Codex Superno

Game Review

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Codex Superno offers a truly superior magic system for a low magic setting.

Low magic games can be tricky to run. If you’re taking a game like Pathfinder or Dungeons & Dragons, and trying to make a gritty, realistic, low magic campaign, you’re often forced to restrict magic progression. That can be a little bland.

Codex Superno lets you build a world that is rich, interesting, and full of truly unique plot hooks and potential campaign arcs. In the introduction, the author explains how they took a deep dive into real world historical records of magic, astrology, alchemy and herbology, as well as historical documentation regarding religious magic.

Yes, that’s right, the Catholic Church really did practice a special brand of holy magic!

The book maintains some of the basic mechanics from Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition. So the learning curve isn’t too bad. Your low level spells from STR content still function in the system. However, they also give you a list of original spells that is rooted in real world books and grimoires. They flesh out ritual magic by providing actual instructions to rituals. In these rituals reflect historical accounts and beliefs of the people that practiced this magic centuries ago.

If you’re thinking about a low magic campaign with a grittier feel, you absolutely have to pick up this book. If you’re playing any of the other Codex systems, you absolutely have to pick up this book. If you enjoy historical myths and legends around magic, sorcery, and witchcraft, you absolutely have to pick up this book.

As I read Superno, I developed a dozen ideas for various storylines and settings centered around this magic system. I haven’t run a low magic game for a while, but I’m excited to start one now.

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