And is there a pre-made campaign for novice Story Guides to run?
There are several sources of adventures that you might find worthy, though.
- Calebais (5th edition). Makes for a good covenant if you want it. It5 is the only 5th edition adventure published so far. I love this one in any case
- Festival of the damned (4th edition, so you will need to tinker a little bit with stats et al). A pair of top notch adventures.
- Land of Fire and Ice (4th edition supplement for Iceland) has a whole saga described in it. It is a little bit on the high fantasy of events, so depends on your preferences it migth be wiorthwile or not. I am using bits of it IMS.
- Guardians of the Forest: The Rhine Tribunal (5th edition) has a saga arc about creating a new covenant in the Rhine Gorge. it is not bad at all, but as suggested in other threads, starting a covenant from scratch might not be the best option for new players. However, it is a good description on how and where to create a covenant. You can easily build up a whole saga around the story hooks provided by the supplement, and you have all the surroundings perfectly described, so less work for you as a storyguide.
Hope that helped,
Not really - depends on what you mean by 'campaign'. There are supplements with stories, some of them put together were intended to at least frame one, but not something to outline a complete campaign.
Most of all those are for earlier editions. If you are looking for a jump-start kit or introduction story none exists for 5th edition, but a free one for 4th can be downloaded at Atlas' site.
Hope this somewhat answers your question.
[EDIT] look for Promises, Promises and Nigrasaxa
Why "And"? You have another question? We'll be glad to answer.
There isn't, unfortunately, a full pre-made campaign. There are, however, some extensive notes in Guardians of the Forest: The Rhine Tribunal, that should suffice for a (relatively short) campaign I think. These include ideas, geography, stats for opponents, and more. Not quite the "read these boxes when the characters reach this room" pre-made campaign that you might find in D&D, but then ArM games are less dungeon-like.
Another option is to use the Covenant of Calebais adventure. While it isn't a complete campaign, it should take quite a few sessions to complete.
Another almost-ready saga is presented in Land of Fire and Ice, the Icelandic tribunal, but I'm afraid that this is a high-magic saga that doesn't really belong in Mythic Europe, and that it's for 4th-edition (rather than the current 5th-edition). In other words, it will be far less useful I think.
Thanks for all the quick feedback.
I think i saw this one at my local hobby shop.
The "And" was because i was actually posting in another topic and accidentally hit "new topic"
By campaign, yeah, i was thinking about a full story line that would take characters through a series of plot hook, encounters, enemies, etc. and take anywhere from 5-20 sessions to complete. The Fire & Ice sound interesting, but i don't want to fiddle with two different editions of a game that sound like they have a lot of disparity, and i don't have the skill between the editions to tell the difference.
There is one maxim of roleplaying that you might find that applies here:
"You can play any supplement in any setting with minimal alterations".
In fact it is quite true. i have used Chtulhu, Cyberpunk, Fanhunter, Glorantha, Fading Suns and Lord of the Rings/Rolemaster adventures in my Ars Magica campaigns without much problems. Use semi.-generic stats for the enemies and you got it I have also played Calebais in LotR, so it works both ways.
Unfortunately, I think D&D adventures are too focused on lengthy combats and different world assumptions to be effective as Ars Magica adventures.
Let's make it concrete. I'm currently playing out the Shacked City Adventure Path. The first adventure [SPOILERS!] is focused on the characters clearing up a local dungeon to find missing kids on the behest of a good church - the kids were abducted by an underground group of hobgoblins and other critters as slaves to sell in the underdark. This first adventure is essentially a single long dungeoncrawl, at the end of which they rescue the missing children. Further adventures in the supplement involve the eruption of the volcano the city sits on, traveling to other dimensions to combat a fallen angel and demon, confronting a beholder, and more...
Now I'm not saying this adventure isn't usable in Ars Magica. You can keep the basic plot, and some of the details. In-fact, it could be a GREAT storyline for a city-based covenant, come to think of it - stories of Infernal corruption and machinations.
But the alterations needed are hardly "minimal"! You'll need to massively change both some of the entities involved and the statistics. A single long dungeoncrawl simply doesn't work with ArM's deadly combat system. The underdark doesn't exist. The idea of having gnomish/dwarven enclave below a city built on top of a volcano doesn't work for Mythic Europe (well, unless you REALLY play high-magic).
You have inspired me, however. I'm going to try to think on how to convert other D&D adventures to ArM now...
I sort of agree, but it also depends on the game in particular you are converting, the skill of the GM and how much effort you want to put into it. In the Shackled City adventure given here, i personally think it would require a lot of work as far as the Stat Blocks go. D&D is fast paced, with combat often being the highlight of a session. Ars Magica doesn't seem to be geared that way, and a big fight with a Beholder might be a mess. Furthermore, the GM would have to spend some time working out the stats for the monster, and i doubt there is anything comparable in the core game right now. But, all that said, i'm sure it is doable, and an Ars conversion of a d20 adventure would be really cool.
Would you take out some of the fighting? How would you work out enemy spellcasters and the ability to spontaneously cast? As much as I dislike the fire-and-forget spell system, it IS extremely convenient knowing that you can glance at a sheet and know exactly the strengths, spell tactics, and limitations of your hobgoblin shaman.
I'm moving this discussion to a different thread.
To chirp in IMHO opinion it is not about whether the Ars mechanics are geared for the fight with a beholder, but more about whether the standard setting is geared for beholder-style encounters. But YMMV, so even if the standard setting might not mesh well with high fantasy pastiche, it is certainly possible to do it within the frames of the rules, and if it is what you prefer, the more power to you!
Yopu might have noted that I did not mention D&D in my list of adventures. this is because I have a pair of D&D supplements, and they are mostly hack & slash, something I find dull and boring. However, suppklements that mix up combat with politics, interaction with NPC (real interaction, not going to X to have the NPC tell them the fixed Y insert in the adventure) and some action are good for me. Call of Chrtulhu and Cyberpunk work well in that area, and LOTR woerk fairly well as well (for the more roleplaying.-oriented adventures. I have never tried D&D since tthe supplements I have never interested me. So my statement might be a little bit too broad, but I think it is workable. I think that your example of infernal corruption would work Also, remember thatn orcs are not much different from your enemy covenant's grogs/infernalist minions/bandits backed up by a hedgie in 99% of the situations you might encounter
I would just like to say that while this may be the style of play that Ars Magica supplements promote, there is no reason why you can't run a D&D-style, combat-heavy campaign. It just needs a slight tweak to the Code of Hermes and possibly a review of how magical healing occurs (or the abundance of Vis).
... As well as the removal of the wild-die. Otherwise the system will be so deadly that you will have trouble coming past the first two encounters with any of the original characters is you run AD&Dish adventures.
Just adding to the books mentioned above, there were starter kits published for both 3e and 4e: Stormrider and Return of the Stormrider, respectively.
Playing Stormrider was my first experience of Ars Magica. It was an okay story, but the storyguide hadn't worked out yet whether he preferred 3e or 4e rules, so it was a half-converted mess and he didn't do it justice. Probably the best thing about it was the rules and mini-bestiary for elementals in the back, which to date are the only ones in canon (serf's parma). However, with Realms of Power: Magic presumably coming out later this year, those rules will soon be obsolete.
I know next to nothing about Return of the Stormrider, except that the reviews seemed negative on the whole.