Ars Magica and Vampire

by Kevin A. Geiselman
posted from the account of Sonja N Muzyczka <> on the Vampire RPG Mailing List at (15 Apr 93)

Hail and Greetings,

Stuart Wilsdon asked about incorperating the magical system of Ars Magica into Vampire. Well, that's exactly what I did and it's not as difficult as you may think, given a certain amount of fudging.

Ok, step one: Create the character normally using the the information listed under 'Antagonists' (pg 193). Use the Diciplines of 12 as close to what you want your Mage to be.

When I created Geradi Ruzhkov, I used Movement of the Mind and Lure of Flames as basic skills. Paths work better than other disciplines.

Ok, next I went into Ars Magica and spent development points on magical skills, ignoring just about all the other rules. My character started his magical training 25 years ago, so he would have 250 points to spend on Forms and Techniques and 250 spell levels. A new mage, just finished with apprenticeship, would have 150 points. Figure 10 points for every year studying magic. (Geradi started before he was 5)

Converting to Vampire is about a 5 to 1 proposition with a fudge of one point. So, a Form of up to 5 is one point, 6 to 10 converts to 2 points in Vampire. I found that when I used this system and attempted to re-create what I had done with Vampire disciplines it got close enough for role-playing.

Now, when you use these numbers, you are not quite operating in the 'Hermetic Tradition'. I pretty much ignored all the other development stuff in Ars Magica. It works because my storyteller has allowed me the freedom to define my powers and, since I've never abused them or complained that I wasn't powerful enough to survive or compeate, I've been pretty much left to my own.

A sympathetic Storyteller is your best friend. After I joined the game, the resident Tremere started griping about how weak he was compared to me. I didn't think I had done anything to threaten him or flaunt my power, but anyone who's been reading my Magus Chronicles will recognize him for the pompous bastard that he is. The character and the player are the same personalities. Anyway, after complaining for a few sessions, the Storyteller said something very simple: "Sure, he's more powerful magically but if you shoot him, he dies."

So, for people wondering just what I can do, if you haven't figured it out from the chronicle, here's about how it works:

Telekenesis 6, up to 1 ton

I basically created a new Form of Ether. It allows me the much greater flexability or Telekenesing anything with a single form rather than having to use Earth, Body, Plant and such. The restrictions are that I can neither create, transform or destroy Ether. Unlike the Thaumaturgy Path, I CAN throw things around fairly violently Telekenetic groping and fondling is also available B-) Remember, my character lives with twin college co-eds.

Perceive Ether 3

This is an equivalant to Auspex but on a different 'frequency'

I should have said this before:

Ignore the 'human' limitations of 5 when dealing with magic, if all the Magi were similarly restricted they would never have stood a chance against the vampir over the centuries. Restrictions on other stats should still apply)

Create Fire 4 (spontaneously create a house fire conflagration) Control Fire 4 Destroy Fire 2 (can put out a campfire, to put out larger fires control down to a managable size.

Transform Image 2

Change the appearence of a man sized object; illusion

There are a few others but they are really minor, more like housekeeping things.

These numbers may seem high, but the abilities of each one are more restrictive than Vampiric Disciplines. Then again, humans are better at Magic than the Vampires.

I've got spells, too, but they are just specific talents within the Disciplines mentioned above. I haven't had the chance to have REAL fun in the game but, very soon, I expect to have it out with some of Chicago's denizens.

This will, of course, all be moot when WW releases Mage this fall.

Geradi Ivanovich Ruzhkov (aka Kevin A. Geiselman)