So, Uh, Playing Ars by Yourself These Days

If, purely hypothetically, I happened to be lacking in the friends and presence of nearby non-D&D gamers departments, and I were also hypothetically a fanatic fan of Ars Magica based on what I've read... Would there be any point to making a bunch of characters and running a saga for myself? Would I get any meaningful experience with the system? Would I, alternatively, be missing out on most of what makes the game worth playing? I mean, it's hard for stories to take unexpected turns when I'm the only person providing input, after all.

Of course, just in case I ever needed to solve this purely hypothetical and definitely not actively true problem ( :blush: ), and I found the pacing and irregular joining schedule of PbP particularly unattractive, how might you suggest I do it?

Note: No hidden messages were included in the making of this post. Wink wink nudge nudge. :cry:

Honestly, you just described some fan fiction I'm writing.

Wait, you're writing fanfiction based on an Ars game you're playing by yourself, or you're writing fanfiction about some lonely nerd playing Ars by himself?


Writing fan fiction based on a game I'm playing by myself. My previous saga broke up recently, and I haven't found a new one. Plus, while I'm a professional Technical Writer, I don't do a whole lot of creative writing. So, fan fiction.

Current first line:

Hm... Interesting. I may as well try it, then. :stuck_out_tongue:

Well, in this context, "playing by myself" is pretty much synonymous with "setting up the backstory, characters, history, motivations, and central dramatic conflict" - stuff you'd do regardless of whether you're writing a story, or setting up a Saga. The act of "playing it out" is a convienent way of working your way though plot elements and finding interesting resolutions to conflict. It's pretty much a "writing a story, using dice as a randomizing element, and ignoring them if whatever happened doesn't make sense."

More than one author has found that, once the characters become firmly established, they take the story in directions entirely unanticipated by the author. I know that sounds strange to some, but as the story progresses, the character's drives and quirks derail what was "planned", almost(?!) taking on a life and intent of their own independent from any "art" (as in "artifice"). ymmv, but it's worth a shot.

I am doing the same thing. I haven't played in an actual game for years due to lack of time, but making some characters and then writing about them is still a lot of fun, even though I am a poor writer.

Glad to see I'm not the only one out there doing that. :slight_smile:

Almost the same. My games are spared on time or blunted by others, but again, this game is very creative and playable or to write.

Sounds great to me. Ars Magica is one of the few (only?) RPGs where "blue-booking" can be an entertaining endeavor.

This is not quite the answer to your question, but I have had a good time playing Ars Magica with distant friends via Skype and/or Roll20. So if, hypothetically, there were other people who wanted to play Ars Magica and didn't have a current troupe, and they happened to live in your time zone or maybe an adjacent one, then there is a good chance you could play without ever having to meet in person.

I believe Skype just made multi-party video conferences free.

Incidentally, as much as I would like to meet new people and play online, I am not personally available. Waaay to much going on in my life.

This is entirely how I write stories, for conflict resolution.

Given I have a plot outline, but nothing specific, I tend to stat up the characters in an appropriate system (BASIC, GURPS or Ars Magica, depending on what I'm writing) then I tend to write the stories until I hit a point where random chance would factor, and it's 'TO THE DICE CAVE, BATMAN!' time.