New Printing of Ars Magica 5th

I am thinking about getting my new group of players to all buy the Ars book, since it looks like Ars Magica will become a long term game. However, it sounds like a new printing of Ars may be in the offing, so I will probably wait until then before I get them to purchase the august tome.

Is there any idea as to when a new printing might occur? John Nephew mentioned supplies running low in another thread...


I think we're down to less than 50 copies of the game in the warehouse. There are lots more copies out there in the distribution system (and, for example, at Warehouse 23), so even when I'm unable to fill distributor orders there will be a while before it dries up at the consumer level.

Because numerous corrections need to be made, the reprint won't be a simple matter of asking the printer to send us a few thousand more. Also, with some bulky new products on the way (like Grand Tribunal and Recess), I need to be careful of overwhelming our space. (I wouldn't be able to deal with, say, Grand Tribunal, Recess, Call of the Lich Lord and a reprint of ArM5 showing up in the same week!)

So I haven't really figured out what will be the best time for the reprint. In theory the earliest it could be here would be mid June to early July, but as I said, I'm hesitant about getting a big reprint in at the same time as I'm trying to deal with a bunch of high-spatial-volume new releases, so that will probably incline me to a later date. I'll have to play it by ear.

While I'm looking forward to a "second printing" (talking as a guy who ended up with about four copies of the fourth edition rules from various printings - you can thank me later), I think it's more important to spend time in getting all the errata bedded down.

And, dare I ask, might there be an opportunity to stick a little bit of new artwork inside? By way of further enticement to those who already have a copy of the first printing?

So, take your time and get it right and just how you want it. I'll be there when it's ready.

Since we're talking about a reprint:

I am sure I'm going to upset some people, but here goes. I mean no offense, and am only looking towards more magnificent days of gaming in Ars Magica....

I love 5th edition, but I hate the main core rule-book. The printing is SOOOOOO tiny, and it's in pink. It is extremely, extremely difficult to read. In fact, my players all took a vote to keep playing 4th edition, because they just can't get through the 5th ed. rules -- simply because of the printing.

It really does hurt the eyes.

If nothing else, please don't reprint it in pink. I understand the need for the small text, in order to keep the page count down, but if it's at all possible to enlarge it, please do.

Finally, the artwork generated digitally does not in any way feel like a medieval game -- it takes one out of the mindset, IMHO. It does not feel like Ars Magica, but rather like a computer game. I do not mind the artist, just the medium.

The faux wood cuts by Hotz have always been my favorites. The 3rd ed. artwork is also lovely. Do you still own the rights? Also, I really enjoyed the reprints of famous paintings in the Divine supplement. It really added some nice flavor.

All the best,
Eric Vesbit

I've thought about doing this, but I don't see a way to insert it into my to-do list get it done in a timely fashion. I don't want the book to be out of stock any longer than necessary -- there's a certain percentage of folks out there who think "out of stock at the manufacturer" means "out of print," and after trying to order it from their distributor they'll just tell people looking for it that they think it's no longer available. For instance, I really want to have the core game available for sale when we come out with ROP:Infernal...

The second ink is actually orange, but I understand what you mean. Due to the number of errata, we're not going to be doing pre-press from scratch at the printer (not just substituting a couple of pages), and one of the things I'm going to be doing is dropping the two-color scheme from at least the smallest headers that currently use it. The web presses are pleasingly economical, but they don't have the consistent registration that we would need for the smaller type (giving you those pages where the small headers look blurry, because the two inks aren't lined up right). Anyhow, a few global tweaks in the style sheets should improve legibility on many pages.

I'm not going to be changing the typeface size, though. We're staying at the same page count (and MSRP), and that means keeping the same basic layout.

More on the topic of artwork:

Artwork rights are murky for pre-WotC books. Except in cases where we have something clear in writing, I'm not willing to reuse work in a completely different book, since that was probably more than the rights the artist originally sold.

Thanks -- I put a fair bit of time into finding and digitizing public domain art for that book, and I'm pleased to hear you liked it.

Thanks for responding, John. I'm glad to hear it regarding the orange / pink printing. I truly hope I can convince my players to pick up the reprint so that we can play the game as it should be played!

I look forward to the new edition.