Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Long Prelude - and Faeries and Ars Magica

Boy, anyone looking for a rhyme or reason in this blog is going to be sorely disappointed - I'm WAY more ADD than I thought I was (hmmm, ADD AD&D...a game where you start to save the princess and then oh, look, a butterfly...) erm, as I was saying. Not a lot of ORGANIZATION here - but that's okay with me - I'm brainstorming here as I type. Dunno how I'm supposed to organize that...maybe it comes later.

Been reading an old Ars Magica adventure, "Midsummer Night's Dream." I bought it (wow, twenty years ago maybe? checked the copyright - probably 17 years ago, anyway...) because I thought the concept of Ars Magica and, especially, Mythic Europe (both of which I bought as well) and I was an English major at the time, so, it's like Shakespeare and stuff.... At the time I was reading Katherine Kurtz' Deryni Chronicles and appreciated the pseudo-European feel of the world and thought that Ars Magica might scratch the alternate/mythic historical game that I thought I wanted to play.

But I never found anyone to play AM with me - and after plowing through the rules I was left a bit "meh" anyway (I think this is 3rd ed we're talking about). And the itch went away, so the books sat on a shelf, then a box which I rediscovered a couple weeks ago.

Anyway, as I was reading the adventure it starts off a little promising - I mean, it's set during the Crusades - and there's persecution and witch burning and lots of heavy-handedness by the Church (yeah, yeah, I'm a pastor, but man the Church has done some really brutal things, historically) and the idea of trying to be a mage in that era is appealing...'s so scripted. I mean - your covenant is in its springtime when the SAGA starts and you can't have any Faerie characters and you need to make sure your covenant is in Provance and...urk...that's a lot of and's already.

I know when I bought this I intended to play it - but reading it now - talk about railroading... I mean it's just a story - it's not even an "adventure path" - it's a pre-packaged story of the rise and...maturing?? - of a covenant of mages.

Now - I HATE, HATE, HATE the structure of the adventure. The chapters, the way in which the SAGA has to unfold.

But there's still some cool stealable...uh, borrowable stuff here. The Covenant of Doisstep's map and general description is usable - and there's an okay curse - a forgotten god - the faerie (shades of Shakespeare, of course - and pretty well depicted). So...I'm not sorry I purchased this thing Back-in-the-Day, 'cause I can cannibalize it for some useful stuff. In fact, that's pretty much what I do anyway.

The point? Expect to see some stuff about Faerie coming soon (tinged by Ars Magica and Tad Williams' Shadowmarch books, which I sold to Half-Price Books when I moved last year - and regret it). I know NOTHING of the folklore of Faeries, so expect this to be some bizarre mish-mash of whatever my addled brain comes up with for "the wee folk." And that's how I want it to be.

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