Ars Magica

Background [Edit]

Ars Magica is a RPG dealing with magic and magic users (lat. magi). All events take place in a medieval world called Mythic Europe, the fantasy equivalent of the medieval Europe of the 13th century. Events and actions do not follow the physical laws we know today, but abide the laws dealt with at that time, including the limits and powers of nature, God and other entities.

Players may (and in fact are encouraged to) play multiple characters at the same time with three basic types of PCs being available:

Magi
Educated explorers with magical abilities gained through years of study who seek even more power the older they become.
Companions
Important persons that are somehow related to magi and get along with them on the latters' course.
Grogs
The supportive cast that helps magi and companions to achieve their respective goals.

Apart from the mundane, mortal world, there are four Realms of Power:

Mortals in general and the PCs in particlar more or less frequently interact with these Realms, either on purpose or accidentally. The Code of Hermes, the consitution created by the Order of Hermes, dictates whether and how to approach other Realms. In case of the Infernal Realm, for example, the rules for interaction are strictly off limits!

Course of Play [Edit]

Unlike in many other RPGs, Ars Magica sagas (i. e. campaigns) tend to cover many years of personal and collaborative development of PCs and NPCs, dealing with the increase of their powers and their interacting with their environment all along the way. Since magi usually perform longevity rituals that enable them to outlive most commoners by several decades, a saga may well spread over a half a century, introducing multiple generations of magi that come and go, becoming members of the Covenant, the base of operations employed by magi, or leave it for whatever purpose.

Mechanics [Edit]

Ars Magica primarily deals with magi improving and applying their magical abilities. This is why the majority of the rules set centers around learning and developing new spells and casting them in various circumstances. That being said, the rules tend to be light weight and well balanced, making it easy to treat many non-magical aspects of the game in concise and practial ways.

Most characters take quite some time to create at the beginning of the game, when not only numerics have to be settled and numbers crunched, but also advantages and disadvantages (Virtues and Flaws) of the characters have to be chosen. What applies to grogs and companions certainly proves true for magi whose spells and magical abilities makes them stand out as individuals solely by their choice of skills, strengths and weaknesses.

Resources [Edit]

Local [Edit]

Point costs calculator
Online tool to help you to calculate point costs for new 5th edition characters.
Character sheet
Customized two-page character sheet.
Certamen record
Record for fighting magical duels.
Troupe development record
Seasonal record for experience and development of the troupe.

Worldwide [Edit]

Atlas Games
Publisher of Ars Magica.
Official web site
Official web site of the current 5th edition.
Project Redcap
Links to various resources.
Hermes Portal
Ars Magica online magazine.
Durenmar arx peritae
Various resources.
Mythic Europe
Various resources.
Wikipedia
Ars Magica on Wikipedia.
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