Roll20 Ars Magica Character Sheet

Hi all,

My group has been using the Ars Magica character sheet in roll20 for a couple months now, made by Coal Powered Puppet, who, bless him, made the character sheet on request even though he doesn't play the system. We want to give it another pass by people who play the game. Polish it up and put in some practical changes. To that end, I was hoping to reach out and get suggestions from the community who may have used the roll20 character sheet.

Also, one of the things we want to investigate is having the sheet calculate scores based on experience, at the moment they are fill-ins. The issue being that Ars Magica has several exceptions to how experience works and I wanna make sure I make allowances for those kinds of things. I am considering the following Ability/Art exceptions, please let me know if I'm missing some.

Known exceptions:

  • Puissant checks for abilities/arts
  • Affinity with Ability
  • Faerie blood/legacy (This might be wrapped in a basic modifier with Puissant)
  • Accelerated Abilities

Really, not many exceptions exist. Nearly always they either advance as n(n+1)/2 or 5*n(n+1)/2 to hit level n. So you don't need to consider Difficult Arts and Accelerated Abilities exceptions if you just record a multiplier for each Ability or Art, either *1 or *5.

Also, it is important to note that Affinity does not create an exception to this. This is where the program for making ArM5 characters blew it. First, it doesn't follow the core rule on rounding. Second, it doesn't follow the core rules when experience goes into something from a means other than Study Totals, such as Twilight or Experimentation. Third, it means you'll have to figure out what to do separately for Linguist or Flawless Magic or anything else that behaves those ways, and also figure out what happens when those are combined with Affinity. More importantly, it messes things up severely when an Affinity is gained via the Magic Realm or Initiation. Recommendation: Don't mess it up like in the program.

To clarify, Ars in general rounds up everything, correct?

Thanks for your thoughts, I forgot about Difficult Arts & Linguist. We'll see what we can do about the various calculations and stuff. It's less of a character-creator/engine and more a character sheet but we'll see how advanced we end up going with this.

Many instances are written out explicitly, while many are not specified. Of all the instances when it is written out explicitly, I have one found a single case of round down: Ablating. Meanwhile, I have seen a great many cases of rounding up.

Writing Summae has s curious choice of wording:

which is effectively rounding down.

I understand where you're coming from, but the mathematician in me objects as it isn't effectively rounding at all. Rounding down would give the same results as we can only choose integer levels, but restrictions on the domain v. restrictions on the range of a function are distinctly different.

That was actually exactly what I meant and tried to indicate, but in a simple, more accessable language.

Sorry, I do not understand how you consider that quote meaning rounding down.

EG: I have 15 in magic theory.
Writing a book summa, I personnaly think I could. If I undertand correctly you wouldn't accept that?

You absolutely can write a summa!
Since it can have a level no greater than half your score, if can be of a level no greater than 7, since 8 is obviously greater than half your score in magic theory.

OUps, it seems the numbers didn't show up in the post and I didn't notice...

I wanted to write "Writing a book summa 8, I personnaly think I could. If I undertand correctly you wouldn't accept that?

Thanks for your advice :wink:.

It did look a bit odd, but that happens, and I could only guess at what you'd meant.

That is correct.

Yes, I play it as Tellus does. The difference is that I say 7<7.5 and 8>7.5, so there is no implicit rounding at all.

Medieve, do you know the formulas for the two methods (x1 v. x5)? I and probably some others have written the formulas on the forum before, but the last time was probably a few years ago. Of course, you can derive them yourselves, too.

The only halving the character sheet does is on Fatiguing Spontaneous Casting, which shows the decimal for clarity in cases when a player is digging around for a .5 bonus somewhere.

But moving on from the rounding issue, my compatriot and I have come across an interesting design conflict. We've been considering doing limited automation for Ability/Art XP calculations and I was suggesting that we only calculate the "Next XP field" instead of the Score. My assumption would be it'd be best to display it as Total XP for the next rank, (ie. A character with an Ability Score of 4 would have a field showing 50/75 XP), my compatriot is of the opinion that it should display how much experience it would take to rank up (ie. A character with an Ability Score of 4 would have a field showing 0/25 XP).

Its a matter of mostly opinion but I can see it being a problem for players who do their mental math in different ways. I was hoping to do an informal survey of people here about what "feels" right to them if they had to choose: Total XP or Next Rank XP?

Next rank for me.

You're right that it's just opinion, really. The way it's done in the books is next rank, but that could just be because it saves a lot of space due to not needing to write anything when a character has hit a rank on the dot. Note that the books don't list the /points. For example, look at Darius:

There you can see Pe and Te listed differently, with the number of points toward the next level shown. You can also see that there is no recalculation of required points to reach the next level of Perdo despite Darius having an Affinity with Perdo, otherwise 15 would exceed the required recalculated 13 instead of being shy of the actual required 19.

Personally, it doesn't much matter to me. I suspect the smaller numbers are nicer for a lot of people, so next rank is probably the way to go. After all, the only time the total really matters is character creation; afterward it's all about next ranks.