Codex Superno (Magic Rulebook)

Wield Magic that Works the Way Medieval Peasants Feared

In 2008 we put the sword of the Renaissance fencing master into the hands of desktop RPG gamers. Today, we put the grimoires of the Renaissance magus in your hands.

“Only for you, children of doctrine & learning, have we written this work. Examine this book, ponder the meaning we have dispersed in various places & gathered again; what we have concealed in one place we have disclosed in another, that it may be understood by your wisdom.”
-Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa

Codex Superno is a new sourcebook from the designers of Codex Martialis, which introduces the dimension of magic derived from mythological and historical sources. Since the early days of fantasy genre literature, authors have invented magic very loosely based on the legends and mythology of the ancient world. Tabletop role playing games have inherited these magic systems and made them their own, with further changes and modifications that make it all more logical and easier to play with. We have become comfortable with these derivative genres and they are familiar to us.

But should magic ever be familiar or comfortable? Have you ever wondered what sources Lovecraft or Robert E Howard, Michael Moorcock or Jack Vance were inspired by when they made up their own legends of the supernatural and the uncanny? Who was the inspiration for Abdul Alhazred or the Necromonicon? Who were the real wizards of the ancient world, and what were the real forbidden books they kept in their libraries?

From the time of knightly swords and armor, castles and Cathedrals, there were real grimoires and very real practitioners of magic, all of whom left their own mark on history however big or small. Many can be read today in their own voices, in fact more of the real ancient grimoires, treatises on alchemy and a wide variety of esoteric literature written centuries ago have been transcribed and translated today than at any other time since they were originally put to paper.

Suitable for a medieval historical or fantasy RPG setting, Codex Superno is a new gaming supplement which takes you to a place where someone was just as likely to rely on a magic talisman for protection as they were upon steel armor and the edge of a sharp sword. The world of Copernicus, Albrecht Dürer, and Christine de Pisan was awakening to reason and the liberating promise of technology, but it was also a realm of sorcery and the occult. Dr Faustus, Cornelius Agrippa, and John Dee walked the same streets, and their skills were very much in demand.

Codex Superno opens the hidden cellar door to the spells, the alchemy, the talismans and amulets, the grimoires and practitioners of this other place centuries in the past. It is a domain at once surprisingly contemporary and familiar, while simultaneously alien and dangerous. Prepare if you will to enter the capricious, mystical, syncretic realm of a character you might never have encountered before: The Renaissance Magus.

Bringing Magic to Martialis

Codex Superno is an historically based sourcebook for magic, including Cantrips,  spells, talismans, amulets, alchemy, herbal medicine and automata. It also outlines a spell failure system, and delves into the diverse threads of the historical and literary roots of esoteric practices in medieval Europe. Codex Superno is derived directly from medieval and Classical grimoires and other literary sources from the medieval and Early Modern period. It includes a list of historical practitioners and a bibliography of real magical grimoires and treatises. This is not the cartoonish magic you are used to from most RPGs, but something far more chilling, deeper rooted in our culture, and more evocative of danger and liminal spaces.