From Project: Redcap
The Fan Community provides volunteer assistance with rules questions though Mailing Lists and the discussion forum. It is a good idea to search this site as well, since one of its main purposes is to provide lots of references, examples, and advice on the game rules.
Please bear in mind that this entire site is unofficial; it is maintained by volunteers. The only rules clarifications that are unequivocally official are the Fifth Edition Errata. The Line Editor does sometimes answer rules questions on the mailing list or official forum but it's unclear whether his posts are always "official."
Because our policy is not to reproduce copyrighted material, we do not reprint the exact text of any game rules. Instead we offer page references where to find the rules, and commentary and clarifications from the Fan Community.
- Introduction to the Game Mechanics
- List of Frequently-Asked Questions
- Virtues and Flaws
- Hermetic Magic
"Official" Rules Answers
Newcomers to the Fan Community often ask for an "official ruling" on a given topic. This question seems to come up most often in the official Atlas Games official forum. It may seem at first perfectly reasonable to ask for official rulings in an official forum, but some of us actually find this request annoying, for two reasons.
First, asking for an official ruling could be seen as leaving the rest of the player community out of the discussion. Only the Ars Magica Line Editor is really qualified to give official rules answers. There are plenty of other people who are experienced with the game, understand the rules quite thoroughly, may be able to answer your question quite clearly and easily. One of the great things about Ars Magica is its highly productive fan community. If one is posting a question to a community forum, I submit that courtesy suggests one be prepared to accept a community answer. If you really think the player community can't possibly help you and only the Line Editor's answer will do, then it would save our time and yours if you addressed your request directly to the Line Editor in the first place (that is, by private e-mail). (In other news, the Project Redcap maintainer gets a flogging from the Line Editor, whose inbox is suddenly flooded with rules requests). But see my next point.
Second, Atlas Games is a small company and its staff don't have unlimited time to field rules questions. John Nephew and David Chart (the current Ars Magica Line Editor) have been generous with their time and do make it a point to participate in online discussions and to answer questions. However, to expect them to personally and promptly answer every single question, is probably not realistic
The way the community generally operates is that one or more knowledgeable players will chime in with an answer to a rules question. Others may add supporting or dissenting opinions, a discussion may ensue, and a consensus may emerge. This process can yield correct answers to about 95% of all rules questions. For the rare 5% where the community isn't able to provide a clear answer, the Line Editor has been pretty good about stepping in to settle the issue. The key point is that about 95% of rules questions can be resolved without recourse to that authority.
Finally, speaking of authority, it seems many people who ask for "official rulings" are trying to win rules arguments they're having with other members of their gaming groups. I'm sorry to break it to you, but even an official answer may not be good enough to carry the argument in your favor. Gamers are well known for modifying the rules to suit their tastes, and if your fellow players are not listening to a given rule interpretation from you, who's to say they'll listen to the same intrepretation from the Line Editor? If you want help with a rules argument, just ask for it - simply say, "my players and I disagree on X, can you help?" The community will almost certainly be able to shed light on the matter and that may help your group reach a consensus.
The history of this page before August 6, 2010 is archived at Legacy:rules