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Sub Rosa magazine

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Sub Rosa is a PDF-based Ars Magica-magazine published by Mark Lawford and Ben McFarland. It is an independent publication produced by the fan community, not affiliated with Atlas Games, so it is called a fanzine. It is none the less a high-quality production featuring professional-quality editing, layout, and artwork.

Alex White was the founding publisher of Sub Rosa until Ben and Mark took over production.

Web Site[edit]

The Sub Rosa Facebook page provides information on the current issue and subscription rates.

Contributions[edit]

Many of the authors of Fifth Edition write for Sub Rosa. But Sub Rosa gladly accepts article submissions from any and all Ars Magica enthusiasts. Writers do not get paid (they do receive a free issue). Writing for Sub Rosa is one of the ways authors broke into writing for Ars Magica. It's a great way to get started in the RPG industry. Fanzines are an important way to keep the fan community active and engaged -- so why not share your creative ideas about Ars Magica?

If you want to write for Sub Rosa, visit its Facebook page and contact the editors via the message button or the email address listed there.

Sub-Rosa is Non-Profit[edit]

In a discussion on the Berklist in late August 2012[1], the publishers pointed out that Sub Rosa is a completely non-profit publication. The publishers volunteer their time.

On our wages: There are none. It's been said elsewhere in the maelstrom but I'll reiterate it. Neither Ben nor I take anything out except satisfaction.

--Mark Lawford

100% of the subscription fees go to production costs.

Content[edit]

Reviews of each issue of Sub Rosa are available in this thread on the official discussion forum. Links to discussion threads for specific Sub Rosa issues are also available:

Sub Rosa #1 | Sub Rosa #2

Here is a list of what you can find in each issue. This is not complete; please add more recent issues or link to the forum reviews. Andrew Gronosky (talk) 19:31, 7 November 2016 (MST)

Issue 1, September 2007[edit]

Issue 1 was released in September 2007 with Mark Philp as editor and Alex White on the Editorial Committee with him. Alex was also the cover artist and he, along with Jojo Aguilar and Angela Taylor provided interior art. Articles included in this issue were:

  • The Art of Courtly Love by Danielle Nichols starting at page 6 is presented as an in character open letter to the magi of the Greater Alps Tribunal listing one set of the rules of love popular at the time of the official start date and discussing the place of magi in the art of love.
  • Covenant Locations: Masada by Ben McFarland starting on page 9 was the first in a series that gave covenant ideas for starting covenants. In this article, Ben fleshed out a site in a former palace of King Herod in the Levant Tribunal.
  • Hermetic Vignettes by Kurt Konegren starting on page 12 gave short snippets in the lives of two apprentices, their amici masters, and each of their masters' familiars.
  • The Tartalo by Eric Vesbit starting on page 15 is an adventure that can be fit into a larger story at a point when the characters are travelling. As written, it is set in an eastern pass of the Pyrenees, so likely in the Provencal Tribunal.
  • The Knights Templar or The Poor Knights of the Temple of Solomon (article title varies between the table of contents and the article itself) by Alex White starting on page 18 is the first of a five part series in which Alex presents the Knights Templar. In this installment, he gives the real history of this order. Later installments will present the knights as they might be in Mythic Europe.
  • The End of the Hohenstaufen by Michaël de Verteuil starting on page 29 is the first in a series of historical vignettes on noble families and personalities, in this case, the history, and notably the end, of the line of the Emperor Frederick II Hohenstaufen. He continues coverage of this line in a second part in issue 2.
  • Florilegium of House Bjornaer by Mark Shirley starting at page 32 is an article in which Mark presents his thinking on how he presented House Bjornaer, its Bjornaer the Founder and it's history in the section on that house in Houses of Hermes: Mystery Cults. This article also presents write ups on two "bits and pieces", as Mark puts it, that didn't make it into the book: Lost Cubs and Feral Magi.

Issue 2, February 2008[edit]

Issue 2 was released in September 2008 with Mark Philp as editor. Alex White the cover artist and he, along with Jeff A. Menges and Angela Taylor provided interior art. Articles included in this issue were:

  • Mythic Europe: Real Places by Alex Sandison tells of the mythic version of Malham Cove in the Yorkshire Dales in the Stonehenge Tribunal. The description is told in character by one James of Jerbiton.
  • The End of the Hohenstaufen Pt II by Michaël de Verteuil starting on page 19 finishes the coverage of the history, and notably the end, of the line of the Emperor Frederick II Hohenstaufen in what is meant to be a series of historical vignettes on noble families and personalities.
  • Wheostan the Old by Mark Lawford starting on page 22 is billed as an adventure, but is more of fleshed out character that can provide story hooks and information.
  • Beasts of the Realm by Ben McFarland starting on page starting page 28 is the first in a series of articles that presents stats and write ups for various mythical creatures. In this article, Ben presents his take on three creatures aligned to the realm of magical- griffins, basilisks, and sirens.
  • Templar Apotropaics/Templars Part 2: The Apotropaics (the titles again differ a bit between the table of contents and the article itself) by Alexander White presents his second treatment. Here he presents a history where the order was formed by a group of bishops, nobles, and magi dedicated to hunting and destroying the infernal. As a part of this alternate history of the article, he also tries to redeem some content from the Third Edition products Pax Dei and the Maleficium.
  • Jerod's Cave by P. R. Chase starting on page 36 is another article billed as an adventure, but more presenting a magical location that can provide information to players as well as be used to dole out story hooks.

-More to come

Issue #3 – August 2008[edit]

  • Under the Rose

  • News from the Line Editor
  • Who’s Who

Issue #4 – November 2008[edit]

  • Under the Rose
  • 
News from the Line Editor
  • Letters

  • Who’s Who
  • Faeries of Sub Rosa
  • Comment from Atlas-Games By Michelle Nephew
  • The Dying Drake By Phil Chase
  • Elementals and Provenance By Ben McFarland with James Parks
  • Explosive power in Mythic Europe By Mark Shirley
  • Covenant Location: Seuthopolis By Ben McFarland
  • Templars: Infernal Brotherhood By Alexander White
  • Beasts of the Realm II By Ben McFarland

Issue #5 – June 2009[edit]

  • Under the Rose
  • News from the Line Editor
  • Who’s Who?

Published by Distant Lands Publishing

The current incarnation of later issues are the products of the fertile minds of Mark Lawford and Ben MacFarland (who share editorial and creative duties)

Issue #6 – December 2010[edit]

  • Under the Rose
  • News from the Line Editor
  • Storyguide’s Handbook: Visions By Gerald Wylie
  • The Legacy of Longinus By Niall Christie
  • The Juno: Protector of Women By Matthew C Steele
  • Grand Tribunal 2011 Announcement
  • The Unicorn’s Ransom By Darren Miguez
  • Companion Piece: The Elementalist By Ben McFarland
  • An Interview with Matt Ryan By Mark Lawford
  • From the Journal of Vulcanis Argens
  • Companion Piece: Adrastos of Candia By David Agnew
  • Scenario Handouts
  • Mappa Mundi

Issue #7 – April 2011[edit]

  • Under the Rose
  • News from the Line Editor
  • The Magi of Thebes By Yan Prado
  • The Storyguide’s Handbook: The Enemy Within By Gerald Wylie
  • Mappa Mundi
  • The Story of Nelda’s Lament By Mark Lawford
  • Grand Tribunal 2011 Announcement
  • From the Journal of Vulcanis Argens
  • Beyond the Fields We Know: The Rubezhal By Timothy Ferguson
  • The Ghost in the Snow By Robin Bland
  • The City of Bruges By Sheila Thomas
  • More Mythic Mongols By Yair Rezek
  • Playing First Edition / The Next Generation By Mark Lawford

Issue #8 – October 2011[edit]

  • Under the Rose
  • News from the Line Editor
  • The Storyguide’s Handbook: Preparing for Trouble By Gerald Wylie
  • The Way of St. James By Ben McFarland
  • From the Journal of Vulcanis Argens
  • Magical Art: Grey Thornberry By Mark Lawford and Grey Thornberry
  • A New Legend of The Order: Belin of Mercere By Erik Dahl
  • An Interview with Lisa Stevens By Lisa Stevens and Ben McFarland
  • Companion Piece: Bohemond of Lucerne By David Agnew
  • Mappa Mundi

Issue #9 – February 2012[edit]

This was the first “themed” issue, supporting the recentl published The Cradle and the Crescent and containing additional files for use by the Storyguide

  • Under the Rose
  • News from the Line Editor
  • Storyguide’s Handbook: Covenant Building By Gerald Wylie
  • Companion Piece: William of Aylesbury By David Agnew
  • From the Journal of Vulcanis Argens
  • Secrets of Arabia By Niall Christie
  • Faces of the Distant Sands By Jason Brennan
  • The Lists of Solomon: Jinn Apocrypha By Lachlan Hayes
  • Off the Shelf By Ben McFarland and James Parks
  • Index of Texts Mentioned in Ars Magica 5th By Ben McFarland and James Parks
  • Mappa Mundi
  • ArM5 Text Index PDF
  • Sub Rosa Covenant Build Guide PDF

Issue #10 – June 2012[edit]

Another themed issue, drawing on the “Hermetic Shipwright” chapter of Hermetic Projects and bundled with a Metacreator file. From this issue “News from the Line Editor” changes to just “From the Line Editor”.

  • Under the Rose
  • From the Line Editor
  • Storyguide’s Handbook: The Dramatic Journey By Gerald Wylie
  • Designing the Hermetic Shipwright By Mark Lawford
  • From the Journal of Vulcanis Argens
  • The Cult of Silvanus By David Staveley
  • The Grand Tribunals
  • Stormbreaker By Guy Leopold
  • Twilight Scars By Ben McFarland
  • Mappa Mundi

Issue #11 – December 2012[edit]

This issue’s ZIP file is bundled with numerous Metacreator files and Storyguide PDFs.

  • Under the Rose
  • From the Line Editor
  • Storyguide’s Handbook: Outlawry By Gerald Wylie
  • Conception and Pregnancy By Cameron Weeden & Richard Wiles
  • Training Packages for Magi By Mark Shirley
  • From the Journal of Vulcanis Argens
  • Building the Hermetic Architect By Mark Lawford
  • Welcome to the Turb By Ben McFarland
  • The Body on the Shore By Edward Kendrick
  • Mappa Mundi
  • Grogs (Falco, Krause, Kroll, Kukenschabe, Lester, Phil Harding) Metacreator, PDF and JPEG files


  • Letter to Quaesitor Regis PDF
  • Letter to the Covenant PDF

Issue #12 – March 2013[edit]

This is the first (and last) issue where the Journal of Vulcanis Argens and Mappa Mundi are attributed to an author each – unsurprisingly these are Mark Lawford and Ben McFarland respectively.

  • Under the Rose
  • News from the Line Editor
  • Storyguide’s Handbook: Chance Encounters By Gerald Wylie
  • The Governance of Kievan Rus By Elliot Smorodinsky
  • Love’s Labours Lost By CJ Romer
  • From the Journal of Vulcanis Argens By Mark Lawford
  • Companion Piece: Lazar ben Yosef By Ben McFarland
  • Who Wants to Live Forever? By Ben McFarland
  • Pilgrims of Darkness By Jérôme Darmont
  • Mappa Mundi By Ben McFarland

Issue #13 – March 2013[edit]

This is the famous “Diedne Issue”. Enough said! (although there are several non-Diedne articles)

  • Under the Rose
  • From the Line Editor By David Chart
  • Unearthing the Thirteenth House By Gerald Wylie
  • The Slumbering Legacy By Ben McFarland and James Parks
  • Redcap Training Packages By Lachie Hayes
  • The Watchers in Diana’s Sphere By Tobias Wheeler and Matt Ryan
  • The Divisible Men By Timothy Ferguson
  • The Journal of Vulcanis Argens
  • The Cult of Belenos By Mark Baker
  • A Chthonic Path to Corruption? By Christian Andersen
  • The House We Never Had By Naomi Rivkis
  • The Lost City of Kitezh By Chad Bowser
  • Mappa Mundi

Issue #14 – February 2014[edit]

  • Under the Rose
  • From the Line Editor
  • The Path Less Travelled By Gerald Wylie
  • Verditius Longevity Devices By Mark Lawford
  • Demography of the Order of Hermes By Mark Shirley
  • The Journal of Vulcanis Argens
  • An Eternal Love By Jérôme Darmont
  • Mythic Bloodlines By Ben McFarland
  • Three Good Men of Bréifne By David Agnew
  • The First Lineage: The Inventors By Mark Baker
  • Mappa Mundi
  • Argetlamha Character Sheet Insert PDF
  • Eternal Love Character Sheet PDFs (Carelia, Ethaine, Evrard, Gailhard, Martin, Quinault)
  • Three Good Men of Briene PDFs and Metacreator files (Eoin the Clothier, Risteard the Butcher, Somhairle the Weaver)

Issue #15 – September 2014[edit]

  • Under the Rose
  • From the Line Editor By David Chart
  • The Cattle Raid as a Story By Gerald Wylie
  • Covenant Finances: An Alternative By Mark Shirley
  • The Journal of Vulcanis Argens
  • Rats Magica By Jason Tondro
  • The Second Lineage: Explorers of Time & Space By Mark Baker
  • New Heresies: Fixed Arts By Xavier Requejo
  • The Body in the Bog By David Agnew
  • Designing the Intangible Assassin By Pelle Kofod + Christian Rosenkjaer Andersen
  • Mythic Bloodlines By Ben McFarland
  • Mappa Mundi

Issue #16 – December 2014[edit]

Britannia, 550 AD (Setting) The Glamorous Swamp (Adventure Seeds) 865 AD Voventes Centennales (Setting) The Journal of Vulcanis Argens (Fiction) 1050 AD: The Order Shaken (Setting) 1050 AD: Rest Assured, an Adventure for Mandati (Adventure) 1050 AD: Strange Alliances (Setting) Mythic Weapons (Setting) The Third Lineage: The Cursed Line (Setting) 1470 AD: After the Plague (Setting) Six Strangers Gather ‘Round A Table (Convention Report) The Intangible Enchanter (Mechanics) Mappa Mundi (Resources)

Exarkun did a review in the thread here, and Tellus did one here.

Issue #17[edit]

Werewolves of Gevaudan (Setting), Set Piece: The Inn (Metagame/Story Design), Flambeau’s Cave (Setting), An Unfinished Tower: Himinis’ Legacy (Setting/Saga Options), An Art Out of Time: Tempus (Mechanics), Common Magics (Setting/Mechanics), The Giants of Castlenau (Setting),The Divine of Provence: A Lost Angel (Saga Options), Populating Provencal (Setting), Spells from the Iron-Bound Tome (Mechanics), Ruins, Rumors, & Relationships: Provencal Stories (Setting), Val Negra (Setting).

This issue also includes metacreator files to include the spells in the software.

Issue #18 – February 2016[edit]

There are a great many articles in this issue, most of them are single creatures, with background and story seeds for each. ExarKun has a review of the remaining articles here.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Lawford, Mark. E-mail post "My Take on Sub Rosa, Authors, and Artists." Berkeley Ars Magica List, 30 August 2012