If the Arm6 rumor is true - what must be changed?

The list won't be too long (it is a very good game already), but here are a few ideas (I doubt they will all be considered, but a list might help)

  • wards (rules that are acceptable for all - easier than sqauring a circle, barely)
  • better incumbrance rules for negative strength (for all those who play str -3 characters)
  • House verditius is overpowered (or is it just penetration effects for items, or should all lab boni be limited by MT)
  • flambeau (ask marko)
  • pink dot dilemma clarified
  • a reputation system that is strengthened
  • flaw: female
  • a new fairie concept?
  • collapsing realm lores into one skill
  • reducing the number of social skills (so they can be bought more easily)
  • defining "target" (or introducing a new term)
  • making all virtues compatible with character generation (e.g. elementalist)
  • raising DEO difficulty by 5-10 lvls (to balance)

I would keep the nature of Faerie just as it is.
I agree that there are spells, such as DOE, where a certain level is needed to overcome a target of a similar level (or vice versa) need a change.

I am very happy with the vast bulk of ArM6 canon I and would not buy replacement volumes for the sourcebooks as I cannot see them being an improvement. There may be the need for changes where the new basic rules conflict with the old source book but such changes would be few and better addressed by errata rather than republishing.

I hadn't heard the rumor until now...

Hear, hear!!! I would really really hope any ArM6 would be extremely compatible with ArM5. Just change the bunch of things that are odd or out of whack. But keep it so that all the ArM5 supplements are also ArM6 supplements. That way the supplements could continue so the Tribunal books would actually get finished for a single edition.

I like these suggestions.

I think it's really the penetration. That you can already avoid failure rolls and fatigue loss by using items is powerful enough already. A low penetration is the only balancing point. Maybe requiring a Finesse roll or something would help. The other thing is the bonuses for expiring items. Have a minimum lab total requirement to make charged items. Also, reduce the expiry multiplier.

Also good suggestions.

I like these as they are.

These are great suggestions.


I have some ideas that ought to be pretty simple and acceptable.

Since you can trap things, the need for wards to penetrate is nice. It also keeps wards similar to other spells. However, we know that needing to double something's Might makes the spell too difficult and basically makes people veer away from wards. So set a baseline for different wards, like the ward against humans or vermin. Then you don't have a doubling of the Might, you just have it show up on the penetration side.

Meanwhile, keep the PeVi Might Pool guideline roughly as it is, though perhaps get rid of the +2 magnitudes (written as +10) part.

Since the DEO guideline effectively does roughly 2.5x other guidelines with the same guideline, it needs to be weakened, as you've said. I would suggest half the guideline in reduction and no +2 magnitudes part. Removing the +2 magnitudes gives you that 10 level reduction you wanted. Using half the guideline makes it much harder to reduce say 10 or 15 Might (level 30 or 40 spell at voice range). You'd probably see a lot of magi sticking with just a few Might. At that point it takes a little while to completely reduce something.


Rewrite the Vim Guidelines in a consistent way :unamused:

Wards shouldn't be useful as traps. Define Wards in such a way as so that they are even handed and cannot be used as traps. My suggestion is saying that you do not subtract level from CT if the Ward matched both Realm and Form, but that it is also a one-way barrier.

I think Encumbrance is just fine the way it is. I also think Verditius magi are fine and have no problem with Item penetration. In fact, I think it is too weak. I think that Talismans at least should have the option to penetrate using the weilder's current Art scores.

Flambeau needs to be retored to his former place of awesomeness, indeed!!! 8)

The Pink Dot is indeed silly and needs to be "clarified out of existance"

Reputation system improvements? Maybe. They work pretty well already, but I do see potential for a consistent and well defined system.

Female should not be a flaw. Players creating Female characters should, I suggest, think about choosing Small Frame (I had Carmen do that). Nor should it be a social flaw. Women in the middle ages have a different role than men and different things they are allowed to do that men are not. The extent of roleplaying gender or racial inequity is a decision best left to the tastes of an individual troupe.

I also do not quite grok faeries in ArM5, but in a way that is also kind of cool. Faeries should be somewhat alien to the human mind.

I disagree with a "one lore" concept for realms, and also with the reduction of the number of social skills. I am happy with the way they are at present. But these are not that big a deal and I could be swayed.

Better defining T/t-arget would be a good idea.

CharGen could use some tweaking to include the effects of Virtues & Flaws and create a more realistic post-Gauntlet development

I think DEO is fine the way it is if Wards are revised to work fairly. It is only because Wards are so weakened that DEO and might strippers seem overpowerful (it is easer to obliterate a being than to ward against it).

Actually, try comparing the DEO guideline to the other PeVi guidelines. It combines roughly 3.5 other guidelines without raising the level:

2+: It lowers the target's penetration twice as well as the guideline to lower casting totals/penetration, plus it stacks.
0.5: It may (thus 0.5, not 1) lower the Might Pool.
1?: (I'm estimating, but it seems reasonable.) It lowers magic resistance better than powering up spells against the target.

How is it able to do 3.5 times as much as other general guidelines? The drawback is some loss of vis, but most of us wouldn't want the infernally tainted vis anyway. Still, let's acknowledge this drawback because you might want the vis or you might be using a magic-aligned of faerie-aligned (or divine-aligned? Don't use that vis afterward!!!) version of this spell. Thus, in comparison to only other PeVi guidelines, the DEO guideline is much too strong. It is internally inconsistent in this sense.


Would you suggest a second, different guideline for trapping something? Just wondering what your thoughts on that are. After all, we don't want to allow magi to attempt to summon and trap demons, don't we? :smiling_imp:


Why not?

Would that really be a good idea? It would make it possible to be skilled socially AND something else with ease.

On the one hand there´s plenty of positive to say in favour of that, but OTOH it would feel a bit odd that learning about the divine would make you knowledgeable about lets say faeries as well? Etc.
I THINK its better to keep them separated but not sure.

Check the thread on it, Dahl´s post is the official version and the other variations are also decent.

Better to make Might more valuable and less easy to tear through. My own version effectively quadruples the spell level needed for a singlehit killspell. And high might creatures are dastardly hard to kill off. Much preferable.
(need to penetrate might, spell effect level subtracts might, then might pool is affected, then might is damaged)

Dont have the proper book, but based on what i have read here and elsewhere, i really dont like the ~"they only exist because of humans or stories". That makes them onedimensional plot devices only.
So i guess i agree.

No, its also easier to use DEO or equal than it is to use ANY other kind of damage against a might creature.
Thats exceptionally broken. Anything with Might should be way above and beyond the mundane equal.

Dont know about him, but i certainly would.

I'd like to see the way general spells are recorded revised. Other than that, I'm very happy with 5th ed...

Change magical crafting rules to make it possible for sufficiently powerful magi to actually craft decent things with magic.
Perhaps more generally, allow a spell's Penetration total to be converted to extra Finesse, at a rate of 5 to 1 say, at the caster's wish.

Well, for what a lurkers thoughts might be worth...

Agreed. I would really like to see wards cleared up and made to work more like... well, wards. :slight_smile:
Some clearer encumbrance rules would also be good.

Yes, please.

How about an old one. The old Ars Magica Faeries book was actually a clear, moderately researched and thought out approach to set of rules and concepts for faeries. I really cannot fathom why Atlas decided to change them into the travesty that is in the rules now.

I think some general cleaning up and limiting of "skill bloat" would be wonderful. As it is, IMO, magi have much to much to spend their exp on and end up with to little in to much.

Yeah, on the one hand that would be good. On the other hand, the one thing I really dislike about 5th ed is how "mechanized" the magic has become. The magic system was always the crown jewel of ArsM but the current system seems to have take the "magic" out. Everything is a little too clearly defined, to cut and dried. The sense of awe and wonder is gone. One of players, who is a computer programmer, like it much better that way. As a philosopher, I completely disagree.

Just my 2 pence.

Yeah, I also find that the Rego Craft rules in Covenants are quite irritating. Although as the rules for this are not in the core book, I doubt they would be addressed in a new edition of the core book (if such a thing is even being considered). If there was a desire to change the Rego Craft rules, I think that errata to Covenants would be the way to go.

That's a nice idea for a house rule. I like the idea --- it certainly makes Rego Craft possible.

However, I think that it might make it a bit too easy to kill magi with low level "Anvil Dropping" spells that bypass Parma. So it probably needs a bit of work. Basically, if you want to change the Rego Craft rules, I think it is better to change them directly, than trying to muck about with the way that Finesse is calculated. Other mechanics use Finesse too.

I found things confusing more so than anything else. I kept going back and forth between Covenants, HoH:S, and A&A trying to figure out the Aesthetic Quality of a piece made by my Jerbiton character using Finesse. Some things seem to focus on rolls while others focus on totals. I got the feeling that was based on complexity and not Aesthetic Quality, but I found it really unclear. I think I've got a handle on it now.


It's one of those points where there are multiple mechanics interacting in confusing ways, and (probably) written by different authors. There are a few points like this, which really need to be sorted out, but its more errata level modifications, than a new edition (I think).

Well, IMHO what ArM6 needs to do is lower the power-level of magi to suit what the setting implies it is - putting level 75 spells or dealing with Might 75 creatures as impressive feats for archmagi, not tasks to be undertaken by young upstarts, and making mundane threats much more plausible for many magi and covenants. And the way to do this best, IMO, is to change Arts' progression to be like Ability's (and make the other adjustments required to make this consistent). But that's not gonna happen.

Otherwise, well, some house rules I like so OF COURSE would make the game better for everyone else too...

  • Lower the penetration bonuses available from using raw vis or magical items. I think penetrating through a dragon's MR by burning a handful of raw vis or with pumped-up penetrating enchanted device (instead of the wizard's power) is boring. I liked the idea above about letting Talismans use the wielder's Arts for penetration, though.
  • Make wards ignore MR, or rather use a fixed baseline and scale with MR just like a normal spell would. I personally prefer to let only Circle & Ring wards ignore MR; way cooler.
  • Make Might-detection spells ignore MR, allowing you to sense beings of great Might more easily rather than with more difficulty (unless the specific creature can use his magic to hide himself, that is).
  • Clarify Ring/Circle. When is it "broken"? Is it movable? Does a Circle target affects what is within the circle when the spell is cast, or anything within the circle while the magic is in operation? Does a covered-up circle still function?
  • Remove Fire duration from Faerie-Magic. It doesn't fit. While you're at it, rework the whole mystery. Make the Until duration actually work for casting curses, but don't make it non-dispellable because that's unfair to Hermetic wizards. On the other hand, make Bargain spells harder to dispell - that's the karmic price for agreeing to the spell/bargain!
  • Remove multiple-casting and rework Fast-Casting. I hate it when the magus just slings innumerable identical spells at the target, ugh. If you want to do more damage invent more impressive spells, don't double your damage output with a few measly XP.
  • Lower the benefit of a Magical Focus. It's way too good. It should balanced with other virtues. Oh, and nix the "magical focus in wands" thingie.
  • Change Faeries slightly to focus on Vitality-stealing, instead of Stories. A small change that changes things a lot, and I think keeps ArM faeries unique and interesting. I think the Faeries book presented a highly original take, but I'd like opponents that are scheming even when there aren't people there.
  • Clarify what's going on with all those spirits hanging about in high auras. What happens when magi start rendering them for raw vis, stuffing them into items, and so on. If you kill the spirit of a mountain, does the mountain become less Magical? If you invent harvesting spells to collect and render all those minor spirits in an area, have you just landed yourself an unlimited supply of raw vis? Something just doesn't work with inserting shamanism into the Ars Magica Might/raw-vis system.
  • Clarify what's going on with Nature Lore (or just keep Forest Lore) and integrate it into House Bjornaer. Give them the body-is-talisman (Inscription-on-the-Soul) mystery, too; they need it.
  • Let Criamon use Enigmatic Wisdom for Dream Interpretation and casual divinations of all sorts (perhaps as an Inner Mystery). Brings the ability in-line with its core description. While you're at it, improve the Divination mechanics to be easier to use and less Hermetic; perhaps base them on the story or meta-game level.
  • Make Might-draining impossible, or at least require a Ritual. The canon assumes that few angels ever perished, yet magi can destroy angels and demons quite easily - not just banish them, or temporarily quench their might - permanently erase them from existence. No, that's too much too easily. I think making the destruction of a thing's magic should be a Ritual.
  • Change the affects of wounds on advancement totals so that being wounded for a month with -3 to -5 penalty reduces the study total to 2/3, just as if you haven't been working for a month. With the current 1/2 in RAW, you'd do better to actually not work for a month than to work with a -3 penalty...
  • Incroporate Casting Tablets and Crossbows into the core book. The Book of Mundane Beasts, too.
  • Drop the Imaginem-affects-dreams bit. Not only does it not make sense, it also makes Imaginem experts way too powerful and other magi way too weak in dreams.
  • Make invisibility imply no Gestures, and silent means no Words. Making invisibility harder is also a good idea - since I think PeIm actually would make you into a black hole (stopping species from emanating from you, rather than making you transparent), invisibility should really be a (high level?) Mu&Pe Im effect, changing the way your body interacts with species. As it is in RAW, no experienced magus should really be fighting while visible - it's way more advantageous to be invisible, and way too easy to not pick up a spell or magical item to pull it off.
  • Make Certamen more interesting. I like David Chart's rules on changing Arts based on Certamen and a shared pool of points for Attack, Defense, or Change-Arts in each round (making you choose how to invest in each).
  • Clarify rounding. Make it an explicit rule, at the initial "basic game mechanics" section, that when dividing you always round up unless otherwise mentioned. And think carefully about any exceptions.
  • Make experts be useful assistants in the lab in their area of expertiese. I suggest letting an assistant use Art/5 instead of his Magic Theory if he so chooses.
  • Clarify the availability, levels, and quality of books in the canon setting (and note on the affect of variants).
  • Improve the consistent use of terms. Target/target was mentioned, but also Total should be reserved for a fixed total like a Casting Total or Lab Total and not confused with the final result of a roll, and so on. A Seasonal Activity should be clearly labeled as such, and subject to the standard rules on Advancement Total (for example). A Laboratory Activity should be clearly labeled as such, and need not be a Seasonal Activity (some aren't!).

This I disagree with in part - in a vis-poor to vis-moderate saga, you need to scrimp and save that vis to boost your spell, and frankly I find using that vis which you've carefully hoarded to a fine and flavoursome thing. As for penetration in magical items - I think this is a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation and I can't actually see a solution which doesn't also make magical items useless for magi which, frankly, is a bit poor.

I disagree with ignoring MR - keep things consistant in both flavour and system. A fixed baseline, consistent across all forms, means that for any given ward you still only need to record two things - form and penetration. Apprentices Wards are still useful; Archmages wards are very potent. Likewise, clarification of Wards would be nice - the spirit magic rules for instance allow ReForm to affect everything of the Form regardless of Realm, whereas the ReVim allow you to affect all forms but only for one Realm and I quite like that - it rewards specialists and reduces the proliferation of identical spells.

This I totally agree with, sort of. Canonically, magic things affect the Fluid Vis around them. It makes no sense that a magus cannot detect the magical impact of a dragon standing next to him but can the mouse sitting near it. However, don't have these ignore MR by ignoring MR, but rather by not targetting the creature but the Fluid Vis around it. If you want to learn more than "Fourth Magnitude Might, Probably Faerie, Probably Ignem related" then you need to start examining the creature itself, but the general influence on the surroundings should be discernable.

There are issues here, yes, but I like Fire and feel it does fit. "You must do this thing before the candles burn down" is a great motivator.

Fast-casting has issues, though again I'm not sure how to fix them. Multiple casting, however, suffers because gamers tend to be combat obsessed. Multiple casting also allows you to save your companions from falling damage, to transform multiple people at once without requiring much higher level spells and to light all the candles in your lab without doing them one by one. If your magi are killing things by focussing fire on one target, they should probably encounter multiple targets.

I disagree. Focus is great, because it rewards focus. Magi of Hermes did a wonderful job of showing how Foci can really drive fun things and unusual things.

RoP:M did clarify this, but I agree a few sentences in the Core would be useful.

To be honest, winding the Criamon back a generation would help sort this out. The Paths and magic put forward in HoH:MC are very cool, the underlying change to the Criamon was not, though I know others will disagree. Bring back the Enigma as a process, rather than the Enigma as following the ravings of a deluded idiot.

As it stands, PeVi spells of the same magnitude can permanently strip large chunks of a being's Might Score or lower its casting totals and penetration, which is just silly. I simply suggest making the current guideline strip Might pool (which is painful and means that powers can't be used) and adding two or three magnitudes to the guideline for stripping Might Score. That way powerful magi can still easily eliminate minor threats, but the additional difficulties of penetration mean that other options, like binding in wards with penetration/power reducing spells become viable and sensible. The ancient enemy locked under a tower becomes possible again.

I'd be amazed if these didn't happen.

Gods, no. Silence should not affect casting save for Voice range (since your voice cannot carry the spell) and Invisibility should affect gestures no more than being alone in a room would - just because noone could see you does not mean that you didn't do the magically significant or mnemonically relevent thing. That said, I agree that a bold voice makes little sense for boosting anything but spell range - saying things loudly does not make them automatically clearer - saying them carefully does that, and so doubling casting time for that bonus makes more sense.

I normally see a bit more eye to eye with you, Marko, but here I almost totally disagree. I gave my favoured take on Wards above, and totally believe they should be used as traps. Summoning something into a circle from which it cannot escape is, well, core to so many things. Ancient evils trapped beneath the towers. Benevolent spirits held against their wills. Barriers that only the pure of heart may pass ... I say almost totally disagree because I'd be quite happy for Wards to be only one way, decided at casting - you can keep things in or keep things out - and thus two-way barriers would require two castings.

Gods, yes. Make the Parma stop magical properties, rather than things infused with magic, and the problem goes away. Slightly different, odd problems do arise, but they're flavourful rather than just daft.

This depends a great deal on your situation. For a maga, it's not really much of an issue unless she's constantly dealing with mundanes and the Church. For a peasant, it severely limits her. As being Christian is a flaw for a campaign set in Morocco and being Jewish or Pagan is a flaw for a campaign set in Paris, I can see the logic for this, but feel it'd be better addressed by a sidebar saying, "This list is not comprehensive. Here are some example situations where something common might act as a valid flaw."

There aren't really that many of them, and in my experience most Magi get low ranks in most, though usually not all, at Chargen during their childhoods and then only raise them as and when relevent. For a social character or a companion, they're more important but still not so many that they're unwieldly.

For my suggestions - get rid of the daft Ceremonial Casting Mastery and allow that to apply to all spells. Rituals are a subset of Formulaic, and Formulaic spells can be influenced by Aura, Wizards Communion, Talismans, Vis burning, half a dozen virtues and more - allowing a magus to take a lot of time to gain a small bonus is flavourful and not gamebreaking. It doesn't affect social situations, combat or anything short term, but slightly boosts long term planning and strategy and that's what magi are supposed to be good at. As for the props rules, they're a good idea but poorly implemented I feel. A gold chesspiece, carved from a dragon's hoard with ruby eyes should frankly be a more potent mystical prop than a giant iron one made by a blacksmith to a magus' specifications, even if it is smaller.

Secondly, writing in magic. Some mysteries do use it, but for them it comes out of nowhere. There are magical and philosophical names, and magical words, that all Hermetic Magi must know, with the Mysteries giving deeper knowledge. I simply propose that such writings (symbols around your summoning circle, etc) count as suitable ceremony for cermonial castings. The existence of an Incription duration, similar to the Rune duration, would also be nice - one which like Ring/Circle lasts until broken but can only function on a single target and takes much longer to perform, and presubably only allows a static, unmodifiable effect. The duration and target for the Rune Magic Ancient Magic is, frankly, odd in its construction and the real magical breakthrough is in the mundane magical creation aspect.

You know, you just helped me put my finger on what I don't like about faeries in 5th ed... and several of the other things I don't like about 5th ed, despite it being (IMO) on the whole the best edition of Ars Magica I've played.

What drew me to ArsM to begin with, and still draws me to it, is the idea of Mythic Europe. That is to say playing a fantasy world that is heavily inspired by actual medeaval European folklore.

The whole "faeries as Stories" thing is a very original take... one which, for me, totally shatters Mythic Europe because it has nothing whatsoever to do with the real folklore. Worse, to me, it make faeries feel like "meta-game" creatures, pretending to be what folklore says they are. It's like a character in a tv drama suddenly breaking the fourth wall and explaining to the audience that he's just doing this to improve the shows ratings. It just ruins faeries for me.

If I could have my perfect Ars Magica 6, it would bring the folklore back into Mythic Europe. I'd like to see the old folklore faeries back. I'd like to see a lot of the rules from Hedge Magic and Mysteries incorporated into general Hermetic magic to give it more of a "magical" rather than "game mechanical" flavor. That would be my perfect new edition.

And thank goodness it wont happen! I´ve played 2nd edition you know, and one thing that gets glaringly obvious there very quickly is that it just sucks to have Arts and Abilities on the same scale. You can have magi that are good at EVERYTHING and still able to do enough spellcasting to be useful with magics. Its probably the biggest gamebreaker i´ve seen in the game, ever. Never want it back thank you very much!

My personal "fix" to this have been to stretch the range of base guidelines so that the really powerful ones goes up in minimum level, and then modified the R/D/T system as well (mostly to add options, but getting more options made it necessary to move several variables, especially Duration ones, a bit upwards in magnitudes to make room for additional ones), making it easy to cast simple, short range, minimal duration and single target spells, but casting "obliterate them all" spells needs SERIOUS casting totals. I´ve also been into the idea of changing the Size modifier to a *3 instead of *10, as this is one of the easiest things to abuse really bad.

And my already mentioned mod for how to handle Might creatures, well in your example with a Might 75 hostile, you would need a spell affecting 76+ Might, lets say an even 80 for simplicity, add to that the ability to cast that with penetration 76+, and then you would need to hit the creature with that 30 times... IF the creature just sits there and does nothing at all (i allow it to temporarily reduce its Might score to regain part of its Might pool meaning it can keep going far longer)... And that only makes loose Might, it doesnt die from it.
And against regular damage spells, Might 75 would also give it an additional 15 soak.


You never read any stories where someone has time until a fire burns out? Thats a VERY fitting duration for faerie magic i have to say.

While i dont want to remove multicast, i agree it can be extremely broken. And fast casting should certainly be possible for unmastered formulaic spells as well, personally i simply used the same rule as for spont. fast cast but with 1 less botch die added.

Yes and no i would say. It certainly is good, WHEN its relevant to the current spell or activity...
While useful, even powerful, i think its ok as it is although its on the edge.

Oh YES PLEASE!!! :mrgreen:

Yeah, something like that. And Divination is really problematic in current rules... Either you need an arcane connection or you need visible range, and that really isnt very good.

Mmm good point.

Certainly is. My preference is that any such creatures getting smacked, its only their "earthly avatar" that is "killed".

YES! And a small scattering of non-mundane creatures as well would be highly desirable.

VERY much so indeed yes. Personal preference is to change the guideline so that instead of Removing ability to affect a sense, the normal base is 1/2 reduction, +1 Magnitude is 4/5 reduction, +2 Magnitudes is 9/10 reduction, +3 Magnitudes is 19/20 reduction, and not until you add 4 Magnitudes do you get a complete removal.
Add to that +1 Magnitude to reduce and +2 to remove loss of ambient light/sound/smell (or anything else you can come up with). This means complete invisibility to normal sight and no casting shadows is +6 magnitudes over the standard guideline. A much more "fair" level i think.

Considering how uncommon it is to round down, i think it would be ok just to state "always round up" and be done with it for simplicities sake.