Ars Magica scenario: The Cathedral and the Bizarre

Here's a tabletop roleplaying game (RPG) scenario for Ars Magica 5th Edition, that I wrote for the Grand Tribunal UK convention in 2012.

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A short 2-hour investigative thriller campaign for the Ars Magica roleplaying game, that revolves around a huge historical "What if..?"

Once a provincial capital, Quimper is now just another nondescript estuary port of no particular note in the newly unified Duchy of Brittany (north-western France). It isn't near any great fields of megaliths, and the magical Black Mountains are some distance away. Its cathedral is so-so. And there certainly haven't been any particularly remarkable magi from the area.

So why is a breathless redcap panicking about a plethora of cheap magical books? On sale in the fish market, no less! More importantly, if the rumours are true, how can you stop the spread of these secrets before the mundanes do something stupid? You'd better nip this in the bud before your hard-earned power is completely devalued.



The title of this scenario is a nod to the noted technical political essay The Cathedral and the Bazaar by computer programmer Eric S. Raymond. The scenario explores similar themes to the essay, around protection of knowledge by an elite, and aims to provoke questions about whether Ars Magica's Order of Hermes are the good guys, or the bad guys.

Public Domain - Andrew Oakley - 2014-07-01

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