What do we know?

What do we know to date about next year's Ars Magica releases? Just wanted to gather all the info here. Just to clarify, next year will see the release of Ancient Magic, Houses of Hermes: Societas and Realms of Power: Magic. This kinda follows the same pattern as before. But if there are four books to be released each year, what will the fourth be? Any ideas?


People's NDAs will likely prevent them from answering this question even if they aren't involved with the the product at all.

The fourth book should be something of interest to non-magi. Perhaps the extra Tribunal book that was hinted at? Perhaps another adventure, or a collection a la Faerie Tales? Perhaps a 5e Bestiary?

Ancient Magic to me looks very much like a collection of adventures ala Faerie tales. Perhaps one of the authors might set me straight if it isn't.

I think that the quantity of critters presented in the realm books and the book of mundane beasts combined with the critter generater in Mystery Cults make another beastiary a rather low priority on the release list.

I'd like to see a book giving several takes on dragons both from myths and at least one adaptation of an unabashedly D&D ish style lizard.

I look forward to the "magi and their toys" book that David put out the open call for.

I'd like to see a book on manors and villages. A book on medieveal war and how to weave adventures through it.

Oh? It struck me as something aimed at magi, specifically ancient secrets Seekers could be finding.

Good point.

City & Guild is, I think, too similar to "a book on manors and villages". A book on warfare now, that's a good idea. Perhaps a book on Nobles at large, a la Ordo Nobilis (personally - I hope of a less historical bent).

I'd kill to know how fast a medieval army could move, and other quantitative things.

A book on historic warfare would be fantastic. Though, I'm courious, why would you want a book on nobles less historical, and less hisotrical in what fashion?

See, while I might be interested in a book on historic warfare, I rather think there are likely such books already and far better ones than Atlas could provide. What I'd be much more interested in is a book on Mythic warfare (and nobility?), which is an altogether different matter.

Regarding Ordo Nobilis and history: I found it clung too much to detailing a historic Europe sprinkled with magical thingies, instead of beign deisgned to help tell tales in Mythic Europe.

It explained the state of feudalism in far too much detail (do we really need 45 pages detailing the various kingdoms in Mythic Europe?!), and while it presented some good ideas (such as playing out wars as melee influencing reputation) and some useful innovations (such as improvements to the combat system) - it sorely lacked in Mythic feel for me.

For comparison, consider Love & War, Atlas' d20 supplement on knights. It focuses on the virtues of knighthood (Valor, Loyalty, Piety, and Love), presenting ideas on incorporating the virtues into the story and mechanics, adventures related to the virtues, relatd rule subsystems such a system for playing out courtly love, and other sundry items. That's taking a Mythic approach - approaching the subject matter from the point of view of the ideals, legends, and myths and providing tools to bring them to the game, approaching the matter from the point of view of a mythic story rather than history riddled with magic and improving related aspects of gameplay.

While I liked a few ideas in Ordo Nobilis (the "Overbearing Underlings" flaw most of all :slight_smile: ), I genreally found it lacking both in the above sense and in lacking enough magic and differences from historic Europe (again historicity), and poor or boring mechanics (the Mythic Penny comes to mind). YMMV, but for me it was one of the most disappointing books.

The last adventure in it wasn't half bad.


Help me out. I've got books on medieval warfare, but they tend to lack quantitative, logistical, and social things that I'd like to know. How fast can an army move? How many men were in various armies at various times? How much money did it cost to field an army of n soldiers? What sorts of supplies were necessary, and in what ratio to number of soldiers? How were supplies gathered? Was it more typical to pillage what you needed, or to carry supplies? If carrying, what sort of wagon trains were called for? When in transit, how wide a swath did an army cut? Did the whole body cohere in a narrow advance, or was it more bands in a general advance across a wide front? If the latter, how it was coordinated? How did different armies treat non-combatants in their areas of march? Rape, pillage, and burn? Or what? Obviously there's wide diversity, but there should also be some averages, some tendencies, some normal and notably abnormal cases.

Any recommendations?

You know, one idea would be not so much a dedicated source book, as I think that could be quite dry unless rolled into a wider subject, but a published scenario set amid the march to war and the resulting conflict(s).

As the players track through the course of the story they come into contact with all levels of people that make up the army and its followers. They get to see first-hand the effect of an army marching through potentially hostile land and, amid the flames of the aftermath, they find a lasting purpose as the fragile peace is rebuilt.

It's a great opportunity to build a story where grogs and companions can come to the fore while the magi, for once, take a supporting role.

If there's ever an open call for scenarios I might just do it myself.

It's good that you like that approach. In general terms, I feel that the author of Love and War has had a strong influence on my approach to ArM5.

It rather drifted off topic, didn't it.

Of those, only Ancient Magic has been officially announced. The others may not happen, get pushed back, or turn into something completely different. In the case of Societates, at least, that's very unlikely.

Normandy Tribunal. (Not official yet, but that's the current plan.)

Just as a suggestion to those asking for quantative rules on movements of armies, invest in some good wargaming books on the right historical period.

Any suggestions?

Sorry not me, I don't wargame but i've known quite a few. Most wargamers just deal with specific battles, and have the stats for specific movement of different units, but I've also seen them busy with strategy games.

If you want to guess a rough estimate, then do what I do, pick the right type of army and right terrain and find an example in the history books that gives the route of march and the dates of marching. For example the black prince in southern france in 1355, marched from bordeaux on october 5 to labastide dármagnac by 12 october with an army of 8000. Looking at scale maps in an atlas (I use mappoint) that looks to be 120 miles or so by the route shown in the history book. 120 miles in 7 days across fairly easy forested countryside. Sounds a good enough listing. If you need a cavalry only army then use a different more appropriate force. But these types of movement are fairly well catalogued.

As for your idea on a published scenario involving a war scenario, it would be easy enough to involve a covenant that hold lands as nobles in any war, as their liege demands the troops that they must provide, and demands their lord comes with. The king might know that the magi cannot cast spells for him, but he might want an advisor on hand against the possibility of foreign magic. The whole iberian penisula is busy with the reconquest for example and have arab magi as potential opponents. Yes the order bars involvement in battle but who listens to that? Just buy a book on the battles of the reconquest and use the real life history.

Given that you're the author, I'd say that a given. :slight_smile:

I did like the approach, and the book. Excellent work.

And thanks for the info on the future, there. :slight_smile:

Regarding the issue of medieval warfare, I'm afraid I'm not familiar with any book that gives such measures, at least not that I remember. It hasn't really come up in any of my games.


David Chart wrote "Normandy Tribunal. (Not official yet, but that's the current plan.)"

YEAH! Excellent news. The earlier the better

Mark, you might consider the Battle of Las Novas De Tolosa, Iberia, 1212. You've got a call from Northern Iberian Christian Nobles to the rest of Europe to come battle the Almohad in a final stand. You've also got the northern Iberian Magi calling for a march on the Muslim Wizards, with the "roman" tribunals of the south resisting. The battle was huge, there are tons of legends surrounding it, and the tide of the reconquista turned after that. The Iberia tribunal book also notes that Dark Flambeau were involved, and used the battleground as a source of necromancy afterwards.

Could be nice and "Mythic" in it's scope, as per request.

Well, Normandy Tribunal would be nice, but I'm mostly interested in the Thebes Tribunal.
Also, I hope Ancient Magic provide alot of history on ancient civilizations. I think it would be cool to set a campaign in earlier periods, for instance Greece before Christ. Oh, who am I kidding? It seems that the trailer for the movie adaptation for "300" has inspired me :blush:


Well, I'm not sure but I think Philippe Contamine's classic work War in the Middle Ages should cover some of this stuff. Do your really want to know about costs and supplies though?! Personally I'd handwave this stuff. However, it's high. Noble concerns at this are highlighted in Magna Carta includes clauses concerned with restricting how much the King can call down costs for military action and the use of tax in lieu of military service.

Remember that large armies marching across the land were very much the exception. Large conflicts like the Battle of Bouvine, 1214, featuring 10k troops on each side were extremely unusual. The 'classic' Ars setting of the Albigensian crusade involved large numbers of people, but not necessarily in the classic image of ranks upon ranks of troops. Massacre at Montsegur by Zoe Oldenburg is supposed to be a good source for this campaign (alas, as with Contamine, it sits partially read upon my bookshelves!).

I don't know, but I suspect that a degree of pillaging was likely - it was certainly recorded as happening during the battles in and around Normandy that Harold Godwineson took part in (alongside William the future-conqueror). However, I suspect that a fair amount of pillaging in the more civilised part of Europe would simply be pragmatic villages offering food and supplies to a group that would otherwise just take them!

In the 12th and early 13th Century of Ars Magica, military action was likely to be generally small and frequently siege-based (strongly recommend Jim Bradbury's "Medieval Siege" which along with his equally excellent "The Battle of Hastings" and "The Medieval Archer" I have read cover to cover!). There was certainly plenty of conflict, including the civil wars in Angevin France between Henry II and his sons, Philip Augustus' campaigns against Richard I and John, the Albigensian Crusade in France alone. But of these, the only full scale battle that I know of is Bouvine in 1214 which finally ended King John's attempts to wrest back land from Philip Augustus of France. However, I may be wrong!!