(Filled)Ragnarok: A newbie-friendly ArM5 game is recruiting!


I'm looking to try out the fifth edition of Ars Magica for an epic, adventure-rich saga. I'm looking for players and you're invited!

I'm hoping for an informal, light-hearted and fast-paced game, driven by player choices and their consequences. I will explain everything you need to know as we go - you will not need a history degree or an encyclopedic knowledge of rules and source books. The game is intended to be welcoming to those who have never played before, but also filled with richness and opportunities for new and experienced players alike. I have limited experience with Ars Magica 5 myself, but I look forward to learning alongside the players.

[size=150]Background story:[/size]
[i]On the eve of your graduation, under the cover of night, your parens ushers you onto a boat to Thetford, England. Your orders succinct: Find a defensible location, establish a covenant, and do what you can to avoid drawing attention yourselves. And under no circumstance are you to set foot on Mainland Europe until the end of the year. As dawn breaks, one of the crew discovers a note that reads: “Mount the keg where the Tuatha king lays his crown and chase from dusk the goddess of Roman dawn down.”

The note is not signed, but is dated March 12th - two weeks from now.
[size=150]House Rules:[/size]

  1. As long as your character has personality and depth, all the published books are available to you. Don’t abuse my trust by minmaxing.
  2. Player Magi are 20-25 years old, have recently finished their apprenticeship and will not have Lab time before the game starts.
  3. You only need to stat out your Primary character (Magus or Mythic Companion). All others are optional, and can be added later.
  4. On any simple or quality die roll, rather than rolling, you may choose to "Take 6." You must make this decision before you roll.
  5. Every player gets 1 free re-roll per season, no questions asked.
  6. Gain one Confidence Point per season until the number of Confidence Points equals the Confidence Score.
  7. You may swap Specializations any time you increase the relevant score.
  8. Any significant character who drops from healthy to Dead in one attack, instead drops to Incapacitated and sustains five Heavy Wounds.
  9. Magi: Choose a Characteristic (except Intelligence) to use in all your mage’s Casting Scores. This Characteristic cannot exceed +5 for purposes of Casting Scores unless it permanently alters your Essential Nature. You always use the value in your Essential Nature, so changing shapes with spells or Virtues does not change your Casting Totals. The exception is Bjornaer, for whom the Heartbeast truly is their natural shape. For them, the characteristic is the higher of their Heartbeast or human form. Note that this means a Bjornaer gets to use the characteristic he would have had in Heartbeast form for casting totals, even while in human form, if that would give him a better score, but they’re still limited to a maximum of +5, just like everyone else.
  10. Gentle Gift does not count as your only Major Hermetic Virtue, though it still has to be balanced with Flaws.
  11. House Virtues may be substituted, as long as they are thematically appropriate and similar in power.
  12. Enchanting Items: Item Expiry does NOT give an Excess multiplier, it merely ensures that wayward magic items eventually lose their potency. Penetration can be increased by 1 point (not 2) for each level increase spent on it.
  13. Dual wielding: You get an extra attack, but all your attacks (including the first one) suffer a cumulative -3 penalty to Attack and Damage.
  14. Shields have double their normal Defense bonus.
  15. You may reflexively allow any spell through your Parma Magica / Magic Resistance, but you must be aware of it.
  16. XP earned by creatures with Might cannot be reduced to negative numbers.
  17. Secondary Insight is now a Minor Hermetic Virtue. You get slightly more points than from other such Virtues, but in return, you can only invest 1 point per season, which is a limitation they do not have.
  18. Magic Might characters wondering how much xp to begin with: Consider yourself as a Spring creature (120xp) if the character replaces a Companion or a Summer (360xp) if it replaces your Magus.
  19. Adventure XP is roughly doubled. You’ll get roughly the same from a season of adventuring as a season of lab work. Lab work is still safer, but if you want to play a magus who travels, you won’t be penalized for it.

[size=150]New Virtues:[/size]
Potent Whisper.
Hermetic. Minor.
When casting a Range: Voice spell silently, the effect carries as far as if it were spoken aloud. This has no effect on spells cast at normal
volume, or when using a Booming Voice.

Flexible Technique.
Hermetic. Minor.
Choose a second Characteristic to use for casting scores. Always use the better of the two. All other limits still apply.


  1. I’m very open to tweaking characters over time, for example if you didn’t understand some mechanic of the game initially.
  2. Anything you put on your sheet WILL come into play. There are no “free” Flaws or “wasted” Virtues.
  3. Online combat slows down the game, so if you’ve ever wanted to play a non-combatant, this would be a good opportunity.
  4. I will post roughly every 24 hours. If I have to step away for a few days, I’ll let you know in advance. Feel free to leave conditional instructions for me in private to post in your absence.
  5. I’d prefer posts be short and frequent rather than a monthly novel.
  6. In the event that too many players apply, I will choose the first 6 players who contacted me, and add any others to a waiting list (if they wish).

Change Log:
Jan 20 2019: Removed Adventurous Virtue, since it's mechanically too similar to Independent Study (HoH: MC 85).
Jan 22 2019: Added rules about Secondary Insight, Might XP penalty and starting XP for Might characters.

I love your house rules.


Edit: Tried to crack the riddle by typing three words into google


Now I know that this going to be a game about spare parts for toilets. Still not dissuaded! :mrgreen:

Interested too.
Edit: I'm thinking a House Merinita at present.

I'd be interested in doing a Mythic Companion since they are available an I have never done one.

You cracked my secret code and we haven't even begun play!

Fire away! It's my first time running an online game like this, so just make sure you stick with a character and concept, and don't let the rules steer your decisions.

Oh, and here's a link to our Discord server: discord.gg/VmkQnJu

I'd like to play as well, with a Flambeau.

How can we help with the setup of the covenant? do you have it all planned out?

I live in Europe. If you plan to use a discord server, the time zone difference may make me unsuitable for this game.

I notice you posted this recruitment on Giant in the Playground too. Are you planning to run two identical-premise games, or just pulling from a larger player pool?

It's mostly up to the players how they want to proceed. We've even had some suggest an ocean-going mobile Covenant, but we'll see what they end up doing. I don't want to reveal too much just yet, but I'd say 90% of it will be player-driven. E.g. if you want a mobile Covenant, that's what you'll get. But you'll have to deal with all the problems and downsides. That being said, if you have any ideas, it's not a bad idea to consider them during character creation. It will be very "open world" and player driven.

It won't be played at a particular time and date. Instead, players will post as their schedule permits, and I'll respond roughly once per day. There will also be "chapters" to the story, and at the conclusion of each chapter, I will post a summary of what happened on the boards.

Just drawing from a larger player pool.

I've been wanting to try Ars Magica for some time, this sounds like a lot of fun. I have a few ideas, how much time do we have to settle on one idea? And how should we submit them?

I've been wanting to try out Ars Magica for a while and I have a few different ideas I'm still deciding between. Where should we propose/write up our characters?

So, is the whole game taking place on the discord? Are you eventually moving it over to PbP? I would think you would have wanted to mention it was a Discord game in the Op and work on scheduling concerns long before character concepts if that were the case.

This. If this is a Discord game, I'm out. If it's a PbP game, I'm in like Flynn with a Criamon!

Me, too. I'd love to play this, but I feel uncomfortable with the idea of playing it on discord.

If players do not wish to use Discord, I'm not going to make them - I just find it's a handy tool. Forum posts tend to be long, and Discord can be handy when you just want to ask a quick question or resolve a round of combat - small stuff. But again, nobody's telling you to use it.

I'm making the decision right now that any action not posted in the PbP forum is not considered "canon." E.g. if you tell me on Discord you want to do something, we might resolve dice rolls there, if you choose. But until you actually make the post, as far as the game is concerned, nothing has happened.

While I'm at it, here are some answers to other common questions:

Campaign Title: Ragnarok.
System: Ars Magica, 5th Edition.

of Players: Ideally 4-6.

Deadline: Characters should be submitted and finalized by February 1st.
Starting Level: Magi: Fresh out of graduation, age 20-25. All others: Baseline starting values.
Advancement Rules: Standard.
Combat Rules: We'll have an ooc forum specifically for quick posts, such as combat rolls and so forth.
Dice-Rolling Rules: Players will roll their own dice. Any Simple or Quality die may be substituted for a 6 if the player wishes, but this decision must be made before a roll is made.
Special Rules: See post #1.
Posting Rate: Ideally, I'd prefer to see quick, short posts rather than long, rare posts. But I understand that scheduling can be difficult.
Absences: Players who expect absences should let me know in advance if possible. They may also leave conditional instructions for me, and I will then post on their behalf while they're gone. Players who have not posted for a week without explanation will be "ghosted." I.e. I'll take control of them until the player returns. While I'm controlling that character, I will attempt to keep them out of harm's way and to avoid drawing attention to them as much as possible.
Writing Expectations: I don't expect poetry from players, but it should be easy to understand what they're trying to say and do. Beyond that, just treat one another with respect.
Text Formatting: Ultimately, each player is responsible for their own style, but I find it helpful if they post in-character dialog in the same color every time, to help people remember who is who.
Plot- or Character-Driven: Think of it as an open world game. There will be a fairly expansive plot going on, but the players are not obligated to partake if they don't wish.
Focus: Survival in a harsh, cold climate. Establishing a new covenant without supervision or support from parens or other elder magi. Dealing with locals, mundanes and all the mystical creatures of Mythic England.
Character Types: Anything is allowed as long as the rules are obeyed and your concept is solid. But if I feel like you prioritized stats over concept, I will simply ask you to start over on a new character, or leave the game. This game should be a safe haven away from minmaxers and munchkins.

Alright, we have about 9 applicants and I'm getting over 1000 messages a day, so recruitment is closed for now.