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$92,848 pledged of $290,000 goal
$92,848 pledged of $290,000 goal

Your Friday morning Ars Magica update: Judgments and Destinies!

21% and 9 Days to go!

We hope that you all will continue to support and help us get the word out, especially as we slip into Winter...;)

On that note, let’s talk about Destiny today.

We’ve hinted in earlier Updates that there are definite endings you can achieve, and these are reached through the many choices you make during the game. The most important kind of choice you can make in regards to the ending of the game is called a Judgment, and you’ll face at least one each year.

The Tie that Binds

In the tabletop game, Covenant governance is determined by the GM and the players, and can express itself in a number of different forms. Usually, there is some form of charter, and rules to allow the mages to settle disputes. In Years of Conquest, Judgments are made by the Covenant’s Council, which is made up of all the mages in the Covenant (with the few inevitable exceptions.)

Each winter, this Council meets and settles matters of justice and law, as well as addressing other, more consequential events which may have arisen. At the start of the game, you are likely to be the only mage in the Covenant, and so can decide these matters at your whim. But as the years advance, you’ll increasingly need to forge alliances and broker deals in order to settle things your way.

Too much politicking, however, can cause your Covenant to fall apart due to injustice, dissatisfaction and frustration, as favoritism and concessions provoke all manner of jealousies. Further, as the Covenant ages, and its mages become more and more eccentric, building a consensus may be very difficult indeed, as demands and appeasement grow and grow.

Medieval Politics

As a simple example, consider the murder of one of your Covenfolk, when the guilty party is an important asset to your Covenant and their victim was not. Most role-playing games tend to leave this as an issue of justice versus practicality (or, good vs. evil), but in Years of Conquest the situation is much more complex.

Firstly, all your Covenfolk have their own relationships to one another whether by kin, clan, personality, work or friendship. The family of both parties will obviously have strong feelings, but everyone, especially your mages, know, associate, and have had dealings with those involved.

On the face of it, forging a consensus in this situation needs only involve the mages, since they are the ones on the Council. Encouraging dissenters to join your bloc via gifts of Vis, desirable Actions or Opportunities, or gifts of magic and knowledge can easily persuade those without strong degrees of passion.

However, if your goal is something unpopular, or considered to be unjust by the majority of the Covenant, the matter will not end with the Judgment. The result could very easily be a generational family feud, heated passions which fuel future crimes or the departure of some of your Covenfolk.

Concessions to various parties can smooth things over, but underneath the surface the problems will still remain, ready to appear again...You’ll have to decide what it’s worth to accomplish your goals when things are messy.

The End of all Your Works

The final fate of your Covenant is related to the 4 Realms: Magic, Infernal, Faerie and Divine. How you have interacted with each of these during the century will shape the final fall of your possessions (dark) or their rebirth (bright), as well as offering you different Opportunities and Adventures. Your Judgments, representing the final decision of the Covenant on a given matter, will set you down these paths.

Some of them may be quite difficult to escape, once you’ve taken the first steps...

Thank you all!

Autumn comes to a close and Winter will soon be upon us- thanks to you all for the constant bumps and posts. Please keep it up- we’ll need a lot more to make it, and the days are swiftly dwindling.

We appreciate it, and thanks!


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    1. Daniel Núñez Vílchez on November 9, 2012

      Ars Magica MUST have a game! And this is the better one.

    2. Black Chicken Studios 3-time creator on November 8, 2012

      Thanks HC, here's hoping too!

    3. Missing avatar

      HC on November 8, 2012

      No second kickstarter chance? Or a year down the road?

      Here's hoping for a miracle. And a lot of publicity.

    4. Black Chicken Studios 3-time creator on November 8, 2012


      Thanks! Unfortunately, given the economics of it, it's unlikely we'd be able to try again.

      But we'll never say never...we really do love this game. :)

    5. Eurimedes on November 8, 2012

      Seriously, seriously. I've loved Ars Magica for years and this take on it seems pretty perfect as a CRPG goes. I will be quite sad if this doesn't make it - and I fervently hope you'll try again.

    6. Black Chicken Studios 3-time creator on November 8, 2012

      *Seriously* ;)

    7. Darklord on November 8, 2012

      This game sounds so interesting! It needs to be made! :-D