Single Player

Hello all,

I'm an old hand at rpgs but never got the chance to play Ars Magica for various reasons. Over the last 5 years it has been difficult for me to create a stable player group. So recently I just simply retired as a GM after 33 years... 5th E looks really interesting and I wanted to know if it leads itself well to single player campaigns since the character has access to grog and companions? My lovely wife would be the player. She has a long rpg experience with various systems and is also a student of fine arts and crafts of the Middle Ages. Looks like Ars Magica would be the perfect game for us.

Thanks in advance for your comments.


I've been in a game where one player (essentially) played all the characters in a covenant, including three magi. It's hard, if not impossible, to do stories that require pitting one magus against another within the covenant but if your wife doesn't mind the headache, she could potentially run a magus/companion/couple of grogs simultaneously. The covenant tends to get "stuff" done much quicker than in a larger group but you can play that off against more interesting stories that you can tailor to things you know your wife will enjoy without worrying about someone else's character getting short-changed or another player being bored.

Certainly the stories relating to establishing a spring covenant will work and depending on which Tribunal setting you choose, political games may be worthwhile stories although her character(s) would likely be bullied/out-voted by the typical Tribunal heavyweights in the tribunal meeting proper.

To summarise: yes, it can be done and be fun for both the player and the GM. Like any campaign, it will take some work to find the right balance that works for you both.


I've never tried a single-player Ars Magica saga myself, but I think it would work better than most games provided you take the game's predilection for troupe-style play into account when generating and running your Companion and Grog characters...

Technically you mean "two player" --- as in there is a storyguide player and another player. ArM seems to work well, like this. It might be helpful to think of two player as being a bit like "SimWizard" with each player kind of moderating the gameworld impact of the decisions of the other player and thus you cooperatively develop the saga.

The main thing to try to avoid is creating situations where one player has to talk to herself (i.e. the main two characters in a scene are controlled by the same player; which is a risk in the troupe style with larger numbers of players too).

I don't see why this should not work.
Is it to be an arrangement with one of you being SG and the other player, or will you be mixing it?

Either way I think it may become confusing wwhen a single player controls several magi, if they have to interact and especially work against each other. If they cooperate things are much, much easier.
I think I would do it so a single player controls a senior magus plus some junior ones. The senior magus then delegates tasks to one or other younger magi.
Either that or a very small covenant with just one magus per player.

But to really keep it in ArM setting you both need to run other magi at other covenants as NPCs


You will discover that this game will fit perfectly with what you are looking for.

For sure your wife will love mithic europe as she discover it.

I whould like to provide you 2 ideas to begin a "solo game".

1- a redcap that travel alone, give him a few magic items and even supernatural/magical powers. And let familiarize with the world ( hermetic code, magical creatures, fae, lords, rule sistem...)

Pure adventure stile. Give her a grog, to get used to the multicharacter sistem.

Until she is not used to the sistem i recomend no magi at the begining. The magic sistem can be frustrating if you dont understad the paradigm.

2- begin as an aprentice in a winter covenant, everything is settled, there are old, crazy, powerfull mages ( superhero assilum?) and let her get in trouble, use some grogs and meanwhile become a real maga!

{if she have something similar to "empathy" avoid tytalus apprentice...}