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Lords of Men

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Lords of Men
Cover illustration for Lords of Men
Product Information
Rules Edition: Fifth
Abbreviation: LoM
Product Type: Sourcebook
Author(s): Timothy Ferguson, Andrew Gronosky, Chris Jensen-Romer, and Mark Lawford
Publisher: Atlas Games
Product Number: AG0293
ISBN: 1-58978-114-7
Release date: May 2010
Format: Hardcover, 144 pages
Availability: Hardcover and PDF available

Lords of Men is an Ars Magica supplement for Fifth Edition about the knights and nobles of Mythic Europe

Subject and Contents[edit]

The Table of Contents gives a detailed breakdown of the section headings. As one can see from the table of contents, there is a considerable amount of background text to help you imagine and portray nobles in an Ars Magica saga.

This book includes a chapter (six pages) on interpreting the Code of Hermes' prohibition on interfering in mundane affairs. It explains that complete isolation from nobles is not really practical in thirteenth-century Mythic Europe, and explains how covenants can comply with this aspect of the Code -- or get around it.

Most of the new rules pertain to nobles' pastimes of hunting and fighting. There are statistics for various breeds of horses, hounds, and falcons, a system for playing out hunts, as well as advanced combat rules for individual combat, group combat, and massed battles. However courtly arts: games, dance, music, cookery and feasts and of course romance are also covered.

There is also considerable information on the running of a noble household and fief, some of which is applicable to covenants as well.

Perhaps unexpectedly, this book includes a chapter on peasants, including how serfs and bondsmen can gain freedom and the typical activities during the agricultural year.

Mass Combat Rules[edit]

The mass combat rules are found in Chapter VII. These are not miniatures-style wargame rules. They portray a battle as a series of scenes: the action in which the player characters participate. The large-scale action is abstract, handled by a series of die rolls, but the player characters' scenes are resolved using regular Ars Magica combat rules. These scenes represent specific battlefield actions like storming a castle wall with ladders or skirmishing with enemy outriders. Success or failure at these scenes' objectives gives a bonus or penalty to the players' side in the larger battle.

Optional Combat Rules[edit]

The optional combat rules cover individual and group combat. They include both extended rules for increased realism and tactical depth, and a few examples how to simplify the combat rules.

The optional rules also elaborate on and explain the core combat rules. The author of this section, Andrew Gronosky, worked closely with David Chart (author of ArM5) to clarify how the core rules are meant to work. For example, the rule that a character can delay his action in combat is given in a couple of sentences in the core book, and expanded into five paragraphs plus an example in Lords of Men. Entirely new, optional rules are identified with the word "Option" in the section heading.

Notable features of the optional combat rules are:

  • Movement rates, which are absent from the ArM5 book.
  • Updated rules for crossbows, officially replacing those in Covenants
  • Rules for mounted combat
  • A replacement system for fast casting that is more complicated, but meant to be more fair to the character whose spell is being interrupted

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Related Pages[edit]

Related Products[edit]

Related External Sites[edit]

  • Official product page at Atlas Games
  • A seven page (eight with cover) downloadable supplement on advanced weapon and armor rules is available on the product page

Legacy Page[edit]

The history of this page before August 6, 2010 is archived at Legacy:lords_of_men