Order of Hermes

I was shocked...SHOCKED...to find of perfect sealed copy of Lion Rampart's Order of Hermes book at a local game store for $20. Is that book still relevant? I'm a big fan of the 5th edition Houses of Hermes books and am wondering if it would be worthwhile to purchase Order of Hermes or would it be mostly irrelevant or outdated material?

Thanks for any help.

Shrugs. There's a certain novelty to the old books. I own nearly every book printed for Ars and take a sort of geek pride in that fact.

The book has a two page description of the covenants of Hibernia. It's the closest thing to a canon Hibernia Tribunal 'sourcebook' the game has ever seen. Much of the material was reprinted in Houses of Hermes. Some of the material not reprinted found it's way into the revised Grimoire. If you have these books, then Order of Hermes will look very familiar- though some points never left that particular book.

Currently the entire Order is being redone through the Houses of Hermes series. There was a time would I have said next to the core book, Order of Hermes was key to Ars Magica. I still use it and enjoy it. I like how I quickly find everything, but is it a must have? Probably not. But if you've got 20 bucks burning a hole in your pocket and are something of a completeist, I'd considered it.

It's all grist for the mill.

Such books, tho' technically out of canon, can provide wonderful alternatives or inspiration, and sometimes insights not previously considered, "what if's", or interpretations of one Tribunal vs another.

Otoh, conflicting accounts have been known to cause rules overload in some GM's, to "test the limits of mental encumbrance", to paraphrase one wit.

There are thoose who, in the past have considered it one of the best ars books ever and the single book most useful to running a game.

I'd even heard these comments after the time when most of the material in it was reprinted in HoH and WGRE. I'm not certain that we'll ever hear it again after the Houses of Hermes series is complete next spring (providing nothing goes wrong). I didn't get my hands on a copy until after I had WGRE and HoH so I've never really dug into it enough to give you a strong personal opinion.

I'm pretty sure you could ebay it for significantly more than $20, so there's really no downside to picking it up.

OoH is a really great book.

I mean, it's just very very good.

The problem with it is that the Twilight rules, which it introduced, are superceeded, and most of the Houses are superceeded too.

That being said, its a really great book, and was very handy when writing the Tremere and Criamon chapters. It was written before Trmere-vampire follishness took hold in the game (the vampires are a plot hook here.) and so it's how the house looked before the other franchise needed it.

I agree. It's thin and concise and packed full of though-provoking material. It was constantly by my side while writing House Bonisagus and Verditius.

I'd pick it up in a heartbeat. Then again, I'd snatch up any Ars product, regardless of its edition or imagined usefulness.

Matt Ryan

I keep it on hand for neat ideas during the character creation process, and have used it for almost every character I have ever created.

I'm surprised to see how many people love this book. My mail may not have expressed how much I love it as well. I was thinking, should someone buy it over do I like it?

Yes you might be able to make a buck on ebay, which is cool. But it's more cool to me that so many people still look at this old book. Mine is in my office, well it's a closet but I call it an office. Yeah, I still page through it for inspiration. It was here that Arch Magi, Twilight, and the Houses were first detailed. Pre-3rd edition, it was definetely essential. And that's a word I try to never use when describeing supplements. Glad to hear others are still using it as well. What a great book.