What Ars freebie should I write next?

So, there's a poll over on my website...

I'd have run it here, but I've applied for a job that has online-iness as its big criteria, and so I need to make my blog look like it has fans.

Sorry to split the conversation, I'll bring things back over here once my blog has been visited by the interview panel.

(If any of the panel have sufficent Google-fu to find this message: Hi! If the other candidates have a gram of sense, they'll be doing this sort of thing too. If they aren't, think hard about their social computing claims. :laughing: )

So, it's over here: timothyferguson.wordpress.com/poll/ and asks "What should I next write and release free on the web?"


Yay, freebies! :mrgreen:

Timothy's list of goodies is so tasty that I've been tempted to cheat and vote more than once. So far I have resisted: I just hope he closes the poll before I fall.

Somewhere there was a 'what to publish next' thread I think by Mr. Chart. There, my vote was for a "Covenant's of the Order" compendium similar to "Magi of Hermes". I often wish I had a some reasonably fleshed out covenants in order to fill out the blank spots in a tribunal or to have handy during PC's traveling to other tribunals.

Wow that would be cool - there are so many great possibilities for covenants. Some good ones have been created already, but I think like magi of Hermes - this is stuff the community can do itself (unlike a Tribunal book, or one of those pesky more rules for strange situations books).

I'd like to do this in Sub Rosa and it's one of the things near the top of the list, should Mark and I get things running again.

I say this because I don't think you'll see it for the line, simply because it pins down too much.

However, I've got a lot of experience lately with POD shops and development. So if we can get SR changed over, then that's the plan.


I write in Spanish. I am working in:
a) A list of Hedgies Traditions from Iberia and Wanderers.
b) The Hedge Alchemy, Uses of the Alchemy Mysteries out of the OoH.
c) A list of Spells and another of Enchanted items.
d) Some Covenants to play, i admit that they are really similars beetwen them, they are almost finished.
I've ended some Sobrenatural Abilities, to the Ex Myscellanea and Hedges Wizards, some Sobrenatural Characters, and i still working in more things. The Next are near to original Hedge Traditions.

My first example of the Simplifed Ars Sheet is up on my blog. See what you think. I'm thinking the spont spell menu might need to be ditched, but at the same time, it does kinda make the rules overt, and sell the flexibility of the system.

timothyferguson.wordpress.com/20 ... the-shark/

Remember to add +3 to any Ability roll in woodland.
I´d phrase it something like ...add +3 to any roll interacting with woodland... ie, if terrain is utterly irrelevant it doesnt get used, but if its relevant for another type of roll, it does get used. Depends on how you use it.

The Ars sheet hasn’t been revised since characteristics were bought in matching pairs. There’s no reason for the characteristics not to be in alphabetical order.
I´ve always preferred grouping them in physical and mental characteristics, makes it very quick to find which you´re looking for.
Also consider wether you want them and Abilities as continuous text, it saves a lot of space but it makes it harder to find what you´re looking for.

What do you think of the layout? The spell menus?
The spell menus looks quite good. Layout is fine with the caveat above. Id place them in 2 or 3 columns to keep size down.

I’m tempted to do the same thing with Scribe
If MT isnt going to be needed, it doesnt look like there will be much "sitting at home", then unless you expect Scribe to come up, probably drop it. You can go with the assumption that any magi will have a low Scribe score if it comes up unexpectedly anyway.

Turns the victim into a rabbit. Rabbits have negligible combat statistics.
But small and fast isnt always bad. :wink:

Why adding the "pool" concept for spont spells? Its like made for confusion.

I like the layout and the flavor text. I don't think that you need to list the Art scores, but instead could just say, you're good at Changing things in unnatural ways (Muto) especially animals (Animal). I understand the thought behind the spont menu, but I think that might be a little confusing. I might suggest giving people a number of tokens to represent their Fatigue level. They give you a token when they use Fatigue to cast a spont. They can decide when they want to spend it or not and you can give them the token back when they've recovered.

Typo for "Know 0".

I would ditch the pool for spont and put a target roll same as formulaic. Make all default rolls to Sun/Touch or Combat/Voice and allow a +10 bonus if they lower these and a +5 for focus.

Rephrase spont as "Your magical prowess allows you to automatically succeed at some easy tasks, slightly harder ones are tiring." Then list them: "You can change . If you touch it, it is automatic. Otherwise you need to roll 5."; ". If you hold it for 5min, it is automatic but will only last for the combat. Otherwise you need to roll 15." (Yes, I'm adding pseudo-ceremonial here)

Otherwise, I'm impressed on how little rules you need to have for it to work.

The tokens for fatigue idea is genius.

I can see you are onto something here...I'll give it a go this weekend and see if I can get it to work. The problem with a straight +5 for lowering things is the break in the scale at Level 5, for magnitudes. Also the way rolls work in sponts is that you roll then halve, which is a bit odd for this.

Added later: No, I'm stuck. The problem is there are too few thing which are automatic successes, and the roll-but-add-half thing is not working for me. Argggg.

This is what I would do. The preparation is a bit fiddly, but it is quite simple for the actual players.

  • make up some cards for each Spont guideline.
  • for each character make up a 5*10 table that gives the character's TeFo Casting Scores (include Sta in the calculation).
  • make up a table, for each player, that gives the required Fatiguing and no Fatiguing Spontaneous Casting Total for the Magnitude of Effect (so Magnitude 2 = Fatiguing Casting Total 20 = Non-Fatiguing Casting Total 50)

The Spont cards should have a basic description of the effect, the TeFo, and a number of filled-in stars on it that correspond to the magnitude of the effect (and if you are feeling flash a cool picture) (so a level 10 guideline has two stars on it). For effects that have a level less than 5 put in a number of blank stars equal to 5 - level. So, a level 3 effect has 2 blank stars.

Then give the player a stack of counters, a list of Targets, Durations, etc, and a deck of Spont cards that correspond to what his character can do.

Then, to design and cast the spell effect:

  1. the player places counters on the card corresponding to the effect modifications (e.g., Group target adds 2 counters).
  2. if the card has any blank stars on it, then the blank stars are covered up by added counters, until there are no more blank stars.
  3. the player counts up the number of filled in stars that can be seen and counters on the card (that are not siting on blank stars). This total is the Spell Magnitude.
  4. the player looks up the TeFo Casting Score on his character's table, adds the die roll (if appropriate) and compares to the pre-calculated table to see if he is successful.

For a simplified con game, I would drop options like spending vis, twilight rolls (just make botches automatically cause simple "Twilight" episodes, or ignore it all together), fast and ceremonial casting. Rather than have aura modifiers I would just have a different pre-calculated table to look at for different auras (so there might be a Forest, Covenant, Church, Elsewhere Table, and then design the adventure so that the aura shouldn't change too often).

That's because you are halving the result as the formula on p81 shows. Doubling the spell level is strictly equivalent and much easier on the brain. Frankly, I don't see why the rule wasn't written that way.

I agree.

What you need is a way for the players to quickly work out the magnitude of effect, then a quick table for them to look up that tells them the Casting Total required for various magnitudes.

Something like:
Magnitude 1 = Formulaic Casting Total 5 = Fatiguing Spotaneous Casting Total 10 = Non-Fatiguing Spontaneous Casting Total 25.
Magnitude 2 = Formulaic Casting Total 10 = Fatiguing Spotaneous Casting Total 20 = Non-Fatiguing Spontaneous Casting Total 50, etc.

To avoid some, technically becoming Ritual spells? Worst case at least...

That should probably work.

Not quite. Penetration is Casting Total - Spell Level, so you'd need to halve that if you doubled the spell level. Not doubling the Penetration of spontaneous magic is quite important, so doubling the spell level actually introduces an extra arithmetical step, and doesn't, generally, save you any.

Oh. Nice catch. So you'd have to double the MR too then.