from the AG home page
New cover is up too. Looks nice, too.
C&G is probably going to be the first ArM5 book I WON'T buy. Oh well.
Well, being the compulsive completist RPG spender that I am, probably I'll eventually buy it. However, I'll probably seek an online seller with the cheapest bargain, in due time, instead of the source with the fastest delivery ever, as I did with HoH:MC, RoP:I, TMRE, and likely will do with Ancient Magic.
I'm sure that C&G will hold the same excellent quality level that has characterized the line, it's just that I foresee the book as being much less useful to me than the above books. Pretty much all of the socio-economic issues and necessities of the setting, that may typically arise in a mage's life, are already covered to our satisfaction by Covenants, and I have already plenty of info about Middle Age city life. However, I do not doubt some groups exist out there that may be interested into turning their mages into merchant princes. It's just not my preferred taste.
Well, I will say I will buy bolth the new books, and are realy looking forward to them, but I am slightly disapointed that the last Houses book (It sucks trying to run a house based on a 1 parapraph descrition) and the last ROP books arn't higher on the schedual (Virtualy no information on the fae, magic realm is the most comomnly interacted with, extrapolated information would be very usefull). Bolth C&G adn Ancient Magic seem... "more optional" I geuss, than the previously released books.
How does Atlas decide what books to publish in what order? Do the conduct nation-wide research, or do they publish what the writers are interested in producing?
SHOULD they conduct more research, or should we be happy that there's any Ars stuff being published at all.
I know I for one would love a book of full adventures, with hand outs, NPCs, maps, etc. I have a feeling these don't sell well (like 1 per troupe instead of 1 per player), but, man can they be useful. All game systems seem to be moving away from these basic items.
Yep: everyone wants this, and yet they don't seem to either buy it, or send it to Eric, whose fanzine is on the brink of closing for want of articles. Back in the day, before Eric got his business together, I wondered if I could do a sort of .pdf vanity press ,where you could viote on the sort of books you'd like, and get a 24 page magazine on that predcise subject for Ars. I didn't go ahead with it because I know Eric pours out money into HP, and it still isn't viable.
Considering how much better the two new realms books were compared to Pax Dei and the Maleficium, I'm more than willing to think that City and Guild can bury Mythic Seas once and for all.
And just so that you know, one person here at least is happy with the new Criamon.
It is my understanding that the scheduale is determined by the line editor (David Chart) according to a) the need for a steady but not overwhelming rate of accessories, and b) trying to appeal to different segments of the fans, and cover different parts of the game. So for example you won't see three realm books being produced, followed by three houses books, followed by three tribunal books, and so on; instead he spreads them out so people who want a book detailing the Order will get one, others wanting stuff for PCs will get one, others wanting books detailing the setting will get one, and so on.
Prior edition's publishing was done very much without forethought and in response to author ideas; I find the current structured approach much better (even if I, too, lament the absence of Faerie and Societas).
I'm sure it will far surpass Mythic Seas. I didn't purchase that, either Sorry, the issues raised in C&G just don't interest me, as a player or SG.
I've been trying to build up a fan-made campaign for Ars Magica, but I'm afraid I don't have the time to invest in it lately. Some relevant threads (in chronological order):
(Only the first and last relate to the saga directly, the others are discussing related issues)
P.S, another 5e Criamon fan here.
You describe a very interesting phenomina. You see it all over the place, from movies, to the new mustang model, etc. I happen to realy like your new criamon stuff, though, I've never seen the old stuff to compare it with. However, I am also convinced that the Transformers movie is gonna be total trash, just form seeing a total of 5 photos from pre-production. I think that since re-writes and remakes are so prevelant now, and the current trend of them usual sucking hard, everytime someone see's a new interpretation of something they like, they just outright panick.
On book orders, people will want what they want for their game. Players will want crunchy bits for their PCs, GM's will want whatever book contains the information they are missing for thir saga. For me, the ROP books are very important because my saga deals very heavily with thoose two realms, while I held little intrest ingthe infernal book (until Eric convinced me to pick it up) because my saga had little or no infernal elements. I don't know how you could even poll for that kind of marketing info.
Well, with most of the basics (Covenants, TMRE, 2/3 of House books, 1/2 of realm books) covered, I think it is to be expected that the line begins to branch out, so to speak. But I'm ready to bet substantially on the fact that HoH:Societates will be on the Spring '07 slot, and RoP:Magic on the Summer '07 slot, barring unforeseen problems, and therefore keep the pattern, even if they are a bit too far yet to be announced. Likewise, I'm ready to bet for RoP:Faerie keeping the Summer '08 slot. Of course, HoH books will have been done by then, so this leaves a slot open: Hedge Magic would be excellent a place for it. Of course, there's also the Fall '07 and Winter '08 to cover, although I guess at least one of them will be covered by a non-magic subject: who knows, maybe a Tribunal book. For the other, I've no ready guess.
I've said it before and I'll say it again - a new tribunal book (Normandy?) would be very welcome
David Chart, the line editor, has previously announced that his goal is to publish four books each year--three books that are of primary interest to magi and one that is primarily of interest to non-magi.
If you start from the position that magi are only getting three books a year, then I think the order in which they have been released is reasonable. I'm sure some people would have preferred that Mystery Cults and The Mysteries RE come out early, but those are the breaks. I preferred getting a Tribunal and True Lineages first, and I think TMRE and Mystery Cults were worth the wait.
If Atlas had published all of the Houses books in a row, people would be complaining that there were no Realm books. If Atlas had published all four Realms, people would be complaining that there were no House books. I think the reason for going with Divine and Infernal first were reasonable. The Infernal and Divine are so different from the books published under the third edition that it had to be high on the list of things to publish. The Good Folk have had books published in several versions and Faerie Stories is still relatively new. There is plenty to tide people over until RoP: Faerie gets published, so it goes lower on the list.
People should also remember that Atlas has finite resources both in terms of money and personnel. Atlas isn't Hasbro--thank whatever god(s) you worship for that... It takes a long time to write, playtest, revise, playtest, revise, layout, edit and print a book. This is especially true because most, if not all, of the writers are part-time/hobbyist writers. I don't think there are many people who do it as a full time job, which makes everything take much longer.
I think one good thing about going with Ancient Magic was that it gave the authors the chance to write something that wasn't just a re-tread or re-hashing of a previous Ars Magica book. Although Timothy did an excellent job of re-imagining Criamon and converted them from being a Discordian bunch of kooks to a playable, realistic House, he was still bound by things that were previously written and the expectations of the fans. He couldn't turn the Criamon into a bunch of politcally motivated flamethrowers, for example. He had to write within plenty of constraints.
Ancient Magic had never been done, so the authors had almost carte blanche to write what they wanted. If you don't want authors to be burnt out and pass on book proposals, there needs to be some variety. I would like to see more books like this personally and am looking forward to the next completely "new" book that David decides to have written.
Mythic Seas while not up to the standards of Atlas' other products, it wasn't was all bad. I did like the "islands/ports of interest piece" and the spells/magic items where OK. I would have liked to see a greater focus on myths and legends (like Living Lore) related to the "mythic" seas.
As for City and Guild, I'm sure I will buy it b/c one of the storyguides (story guide Gamma) has a ship captain companion and a merchant Jerbitron. Would have rather seen HoH:Societes or ROP:Magic (or my personal favorite Children of Olympus: The Tribunal of Thebes), but still should be interesting.
I have to say it: I can't wait for City & Gild to come out. In my new campaign, the mundane society features heavily, and I really want more rules for trading and towns.
This new campaign will be very interesting, as it features one Tremere, in a covenant of Bjornaer Magi. Poor sod..
It's October 26 and we haven't yet had an announcement that City and Guild has been sent to the printers. The prospects for seeing this book in November are looking grim.
Actually, it went to press on Tuesday (or at least was left on Monday night for the Tuesday UPS pickup -- Jared said he'd be there for the Tues. afternoon UPS pickup), while Michelle and I drove to Omaha to visit my sister, her husband, and our brand new nephew.
We might yet make the very tail end of November, but I haven't gotten a promise of a delivery date yet. Oh, and we're home from Omaha (but just checking e-mail at home).
I'll be happy if I have it (in the UK) by Christmas - then I can buy it so that my wife can give it to me for Christmas.