So, I now have a big gap in my writing calendar. I'm not being critical of the Atlas plan at all, I'm just noting it means I'm not going to be writing anything official for...well, it looks like a year at least. In that time I usually hammer out sections for four books. Less for a while, with the baby, but as he grows my writing time will go back to being my own, like it did with my eldest. So...what to do?
I was going to go back to playing around with the Sicily stuff I've had on the back burner on my blog for a while, but that's the sort of thing which means I go quiet for months and then drop a huge chunk of text. It's not the best model for the community to see that new material is visibly being created.
I see that Sub Rosa is still going, and that will be a great thing, but I can't help thinking that it would be good to have some sort of public building of material going on. In part its because I think that the announcement means that the Ars Metagame is over, or at least, this match of it is over. By the metagame I mean the "game to create the game": the thing the authors have been doing in the background that leads to the supplements. I think it's important to keep people playing the Metagame, because otherwise the author pool will drift off to other projects and games.
So, I've tried talking about collaborative web projects before, with very little success. Time for me to mention them again, but this time with the added "Ah-ha!" moment of saying that I think it is important to keep the author pool working together on little things, so that if/when we get a 6th and we get a new overlord, we can welcome his minions and collaborate with them, rather than having to chase authors down from whichever other game or personal project they are writing Kickstarters for.
So, anyone have a supplement they desperately want to write, but can't quite get it together? Let's see what we can work on.
Updates for the Tribunals that didn't get published in 5th.
The Grimoire. Not only including Hermetic spells, but spells for all the other magic traditions as well. It could also include lots of new magic items. Also including the final set of shapes and materials bonuses, list of virtues and flaws, and a list of spell guidelines. These last three would be very useful.
The Bestiary. Monsters, enemies, and allies for all four realms.
City books. (Venice, Rome, London, Paris.)
Covenants Two. Including a set of virtues and flaws specific for each Tribunal.
For instance: Major Virtue: Monjoie Company Contract.
Fairy Courts. Specific courts of Fairy for Ireland, Normandy etc...
Articles for Sub Rosa describing the Domus Magna of each house.
A book of alternative Orders of Hermese with different houses (one with a focus on healing, another on Herbam, necromancy etc...)
The Book of Treasures. Legendary Treasures and a Story campaign for each.
Ars Magica for different time periods. I especially would have liked to have seen one set during the Age of Exploration. Or during the Founding period.
Or the war against the Diedne.
The ideas are limited only by your imagination.
This weekend, I'm thinking of doing a write up of Hogwarts for ARM5. Should be interesting.
Given that we can write about any number of things, are there any authors here wanting to contribute to a particular thing, or people who passionately desire a single thing be written about?
My point is to get us working on a community project, not to have us all disappear into our burrows working on a billion different things, because most of the things which hold a volunteer communities together no longer apply to the Ars author community, and I'd like to try and hold it together.
It's one of the simpler things mentioned so far: try describing it more deeply? It's just that Companions book to me means, say Lords of Men or City and Guild. Do you mean a developed examples book, or...what?
At the moment I am collating various material from across the books: Magi from the 5th Ed. Tribunal books, for example, and a list of covenants from Tribunal books (soon to be updated to include Through the Aegis). This reflects the sprawl of a long established line with no index. It also reflects my being the lead storyguide for a game at the moment, and I have trouble finding material.
There are a few supplemental references like this, and they could all be updated to be complete.
I have a short list of material for me to get organized and cross referenced: a general price list (contradictions and all); an update of my Hermetic Chronology; a map of covenants. Boring, practical reference stuff.
A Great Grimoire would be useful, with master guidelines, spells and lab texts, books, and a long table of shape and material effects.
Grand vista projects are good, vital things, but one does need to stop and take stock sometimes.
How to go about building a, inspirations for and examples of (including nonstatted historical persons), their place in the mundane world and the Order, exotic Companions (for the feral raised by Faeries half-Giant blooded winsome characters who have traveled the world as pirate types), good and bad concepts (see previous).
There's a fair amount of material across the line, but it's all over the place. I am not strictly talking reprint material, but some concentration could be helpful.
Something I woud like to do..., Not something I want to see done by another, something I trust only myself with...
I suppose I am one of the few that is gad that Iberia was never redne. I am not happy that ArM5 is drawing to a close. No, not at all.
But I think I am one of the few people that actually liked the old Iberia book. I have always been a fan of the Peter Hentges version of Flambeau. And I am a big Spanish history nut. If anyone could do that book again right, I feel it might be me.
Or Xavi :mrgreen:
More Magi of Hermes. Why not go full circle and design magi of all 12 houses. Also, as MoH shows some houses easily accommodate several magi.
could be a good series for Sub Rosa . There are at least two I'd like to do, Mercere and a Trianoma Bonisagus.
I'd personally most like to see a reworked Rome tribunal.
The old Rome tribunal feels very much like a poster-child for the theme and flavour of 3rd edition - demons on every street corner, corruption in every place. I'd love to see a 5th edition (or 5th edition inspired) take on the various movers and shakers of the Roman tribunal; be it the power of Venice, the bustle of Naples, the wilderness of Corsica, etc.
Not to mention that it has easily as much Hermetic politics as the Rhine, if not moreso.
I've really liked how each of the other Tribunals inherits something of the culture of the region into their peripheral code; I'd be interested to see how the Lombards or the Venetians or similar influence the Roman magi and the Hermetic culture.
So if I was going to pick one thing, that's what I'd pick.
But I'm not an author-y type, so I'll settle with whatever comes around.
I have three ideas to suggest off the top of my head:
A real introductory adventure that will help new players start up a campaign. Calebais serves this purpose and has a lot of strengths, but it has serious flaws as well. The flaws are not Erik Dahl's fault, they are intrinsic to the original design. The Veil of Mormool, I mean Mormulus, makes it hard to use magic properly, and using magic is exactly what I think an intro adventure should be about.
More material like Magi of Hermes, Antagonists, and Through the Aegis. Source material players can grab and use in their sagas to save the storyguide some of the setup time, which becomes scarce when players get a bit older and start having children or defending dissertations and the like. This has the advantage of not adding to the already-daunting complexity of the system, while helping new and experienced players alike.
Project: Redcap. I had to plug for my project. We have a handful of contributors now and I would like to see that increase. Getting more authors and fans involved in writing high-quality material for Project: Redcap would be a great way to keep them engaged and create a useful resource for the community. What I'd like to see would be guides to how to use the rules, such as commentary on what Infernal Methods and Powers would make an effective diabolist villain for different kinds of stories. But really, Project: Redcap has plenty of room for whatever people want to write.