Sub Rosa #9, Chasing away the Winter Chill!

Emerging from the Winter cold, Sub Rosa #9 is here with 68 pages of content, including bonus material for the recently released The Cradle and the Crescent. We offer up beasts, jinn, sahir, companions, and all manner of juicy details to expand your stories in the Mythic Middle East, straight from the designers and playtester Jason Brennan. We've also got articles on a pious Companion knight, over 30 mythic texts and Gerald Wylie's Storyguide's Handbook offers up great advice for simplifying covenant creation! Once you toss in the Journal of Vulcanis Argens, the tidbits of goodness from across the internet collected for the stew we call Mappa Mundi, and an index of every book mentioned in every 5th edition supplement, you'll wonder why everyone doesn't pick up Sub Rosa.

Jeff Menges graciously provides us a very angelic cover, and we've got internal illustrations our regular artists like Angela Taylor, Alexandra Dopp, Anoeska Buijze, Kyle Cabral, and Jason Tseng. We've even dipped our toe in the pool of colored ink, with a gorgeous piece reminiscent of a stained glass window. I don't think you could be disappointed with this bit of midwinter eye candy.

How can you get it? Just email us and send $4.50 (US) to via paypal, indicating you want Sub Rosa #9. We’ll get a link back right away. Download Sub Rosa #9, unzip it, and start reading. It’s that easy!*

As a bonus, the first three people who post a review of the Sub Rosa #9 issue will get Sub Rosa #10 free! Just email the link to the posted review and we’ll have the next issue ready for you in May, free of charge.

Don’t wait and pick up your copy today!

*yes, still working on that storefront issue. The real world conspires. It's a vicious, uncaring place really. But soon.

Mark Lawford and Ben McFarland.


Printed and assembled in spiral bound. Looks promising! :smiley:


No fair - how'd you get yours before mine. Curses.
ponders raising army to avenge

Make a review of the issue and post it in the forums and you will get yours sooner :wink: :slight_smile:
Or write an article. I am sure authors get theirs fairly soon as well.


Can't buy it :frowning: Apparently, there's some kinda problem between my bank and paypal.
Hope to get this sorted out soon, I can't wait!

Got it and (mostly) read it. It seems a bit less varied than other issues... most of the pages are mainly focused in the covenant building help and the new material expanding The Cradle & The Crescent. However, I'm a little biased because I haven't finished reading TC&C yet, so I can't fully appreciate that part.

Having said that, I think the covenant building section will be really helpful for novice (and not-so-novice) SGs who are overwhelmed by the rules in the Covenants book. Clear text, nice advices, options and suggestions. And it's really nice to have a spread with tables and costs in Building Points for every possible resource of the covenant. Neat!

As usual in my case, I specially liked the Companion Piece, with William of Aylesbury, a pious knight (and thus opposed to Bohemond of Lucerne, the not-so-pious knight from SR #8). I liked the piece a lot, specially the hints on how to develop the character. Being a spoilt SR reader, I must say I missed the Metacreator file for William, though... :smiling_imp:

"On the Shelf", the piece on books, seemed really interesting too: 32 books fully developed, with Level, Quality, BP cost, description, language, format... and even suggestions for possible locations! I like that final bit very much, lots of story seeds there.

Overall, a nice issue, even though, as I said, it seems a bit less varied than previous ones. Anyway, I enjoyed it. It was a nice reading for a cold, cold winter night!

I'll leave the serious reviews for the wise ones around here...

And we got a shout out on the front page blog!

Thanks! :slight_smile:

So, who's going to snatch up the first free review copy of SR#10? :wink:


That would be Galdric, no? :slight_smile: Reading it, but so far have not reached past the knight companion. Will try to post a review in a few days

It will be, when he emails us with his address to associate with his review! :wink:


We've seen a small uptick in folks signing up for this issue and the next three issues, and I have to say "Thank you!"

That's a kind vote of confidence for what we're doing at Sub Rosa which we very much appreciate!


Do not believe the title of this item: I have had Sub Rosa 9 now for 48 hours and it is near zero celsius outside. It simply has made no difference. Still, it's a great read so I am not unhappy.

We've got a new review of Sub Rosa #9 up over at the Iron-bound Tome!

Thanks for taking the time, Andrew. We'll take care of you on #10.

And if you haven't looked at the IBT, you should. It's one of the few Ars Magica blogs out there.


This is the first time I've ever reviewed anything, so go easy on me.

[b]News From the Line Editor:[/b]

David Chart has made me eager for Apprentices to come out. Which is what he was supposed to do. Mission accomplished.

[b]The Storyguide's Handbook: Covenant Building[/b]

Gerald Wylie starts off this 10-page article with a quick refresher of covenant building rules from both the Core book and the Covenants supplement. It then heads into a nifty system for allocating Covenant build points, provides useful guidelines for build-pricing exotic magical resources, and finishes with good advice on using the provided system to help sketch out NPC covenants.

The article provides support for both the Storytelling mode of play (where the direction of the story is largely or entirely up to Troupe consensus) and the Sandbox mode of play (where significant degrees of the story are permitted to emerge from interaction with the mechanics, and the outcome of stories are less predetermined). Personally, I think Ars Magica's mechanics are a poor fit for Storytelling, but 5th edition AM provides a lot more support for it than past editions. Furthermore, despite my preferences many AM players prefer to approach the game from a Storyteller stance. Therefore, support for both modes of play is a very good thing.

The guidelines for build-pricing exotic magical resources are the least flashy part of the article, but may be the most important to a Troupe that utilizes exotic magic in their saga from the start.

Speaking from a Sandboxer's POV, I wish Mr. Wylie had included one more thing: A table to provide probabilities for whether a particular NPC covenant has a specific resource or not. Why? Because he recommends leaving significant amounts of NPC Covenant resources undefined for later use, which is wise from a time-saving perspective. Having the table would allow a quick, impartial decision about the availability of a not-yet-determined NPC resource when the PCs are trading favors. On the other hand, there are enough factors involved that the table might take up a full page on its own.

There is one interesting possibility with the resource allocation system that doesn't receive any attention. It ranks priorities from 1 to 7, and assigns chunks of build points by multiplying the value of the chunk by the rank. It occurs to me that a Storyguide or Troupe could use any array of 7 numbers with this system, as long as the numbers all add up to 28. Caution is advised, and min-maxing is discouraged, but a Troupe might decide that they prefer a ranking system that looks like 2-2-3-4-5-6-6, 3-3-3-4-4-5-6, or something similar.

All in all, and despite my one complaint, a fine article from Mr. Wylie. Probably my favorite in this issue.

[b]Companion Piece: William of Aylesbury[/b]

David Agnew gives us an 8-page article for this quarter's Companion Piece. William is a well-done companion-level character with a religious focus, suitable for either player use or as an NPC ally.

However, the listed story possibilities may prove more valuable, especially to a Storyguide seeking inspiration for mundane and sectarian events occurring close enough to a Covenant to affect the magi.

[b]From the Journal of Vulcanis Argens  [/b]

Vulcanis and his peers are quite the dysfunctional lot, aren't they? I assume that most players cooperate a little more in the face of the true adversary - the Storyguide - but maybe most people enjoy roleplaying out adversarial internal politics more than I would.

[b]Secrets of Arabia and Beyond; Faces of the Distant Sand; The Lists of Solomon[/b]

With the recent release of the Cradle and the Crescent, it comes as no surprise that Sub Rosa #9 has no less than three articles dedicated to the Mythic Middle East. All three are fine additions to Ars Magica.

Secrets of Arabia is essentially a Director's Cut selection of material that got left out of Cradle and the Crescent. Many thanks to Niall Christie and Ben McFarland for bringing it to us.

Face of the Distant Sand provides four fleshed-out example characters using Cradle & Crescent, with several story seeds apiece demonstrating how these types of characters can be used in a saga.

The Lists of Solomon show how to get that Genie in a Lamp with the different magical traditions in Ars Magica, and beyond that provides more material for fleshing out the Jinn. This includes adapting the Art of Memory rules from Mysteries to reciting memorized passages from the Qur'an against the Jinn.

If I have any complaint, it is that there is not as much story seed support as I would like for magi visiting from Mythic Europe. While it is entirely possible to start a new saga, prior to the release of Cradle & Crescent most sagas were probably centered in Europe, and such sagas might benefit from more visitor/invader/tourist-based story seeds.

[b]Off the Shelf[/b]

The descriptions of what books are made of will be useful for any player looking to fiddle with book enhancements. Perhaps even better, however, are the story seeds that come with most of the listed texts.

[b]Index of Texts[/b]

A useful list, certainly. Expect many Storyguides to copy-paste this section to a text file to simplify access.

[b]Mappa Mundi[/b]

This issue's Mappa Mundi doesn't offer the reader the same rigorous challenge that Sub Rosa #7 did, but let's face it: Oxford lectures are hard to top. Still, many of the listed RPGs will inform and educate you. Also: I WANT RUNE! (Crazy roid-rage Beowulfian vikings are exactly what I need for my next saga.)


Thanks, Albert!

Send me your email in a PM, and we'll hook you up for SR#10!


We should have a separate file available in the zip archive for this-- two in fact; one should be printer-friendly and the other in the Sub Rosa trade dress. If you don't have them, let me know and I'll get the archive fixed and a link posted!


Aw! Too bad. 3 reviews already. :smiley: I am off the hook for the free sweets. Might still try to post my review when the workload allows me, though