So, I know that this has been addressed before, but I was looking for thoughts and reactions to a campaign set in a modern world. For the past several months I have been running an Ars Magica game six players set in the modern universe of Jim Butchers "Harry Dresden" novels. We have made a few changes, but for the most part the rules hold up. The big changes we made are as follows:
-Firearms: they function as a crossbow/bow with higher initiative, the damage for a given gun is caliber X 25 for pistols and caliber X 30 for long guns. Range is near for a pistol, far for a rifle, sight for an advances sniper rifle.
-The Gift: Rather than making people fear you the gift causes technology to malfunction. Any time a magi interacts with technology they make a stress roll against an ease factor based on how advances it is, they also make a check anytime they make a personality trait roll adjusted based on stress. A cell phone is an 8, and MRI machine is a 12, an older model car is a 5, and a light-bulb is a 3. The Gentle Gift means that you role twice and take the better one, the blatant gift you take the worse one.
-This last also mean I didn't have to fit modern tech into classical forms.
-Brought back the realm of Reason from 3rd ed, Large portions of the world is under reason and large crowds of active non believers can cause the aura to spike, making flashy magic in public potentially self defeating.
-Got rid of Parma, replaced it with magical senses(the third eye, etc.) and the ability to draw a circle.
-Circle: Everyone has access to a basic circle. ReVi lv* it requires concentration to maintain against active resistance. It serves two functions, First it protects/contains against hostile magical forces. It will keep out ten times the level of spell or the magical might of a creature as the casting total. Second, it focuses the aura within it, reducing the original aura to 0 then building a magical aura up at a rate of 1 point per turn to a maximum of +5. Any mortal or semi mortal can make a circle if they have a means to power it, usually blood, in this case the casting total is Intelligence+concentrations+any applicable bonuses. Any physical object crossing the barrier of a circle disrupts it provided it comes from a non magical(faerie/infernal/divine) source. Physically drawing the circle gives it bonus of +3 in addition to any material bonuses.
- The houses as we know them don't exist, but many of the virtues and flaws associated with them may persist.
- The Code is replaced by the laws of magic from the novels, the Order with the White Council, werewolves are tweaked so the meet canon, Necromancy requires a drum for control, etc.
- Modernized knowledge and skill names, allowed players to add those appropriate like Chemistry and Drive. Chiurgy became First Aid. Everyone can read their own language at half their speak skill by default.
-Added the Virtue Magical Trick: You have a single magical ability that is the equivalent of a spell. You can use this at will with a stress roll provided the conditions for the spell can be met. In calm circumstances with no interference the ease factor is the magnitude of the effect, but stress or other circumstances may increase the difficulty. The cost is +1 per ten levels of the spell effect.
-At a players request I added the Exceptional Talent Ectomancer, a la Morty in the novels.
That is about it, I'd love to get any thoughts from the community on how to improve the game, or just any problems you see coming that I might have missed.