About My Hobby for Non-Gamers: An Introduction to the 5th Edition Ars Magica Roleplaying Game

OK, many of you will know I play a game called Ars Magica about medieval wizards and have written on a lot of books for the line over the last nine years or so. I really enjoy the game, but even hardcore gaming friends of mine don’t really know what it is all about often. Well soon my blog will be filled with stuff on poltergeist cases and research related to that again, so I thought it would be nice to try to explain a little bit about the game. I have set out to teach it to ten new people this month by playing games with them, and so far have managed to play with 9 people but only four so far completely new to the system.  Still we are only four days in to September. If you’d like to play a game and live near Cheltenham just email me on chrisjensenromer@hotmail.com

Annoyingly I somehow missed out the following slide, so before you scroll down and have a look at the presentation some absolute basics–

What is Ars Magica?
* It’s a tabletop roleplaying game similar to Dungeons and Dragons and other games of that type.
* You play it round the table with friends. You use imagination, pencils, paper and funny shaped dice
* One player is the Storyguide or referee – they administer the rules, and tell the story your character’s choices influence and sets mysteries you solve.
* You play one particular character in the story; the Storyguide plays all characters you interact with not played by a player.
* The game is set in Medieval Europe with a fictional organisation of magicians called the Order of Hermes. You get to play a magus, and cast spells.
* The world is as the medievals believed. Dragons lurk in distant mountains, demons seek to corrupt your soul and faeries dance in the woods etc…


My little presentation below was developed really for people who know roleplaying games a bit, but non-roleplayers should get the idea too, and learn enough to be able to join in a game and have some idea of what is going on. It’s in several bits, but you don’t need to know anything or own a rulebook to understand this first presentation.  Even if you have no interest in games you may find it mildly amusing as an exercise in playing with Latin words and thinking about how a medieval wizard might solve problems, if you stick with it for the quizzes and exercises. Click on the presentation controls at bottom to change slides.

The bits useful to print as a cheat sheet are here for convenience –

There are five basic Techniques, which your character will try to master. They are
CREO = “I create”
INTELLEGO = “I perceive” or “I understand”
MUTO = “ I change”
REGO = “I control”
PERDO = “I destroy”
Animal – covers animals and animal products: mind & body of animals.
Aquam – water and liquids
Auram – weather and air
Corpus – Human bodies
Herbam – plants and plant products
Ignem – Fire, Heat & Light
Imaginem – Qualia/ sense perceptions
Mentem – human minds
Terram – earth, stone, metals, gems.
Vim – magic itself.
A few folks might find it handy to explain the basics of the game to potential players. I’ll do part 2 when I have a minute and add it here: it will cover vis, the Houses and more on the setting.
cj x

About Chris Jensen Romer

I am a profoundly dull, tedious and irritable individual. I have no friends apart from two equally ill mannered cats, and a lunatic kitten. I am a ghosthunter by profession, and professional cat herder. I write stuff and do TV things and play games. It's better than being real I find.
This entry was posted in Games, Reviews and Past Events, Uninteresting to others whitterings about my life and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to About My Hobby for Non-Gamers: An Introduction to the 5th Edition Ars Magica Roleplaying Game

  1. Pingback: An Unexpected Kindness… | "And sometimes he's so nameless"

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