Extending on Ars Magica Simplified I’d like to suggest the following thoughts, to speed up onboarding and play. I’m going to copy these ideas across there.
Until you actually use any characteristic on your sheet, it’s nebulous and can be traded around in play. This means that if you bought a few points in various things, and as you play your focus for the character becomes sharper, you can trade them back. Alternatively, it means you don’t need to spend all of your XP in the character design phase. If you want to design a basic Knight, you can just take the Basic Knight package and fill it out as the story progresses. This goes for skills, Arts, spells…whatever the troupe is happy with. You don’t need to nail everything down before play. Play can be a collaborative process of character building, in the same way you are collaboratively building the world.
This may also go for covenants. I doubt anyone honestly cares where all of those points go.
The one feature where trading something in requires troupe approval is Story Flaws/Hooks, because any SG worth their onions has has a sheet of these and has worked out how to use some of them during the projected life of the campaign. Pulling those back wastes their real-time work, and so it’s not allowed on the basis that you aren’t allowed to wreck the fun of other players.
Above the covenant design process, you could bracket a higher process where you build the world. Mythic Europe is one choice, and its the supported choice, but it’s not the only choice.
Confidence doesn’t matter and should be removed. I know it’s used for Infernalists: but I don’t care about that for a simplified game.
Bonisagus was reflecting a real, structural thing in the formation of the magical realm. Each magic tradition doesn’t need its own ruleset: they just use penalised versions of the standard Hermetic set. If they can do stuff that’s non-hermetic, that’s great: stat it out as if a Bonisagus had drawn it into the Hermetic system. We have a great magic system: building dozens of tiny little ones around it is just weird.
In this I also include the other Realms.