There are two bundles up on Bundle of Holding that feature the fifth edition of Ars Magica, the magical fantasy RPG from Atlas Games. It was originally published long ago by Lion Rampant and then by my beloved White Wolf (may it rest in peace). It was actually created by Mark Rein-Hagen, who also created Vampire: The Masquerade and, with it, the World of Darkness. What a fine pedigree!
Bundle of Holding have two bundles at the moment. One should be considered the ‘core’ bundle, whilst the second goes into detail on the wider mystical world of the setting.
The first bundle was originally put out a few years ago and has been re-released a few times, since. The first tier of the bundle – priced at $14.95 – contains the core rulebook and a few supplements. The rulebook is really nicely put together – I have the physical copy, myself! Of the supplements included in this tier, the True Lineages book and the Apprentices book are the most interesting. Apprentices lets you start out at a lower magical ability, as an apprentice or child. The True Lineages book outlines four hermetic houses, along with just more content such as magic, flaws, virtues and rules for undertaking research.
The second tier of this bundle is priced on a threshold that is currently sitting at $25.52. It includes a further five books. The two Houses of Hermes books expand on the Hermetic Houses, whilst the Broken Covenant gives you a pre-made adventure to play through with your group. This tier, though not essential, does add a lot more content for you to use in your games.
The first bundle is pretty solid, but it doesn’t have anything new. It gives the same books that the old bundle did and so there’s nothing there for those who have already bought into this game.
The second bundle is great for those who have already been playing Ars Magica or those who want to explore more of the world. It’s ideal for a globe-trotting campaign! The first tier of this bundle includes 4 books and will set you back $14.95. Each book is a supplement that expands on the setting. The most interesting one to me is The Cradle & The Crescent, as it explores areas like Arabia and Persia. This would give your games quite a different feel to that of the default setting of medieval Europe. The other books in this tier are somewhat… bittier. They give you little bits and pieces of different plot hooks, stories and the like. Mythic Locations does promise a lot of information about truffles if that’s your thing… It should be your thing.
As with the first bundle, the second tier of this offer is priced on a threshold. At the time of writing, this threshold is $26.85. This tier consists of five supplements, each further fleshing out the setting. I’m particularly interested in Lands of the Nile, as who doesn’t love Egypt? There’s so much to draw on from existing myth which this then builds on. The Contested Isle is interesting, too, with an overview of a mystical version of Ireland. Finally, Dies Irae is pretty cool, giving an end-of-the-world scenario for players to experience.
Whereas the first tier of this bundle is more general, the second is far more focused on individual locations. Between the two tiers, you’ve got lots of options for where to set your adventures or opportunities for your players to travel to fleshed-out locations.
As usual, part of the proceeds of this bundle will go to a charity. In this case, some of your money will go to Doctors Without Borders – a very worthwhile cause!
If you’re interested in picking up one or both of these bundles, you can click here to visit the first, ‘core’ bundle or you can go ahead and click here to visit the second bundle, World of Magic.
If you do pick it up, let me know! Or if you have already played Ars Magica, also let me know, as I’ve got my copy here, but have not been able to play it yet. Would love to hear about the experiences of others.