Saturday, March 30, 2013

Some more thoughts on Ars Magica

My last post on Ars Magica had 187 views, and only one comment about someone who had actually played the game. I think it's kind of telling that they basically ripped the themes from the game and ditched the rest.

It seems like AM is a game many people have read, been very impressed by and then not played as written! I guess that those who kept the covenant management system are the same kind of people who play merchant campaigns in Traveller, keeping tabs on earnings, losses and mortgage payment. I have enough of that in real life.

The really detailed magic system is another matter. It seems like everyone loves the idea of being able to craft spells on the fly and using some kind of and system, just like spell points and all those ideas. But, even though I'm not a fan of the classic system of D&D it's easy and it works, even though it lacks flavour. Maybe this is the part of AM which actually change how people play.

Then there's that part which I find kind of funny, namely the "troupe style play", which is actually just they old way to play, reinvented. Having multiple characters per player is not new, and that I've even tried myself with great success.
"it is recommended that the GM keep the number of players in his party small - two or three players with up to four characters apiece is ideal."
That's T&T 5th ed. from 1979.  Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue. Maybe I'll get to run Ars Magica one day, and then it will be nothing like written, I bet.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Ars Magica - the game I would love to love

Sometimes I'm reminded of games which promised, but never delivered. For me one such game is Ars Magica. But, I still have some hope for it. Maybe you can help me? First some background.

A friend of mine bought the 2nd ed game, and we loved the idea of it. We went nuts with all the possibilities inherent in the system of Merits and Flaws. I shudder to think what would have happened had we found out about GURPS...

We generated tons of characters for that game, but never played more than a try out session to see if we could do a fight and cast a spell.

Some years later, when we had done the same with 3rd ed I actually got to play it, now in its 4th ed. It turned out we spent forever generating a covenant, planning its location, planning how to staff the kitchen and how many guards we needed and how much we would earn each year, spend on taxes and...

You get the picture.

I've now done that a few times. It bores me to tears.

Where's the game about a mythic Europe and the wonders of magic? If anyone know of an actual play recording from a podcast or similar which shows how the game can be that and not quartermaster-in-the-middle-ages please tell!

I'd love to hear some people play the game. Playing it when it's fun.

Filling in tax return forms and using MS Excel is not my way of fun, not even with magic.

Feel free to suggest some actual play recordings, if they exist!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Too bad I don't do pdf, as this looks tempting

Do you like space sandboxes? Do you like Savage Worlds? Maybe you'd like to take a peek at this opportunity to win some free stuff.
Mercenary Breed Setting

I have been eyeing Mystical Throne Entertainment for a while now, and their Mercenary Breed space opera sandbox looks really tempting. Since I'm running my first SW game tomorrow I guess I'll soon find out if it delivers. Then maybe...
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