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

Alphabet of the Magi

“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

HecateCodex 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.

CharivariSuitable 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.

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Reviews (3)
Discussions (4)
Customer avatar
Mark B February 08, 2024 2:03 am UTC
I love this author and series. HEMA? Historical magical systems in a low magic system? I get the feeling we could be friends! Pity about the d20 system, but the other stuff is great. My favourite is the actual how to cast the spell, like pulling your ears to make your hearing better and such.
Customer avatar
Peter V February 08, 2024 5:41 am UTC
We are moving away from some of the D20 / OGL stuff. We have already updated our core (combat) rules and players guide, and our weapon and armor books. Superno is due for a (free) update which will remove some OGL content and will include at least a couple of dozen new historical spells.
Customer avatar
Peter V November 15, 2020 5:41 am UTC
Done, I didn't realize it lacked a preview. This has been rectified.
Customer avatar
B C C November 04, 2020 7:08 pm UTC
I agree with Chad H. We need a full-size preview of this book! Also, just to confirm, this is for D&D 3.5 ?? What is its compatibility with Pathfinder 1st Edition and D&D 5e?
Customer avatar
Peter V December 07, 2020 5:54 pm UTC
It is designed for 3.5 OGL but is somewhat system agnostic, so you should be able to adapt it for 5E or Pathfinder. It can be used to borrow ideas or individual spells, items or creatures for a traditional game, or it can be used as a replacement for the default magic system. In addition to the historically derived magic, Superno also provides guidelines for converting traditional OGL spells to a context more suitable for an historical setting and provides and alternative system of spell memorization and casting (with the possibility for potentially hazardous spell failure, especially when cast hastily).
Customer avatar
James L October 28, 2021 6:06 am UTC
D&D 3.5, PF1E and d20.. are basically twin sisters. If you've dated one of them, you've dated all of them.
Customer avatar
Peter V October 28, 2021 3:50 pm UTC
The direction we are really going is basically toward OSR, while keeping the door open for 5E. Most of the rules are in Codex itself, but this particular book - the Superno - is easy to borrow spells and artifacts from for any version of DnD, and you could also use the (optional) spell casting rules easily.
Customer avatar
Chad H November 01, 2020 7:47 pm UTC
Could you add a preview? The description's very intriguing.
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Product Information
Silver seller
Publisher Stock #
Superno 100
File Size:
18.47 MB
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File Last Updated:
March 30, 2022
This title was added to our catalog on October 31, 2020.