How do you see Ars Magica and Runequest different from D&D?
Ufff, where to start.
They are totally different. To start with, games like D&D put a huge stress on the character levelling up, getting better, with more powers, more awesome stuff, magical objects etc. In games like the ones I mention this does not happen. Characters progress at maximum by rising skills. There are no awesome talents that allow your dual sword wielding Halfling to perform a Whirlwind Diablo II style and hit all the engaged enemies (yes I talk about the Warhammer 3 card). Therefore, the players put the stress of the game somewhere else. On games like the ones I said, you will hardly ever find threads in their forums like "Dwarf Ironbroken", or "A player at my table is a munchkin", or "Soak monster", or "Paladin class overpowered" etc, because this things don't happen.
There is the issue of "Balance" introduced by D&D, I guess brought from PC games. It is a rpg, not a computer game, balance of what? The balance is found when all players have equal fun on the table and this won't happen necessarily because all the classes are balanced in terms of power. Balance of fun comes if players equally participate and intervene on the story narrated by the GM. Games like RQ don't give a @#&$ about balance, actually in Ars Magica the different type of characters are unbalanced in power on purpose, yet the guy playing with a grog will have equal fan as the guy next to him playing the powerful magician.
Buff, this is a loooong list of differences. I stop here, this is better discussed with a beer in a bar. It does not have too much sense to write.
Edited by Yepesnopes, 15 August 2014 - 08:34 AM.