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Author Topic: Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?  (Read 4237 times)

aztecman

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Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
« 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,

Steven Mitchell

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Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
« Reply #1 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.

Orphan81

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Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
« Reply #2 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.

Razor 007

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Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2020, 12:38:19 AM »
I think the op describes the type of game offered by Lion & Dragon.
I need you to roll a perception check.....

nDervish

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Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
« Reply #4 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, 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.

estar

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Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2020, 06:54:25 AM »
How about Harnmaster? It is about it Medieval as it gets and unlike Chivarly & Sorcery it is very playable.
My overview of the system.

Ghostmaker

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Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
« Reply #6 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?

Dan Vincze

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« Reply #7 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, 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.

Rhedyn

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Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
« Reply #8 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.

RPGPundit

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Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
« Reply #9 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.
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Mishihari

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Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
« Reply #10 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.

Brad

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Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2020, 10:26:32 AM »
Quote from: estar;1129655
How about Harnmaster? It is about it Medieval as it gets and unlike Chivarly & Sorcery it is very playable.


100% fake news.

estar

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Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
« Reply #12 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.

Brad

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Lion & Dragon vs. Ars Magica?
« Reply #13 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.

estar

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

Likewise for HM