I'm trying to start new group of Ars Magica (mix of 4 and 5).
I'm the storykeeper and had played it for years and it's one my favorites RPGs.
This a new System & Scenario for the players, they used to play D20, GURPS, WoD and Iron Kingdoms. For the first session I created a bunch of characters and give all pre made stuff to the players because the core rules and creating characters can be intimidating at first glance. Also, we have limited time and bringing up pre-made sheets can help focus in the game itself and introduce the basic concepts. Players enjoyed the first session and we are looking to the next. Everything is fine.
One player in particular is very excited and started to draw up a char from scratch.
But this player gets very disappointed about progression because you cannot pick more virtues and raise characteristics in the middle of an adventure. In fact he cannot believe there's no progression for characteristics and virtues.
He suggested we can create a house rule to increase characteristics and buy virtues using xp, maybe making it cost 10× the price used to calculate skills.
I replied there's no problem in creating house rules, but I can see a few problems ahead: For example, it could lead to over-powered characters full of virtues; or someone wasting xp on it which could be more efficiently used to raise key skills (for new chars); or turning veteran chars overpowered, when the costs for raising the key abilities is expensive and they use their xp on these new options instead.
I'm not a purist and already use a few house rules of my own, on a basis that is a mix between Ars Magica 4th and 5th edition.
I want to tell that player to play first and get used to the system, anyway. Learn how you use seasons to improve chars, etc.
I already told him that this game has a very different pace to what he might be used to, and that the character is likely to live a long live and get very powerful. But he is still looking for a D&D-like progression system.
But while I feel the player's anxiety is misplaced and there's no need for such progression, it's just a game and the objective is just to have a fun afternoon each couple weeks. If this house rule is good and helps him enjoy the game more (without breaking it for me or the other players), I'd be willing to adopt it.
I see the following three options, and I wonder which one to choose:
- Let the player use xp to raise the characteristics like he wants.
- Say a big NO!
- Just avoid the topic while hoping he can forget it or get a better understanding of the system.