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Codex Martialis: Melee Weapons of the Ancient World
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Codex Martialis: Melee Weapons of the Ancient World

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Halberd, German, 15th Century

It's a dangerous world out there. And today's adventurers have a dangerous job. Ransacking ancient tombs, defeating evil sorcerers, voyaging through the remote bandit-haunted wilderness, unveiling the sinister plots of semi-human cultists... this is not a good line of work for the timid or the ill-prepared. Of course, the responsible adventurer always hopes to achieve their goals as peacefully as possible, while remaining fully aware of the sad reality that not all monsters, villains, or ravenous beasts of the gloomy forest glade are susceptible to reason and diplomacy. Some beasts of the gloomy forest glade can be surprisingly unreasonable.

,Longsword, Czech, early 16th Century

In fact given how unreasonable they often are, there comes a point which can arrive with dramatic speed, when polite conversation has reached an impasse. Sometimes, you just have to let your spear do your talking for you. Also your halberd, your battle axe, your mace, your sword, your dagger, your war hammer, your flail and / or your brass knuckles. It is for this unfortunate but often inevitable stage of discourse that the equipment found in this book is most valuable and most well suited. In fact, the kit found in these pages is incredibly effective for such applications, and will allow you the adventurer to puncture, pierce, smash, crush, slice, slash and hack to bits even the most formidable and intransigent malefactor with relative ease, making the rest of your duties such as collecting and sorting treasure, identifying ancient artifacts, reading and deciphering clues, and solving various dark mysteries that much easier and more pleasurable.

Shashka Saber, Ukraine, 16th Century

This is made possible because the adventurer of fantasy role playing games has distant cousins in the real world who lived in many respects a similar life. The professional mercenaries of the Renaissance, the knights of the Middle Ages, the formidable barbarian warriors of the Iron Age, the Legionnaires and Hoplites of the Classical period, all had to contend with similar annoyances (not to mention each other). As did the pirates, vikings, bandits, rogues, brigands, steppe raiders, berserkers, cossacks, highwaymen, rebels, reivers and corsairs with whom they shared the real world. As a result of the murderous brawling among these folks over the last two or three thousand years, and with the beasts of the real world such as ravenous wolf packs, crazed grizzly bears, tigers, enraged war elephants, hungry lions and the occasional angry cow* a marvelous array of highly effective equipment was created. Now, thanks to our efforts, the well fitted out adventurer can select several of the best from this very book, and ladies and gentlemen, these are the real deal.

Sword, Frankish, 11th Century

So if you have lost faith in your bat winged, fang encrusted dragon sword or your meter wide Hanna Barbarian axe blade, and are craving some thing a bit more... real, fear not brave adventurer, for a whole new arsenal awaits...

Sword, Bronze, Hallstadt culture, 7thC BC

(* see Auruchs)


 Customers Who Bought this Title also Purchased
Reviews (6)
Discussions (0)
November 2nd, 2012
Citing the author : "Our goal with 'Weapons of the Ancient World' is to place pre-industrial weapons into an historically based functional context. Though many weapon compendiums have been written for various RPGs, the real functional differences [...]
William W. [Featured Reviewer]
March 2nd, 2012
An incredibly detailed and thorough document on historical weaponry for the OGL 3.5 rules. While this book may not have the fancy design and layout of many other RPG books, it makes up for this in content - a glossary of weapon terms, historical contex [...]
January 26th, 2011
Author: Jean Henri Chandler. Contents: 120 portable document format black and white pages, 1 title and credit page, 5 contents pages, 19 pages of introduction, 82 pages of weapon statistics, 7 appendices pages, 4 bibliography and recommended media page [...]
Erathoniel W. [Featured Reviewer]
October 25th, 2010
Codex Martialis is a giant pack of weapon goodness. The one downside: Not much that isn't easily available. However, since it's all statted out, this can be forgiven, since I've never seen such a large collection of weapons all statted out for t [...]
November 15th, 2009
This is one of those magnificent must-have books. I'm really pleased with Ire Games care about customers and the way they update the content. This is the living prove that there's no need to rely always on a "big publisher" (attending to its [...]
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File Last Updated:
July 29, 2022
This title was added to our catalog on July 26, 2009.