Me (the ST) and my group have quite recently started playing Ars Magica, and as you can imagine, some questions pop up. Usually with some reading and cursing I can find the proper rules, but now I have some questions that I need help with.
Adventure exp: The book states the you can only apply 5 experience points from adventuring in a single Art or Ability. Is this as restricted as it sounds to me? If you can only spend 5 points/season on Arts and Abilities, you wont be able to raise almost anything? Have I gotten this wrong?
Does/should the suggested restriction on a "roof" for Arts presented in the character creation part apply even after you have started playing? I guess this is very much up to the group since its only "suggested" put if so, how do you and your group handle this?
Hi Greger, congratulations on playing the best rpg there is
Adventure xp isn't meant to be the premium way for magi to gain experience. They study!
Read the rules for experience from reading books and learning from teacher aso! It's detalied on the following pages from where adventure xp is described.
Non magi (compannions, grogs) doesn't usually have the time to study as a magus does. They can most often rely on one free season a year, which can be used for practice fx. Note this is usually free time in between his normal work, not a three month hollyday. The other 3 seasons he normally only gets exposure - 2 xp.
This might sees like slow progress to you, but remember Ars campaigns have loooong perspectives. And 5th ed has in my opinion done a great job of cleaning up the xp rules, making it all season based.
In contrast with previous editions a magus won't become a great wizard by running round the countryside, lobbing pillumf of fire around. He becomes a great wizard by devoting time in his lab, painstakingly furtering his great work, for the glory of magic, the Order and the respect and envy of his sodales.
If you can find the books, or the vis to study, there is theoreticly no limit to how gloriously great you can become in any art. The limit, (and this has been descussed quite a bit at Berlist) is a purly practical one. If you read the rules about writing books, you find that it might be very hard to write books above a certain level. What that level is, and the avalability of the books which have very high level is something that is under discussion I think.
In our saga the kind of books we can readily have accses to are between 15 - 20 level. They are VERY expensive, but we know which covenants has them, and they are willing to let us copy them for the right (obseenly high) price. So it's a matter of priority.
When you have exhausted your library, you can study arts from vis. This is exensive in it self, as the vis is expended, and usually doesn't give as much xp as bookstudy. But what can you do? When your obsessed with your work, and have ambitions of that fantastic 50. level spell that will give you all the respect you allways craved
The limit is for experience from adventures only...so if you go on an adventure and do nothing else that season then yes you are limited to the 5 pts per art or ability. But if you study from a book, or are instructed by a teacher you get what you get, which can be far more than 5 pts.
The age limit is apparently only for character creation, though I am rather unsure why it would not or could not be applied to a magi in a saga. But that would require a home rule by the SG. It would in my mind make sense though.
Thanks for the answers guys, aswell as the welcome.
Yes, I thought that it could be, as you say Njordi, that your main advancement comes from study. It's quite different from other games, but I think that my group will like this system alot. Hehe, man, are they wanna get home to Caen and continue their restorations of their Mansion-to-be-Covenant!
We'll discuss the usage of those levels in an ART. Probably we'll end up using such a system as yours Njordi.
Just be clear, the rules as written allow experience from one source per season thus if a character both studies a book and goes on an adventure they may only choose to reap the xp benefits of one of these.
The age limit was, I susspect, put in to prevent the creation of one dimentional characters. In previous editions a grog's ability to fight was closely tied to their weapon skill (as it is in this edition). However in those dark days there was no level cap due to age on characters, thus if you created a well rounded, interesting grog and your buddy Stan created a character with pretty much all of their experiece poured into great weapon, Stan's character was much more powerful than your's. So much more powerful that magi who were being played in character could not help but to notice the difference and when, going into dangerous situations, would choose to bring along Stan's grog in preference to your's. The end result being that less well rounded characters would see more play time.
The skill level cap based on age is there to simulate a more believeable early life for the characters. Characters advanced during play have their lives played out before the player's eyes and ears. There is no need to artifically spread out the experience points because we're showing what the character is doing with their time.
Yeah! I wasn't as clear as I could have been on those points. Thanks guys!
The xp system in ArM5 is all in all a breath of fresh air. When you have a consept like Troupe Style, which I absolutely adore, it only makes sense to rid oneself of the opressive notion that the players are at the gm's wim, and that the gm shall stand as judge over the players performance and handle out xp as he sees fit.
In our saga, we have a sort of defacto houserule that you get one xp pr. session on adventures, up to the limit of 10 xp. Now there is no need for the gm to invlove himself in determening how much xp everyone gets, the players can handle it just fine themselves. And it is such a liberating thing, I can't say it enough.
The gm can use confidence points as a sort of inocent alertnative. Giving them out to the players who does cool things or whatever. But in my experience those confidence points keeps piling up anyway, so it's no big deal.
Now here is a terribly minor question, but I'd be amused with thoughts.
Say you have an individual who, full sore wounded, is recovering for a Season (or more). Would you allow that character Exposure in, say, Living Language or possibly Chirurgy? The situation hasn't come up yet, but I've been playing with allowing this in my saga (no rulings yet).
I would, exposure experience is very small. If the character had no previous experience in chirurgy and put all of their exposure xp into raising their chururgy score, they wouldn't reach level 1 until their third season of recovery. This doesn't seem unrealistic or unbalancing to me.