If starting a new saga, which Regional book? [poll]

Which 5th ed settings would you like to explore with a new saga? You may vote for two options...

  • 1. Guardians of the Forest - Rhine Tribunal
  • 2. Lion and the Lily - Normandy Tribunal
  • 3. The Sundered Eagle - Thebes Tribunal
  • 4. Against the Dark - Transylvania Tribunal
  • 5. The Dragon and the Bear - Novgorod
  • 6. Heir to Merlin - Stonehenge
  • 7. Sanctuary of Ice - Greater Alps
  • 8. Blood and Sand - Levant
  • 9. Land of Fire & Ice - Mythic Iceland
  • 10. Cradle & The Crescent - Mythic Middle East

0 voters

If you were starting a new saga, which of the 4th or 5th ed settings currently out would you go for? Two votes each! Also if you would like to comment on ones you have used already, that would be interesting! Darkwing and I currently play in a saga set in an alternative take on the Stonehenge Tribunal, and I play in the Flying Chicken IRC game set on a floating city outside the Tribunals. My other current saga is set in Provence. Still which setting would you play or storyguide in given the chance? I have limited the poll to Tribunals or regions with a 4th or 5th ed current book just to keep it simple... I hope I have not missed any obvious books out! (And despite the poll question, this includes Fourth and Fifth ed books).

We've recently had 1 saga in Thebes and 2 in the Rhine.
Those and Via Experimenta, also in the Rhine.

Yeah... I like playing in the Rhine, but it's time to look somewhere now :wink:

As CJ mentioned, we play in an alternate take on Stonehenge, and one I'm particularly proud of. That said, of the books so far I find Sundered Eagle and Against the Dark very interesting, much better than any from 4th Ed. Admittedly, my reading of 4th ed books has been leafing through CJ's copies rather than detailed perusing so I may be biased. Cradle & the Crescent instantly inspired me, I now really want to run a game set there.

I like rise-of-magic sagas. So my two preferences are the Rhine, emphasizing the Guardians of the Forest/Wilderist themes, or Thebes, emphasizing the "unchain the Titans" theme. I still consider GotF the best tribunal for my tastes (but I haven't read Against the Dark or, obviously, Hibernia), so that would be my no. 1 choice.

I'm part of Via Experimenta (in the Rhine), which started about a year ago. Although I don't own any of the more recent Tribunal books -- I would probably buy them on a need-to basis -- I have all of the old ones (4th and 3rd edition). From what I've read, though, the Rhine is probably the most neutral 5th edition tribunal book right now. Looks like each new tribunal books tries to undo the previous ones in strangeness. Not a bad thing per say, but not necessarily to my tastes either.

I've been toying with the idea of starting a PbP saga in Novgorod for a few years (and the development of my magus in Via Experimenta is actually a prelude to that). I like the freedom to develop a saga in a more remote area where canon is less restrictive. It stil presents a rich tapestry of background, and the history of this part of the world is quite interesting.

The Aztec Tribunal :slight_smile:/5

I might be slightly biased, but there's definitely one missing from that list.

In my early days of Ars Magica, when Tribunal books were (and my spending cash was) scarce we did not use them. We played in Stonehenge when Heirs to merlin was published, and decided against buying it, since our Tribunal, covenants, and magi were already defined.
The following Normandy saga was well before Lion & Lily

I playes in a saga some years ago set in what was called 'North Sea Tribunal' as a breakaway from Normandy and Rhine - essentially the putative Lotharingian Triunal described in GotF. We did not use much detail.

Our Constantinople saga coincided with the publishing of Sundered Eagle. Good book but most of the the troupe lacked drive and incentive to read the book. Tellus can attest to this.

An attempt was made with GotF for a Rhine saga, to try to utilize the full extent of a published Tribunal. While a lot of what we intended did not in fact become implemented to our satisfaction, and a lot wasn't done right at all - the Rhine organization and rules suited me fine. I really like the play for power, the projects to show off one's abilities to gain Reputation, to socialize with masters in order to gain their support.
However as our ranks of players were depleted we were taking in new people, and had a discussion about all the baggage and history new people entering a running saga had to deal with. And as these were a newbie and a relatively inexperience player we decied to start over from scratch, somewhere else. The massive amounts of iformation in a Tribunal book can be off putting to a newbie, and not all players read a book cover to cover and immediately get it. Sure, it could have been an apprentice level saga, where the new players learned the ropes as things moved along.

Instead we tried out with a Keep It Simple saga, with few elements but well defined. We went to Loch Leglan and has the ASG write up the tribunal, based on the old book but simplified. And limited outselves to only two houses, and even let the newbie choose the one. We plan to be more cohesive when 4 players play Merinita and can go on stories together in conjunction with internal house politics or mystery initiations. And we haev great plans to interact much, much more with the other covenants and magi. We haev high hopes for this, and things bode well (however only one session has been played)

So, in conclusion: In my younger days I may have prefered to build my own tribunal, but now I like the published material and would personally use such.

Ultima Thule, Provence and Hibernia are not in the list, even if they have already been announced.

We already played in the isle of Mann and made extensive use of Lion of the North (in our opinion the best Ars supplement ever) and Stonehenge, even if we edited most covenants from both. We also invented out own version of Hibernia, and are looking forward to the take that thwe authors did to it.

For our new saga we are going for the [b]Rhine /b, and we would recommend this or Stonehenge to new players as well, since they are fairly vanilla settings. For exploration sagas Novgorod is great in our opinion. So going for Rhine or Stonehenge. I did np0t have time to check Transylvania yet, but the area does not attract me much even if I like the 5th edition take on the Tremere and expect the book to be good. The extremist tribunals of Normandy and the like we dislike with a passion since they break our suspension of disbelief big time.


Selected Stonehenge as it is extremely easy to find data / names / background information for middle ages England, the whole setting makes is easy for a new GM to start in a Tribunal, where you can tell any stories.
Everyday life, names and locations, local history - check

That's why I would never actually use Heirs to Merlin - I can create interesting covenants easily enough (me and CJ came up with a dozen concepts one new year's day), use books like "the lore of england" to use historical folk tales, and have the historical details show up naturally as the years progress. I have never used the covenants from "Heirs to Merlin" and I'm not sure I will.

Drat! Which one Mark?

cj x

The Contested Isle is out later this year...

Ultima thuule is also missing.

The great thing (ajnd the bad thing as well) about the Stonehenge tribunal book is that it is great as a MUNDANE setting. The supernatural part is quite light/missing, so you can fill with whatever you want. But as a description of the mundane environment I have found it to be the best book of the Ars line. we did not use the covenants either (well, around half of them anyway) but that did not make the tribunal book any less useful.

Yup, put than on the poll and I'll cast my votes. I'm guessing it's an exciting place :wink:

With that name it really ought to be.

To be fair, the language was pretty clear to me that this was a poll of released and currently available settings, not ones that will be here soon.

Yes. However as only you, I, Matt and Mark S really have the option of voting for it right now, and we can't discuss it under the NDA, seemed rather unreasonable to include it :smiley:

cj x

Well, and playtesters, right? :mrgreen:

Nah, Jonathan Link is right - presently published material only seems best.

I abstain, for the two I want to vote for are not on the list

Ultima Thule was a 4th edition book, and though not a Tribunal, Iceland is not one either (and the two books are linked)


Iberia is unfairly disqualified because it is a 3d edition book. But it is, in my opinion, the best of all tribunal books.

If you want to limit it to just 5th edition books, that would be fair. But to include 4th but not 3rd is not a balanced opinion poll.