How often do people play companions?

How often do you play companions?

  • Never
  • Perhaps one session / story in six
  • One session / story in four
  • One session / story in three
  • About half the time
  • More than half the time
  • Almost always

0 voters

A poll to satisfy my curiosity, as an author, OK? This will help me focus my work on areas people are interested in.

Last game we tried to get going , none of the 04 players wanted to do Companions.
We were all happy to generate one each for the SG , but only wanted to play a Magus.
Part of this may have been having a Game only once a month.
So we wanted to concentrate on our "Main" character.

Our game now only has one active companion (not mine). The most commonly seen character type in our games is the grog, with some magi only leaving their labs when they have a very good reason to. In several cases expeditions have been lead by apprentices.

I am in a similar situation to ulf. However, several of our grogs are in fact companion characters. They are lowly grogs in status, but have the V&F of a co mpanion. What we lack is companions that do not belong and/or live in the covenant 24/7. knights and minstrels tend to be scarce if anything. The brute point guard that is slow, but purposeful, and big as a stone house 8but has the self steem of someone that thinks he is a reduced giant) or the drunkard sergeant that sees the ghost of his first kill are quite better companions in the opinion of our players.



We quit playing with both Grogs and Companions many years ago. Only play with Magi now. Anything else is an NPC

Just out of curriousity: Does this mean that your all stories involve large groups of magi going around doing stuff? With no shield grogs or other servants?

And, at the other end of the spectrum, we have the Nurockrah saga, where companions are often the only ones going out and doing stuff. We've had Companion only adventures, even.

Quite honestly, we've had an unspoken rule for quite some time, where, at most, 1 or 2 people play magi, and everyone else plays companions. It's a bit easier to enforce, with the once a season sessions, and single night adventures.


I've always played one or two magi leaving the rest of the players (normally two to four of them) to play companions and grogs. There are, of course, exceptions, games where everone plays only their magus or games when no one plays a magus all night.

Frequently players find their companions to be more interesting characters than their magus.

I think that starting campains will see young magus,s more often on the road which will reduce the use of the companions.

Overtime, as projects stick the magus to their lab, companions will take more & more space as they will be better equipped & more usefull to defend a mage in general which also means more interesting for players.

It would be nice to see the some magical objects created for companions over time, these can be the magical object of legends since they may get a lot more exposure than those used by magus.


This has pretty much been the case in all of my groups campaigns. I don't think we have had more than 2 or the 5 magi along on an adventure in quite some time. In the current campaign, the only time we get heavy magi involvement is when the adventure is taking place on the convenant island itself.

Interesting. That's quite different from my experience.

In my last saga, players tended to view companions as "detailed grogs" - another part of the meat-shield, really. Simultaneously, it was assumed that magi alone should affect the plot of an adventure. Given that there wasn't much one could do while playing a companion, only a couple of us ever bothered to make them.

I don't want to paint too bleak a picture of that saga; in fact, I had quite a good time with it. Nonetheless, I don't think anyone found playing a companion particularly entertaining.

My companion is much more the adventuresome sort than my Bonisagus lab rat. The Bonisagus ventures out when there's something related to the particular story of that session, but otherwise stays in her lab, working in what amounts to a mostly support position at the moment. That may change depending upon the success of her projects, but for now it's the companion for most of the actual stories, with the lab rat showing up to schtick a bit during sessions.

That in mind, I'm actually contemplating a more active, out in the world sort of mage. Possibly along the Hoplite line, but I have no ideas of the specifics as of yet.

I'm in Kryslin's group and I'm stunned to hear these results. I think the more magi that go along on an adventure, the more headaches a GM has as the Magi can quickly solve 'the problems.' That said yes we tend to have one or two magi lead a party and the companions dominate the game.

This aside, I think the companions are simply much more interesting. These are characters that constantly need to use their heads to solve problems rather than combine Tech and Form. Our Magi certainly have interesting personalities, and everyone loves their magi alot, but I think everyone also love their companions. So much so that as Kryslin said, we've had companion only adventures. Perhaps this is our only throw back to D&D days, but we often have groups of fighters, theives, a healer, and extras. The companions, drink, drive, play cards, meet girls, kill monsters. The magi live in labs and occasionally cast a really cool/powerful spell. The companions live the colorful lives, at least in our game.

In all the sagas I've run the players tend to favour their magi to the extent that we hardly ever include companion characters in the rosta for any given story.

We also tend to put quite a lot of focus on grogs and miss out the companions.

It's something that I'd like to change in the next saga. I think there's a tendency to think that if the companion hasn't got some special "power" then they don't really fit the game. It's not something I agree with but I can see where that view comes from.

I'm hoping that City & Guild (whatever that may end up being) will expand on the various companion options; expand on the physician attached to the covenant and describe the mundane politics and potential that they attract and the like.

I really can't vote... :blush:

The various stories dictate what gets played... If its an adventure that involves high magic...the magi go...etc.

I would also say its highly dependant on the Companion in question. Certain companions are good for certain adventures, and others are useless as adventure types...

Overall its probably about 60/40 in favor of the Magi..

Yes. As mentioned before, we don't play your basic ArsMagica setting, we play Fantasy settings using the Ars Magica creation/magic systems. We're more AD&D style players that converted to Ars Magica for its more sensible magic system when D20 ruined our game. So yeah, a group of magi protecting the world from horrible evils, though not all the magi seem like magi. We have a shapeshifting warrior (spells to maximize his combat potential), a Bard (spells to influence people), a Pyromancer, a thief/sorcerer (telekinetic character), a Druid (Animals/plants), and a Scout (all spells are to maximize perception, such as clairvoyant style spells).

Since we don't use lab rules (we advance with experience only), and don't even have a lab or play with seasons, there's just no need for Companions.


We have two current stories on the go: in "the Bishop's staff" there are 2 magi but one is the 2nd SG's character and so bit NPCish...realistically there is only 1 magi) and 3 companions...while in "Calibas" there are 4 magi and 2 companions.

Usually there are say 2-3 magi and 2-3 companions.

I don't think we often have grogs mind you, only one grog springs to mind and he was not played by anyone.

The role the companions take depends strongly on the story...they often have in essense mini-stories inside the main one. Its fairly common for the magi to be doing x and the companions doing y. I like playing both my companion and my magi, but for different reasons.

I voted 50/50, on the asumption that you include playing grogs as well as companions contra magi.
In my experience more than two or three magi on an adventure can get sort of unruly. We have an expression in norwegian that roughly translates to "the more cooks, the more mess".
So I try to take responsibility and volenter to play non magi characters about half the time. In our current saga however some of the players do not subscribe to that doctrine, and as good as refuse to play anything other than their magus. :frowning:
It's an issue we're working on, and discuss rutinely. :unamused:

To facilitate the playing of companions, and give them an (even more) natural role we have let the players who have made companion characters make his companion for an others players magus. This way each companion has a close relationship with one spesific magus (maybe not so unusual), and when a companion acompanies his friend (the magus) on an adventure, the magus and the companion do not have to be played by the same player.

In the sagas I have played in or 'guided, people generally play their companions just slightly under half the time. Essentially it comes down to "gee, I want to get out of the lab", "okay, then I'll take my companion".

We have also had about 1/3 of the adventures were "companion and grog only" or "grog only" adventures (more the former than the latter). And we had a few "all magus" adventures as well.

Hope that gives some insight. :slight_smile:

Ummm... the D&D magic system was ruined long before it went D20, and most of the core problems with D&D have been there all along (hit points, armor class, levels, fire-and-forget magic, magic item shops, worlds that make no internal sense, dumb monsters, etc). D20 just added skills and feats (which make for more variety, and are IMO a marked improvement, but that's a taste thing).

That said, and I beg pardon for this digression, Green Ronin's new True20 looks very promising.