") turned to necromancy and their empire crumbled; and the half-demon Iuz the Evil set up an evil demon-infested empire through dark summoning. As a result the Gifted are shunned, corresponding to the social effect of the Gift in the rules. Yet in the Free City of Greyhawk a new magical organization was established, headed by the Circle of Eight. Its masters canvass the land in search of the Gifted, teaching them the secrets of Hermetic magic as well as compassion and goodness. Can wizards be a force for good in the world? And can this organization survive the treachery of Rary the Traitor? Or will it fail to rise from its ashes? [The Order of Hermes is replaced by the Circle of Eight organization, led by eight archmages but comprising several-fold other magi.]

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If we're doing lorebooks, the infamous Book of Instruction might be amusing.

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The jumpstart kit - a covenant, sample characters, and several scenarios to go with it so new groups can jump right in.

Solo adventures, because I'm currently on a nostalgic gamebook kick and want to try my hand at writing one.

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I have been thinking of a mash-up of Ars Magica magic with combat rules influenced by OSR (BX). The combat phase system in BX reminds me of ArM4.

I mentioned elsewhere my idea for a set of quickstart rules. This would differ from a jump start as it is not directly intended to build a long campaign. The purpose would be to teach new players, who are familiar with other games, the basic mechanics and concepts. Just enough to run a mini saga. It would not involve pre-gens, because character creation and maintenance is half the game. Instead, I picture a limited handful of options along with archetype templates (similar to ArM4 in some ways).

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There are a number of approaches to jumpstarting:

The Player Starter Kit
The Storyguide Starter Kit

I imagine there could be a number of covenant presets.

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That would not be legal, but it is admirable :slight_smile:
My favorite classic setting is Mystara for Basic D&D, a setting which John Nephew had once written for (I am using one of his books in a campaign right now as it so happens).

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Possibly, although I don't know that the system/setting issues are well addressed, or really addressed at all.

I can see where some creators would want to do ArM & Mythic Europe, others ArM, others ME, and probably someone wants just the magic system (although the Hermetic system is not so unique it cannot be -b-l-a-t-a-n-t-l-y-r-i-p-p-e-d-o-f-f- used as inspiration).

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More seriously, I'm on record as saying the thing most missing in the ars magicka line are bestiaries, with pages and pages of fully fleshed out creatures (rather than 15 pages of example per realm).

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There is a fan supplement, Animals of Mythic Europe, that would make a perfectly good starting point for an open license release. It needs expanding for realms, although not every animal needs a full set of realm manifestations: I doubt there are divine bats, for example, and no need to grind out a perfect set for every little variation.

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Medieval monster hunters, combining the strong setting of Mythic Europe with the monster-hunting badass vibe of Monster of the Week.

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  • Saga Guides, such as the 1st Crusade. (See my actual play!)

  • Re-imaginings of Mythic Europe (i.e. Order of Mercury vs the Cult of Hermes)

  • Regios for use

  • Expanded Cosmology (i.e. Book of Worlds from M:tA but for Ars Magica)

  • Sci-fi expansions for the Cowboys and Aliens Fans - beings from beyond the Lunar sphere

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I have long argued for, and have outlined and pitched, Beginner Ars Magica, or BAM. I’ve got some experience with boxed sets from my time at Paizo (both the Pathfinder Second Edition beginner box and the Starfinder box).

BAM is a boxed set with a streamlined version of the rules that leaves out many things and focuses on the first 10 years of a magi’s life. Many things from the core book (Spell Mastery, longevity rituals, apprentices) are simply left out. Others (spontaneous magic, familiars) are presented with simplified rules. BAM includes 6 pregenerated magi characters but includes rules for making your own magi, companions, and grogs. It is set at a covenant in Provençal, and includes an adventure that teaches the basics—including a season of lab work and Certamen. A double sided map gives the area around the covenant, with a lot of plot hooks, and an amazing map of mythic Europe that will blow your mind. A d10 is also included.

Six additional magi characters, representing the houses not represented in the box set, would be available as a free PDF, along with a follow up adventure taking place a season after the intro adventure ends.

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I really feel like these two things are missing. Both as a player and ST I got help from an experienced GM friend, in the first case he was (mostly) introducing all of us to ArM but when I ran, I really felt like I was missing the basics, a handrail and a kind of template for how adventures in ArM are (to be) built and run.

This led me to post on the forum a whole bunch of my adventures and prep notes, but I would love to have a good reason to publish them in a neater order along with my dozens of pages of history and geography of the Rhine, and lot hooks that I (planned but didn't) used.

Also, a shorter pdf on mythic Estonia and Livonia.

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Animals of Mythic Europe was originally planned to include magical creatures (as in creatures with Might), but I was told that's not to be, so it is now focused completely on mundane animals, but I do plan to update it a bit with more animal stats.

I can definitely see a companion set of books with bestiaries for each of the four Realms, but that's an endeavor I wouldn't even begin to touch before I could be sure that I could publish it for money, as it would require lots of work.

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I have plans to write an alternate history setting, with somewhat altered rules for the divine and infernal, in which the impact of the order was in fact felt on history, pretty much from the beginning. The end product would be based on historical Europe but have more of a fantasy feel to it.

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Half Forgotten Monsters also exists. https://timothyferguson.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/half-remembered-monsters-1.pdf

It has 71 creatures (well, that includes variations as full creatures).

It desperately needs to be updated with monsters from the last 100 episodes though.

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