Ars Magica in Late Antiquity

Hi All,

I started a game in 296. CE in Pannónia.
I use the modified system from Sub Rosa 16. Chapter Britannia. For Character Generation we use Option I.

My question is what to use instead of Magic Theory to calculate Vis handle limit and other modifiers for Lab Total?

I try to run with different Form Lore-s, but I feel it is very restrictive to use all the different Form Lores, bc PCs need too much XP to advance in different Form Lores to handle different kind of Vis.
On the other hand I don't want to go with Accelerated Ability - Form Lore, bc that could lead to insanely high Lore in a specific Form, and one PC is a proto-Verditius, so he could end in double or triple boni based on accelerated Lore ability.

How would you find the middle ground?

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TMK it is meant to be restrictive in the article.

If a Gifted character comes from a good Magical Family, you might make their and the SG's life a little easier by giving out a standard Ability Muddle Through of level 0 or 1, not raisable by any means, and using that to replace Magic Theory in rules where a character has no pertinent (Form) Lore. That makes more ArM5 rules available to the characters.

Other approaches to pre-Bonisagus sagas could use Hedge Magic traditions or some Ancient Magic instead.


Couldn't you just re-name Magic Theory and call it Techne or something?
Just assume that Techne, which can mean "science" or "expertise" as well as "craft" is a kind of proto-magic theory, the beginnings of what will become the basis of Ars Hermetica?
Just assume your covenant happens to be particularly clever.

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Thats a cool idea.

I think there is a very reasonable argument to be made that magic in Mythic Europe is a much science and science is in our world. Remember that Mythic Europe is a world that is inherently magical, and as such magic really isnt "supernatural" in that world. Magic is a fundamental part of how the world works. A physicist in ME would be a fool to ignore magic, a chemist in ME would be a fool to ignore old school alchemy and a biologist in ME would be a fool to refuse to study the magical lifeforms of ME.

Thus understanding how magic works in ME is a legitimate way of understanding the world and there is good reason why especially ancient greek philosophers would have seen no distinction between magical knowledge and technical knowledge.


Another option is to look at Cradle and the Crescent, where different mundane abilities are used in the place of magic theory depending on the magical activity.

Also would be very curious to see an actual play write up in that forum.