Lastest in my list on "converting from 4th edition" : Authorities.
Since they were introduced in Wizards Grim, I've thought they are a great and important part of medieval-ness (if I can be allowed the word... I hate "paradigm") of the game. Unfortunately, with the new study rules, they don't work anymore. I am completely without ideas as to what kind of rules to use for them. Has anyone thought of anything.
LoL, hijacking my own post to criticize an Ars Magica supplement on the publishers own message board... I really shouldn't post when I'm tired.
... but since you asked. IMO, True Lineages suffers from several problems.
Firstly, at most significantly, it lacks unity. Each section is writen by a different author, which is fine... but each section is written in a very different style, with different formats, organizations and even philosophies. That is nota necessary outcome of four different authors... I've written enough colaborative papers to know that. It would not have been difficult to give everyone a basic style outline and then have someone edit the material to ensure it formed a cohesive whole.
Secondly, I don't feel it captures the tone of Mythic Europe well. A lot of it seems to be written applying modern systems and structures to the setting. The Bonisagus scholarly journals for example... I'll admit I'm not a medieval historian but I'm pretty sure the peer reviewed academic journal was not around in the 13th century.
Thirdly, I don't like sudden changes in canon. I'm not talking about the Tremere... they desperately need it... but the other sections changed things in ways I did not like. The Transitionalist Quaesitors going from liberal reformers to Big Brother. Mercere loan sharks? I don't think any of that was necessary.
Finally, and I've said this in another post, I don't like having to buy several supplements to get basic information. The old Houses of Hermes did a fine job putting all the Houses in one book... why do we need to buy three books (two of which are no-where in the anounced schedule) to do the same job. There is a reason I don't play D&D: The Game of a Thousand Splatbooks. I really don't want to see ArsM go down that road.
Now, being more awake than I was, I hope this doesn't come off as pure negativity. There are things in True Lineages that I liked. I especially like the reimagining of House Tremere which has been in need of a face-lift since the early days of Vampire. I just think that the product could have been done better and more compactly, so as to include all the Houses.
In ArsM4, Wizards Grim, some illumination can give a bonus but extreme illumination is a penalty to physical quality...
Have you ever seen the Book of Kells? It's considered one of the most beautifully illuminated Bibles ever made... possibly one of the most beautifull books ever made. It is, however, almost completely unintelligible.
There actually are a few words about authorities in the 5th edition core rulebook. Check page 63, in the blurb about academic abilities.
Rather than the infinitely profound, if arcane, sources of knowledge of the 4th edition, they seem to be presented as foundational texts, establishing a framework for the knowledge in question to be developed.
As such, I will argue that they should actually be low-level, high-quality summae -- precisely the opposite of 4th edition authorities. Possibly of just a high enough level to enable you to write a tractatus on the topic.
Sorry, I've read Aristotle. There is nothing "low level/high quality" about his Metaphysics. It's actually enough to tempt me to throw in the addition restriction that you need at least X level in an Ability/Art to gain any benefit from an Authority.
I've always thought on Authorities as low-level low-quality Summa. They only outline the foundation, not the higher-level disputations. And they are certainly so obscure that they should be low-quality.
I could see requiring Authorities in order to Practice an academic Ability, perhaps with some Kabbalah-like rules for joint disputation. Not sure how well that will work, especially in 5e.
I never liked the 4e Authorities rules.