I'm playing Ars Magica since the 3rd edition (in french) and, while I really like what you did with the game for the 5th edition, I have to say that I don't understand why there is no published adventures for the game, except Calebais (which is a reedited version anyway). I know there are plenty of good adventures in the former editions, but some are hard to find and, because the rules changed, they require more time to prepare (and Ars already takes a lot of time just to learn the rules!).
The other alternative is to create our own adventures based on the many suggestions found in the ARM 5 books, but then it requires even more work!
I mean, don't you think we have enough books about magic rules and background precisions? I really appreciate hedge magic, complex rules about judaÃ¯sm and how to influence market prices with magic, but for most of my players, once they have learned most of the basic rules, they have more then enough. What is missing though is new adventures. I create some for my troupe, but the time it takes means that we cannot play as often as we would like.
I think that ARM is not only for the "hard core" roleplayers and I know from experience that it can be very fun to play with people who don't want to dedicate their life to learn its many rules and create their own adventures. I would like Atlas to support those "casual" players a bit more by continuing to publish quality "pay and play" adventures like they did in the past.
Finally, I think we need some precisions on combat rules, especially for mounted combat, a bit like you did in Ordo Nobilis. Although we know that ARM is centered around Magi, knights and mounted combat are IMHO quintessential to the medieval paradigm.
I really believe ARM is one of the best game ever made and I only wish that more people could play it by making it a bit more accessible.
Hi there. We actually have a scenarios book in the works. It will likely be out late next year, but isn't officially on the schedule yet.
Our general approach has been to provide LOTS of story seeds and campaign ideas in all of our books, which I think we've done pretty successfully. Unfortunately, adventures generally don't sell as well as sourcebooks, thus our not prioritizing it.
Since adventure books don't sell well, why not make them available strictly as pdf downloads instead of printing them at all?
My thinking on this is that if you have well written material, but know the market will be limited it may be more economically lucrative to make it available as a lower priced pdf product than to have to worry with printing expenses. I think people like published adventures personally, but unlike source material, only the storyguide/game master/ or whatever a particular game titles that participant; will ever buy such products. Thus the market is more limited (accounting for the lower sales mentioned).
So why not publish new adventures straight to pdf? It would save on printing costs, would be environmentally friendly/responsible (good press there), and would promote adventure sessions for the ars magica community by supplying new material that would expedite play sessions. Further, adventure publications provide an avenue for writer submissions to be utilized, limiting the need for devoting in-house writers to such projects.
Again, just my thoughts and questions. Thank you for the quick response.
I know I'm coming late to the party on this question, but I've only just seen it...
A similar question was asked of David Chart at last year's Grand Tribunal UK. To paraphrase his answer, printing is the least of the concerns. The cost in putting Ars supplements together is in the writing, the editing, the proofing, the artwork, the layout, etc. To put a professional product out to the market, PDF or print, takes a lot of preparation (and a huge lead time).
However... Sub Rosa is a subscription-based PDF magazine devoted entirely to Ars Magica. You can find a scenario in each issue. There are four at the time of writing with issue five right around the corner, and I think that issues five and six are both likely to have some kind of pick up and play scenario.
I sympathise with you wanting adventures and scenarios. I look across at other games and can only sigh in envy, but there are ways and means and I can't recommend Sub Rosa highly enough for filling in the blanks that the official line must occasionally leave.
Sorry to have not seen your post until now, Angado.
Very good points, Mark. In fact, those of you in our Special Ops demo team will have noticed that a while back we stopped editing fan-submitted adventures and laying them out in the official trade dress, because it just got to be too much staff time. And remember that by "staff time" I mean my time ... it's just me doing production work at Atlas, so anything that's taking my attention is diverting it away from releasing another product.