Ars Magica Fourth Edition
From Project: Redcap
(This page is about the Fourth Edition core rules. For a complete list of Fourth Edition books and supplements, see Category:ArM4.)
|Product Type:||core rules|
|ISBN:||1-887801-55-3 (softcover), 1-887801-56-1 (hardcover)|
|Release date:||December 1996|
|Format:||Softcover and Hardcover, 272 pages|
|Availability:||Out of print, free PDF available|
ArM4 was published by Atlas Games in 1996. This edition was released as a free PDF for download in 2004, several months before Fifth Edition came out. Although available free of charge, this edition is still under copyright and is still subject to Project Redcap's copyright policy.
The Fourth Edition rule book is available for free download. This is a great way to get acquainted with the game and its setting.
Errata for the Fourth Edition rules can be found at the Atlas Games Web site.
Subject and Contents
Fourth edition introduced Spell guidelines to make designing Hermetic spells and effects more systematic.
Opinion and Reviews
Until about 2005, the original Ars Magica FAQ site solicited reviews of Ars Magica products from the community. The online review submission form is no longer available, but please feel free to edit this page to add your own comments. A synopsis of the survey results for this book is:
FAQ Rating: **** (14 reviews; 0 *, 1 **, 7 ***, 6 ****)
- A revision of the most amazingly detailed magic system for any RPG, ArM4 would be the perfect medieval fantasy RPG if not for the combat system and the dearth of information the Houses. Apart from that, everything you need to play is included here.
- Introduces many insufficiently playtested features, some of which fall flat. Has unfortunately dropped much of the flavour text from previous editions often leaving raw game mechanics to bear the load of creating colour and context, a task which is often beyond them. Nonetheless a significant improvement over earlier excellent editions of an excellent game.
- Less background and more rules than 3rd edition.
- Much better than 3rd. Ed. I own two copies. 'nuff said.
- Necessary, of course, but neither beautiful or particularly functional.
- Well done and the core book. Combat "updates" are bad, and the art is inappropriate for a medieval rpg.
- Better update of the rules; too many issues to cover in a short review.
- Good overall, lacks flavour of 3rd Edition, but rules are easier to follow in parts.
- Very good overall. Possible improvements: combat system (it's way too complex for such a poor result) and characteristics (there are too many).
The edit history of this page before August 6, 2010 is archived at Legacy:fourth_edition. .