Ars Magica 5th: Falling Leaves [3-6 Players]

Campaign Title: Falling Leaves

System: Ars Magica, 5th Ed.

of Players: Minimum 3, Maximim 6 or 7

Deadline: End of September, 2009 to express interest in joining, or until the game fills up, whichever comes first. Once we have a group, well discuss when we want to start "active playing" because chargen may take some time.

Starting Level: HIGH. I'm tired of the Spring Covenants. Let's play in the mid autumn. Magi are at least Gauntlet +40 years and may be up to Gauntlet +60.

Advancement Rules: Once we have a group, I'll ask everyone to prepare detailed chargen's, 5 years at a time for approval. Magi will begin as apprentices between age 8-17. Hermetic age as listed above. My first thought is to limit Hermetic age to G+40+ a stress die, so there is some variation in the magi. Companions/grogs may be of any level/age etc. Mythic Companions will be adjudges on a case-by-case basis.

Combat Rules: Subject to later group decision (this is my first PbP) standard combat will apply, but will probably be uncommon.

Dice-Rolling Rules: InvisibleCastle or I will roll all dice; group's choice.

Special Rules: For now all supplements are in, but I don't have ROP:M or ROP:F so I may ask the group to hold off on those for a paycheck or two.

Posting Rate: I'll be available daily. I'd like three posts per week for "stories," but we can discuss this with the group.

Absences: Story write-out ("Sorry sodales, I'm in my lab for the next 6 years. Have fun storming the castle!") or NPC by me.

Writing Expectations: As creative as you want to be. I tend to vary between fairly matter of fact terseness and overblown flowery-ness, but I'll strive for a solid "interesting."

Text Formatting: We'll discuss amongst the group. My thought is one color for IC, one for OCC and others to denote languge.

Plot- or Character-Driven: Character driven with one or two major arc that I have in mind that will flow along the background and require some attention. But there will be more than enough time for player initiate stories.

Focus: Great Powers, so social/political and the occasional epic challange.

Character Types: i'd like to see social/politcal maneuvering, intrigue, deception, backstabbing, tortured interpretations of the Code, etc... but no type is "off-limits"

Campaign Description: The magi are the top wizards at an old and established Autumn Covenant. As thier esoteric research and political machinations proceed, they will be faced with challanges that could change, forever, the face of the Order and spell damnation for themselves. For when powers such as these are moved to action, the pillars of the world shake.

So that's it. I'm new to PbP, but I'm yearing for some ArM action. Anyone interested?

Interested! The characters that keep coming to mind keep not quite belonging.

I do like some of the stuff in RoP:M, especially for designing familiars....



I'll get RoP:M next, I promise. In the meantime, welcome aboard!


I am also interested. My experience is as a tabletop story guide for a Spring Covenant. The game lasted a year and a half. Players had trouble adapting to the Ars setting and rules. I would love to get the chance to play. Will you need beta-guides?

I think the high-level magi concept is an interesting take. However, you may want to consider how you will handle the likely mystery initiations, resolution and addition of flaws/virtues, apprentices, familiars, etc..., which reasonably would occur during 40+ years of being a mage. I think the use of an open dice to determine actual years is a nice touch and at this level, does not disadvantage anyone, particularly with the issues of aging these magi had undergone.

I also have used metacreator in the past, and I wonder how this would work aging the magi a drafting their magic history.

In your game descriptions, you left out the physical setting. Tribunal? This has a big impact on the type of character I would want to play to explore fully a particular setting, especially as the most powerful magi in a covenant.

I think I'd prefer, at least at the start, to stay behind the proverbial SG screen. As the game develops, I'd consider having a Beta run some stories as well.

My idea was to have characters built up in about 5 year, detailed, intervals. That way I can appove and rule on things like mystery initiations and the like. If a player wants his charcter to have undergone initiation (very likely to be the case) I'll approve a script and they can lose seasons, items, vis, gain flaws etc. as appropriate. If you have an apprentice, you will script out what his apprenticeship entails (i.e. you need to create the apprentice as a character as well, although the apprentice will be an NPC only.) Familiars will likewise be your responsibility to create, subject to approval. I'm currently working up the "journeyman library" that will be available to players of magi who, in their background, have been members of the covenant for a long time. I'd prefer that most of the magi be long term residents of the PC covenant.

Also, let me be clear that I'm TRYING for a high powered game so just about anyhting that I don't find grossly unfair to the other players or otherwise inappropriate will be allowed.

I have never used it. As long as it presents detailed seasons for approval, I'm fine with it.

That's not a flaw, its a feature! I'm hoping for some player input on what kind of setting they would like. Currently, I'm leaning toward using the Normandy Tribunal, but if everyone said they were sick to death of playing French sagas, I'd consider moving it. The features that will not change is the Tribunal will be an outlying one in Western Europe: so Normandy, Provencal, Iberia, Loch Legan, Stonehenge or Hibernia. Your covenant will have mundane and Hermetic political ties. You will have NPC magi below you in the Covenant, and there may be NPC archmagi affilitated with the covenant but the business of running it will be on the PC magi. You will likely have a large fortified covenant, with very good labs and a good library.

I'm about to do a 2-day business trip, so I may not be able to do much more than think of character concepts, but I'm posting my interest. We'll see if airports will stir some ideas. :slight_smile:

The quality of the players you have attracted has piqued my interest.
I am (in)famous for my Flambeau magi, keeping it old school while still shaking up preconceptions. I am also interested in playing a Tytalus magus, as I think such a character more closely resembles my true personality.
Or I can just play a whole bunch of grogs. I like grogs :slight_smile:

I was thinking of either a Tytalus or Tremere. Both benefit from the political groundwork developed during 40+ years of mage hood, and avoid having to go through expected mysteries. However, with Marko's comment, I may have to rethink the whole Flambeau-Hidden Diabolist concept I tossed.

In addition to character chargin, do you intend for your players to contribute to the Covenant creation? Providing a library will be very helpful. I assume that character written texts can be added to your list once chargin is complete.

In my last post, I mentioned setting only because it is sometimes easier developing a character that is integrated into a place than it is a place after all of the work going into chargin. If you want your players or possible players voicing their preferences, I would be very interested. I like the idea of Western Europe, and since my last game was set in Provence, I would be very interested in an Iberia or Normandy setting, as they are both familiar and new. If you want frontier, then Loch Legan would be my preference. But I am game. Hibernia also has the whole Norman expansion. Setting also includes time. Is everyone thinking standard Ars setting date?

Iberia is tricky. I love that old book, flawed as it may be, and I have very specific ideas on how to run Iberia (see my Light of Andorra) PbP. However, I really haven't had the opportunity to do much with Iberian specific politics (yet). If we do Iberia, I totally want to play a Flambeau (again) and teach everyone the truth :laughing:. However, I am interested in not taking an interest in mundane politic, and Iberia is too tempting. I want to be somewhere else where I can sit back and watch whomever invade whoever and not give a rat's @$$. Nah, I want to play a Tytalus and be Chaotic Good. No messing with mundanes, but certainly creating rivalries and alliances (for myself and between others :wink: ). Somewhere like Alpine, Thebes, Rhine, Normandy, or even Stonehenge. Not Provencal. I am currently angry with them :laughing:
How about Rome? No one I know of has done Rome in a long while.

But, as I like a challenge ( :wink: ), I will accept any setting in any tribunal. Bring it on! My main motivation is the players you have attracted, and to play alongside them as a humble equal player. No interest in running stories, but I am able to contribute a lot of creative material. I have a ton of books, what I posted for Andorra is only a fraction. I include author and feature stats (name, Comm, Virtue?, Level; Binding, Script, etceteras). Heck, I'll give these to you even if I wind up being a bystander or playing a bunch of grogs (note: playing a bunch of grogs is an option that interests me :slight_smile: ).


I have a suggestion to offer:

If our magi are the movers and shakers at a powerful covenant that is important in the Tribunal and with possible reputation in the larger Order, stuff has already happened! Big stuff, that has involved our characters and the covenant. We have a bit of a history.

To represent that history a bit, and to give us a basis for characters who belong here, maybe our SG might ouline the last three major challenges we faced and their outcome. Each gets a paragraph, and need not go into detail (unless you want to).

Hypothetical example: Twenty years ago, your Venetian covenant secretly cooperated with House Tremere and a Tytalus cabal from Normandy to divert the Fourth Crusade against Constantinople and your mutual rivals in the Thebes Tribunal. The result was an overwhelming victory--maybe a bit too overwhelming. A bunch of irate, sore-loser Jerbitons complained to the Qs; it was touch and go for a while but as the mundanes didn't blame magi for any of it and there was no breach of the Code to prosecute, they had to let it go. On the positive side, you control the Mediterranean through your Venetian cat-paws and have accumulated vast riches, magical and mundane. On the downside, magi from Jerbiton and Guernicus have been keeping a closer eye on you lately.




As i think you are the only "archmagus" on these boards, I'm quite happy to have you in the game in any capacity you wish!

I have to agree, yourself included. I hope i can weave a few stories worthy of you all. I'm sure with all of your help, we can do just that!

I love this idea. Consider it done. i'll detail a few things the Covenant as a whole went through. You can tell me how your magus participated/reacted accordingly.

Happily, it looks like good turnout so far. I'll send the email to get out game a home on the boards!


Do you mind sending me what you have in terms of books. I love what you posted in the Light of Andorra Campaign. I could re-invent the wheel, but i rather just tinker with your library instead.

I wold most definately be interested! :slight_smile:

I am the Alpha Storyguide of a pen&paper campaign (and have run 2 others) and am Myself about to start an online Saga.

I have a good mastery of the english language, is fairly creative and interested in politics, intrigue, backstabbing, character development etc.

If allowed in, I would probably go for a Bonisagus, Mercere or Ex Miscellanea.


P.S. I would really love a Normandy Tribunal Saga. We could replace one of the five lieges with our covenant, simply take on as our own, or place a new one.

Yes, input in convenant design is appreciated, and character written texts will get added in. I want to break chargen into segments so that if you write a great summa in your 20th year, your sodales can use it in their 25th etc...

Three people have expressed interest in Normandy, and one more has said "wherever" so I'm going to go with my gut. Your Covenant is set on the coast of Brittany, in Normandy Tribunal and it is currently 1220 Anno Domini.

Normandy sounds great. I have the book but have only played in Stonehenge (15 years ago) and Provence. I was last on the Normandy Coast 22 years ago and think it has a great mystical vibe even today. Since Marko and I are both interested in magi ex-Tytalus it is not too far fetched. However, I am still thinking of other possibilities (Diedne obssessed Guernicus or Merinita searching for Arthur?). There is a great deal of political and hermetic turmoil.

Will you be having players run grogs companions when not on the adventure, or is that the storyguide's role?

I'd like to join, if you're not full already.

As for Tribunal, Normandy sounds like fun, as any of the "old and settled" ones, like Rome or Rhine or Greater Alps.


And then there's Novgorod.

It's vast, it has Russians, Vikings, Mongols on the periphery, interesting relations with other Tribunals, a different Church, and it's relatively new. Very wild west. (The Wild Wild East!)

There aren't many other magi out here, and ours might be the only important covenant in the Tribunal, home to the lead Quaesitor and Mercer House, who are partisan to our covenant and help us run the Tribunal for our benefit.

"Out here, we are the Order of Hermes." "What's good for is good for the Novgorod Tribunal." "If you don't like our ruling, you can always take it up as one of our three issues at Grand Tribunal (withheld giggle)."

Potential recent challenges:

A coterie of diabolists on the run from a more civilized Tribunal thought they could hole up in the trackless wastes of Novgorod, but we tracked them down and wasted them. It was essential that we do this to sustain our reputation outside the Tribunal, especially among the Qs, who are happy to let us do as we will because we bring order to what they see as a barbarian tribunal. A spring covenant suffered damage, and we allowed them to copy some books from our library--in exchange for favors to be determined.

We made accidental contact with the Mongols on the outskirts of our Tribunal. Their shamans are not very powerful individually, but there are many of them, they are organized and they are backed by (they back) the finest military in the world. We discovered that they conquered China, are still on the move, and would welcome magi as respected allies. Our contact was peaceful; we did not tell them Join or Die, we did not tell them about the Order. We have also not told the Order any of this, but now have a decision to make. Join forces with the Mongols to recast Mythic Europe, or oppose them? (We have already dismissed the idea of passing the decision to someone else!)

When Constantinople was under attack, various Russian princes wanted us to intervene. We chose not to, continuing a long-standing policy of promoting disintegration of mundane and Church authority. The fall of Constantinople has continued a century-long trend toward marginalizing Kiev. Mundane prosperity has fallen, but the region is increasingly considered unimportant, which is how we like it. Some of these princes are unhappy with us, but these days there are lots of princes!




Oops! I missed that. :slight_smile:

Scratch that last then.



Please let this serve as a formal invite to Ovarwa, Yan, Harrison, ROF, Marko Markoko, and Renimar to had over to the PbP area and start making characters and discussing the covenant.

Unless one of these drop out this game is full.

Once we get rolling we may have others join in, or need new recuits to replace drop outs, so please feel free to continue to post interest in joining, but also understand it may be a while before we need you. For now, I'm asking the current players to move discussion of the upcoming campaign to the campaign forum.