During our Ars Magica campaign, some friends and/or brothers/cousins/sisters of my players wanted to test the game : I assume it's a common event.
The main difficulty is that they often haven't the time or the will to learn all the game mechanics (particularly the Spell-casting and Spell-building mechanics) nor the current campaign history.
The magi have now 2 years of adventures back in the memories and the full order of Hermes himself take a long time to be explained.
How do you manage the occuring new players, who can participate with the players only one or two sessions ?
In my case, I don't want to let them play only a servant (peasant ? warrior ? worker ?) of the covenant : the other players see those characters as vile and slave-like creatures. The new and occasionnal players want to be part of the fun too !
Well, I offered some of them to play a powerful companion (a great thief, a great craftman) when it was accurate.
On the other hand, I talk to them about a world of magic, faeries and mysteries. They don't want to play the regular guy, the mundane and obviously not-that-impressive companion.
That's why I had the idea to let them play supernatural creatures. I can see many bonuses in that way :
-Both the new player and the old players can have a new touch with the mythical Europe
-I'ts great to introduce minor new supernatural characters, not too powerful but not too pathetic (Between 5 and 20 Power size) : aka some korrigans, house-pixies, foxgirls and/or nature spirits
-The simple mechanic of the faerie/diabolic/magic power creatures in the core book are easy enough to be understood by a full beginner
-Faerie/magic powers : they are easy to learn, easy to cast, and fun to share ! The only difficulty is to find appropriate and balanced spells (well they can be unbalanced too). One of my players loved to play Ridagot, a housegnome, who had the power to change rocks into cheese !
-The Power Points are easy to count (use small coins or plastic gems)
-I'ts easier to explain why a feary just pop in the game and will come back only when they decide to (maybe never)
-In my campain, the group of Magi face the return of the long-asleep Black Faery Morgane Le Fey, so the Faeries are easy to introduce in the story
The next time I will have to manage new curious players in my group, I think I will try to introduce gifted human witches, priests with exalted faith, etc... Those possibilities are great too.
What do you think about that ? Is it a good idea to let new players try faerie creatures ?
How do you manage new players ? Ho do you manage players who will try the game only for one evening ?
(Sorry for approximative language, I'm only English(Scripture)2.)