Combat Rounds - AM5

Hi people'

I'm sorry if this has been asked before, but I could not find anyone having the same issue as me.

This be my first post here, I haven't played AM for a LONG while (finding people in Denmark is difficult :slight_smile:), but I have played a lot of AM4 in the past. (9 years ago)

I've been trying to figure out how and when things are resolved in a combat round in AM5.
There was a nice list in AM4 (GM Screen)

    1. Movement
    1. First Missile
    1. Melee.
    1. Second Missile
    1. Magic
    1. Fatigue

But when I try to look for a clear idea on when things "fire" in AM5, I can't figure it out, I might just have starred myself blind on the subject. But I'm lost for how things trigger.

  • Like Fast Cast, Spontanous vs. Formularic, and how do you as a caster defend against missiles when it comes at you, is it all resolved on Initiative, (who ever goes first decides what goes first, and with what)



It's all decided on initiative order, so everyone goes at their own initiative point.

A fast cast (defense) against a missile needs to make two rolls, the first is a quickness + finesse roll versus the initiative of the person shooting the missile, if it's equal or better than a fast cast spell can affect the missile. Now with fast casting a defensive spell like this, you must either do it spontaneously or have an appropriate formulaic spell mastered with fast casting. Fast casting has been discussed vigorously and at length here on the forum.

Hi Tallens

Can I ask where in Denmark? I know for a fact that atleast 2 danes post here regularly, 2.5 if you count cj, and there are probably more.

Yeah, that.
I spent a lot of time looking for it too when I switched to 5th edition (from 3rd). And it's not there. It's gone.
There is no second missile, Magic is no longer 'slow'. It's all initiative now - and I always forget if you get Finesse for speed with magic or not :-/

You don't. It only comes into a speed roll with fast casting.

Excellent - then I haven't been cheating (myself) all that time :slight_smile:

It's something I've thought about doing for magi. The grogs and companions get bonuses for their weapons. I know encumbrance is supposed to be included, but by and large encumbrance of armed and armored combatants is going to be roughly equal. So, my experience is that it is just dropped from the calculation. Given all that, it leaves magi at something of a disadvantage, as they are rarely encumbered, this is why they are bringing grogs with them. But giving them Qik+Finesse for initiative is probably too much, and opposing magi with high finesse will effectively be out of reach for fast cast defenses. Magi and others with Hauberk of Sublime Lightness should probably be getting bonuses, if you don't include encumbrance in the initiative calculation.

The combat system of Ars Magica 5th edition is one of the simplest and most rudimentary that I've ever come across. I mean, it's the only game I know that doesn't even feature movement rules for combat. So you end up interpreting and juryrigging it in the way of your favored combat system anyway.

Well, I think the idea was to get away from a system that needed a map with squares or hexagon's on it that's needed to play to determine distances, lines of sight and the like. You can certainly do all that, but I'm not sure it adds anything to the combat sequence. If you're in voice range (for spells) you're in combat range...

From a game design standpoint I don't think an open ended magic system is very compatible with a detailed tactical combat system. My memory of a ArM DnD 3rd Hybrid was that it was way to easy for minor magic to throw a monkey wrench into combat.


Thanks for all the replies

I must admit, that with the great work with the magic system and such, that the combat system isn't better detailed, - of course it's more open and offer a lot of freedom, and I have to admit that the somewhat cumbersome system of 4th was a bit of a hassle, and particularly for the magus who came to do their stuff last.

Anyway I'll see if I can figure out a way to make the combat system a little structured, - I don't mean it should be all +3rd edition D&D but just that it gets a little tricky to handle at times.


Why not reading "Lords of men IX: Optional Combat Rules"

In some situations we use most of the optional combat rules and the combat becomes structured, indeed. Even the movement comes back into play.