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Pen & Paper Roleplaying Central => Pen and Paper Roleplaying Games (RPGs) Discussion => Topic started by: aztecman on May 11, 2020, 05:08:57 PM

Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: aztecman on May 11, 2020, 05:08:57 PM
Greetings Folks -

Our group is considering doing a more medieval game for our next campaign and I wanted to get some opinions from the hive mind.

Some choices that we're throwing around are Ars Magica and RPG Pundit's own Lion & Dragon. We're looking for something relatively light crunch-wise, but still has conflict between the Church and Mages. We want to avoid to super high magic type of campaign like D&D and Pathfinder, but still want to have some magic and supernatural elements.

Does anyone have any experience with the two games listed above, or might be able to make some alternative suggestions?

Thanks in advance,
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: Steven Mitchell on May 11, 2020, 07:34:38 PM
I've got limited exposure to both, but those games are different enough that whether you prefer one or the other or something else is going to depend a lot on exactly what you want to do.  Light crunch and church/mage conflict is fairly broad, and you could easily do that in either system.  (You'd have to ignore some of the more complicated aspects of Ars Magica, but it wouldn't be difficult.)  

For example, in Ars Magica, mages are more powerful than just about anyone else.  The emphasis is on every player having a mage character (usually) and then playing also a series of other characters of various power levels associated with the mages.  This "troupe" play is a big feature of the system, as is considerable time passing between events for a given character.  As you can imagine, that could be a big draw or big turn off, depending on the players.
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: Orphan81 on May 11, 2020, 08:19:35 PM
If you don't want High Magic to be a big focus, then Lion and Dragon is what you want to go with. Ars Magica is the basis for the Whitewolf game "Mage:The Ascension". Mages in both settings are capable of anything, and magic is very much the singular focus of it. Lion and Dragon magic users by contrast are much more limited and follow stricter rules.
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: Razor 007 on May 12, 2020, 12:38:19 AM
I think the op describes the type of game offered by Lion & Dragon.
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: nDervish on May 12, 2020, 06:31:31 AM
I know nothing about Lion & Dragon, other than that it's by Pundit, but I've been an Ars Magica fan on and off for quite some time.  So I don't know whether L&D is the game you want, but Ars Magica almost certainly isn't.  It tends to run pretty heavily towards the higher end of the crunch spectrum and the magi start out substantially more powerful than the other characters[1], and they only go up (and up... and up...) from there.  As in, a sufficiently-old Flambeau (the fire specialist house) magus could plausibly make up a spell on the spot which would cause the entire city of Paris to simultaneously burst into flames.  (In the course of a typical campaign, the PCs are unlikely to get that powerful, though.  They'd have to actually invent and learn the spell instead of making it up on the fly.)

Another game in similar vein that you might want to take a look at is Kevin Crawford's recently-released Wolves of God (https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/308470/Wolves-of-God-Adventures-in-Dark-Ages-England), which should fit on both low-crunch and rare-magic, although it may be too England-centric and assumes that PCs are generally cooperative with the church rather than opposed to it.


[1] As mentioned in an earlier comment, that's a core design point - characters are deliberately divided into "magi", "companions", and "grogs" with each category less powerful than the one before, which is balanced by having each player make characters of all three categories and then switch off between their characters from one adventure to the next.
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: estar on May 12, 2020, 06:54:25 AM
How about Harnmaste (http://columbiagames.com/cgi-bin/query/harn/cfg/single.cfg?product_id=4001-PDF)r? It is about it Medieval as it gets and unlike Chivarly & Sorcery it is very playable.
My overview of the system (http://batintheattic.blogspot.com/2020/04/a-walk-through-harnmaster-introduction.html).
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: Ghostmaker on May 12, 2020, 08:38:33 AM
Quote from: Orphan81;1129623
If you don't want High Magic to be a big focus, then Lion and Dragon is what you want to go with. Ars Magica is the basis for the Whitewolf game "Mage:The Ascension". Mages in both settings are capable of anything, and magic is very much the singular focus of it. Lion and Dragon magic users by contrast are much more limited and follow stricter rules.

I was going to say, isn't Ars Magica primarily oriented around the magicians?
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: Dan Vincze on May 12, 2020, 12:24:55 PM
Quote from: nDervish;1129653
Another game in similar vein that you might want to take a look at is Kevin Crawford's recently-released Wolves of God (https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/308470/Wolves-of-God-Adventures-in-Dark-Ages-England), which should fit on both low-crunch and rare-magic, although it may be too England-centric and assumes that PCs are generally cooperative with the church rather than opposed to it.

I have this and can second the recommendation, provided OP is interested in 8th century England. This is substantially far-removed from the settings in Lion and Dragon and Ars Magica, which are IIRC late medieval and high medieval, respectively.
That said, it has rules for cattle raiding and feasting and a random minster (monastery) generator.
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: Rhedyn on May 12, 2020, 01:21:01 PM
Quote from: aztecman;1129595
Greetings Folks -

Our group is considering doing a more medieval game for our next campaign and I wanted to get some opinions from the hive mind.

Some choices that we're throwing around are Ars Magica and RPG Pundit's own Lion & Dragon. We're looking for something relatively light crunch-wise, but still has conflict between the Church and Mages. We want to avoid to super high magic type of campaign like D&D and Pathfinder, but still want to have some magic and supernatural elements.

Does anyone have any experience with the two games listed above, or might be able to make some alternative suggestions?

Thanks in advance,
Ars Magica is arguably more high magic than D&D and Pathfinder.
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: RPGPundit on May 13, 2020, 01:20:48 AM
Quote from: aztecman;1129595
Greetings Folks -

Our group is considering doing a more medieval game for our next campaign and I wanted to get some opinions from the hive mind.

Some choices that we're throwing around are Ars Magica and RPG Pundit's own Lion & Dragon. We're looking for something relatively light crunch-wise, but still has conflict between the Church and Mages. We want to avoid to super high magic type of campaign like D&D and Pathfinder, but still want to have some magic and supernatural elements.

Does anyone have any experience with the two games listed above, or might be able to make some alternative suggestions?

Thanks in advance,

Not to say I'm unbiased, but I'd think that Lion & Dragon is definitely closer to what you're looking for. Ars Magica is very high power level in terms of magic, and the magic is not based on medieval magic.

In Lion & Dragon magic is varied and potentially quite powerful, but it is based on what medieval people really thought magic worked like. It's even based on actual medieval sources, like grimoires. Magic is done mostly through rituals, requiring time and resources. All the supernatural elements (monsters, demons, etc) are also based on real medieval sources.
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: Mishihari on May 13, 2020, 04:42:36 AM
If you're looking for something relatively rules-light, then Ars Magic is not the way to go.  I've only read the books, not played the game, but while it looks capital-letters AWESOME, it also looks like an awful lot of work to play.  A lot of work out-of-session is required to support your actual gaming time, in terms of research, creating spells, and so on.  Some day I hope to actually get to play the game anyway, though.
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: Brad on May 13, 2020, 10:26:32 AM
Quote from: estar;1129655
How about Harnmaste (http://columbiagames.com/cgi-bin/query/harn/cfg/single.cfg?product_id=4001-PDF)r? It is about it Medieval as it gets and unlike Chivarly & Sorcery it is very playable.


100% fake news.
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: estar on May 13, 2020, 11:55:32 AM
Quote from: Brad;1129829
100% fake news.

By all means write your own series of posts demonstrating otherwise.
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: Brad on May 13, 2020, 03:29:03 PM
Quote from: estar;1129837
By all means write your own series of posts demonstrating otherwise.

Here's a simple one: currently playing it. QED.
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: estar on May 14, 2020, 08:23:01 AM
Quote from: Brad;1129861
Here's a simple one: currently playing it. QED.

Likewise for HM
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: RPGPundit on May 15, 2020, 03:51:27 PM
Lion & Dragon is medieval, and medieval-authentic.  Harn is more "Late dark ages", and "late dark ages semi-authentic".
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: Kuroth on May 16, 2020, 04:32:47 AM
The way Lion & Dragon handles faith is much closer to history too, much more so than Harn.  Ars Magica magus are extremely powerful, more or less on another plane of existence compared to regular people.  Ever play Mage?  Like that.  I think Ars Magica would be ok for a game where you want that, though.  I have thought that it would be neat to play Witcher's world with Ars Magica, where the players play sorceresses using Ars Magica, for example.  Generally prefer Lion & Dragon, which is very excellent.  Edit: It is important to note that you need players that actually really want to play Ars Magica, because playing a magus in that takes a fairly large amount of player involvement in a lot of things.
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: RPGPundit on May 17, 2020, 02:21:54 AM
Quote from: Kuroth;1130148
The way Lion & Dragon handles faith is much closer to history too, much more so than Harn.

That's the biggest reason why I describe Harn as "semi-authentic". It's certainly a lot more authentic as a dark-ages RPG than most RPGs out there, but it's still not really Authentic having gone the full-paganism route.
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: estar on May 17, 2020, 02:42:47 PM
Quote from: RPGPundit;1130087
Lion & Dragon is medieval, and medieval-authentic.  Harn is more "Late dark ages", and "late dark ages semi-authentic".

Harn sits squarely in the 11th to 13th century range in its use of medieval elements It is very much a medieval rpg. Harn the region outside of religion is England 12th century from economic to many social more. Very much the same time period targeted by Lion & Dragon and Ars Magica. Where it differs is in its religions. But even there it strongly echoes medieval themes espeically with kingdoms like Kanday, Kaldor, Chybisa, and Melderyn due to how the Church of Larani and Peoni functions.

This is especially edivant at the level of individual characters as Harn spends a lot of time detailing the lives and doings of the lower social rungs compared to other RPG including Lion & Dragon.

Quote from: RPGPundit;1130269
but it's still not really Authentic having gone the full-paganism route.
It not fully pagan. A lot of thought in into how Harnic religion works and why it familiar medieval elements. By the original author N Robin Crossby, and the authors that followed him.

The most detailed work on the subject is the Summa Venâriva - A Social History of Venârivè. Venârivè being the region that Harn is part of.

https://www.kelestia.com/summa-venariva
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: Kuroth on May 17, 2020, 07:42:32 PM
Ya, the way Harn handles religion makes me feel like I may as well play in the Witcher's world or something.  It is a fine setting and all, but it doesn't make me think it is a historical focused game.  That said, I did set up a campaign plan for running Harn under Lion & Dragon.  One of the things I did was change all of the deities (cults) to denominations of one faith, well most of them.  Somewhat protestant rework of the setting, if you like. I also ignored all the magic suggestions for the setting, replacing them with those in Lion & Dragon.
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: estar on May 18, 2020, 10:11:36 AM
The metaphysics are different but in terms how society behaves there is little to distinguish four out of the seven harn kingdoms from their 12th century counterparts. In these four kingdoms, the chruch of Larani funciton much like the catholic church, Church of Peoni like one of the religous orders dedicated to the poor and poverty, and the Church of Save K'nor much like a monastic order.

The Vikings are still pagan, Thardic Republic is somewhat like a league of Itallan city state. Rethem is also it own kind of pagan dominated by the worship of a tyrannical god of fire and the remenent of religon centered on the god of the undead.

One can quibble over the details, but Harn and Harnmaster stand along with Chivarly & Socery, Lion & Dragon, Pendragon, Ars Magica where the focus is on medieval fantasy which character doing things that would make sense in Europe's Middle Ages. Some like Pendragon and Ars Magica are more focused on specific elements (Arthurian myth, and secret order of mag) but both have supplements and section dealing with medieval life and character doing things that is not out of place in a medieval setting.
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: Brad on May 18, 2020, 01:23:39 PM
Quote from: estar;1129939
Likewise for HM


Yeah, but I never said HM was unplayable. Perhaps you'd like to back up your claim that C&S is?
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: Kuroth on May 18, 2020, 07:27:25 PM
I have Harn and  Chivalry & Sorcery 1st (well 1.5 in a way), and I can say they are both playable.   Chivalry & Sorcery 1 is only a problem for those that attempt to use all of it at once in their first campaign or running it with new players.    Harn's thing is the problem of what to buy to make a campaign plan. ha  Focus on a single nation or even a portion of a nation and nothing more for that first campaign. Still, Harnworld and say 5 region focused items will still set you back a bit. ha
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: RPGPundit on May 19, 2020, 12:43:44 AM
Quote from: estar;1130320
Harn sits squarely in the 11th to 13th century range in its use of medieval elements It is very much a medieval rpg. Harn the region outside of religion is England 12th century from economic to many social more. Very much the same time period targeted by Lion & Dragon and Ars Magica. Where it differs is in its religions. But even there it strongly echoes medieval themes espeically with kingdoms like Kanday, Kaldor, Chybisa, and Melderyn due to how the Church of Larani and Peoni functions.

I could have been mistaken, I'm going from memory. I just recall it being closer to 9th/10th century.

Quote
This is especially edivant at the level of individual characters as Harn spends a lot of time detailing the lives and doings of the lower social rungs compared to other RPG including Lion & Dragon.

Well, I remember the almost-unmanageable Encyclopeida Harnica or whatever.  "more (badly-organized extremely pedantic minutiae-obsessed non-adventuring-related) trivia about peasant farm life!" is not necessarily the game advantage you seem to think it is.

Quote
It not fully pagan. A lot of thought in into how Harnic religion works and why it familiar medieval elements. By the original author N Robin Crossby, and the authors that followed him.

There isn't a single universal catholic and apostolic church that governs the whole of the civilized world in the name of one all-encompassing omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent deity, is there?


Quote
The most detailed work on the subject is the Summa Venâriva - A Social History of Venârivè. Venârivè being the region that Harn is part of.

https://www.kelestia.com/summa-venariva

See, another downside.  Obviously, anyone who wants to run a medieval-authentic game is going to just HAVE to read at least a bit of (hopefully carefully organized and usable and easy to digest) material about the medieval world, medieval culture and medieval life. But if he's going to have to do that, why not learn about the REAL medieval world, instead of a made up place with funny accents on all the place names?
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: RPGPundit on May 19, 2020, 12:46:31 AM
Quote from: Kuroth;1130383
Ya, the way Harn handles religion makes me feel like I may as well play in the Witcher's world or something.  It is a fine setting and all, but it doesn't make me think it is a historical focused game.  That said, I did set up a campaign plan for running Harn under Lion & Dragon.  One of the things I did was change all of the deities (cults) to denominations of one faith, well most of them.  Somewhat protestant rework of the setting, if you like. I also ignored all the magic suggestions for the setting, replacing them with those in Lion & Dragon.


A good compromise! And your "witcher" analogy is probably very apt. Witcher is "medieval-esque" and sort of "slavic-esque", but it can't really be called fully medieval-authentic or "just like playing in historical poland".
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: RPGPundit on May 19, 2020, 12:48:20 AM
Quote from: estar;1130454
The metaphysics are different but in terms how society behaves there is little to distinguish four out of the seven harn kingdoms from their 12th century counterparts. In these four kingdoms, the chruch of Larani funciton much like the catholic church, Church of Peoni like one of the religous orders dedicated to the poor and poverty, and the Church of Save K'nor much like a monastic order.

The Vikings are still pagan, Thardic Republic is somewhat like a league of Itallan city state. Rethem is also it own kind of pagan dominated by the worship of a tyrannical god of fire and the remenent of religon centered on the god of the undead.

One can quibble over the details, but Harn and Harnmaster stand along with Chivarly & Socery, Lion & Dragon, Pendragon, Ars Magica where the focus is on medieval fantasy which character doing things that would make sense in Europe's Middle Ages. Some like Pendragon and Ars Magica are more focused on specific elements (Arthurian myth, and secret order of mag) but both have supplements and section dealing with medieval life and character doing things that is not out of place in a medieval setting.


No one is saying it's like the Forgotten Realms in terms of inauthenticity or anything.

What I'm saying is that if we take that list you just made and order it by Most Authentic to Least Authentic it would go:
1. Lion & Dragon
2. Pendragon
3. C&S
4. Ars Magica
5. Harn
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: estar on May 19, 2020, 08:21:02 AM
Quote from: RPGPundit;1130542
No one is saying it's like the Forgotten Realms in terms of inauthenticity or anything.

What I'm saying is that if we take that list you just made and order it by Most Authentic to Least Authentic it would go:
1. Lion & Dragon
2. Pendragon
3. C&S
4. Ars Magica
5. Harn

My personal order of authencity runs

1 Harn
2 Ars Magica
3 C & S
4 Lion & Dragon
5 Pendragon


And I would swap the order of C & S and Lion & Dragon when Lion & Dragon gains supplemental material that expands some of the details found in the core book. Perhaps even to #2 due to its playability compared to C & S and Ars Magica.
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: estar on May 19, 2020, 08:55:44 AM
Quote from: RPGPundit;1130539
Well, I remember the almost-unmanageable Encyclopeida Harnica or whatever.  "more (badly-organized extremely pedantic minutiae-obsessed non-adventuring-related) trivia about peasant farm life!" is not necessarily the game advantage you seem to think it is.

The current state of how Harn articles are written is represented well by the fan made Harn Pottage series (https://www.lythia.com/series/pottage/) on Lythia. At first Harn was tersely written by NRC, over the years the style has loosend up to include more details on individual personalities including adventure hooks.

A more recent example is the Tashal Royal Amphitheater (https://www.lythia.com/harnworld/places/tashal-royal-amphitheatre/) also fan made. It tersely sums of the details of how a medieval theater works as well as giving some adventuring hooks.

Quote from: RPGPundit;1130539
There isn't a single universal catholic and apostolic church that governs the whole of the civilized world in the name of one all-encompassing omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent deity, is there?
No however from the viewpoint of individuals in most Harnic cultures it might as well be.

From Harnworld 1st edition Page 5
Quote
THE GODS OF HARN
The inhabitants of Harn are pantheistic; they believe in teh existence of the ten major (and hundreds of minor) deitis., but most Harnians will worship only one of these.

From On Divinity Page 5
Quote
Polytheism & Belief
Hârnians believe in multiple gods, but most worship one (or sometimes two or three) at most. A follower of Laráni believes in Môrgath the same way that a medieval Christian believes in Satan. There is a considerable difference between belief and adherence.

Mix in the details of the religion that surrounds Larani, Peoni, and other dieties the result feel medieval authentic.

Quote from: RPGPundit;1130539
See, another downside
No you don't HAVE to read it, the medievalness of the Harnic religions is quite apparent from the core material. But is one is to nit pick the details are there explaing why the things are the way they are.

However there a more approachable work called On Divinity (https://www.kelestia.com/node/318) a 22 page essay by N. Robin Crossby on how he view religion and how he applies to Harn and his campaign. Again it is nothing one has to have but there if one is interested.


Quote from: RPGPundit;1130539
Obviously, anyone who wants to run a medieval-authentic game is going to just HAVE to read at least a bit of (hopefully carefully organized and usable and easy to digest) material about the medieval world, medieval culture and medieval life. But if he's going to have to do that, why not learn about the REAL medieval world, instead of a made up place with funny accents on all the place names?


The REAL Medieval World spans from Charlemagne to Columbus at the very least. Which one is more real medieval? England? France? Germany? Poland? Spain? Italy? My view all are equally medieval although each have very different situation based on the reigon and specific time period. So an author writing a RPG targeting the medieval era has to be an editor and pick and choose which details to talk about and represent with mechanics. Some like the dominance of the church will be a common theme irregardless of region or time period. Other like manoralism and feudalism will be dependent on specifics.

I found doing historical roleplaying to be messy as source material and details are incomplete or inconsistent when boiled down to the level of the individual that RPGs focus on. Messy in the sense that I have to do just as much work to flesh out those missing details for historical materials as I would do for a fictional setting. Since there only so far I can bend a historical setting to setup a situation I am interested in running as a campaign, I find it easier to do that with a fictional setting.

So when one combines picking which medieval culture one is depicting with incompleteness of source material the result is that creating a fictional setting like Harn is just as valid as far as runing a Medieval Authethic campaign goes.
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: Kuroth on May 19, 2020, 06:23:55 PM
You love Harn!  That is cool.  The Lady of the Flowing Red in Angcaradina brandishing Avarkiel before Hyvrik was roused.

Since I know you are here Robert, I would like to say that I really like the map you made for Gabor Lux's Castle Xyntillan!  Love that adventure module by aka Milan.


Edit: In your guys' somewhat short list of medieval focused games, I would put Ars Magica at 5, since magus are off the chart powerful.
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: Anselyn on May 19, 2020, 06:40:58 PM
Quote from: RPGPundit;1130542
Most Authentic to Least Authentic

I remember the exact point that Harn lost me. I was reading it (not quite sure exactly what) and it proudly explained that for authenticity and realism all city walls are circular in Harn to maximise the area enclosed for the length of wall. I just thought: "Bollocks! You don't actually know anything about medieval cities do you".
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: Kuroth on May 19, 2020, 06:43:26 PM
Hey, you hit something that kind of bothered me about Harn, unwarranted pretension.
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: estar on May 19, 2020, 09:11:08 PM
Quote from: Kuroth;1130642

Since I know you are here Robert, I would like to say that I really like the map you made for Gabor Lux's Castle Xyntillan!  Love that adventure module by aka Milan.
Thanks, it was a fun map to draw especially after I found the a scan of the 70s era zipatone for those trees and was able to recreate them.


Quote from: Kuroth;1130642
You love Harn!  That is cool.  The Lady of the Flowing Red in Angcaradina brandishing Avarkiel before Hyvrik was roused.
And it scare me that I know exactly what that entire line meant. Go Larani!


Quote from: Kuroth;1130642

Edit: In your guys' somewhat short list of medieval focused games, I would put Ars Magica at 5, since magus are off the chart powerful.
Pendragon and Ars Magica has had my respect as far as medieval roleplaying because of the supplemental material. Even tho the core of the former is the Arthurian myth and the core of the latter is the forementioned magus. Ars Magica 5e really fleshes this out with their supplements including some only lightly touched in other systems like Art and Academe.
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: estar on May 19, 2020, 09:18:00 PM
Quote from: Kuroth;1130646
Hey, you hit something that kind of bothered me about Harn, unwarranted pretension.
Harn is not perfect. For example Burzyn Castle article makes an straight forward but contradictory remark that humans can't build round towers. However since the current run of material took off in the late aughts, has been really top notch. Mainly because the writing team wisely decided to expand the format just enough to cover personalities as well as location details. Because it still tersely written it nearly always has a high density of usefulness.
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: Kuroth on May 20, 2020, 02:46:43 AM
Don't let my unwarranted pretension comment bother you ESTAR. (phrasing ha...)  I think that about rpgs all the time. haha  People work hard to take the enjoyment out of them.  Why do they do that?  ehh  Anyway, I like your Wilderlands things too, as an old fan of Judges Guild.

I like how Harnworld is kind of like the old Greyhawk Folio in its overview and structure.
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: Anselyn on May 20, 2020, 04:48:10 AM
Quote from: Kuroth;1130684
People work hard to take the enjoyment out of them.  Why do they do that?

I just think different people have different levels of what's a dealbreaker for them and a game. As soon as you get into "authenticity" then there's some level for something that breaks the versimilitude.  

I don't know if this counts as pretension or luck but having grown up in a city with (some remaining) medieval city walls then the spell of autheticity can be broken.
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: Kuroth on May 20, 2020, 05:03:35 AM
I don't mean like you, me or anyone observing a game, but rather an author of a game that intentionally writes in such a manner. It happens a lot.  Not just games, though.  Perhaps a rewording would be helpful, false pride.

Edit: it is just a rhetorical question. Don't worry about it.  Nice to have some readily tangible connection to the past about, nice!  As long as it doesn't reach the feeling of living in a zoo, museum or tomb, which I have heard on occasion from those that live in locations that are centers of such type.
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: RPGPundit on May 21, 2020, 06:37:59 AM
Quote from: estar;1130577
My personal order of authencity runs

1 Harn
2 Ars Magica
3 C & S
4 Lion & Dragon
5 Pendragon


And I would swap the order of C & S and Lion & Dragon when Lion & Dragon gains supplemental material that expands some of the details found in the core book. Perhaps even to #2 due to its playability compared to C & S and Ars Magica.


So... apparently you're not very in the know, because there's about 50 L&D supplements  (https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse/pub/451/Spectre-Press)out now. And a 266 page sourcebook.

And again, it's actual medieval Europe. Harn isn't.
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: RPGPundit on May 21, 2020, 06:42:09 AM
Quote from: estar;1130578


From Harnworld 1st edition Page 5



Wow. Broken pantheism where everyone believes there's hundreds of gods and yet every person worships just one. That's totally like medieval europe and nothing at all like the Forgotten Realms, Greyhawk, Mystara, and every other D&D setting.

Quote

The REAL Medieval World spans from Charlemagne to Columbus at the very least. Which one is more real medieval? England? France? Germany? Poland? Spain? Italy? My view all are equally medieval although each have very different situation based on the reigon and specific time period. So an author writing a RPG targeting the medieval era has to be an editor and pick and choose which details to talk about and represent with mechanics. Some like the dominance of the church will be a common theme irregardless of region or time period. Other like manoralism and feudalism will be dependent on specifics.

I found doing historical roleplaying to be messy as source material and details are incomplete or inconsistent when boiled down to the level of the individual that RPGs focus on. Messy in the sense that I have to do just as much work to flesh out those missing details for historical materials as I would do for a fictional setting. Since there only so far I can bend a historical setting to setup a situation I am interested in running as a campaign, I find it easier to do that with a fictional setting.

So when one combines picking which medieval culture one is depicting with incompleteness of source material the result is that creating a fictional setting like Harn is just as valid as far as runing a Medieval Authethic campaign goes.


Or... play a medieval-authentic setting designed for a specific medieval period. Like say, England in the mid 1400s. Do we know any games that somehow manage that and are thus more valid than a fictional setting (https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/226022/Lion--Dragon)?
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: estar on May 21, 2020, 08:44:47 AM
Quote from: RPGPundit;1130805
So... apparently you're not very in the know, because there's about 50 L&D supplements  (https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse/pub/451/Spectre-Press)out now. And a 266 page sourcebook.
Then I stand corrected on that point.

Quote from: RPGPundit;1130805
And again, it's actual medieval Europe. Harn isn't.
Doesn't need to be actual Medieval Europe to be medieval authentic.


Quote from: RPGPundit;1130806
Wow. Broken pantheism where everyone believes there's hundreds of gods and yet every person worships just one. That's totally like medieval europe and nothing at all like the Forgotten Realms, Greyhawk, Mystara, and every other D&D setting.
Apparently you not very in the know about how Harnic religions work then.


Quote from: RPGPundit;1130805

Or... play a medieval-authentic setting designed for a specific medieval period. Like say, England in the mid 1400s. Do we know any games that somehow manage that and are thus more valid than a fictional setting (https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/226022/Lion--Dragon)?
Can't see the forest for the tree much?

Yes I get that you compete against the other RPG on the list so it important that you continually have to stake out how different you are when dozens of RPG titles are released every days. Give it a rest here, you got the kudos for altering and tweaking classic D&D into system that a captures a lot of what happened in medieval history and thought.
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: RPGPundit on May 22, 2020, 07:01:42 PM
Dude, I'm not saying Harn is a bad setting. It's a very interesting setting, though very badly organized until you can get the gist of it in a single user-friendly book.

It's just that trying to argue that it's more medieval-authentic than settings actually set in Medieval Europe with an effort at some kind of authenticity (be it historical or mythical like Pendragon does) is a stretch.
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: Jaeger on May 22, 2020, 10:41:30 PM
Quote from: RPGPundit;1130806
Wow. Broken pantheism where everyone believes there's hundreds of gods and yet every person worships just one. That's totally like medieval europe and nothing at all like the Forgotten Realms, Greyhawk, Mystara, and every other D&D setting.
...[/URL]?

Quote from: estar;1130811
...
 Apparently you not very in the know about how Harnic religions work then.
...


Not too hard to find out:
Quote from: Edited Link
BEWARE PIRATES! In one of the top google searches on Harn Religion. Read at peril to your soul! Arrrrrr Matey! .

So there's ten gods instead of dozens.

Pundits argument of Broken pantheism still holds.


People ridiculously underestimate the effect Monotheistic Christianity had in shaping the medieval world.

Every published D&D setting holds to the completely false conceit that you can have a "Medieval European" setting, but with paganism.

It's simple:
Greco-Roman Legacy + Germanic Traditions + Monotheistic Christianity = Medieval Europe.  #WesternCivilization.

You don't get Medieval Europe If you change any one of these ingredients.

Most fantasy settings seem to have no problem coming up with fantasy analogues/equivalents of the Greco-Roman legacy and Germanic traditions.

But they all fall flat on their faces when it comes to religions.

Dead. Flat.


Quote from: estar;1130811
...
 Doesn't need to be actual Medieval Europe to be medieval authentic.
...

You are correct...

But you do need to have your fantasy world analogues/equivalents of the three main ingredients of Medieval Europe, for a Medieval Authenticish setting.

And if you don't have a Monotheistic religion for your medieval culture, then you are not medieval authentic.

Period.


You don't have to do straight-up Christianity with the serial numbers filed off like Pundit does in Lion and Dragon.

You would need to be imaginative, but a "fantasy monotheism" can be done.

To regurgitate part of my post from an older thread:

If you want to have a Monotheistic religion for your Medieval setting, you will need to have the following "Christian" analogues/equivalents:

1: A Monotheistic religion

2: This religion must command virtuous behavior and the rejection of Sins

3: It should promote a universal morality

4: It should promote some measure of forgiveness.



The main reason you don't see Monotheism that often in RPG settings is because all the writers just take the easy Fake "polytheism" cop-out and run with it.

IMHO it is because they lack any real understanding of the historical effect Monotheistic Christianity had on Europe before and after the fall of the Roman Empire.
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: estar on May 23, 2020, 12:34:55 AM
Quote from: Jaeger;1130951
Not too hard to find out:
So there's ten gods instead of dozens.


Please don't post links to pirated PDFs.

Quote from: Jaeger;1130951
Greco-Roman Legacy + Germanic Traditions + Monotheistic Christianity = Medieval Europe.  #WesternCivilization.


I concur with this.



Quote from: Jaeger;1130951


But they all fall flat on their faces when it comes to religions.
(snip)

If you want to have a Monotheistic religion for your Medieval setting, you will need to have the following "Christian" analogues/equivalents:

1: A Monotheistic religion

2: This religion must command virtuous behavior and the rejection of Sins

3: It should promote a universal morality

4: It should promote some measure of forgiveness.


My take on it is that you need one dominant religion for the culture in question with a single deity as the head and a hierarchy for the rest, espousing a universal morality that dictate virtuous behavior, the idea of sin, and a means for forgiveness.

The way I handle this in the Majestic Wilderlands is that there is a culture the Ghinorians who believe themselves to be the chosen people of Mitra the goddess of honor and justice. That her creed, the five-fold path is relevant in all times and places as its words are a manifestation of creation itself. That Mitra purpose is teach the path and defend those who follow it. So Mitra is not GOD but an agent of an unnamed forces that brought the universe into being.

Much like the Romans on Earth, the Ghinorian established an empire that reached every corner of the known world bring their love of legal system and Mitra's word to multiple other cultures. However the empire experienced internal conflict and collapsed and the former colonies merged with local cultures to form successor kingdoms and still supporting the Church of Mitra. In the north, the local cultures I designed shared a lot with historical germanic tribes. Thus merged with Roman like Ghinorian to lay the grounds for the medieval culture of the present day in my setting.

Then I reinvented it for my Points of Light/Blackmarsh setting

In the loose shared setting I created there was a Bright Empire that spread across the known world. Originating in the city of Ramos. Like Rome, Ramos was a republic and transition into an empire. Then they had their version of the troubles of the 3rd century. The empire was reborn as the Bright Empire when philosophical revolution occurred that united four pagan church into one. Delaquain, justice; Veritas, truth; Thoth, knowledge;  and Sarrath war; Much like I did with Mitra, the United Church viewed the world was created by an unnamed creator. That was a universal truth to how one must live, that mankind was fallible and prone to sin. That the four deities of the church each represent an aspect of the truth. Each deity was an agent of the creator that taught their aspect of the truth. Unlike a pagan pantheon, the 'truth" was a fundamental aspect of creation not the deities themselves.

However the establishment of the Bright Empire and the spread of the United Church was only able to stave off collapse for two centuries. The Bright Empire became torn by conflict, and the surrounding barbarian cultures took advantage of this and invaded. This culminated in the Shattering a battle that destroyed the last legions capable of holding the entire empire together.

Afterwards the barbarians culture merged with that of the Ramosan particularly in the old northern provinces of the empire. Again these culture I depicted as basically Germanic. The United Church was also split. In the south, the Bright Empire never lost its continuity but the United Church hierarchy became dominated by those who followed Sarrath. Eventually the common name for the empire became the Ochre Empire.

In the north a variety of kingdoms arose based on the new fusion cultures. There the United Church became dominated by the followers of Veritas as the follower of Delaquain were gutted in the civil wars that led to the Shattering. By the "present" Delaquain only had a small following in the northern church.

Like I said the south with the Ochre Empire retained continuity with the Bright Empire so I generally borrow a lot from our world's Byzantine Empire. The north collapsed harder and a kaleidoscope of successor kingdoms emerged. Thus leading to a feudal economy and a medieval culture. In recent centuries a Grand Kingdom has emerged in the north and is now a rival to the Ochre Empire. I borrow a lot from Charlemagne and the Holy Roman Empire for ideas. There are still many independent feudal kingdoms.

While I don't have an Unconquered Sun or One God in either the Majestic Wilderlands or Blackmarsh, the medieval cultures are thoroughly dominated by churches teaching a universal truth with the forgiveness of sins. My workaround for multiple deities is that that they are agents in service of a higher truth. They and the lesser divinities function much like archangels and saints do in our history's medieval church. Supernatural beings that guide and intercede in the name of a higher truth.

I run both in campaigns and the players felt they were medieval although obviously not historical. They felt it was medieval because NPCs and PCs were expected to act and did act just like our world's medieval counterparts and acting for similar reasons fear for their souls in the afterlife. The impact of the church in both setting on their cultures  was also consistent with the impact of western and eastern christian churches on the cultures of our history.






Quote from: Jaeger;1130951
The main reason you don't see Monotheism that often in RPG settings is because all the writers just take the easy Fake "polytheism" cop-out and run with it.
My opinion because it touches too close to real life issues due to most RPGs being sold in western civilization.

Quote from: Jaeger;1130951

You would need to be imaginative, but a "fantasy monotheism" can be done.


Quote from: Jaeger;1130951

IMHO it is because they lack any real understanding of the historical effect Monotheistic Christianity had on Europe before and after the fall of the Roman Empire.
I am quite aware of the effect and thought it through when designing my take. I feel like the debate between the Pundit and I and now you has elements of what happened over the Filioque (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filioque). How important it was for a time and how unimportant it seems now centuries later compared to other religious issues.

There needs to be universal truth, however you don't need a omnipotent, omniscience, divine creator that is worshipped to make it work. In both of my takes there is the One, who is similar to God of the Bible. However in both the Majestic Wilderlands and Blackmarsh, he elected not reveal himself to be worshipped, instead he appointed others to guide and intercede. Now as to why he seem to be chill with these being being worshipped as deities is an answer that nobody knows. Only that in both settings, after centuries, one or more cultures figured out that the deities were agents of a unnamed higher power and a religion grew from their insight that over time encompassed other cultures much like the monotheistic religions of our own world did.

Quote from: Jaeger;1130951

Pundits argument of Broken pantheism still holds.

Again don't link to pirated PDfs. In the Kingdoms of Kaldor, Melderyn, Kanday, and Chybisa. The churches of Larani, Peoni, and Save K'nor function in their respective society much in the same way the religions I described do in my culture. They dominate the culture of all four kingdom. They all teach a higher truth and so on. The Church of Larani is dominate, the churches of Peoni and Save K'nor are their own corner much like various order of monks and shrines dedicated to saints.

The exception in Harn are Orbaal which are pagan Vikings. The Elves and Dwarves which have their own thing. Tharda which is a relic of an older empire and a religous melting pot. And Rethem which was once a barbarian kingdom carved out of the empire that Thara formed out of.

The religion articles don't come off medieval, however when you read the location articles for Harn it become apparent how religion work within the setting.  Hence to me, Harn feels and play medieval authentic but it very much it not historical. I opted for my own setting to be more overt with the monothestic elements.
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: Snowman0147 on May 23, 2020, 01:42:14 PM
Okay ignoring estar's complete denial of reality I do have a question for Pundit.

What kind of setting is it that has one true pagan religion, has medieval to renaissance level of tech for most people, and most nations are republics?
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: Jaeger on May 23, 2020, 04:12:49 PM
Quote from: Snowman0147;1130991
Okay ignoring estar's complete denial of reality I do have a question for Pundit....

He is correct about the pirate PDF's though.

 I linked from ignorance because after a brush with Harn Lore over a decade ago I pay ZERO attention to who owns or does what with the IP and just linked to one of the top searches that had a breakdown of Harn religions.

I take Estar at his word on this issue, and I will amend my post.
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: Slipshot762 on May 23, 2020, 06:24:39 PM
I tried ars magicka once and couldn't pull it off, I liked mythical europe enough but the troop of characters playstyle was too far afield of what i was used to, I could not grasp the everyone has a mage character and additional characters that serve that character thing. I also did not like the magic system. Never tried Lion & Dragon though I dig its cover art in a big way. But given that I hear that it's basically oldschool d&d for the most part I would recommend that over ars magicka. For me ars magicka was like Rifts, kickass setting, poor rules construction.

I personally use D6 Fantasy exclusively and run a twilight zone/ravenloft type of world where time and space are only consistent out to the kingdoms edge, out to the edge of the collective perception of a community, beyond which only ether and hell are consistent features of the wilderness. One might leave arthurian england, arrive in prehistoric france, and return to 16th century england if one survives the trip through the demon haunted and largely uninhabited regions between. It's a sort of anachronistic prison, a purgatory of fractured multiverse pocket realms caused by time and space being rent asunder by the scythe of a vengeful Chronos, freed from tarterus , now a starved, skeletal grim reaper of an entity locked in perpetual war with the legions of hell he inadvertently released in his escape, and which prowl the chronal fog between the edges of kingdoms seeking to corrupt or destroy everything. At least, this was my solution to the problem of all the coolest historical places/cultures being separated by time periods. This way we can do classic rome for a few games, then ancient greece followed by holy roman empire with the odd lost and confused ww2 bomber pilot thrown in. I dunno what you would call it, Fustercluck I suppose.
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: Snowman0147 on May 23, 2020, 07:45:50 PM
Quote from: Jaeger;1131004
He is correct about the pirate PDF's though.

 I linked from ignorance because after a brush with Harn Lore over a decade ago I pay ZERO attention to who owns or does what with the IP and just linked to one of the top searches that had a breakdown of Harn religions.

I take Estar at his word on this issue, and I will amend my post.

I was refering to the fact that if there is dominating monotheistic relgion it isn't really medieval.

The pirating was your bad move, but has nothing to do with estar being delusional.
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: Kuroth on May 23, 2020, 09:06:09 PM
Quote from: Slipshot762;1131018
I personally use D6 Fantasy exclusively and run a twilight zone/ravenloft type of world where time and space are only consistent out to the kingdoms edge, out to the edge of the collective perception of a community, beyond which only ether and hell are consistent features of the wilderness. One might leave arthurian england, arrive in prehistoric france, and return to 16th century england if one survives the trip through the demon haunted and largely uninhabited regions between. It's a sort of anachronistic prison, a purgatory of fractured multiverse pocket realms caused by time and space being rent asunder by the scythe of a vengeful Chronos, freed from tarterus , now a starved, skeletal grim reaper of an entity locked in perpetual war with the legions of hell he inadvertently released in his escape, and which prowl the chronal fog between the edges of kingdoms seeking to corrupt or destroy everything. At least, this was my solution to the problem of all the coolest historical places/cultures being separated by time periods. This way we can do classic rome for a few games, then ancient greece followed by holy roman empire with the odd lost and confused ww2 bomber pilot thrown in. I dunno what you would call it, Fustercluck I suppose.
Your d6 campaign seems pretty good times Slip!  Pretty darn Gygaxian campaign, with all the pocket realms and such.  His Dangerous Journeys game was all about that type of thing.
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: Slipshot762 on May 23, 2020, 11:28:05 PM
Thank you, it's really a result of my inability to stick to one thing no matter how cool for a great length of time, and also an outgrowth/expression of the style of play developed by years of D6 star wars, where its a galaxy full of worlds and each can be so different and strange from the next with a raging galaxy wide civil war for filler between planetfalls. I was sorely pressed by a certain gnome of a player to sew together some kind of explanation for how we can go from dracula to arthur to conan to pirates of the carribean when all these things are from not only different geographic regions but differing time periods as well, while retaining that motiff of witchcraft and devils and hell all being nigh universally sinister. I hit upon the chronos as grim reaper and slayer of time-space thing thanks to johnny cash "behold a pale horse, it's name that sat upon it was death, and hell followed with him".

The only real consistent unchanging time-place is jerusalem, a clockwork city of bronze staffed entirely by clockwork golems guarding the path up mount zion (not even geography is safe) and out of the riven hourglass purgatory. (escorting old rabbis and their phylactries here to die and become clockwork golems is a thing one can be recruited to crusade for) The city is under eternal siege by the legions of hell, which know that at some point Chronos will have to arrive here once he has gathered all the necessary artifacts to ascend the mountain. Holy Grail, shroud of Turan, spear of destiny, ring of pilate, crown of thorns, and so on. Its a backdrop that allows me to use as much or as little of this contrived explanatory function as is required, which often isn't much really, and has both built in final bosses like Lucifer, Chronos-Reaper, Pope Pontius Pilate the Pious (lich perhaps?) and mini-bosses like Dracula or death knight ghengis khan. If after a few pirates of the carribean style games players don't want to make new characters but do want to joust against Lancelot before aiding joan of arc in rescuing Hadrian's lost legion, this backdrop makes it plausible w/o too much hand wavium.
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: RPGPundit on May 24, 2020, 05:43:41 AM
Quote from: Snowman0147;1130991
Okay ignoring estar's complete denial of reality I do have a question for Pundit.

What kind of setting is it that has one true pagan religion, has medieval to renaissance level of tech for most people, and most nations are republics?


A "medieval ren-faire funtime land" setting?
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: RPGPundit on May 24, 2020, 05:44:29 AM
Quote from: Jaeger;1131004
He is correct about the pirate PDF's though.

 I linked from ignorance because after a brush with Harn Lore over a decade ago I pay ZERO attention to who owns or does what with the IP and just linked to one of the top searches that had a breakdown of Harn religions.

I take Estar at his word on this issue, and I will amend my post.


Thank you for correcting this. Posting links to fileshared material is a big no-no here.
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: RPGPundit on May 24, 2020, 05:47:32 AM
I'll add one more RPG that is much more medieval-authentic than Harn or most other games, and I'd say is in fact the closest to L&D in medieval-authenticity: Aquelarre. Until relatively recently it was only available in Spanish, but it is now available in English as someone reminded me in last night's livestream. It makes an excellent sourcebook for L&D or Dark Albion in the Iberian Peninsula. The system for the game is an obvious rip-off of BRP/Cthulhu. The setting's creatures are based on Iberian folklore, which includes stuff from Mediterranean Christian legends, some Muslim influence, and also the very very weird Basque creatures which are extremely unique to the region.  The magic is not based on the actual magical practices of the middle ages like L&D is, but it is based on medieval folk-tales and folklore of what common people imagined magic to be like, sort of. So still pretty damn medieval authentic.
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: Snowman0147 on May 24, 2020, 07:31:54 AM
Quote from: RPGPundit;1131065
A "medieval ren-faire funtime land" setting?


I was going for a what if type of setting.  Like what happens if Christianity never happened?  What if Rome the Empire never happened?  Instead we get nations similar to greek city states.
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: Kuroth on May 24, 2020, 07:21:21 PM
There is a point where I want a historical set game to not have magic in it.  

I have my own write up of Traveller for historical, without psionics.

Rolemaster using just Arms Law  and Claw Law, is another I have kicked around, which is sort of OK, without Character Law in particular, where Rolemaster loses most of its charm.  

Some may say GURPS!, but it is such a mess to do that for players, saying you can use this but not this, this but not this, all day for the rule book (booklets for me since I use GURPS 1st).

Fantasy Trip Melee can be OK, though could use any tactic game for single combat at that point, really.  

D&D classes filled out with none magic classes and all the rules for non-magic things switched on, which can be a pretty full game in old AD&D 1, since a few not often used rules and guidelines are easier to switch on without juggling magic at the same time in a session.
 
Others might say Pendragon, which might be a good option for some (minus the fairly sideline magic parts, of course), doesn't hit Camelot as I prefer, knowing quite a bit about the legends and period.  

There are a lot of lesser known games, of course.  I like a historical to have a little rule depth on the ref side, since it is possible without magic taking up that management space.  On the player side, I always like it to be that they don't even need to see the cover of a rule book, if they don't want. ha
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: RPGPundit on May 25, 2020, 05:58:06 AM
Quote from: Kuroth;1131129
There is a point where I want a historical set game to not have magic in it.  

I have my own write up of Traveller for historical, without psionics.

Rolemaster using just Arms Law  and Claw Law, is another I have kicked around, which is sort of OK, without Character Law in particular, where Rolemaster loses most of its charm.  

Some may say GURPS!, but it is such a mess to do that for players, saying you can use this but not this, this but not this, all day for the rule book (booklets for me since I use GURPS 1st).

Fantasy Trip Melee can be OK, though could use any tactic game for single combat at that point, really.  

D&D classes filled out with none magic classes and all the rules for non-magic things switched on, which can be a pretty full game in old AD&D 1, since a few not often used rules and guidelines are easier to switch on without juggling magic at the same time in a session.
 
Others might say Pendragon, which might be a good option for some (minus the fairly sideline magic parts, of course), doesn't hit Camelot as I prefer, knowing quite a bit about the legends and period.  

There are a lot of lesser known games, of course.  I like a historical to have a little rule depth on the ref side, since it is possible without magic taking up that management space.  On the player side, I always like it to be that they don't even need to see the cover of a rule book, if they don't want. ha

Well, there's no reason why you couldn't run Lion & Dragon without magisters, clerics or cymri. You could add some of the new classes (all non-magical) from the Old School Companion (https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/293292/RPGPundit-Presents-The-Old-School-Companion-1) too.
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: Kuroth on May 25, 2020, 08:22:01 AM
Certainly Pundit.  One of the cool things about the companion is that a magic free historical campaign becomes an easier thing to do, while still seeing how to ref interesting campaigns.  The domain management and mass battles rules also add some rules to flesh out the game, when taking away the magic.  The sections on merchants and caravans, as well as the guidelines for courtly events are also quite helpful.  

To speak of magic again, I liked the way you discuss magic tomes as magic diaries in the companion.  Very useful.
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: RPGPundit on May 26, 2020, 03:57:05 AM
Quote from: Kuroth;1131196
Certainly Pundit.  One of the cool things about the companion is that a magic free historical campaign becomes an easier thing to do, while still seeing how to ref interesting campaigns.  The domain management and mass battles rules also add some rules to flesh out the game, when taking away the magic.  The sections on merchants and caravans, as well as the guidelines for courtly events are also quite helpful.  

To speak of magic again, I liked the way you discuss magic tomes as magic diaries in the companion.  Very useful.

Thank you!
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: Brad on May 26, 2020, 10:49:17 AM
Quote from: estar;1130577
My personal order of authencity runs

1 Harn
2 Ars Magica
3 C & S
4 Lion & Dragon
5 Pendragon


And I would swap the order of C & S and Lion & Dragon when Lion & Dragon gains supplemental material that expands some of the details found in the core book. Perhaps even to #2 due to its playability compared to C & S and Ars Magica.


You seriously think Harn is more "authentic" than C&S? Not trying to be harsh, but that is fucking ludicrous. Just because Harn is the proto-typical Hobbesian "nasty, brutish, and short" doesn't magically make it more "authentic" than C&S. I think the whole polytheistic setup instead of a monotheistic one (as already pointed out) undermines any sort of historical accuracy. Sure, C&S features paganism (Wotanism in S&S and some form of druidism), but those are actual things in the real world that existed. The only real liberty C&S takes is that you won't be immediately burned at the stake for having heretical views, and can maybe be somewhat tolerated in normal society. This is what L&D does as well, because, you know, it's a game.

Side note: wrapped up our C&S Dark Albion game last night because it was becoming abundantly clear that a pseudo-medieval game was just too hard for me to run properly when I want to drink a lot. The clincher was when one of the characters got put in the stocks for mouthing off to a noble AFTER pretty much "saving the world" from some weird chaos cult. The players agreed it made perfect sense and was humorous, but it wasn't that fun in the end because the game ground to a halt. And drinking means it's harder to keep track of politicking, which is a major source of plot threads...there are only so many cults and frog demons I can throw at the characters before I have to start having them engage in courtly matters, and none of them seemed that interested. I certainly love C&S and the historical gaming, but I think 4 or 5 months is enough for now; moving on to Rules Cyclopedia and Mystara for a change of pace.
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: PencilBoy99 on May 26, 2020, 11:17:57 AM
Agreed re Aquelarre. Book is also gorgeous.
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: Kuroth on May 26, 2020, 08:21:47 PM
Quote from: Brad;1131304
Side note: wrapped up our C&S Dark Albion game last night because it was becoming abundantly clear that a pseudo-medieval game was just too hard for me to run properly when I want to drink a lot.
haha  Ya, I can imagine.  The black magic of spirits I say is the cause!  Witch's brew.

Quote from: PencilBoy99;1131309
Agreed re Aquelarre. Book is also gorgeous.
I had interesting discussion with past poster JibbaJabba about Aquelarre on this forum.  A high quality game of a very well applied aesthetic.  I little too much toward the occult focus for me, but a great game.  Originally in Spanish, of course.
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: MotlerKombat on May 26, 2020, 08:38:26 PM
I played Harn with my group for about two years. It is a good system, BUT you have to consider something else if you plan on having lots of fighting. I found that t was difficult to create a lot of situations that were challenging but not overly deadly because of how combat worked. Everyone had a blast with the combat table, but the best fighter in the group often found himself wounded.
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: estar on May 26, 2020, 09:31:33 PM
Quote from: Brad;1131304
I think the whole polytheistic setup instead of a monotheistic one (as already pointed out) undermines any sort of historical accuracy. Sure, C&S features paganism (Wotanism in S&S and some form of druidism), but those are actual things in the real world that existed.
You are not alone in thinking that I am out of mind in regards to Harn and medieval authenticity.


Quote from: Brad;1131304
You seriously think Harn is more "authentic" than C&S? Not trying to be harsh, but that is fucking ludicrous. Just because Harn is the proto-typical Hobbesian "nasty, brutish, and short" doesn't magically make it more "authentic" than C&S.
No I don't think Harn is the best because its combat and injury system are nasty brutish and short. That not a characteristics unique to Harnmaster. I consider Harn is better because it best by far at bringing the setting to life in terms in of how its depicts its inhabitants. The characters consistently feel like they are inhabitants of a medieval world rather than ho-hum classic fantasy. And it does this in far less words than C&S and later editions of Ars Magica both of which do well.

Unfortunately this only shines in the articles, the Harnworld, Harndex, Harnmaster, Pilot's Almanac and Harnmaster by themselves only offer the same high level view as C&S, L&D, Ars Magica does. And apparent different is of course the multiple deities. But you start reading the articles that details various locations in Harn a very different picture emerge. One that does a superior job of painting a picture of medieval life to adventure in.

Again I suggest reading the Harn Pottage series (https://www.lythia.com/series/pottage/) or the Friend, Follower, and Foes series (https://www.lythia.com/series/friends-foes-followers/) to get a sense of this side of Harn.

Quote from: Brad;1131304
I think the whole polytheistic setup instead of a monotheistic one (as already pointed out) undermines any sort of historical accuracy.
The point isn't historical accuracy it is to be medieval authentic. The point of disagreement I been having with some posters is whether having an actual monotheistic is an essential requirement of this. I don't think it is. What being missed is that Harnic use of multiple deities is not the same how Forgotten Realms and Greyhawk uses multiple deities. N. Robin Crossby didn't write his setting with a monotheistic religion but he did setup his religions in a way that the cultures that were equivalent to western Europe felt medieval in a similar (yet not the same) as a historical setting would. THis includes several kingdoms on Harn (vaguely English) and realms on the mainland continent like Shorkyne (vaguely Germany) and Trierzon (vaguely France).

While other cultures like the Ivinian Vikings feel pagan.  

I am glad you having fun with Chivalry & Sorcery. However I found it like Ars Magica far too dense taking way too much work to run a medieval campaign compared to Harnmaster and Harn. While Chivalry & Sorcery put a lot of work into writing about medieval legends and life it was not that well organized or written compared to when Ars Magica covered the material. In addition Ars Magica also brought in the Order of Hermes mythology along with the medieval material. These reason are why when it came time to buying one over the other I opted for to buy Ars Magica. I have the latest version of Chivalry & Sorcery (5th edition) but it one of those thing where I have so much medieval material that it basically too late for it to win me over with it charms. Now I don't how much Harn material you read but I have read the games I mentioned and played several of them. Anybody can check what I say about Harn by going to http://www.lythia.com and browsing the extensive library of free material quality material that available.

Finally I am not interested in debating medieval historicity. If I am going to run a historical campaign by using say Columbia Games Lionheart. I am certainly not going to use a system with multiple deities like my own or Harns. I will run religion like how medieval people thought it work along with how surrounding cultures thought their religion worked. Leaving the truth as vague and confusing as it was in our own history.

And I will point out that I been running campaign with a heavy dose of medieval elements for decades. I learned for a campaign to feel medieval the NPCs have to be roleplayed like if they lived in a medieval world. That the critical element not the high level view of the metaphysics.
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: RPGPundit on May 27, 2020, 02:18:44 AM
Quote from: Brad;1131304

Side note: wrapped up our C&S Dark Albion game last night because it was becoming abundantly clear that a pseudo-medieval game was just too hard for me to run properly when I want to drink a lot. The clincher was when one of the characters got put in the stocks for mouthing off to a noble AFTER pretty much "saving the world" from some weird chaos cult. The players agreed it made perfect sense and was humorous, but it wasn't that fun in the end because the game ground to a halt. And drinking means it's harder to keep track of politicking, which is a major source of plot threads...there are only so many cults and frog demons I can throw at the characters before I have to start having them engage in courtly matters, and none of them seemed that interested. I certainly love C&S and the historical gaming, but I think 4 or 5 months is enough for now; moving on to Rules Cyclopedia and Mystara for a change of pace.


You could have stopped drinking... I guess if you won't, or can't, you might be better off running a gonzo-type game.
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: Brad on May 27, 2020, 09:43:34 AM
Quote from: Kuroth;1131360
haha  Ya, I can imagine.  The black magic of spirits I say is the cause!  Witch's brew.

Running megadungeons or S&S or even Middle Earth, no issues drinking. Political stuff? Nope. If I ever run Amber again, it's gonna have to be when stone sober or the game will suck.

Quote from: estar;1131370
snippy snip

I am not arguing against Harn; I have quite a few of the books and think the setting is pretty cool. But go ahead and keep attacking those windmills, good sir. No one will stop you.

Quote from: RPGPundit;1131398
You could have stopped drinking... I guess if you won't, or can't, you might be better off running a gonzo-type game.

You're joking, right?
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: Kuroth on May 28, 2020, 07:05:07 PM
Seems a pity to end a Chivalry & Sorcery campaign that the players are still into.  Perhaps cut sessions down to two hours.  That's all I do now a days.  Personally, I think the long session length is a hurtle to these games.  Sure there are those that want to play 16 hours, but most just want to jump in and play for a fairly average sit time.

Has anyone that might stop by this thread taken a look at Kevin Crawford's new historical inspired game Wolves of God?  

The description from drivethrurpg

"Wolves of God is an old-school-inspired historical fantasy game from the maker of Stars Without Number and Godbound. Set in 710 AD, PCs take up the roles of daring English adventurers: brave Warriors, holy Saints, and sorcerous Galdormen all setting forth to brave the savage wilds of post-Roman Britain. Whether plundering ruined caesters, delving into the bewitched halls of ancient Roman Arxes, raiding the cattle of rival lords, or helping holy abbots in need of strong arms, the heroes will plunge deep into the savage past of this half-conquered island.

Within these pages, you'll get...

Guides and tools for creating adventures in early Anglo-Saxon England, with an eye for playable content and GM helps. While Wolves of God includes fantastical elements in its setting, it's possible to play the game historically straight for hard-core history enthusiasts.
System-neutral tools for building religious minsters, Roman ruins, sorcerous Arxes, Anglo-Saxon political conflicts, and all the sandbox adventuring grist to be expected from a Sine Nomine game.
A full bestiary of classic Anglo-Saxon monstrosities and fell foes, along with tools for customizing their powers and adding extra mystery to their dreadful might.
Sorcery and miracles tailored to the time and place, with classic English galdor and pious miracles available for PC use.
Guidelines for domain management and mass combat in the harsh and primitive age of the early Anglo-Saxon chieftains.
Full compatiblity with Stars Without Number: Revised edition, with guides for mixing content between the games.
So take up your spears and lift your shields, bold adventurers! Deeds of mighty heroism and the songs of the scops await your labors. Seize Wolves of God now and take your place among the mighty names of old."
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/308470/Wolves-of-God-Adventures-in-Dark-Ages-England (https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/308470/Wolves-of-God-Adventures-in-Dark-Ages-England)
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: RPGPundit on May 30, 2020, 12:49:53 AM
I  haven't read Wolves Of God yet, but it's very definitely Dark Age setting rather than medieval. Knowing Sine Nomine, it's also probably fantastic.
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: Kuroth on May 30, 2020, 08:29:50 AM
Yes, Wolves Of God could be considered covering a different time period alright.  It is really focused on a certain geographic area too.  


Equivalent Century
Ars Magica 13th
Lion & Dragon 15th
Pendragon 6th  (485 to 566)
Chivalry & Sorcery 14th (15th often, but in other aspects more like 12th )
Harn 8th  (8th pseudo-alternate history, with technology and trade that is 9th-14th)
Aquelarre 15th (later leading into 16th, Iberian Peninsula)
Wolves Of God 8th

I find Lamentations of the Flame Princess to be a pretty good 17th century game.  The tools are all there, just doesn't have as many setting things the others do, which is often a good thing. I like to go off the beaten path in history. There are a few adventure/modules out there that are more historical for it, rather than the more common wild ones it has propagated.

Edit: A little caveat on Chivalry & Sorcery.  I was speaking of 1st edition.  There is a new 5th edition out now, by the same team that brought 4th.  It might make other setting assumptions or further push the game into fantasy.
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: RPGPundit on June 02, 2020, 03:54:08 AM
Pendragon nominally takes place in the 6th century, but in each period of the "Pendragon campaign" the social and tech level is artificially advanced to mimic later medieval periods; this is actually a reflection of the fact that the later Arthur stories (Mallory, for example) might be nominally set in the 6th century but they are in all appearances medieval.

Also, 1st edition Aquelarre at least is set in the 13th century, not the 15th. Maybe that was changed in some later edition.
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: Kuroth on June 02, 2020, 04:13:28 AM
Ya, I sure didn't like that bit in Pendragon.
Aquelarre?  hmm Thought I was looking at the Spanish 1st.  I'll have to check.
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: Kuroth on June 02, 2020, 05:12:07 AM
Here is the bit at the introduction of Aguelarre from 1990 (1st edition).  1350-1500.  Later 14th and all of 15th.

"El mundo de aquelarre
Aq uclarrc es un juego de rol basado en las tradiciones legendarias hispanas, ambientado en la Baja Edad Media durante los años 1350/1500. En estos años se están gestando toda una serie de corrientes de pensamiento, que finalmente darán como resultado, mucho más tarde, la aparición del Renacimiento, con nuevos valores y nuevas formas de ver la vida." (Ibáñez, Ricard  Aquelarre. Juego de Rol demoníaco medieval  Joc  1990  6)

Edit: The core book of Pendragon only really covers 485. The later decades are covered in the Great Pendragon Campaign book.  A paint-by-numbers approach campaign book, with the odd technology and culture warping   mentioned.  Lion & Dragon is a more clear authentic choice than Pendragon, particularly if the big campaign book is included in that consideration. I recall you played through that campaign with Pendragon Pundit.  I am glad you spent your time later on your own campaigns and games.
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: RPGPundit on June 03, 2020, 03:12:49 AM
My apologies! I must have remembered it wrong. I was sure it was earlier. But OK, 14th/15th centuries.
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: RPGPundit on June 03, 2020, 03:14:10 AM
Quote from: Kuroth;1132021
Ya, I sure didn't like that bit in Pendragon.
.

I thought that was actually enormously clever. Because of course most people don't think of the ancient welsh folk tales of the early dark ages when they think of Pendragon. They think of Mallory, and Mallory's story was actually just a metaphor for the War of the Roses. Very 15th century.
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: Kuroth on June 03, 2020, 03:43:04 AM
We agree to disagree about Pendragon. ha
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: Kuroth on June 03, 2020, 04:00:49 AM
There is a pretty Amber inspired part in the Lion & Dragon Companion where the use of Tarot is discussed! The Pathwalking high level ability is pretty neat.   While the divination use of tarot is expected, the invocation rules are less so, and they are a nice straight forward lead in toward the more powerful Pathwalking.  It is a magic addition to Lion  & Dragon that isn't weighted down with excess, as often happens with supplement magic schools/systems.  It is also an excuse to buy a neat set of Medieval styled tarot. nice
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: Armchair Gamer on June 03, 2020, 09:05:55 AM
Quote from: RPGPundit;1132015
Pendragon nominally takes place in the 6th century, but in each period of the "Pendragon campaign" the social and tech level is artificially advanced to mimic later medieval periods; this is actually a reflection of the fact that the later Arthur stories (Mallory, for example) might be nominally set in the 6th century but they are in all appearances medieval.


   This is arguably one of the most medieval things about Pendragon. :) According to C.S. Lewis in The Discarded Image (a fantastic book for looking at things from a medieval literary/cosmological point of view), the concept of 'historical dress' and the like simply did not exist for the medievals, at least not the same way it does for us. The past looked just like the present, except better--the glories of Greece, Rome or Arthur's court were seen as idealized versions of the medieval present-day, not as a 'foreign country.'

Quote from: Kuroth;1132027

Edit: The core book of Pendragon only really covers 485. The later decades are covered in the Great Pendragon Campaign book.  A paint-by-numbers approach campaign book, with the odd technology and culture warping   mentioned.  Lion & Dragon is a more clear authentic choice than Pendragon, particularly if the big campaign book is included in that consideration. I recall you played through that campaign with Pendragon Pundit.  I am glad you spent your time later on your own campaigns and games.


  This depends on which edition of Pendragon. 1-4th cover the whole span, with the default starting point being 531, corresponding to the 11th century, IIRC. 5th Edition is where the shift back to starting in the Uther era and relegating the later material to the GPC takes place. (It's also where Stafford really started doubling-down on the 'British Christianity' silliness, as far as I can tell; the stuff in the Book of Uther was almost painful for me to read. :) )
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: Kuroth on June 03, 2020, 09:28:15 AM
Good points Armchair.  I personally find Pendragon one of the more overrated games around.  Not bad.  Still done by a pro with a full staff for layout and all, just overrated.  Hyped a lot about ten years ago or so too.  I don't want to belabor it, but I find it a blurry mess, with author bias piled high and cloaked with a shifting facade of 'historical dress' that you are good to mention.  There are plenty that will go on about it, though. shrug
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: Iron_Rain on June 04, 2020, 11:09:35 PM
With a little tweaking, you can use Ars Magica's system to play a game about nobles with no player Magi. Keep the OoH in the background etc. A little house ruling on the virtue/flaw ratio (2 virtues per flaw, don't even bother with them, be a bit more generous with starting character XP) and you're good to go. The supplements Lords of Men and Grogs offers decent support for non magical characters.
Title: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
Post by: RPGPundit on June 06, 2020, 07:16:11 AM
Quote from: Kuroth;1132381
There is a pretty Amber inspired part in the Lion & Dragon Companion where the use of Tarot is discussed! The Pathwalking high level ability is pretty neat.   While the divination use of tarot is expected, the invocation rules are less so, and they are a nice straight forward lead in toward the more powerful Pathwalking.  It is a magic addition to Lion  & Dragon that isn't weighted down with excess, as often happens with supplement magic schools/systems.  It is also an excuse to buy a neat set of Medieval styled tarot. nice


To be honest, that's not inspired by Amber at all. Using tarot cards for pathworking has been part of the magical tradition for a very long time. It may not actually date all the way back to the medieval period, but it has been around since way before Roger Zelazny was even born.

I don't know if Zelazny knew this when he invented the use of Trump Cards in Amber, or if it was just coincidence.

But I'm glad you liked the mechanics in the Old School Companion. In any case, all the various additional magical techniques and grimoires in the Old School Companion are based directly from historical sources.