in arab lands they have psionics,how are psionics handled in 5th ed ars magica?

You're nothing if not persistent.

Psionics are not part of the medieval paradigm; therefore, they don't exist in Ars Magica.

Except for precognition , Hermetic Magic has everything else covered.

The arabian hedge wizards have the ability to summon Djinn (iirc).

I suggest Gurps Psionics and Gurps Arabian Nights as good reading plus the addition of home brewed rules.

I just do it with edges and flaws. Silent/Subtle, no Ritual magic, weak Spontaneous magic, and the spells that fit.


o.k then.

As others have already pointed out, and as we have pointed out in response to previous postings, there is no such thing called Psionics in Mythic Europe

Try to remember the style of the game - it's about Medieval people - characters who think like Medieval people, not characters who think like modern-day people.

A great many ideas now considered normal were either thought oppositely, or simply had never occurred in the 13th Century.

That said - a magus who casts silently and without gestures would probably appear similar to what you might be thinking of - just remember: the magus believes they are casting spells, nout "using Psi Power"!

Strongly recommend you ignore that advice Abe, as should be apparent to these guys, you have a character concept in mind that you like, and it doesn't matter a squat's behindy how fitting it is with these other forum posters who like to convince everyone to play their way. I think it's a good idea to play your Psionic type character, and see no problems with it working in a Mythic European setting that, despite some apparently popular belief here on the forums, didn't actually have magic either. IT's not about being realistic, it's about having fun, and only the blind couldn't see that the psionic type is what is fun for you. :wink:

Have fun.


Ah... so you are one of those "play the concept, never mind the setting" types? Would you welcome Ninjas to Mythic Europe?
What about Steam-punk types, with mechanical engines and firearms?
Were-cobra half-Kobolds? (*)

(*I kid you not - I've read of campaigns - not ArM I must say! - where a half-kobold (presumably half-human?) were-cobra was considered "normal", and knights, djinni, ninjas and others all went along together as "a party".)

You can call me stodgy if you like, but one of the great bits of Ars Magica is that it encourages people to try role-playing, to place themselves in the setting and try to stick to it.
It can be a new experience, and an exciting one at that.

As for Abe, we're old familiars - he asks daft, inappropriate questions, and we struggle to set him on some sort of path...

They have psionics in arab lands? I'm shocked. I haven't seen any magic in any land, personally.
For a regular Ars Magica game, a "psionicly-flavored" character is one who casts without gestures and words, and he just casts usual spells, as was said.

Sphynx and Caribet are both right. It is about fun and if someone is having fun playing half-kobold were-cobras then they should. But it is not possible to play such a wacky idea without ruining the fun for the rest of the players, unless they are all going along with the wackiness.
It is about fun, but it's not just about your fun. It's about everyone having fun, including the DM.
If your storyguide and fellow players are alright with you playing "psionics", you should.
I doubt they would be, in tour regular Ars Magica game.

I wonder if you actually play ArM5, abe, with people?


Well, we did have Ninja, for a brief time. We also had Bushi, Samurai, and Shugenja. The bushi and samurai were our first group of grogs and companions. Granted, they were nothing more than grogs and companions with skills stilted to what we thought was required, with exotic weapons.

This eventually led us to an adventure to Mythic Japan.

Almost all of the orientals are gone now, having died in the service of the covenant. The ninja are now tales to frighten the new grogs, and the magi of the covenant have a higher respect for 'mere' hedge wizards.

Those days are long over, though. Now, it's Ars-gate (Watergate style politics) :frowning: .


No, I'm not a 'play the concept, never mind the setting' type. What I've said and suggested is that Psionics in a medieval setting is as workable as Magic. Despire popular belief on these boards, medieval europe didn't believe in magic either. They believed in spirits, usually malign. Magic wasn't coined at such an early stage in history, there was simply superstitions and folk lore. Superstitions had people sacrificing to gods (not to gain power or favor, simply to appease so they'd have good luck). But the idea of someone with an incantation and a gesture being able to summon fireballs didn't enter the mind of anyone until the 1900's.

You had 'priests' who had titles similar to magicians that served kings, but even they didn't "cast spells", they simply appeased gods, or created 'luck' for the king.

So, to suggest that Psionics doesn't fit into the theme is equivalent to saying that you can't cast spells in the game. Neither were formulated thoughts of that era. It wasn't until the late 1700's that magicians became more than holy men, they took the role of entertainers in the courts, and were still not expected to cast spells, simply to astound an audience with the unbelievable.

When someone asks if he can play a psionic style character in this game, there are plenty of rules allowing just that, the entire purpose behind Silent and Subtle was just that, in my humble opinion. But to compare that with playing a snake/kobold character for which not only is there no rules for, but even less room for belief in is just bizzare.

No, I wouldn't allow steam-powered devices, non-mythical mythical creatures (or even mythical PCs), in a by-the-book Ars Magica game (something I never really run anyhows), but a Psionicist fits in fine with the game in every way except the minds of a few elitist players.

If it was my own game however, I'd allow a kobold character (we play with Elves, Dwarves and Humans as 'typical' characters already). And Psionics is definitely allowed, since it's already in the rules, just renaming something that already exists and that there are mechanics for.


thanks for the support!


first please keep in mind that caribet pointed out the viewpoint of Mythic Europe, not of medieval Europe.

Second, you will find that historical arguments about the middle ages require some minimal research to be received on this list.

Hermetic magic indeed has its roots in 20th century 'fantasy' ideas and Hermetic magi are complete misfits in medieval Europe - this is well known and needs not to be stressed here.
But medieval people did believe magic and also spells to be part of their world.

You can look that up easily enough in Richard Kieckhefer, Magic in the Middle Ages, Cambridge University Press 1990: many reprints and translations to foreign languages are available.
In cp. IV you find for example the following spell from some late-medieval compilation: take a hazel branch, write onto it "pax + pix + abyra + syth + samasic", strike it thrice onto the head of the woman you desire and then kiss her to be assured of her love. (And if she lets you kiss her after you hit her thrice in the head, this might indeed be proof of some love. :wink:)

Kind regards,


That, or you've used too big a branch. :unamused:

You're welcome abe. :slight_smile:

Having been a bit bothered by the Elitest "how to roleplay" answer on every thread that asks a "what are the mechanics" question, I came up with an idea, you'll love this Abe.

Searching for an apprentice, could be a real pain in the ass, except they tend to not only draw supernatural attention, but tend to demonstrate supernatural effects, such as walking into a room and things starting to float. I could perfectly see a Magus finding an apprentice when he was just barely questionable of age to learn, perhaps a week later would have been too late, and that apprentice being able to keep hold of some of his supernatural abilities (such as being able to do without voice or gestures what most magi do with). His Master would capitalize on the already existing 'powers' of the youth, and train him to control it better, often through voice/gestures, but something you could get over once you gained the initial ability to control yourself. Although it wouldn't be dubbed 'psionics', you'd be a 'hedge wizard' or something, the effects would be the same. And the name, only because a lack of the vocabulary to categorize your uniqueness.

Anyhows, in my games (which are not Canon in setting, and I make no suggestion that the setting is Canon), Psionics is one of the 4 categories you're allowed to 'join'. If you read the Ars Fantasy thread, it's the eastern philosophy that creates the Shugenja, Ninja, and Bushi/Samurai. :slight_smile:


I think you find this response is particular to Abe (Abraham Ray).
New Vertue
Is just one small example of his posts on the Delphi Fora.
Read his posts , and judge for yourself ,
before any serious accusations of Elitism are made.

Some of the hardcore gamers on the berk-list also
have extremely non standard Ars Magica campaign backgrounds.
I know i was interested in what you were posting on your own campaign.

I realize that Ravenscroft, and was definitely not inferring anything about you in my reply. However, forums do draw the 'Elitest RPer', who can be defined as anyone who answers a mechanic question with a "learn how to roleplay" sort of answer (just like a minmaxxer is anyone who first builds the numbers on a sheet, then develops the story around how to get those numbers, and I'm a high-level min-maxxer).

Each post should be, in my humble opinion, treated as its own post though, regardless of previous posts by Abe, a mechanics question deserves a mechanic answer. How many times have I posted and gotten the reply that sounded like "Well, since you completely ignore all the setting anyway, what does it matter?" sort of answer? It matters because we want to know the best interpretation of the rules, but it's definitely not a request to have someone come teach me how I should roleplay their way, or a request to be given deragatory comments because I find the rules to be as interesting as the story.

The reason I say this, isn't because I'm upset or angry or anything, it's just very annoying to look on a forum for an answer to a question, see someone else has posted the same question, and instead of finding answers, you have to browse through several Elitests posts about how to roleplay. I don't even mind that though, if the answer is first given. Following it with a "However, you might wanna consider" is cool, but anyone in the future with a "How to make a Psionic" question would have gone through this entire thread without an answer at all, if I hadn't have stated my answer without a simple "not allowed".

No worries mate.
I don't take any general reply to have singled me out specifically.
(too bad if i did anyway)

I plead guilty for being the first person to ask about the ignore option in regard to Abe.
Due to the lack of serious pests and trolls ,
his posts stand out for their unique inability to learn.

Having found (on other fora) a tendency to game-bash
Ars Magica and Rifts (Palladium in general) ,
maybe i will propose a Rifts Conversion with the Ars Magica mechanics.
All i need to do is figure out how to do Mega-Damage in Ars Magica terms.