Has the free download contributed to you purchasing ars prod

Has the free download contributed to you purchasing ars magica products?

  • The free download is (almost) the sole reason I started buying ars magica products
  • The free download contributed to me buying ArM products
  • The f.d. had no bearing on me buying ArM products
  • The f.d. contributed to me buying less ArM products
  • The f.d. is (almost) the sole reason I don't buy ArM produts
  • Other

0 voters

As we may never see the free download again, the question arose. I happen to think it's good for ars magica to have the older version available online for free. But maybe I'm wrong. This poll might help dispel some illusions...

Has the free download contributed to you purchasing ars magica products?

Personally, it contributed - helped me play when I otherwise wouldn't, kept me in the loop and interested.

I'm an old torn up vet.

I've been playing consistently since Ars 2.


Well when I started playing there wern't no such thang as PeeDeeEf!

Whut de hell that stand fer anyway?

(Ask Abe)

Hey, you forgot "What Free download?" :stuck_out_tongue:

3rd ed was the first I encountered, and so had nothing to compare it to except "other" games. Re those, it was so superior to anything else I, and my group, jumped all over it. That was just as 4th was being released, and those two were not so far apart (yes, yes, but not as far as expansion material).

I had massive quantities of 3rd ed stuff, and some 4th expansion, then moved and that was put in storage, and only had access to AM via the pdf. Since all my RP lately has been PbP, the pdf, both directly and indirectly, kept me playing, and in the loop.

I bought the hardcopy 5th ed only recently, and that was because I was still playing PbP, but more 5th ed games were surfacing. So, in a word, absolutely it contributed, it was practically the single contributing factor to me even knowing about 5th. And from PbPgames I've run and played in I can vouch that at least a dozen players I know learned from the pdf since 5th came out and enjoyed the hell outa it - whether they moved or will move to 5th I don't know, but they asked about it at the time.

Coming home late, I only just now realized that this poll is about as accurate as the Dewey/Truman election predictions. :unamused:

Those being polled are all on this site, ergo, they are all fairly dedicated AM fans to begin with; take that for what it's worth. 8)

(That said, I'd still be interested to know why that one voter felt the .pdf (almost) kept him from buying AM products.)

I buy every Ars product, so... no.

It didn't influence my purchasing but the players in my game have now mostly all bought 5th Ed and about half had previously downloaded.

Same here. :smiley:

ditto - I bought 4th Ed when it came out;
I bought or otherwise acquired all the 4th Ed supplements;
I bought 5th Ed as soon as it came out, as we'd already been play-testing it for some years;
I bought or otherwise acquired all the 5th Ed supplements so far, and intend to continue doing so.

Being a completist groupie, I did also download the PDF of 4th Ed, but it was too late to be of any real use to me personally...

Many years ago, when the third edition was not yet a blob of ink on the steely point of the well-chewed biro of fate, I was playing the second edition.

I've been hooked ever since.

Well, it's an important crowd to look at. But perhaps it would be interesting to see what people outside our little circle think about these things. I'll set up a similar poll on ENWorld (the largest d20 forum).

Poll here.

Nope, didn't impact me, but I was able to send other people who didn't play AM over to find the freebie and convinced them to become interested in the game.

How many of them went on to buy AM books, I am uncertain, but at least through this I was able to convince others that the game was worth looking at. Given how few stores actually carry AM where I am (e.g. 1 store that I know of within about a fifty mile radius of my home), I find this important.

And here! :smiley:

And as many others in this thread I was hooked to Ars long before the free download. I got hooked on 3rd ed and bought and bought and bought books but didnt actually start to play, more than few single sessions, untill 4th ed. I still cant help buying but I do think that 5th ed is the pearl of the series af Ars editions. So no - the free download havent influenced my book-buying frenzy.

Nevertheless I'm still strongly in favor of keeping the 4th ed pdf free. It is a brilliant way to give material to players or potential Ars-interested people in generel. It is also a nice statement from Atlas of distributing it for free - and no matter whether people download it or not there is a strong signal in saying "Hey, you can get this for free because we are so confident in what we do that we are sure that you will like it, and that if you do we are certain that you will find the 5th ed even more to your liking. Enjoy!"

I agree with Cuchulainshound that this isn't an accurate scientifical poll, but is still interesting to discuss - and the discussion might also bring wievs to the light that might influence Atlas Games nonetheless.

This is an interesting poll, so thanks for putting it up.

As a data point, the free ArM4 PDF has been downloaded something over 28,000 times, which is a lot more than we've sold of either the 4th edition or 5th edition print rulebooks. Its release resulted in a crashing of the print sales of 4th edition, but I believe it has helped the line overall in the long term. Even among people who may never play the game, it has contributed to "brand awareness" and stuff like that; and as others have pointed out in this thread, it makes it pretty easy to prod a friend into looking at the game when they can get this for free.

Thomas at e23 has said they'd be happy to host the download on their site now, so with luck we'll have it back online very soon.

Yes, downloading AM 4 DEFINATELY influenced further purchases. Due to that download I was able to get a couple of new players into the game for no money, and they ended up loving the game and buying "real" copies, then buying AM5 game stuff.


I concur - I might not have bought more - since I can help buying the whole lot anyway - but several of my players have bought the 5th ed core book and more because of it.

But I also think that 5th Ars as brilliantly as it is could benefit from a light watered down intro scenario/appetizer.

(The Return of the Bride of the Son of the Stormrider Jr. Rides Again, episode 2?)

The sky darkens over the tiny village of Javille, near the mighty covenant of Mistridge. Suddenly, a bolt of lightning splits the air, amazingly striking from the ground to the skies above!

2 peasents see the blast and remark to each other

"Mon Dieu! Eet must be anot'er eedition of zee Ars Magica!"

Well - it is amazing what a bit of watercolour or makeup can do... Might even just be a re-edited and updated Stormrider in the new layout to bedazzle people at the FLGS... Even if the old boys club dont need it or fancy it, it might actually bring fresh blood in...!

Makes me think it should rather be: The young fresh-blooded Bride of Dracuuulia, part XIII.

You're welcome. :slight_smile: You might also be interested in this poll, a similar poll but in the d20 community. It shoes many (46% of those that bothered to vote at the poll) didn't hear of the free pdf. Discounting those, the precentages are 62%, 24%, and 4% (whereas we stand at 74%, 16%, and 6%).

Good. :slight_smile: