My very first review of the very first issue of Sub Rosa I've ever read, courtesy of Ben and Mark.
First, I must say I am impressed by the overall production and editing quality. While, I know any monkey with Pagemaker can but together a decent publication, but very few actually do. So on the whole, kudos for that... though I did find that some of the background graphics (especially in the Outlawry article) intruded on the text making it a little hard to read in places.
As for the articles themselves, I admit I was very interested in this issue for three specific ones: Outlawry, Pregnancy and Training Packages for Magi. Those are the one's I've paid the most attention to so far. I'm not really interested in Building a Hermetic Architect or new Grog templates. I'll read the Journal of Vulcanus Argens when I have some time and am looking for something new to read.I'm curious about the adventure, but haven't had time to look at it closely yet. I'll update this review as I check out the other articles, but I wanted to comment on the one's I have read while the thoughts are fresh.
First, I loved Storyguide's Handbook: Outlawry by Gerald Wylie. I found it interesting, clearly written, with some great background which I personally will find very useful to my saga and some great new and modified flaws several of which I will probably be adopting.
In contrast, I hated Conception and Pregnancy by Cameron Weeden and Richard Wiles. Sorry, guys. First, the language use is article is just jarring to me... "accrue pregnancy" . Second, and only slightly less jarring, are the mechanics which use percentile and other polyhedron dice for determining outcomes. Sure, I have those and I know how to use them, but this is for Ars Magica and it should use Ars Magica mechanics. Also, the article seems to simply ignore the pre-existing rules for childbirth found in Arts and Academy, which I think is a big mistake... not because those rules are so great but simply because they exist. Change them if you must, but don't just ignore them. On the whole, big disappointment with this one.
Finally, Training Packages for Magic by Mark Shirley... isn't bad but isn't as great I would have liked. First, I have to point out that the math for the Foundation Apprentice package Basic Grounding is wrong (it adds up to 59 exp instead of the 57 exp it should)... and since that's the very first one it shakes my confidence and makes me want to go through all the others and check the math. Secondly, the Magi packages seem a little too verbose. I know there is a lot that magi can do and it's a lot to cover, but I would have preferred a more concise layout. That said, I know I am going to be making extensive use of the this article in the very near future. I have an evil Necromancer and a whole covenant of astrologers I've been wanting to write up for ages. So, I'll follow up on this with more thoughts after writing up a half dozen magi.
In conclusion, for my first venture into the world of Sub Rosa, I am favorably impressed so far.