I have a few questions for an upcoming Saga.
First of all I have found people not having played Ars Magica before, so I am teaching new people this great system!
Thinking of starting another saga set in The Alpine area. These thoughts/questions up.
What languages are akin to Latin? I mean, I know the Romance languages obviously derive from them. And I read a bit on the languages of the day on wikipedia. It seems in the area the Saga would be set Gallo-Romance was used. On the page I found the Gallo-Romance (8th century) to Vulgar Latin (7th century) to be quite similar, like a -1 to ability checks common amongst dialects. So how great would the difference be down to ”real” classical Latin? -2? -3? Ideas?
Basically characters are not allowed to have Latin as a native tongue, but there are obviously languages similar to it, where you could default some minusses and be able to speak it at level 5, if your score in the other language is high enough.
The other thing is Magister in Artibus.
The idea I had was a maga with this virtue, but instead of having gained her degree and experience at a University she was taught by hired-in teachers and magi from other covenants, giving her the equivalent degree. The caveat of the virtue – teaching for two seasons – would be spent teaching, highly valued, grogs, companions, apprentices and even other magi at other covenants in the tribunal.
The thing I am thinking about though is the two seasons worth of work. As written you would get Exposure xp for these two seasons, meaning she would get 4xp for half the year. Advancing your magus (in an easy way) after apprenticeship nets you about 30xp a year. Meaning an average of 7,5xp a season. If she gets 7,5 in the other seasons and 2 in 2 of them, she gets about 19xp a year. 1/3 less.
Now getting 300 extra xp at character creation from Magister in Artibus is obviously a huge boost! It costs a Greater Virtue, and you have to do something specific for 2 seasons, but still 300 xp is a lot. Since another average magus gets 11 xp more per year, after roughly 30 years he would have caught up xp wise and at that point start to take over on the xp-balance scales.
In my view there is obviously an advantage to the maga with Magister in Artibus for 30years, and then she loses that edge – the thing is they will both probalby live longer than 30 years. And after 30 years more, where he would then be +300xp over her, he still continues for the decades to come, to rack in more xp.
Of course the game should not only be about xp and power, but with a game that can stretch out to you playing 100+ years as your magus/maga, I do think the difference is signifant...
So my question – would it be fair to either: Raise the exposure xp to 3 or 4 (For everyone of course), would it be possible to say: Yes you teach the apprentices for two seaons, but since you teach 8 hours, sleep 8 hours, you have 8 hours where you can actually study something else because you then choose another source of xp? (I don't really like this one because why would anyone go for exposure xp then? A mitigating factor could be if doing another source of strenous work ie. Study, you would have to roll on the aging tabel one extra time every year even if not at age 35 yet)
Thoughts? I want to balance the fact that Magister in Artibus is a good virtue, and comes with responsibilities, but also make the long term xp implications reasonable...
NB. I am the alpha storyteller, but don't want it to be a case of ”Because I am alpha storyteller I get to make/change rules which specifically makes it easier/better for my character”.