Curious to hear the community's wider thoughts on this. What the the core experiences of Ars Magica for you?
What I'm thinking about here are the broad, general types of activities that are the focus of the stories you tell. For example, core experiences I'd include for Ars Magica might be:
On the other hand, I don't think that Combat is a core experience: It's a thing that happens. We have mechanics for it. But unlike D&D, for example, swordfights aren't part of the core experience for me. (Maybe they are for you! Great! I'd love to hear about that.)
To further clarify, I'm not really looking for specific flavors or examples of the core experiences. (Although if you want to talk about those, great; and examples can be a good way of explaining what a category means to you.) For example, I'm not looking for a list of different places you can explore -- e.g., "Exploring Arcadia", "Exploring Forests", "Exploring the Ocean" -- unless you perceive those different types of exploration (or whatever) as categorically different from each other. (Which is totally possible: Maybe "Exploring the East" and "Exploring the Area Around Your Covenant" are fundamentally different things in what they are, how they're played, etc.)
Don't feel like the three I've listed above are sacred or assumed, either. If they aren't a core experience for you, that's also useful information to know. And if they are, I'd still love to hear more about what that means to you.
Why am I interested in this? Well, I've begun launching my personal development sagas as Atlas' RPG Developer. So the answers here will heavily influence what I include in those sagas and the ideas I'm exploring.
(Right now I have no idea where this development will take us; it might take us nowhere. But expect more of these discussions in the future as I continue exploring and testing the game space.)