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Codex Integrum Players Guide
by Iason-Eleftherios T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/19/2021 11:43:40

TLDR: If you like low fantasy and history-based RPGs GET THIS NOW!

Codex Integrum is an incredibly well-researched tool to create RPG adventures based on a late medieval theme. It can easily be adapted and integrated in other d20 systems, or campaigns that want to have a realistic medieval or Early Modern tone to them. However, where the Codex Integrumm Player's Guide really shines is if it is used solo or in combination with other Integrum supplements to create low fantasy, historical or pseudo-historical campaigns. Unlike the often frustrating characters of other games that do that, here you do not play a rat-catcher, but your character is always useful and not in a narrow context.

The various rules provided all support the creation of a narrative that is equally realistic and immersive. Melee combat is at the core of the Integrum titles and this book is not exception. The depth of rules, background and tables provide a well-curated, modular toolbox for the GM to pick what they want to implement in each game. If you want tools to create a new campaign that feels 'medieval' or want to add such elements to an already existing game, the Player's Guide is an invaluable tool. At the very least it will give you awesome narrative ideas. If used in depth I foresee a rabbithole of wikipedia history pages.

If you do not like medieval themes or martial arts you are probably here by accident and this game is not for you.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Codex Integrum Players Guide
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Codex Martialis: Core Rules (2021 Edition)
by Iason-Eleftherios T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/19/2021 11:15:23

TLDR: Best realistic combat rules to be used with their source game or easily convertable to d20 game systems.

Codex Martialis offers a unique way for running combat. As a professional historian dealing with martial culture and armaments I found the rules the best around in reflecting dangerous and complex actions that have consequences for the actor and their target. As an RPG GM I fell helmet over sabatons for this system because even though it looks complex it is straightforward, easy to learn and teach, and above all it provides a framework for turning combat into a narrative of its own. The book can be used with its mother game (Integrum) or easily adapted to d20 systems with micro-adjastments. I have used it now for a few months to spice up a DnD 5e campaign for a few months and players love the depth added to melee combat that has gone away from actions to simply hit and has turned into a series of calculated maneuvers that nearly always results in memorable combat narratives. The main axes of the book is the use of a dice pool over actions, that dictate the type of maneuvers and their effectiveness as chosen by the players. The second identifying feature is the 'Feats' designed for the system that allow melee characters to feel trully expert in perfmorming some actions and facilitate more complicated maneuvers. Finally, the weapons segment is amazing in diversifying how some of these objects were used rather than treating them as reskins. There is genuine thought behind why certain weapons fit the build of characters and how they can be used tactically. Optional rules for injuries are included and in my opinion they are a great working framework for use in most d20 rpgs that want some realism but do not want to reach the other end of unrealistic over-the-top gritty-gruesomeness that is often prevalent is some systems.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Codex Martialis: Core Rules (2021 Edition)
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Codex Martialis: Core Rules (2021 Edition)
by John S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/21/2021 17:19:36

I am a long time DM, who plays a fantasy campaign, but with a nod towards history. I appreciate the fantasy aspect of role-playing, and I certainly love a well placed fireball. However, I've always tried to connect the history, to the combat. So, for years I created my own alterations to the DD system, to accomodate my wants. i like when the fights really mean something, and are a highlight of our gathering.

Because of my interest in historical combat, I ended up getting involved in Hema. So, it's a wonderful discovery to find a system based upon these historical techniques and manuals, and written by someone that actually is inolved in the community.

It's a lot to chew on, but it achieves my interest in making the fighting sequences more climactic and chess like. And to see all the terminology from the medieval manuals as actual terminology in this book is exhiliarating.

I prefer to focus on storylines, so when I do get to a fight sequence, I am willing to put in the effort to make it significant - not simply some quick rolls, and off to the next pack of kobolds.

I kind of have my own fantasy elements, so I don't know if I would go with every aspect of this book. I might take what I need to add to my current campaign. But, if I opt for a full historical campaign, down the line, this seems like the way to go (even though there is still a magic system within Codex).

As a side bonus, the historical aspect of this book is compelling from a purely historical perspective. It feels like I am actually learning about the tried-and-true methods of how combat actually unfolded, and classes of people from the past, places, etc.Then to add this to my existing campaign is seriously fun!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Codex Integrum Players Guide
by John S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/21/2021 17:16:47

I bought this, on a whim, along with the fighting guide. I was fascinated by the combat system, and so it made sense to dive in with both.

The research that has gone into this, is evident. So, it is a fantastic resource for those that appreciate adding historical aspects to their game. I use a fantasy map, and use many of the classic character types, but this has given me ideas flushing out my universe.

i am not ready to run a purely historical setting, but I have always operated my campaign with the Tolkein mindset of one foot in fantasy, one in reality. So, I temper my fantasy elements, but I have no problem adding rules and material based in history.

So, this is a wonderful compendium to get material for just about any style of campaign. Definitely for history folks, but this would work well in a fantasy world as well - I'd recommend for either setting.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Codex Integrum Players Guide
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Codex Martialis: Quick Start Guide
by John S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/21/2021 16:46:54

This system is wonderful, but it's a lot to consume. The reward is great if you like tactical combat, with an emphasis on medieval history. Quick start guide is helpful to chew on the wealth of research that is within the combat system. So, it was the quickest way to learn if I could integrate this into my campaign. But, since I am Hema practicioner, I had a feeling I would:)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Codex Martialis: Quick Start Guide
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Core and Campaign Rules bundle [BUNDLE]
by John S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/21/2021 16:42:13

I am a big fan of this system. So, this bundle was a great way to dive in. If you don't use the entire system, you'll have plenty to cherry pick from.

Even though I have a fantasy element to waht I do, the historical aspect of this hit the spot for me!

I may go full on down the line, but for now, I cherry pick the great stuff. Worth it for the effort that clearly has gone into these books.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Core and Campaign Rules bundle [BUNDLE]
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Codex Martialis: Core Rules (2021 Edition)
by Richard S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/28/2021 15:28:45

I really enjoy what was done here. I have done a couple battles with the new rules and it makes combat much more tactical. Should I ditch the spear and go in close with my knife? Should I go all out or hold back for a potential parry? Should I try to punch through that armor or look for a weak spot? It adds a whole new dimension to gaming. I've been looking for something like this since I was kid in the 80s. I always found something lacking in most RPG combat. Now I hope to introduce this to a couple players and see what happens. This would work well in a low magic setting, something like Conan. Sometimes the numbers seem way off but when you play they make sense. Highly recommended. I can't wait to build some more characters and do some more test battles. Loads of fun! And not overly complex. Combat will take longer but it will be so much more rewarding than the old stand still and full attack in other games.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Codex Martialis: Core Rules (2021 Edition)
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The Road to Monsterberg, Chapter 1
by Jack G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/21/2021 11:45:51

Full disclosure I was playtester for the Monsterberg Adventure.

When I ran it I was playtesting it according to the letter of the book, which is great but not necessarily how it’s meant to be run. Monsterberg is more a toolbox that gives the GM loads of options. The biggest plus of the adventure is definitely Jean, he is always easy to talk about the setting and easy to reach over the forum. https://www.codexintegrum.com/forums/

Monsterberg is what I refer to as historical +, so everything is beautifully researched but with historical fantasy elements, so there’s magic, but magic the way they thought it worked, which is loviingly researched and laid out in the Superno book.

I would definitely suggest a session 0 for combat and explaining the system, this is also a good opportunity to decide how you want to set how dense you want the rules and what your own version of Monsterberg will look like. This also gives you a chance to set expectations on “genre”, Monsterberg is not a marvel film, it’s more like Ocean’s 11 crossed with Joe Abercrombie’s First Law series. Where some systems don’t want you to preplan the operation and prep and let you go backwards and hand wave you have the thing you need or did the right thing that’s not how Monsterberg works. Monsterberg is about doing things “smart”, you prep, you evaluate risks and play the best strategy to get out alive. Minmaxing is encouraged to achieve this. If you don’t get this into your players, you won’t get 100% out of Monsterberg.

We ran it in roll20, if you want to use the adventure we built just write me on the forum I’ll send it over. At first we built macros for the attacks etc. this worked really well but added a lot of time to our prep. personally I’m a bit of a free wheeler as a GM and once the npc sheets were updated and streamlined it was a lot easier to just run it as dicerolls, it’s more a question of preference. If you want details on how to add macros for attacks in roll20 just check the Codex Integrum forum where’s there’s a guide with the code already added.

I would suggest you run through with players how you can get more dice into attacks and into damage before the game and have a printoff sheet of these options. If you use them they will really add an element to the game. Anybody who has fired a rifle will know how much of a difference shooting prone on a bipod vs standing makes etc. I would also have a discussion with your players how much lethality you want in the system and adjust to meet it. Monsterberg is not ‘Lethal” system per se, neither is it a dnd slogfest.

My players took a while to adjust to this kind of in-between damage system where things could take a few turns to die or just one depending on crits. For next time I would probably prepare a range of “damage results” to kind of tell the players whether it was an actually damaging wound or not.

If your players are uncomfortable with foreign languages make sure to name things for them to reduce their shyness, you can use google or wikipedia to find out how to pronounce things. it doesn’t really matter though nobody’s the Polish pronunciation police. But Monsterberg should feel a bit weird and foreign, it’s a weird and foreign place for the PCs too.

KEEP TRACK OF DAMAGE, MONEY, SUPPLIES REST ETC this is something that is pretty important to the Monsterberg vibe. Monsterberg this helps keep the players feel a bit more immersed and constantly problem solving and feeling grounded in the world and under threat, which is what Monsterberg is all about.

to recap. If you are looking for a hyper realistic setting with load of hard choices and management of resources with easy tools that can you can adjust to your needs then Monsterberg is it.

If you like OSR this is probably 4.5/5

If you like lite RPGs with inovative mechanics this is going to be 3/5, unless you do some very simple switches that are outlined in the forum which probably bumps it to a 5/5

If you like hyper realism and gritty in depth campaigns with engaged players who are looking at squeezing every bit of advantage out of the rules this is probably going to be 5/5 with a bonus dice off the bat

If you are looking for high fantasy quick rolling fast and loose with loads of magic with no prep on player or GM side, this is probably not what you are looking for



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Road to Monsterberg, Chapter 1
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Codex Superno
by Jeremiah S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/15/2021 13:41:41

Quote from the author:

"it was a world of many profound mysteries. It was a world whose inhabitants, both the educated and rational as well as the poor and superstitious, fervently believed in magic and saw the world around them as being heavily under magical influences, for better and worse."

Codex Superno seeks (and succeeds) to give gamers and casual readers alike, a glimpse into a world where the lines between seen and unseen, known and unknown, corporeal and ethereal, are not just blurred, but coexist in their supremacy.

As a game supplement (Built upon the common SRD) this book offers a fantastic resource for those seeking to add more realism to their late medieval fantasy world, and provides clear guidelines on how to integrate a magic system into a real world (or low to no magic) late medieval setting. Providing not only well researched context, spells and cantrips, but a very important infrastructure based on belief. i.e if one type of magic exists, then it all must exist.

After a thorough read through I found the new rules provided, easy to follow, and more importantly made sense from a real world integration standpoint. I also enjoyed the tweaks (albeit slight) to the SRD spell set. The additional spell set was also well researched and a fun read on its own, with plenty of context and historical details to really flesh out a game setting. Superno really shines here in the way it makes Magic (or rather harnessing mystical forces) a tricky, arduous and sometimes very dangerous business, both supernaturally and legally. The introduction of a "Magic and the Law'' system and the "state of sin” foil I found particularly intriguing and well thought out. Roll players interested in history will certainly find a feast here, and from the looks of it a very fun and engrossing way to reimagine something often glossed over in a normal fantasy setting.

For the Casual reader, Codex Superno bridges a gap that is often overlooked as well. In a world where rational thought, and scientific processes are simply the way we explain things to ourselves nowadays, Superno lets you peek back to a time when Superstition, Magic, Science and Faith, were intertwined and were simultaneously used to explain and solve the problems that real people faced in their real lives. This is done in a way that isn't dry and laborious, like a research paper would be, but with great care to make it fun and interactive.

In short this book is a Fantastic resource for anyone interested in history, the occult, magic and the law and of course roll players of all types.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Codex Superno
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Codex Martialis: Core Rules (2021 Edition)
by Cory T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/19/2020 05:07:41

This is a fantastic work! Innovative combat system with so much crunch and nitty-gritty details I wouldn't know where to begin. Highly recommended as a rules supplement and as a weapons & armor reference.

I noticed the author's old site is down (codexmartialis.com). Done anyone know how the contact the author/publisher? Would love to see the old forums & discussion, rules ideas.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Codex Martialis: Core Rules (2021 Edition)
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Creator Reply:
The website has been temporarily moved (though it's kind of invisible to Google) as our old webhost died. We are going to have a new site up in the near future but the old stuff is archived here and we still monitor it and use it as kind of a blog for ongoing research. There is a lot of new stuff in the works so stay tuned! http://www.codex.masterplanfoundation.com/
And thank you for the review!
New website and forum at: https://www.codexintegrum.com/
The Medieval Baltic, Volume I
by Andrew A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/14/2018 17:22:29

This is really fun to read. Its packed with tidbits that will liven up your ongoing campaign. It is also an elaborate set and setting for a new campaign. Kind of perfect for LOFTP fans. Which I am.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Medieval Baltic, Volume I
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Codex Martialis: Armor and Missile Weapons of the Ancient World
by Pierre-Olivier B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/02/2012 02:17:59

This book is the second part of Codex Martialis Weapons of the Ancient World. As for the first part treating weapons (link : http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/63628), the book has a high level of quality in content and in historical illustrations. There are numerous myths and clichés about armors ... the author tries to get rid of them in a scientific historical kind of approach. And though the book is very complete and well illustrated, it remains practical to be used or at least transposed to any RPG. For my part, I also like it as an historical source of knowledge about armors.

I gave it 5 stars for the content (I really do not miss my 10 dollars).

Pierre-Olivier Bourge (french mother language, so please excuse my poor english)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Codex Martialis: Armor and Missile Weapons of the Ancient World
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Codex Martialis: Melee Weapons of the Ancient World
by Pierre-Olivier B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/02/2012 02:03:04

Citing the author : "Our goal with 'Weapons of the Ancient World' is to place pre-industrial weapons into an historically based functional context. Though many weapon compendiums have been written for various RPGs, the real functional differences of ancient weapons have never been accurately differentiated – leading to a variety of clichés such as the ludicrous idea that a twelve inch dagger is a nuisance weapon that can barely hurt you. Weapons are different not just in how they look, but how they work. ..."

This book is by far more serious than a RPG's compendium could let think of it at first. It is built on real historical point of view (illustrations and documentations), from which, you will learn a lot on 'real weapons' (not the usual description of RPG's weapons). Nevertheless, the content is practical and can be used in any RPG (or at least transposed to any).

I gave it 5 stars for the content (I really do not miss my 10 dollars). If you are interested in this book, look at its twin : Codex Martialis Weapons of the Ancient World Part II: Armor and Missile Weapons.

Pierre-Olivier Bourge (french mother language, so please excuse my poor english)



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Codex Martialis: Melee Weapons of the Ancient World
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The Medieval Baltic, Volume I
by Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/05/2012 08:45:04

originally posted at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2012/04/05/tabletop-review-codex-guide-to-the-medieval-baltic/

I highly recommend that anyone wishing to become a Game Master start collecting books and forming a reference library. There are lots of books that can help any GM create a more “realistic” campaign setting, especially when playing in a low (magic) fantasy campaign world. Understanding how different people interact with each other and their environment goes a long way in being able to portray a believable setting to your players.

This codex details what 15th century life was like in the area around the Baltic sea. The codex gives a good overview of the region and “drills-down” to give some great specific details that can liven up any fantasy campaign. I’ll have to admit that my initial impression of this PDF was rather poor. First of all, it costs $15 for an electronic copy. $15 can buy a GM both Life in a Medieval City and Life in a Medieval Castle in paperback. My demo copy was marked as being draft version 2.52 and I know that the file size is now listed as larger than what I’ve received. Is the PDF finalized, or is it still a work in progress? The author also added a forum link for people to help him find errors and listed a number of people as “Casual Proofreaders“. This, along with a reference to his “smoking hot mama” wife did little to make me think this was a document I’d be happy spending $15 on.

This was all just from page 2 of 268!

The document’s index started on page three and there was almost a page and a half dedicated to listing the various terms described in the eight page glossary. Although the author describes his work as a reference document, he decided to write about the 15th century in the present tense and then going on to joke about the language used in the book before devoting a paragraph to writing about modern fantasy and science fiction terminology to illustrate his point regarding keeping period terminology and proper names in his work. A bibliography and references, with web links, are provided while at the same time this large document doesn’t have a single PDF bookmark. Navigating the document is difficult at best, and the whole thing seems to be a general college research paper that was simply expanded and put online to make a few bucks.

If you can get past these warts, the Codex can actually be a good tool for a GM. I’ve only read through this document once and I’m not sure how many more readings it will take me to unlock some of the great things I can take and bring into my game world. While most sections of each chapter of the book are rather general in nature, not unlike what you’d find in other reference books, each section has extra details that really help bring the period to life. In the small coinage section there is a listing of coin denominations and their relative values. Pretty common fare, but the information goes on to describe furs as currency. Just a page later the author gives a few wages and prices, but goes on in better specific detail other resources usually skip over, “Day wage for a Carpenter or a mason in Saxony 2 groschen and 4 dinari, plus two jugs of ‘hornet’ beer, 3 groschen per week as bath money. Monthly wage = 29 Kreuzer per month (assuming a 5 day work week and not counting the beer)”

These details really help bring the subject matter to life. I don’t know how many times I’ve had PCs spend some “down time” trying to use an auxiliary skill to make some money. Instead of simply stating they make a certain number of gold pieces for their efforts I could reduce that amount and give them some credit at the bath house and provide them with beer. I’m sure my Dwarven PCs will love the beer and hate the fact that some of their wages are baths!

I would recommend the codex to someone wanting to use the setting for their campaign or a GM who wants to be able to get a little insight into the medieval world. Personally I would like to see the PDF edited some more, bookmarked, and make available for a more reasonable price, but it is still a worthwhile GM resource.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
The Medieval Baltic, Volume I
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Codex Martialis: Melee Weapons of the Ancient World
by William W. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/02/2012 08:11:20

An incredibly detailed and thorough document on historical weaponry for the OGL 3.5 rules. While this book may not have the fancy design and layout of many other RPG books, it makes up for this in content - a glossary of weapon terms, historical context, a brief history of metallurgy, new weapon rules (shield hooking, slashing the weapon hand, etc.), with color and black and white illustrations and photos on practically every page.

Not many gamers desire this level of detail in their RPGs, but if you're looking to fact-check your historical OGL game, this is the book to have. I don't often give five stars to a product, but this book perfectly accomplishes its goal, and has well earned it.



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Codex Martialis: Melee Weapons of the Ancient World
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