What if a person from our time (think a coniticut yankee in king arthers court) somehow came to the ars magica dimension & s/he had the gift? Would magi try to induct her/him into the order(probably into ars misgilania)? How would they handle any book they might bring with them?(sci-fi & otherwise) how might magi handle any equipment (pocket gear & otherwise) that they might bring with them? What skills from our time would they bring that would be relevant to medieval times? I figured that they would cause at least some trouble among the order at first at least, though some ideas might improve experiments in the end.
I don't think that is possible. The laws of physics in that world are very different. This wouldn't be just time travel but traveling to an alternative dimension. Science would be useless.
I think that the greatest benefit to the order would be
a) the person's ability to predict the future (if they know enough history for that)
b) ideas for invention (like a steam engine)
I also think that person should be very careful about not disrespecting God.
First what the order will do will depend heavily on the age of the person who traveled there. Young enough they will be made an apprentice, but being from a divergent future is not the same as having a magical tradition. As to devices it would heavily depend on whether they worked or not with teh differing physics, I wouldn't count on anything that requires batteries given how differently electricity is modeled in the AM universe.
As to books this has two dimensions- 1) how useful is the information? If the book is informative and teh information is relevant to the AM universe I expect it will be of very high quality and probably level as well. any item of course has the potential to be a source of insight regarding inter-planar magics, but the other dimension is 2) The impact on book making. Simple typesetting will revolutionize at least the order, plus the potential advancements in papermaking and bookbinding that could be extracted from any modern book. If it has color photographs that can provoke a great number of additional inspirations as well.
As to the person, if they are too old to be made an apprentice, I'm sure they can become a lab assistant or advisor to a covenant. under no circumstances would you want to leave the covenant since you almost certainly don't speak a local dialect, your appearance does not match their expectations, and you have the social penalties of the Gift, as well as being completely unfamiliar with the social structure of the time and place..
The person would probably be dead before they ever come into contact with a magus. He/she doesn't speak the local language nor Latin, is dressed strangely and behave outrageously. He must be a dangerous demon/faerie/witch.
Same applies for any book brought along. The language is simply incomprehensible and possibly full of heretical images. Burn them!
Mightn't some faeries take an interest in such a person - if they get her first?
Maybe, maybe not. The person might bring a Reason aura along with him and simply disbelieve the existence of faeries!
If they do that then burning them is fully supported.
But really a lot will depend on where they first show up and where they themselves are from. An Amish farmer, a Newy York banker and an LA screenwrted will have very different experiences, also depending on whether they appear in the middle of the alps, downtown Rome, A field in provence, etc. If you assume they make it to a covenant somehow however, which seemed to be part of the original premise, then their odds go up considerably.
I tried to get this in. The time-lost in Grogs were pitched as future and past.
I expect that the problem is that aside from parallel worlds (which ars magica has thus far avoided, probably since each world would require its own rules) the limit of time isn't simply an arbitrary limit but a narrative necessity in a collaborative creative work where one persons plans for the future can be undone by a single character's actions. Being from the past is easy, the past is done, but being from the future makes, in effect, the entire game a setting in the past, and something that has (from that future perspective) something that has already happened.
That being said someone from a previous cycle of time, if such is cosmologically allowed in your game, could certainly feel like someone from the future...
One of my favourite little tidbits in Ars.
In the african book, there's this place in the desert from which comes caravans of merchants.
A possible explanation given is that this is a crossroads to other worlds
And I love your "previous cycle" idea. Very wheel of time, now that I think about it.
Been thinking. He could work in mathmatics (if he knows just a little, he can immortalize himself (Gauss, Euler, Boolean, Fermat,...)
In the 13th century, even I'd be a math god!
If you can make yourself understood! Math terminology in the middle ages is completely different from the one of Euler or Gauss - even assuming that you know medieval academic Latin.
plus the teaching penalty from the Gift which was posited. With that and the language barrier you are only going to be teaching magi who speak the same vulgar language you do- and if that is English they I hope you speak middle English...
What if just cookbooks came through? Granted some recipe translation will be needed, but could it be used period?
Kilograms won't exist until the French Revolution.
Avoirdupois came in use early 1300s, so pounds and ounces are iffy.
Many early works of alchemy were cookbooks.
If a book describing spells came through to the ars magica dimension how would the local magi respond, depending if they came upon it first of course.
A book from our world describing spells might serve as inspiration for spells (as could books about technological marvels) but they would be of little practical use, since we do not have the same magical system as the ars magica world, and what spells are published tend to be things like attracting luck, to encourage healing, aura cleansing, and fortune telling, which are well underpowered compared to AM spells.
Assuming they can understand the book, I think they would treat it as any other hedge tradition.
- Is it useful? Is it strong? Is it dangerous to magi? Or is it just folklore with no real magical effect?
- Can it be integrated into hermetic theory?
- Is the person who wrote this worthy of a "join or die" invitation?
- When did they write? Is this some lost tradition or is there a living practioneer of this tradition?
Specifics may vary. A Flambeau that wants to burn all hedge wizards would see no value in the book, a Bonisagus searching for insights might find it fascinating.
What if the person brought with him/her a transformer toy with them, or a light microscope ? Would it help in lab work or would it just be a neat toy?