Hardcore fans?

OK, I saw a comment the other day on another forum about how Ars Magica has a particularly dedicated and hardcore fan base. Something like that anyway. I must admit I nearly created another quiz or Facebook App, of the How Hardcore Are You? type. I don't think I'm very hardcore -- I play a lot of other games in my spare time too, though I expend most of my RPG time on Ars Magica. In fact when I tried to work out how many hours a week I have dedicated to the game over the last decade I was a little surprised. So do people think it's true? Are Ars fans, well fanatics? :smiley:

cj x

Having not met with any other active Ars Magica fans in person (FLGS owner says two other people buy the books regularly), I'm not really able to draw from much experience when it comes to talking about my fellow Ars Magica fans.

That said, however, I'm WAY more involved with Ars Magica than I have been with any of the other RPGs I play/have played and while I'm not really sure how much time I devote to the game, I figure it has to amount to at least an hour or two a day - more than just about any other fandom I'm currently associated with so I guess my answer would have to be: Yes we are...

Yeah, I think I spend 30+ hours a week on the game. To be fair, 15 of those are running my three sagas and prep, and I do write for the line sometimes. Mark Shirley and Timothy Ferguson, Erik Dahl and Mark Lawford must spend rather more than that! :slight_smile:

cj x

Not so much for me, these days. Mostly I rest on my laurels and reference half-remembered things I wrote years ago in reply to questions on the forums. :wink: Though I admit I generally get more inspired immediately after the Grand Tribunal.

Not recently. I don't have a troupe at the moment, and I'm not doing primary drafting on any book. I've had time to do a couple of Coursera courses in the space.

When there's a book due, I spend a couple of hours a night on it, sure.

(So...I really need to think about a one off Google Hangout game.)

I'm going to join in too. There was a time when I was working on a few books, I think we'd just taken Sub Rosa on, and my saga was still in full flow. Those were some crazy Ars Magica filled days, but things are a little more... balanced now. If "balanced" means "real-world work leaving nothing in the tank for anything else" then yeah, pretty balanced.

However... There's an end in sight for the real-world workload and we have something special planned for SR13, and of course there's work still to do on the line, and I'd love to get a new saga going this year. You never know, I could be snapping at your 30-hour heels before too long.

I'm planning to actually get some real world workload and diminish my gaming time: unfortunately I still have not managed to secure any PhD funding, and it's horribly tempting to work on Ars stuff rather than the stuff I should be doing. I'm wrapping one of my sagas in the next couple of months after three years of running it with Darkwing though, so things will get saner then. :slight_smile: (Saner = I will carry on working on poltergeists...)

So you are an addict.

Nah, I'm a workaholic. :slight_smile: I've written for quite a lot of 5th ed books in the past, and am committed to organising the Grand Tribunal this summer. I'm getting better at putting end dates on things though: my Arcane Connection podcast will run for at most 24 episodes, then end. I've done a third of them now. This Grand Tribunal UK may well be the last I organise: we will see how it goes, but it's the Seventh GTUK, and will be the best yet I hope. One of my sagas is ending in the not too distant, and we will see what I do next. I may go play and write for other games for the next decade, that seems to be my pattern. :slight_smile:

cj x

I'd say I'm a strong fan. I'll spend hours creatin excel spreadsheets to model various mathematical phenomena in the game to optimize things. Currently I'm working on a combat simulater to determine fundamental questions like:

"What is the best weapon to use, all else equal?"
"What is better, Dex or Qik?"
"What is better, Str or Sta?"
"Which virtues are the best to purchase for a combat optimized character?"

Dex, I'd say. And Sta. You can make up Str with a decent weapon, but more soak is ALWAYS good. And the increased attack AND defence values is valuable, even if you spend your first turn or so on the defensive.

  • Using heater shield makes mace {1-11-3}, long sword {2-10-3} is barely better but an anachronism. Great sword is {2-14-2}, warhammer too 1-sided at {0-18-0}.
  • Qik is Initiative + Defense, Sta is Attack + Encumbrance, so {(-1) 1 1 2 2} is the cardboard archetype.
  • Puissant Single Weapon, hands down as it boost Exertion, Qik and Dex by 2 {0-2-2}, Soak is {0-0-3}, Self-Confident goes beyond pure numbers.

I'd say I'm relatively hardcore. I get home from work about 6.30 or so, and spend the whole evening with one browser window dedicated to getting caught up on Bibracte, Canaries, Light of Andorra, and Via Experimenta. And that's not including the time I spend thinking about Ars when I'm at work or trying to get to sleep.

And I still find myself thinking sometimes that I have time for just one more game.

I might be an endurance fan in that (with brief exceptions of a few months in 1999 and 2003) Ars has been my favorite game since I got to the laboratory chapter awhile paging through first edition a few minutes after I purchased it at Gen Con in 1988. I don't know if I ever averaged more than an hour a day* on it but I'm relatively certain that I'll keep purchasing everything that is produced for the game in English for the foreseeable future.

That's probably enough to make me part of the dedicated hardcore fan base. But really, how many of us dedicated hardcore fans are there 20? 200? Does Ars Magica have that much of "a particularly dedicated and hardcore fan base" that it qualitatively different from lots of other games Shadowrun, Werewolf, Traveler, legend of the five rings, seventh sea.

Certainly there are ore Exalted fans (their kickstarter funded in eighteen minutes yesterday) I suspect that there are fewer Feng Shui fans. It depends on how you want to split things up but I see the Ars comunity as not atypical there are probably several games that have similarly dedicated fan bases. I like you all better but I don't think that you're some sort of weirdly affectionate outlier group.

Perhaps the person who suggested it is looking at us from the perspective of a Talislanta or Castle Falkenstein fan base saying "why doesn't my game get that much love" but meanwhile a fan of Vampire or 40K might be thinking "if things were different my game could be as small and paid as little attention to as Ars Magica"

*Because of my children I often end up leaving a window to this forum open on my computer. I'm not really here as often as the "users browsing this forum" list at the bottom of the page would have you believe.

To clarify, the quote being referred to was from RPG.net and was, I believe:

I think Ars lends itself very well to those gamers that enjoy homework. Even when i'm not playing or doing anything directly for my saga, I can still spend a few pleasant hours putting mechanics to a character idea or a mystery cult idea that i've had. Indeed, in my current Nathas saga, I've written material that I have no idea how i'm going to introduce it to my players. Its in the setting, its fully written up, I can't imagine how they'll ever find it. Still, they often surprise me with these things.

I'm sufficienty hardcore to have been curious when introduced to the 2nd ed when it was new in 1989, buy my own copy in 1990, sell it in 1992 when frustrated about not getting to play it, only to buy it back in 1993, convince my gaming club i 1994 to buy the 4th ed, and eventually keep interest long enough to actually start playing it in 1997 or so.
Since then I've played some fairly long sagas, switched to 5th ed, enlist as playtester, and somehow got my self involved in writing for the line.

Right now I'm down to one bi-weekly saga, the other one just closed down. I sped more time during the week preparing, thinking, researching, mailing etc. than I do actually playing. Also writing has taken time.
I would consider myself a loyal fan.

I´ve probably spent at least as much time on Battletech/Mechwarrior/Megamek, DnD, Axis&Allies, World in Flames, World at War, Diablo2&3, Starcraft 1&2, Babylon 5 Wars, XCom-3 Apocalypse, Civ3, Space Empires 3&4, Total War series, Star Wars Rebellion, and my own various games...

I spend a lot more of my overall time on forums here though, simply because this game also touches on what´s one of my primary subjects, history... While i sometimes also spend a lot of time on BT forums because they sometimes end up with interesting science discussions.

So, hardcore fan? Very much doubt it.

There was a thread a year or so ago on RPG.net that pointed out that of the games that have long term viability,quite a few of them are games that provide enjoyment when you are not playing them. Ars Magica fits this description better than any other game I can think of.

It looks like I jumped to a false conclusion.