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Antagonists

From Project: Redcap

Antagonists is a sourcebook for Ars Magica Fifth Edition containing ten NPCs who can be used as long-running adversaries in a Saga.

Antagonists
Cover illustration for Antagonists
Product Information
Rules Edition: Fifth
Abbreviation: none
Product Type: Character sourcebook
Author(s): Timothy Ferguson, Andrew Gronosky, Mark Lawford, Richard Love, Ben McFarland, Mark Shirley
Publisher: Atlas Games
Product Number: AG0303
ISBN: 1-58978-135-X
Release date: March 2013
Format: Hardcover, 144 pages
Availability: In print

Subject and Contents[edit]

Antagonists contains ten fully-developed adversaries who can each provide multiple stories. The book contains full Fifth Edition statistics for each adversary and his or her minions, of course, but the bulk of each chapter is text describing the antagonist's motivations, schemes, and how to integrate him or her into your Saga.

The antagonists in this book are generic characters designed to oppose a single covenant. The book does not deal with major historical adversaries of the Order of Hermes such as Damhan-Allaidh and House Diedne, nor Order-wide menaces such as the Mongol hordes.

Product Page and Introduction[edit]

The official product page gives a description of the book and a PDF of the introduction. Unlike most ArM5 books, the table of contents is not available online. This is because, according to David Chart, the table of contents is so detailed as to contain spoilers.

The Ten Antagonists[edit]

There is at least one antagonist from each of the Realms of Power, plus the Order of Hermes and the mundane world.

Baron Geoffroi D'Arques
A mundane who seeks to learn about magic and gather magicians to his court
Baron Giraud Le Cornu
A mundane who tries to force the magi into joining the feudal hierarchy
Father Joseph of Napoli
A papal legate who proposes to turn the Order of Hermes into a religious order sanctioned by the Church of Rome
Bishop Orris
A bishop who is convinced that magic is evil
Galerius of House Guernicus
A quaesitor with an exaggerated idea of what constitutes a threat to the Order
The Infatuated Diabolist
A stalker in whom carnal lust and lust for a magus's power intertwine
A Demonically Inspired Cult
A rapidly-spreading menace
The Divine Abbot
A being of the Divine Realm who seeks to strengthen the local Dominion
The Queen of Gold and Glass
A powerful faerie who challenges the magi with a series of tests while playing a subtle game
The Waimie
A magical serpent who sends out her brood in search of vis

The selection of antagonists is therefore somewhat weighted toward mundanes. There are:

Opinion and Commentary[edit]

Antagonists' reception on the official forum was subdued. There was the usual amount of anticipation prior to the book's release, but once it actually came out, few comments were posted to its forum thread. Most of the discussion was reaction to the introduction, when it became clear to fans that Antagonists was a sourcebook of villains to be used in low- and medium-powered sagas, not a book of epic threats to the entire world of Mythic Europe.


  • To offer a contrasting opinion, I would say that opinion on seeing the pdf of the Contents pages was subdued. The lesser threats and 'typical Divine realm stereotypes' type comments all pre-date the actual release of the book. After the release note the change in the forum thread Once the book was released I think reactions were far more favourable, and there was unlikely to be a great deal of open discussion given the fact spoilers are almost impossible to avoid when discussing the book. I personally liked the book a great deal and rate it as extremely useful, though it is fair to note I playtested in one round. CJ

Related Products[edit]

Another ArM5 sourcebook that contains fully-developed characters, usable as opponents, is Magi of Hermes.

Rival Magic describes magical organizations that can menace the entire Order of Hermes.

External links[edit]