Covenants states:

For nine of the Arts, there is a basic text that, over time, has come to be accepted as the preferred primer for a magus seeking the competence necessary to train an apprentice. These texts, called the Roots of the Arts, are widely and cheaply available. A Redcap can arrange the delivery of any of these texts, for a very small consideration.

... but then never mentions which nine, nor the qualities of these books. Do any Ars Magica books have a list of these "standard" books?


There is no list, Tyrell is correct.

Timothy Ferguson (who wrote that section of the book).

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the site, Timothy. Glad to have a canonical answer. \$\endgroup\$ – Brian Ballsun-Stanton Jun 28 '13 at 10:42

It was the intention of the authors to leave space open for PC's to write a book so good it became the preferred primer (and getting the word out about your book would be a good hook to hang stories on). To do this they choose to leave the arts that have been covered undefined. I'm fairly certain that this was written on the official message board someplace but I didn't double check my memory by searching for the post.

Quality of books varies a significant amount from saga to saga I suspect that the numbers on these books are also left undefined so that they could fit anyone's game. I believe that the covenants chapter of the core book has guidelines regarding how good a suma should be. I'd take the top end of these as the roots of the arts (but that's just my preference).

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the site, Tyrrell! This seems like the seed of a really good answer, but we prefer solid facts rather than anecdotes when possible. If you could find the post from the official message board and edit both the relevant quote and a link to the post into your answer, then your answer would be perfect. It's great to someone knowledgeable about Ars Magica here, I know @BrianBallsun-Stanton has been getting lonely. :) \$\endgroup\$ – Oblivious Sage May 7 '13 at 15:16

This link lists the Roots and Pillars of the Arts. I do not know if this is formatted for 5th edition, however.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't suppose that list is based in any sort of factual basis, or is that someone making them up? The levels and qualities seem... awfully significant. \$\endgroup\$ – Brian Ballsun-Stanton Apr 30 '13 at 23:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ I poked around a little on the linked site and it includes a page of the author's "House Rules for flexing Ars Magica 5", so it seems safe to assume that's probably the edition the texts were rated for. \$\endgroup\$ – Dave Sherohman May 2 '13 at 12:14

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