White Wolf Publications
Each of the following publications includes a rating on a scale of one to four stars, based on a given number of readers' feedback, and some comments. Please note
that many of these were given before Atlas Games' acquisition of the line in 1996. If you'd like to add to the reviews, check out the new form, or email the FAQ's maintainer.
WW1500 The Medieval Handbook, by Kevin Hassall, cover art by Bryan Wackwitz
FAQ Rating: *** (20 reviews; 4 *, 5 **, 4 ***, 7 ****)
- A lot of useful information spliced between the narratives. Finding the information you want in the narratives themselves is a pain, and the lack of an index is inexcusable. Those without much background knowledge of the period may find it valuable.
- All for the atmosphere, really good
- It's an okay book for flair and atmosphere, plus the odd letters and bits.
- Unnecessary. Any of the Gies' books - Life in a Medieval City, for example - would suffice.
- Intended as a setting enhancement? Presents life in the middle ages, probably fairly accurately. Has little utility.
- Great narrative material for the setting and useful intro for those laggard members of the troupe who refuse to read your history books.
- ...Reader's Digest style gloss of medieval life, factoids of history strung into narratives.
- Brilliant for getting people into the mediaval mindset...
- ...not as detailed as I would have liked.
- In our covenant, this is a must read for all members.
WW0503 Twelfth Night, by Mark Keavney, cover art by Ken Widing
FAQ Rating: *** (10 reviews; 2 *, 3 **, 5 ***, 1 ****)
- Good saga hook, my players loved sceming against Azenis.
- Not good.
- A superb adventure! The PCs will not figure it out at first, and then radually get it. Gave me a lot of ideas and will prove a lot of fun laying.
- It is something that the storyguide will love!
- A little cheesy around the edges. The climax *will* kill young magi unless seriously toned down.
- Useable, needs work due to WW influence on the line at the time.
WW0660 The Wizard's Grimoire, by Jarmo Ahosola, Shannon Appel, John Carey, David Chart, Ken Cliffe, Michael D. Dunn, Kevin Hassall, Geoffrey Hopcraft, Mark Keavney, Christophe Lefebvre, David P. Martin, Marc Philipp Messner, Max Rible, Rachel Thomas, and Julian Wiffen; cover art by Larry Elmore
FAQ Rating: *** (17 reviews; 2 *, 8 **, 5 ***, 3 ****)
- Good and bad things bounded together.
- New gadgets and toys, pretty unorganized. Not too interesting.
- Worthless, given the release of the Revised edition.
- Great at the time, very little that isn't in the revised.
- Very Nice. Lots of cool new stuff
- Despite the Hype, it's a good book, but NOT the most important
for playing ArM. The best additions are the faerie spells, about
50% of the Hermetic spells are flawed or out of paradigm.
- The best 3rd-Ed supplement so far. Although the spells need
some debugging, the ideas and rules are overwhelming. Give color
to your labs and libraries
- Good ideas for ruling at Tribunals.
- Really hit-or-miss sourcebook. Every troupe should vote on
each idea before allowing it.
- As a compendium of House Rules, it's interesting reading. It's probably of limited usefulness to most people; the laboratory and book rules, as well as the sections on the Peripheral Code, are the most worthwhile.
- Good, but overpowered.
WW0751 Tribunals of Hermes: Rome, by Shannon Appel and Chris Frerking, cover art by Michael Weaver
FAQ Rating: ** (15 reviews; 3 *, 7 **, 4 ***, 1 ****)
- A lot more could have been done with this book, but it had to wait for The
Mysteries. Instead of a seamless tapestry we are treated to a disjointed
series of chapters and ideas.
- Booo, I am a Demon!
- Dull, and full of Demons.
- The Third Edition requirement for dark themes, Corruption in this case,
makes this book difficult to use, and prevents anyone else writing an
- Good presentation of the Roman Tribunal, darkened by editorial
- Not that bad a depiction of a very political tribunal if you
ignore most of the demons.
- Great ideas,nice done job. Tasted like Sagas which have been
played for a long time by numerous players who enjoyed them.
- Interesting history, but a little too much politics for my
- Details how the demons corrupts the Church and country.
- At the behest of Ken Cliffe, many demons were included in
this, and the authors tried to make it work, but it comes off
just too diabolical in some ways. Lots of interesting ideas, though.
- Terrific bits on backstabbing, conniving magi. Get rid of the parenthetical
comments which amount to, "demons, demons everywhere!", and this is a fine supplement.
- Bad, very bad. If you remove the demons the politics makes for some good hooks, needs lots of work.
WW0750 Tribunals of Hermes: Iberia, by Peter Hentges, cover art by Michael Weaver
FAQ Rating: *** (16 reviews; 1 *, 7 **, 5 ***, 3 ****)
- The first look at what a Tribunal might be, but suffers from being
first, and therefore so widely duplicated it no longer seems novel.
- Good presentation of the Iberian Tribunal, darkened by editorial
- "Craft: Sex Toys (Painful Ones)." 'Nuff said.
- Very nice, very adaptable to a wide range of chronicles.
- Suffers from an editor's battle with his demonic obsession,
but otherwise a superb book. Ignore half the references to demons
and it's well worth the money.
- Use depends upon your interest in running a saga in Iberia.
- Nice work, bad editing
- Less demons than ToH: Rome, nothing about exotic magics that are in the background.
- I liked the whole Shadow Flambeau plot and the conflicting interests of the
- If you can ignore the devils, this is a really nice sourcebook,
useful even if you're not going to be playing primarily in Spain.
- Interesting, colorful ideas, particularly regarding Flambeau. The editing is
poor and the writing quality inconsistent, but it's still one of the better
WW1021 Pax Dei, by Sam Chupp and Leigh Ann Hildebrand, cover art by John Cobb
FAQ Rating: ** (21 reviews; 9 *, 7 **, 5 ***, 0 ****)
- Ugly art, presents the Divine as a barely better alternative to Hell.
- Suffers from the White Wolf pathology that says all attempts to structure society are corrupt, and all who follow an ideal are dupes or con artists.
- Overly complex, any usefulness needs to be extracted from between a confusing writing style and odd formatting. The weird art is either loved or hated.
- Good layout, lots of different bells and whistles that can be separated from each other, a neat idea for differentiating between different flavors of an aura that could be useful for other types of auras.
- The adventure in the back seemed remarkably ordinary (although the rules on pious magi are remarkably cool)
- Good concept, but the rules seem to be a little too powerfully in favor of the Dominion, and the Pious Magus rules seem to have suffered major cuts.
- Provides useful information about the Church, and some interesting bits on Pious Magi. Interesting material, in general. The artwork is jarringly dark.
- Some aspects are useable, but not much; artwork is very disturbing.
- Poor art, very tiresome to read, overpowered and has a
very limited use.
WW0250 Hidden Paths: Shamans, by Sarah Link and John Snead, cover art by Pam Shanteau
FAQ Rating: ** (16 reviews; 2 *, 9 **, 5 ***, 0 ****)
- Good book, but not very suited for Mythic Europe. With a little work, you could make up a great Mythic North America with it, though.
- Improved in Dragon and the Bear.
- Pretty out of place in ME.
- Made more sense than Werewolf or Mage - unfortunately, ArM is not the World of Darkness.
- Buy Hedge Magic instead.
- Completely unnecessary and so out of paradigm that it stings like a mosquito bite right between your shoulder blades.
- Pretty good guide to shamans, but smacks of American Indian shamanism.
- Its poor fit with ME is a pity for an otherwise interesting book.
- White Wolf's Treatment of shamanism. Interesting.
- Beautiful, but limited use.
- ...being non-American, I am not displeased with this source book's Amerind flavor (this brings 'exotism' into play).
- Useful to build an Order of Odin and using Vikings in a saga.
- One of the better treatments of shamanism in any rpg, but doesn't fit really well into Ars Magica, nor does it seem like it would be fun to use in a game.
WW1019 The Maleficium, by Christopher Earley, cover art by John Cobb
FAQ Rating: ** (23 reviews; 5 *, 9 **, 7 ***, 2 ****)
- An interesting read, though one wonders if the rules are really useful. The style is dry, detached, and scholarly, appparently in an effort to avoid glamorizing the material; unfortunately, it also makes it feel like a boring textbook.
- Spiritually the core book of the Third Edition, but no longer important because of its foolish insistence on Goetica.
- I did once envision running a saga with dark magi making hidden rolls to see if they could control demons. It wouldn't feel like Ars Magica, though. This is still the best selling Ars book on ebay.
- Much too thickly written for a game supplement. Not very useful, but has a few salvagable concepts.
- Over complex, actually not very useful in games that want some infernal element but aren't obsessed with it.
- Some nice ideas, but seemed to spend a lot of time giving
very specific rules for how to do diabolism, which struck me as
a bit odd, since NPCs can be fudged, and I can't believe most
PCs would get into it. I hope.
- Interesting read.... Not as many rules as much as interesting
philosophical discussions on hell in the 12th century.
- Interesting. I had a lot of fun reading it. However, I'm not
sure I will ever use it. I feel the described Hell was too
"bureaucratic" and organized, and I tend to associate demons with chaos, but that's my own feeling, and I can't blame it on the authors.
- Excellent Supplement of Diabolism, Summoning and the like
that allows a better portrayal of the Infernal and Diabolism among
Magi. Again,. the section on Dark Apprenticeship suffered from
some serious cuts.
- Part 1 of the 'Official' Ars Magica cosmology, detailing the
Infernal. Some interesting ideas, but not all to my liking. A
fun read, though.
- To many "numbers" and not enough background , or
the contrary , but alas this is a "compromise-book"!
- Great! The history of hell is really fun to read and gave
me a lot of ideas. I would like to agree that it's a little to
"organized" to be hell for my taste.
- Dark. Dark art, dark subjects, dark rules. Don't know how
useful it is either.
- Much too complicated for use in a saga.
- Poor art, but easier to read and more usefull. Maybe
WW0500 A Midsummer Night's Dream, by Matthew Wallhead, cover art by Ken Widing
FAQ Rating: ** (12 reviews; 2 *, 9 **, 2 ***, 0 ****)
- Good ideas, but terrible violation of the rules (and of common sense), and *very* hard to adapt outside the Provence.
- Some useful material, but heavy handed in characters and events.
- I like it, though it's a little content-light.
- Fun, but straightforward, faerie adventure.
- I found it too hard to integrate more than tiny bits of it into my game world. It also seemed to force the PCs along a specific path.
- Sucks rocks. Really does.
- Good story, but location specific.
- Useable, needs work due to WW influence on the line at the time.
WW0600 Mythic Europe, by Roderick Robertson and Curtis Scott, cover art by Ken Widing
FAQ Rating: ** (18 reviews; 3 *, 11 **, 3 ***, 1 ****)
- A quick-reference compendium that's probably most useful for those who don't know much about history. Suffers from a failure to separate what's historical fact and what's Ars Magica fiction, as well as poor editing.
- Too many shortly described things
- An okay overview, though inaccurate (or wrong) at times.
- A general guide to the setting of Mythic Europe. More fantastic than the
line has trended, but chock-full of story ideas and hooks. The historical
basis is lacking.
- An OK primer if you don't have a history degree.
- Boring. History and geography are readily available in the local library. Where was the bleedin' MYTH?
- Has some good ideas, but most are things you could find in any good referance book.
- I've not found a lot of interest in it as I didn't learn a lot from it.
- Probably the most widely useful supplement for ArM3 but doesn't quite measure up to Order of Hermes.
- Interesting geographical and societal info on Mythic Europe, but the lack of maps reduces its value.
- The book gives a good overview, but it covers the lands too shortly.
- Badly stored index of the European history.
- Lots of interesting tidbits about lots of different places, without enough information on any one place to establish an entire saga.
- Beurgh. I want my money back.
WW0811 Deadly Legacy, by Thomas M. Kane, cover art by Mike Weaver
FAQ Rating: ** (12 reviews; 2 *, 7 **, 3 ***, 0 ****)
- Poor scenario.
- The middle part (Scotland) plays slow, and the parts of the adventure are not that seamlessly linked, but with a little work, this can be a great adventure.
- Apparently intended as an epic quest tale spurred by vengeance through the ages. If successful, you'll spend vastly more resources than you get at the end, but at least you'll wind up with determined, dangerous, implacable enemies.
- Some interesting stuff, but a fairly linear adventure.
- Very interesting. Still under play, so I don't know how it
will end, but there is a lot of possibilities in it. In fact,
I have broken it in three parts, and a few (game-)years (= a few
real-months) have passed between the first two parts: my players
don't remember all the details from the first parts, and it's
a lot of fun to see them doing the same mistakes once again.
- Heavy stuff again, but unlimited bridges to later times.
- A long series of connected stories, but it felt really choppy
- Linear story, hard to relocate.
- Fun, has to be tweaked though.
WW0902 Mistridge, by Kevin Hassall, cover art by David O. Miller
FAQ Rating: ** (13 reviews; 9 *, 2 **, 0 ***, 2 ****)
- Presentation of a dark, depressing covenant, using ugly art to convey just
how unpleasant life in the middle ages was. The covenant is populated by
sick, twisted magi who fail to evoke any sympathy, and they're the good
- Very nice ideas; easy to take individual story-bits and tailor
them to the chronicle setting. Engaging magus descriptions, and
history of the covenant.
- No interest at all. Completely empty. Maybe for newcomers?
- Specifically contradicts previous material, magi are poorly designed, the covenant
isn't even a particularly good example of how to put a covenant
- Despite being the home of under-rated Magi and monsters, Mistridge
is a surprisingly well designed environment and very useful for
ideas. Despite all expectations to the contrary, I like it.
- The Gothic-punk take on Mythic Europe. Who let Mervyn Peake
write an Ars Magica supplement (and who forgot to tell him the rules)?
- The engaging descriptions of the magi of Mistridge and Windgraven, and the
otherwise interesting material, are marred by the atrocious proof-reading which
resulted in pathetically wrong stats for everything.
- Plain boring.
WW0204 Storyguide's Screen, cover art by David O. Miller
FAQ Rating: ** (9 reviews; 2 *, 5 **, 2 ***, 0 ****)
- A nice little screen. Nothing special.
- Looks neat, Fancy front side picture, always seem to miss
the one table I am looking for, Never uses it as a screen since
I like to have good contact with the players. Included a little
adventure I only used ideas from.
- Very useful accessory, better as a reference card than SG Screen.
- Good reference
- Useful primarily in combat. And who uses a screen anymore anyway? Or preprinted character sheets?
- Poor art, poor design, should be 4-sided.
WW0203 Ars Magica Third Edition, by Jonathan Tweet and Mark ReinHagen, and Ken Cliffe, Andrew Greenberg, Wes Harris, Stewart Wieck, Shannon Appel, Sam Chupp, Christopher Earley, Sarah Link, Dave P. Martin, Carl Schnurr, John Snead, and Travis Lamar Williams; cover art by David O. Miller
FAQ Rating: *** (20 reviews; 0 *, 5 **, 9 ***, 6 ****)
- A damn pretty book, with great art and evocative writing, it does have a bit of a White Wolf gothic atmosphere as well as a doubtful system for True Reason. However, ArM3 is definitely a complete game whose systems are a
little less sophisticated than the revised 4th edition.
- Un*reason*ably dark.
- More background and less rules than Fourth edition.
- This one brought me to ArM. In hindsight, not that great a rulebook. I still own two copies.
- No longer important.
- Good art, rotten index (how medieval), great flavor even if it was too white-wolfie. There is no need to buy this except for collecting.
- My second favourite edition.
- Lots of little known flaws. (Messed up index, misunderstood
middle-age view on certain magic like theory of elements or alchemy)
But nonetheless one of the best games I've ever played.
- Good intentions, bad execution
- Ok, in spite of its numerous errors. Without them,
it would have been far better than the 2nd Edition. This one is sufficient to start to play. Novices
may however feel it contains too many things, and will probably
be too disconcerted by the errors.
- Some things have improved, but not all...
- Heavier, more complete, more expensive but a bloody shambles.
- Tried really hard to fill in the gaps in 2nd edition, but
the editing problems and some of the changes are really hard
- Verbose, poorly organized, and still insufficiently detailed, but more useful for long-term play than the 2nd Edition -- if you can find where the rules you need are.
- Overpowered V&sF, and would benefit from better design
WW1018 More Mythic Places, by Carl Schnurr, cover art by Jeff Echevarria
FAQ Rating: ** (16 reviews; 1 *, 9 **, 4 ***, 2 ****)
- More nice regiones and story ideas.
- Nice little book for when the GM only has 30 minutes to prepare the next session.
- High fantasy Ars Magica pocket realities.
- Well done and clear. Ideal for long
sagas, when you are in a day without inspiration, or when you
want to throw a derivative in it. More useful
than a ready-to-play scenario, which doesn't always fit in a saga.
- The adventures are well constructed and the areas better thought out. One silly adventure but the rest are good.
- Intresting and useable regios to put in the world. The dominion,
faerie regios are especially good, while the infernal is not too good.
- Repeat of the first one, but the places aren't as useful (IMO).
- Dated, rules need to be examined and checked, good hooks for new
WW1016 Mythic Places, by Carl Schnurr, cover art by Ken Widing
FAQ Rating: *** (18 reviews; 0 *, 9 **, 8 ***, 1 ****)
- Interesting ideas, worth perusing, but perhaps of limited usefulness.
- Illustrates very well the concept of regio. Too bad that generic regio aren't what I want, I want historic - filled regios ;)
- Nice regiones and story ideas.
- Four good examples of regiones.
- The original pocket dimension book. Introduced regios and related rules, but didn't present settings of great interest.
- Reasonable adventure seeds.
- Really liked these... nice ideas for quick adventures, without
being so scripted to ruin them. Good idea done well.
- Good development of the regio, with regios and regio-control
spells, but the adventures are poor. Better to get Faeries for
the same rules and better adventures (The Animal Powers lifts
it into mediocrity).
- Some good story ideas, some silly stuff
- Adventure locations utilizing regio. None took my fancy.
- Ideas for small encounters on the way
- Good places & short stories to introduce every-where. A
good idea to replace "Magic-Aura-Rating Area" by the
more customized Regio.
- Some cute little places here with real stretches to include
a regio in each one. Not bad ideas, but I've never managed to
use one of them in a story.
- Dated, rules need to be examined and checked, good hooks for new
- Regios are neat. Was a must before 4th edition, but it's only valuable now for the regio examples.
WW0813 Black Death, by Thomas M. Kane
FAQ Rating: *** (10 reviews; 0 *, 3 **, 5 ***, 2 ****)
- Excellent scenario.
- Neat idea for a story, could be fairly well integrated.
Could stand a bit more organization. Took a couple of reads
to figure out where all the major people were and how they had
- Very well scripted and conceived. If all ArM adventures were this good, it would be amazingly successful.
- Interesting treatment of the Black Plauge but the appearance
of that disease is somewhat anachronistic to "official" ArM time.
- A little too harsh in my opinion. I like to have fun with
my players, not to make them desperate. A good capture
of the harsh time of the 10th century.
- Very good story, but a little too deadly. A mistake spells death!
- This adventure just left me cold. Some nice ideas, but I would have liked it better with more interesting long-term characters.
WW0812 The Pact of Pasaquine, by Carl Schnurr
FAQ Rating: *** (8 reviews; 0 *, 3 **, 3 ***, 2 ****)
- Introduces regio, haven't read this thoroghly as the story didn't grab me.
- Nothing to say about this one. I wasn't interested, and I
haven't make it play. It's probably too ready-to-play for my campaign,
and it doesn't fit at all. Perhaps as an introduction for new
- This includes a well-developed village that could really be
transplanted in most places in Mythic Europe with little effort.
The main story is decent too. First big push on the "regio."
- I like the description of Pasaquine and its inhabitants. I found the
adventure rather weak and dull.
WW0802 Jump-Start Kit: The Stormrider (Second Edition), by Mark ReinHagen, cover art by Jeff Menges
FAQ Rating: ** (10 reviews; 2 *, 6 **, 1 ***, 1 ****)
- Good jump start kit, too linear for experienced gamers.
- Okay adventure, though the confrontational setup of the party is only usable
for convention play IME.
- A startup kit for the 2nd edition game, it is a fairly solid adventure,
with rules and sample characters. You get to face the stormrider again in
Return of the Stormrider.
- The same as the old version, but easier-to-use
- A ring-through-the-nose adventure for REAL beginners to roleplaying.
- A basic 'tournament style' introduction to the game, interesting and
well-executed within that limited scope.
- The one time in the history of Gaming where Grimgroth was wrong about
WW1017 Medieval Bestiary, by Tim Carroll and Ken Cliffe; cover art by Michael Weaver
FAQ Rating: *** (12 reviews; 0 *, 3 **, 8 ***, 1 ****)
- Beautiful and comprehensive
- I *loved* the Eric Hotz art, plus I feel it has *so* much more flair than its Revised counterpart.
- I like it so much I tried to do it myself.
- Very good, bordering on 'essential'.
- The original beastiary for ArM. Lacks the focus on beasts the later edition has, but includes a beast-builder.
- Dated now, but seemed more exciting than its successor.
- Better then I thought it was going to be.
Really liked the paragraphs giving adventure ideas for
each of the creatures.
- I know I would have been hard pressed to think of anything to
do with a badger.
- Some stuff is lame and it fosters a "every critter is
- It makes me think too much of D&D, but can provide ideas
for short-running stories.
- The stats have to be revised sometimes, but the legends of
the beasts make it worth its price
- Great way to lend a more "mythic" feel to your saga
- throw in many beasts with mystic properties. Also good as a
reference work for relative power levels in animals and monsters.
WW1015 Faeries, by Sarah Link and John Snead, cover art by Cheryl Mandus
FAQ Rating: *** (18 reviews; 1 *, 2 **, 6 ***, 9 ****)
- Entertaining and useful, overall an excellent product.
- A must-have. Scenarios are cool.
- I prefered it to the revision, and I gave the revision a "Necessary" rating.
- Not bad, adventures fairly good value.
- Good catalyst for ideas.
- Scenaries are great, first chapters
are good, but the bestiary has a great lack of organisation.
- This is the book I love.
- This book gave me all the information I needed and more, and
also gave me the idea for my BigBadPlot (tm) when one of my Magi
got 'married' to a dryad.
- (Faeries is) IMHO, the most useful supplements ever to come
- Yeep! Very nice, interesting, funny, usable, complete... I
must confess that Fearies are my preferred characters in Ars-Magica
- Long of area-specific creatures, has rules for Faerie Companions.
Short on realistic might ratings for the upper-power Faeries.
Some good adventure ideas.
- Limited in the types of faeries it covers, I'd like to see
more Eastern European influence.
- An entertaining and informative book on the fay. Would be
my personal favorite, if not for Order of Hermes.
- Funny and usable
- Very nice book , alas my players hate Faeries...
- This is a really useful sourcebook on faeries, but there were
some thin spots and holes.
- Way overpowered.
WW0502 A Winter's Tale, by Ken Cliffe
FAQ Rating: ** (10 reviews; 6 *, 2 **, 2 ***, 0 ****)
- REALLY heavy-handed storyline with little valuable source material for the setting. Includes gypsies (read: "anachronisms"). This was the real start for "Ars Magica Goes to Hell."
- The garden of Eden is in Switzerland? Yeah - riiight...
- The best in the series.
- Worthless attempt at a novel, into which the players are co-opted as, we may presume, a supposedly-admiring audience.
- Atrocious, ridiculous, gross.
- The worst ArM adventure I've ever seen. From the way it was written, you'd think Ken Cliffe was writing on a limited production budget and had to set it all in one location.
- Not really bad, but do you really want to inflict such a thing on your players? They will hate you forever!
- An adventure taking place in Provence, almost impossible to relocate.
- Too area-specific for my tastes.
- Not for everyone, I admit, but it perfectly suits my saga and I like it a lot.