Would you help Atlas ransom an Ars book?

Would you pre-pay for an Ars book?

  • Yes - definitely! Where do I sign up?
  • Yes - maybe. What's the book about? I'd need more details.
  • Maybe / unsure
  • No

0 voters

David Chart (and John Nephew in many places around the internets) has said that certain kinds of Ars books just don't sell well, and that most of the cost of a book is not printing, but the writing/production.

Would you pre-pay for an Ars book, knowing that once it reached a threshhold level of pre-purchases, it would be written, printed and shipped to you, but that if the threshhold wasn't reached, it would never be written? The book would probably be more pricey than a normal Ars book to make it more attractive for Atlas to publish.

That's the question for the poll. The poll closes in 20 days.

See here for the original thread: https://forum.atlas-games.com/t/new-kinds-of-ars-books/4998/1

It is an option, certainly :slight_smile:

Still, I think that doing it the other way around might be OK as well: fanmade (non paid) publications can be quite high in quality as well. if Atlas santioned one such project and gave it some support (doing the layout, for example) and put it as a PDF in their website (maybe printable via Lulu) it could work as well. No need to be economic suporrt. It can be effort supoport as well.

Plan B would be to publish such a project as a subrosa project, maybe sanctioned by Atlas as well if you want a degree of "officiality". I do not give a damn about the later as long as it is cool (and HP and SR are plenty of high quality stuff used IMS) but I know a few people that care about these things.


I would but I honestly don't think that's a) the answer and b) necessary.

There are more books in development (in some stage or another) than have been announced and I dare say that there are others gestating away as thoughts and ideas within David's imagination. I'm absolutely confident that we could (and will) have new books for years to come. So this seems to be not so much a question over whether you want a new book, but whether you want a particular type of book.

I wouldn't feel comfortable holding up a book from another game line and asking "who'd pay for an Ars version of this?" There are many books that I want (there are many I want to work on, too) but I reckon there's enough in production to keep me going. And if I suggested ransoming a Diedne source book, I'd probably raise the ransom in an afternoon. But that doesn't make it the right book to make.

I think the game line is strong enough (I'm a layman, I'll defer to John and David on that) that we don't need to ransom books into existence, we just need to look at where the gaps are in the game line and then provide an Ars Magica response to those gaps in due course. After all, if you started the ransom process for a book today, when do you expect it to hit the shelves?

I would ransom certain books, that I want - such as adventure books, and especially a campaign book. These may very well be the books Atlas doesn't think will be profitable, so I see it as a win-win situation - either the ransom works and I get a book I want, or Atlas turns out to be right and no harm done. (In a ransom model, you don't actually pay until the deal is closed - you just commit your credit card, and am reimbursed if the deal falls through.)

I would also ransom any book in PDF format. I can't buy any of the latest ArM books since I've committed to not purchasing any more dead-tree books :frowning: (I've got no room for 'em, nor the strength to lug a library around for a game, and planning ahead PDF/digital definitely seems the way of the future.)

BTW how big are the costs producing an Ars supplement? Let's assume only a pdf release

I'm not much for ransoms. If we're talking about books that Atlas doesn't think are viable commercial propositions I don't think raising the money by ransom is going to be quick or easy.

Fanmade materials, on the other hand, sound like a great idea to me. I wonder though if there are enough fans out there who aren't already writing for the line or for Sub Rosa. The community seems very very small.

Ok with many of the previews opinions.

Yes, as long as it's not a module or adventure, since I'll pretty much buy anything they produce for the line anyway...

Definitely if it is a module or adventure; what the heck, just yes. You cannot take it with you.

I'm happy to pre-order books and this doesn't seem terribly different, so I suppose I'd be happy to go along for a book that interested me.

Salvete, Sodales!

I am really not sure. I might consider this if there was something that I really wanted to have, but then Hedge Magic is already published, Rival magic is being proofread and I think it won't take too long until I get a Hibernia tribunal book. Basically I think it is always a good idea to communicate the custommers' wishes to the producer, but then I think that beyond economical considerations (which have to be important to Atlas unless we want to see them go down) there is also some plan in the line editor's head how the game shall develop, and forcing something on him might result in something not perfectly mateched to the complete line.

So, I am rather sceptical, but a really interesting idea might still change my mind.

Alexios ex Miscellanea

Well, if asked, I would, since I'm a sucker for Ars books and the aforementionned "armitage-like" book sound pretty interesting, but I see no real need to, since I'm already very pleased with the books that come out.
Now, if all that's stopping Atlas Games from producing some books are financial prospects, this might be a solution.

It's not. The game is still viable in its current form. The circumstances under which I can imagine ransoming a book are for a concept that I think fits the line, that people on the forums say they want, but that, historically, doesn't sell. The ransom would then be an advance check on whether this particular one would be viable.

Another thing for people to bear in mind is that it would be at least 18 months from the ransom being collected to the book appearing. That's just the time it takes to produce an Ars Magica book.

Errg, that's how I read Ardath - what's stopping AG from producing some books are financial prospects, i.e. beliefs that these particular books won't sell; and in those cases where "these books" intersect with "books I want", I'd be willing to pay (more) to, effectively, commission the work. [And I'd prefer it in PDF, actually...]


Interesting question. It was done with another rpg I play, and it turned out very good. :slight_smile:

What kind of book for Ars Magica would this be? Personally, I've always wanted to see a kind of book that takes a look at alternative historical settings for Ars Magica, for instance Mythic Europe 1500 AD or even the Roman Empire.



Definitely would ransom those.

A book on Mythic Europe set in the 1500s, with an adjustet mythic paradigm based on the beliefs of the time would be great. This would then be an alternative setting, not just the current Mythic Euope in the future (inkl the Americas, gunpowder, heavy plate mail etc). Maybe a book on several, say four, of these settings would be cool. What four settings, in addition to the 1500s one, would be interesting? My choices would be:

Mythic Europe 1500 AD (where magic and science collide)
Mythic Roman Empire
Mythic Japan (samurai, ninjas, shogun etc)

Well, not sure on the fourth. But a book like this, I would pay for in advance. :slight_smile:


Mythic Founders AKA 720 AD. I would love to see what the founders would be capable of doing. I have decided that vitki are quite close to how the magic of the founders worked (except without scrible runes around, and more difficulty inventing spells), but to see their spells for real would be good :slight_smile:


"Mythic Founders" would be good alternative timeline, indeed. :slight_smile:


Having said I'd ransom any book, I would like to qualify that and say I'd think twice about alternative settings books. There's enough to keep me going for the rest of my life in the 13C.