OOC Discussion

As of now, there are four of us: JeanMichelle, Arya, Salutor, and me.


As I said in the recruitment post, for the most part I'd like to stick as closely as possible to the RAW. However, there are a few contentious issues with the RAW that come up repeatedly:

  1. Magic Resistance and Pink Dots

Many people don't like the idea that anything possessed of any magic whatsoever is bounced by Magic Resistance; indeed, not only does it produce bizarre situations (a magic wolf with Might 10 and a magic bear with Might 15 get into a fight, and only the bear can land blows, because he can penetrate the wolf's MR, but not vice versa), but it's open to abuse (you cast CrIm spells that place pink dots on all the enemies' swords, so that they can no longer go through MR).

I personally am of the school that if an object with magical properties passes through MR, the magical properties are temporarily suppressed, but its mundane properties still function (so that a magic sword can be swung at a target protected by MR, but it only functions as a mundane sword). I know this itself has problems, but I think they're manageable--for example, it would be hard to "trap" an object by transforming into into something small and edible, if a magus, on putting it in his mouth, could feel that it has magical properties as it touched his Parma, but before it returned to its normal form.

  1. Familiars and Learning

RoP: Magic radically changes familiars. It used to be they were interesting animals that, among other things, could help out in the lab. Now, a lot of them are very, very powerful. However, under the RAW they're incapable of learning without massive amounts of vis, and that means they're unlikely to learn a useful amount of Magic Theory.

I'm not sure this is entirely bad, since you can still take a familiar with low Might (and not a lot of kewl powerz) if you want a lab assistant, but on the other hand, familiars as static characters can be boring. Whatever we do here, I'd like to see some reason that some magi would choose a weak familiar over a powerful one.

Are there any other rules issues we should discuss? I could have sworn I had a third one, but I can't remember it right now.

As far as how the saga is run, I'm deadly serious that I want this to be troupe-style. I don't intend to issue edicts from on high (and certainly not rules changes), and I'd like to take a (quick) vote of active players on important stuff. I would though like to reward people who are contributing more (esp. doing some Beta SG'ing) by giving them more voice in the direction of things.


Warts, pardon wards?

Oh, right. My personal preference is to go with the rules as they were intended, not the way they were (accidentally) written, and say wards don't have to penetrate. I'd think though in a case like a ReCo ward against humans, it would have to penetrate the MR of a target with MR--the rule would be that you can skip penetration only when the ward guideline already takes MR into account.

I also remembered the other issue: magical travel. I think for our covenant to have a reason to exist, it would have to be true that there's some advantage to being physically close to wherever you're going, though I think this is probably going to be true in any case in a location on the fringes, to which no one has Arcane Connections to use in teleportation. Given the number of magi passing through, I can also see that the covenant might adopt a rule that no AC's to the covenant itself or its immediate surroundings should be taken by anyone other than the permanent staff, just for security reasons.


Does anyone have any thoughts on the rules questions? Don't let me decide everything! Besides, I'm not entirely sure what if anything I'd do about familiars and magical travel.


What's the etiquette for posting multiple times in a row? I seem to be doing it quite a bit at the moment.

If I have several different topics to respond to in one thread, should I do them all in one post, or one thread per topic? Do people care?

Greetings to the Troupe from a new player!

I exchanged a few messages with Scott and he said it was fine for me to introduce myself.

My name is Jasmin Bouchard and I'm a long-time Ars Magica player, having started in 1993 under 3rd edition. I had to stop playing when the people I used to play with moved away or stopped themselves, a few at a time. I remained a fan of the game through 4th edition and I even storyguided a play-by-email game for a few years (the Balearic saga). I eventually resigned myself to not having a group of people to play with when I purchased a house and found myself with too little time. Also, being quite a bit older than the regular gaming crowd, it's always hard to find a group. So I spent thae last 5 years yearning for the good old days of playing Ars.

So you can imagine my delight when I found the forum!

Now, when I stopped playing, 5th edition had just been released. So I have mainly the core book, with plenty of the 3rd and 4th edition material. I'll be fixing that soon, purchasing some of the 5th edition books soon. But it means I'm not as familiar with the 5th edition mechanics as I was with previous editions.

Another thing of interest is that I am a member of the SCA, so I have some hands-on experience with archery, fighting, fencing, and various crafts. I'll try not to annoy anyone with that!

As an Ars player, I tend to be a builder, somewhat character-oriented, with small tendencies are a rule optimizer. At least that's what I was at the time...


It's probably less confusing to reply to each topic separately.


Greetings Gentlefolk,

My name is Ivan Hartley. I fell in love with Ars Magica some years ago. A group I was playing with finished a D&D adventure and I was looking for something meatier. As a group we decided on Ars5 and set up a saga in the Novgorod Tribunal. I prefer troupe style play, even though I haven't played for years, as work made it very difficult to get to the game, and then home, in a reasonable time. I'm looking forward to playing again, and to contributing to the life of the saga. I (currently) lean toward Jerbiton Magi.


Welcome aboard Ivan!

Just so you know, from what I've seen so far, we have 2 magi who will have Gentle Gift (a Tremere and an Ex Misc item crafter). Just letting you know, so you don't feel like they are diluting your character concept as a Jerbiton.

Can someone let me know, fairly precisely, where the covenant is situated, please? I have the 4th Ed book, The Dragon and the Bear, so references to the rivers and towns on a map of medieval eastern Europe would be of use. If no definite location has yet been established, then the ruins of Itil, on the Volga delta, might be interesting

I've just about finished the Jerbil Hunter. I'm still faffing about with spells best suited to gathering a zoological collection.

Scott, can I have a specialisation in "Pack Preditors" for the ability Animal Ken?

BTW, I'm based in London, which might account for lengthy response times.


Thanks Arthur,

I've actually been contemplating playing against type, but will probably stick with Gentle Gift.


I made my hellos on the Character Development board, but I'll say hello here too. Warden from Dallas. I played third and fourth edition and then lost my troupe. I'm glad to have found a way to get back into the game, as I don't think there's another one like it.

We've been talking about somewhere around the east coast of the Black Sea, which is the same general area, though closer by sea to Constantinople. Tell us more about these ruins.

Pack predators can't be a very big category beyond wolves, so probably that would be OK.


OK, I just looked at the Animal Ken rules, and a specialization is supposed to be one species. How many types of pack predators other than wolves are there, though?


HoH:MC somewhere says that animals of a type with the same temperament can understand each other.
On the other hand, why don't you just take "wolves" or "dogs and wolves" as your specialty? It is not as wide, but we are in a time before Linné.

Another type I can think of right now is hyenas, but I don't expect we'll meet any locally. Some kinds of sharks maybe?

And humans, of course. :smiling_imp:

Itil (Atil) is the ruins of the capital of the Khazars, a Pontic Steppe based empire. They were originally Turkic shaman, but the nobility (at least) converted Judaism as a foil to the Christian and Islamic empires around them. Their empire collapsed around 970, after the sacking of Itil by the Rus. For a brief discussion, see: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khazars

I'm inclined towards the east coast of the Black Sea. If we site our camp in Goergia, just to the north of the Caucasus, we'll be in a very interesting place. Lots of different geography and climate, giving rise to lots of fauna and flora - there were still asiatic lions and leopards, and if memory serves, possibly some tigers. It also has fabulously mixed peoples: remnants of Goths, Sarmatians, some Jews pushed out of Spain, any of the now defunct steppe tribes, as well as Greeks and Rus. There are probably some pockets of Persians, and the occasional Arab. All of the preceding is in addition to the local Georgians, Ossetians and Armenians, and probably a few refugees from Constantinople. A very excellent place for a forward camp.

War Zone might be an appropriate hook for a covenant in this region

Lions are pack hunters. I've taken "Felines," in line with Pentele, A Lion of Virtue, RoP:M p60, mid column, para: Abilities.


I'm finding the forum to be quite inconvenient as a tool for running a saga. In the, now defunct, saga of Mystikae Eikona, which began on the forum, we used a wetpaint wiki (desanctorumargentius.blogspot.co ... rding.html) for saga setting/detail/outcomes. We had a mail group, for the exchange of information about characters' actions. We could use the forum for that, but a yahoo group makes life much easier, as tracking things through email is (for me) much easier than using the forum.

Have a look at what we did on the wiki and blog, to see if you like them. I'd happily establish both of these things, and a yahoo group, assuming we think these things would be useful.


I'd be happy to lift and modify some of the characters I created for that saga, as we had almost zero play, owing to the serious illness of the alpha SG, and my limited skills in that position. (Happy to beta SG, and do background work, though.)