I'm currently in the process of evangelizing Ars Magica to my group with a series of example games. I've been following the line since the days of first edition, but this is my first time actually running ArM5. I remember that one of the earlier editions recommended that each player control their magus and his shield grog; a martial companion; a noncombat companion plus a grog; or three grogs. However, grogs in ArM5 appear to be much more capable and on-par with companions than they were in previous editions. But, on the other hand, ArM5 adds the group rules, allowing one player to run up to half a dozen grogs in combat as readily as a single character. So, given these things, does the same guideline still apply? Or is it now more common for a player running solely grogs to take more or fewer of them?
And a couple other groggy questions, while I'm talking about them:
In the Grogs book, the 5-year Archer package puts just as many points into Concentration as the 5-year Sentry package, but staying awake on watch is the only specific non-magical, non-academic use for Concentration that I can find in that book or the core rules. Is this just meant to reflect that archers spend a lot of time on watch or do they have some other use for the skill?
In the ArM5 Covenants book, it states that the baseline for a covenant is to have one grog and two other covenfolk per magus, but, as far as I can see, there doesn't seem to be any cost (other than the ongoing annual upkeep) for having more grogs/covenfolk than this. Have I missed something? It seems odd to state a baseline rather than directly stating "pick any desired number of grogs/covenfolk" if there's no cost for deviating from the baseline.