This issue has a heavy focus on the mystery of ships with new ways to incorporate maritime elements and themes into games.
“A mild winter has left us busy but issue #10 is now here, full of stormy skies and unfamiliar magic, with a dash of mystery and a ship to sail it by.
Accented with lavish art, you’ll find pieces from Ars Magica veterans like Jeff Menges and Angela Taylor alongside Sub Rosa regulars like Vincent Belmont, Alexandra Dopp, Barrie James and Jason Tseng.
Weighing in at 60 pages, the Storyguide’s handbook considers the Dramatic Journey, Mark Lawford gives you the blueprints for a Hermetic Shipwright, and there are mystery cults and twilight scars to go around.
Vulcanis Argens returns and there’s a thundering scenario sure to keep your saga engaged, no matter what Tribunal your troupe calls home.” (cont)
Quick Review – Another excellent issue. My first impression was that it contains material which I can use in any Ars Magica game, but also some great new ideas for odd encounters and scenarios.
I have a love for boats and ships in roleplaying games as I think they were a fundamental part of the world, but are largely ignored in most settings. This issue provides magical backdrops and ideas, complete with stats, and a small scenario.This builds from material already published in the Hermetic projects book, but is provided stand alone for use as well.
One part of a story reminds me of a SpellJammer touch – which is all I needed to see to know I’d be reading the article a few times at least.
Some articles in particular made an impression:
- Artwork and presentation is good. Layout is clear, and while there is a lot of material in this issue it does not feel like a hotge-potge of elements.
- Perhaps the best article in the issue is for GMs – a Storyguide’s perspective of telling Dramatic Journeys. It discusses advice and examples for how to guide the story through dramatic events, and how to ensure the result ends where everyone will be happy. It is an excellent article.
- A walk through of very detailed character design: Hermetic Shipwright. This type of article demonstrates what value deep thinking about a character can have.
- A mythic mini-scenario called Stormbreaker, which gives a setting, personalities, and particularly a very well illustrated backdrop for adding an odd story into a current Ars Magica game.
- Twilight Scars, gives a very simple system for determining impact and severity of Twilight Scars (failed comprehension in twilight events), and then many pages of good examples for each, sorted by Art. This material is good enough and useful enough that it really could have been straight from the core ArM rules.
- Mappa Mundi contains resources from around the internet which are useful for storytellers, and in this issue contains information on travel routes and times, treasure hordes, a viking mass grave, and even a set of glyphs for summoning demons.
- I always like reading what the Ars line editor thinks, and what is occurring back at the Atlas Games studio.
I feel this issue is far more aimed at a more general audience instead of specalising on a specific region or setting, and explains its thinking very well to the reader.