House of Sphynx

We don't. In our games the Covenant is nothing more than a Base of Operations. We play more 'Fantasy' style than 'Mythic'. Ie: Ogres and Dragons are the enemy, not the neighboring Covenant. We honestly only use Ars Magica for the rules, not the setting. It's the best ever Magic System that, in our games, is applied to a world a bit closer to a Dungeons & Dragons setting. :wink: So, you can buy Arts and Abilities with only Adventuring XP, not with Study XP. So, everyone in our group only has a Magi (or Companion should they prefer), and learns spells from Scrolls if they have an Art score high enough to do so.

I know.... very different, but funner for us.


Bruhuhuuhruhrud..... [color=white]Shudder the thought!
It's nice that you have fun with Ars Magica!! :smiley:

Our game began last night and started a bit slow. What was intended to be a quick start-up for the story of the night ended up being the entire night's fiasco. :stuck_out_tongue:

Covenant Hermes, the Order's primary Covenant, of which the most powerful of each House, and only one member of each of the Houses, resides (that power being determined through Cartamen), conducted the Gauntlet test of which 24 Apprentices partook. Only 6 passed, those of the Player Characters.

The next few days were spent with a nearly senile Magus of the House of Merinita, in order to learn the secrets of Parma Magica. However, this Merinita had other plans in mind. Upon completing their training, he wisked them away to a place far away from the Covenant of Hermes via a Ritual Rego Corpus spell to a deep and strangely mystical forest, all which they considered to be a part of some test. Amidst the forest was a circle of immense proportion, in preperations for a Ritual of some sorts. The senile old man, whose name was discovered to be Merlin, approached the ring and began completion of the ritual as the students watched. Up from the ground came a Keep, complete with 4 towers, one on each corner. 30 feet high, and 45 feet on both bredth and width, the Keep offered a starting santuary for the young Apprentices.

Merlin himself disappeared, leaving no clue as to why they were here, or give reason for his strange behaviour. They have no Library, but they do have an Aura of 5, and are Fortified.

Initial game was intended to find a local village, arrange for assistance, hire people, etc, and then begin the adventures as the Magi attempt to resolve the many supernatural mishaps occuring in the underlying areas, free from Hermetic Influence. Instead, the first 2 hours were spent with the players happily drawing out exactly what their Keep looked like (blueprint style), and only after that were they willing to explore the outskirting areas some.

Although we did not get to use the Game Mechanics on this game, it was a great blast, and they have Grogs now. :wink: Although none of their skills were apt enough to create the needed cashflow, the Merinita did get a few ritual spells completed for a nearby farmer, to insure he not only became the richest person in the area (assuming he could sell all that food), but that his crops would sustain the Keep and all Grogs in it for many months to come. Next Week, they will get to visit the Town Center and hopefully begin the adventures of clearing the current locale of the supernatural hazards. :wink:


This would be the "Ars Super-Hero Magica saga"? :open_mouth: :stuck_out_tongue:
What kind of setting are you using, or haven't you given much thought to that? :unamused: :laughing:

Super Hero? I don't understand.....

Guess I'm missing out on what super-heroics you saw that I didn't. All I saw was a Magnitude 9 ReCo spell (by an 80 year old, nearly-twilighted Merinita), and a Magnitude 7 ReTe spell (by that same someone) for the purpose of telling the story.

As for the setting, you'll get to read about it as it happens. :stuck_out_tongue: However, you're welcome to skip my thread if comments will only be deragatory. However, as stated before in the thread, XP (and thus learning) is only awarded via Adventure, not Study in this game, hence the lack of a Library.


You realize that some of your Characters coudn`t cast a spontaneous Spell if their lives depent on it ?

Yes, I'm aware of their weaknesses. :stuck_out_tongue: That's their problem, not mine, but those that took those types of Flaws realized it when they took them.

And the question that has been harping on your minds for the past week.... How is Sphynx's game going to turn out on Saturday. Now you've waited two days in dreadful suspense, wondering why he hasn't posted yet... Just nod and smile :wink:

** Side note for those wanting to make negative comments about this post, read the past posts first. Although this game takes place in a 'Fantasy Setting' not unlike a LotR movie, or a AD&D adventure, it uses the same rules with the exception that Experience is garnished only through Adventure, so no seasons/library/etc rules used. Other than that, the rules are exactly the same for how magic works, and how flaws/edges work (except for not allowing study flaws for the characters)

Previously, after the Gauntlet, a crazy old Merinita teleported the whole group to a place far away from home and raised a castle before disappearing. Granted, not the most thematic (or even believable) way to start a game, but does create a quick need to bond instead of flash testosterone by being stranded together in an unknown place, but with a Base of Operations of their own to begin from.

An exciting game where the players delved right into the game, and unlike last time, actually exceeded the planned events of the game. Early in the game the covenant befriended the village. The Merinita in the group used some vis store to turn a nearby crop into a month long endless supply of food (See her CrHe spells). That led to the need for more labor to harvest daily the revenue of the field. As the month ended, the increased commerce had drawn the crowd needed to get the covenant on its feet and a great number of grogs to run it. Tribute was paid to the local duke, as well as the church, both receiving revenue from the sell of 10% of the crop. Thus were the locals befriended by the Magi, and thus also began the confindant reports of problems in the area. Apparently the increase in commerce was at the best time possible for recent raids of the northmen had devestated the crops and stored foods for the coming winter. The northmen are huge fiersome warriors with green skin, and no hair, standing a tall 2 meters in height. Two children had also disappeared this summer at a lake to the south, a lake said to be haunted by strange fey-spirits. Many cows had disappeared on a regular basis, no trace of their disappearance evident, but often fleshless carcasses of a cow would be found days later on a different area from where it disappeared. The locals fear a dragon is the cause (OOC: It's not a dragon :wink:), lastly, crops are suffering this year from a greatly depleted water supply. The river rose less than 1/5th of previous years, despite the normal levels of rain. The scouting team sent up river to investigate, never returned.

The team spent most of the time doing cartography, trying to map out the area, and decide what was the most important thing to investigate first, deciding that the water supply was probably the one of most import, and prepared an expedition to head upriver. The grogs, fearful of losing their new friends, begged them not to go, not understanding why they couldn't just make water appear like the'd done for the plants. After alot of itneractive roleplay, the team headed up river, towards the mountains, which of no small consequence was the direction the NorthMen had come from. They hoped to kill 2 birds with 1 stone.

First I decided to test the combat system a bit, there being a couple of more combat oriented magi in the group, and the magic system being new, I set up an ambush 2 days north of the village. The riverbed they followed was nearly dry, providing a nice solid, though cracked, surface to walk on, like an open road, and the players took the bait, agreeing with each other that it was best to stay on the riverbed, as they could travel much faster this way.

Fortunately for them, the Criamon noticed the ambush way before the ambushers were aware that the Magi had come into the area. Although there remained an Ambush, it wasn't the Ambush I had in mind, the ambushers became the ambushees. Our Jerbiton suggested negotiations, but was immediately out-voted as allying with Orcs in any way at all, just seemed wrong. :stuck_out_tongue:

The team climbed up the hills, into the woodland, intent on sneaking above the ambushers and striking them from above. First we looked up movement to see how fast they could move. No rules for moving exist. Not a big deal, we looked up rules for sneaking, only rules say you roll "against the other person's perception", which seemed simple enough, too simple even. However, the Perception/Awareness of the lookouts was +0, the party rolled the average Stealth/Dexterity which was +3. Roll of a dice later and the team successfully got past the lookouts (though we're a bit disappointed that there are no clarifications for handling non-combat actions other than magic....).

8 Orcs
Orc: Str+3, Sta +3, Int: -1, Per: -1, Pre: -1, Com: -1
Short Bow: Init: -1, Att : +6 (Changed from Perception to Dex?), Def: +3, Dam: +9 (Strength Bonus applies?!?)
Short Sword: Init: +1, Att: +6, Def: +4, Dam: +8

Combat itself went well enough, with a -2 defense on the ambushed round (no rules for ambushing), and the Flambeau, despite being told to avoid fire to not attract attention, finding himself throwing a fireball in the very first turn, the combat was pretty much over before melee even had a chance to occur. The charge downhill finished off the already heavily damaged Orcs in 2 turns as the WereTiger, and the Charging Knight (Flambeua), led the team in outright damage.

End Results:

Disappointed on the lack of non-combat/non-magic rules. There's more to gaming than magic and combat. Combat itself didn't seem different, seemed the only real changes from 4th to 5th was the change in spell formulas, and the addition of Warping. Oh, the Encumberance vs Burden/Load is a nice change, but I don't see any improvement in the combat of the game.

Most people have just been using the Movement Rules from 4th Ed.