Reply To: New reviews Sept – Dec 2021

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Hans Hellinger

Iason-Eleftherios T. 10/19/21

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.