New Tribunal of Iberia book is out!

Over the past couple of days, over 300 backers of the Kickstarter campaign for Finis Terrae, the new Tribunal of Iberia book (in Spanish) written by @amseriad and @Galdric and edited by @Ismael, have been receiving our long-awaited rewards.

FinisTerrae_cover

I have already been cherry-picking juicy morsels of the book with my good sodalis @DoctorComics but I thought I'd open it up for more people here.

Do you have any burning questions about the new Tribunal of Iberia? Here's the table of contents:

I. Introduction p.7
II. Mythical History p.11
III. Hermetic History and Culture p.62
IV. Kingdom of Portugal p.97
V. Kingdom of León p.114
VI. Kingdom of Castille p.146
VII. Kingdom of Navarre p.176
VIII. Crown of Aragón p.187
IX. Almohad Empire p.226
X. Magical Traditions p.275
XI. Places of Power p.311
Appendix I: Mundane Library p.315
Appendix II: Names Index p.324
Appendix III: Peripheral Code of Iberia in 1220 p.331
Appendix IV: Covenants and Magi p.333
Appendix V: Index of Illustrations and Maps p.335
Apendix VI: Bibliography p.336

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The great @Ben_McFarland has also collaborated in the book with a place of power and a non-Hermetic Visigothic tradition. Thank you!

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Wohoo! This is so exciting! I don’t yet have the book, but what led to the choices of non-Hermetic traditions (or more importantly, could we get any teasers about them here)? A Visigothic tradition seems cool indeed.

Alternatively, what does the Hermetic landscape look like in the Almohad Empire?

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I feel like Los Distaurnanja came out pretty well

:smiley:

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Well, I am not done translating and this is a little out of context but...

"*The distaurnanja (from the gothic, "those who shatter") imbue with magic small phrases written on pieces of parchment, engraved on strips made of metal or painted on small ribbons to protect against
The incantations of other sorcerers and create tools or weapons capable of shattering the spells and effects of other sorcerers, fairies and lesser demons. *"

So this may be interesting.

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Here's a list of non-Hermetic traditions:

  • Sorginas (Basque witches, described in the Provençal Tribunal book)
  • Distaurnanja (Visigoth tradition specialising in magical-defence and countermagic charms)
  • Astral sorcerers (talisman-based magic school founded by a historical wizard from Córdoba - in the book he left the Order of Hermes on religious/philosophical grounds)

Non-magical traditions:

  • Riadiin (non-magical tradition based on natural philosophy, math, astrology, and alchemy)
  • Tiryaqi (non-magical tradition of apothecaries)
  • Perfumists (non-magical craft, and a Hermetic spell to emulate it)

These are integrated within House ex-Miscellanea:

  • Rusticani (artisans who use their craft as a magical focus)
  • Sahir (those who joined the Order of Hermes)
  • Tempestiarios (Asturian weather wizards, descended from old worshippers of Nuberu, a god of Thunder)

And finally:

  • Vates (Asturian bards? - not given mechanics in the book since they joined house Diedne as a mystery cult and knowledge of them was lost with the Schism War)
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I downloaded my PDFs from backerkit yesterday. Very impressed with the look, it will take a while for me to comprehend the total quality.

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Very, very glad to see this finally come true. I really hope everyone reading it will enjoy it.

I’m leaving here a couple pictures of the Collector’s Edition of both the Tribunal Book and the revised corebook (including all the official errata and then some) and the Tribunal map (that was also available in XXL size in vinyl) from the Kickstarter.

It took longer than expected, but these are really nice Christmas presents!


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Since you so kindly opened the door - any plans about possible translations of the Tribunal book into English in the future?

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I am personally not associated with the authors of the book, nor the Spanish publisher, nor with Atlas. So, as far as any plans for an official translation into English, I'll have to defer to @Justin_Alexander or @Ismael

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After giving it a quick reading, I will admit that the results aren't so exciting for me. I will post my problems so I can see if I'm not alone or maybe I missunderstand something.

1° Why is there a focus on Covenants over mundane information? At least 2/3 of the books [by number of pages] is Covenants, but no exploration of the different kingdoms and important cities [only one sidebar about sevilla, but not about Valladolid for example]. I can create Covenants all day with the rules on, well, Covenants, but studying islamic mixture or the culture or conflicts of the five kingdom division of Iberia is more hard for me.

2° I'm the only one that feel that the Astral Sorcerers are very off? They have a Gift that is a Major Virtue, not a Special one [like the Gift proper or Mythic Blood]. They have their own table of Realm Interaction. They also suffer Twillight when we have a lot of examples [Hedge Magic, Rival Magic and hedge traditions on other tribunals and Realms of Power] that different traditions suffer other forms of Warping interaction [and with all their divine alignment, they could suffer Ascendancy as RoP:D]. Even with all this, they are very weak for a Major Supernatural Virtue.

3° I feel the book give a lot of space on translating rules from Arts & Academe or others books. I understand this are rules that weren't translated to spanish yet, but what will happen if they are translated? That space could be used to explain the kingdoms on more detail.

3.1° Also, there is a missed opportunity with Tyaqi and Riadiin for creating original versions of Mythic Alchemy [Hedge Magic 81] for Inceptions and Theriacs, but instead we have only a x2 as a Major Virtue.

3.2° In that same vein, why the Tyaqi virtue is General? If it isn't supernatural, and is something someone can mundanely learn, it don't need to be a Virtue. It being a general non-supernatural virtue is very weird on how General Virtues are portrayed, and you need a Initiation to learn it, why?

In general I find the book is high quality on work [the art is amazing, the book is well organized, there are interesting hooks like the Atomist Magic Theory -without guidelines-], but very shallow on real content that needs a Tribunal Book.

If I take the Provencal Tribunal book, for example, and I go to the Chapter Four: County of Touluse I have six pages about their mundane problems, culture and a description of the people in the most important city -Tolouse itself-. And with a Chapter on a entire County.

In exchange, if I go to any of the Kingdoms on Iberia Tribunal, I have 1/4 of the page on a description on the geographical distribution of the Kingdom... and that is all. What companions can I have in this Tribunal? What mundane problems can arise on the cities? Are all the important people on Iberia magi? There aren't destacable companions or covenfolk [at least, on book importance], only magi and supernatural creatures.

I wait the book with a lot of hope, and when I start reading and there was a sidebar about how Valladolid has the most important fair I was excited to do a adventure on a castellan fair... but then I see how Valladolid is not even described anywhere, and is only mentioned 4 times on the entire book, the mos important fair.

That are my opinions.

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Oh, I'm glad they used the Sorginak! I'd written up some basic concepts which got folded in when we discussed and divvied up the work, but I think Ben (or was it Erik?) took the lead on it and tied it all together - I like how we made folk witches merge into Hermetic magi as a viable Gifted tradition, but you could also take them or leave them if your Saga was focussed in a different part of the Tribunal.

I wanted to do more with perfume in Provence actually but ran out of space - the idea of Renault as a herbalist perfumier survives on my blog: Hedge Magic and Hedge Magicians in Provencal | My Life as a Grog but I'd be fascinated to see how things were handled in the Spanish work.

I'm glad that the rusticarii and the non-magical traditions using Alchemy found a place in Iberia as the culture there at that time is rife for alchemical exploits.

Did the authors expand much on the Hermetic sahir?
Are the Asturian weather wizards like the Storm wizards or a separate Hermetic tradition?

I so wish I spoke and read Spanish...

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Maybe with 25+ (did I count correctly?) covenants you need a bit space for them?

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I think this is a bit unfair given that there is a 49-page chapter on Mythic History that deals with the mundane political and historical context, in particular how the five kingdoms (actually, five Christian kingdoms plus Al-Andalus) got to the current state in 1220 over several centuries.

It would have been possible to have half as many covenants and more information about cities, with maps (say) and so on, monasteries or castles. But that would have been a different book.

I suspect the authors favour Sagas heavily centered on Hermetic politics rather than the mundane world. After all, this is a game about mages first and companions second.

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The thing is that, as I say, I can create Covenants on Mythic Europe with rules on Covenant. Covenant are easy to create and the book itself have only a portion of the Covenant given a description that can be resume on "This is a Covenant with this Aura, in this place, with this founders and reputation", and even the ones that are more explored (and give you culture and goverment) still focus only on name magi and that is all.

It can be as good if you only explore the Covenants that you want to really explore and you give a list of "Covenants" with names and maybe reputation and that is all. And that pages that you save can be used on other things.

There are 3 1/2 pages in the Magic chapter, as well as a fully statted sahir Maga elsewhere. Some other Magi in Covenants of the Tribunal are described as being sahir. And of course they play a role in the Hermetic history.

They are distinct. The book says

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I will say that the 49 pages chapter on Mythic History is other miss for me. I will compare again with the Provencal Tribunal given that it is the neighbor of the Iberian one.

The Mythic History chapter starts from 756, and is not a simple paragraph of "this were the important events", it is a through explanation of something that happen at least 400 years before the majority of Sagas. And I can't even say "oh, but at least it explain the cultures" because the book itself talks about how the culture change between that years.

If I compare this with the Provencal book, the Mythic History chapter has only 13 Pages, this pages are used to explain the context relevant for the actuality of the game and explanation of cultures (that the religion part of the Iberian History Chapter does well).

The problem here is that I understand that the History Chapter on Iberia is a love letter to spanish history... but is space that can be used for giving more things that a SG and their players can actually use in a actual play.

It is even "probed" by the book itself: There aren't any Hooks after the religions [that ends on Page 7 of the 49 pages] until you get to the Almohade dynasty [1145] on page 42 of the 49 pages dedicated to history.

The worst part is that the actuality, that means when most Sagas will happen, have only half a page of content. And one can say "well, if I want to know the actuality of Castilla, I can go to its chapter" but no, again, because its all Covenants.

Probably that's the reason, but I will say that the reasoning is flawed:

1° House Jerbiton is based around mundane politics, and Verditius normally interact with them aswell. Now they need to work with "generic medieval people", not "castellan".

2° That is assuming, then, that Sagas on Iberia will be only about Covenant politics on Hermetic Politics, that is really a small niche of the stories that Ars Magica can tell. More than that, it is really a niche for a Saga be only focus on that.

3° This isn't something new, all the other Tribunal books have a mixture of mundane and supernatural information, because the logic in Ars Magica is that in fact magi can't be totally separated from the mundane.

I really don't understand why they decide that the Tribunal created about Iberia for Iberians will be the less useful as a Tribunal book. It is amazing as a Covenant list for inspiration [not a Covenant selection for the players, because we aren't explained the resources, specialist or grogs of any covenant, so they aren't "playable"]. 2/3 of the book on Covenants description is too much, because it also don't generate stories.

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I think you are being a little unfair. If you want to dig deeper, there are tons of history books. I haven’t done much in IBeria, but in the other ones I use actual history quite a lot.

I am not fluent enough in Spanish to be able to enjoy reading the book, but if an English version were to come out, I will eagerly buy it !

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I have GM’ed with Jerbiton and played one for years. If you are playing an orthodox campaign, they have a foot in court politics IF they were nobles, but are very limited in their influence due to the peripheral code. And While it is suggested Jerbiton be nobles and artists, realize artists were usually middle class tradesman, so would be interacting with common folk all the time and only the elite for their patronage.

ON your point #2 … I am not sure exactly what you are getting at. The typical contact with the mundane world would be limited, considering the Magi typically would freak common folk out enough to make normal interaction mostly impossible unless gentle gift.

Read some more, digest it and figure out how you’d do a Iberian campaign with this tribunal book.

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This is an interesting question. Various mundane organisarions are described, particularly in Al Andalus. But there is an infobox on the Templars of Catalonia. There is another one on the Crusades in Iberia (as a frontier land, there were actual crusades declared on it by various Popes). There is an infobox on transhumant (itinerant) herding, which was a very strong institution in medieval Spain. There is a description of how medieval Christian kings held itinerant courts and did not have capital cities.

Maybe there is a lack of information about chivalric orders (think, in England, the Order of the Garter). In Castille, the Order of Santiago was founded in 1170. The Order of Calatrava was founded in 1158. So, it is perhaps a major omission that these are not described as factions for a game set in 1220.