Ars Magica Pet Peeve – Overtly Optimised Grogs

An overtly munchkin Grog is a pet peeve of mine. Over a few years I’ve developed a sense that grogs can be flavour within a story but should not overshadow the Conpanions and Magi. Likewise in their downtime and advancement their abilities should be useful but not fantastic.

What I’ve seen in a few places are grogs which are so specialised that they really stand out from the background. They are so skilled or optimised that they really should be specialists or characters. Maximised stats combined with Abilities scores of 5, 6 or 7, a boosting Virtue, and a total lack of breadth in their skills selection.

So what to do? Well unless I’m the SG then not much except write about it here…and suggest some things to guide creating grogs. Primarily they are meant as supporting cast and not the heroes. They assist, guide, protect but should not be resolving complex issues.

When designing Grogs you might consider:

  • Stats which match their purpose but are not stand-out,
  • At least a few languages,
  • At least a few social abilities,
  • A few Lore skills and Area Lore skills should be mandatory,

May your grogs be flavoursome and supportive.