When will Codex Martialis be available in 5e?

To get an idea of how we got here, you can check out the forum post A brief history of the Codex Martialis. Below we will describe the road ahead for Codex vis a vis 5th Edition and the Old School Revival, and a new gaming resource we are planning to release.

So when will Codex Martialis be available in 5E?

Short answer is we expect to have a 5E version of Codex Martialis Core Rules by Summer 2021. Longer answer is that since we launched Codex Integrum in Sept of 2020 and updated the Core Rules, we have been looking closely at untangling Codex from version 3.X, and making a 5E compatible version. Version 3 was the last DnD variant with an OGL license before 5, and at the time it was written there was an expectation among gamers to adhere fairly closely to the canon rules.

In the last few weeks we have begun the first part of converting to 5E by starting to remove 3.X specific content from the Core Rules and our other sourcebooks. There will be two or three more rounds of changes before this is finished. Then we are going to begin to make adaptations to specific 5E content so as to be compliant with the 5E OGL contract. We are also interested in making Codex more easily adaptable to “Old School Revival” games, and to this end we are developing a new sourcebook called Codex Martialis Stara Szkoła, a simpler, OSR friendly, system agnostic version of Codex Martialis which will come with a beginner’s low-level fantasy adventure module, The Devils Pass. We expect this to be released in Spring of 2021.

To some extent, Codex Martialis has always been system agnostic since each sourcebook essentially replaces part of the DnD / OGL rules. Codex Core rules replaces the default combat rules, and now Codex Superno to a large extent replaces the magic system. The big piece remaining is Character Generation, which poses several unique challenges, some of which I outlined in this blog post on historical character design, which explores some of the thinking behind our historically based “lifepath” character generation system, the Codex Ingenium. Ingenium currently exists as a computer application and is being used to create characters and NPCs for our Codex Adventum products. It is in the process of being adapted into a book which we are planning to release in the fall of 2021. This will be a 5E compatible product.

Codex Martialis Stara Szkoła

Few today remember the “good old days” of tabletop role playing when the very concept of an RPG was new, the whole experience was very much a mystery, the rules were fairly simple, and your character was a humble adventurer boldly facing a world full of unknown terrors. But this type of gaming is now familiar thanks to the “Old School Revival” and the many spinoffs like Dungeoncrawl Classics, 13th Age and so forth. For a lot of people, the OSR brought a lot of the fun, the humor, and the peril back to gaming night.

But for some, exploring these retro dungeons was a slight let down when it came to combat. When the confrontation with that dreaded Hobgoblin finally happened, and there he was with his gleaming fangs dripping spittle and his vicious curved blade flashing out of the sheath… it came down to “Ok roll to hit AC 7. You hit, 4 points of damage.”

If you were looking for something a little bit more “Cut – Parry – Riposte – Decapitate!” then Codex Martialis – Stara Szkoła is for you. This consists of:

  • A simplified Codex Martialis Core Rules, designed to be ‘version agnostic’ and based on the OGL, which will allow you to bring the fun and dynamism of historical combat to your game.
  • A simplified magic system with spells from the Codex Superno, as mysterious and evocative as the ancient cities and gothic towers of the Renaissance.
  • Twelve sample characters of 2nd and 3rd level, simple to play as they are engaging to inhabit.
  • The Devil’s Pass – A simple fantasy adventure module for characters levels 1-3. The Devil’s Pass is set in a remote frontier zone, where a lonely fortified abbey is the sole outpost for humans travelling in the shadow of the Riesengebirge, the Giant Mountains. Once, in generations past, this was an important crossroad for trade through the pass across the gloomy mountain range. But humanoids inflitrating through the hills have made travel through the pass all but impossible. Can you be the one to solve the sinister mysteries of this perilous valley, and restore the region to it’s former prosperity?
  • And a great deal of advice and resources for GMs and players new to the Codex system. This includes things like equipment tables, maps, NPCs and more.