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Ars Magica RPG—Fifth Edition

****( ) (based on 1 rating)
ATG0205E

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Imagine an age where myth is real and where the superstitions of the common folk hold true: faeries dance in forest glades, angels protect the Church, demons corrupt the weak, and wizards wield magic beyond the ken of other mortals. You play these magi, gathered in covenants with your allies and servants, unlocking secret powers and creating wonders. You and your friends will also portray the loyal companions and grogs who stand with the magi, as a buffer between them and the mundane world that often misunderstands their power and motives. When adventures draw you out into the medieval world of Mythic Europe, your stories are the stuff of legend.

The award-winning First Edition of Ars Magica by Jonathan Tweet and Mark Rein•Hagen set the benchmark for magic systems with what's widely regarded as the best rules for magic in all of gaming, and pioneered both troupe-style play and storytelling in roleplaying. This new edition preserves those elements, but is rewritten to improve the rules for existing players, and to be more attractive and accessible to new audiences. See the main Ars Magica page for more information on improvements to the game, and support for it.

5th Edition Designer: David Chart
Creators: Jonathan Tweet & Mark Rein•Hagen

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Product Reviews (1)

Average product rating:

****( ) (based on 1 rating)

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A Good Classic for Veteran RPers

****( )

Ars Magica really is a classic of role-playing games. You play mages and their aids developing a covenant, a sort of magical fief. You face issues of diplomacy, magical mysteries, direct threats to your well-being in a mythological medieval Europe a bit different from the one we know through History.

It's a good game, but it suffers in my opinion from an inherent flaw: the players' characters are not balanced. A mage is radically different from a support, non-magic casting role that would be played by another person at the game table.

This makes the whole issue of balancing the game very tricky, because it's based under the assumption that the game master knows what he's doing and can balance things for the players through the circumstances, challenges the characters face and sheer role-playing.

Let's just say that in the right hands, Ars Magica is a gem of a RPG. Under the wrong hands, the backlash can be huge.

The magic system itself is based on phrases the mage utters, like "Creo Ignem" (Creo verb + Ignem seed) for "Creating Fire" (fireball, blasts, making things burn etc). It's a very free-form type of magic that will not appeal to rules lawyers but will trigger the imaginations of the most creative players and game masters.

All in all, Ars Magica's great, really great, but not for everyone, hence my 4 stars.


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