Reflections from Session 100

A game I'm in recently reached session 100, so we've been reflecting on some of our favourite moments. I thought I'd share some here.

We're playing newly gauntleted magi at a Winter covenant in the Provencal Tribunal, trying to rejuvenate it.

I don't think this spoils plot hooks in published material, but consider this a spoiler warning anyway!

Highlight 1 - The Faerie Queen's Revenge

Francisco, a companion character who had been the quiet bodyguard and guardian of one of the magi (Avilius) for decades, was revealed to be secretly in the power of the Faerie Queen. She sent him to assassinate a magus at Tribunal. (Mostly by coincidence, the magus had previously dishonoured Avilius and beaten him at certamen.) Francisco lured his target out and had a friend ring the church bell, which triggered the magus's hermetic flaw - unable to cast spells while the church bells rang. With a storm beating down, and the Wild Hunt howling in the distance, Francisco confronted the magus and cut him down. It was incredibly tense and cinematic, and it was fun to see the aging, loyal Francisco victorious over a magus who had so many advantages!

Highlight 2 - The Fall of the Were-maga

After a string of crimes and misdemeanours, the Bjornaer parens (Bozhena) of one of the magi (Pall) was exiled from the covenant for breaching the code. Bloodthirsty enforcers from Bjornaer and Flambeau arrived to kill her. However, rather than flee, she returned to the covenant to try to access the resources there (including a nearby, powerful regio full of malevolent spirits). One thing led to another, and she ended up invading Avilius's sanctum. The other magi cornered her there and physically held her down and muzzled her, while she partially transformed into a her wolf-form and fought them, until Avilius could arrive to legally execute her. With the Bjornaer and Flambeau enforcers watching on (unwilling to enter Avilius's sanctum and place themselves at his mercy), Avilius arrived and killed Bozhena... with a sword!

Interesting to note that both of these moments of high drama were resolved with the antagonists stripped of their magic, and cold steel used to end them!

I may post more stories later this week.


After 100 sessions, how many in game years and seasons have you progressed?

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This is something I sometimes wonder about other people's sagas. I have one that must be about the 150 session mark now (give or take), and it averages just about 4 in-game years per real life year (it's in the early 1230's now). This feels slow to me, but I don't have much to compare it against.

That seems slow to me, but if you have that many sessions going then it seems like it shouldn't be a huge concern.

My group is fairly new to the game, but we have typically only done 1-2 sessions per adventure with adventures only happening once every season at the most. Since we started early this year, we've half way through our 5th in game year, playing probably about once every other week on average.

Well we play every week (or aim to), but it's really only about 2 hours of playtime per session, 3 at most. It's hard to find the time these days.

Sometimes things speed up, there's a few seasons without adventures, sometimes it slows down again if you get a very busy season or a complex adventure. Occasionally we'll have a period where the schedules just don't line up and we can't progress for a while.

Mainly though I'd imagine it's because of how much detail we go into. We played out the last tribunal meeting in our saga and it had (I had to go and count) 67 named characters involved, and about a dozen different plot threads going on. Charitably you might call our saga "rich" and less charitable "bogged down in a metric tonne of extraneous detail." - not that I'd have it any other way myself!


Oh, I'm in no way criticizing. I'm just pointing out where my group is at. This is the first saga for everyone in my group, so I imagine that there is a lot of little things we'd go back and approach differently given what we know about the game now. It's taken us a little while to really figure out the tone and everything for the game to really get to doing much of the "rich" stuff.

I think our saga is unusually slow by Ars Magica standards - it's essentially real time! Partially that's because one in-game year was exceptionally busy - we had multiple skirmishes with nearby enemies and threats, and a Tribunal. Sometimes this has led to us bending the rules, and allowing XP from multiple adventures in a single season.

So in 100 sessions we've only progressed 4 in-game years, but have advanced slightly faster. Playing every other week, with a few breaks. 2.5-3 hour sessions.

I think we're in a similar place to you Argentius. We had a sprawling Tribunal, and the GM provided us with a spreadsheet of NPCs - I think every magus in the Tribunal in attendance was listed!