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Codex Martialis: Core Rules (2022 Edition)

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If you are interested in Codex Martialis, this is the main rulebook for Combat

A Kriegsmesser

Combat mechanics in the service of narrative

Codex Martialis is designed to engage that feeling of being in a brawl, so that combat can more seamlessly become part of the story. Whether your RPG is about ‘armed hobos’ kicking in dungeon doors, or heroic avatars of good and evil battling it out in the clouds, CM helps you to tell your story, up to and including the bloody bits, while retaining a sense of immersion and agency. Using Codex, you can emphasize attack, defense, or maneuver just like you would with a sword in your hand. Your choices of kit and training affect how you fight, and are part of the story.

Combat is drama, it is an acceleration of a story, an escalation of tension, it should not stop the story or become a detour. It should add to the story, Intensify it. By making a careful analysis of real fighting techniques, weapons, and historical armor, and how these elements interplay, we created combat rules which were bring this all together in an intuitive manner. To let the gamer experience some of the natural flow of decision making, dilemmas, and innovation which can take place in a fight.

This is the complete core rules for combat using the Codex Martialis system, with new sections including horses and mounted combat, OGL Feats compatability charts, sample characters, sample animals, and new optional combat rules. For more rules related to character generation and historical gaming, see the Codex Integrum Player's Guide.

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Reviews (8)
Discussions (2)
Customer avatar
Star Z June 16, 2022 6:55 am UTC
PURCHASER
Does anyone know if it'd be possible to use this system with games that aren't based on D&D 5E and/or don't use D20 roll-over as their dice mechanic?

Specifically, I want to try using it with Whitehack 3E or one of the variants of the Cepheus system. (Sword of Cepheus, probably.)

Or should I just wait for Stara Szkoła to be released and try my luck with that?
Reply
Customer avatar
Star Z June 16, 2022 6:58 am UTC
PURCHASER
Does anyone know if it'd be possible to use this system with games that aren't based on D&D and/or don't use D20 roll-over as their dice mechanic?

Specifically, I want to try using it with Whitehack 3E or one of the variants of the Cepheus system. (Sword of Cepheus, probably.)

Or should I just wait for Stara Szkoła to be released and try my luck with that?
Customer avatar
Sean D July 28, 2021 1:48 am UTC
PURCHASER
I'm hoping to get some clarification on two of the rules. On page 14 it says "Keep in mind that a shield always gains a 'Free Dice' in any Active Defense roll.", but on page 58 it says "Anyone with the shield proficiency can make an extra Active Defense die roll for their shield". Am I not understanding something, or is this a slight contradiction - either a shield "always" grants an extra die on AD, or you need the shield proficiency to get the extra die when using AD.

My other question is that on page 15 it says "A successful Critical Hit from a Bludgeon weapon requires the target to make a Fort Save, with the DC equal to the attackers die-roll." I first read this to mean the to-hit roll, but I want to be certain that this means the damage roll, since that's the only way I see it could work.

Excellent product, by the way. This is the single most useful thing I've found since returning to RPGs after 35 years. It fixes every single thing that bugged...See more
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Customer avatar
Chris B October 21, 2021 4:44 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Sounds like, to me, it means you get one free dice, and if you have the shield proficiency you get a second.
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Customer avatar
Jonathan S October 22, 2021 8:56 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Hi Sean, sorry for the long delay in replying. DriveThru doesn't seem to always notify us when we get comments, so the forum (at Codex Integrum) is the best place to pose questions like this.

So to the first question, the answer is yes the shield grants you a Free Dice so long as you spend at least one die on Active Defense. This does assume you know how to use a shield though "Shield Proficiency" as such isn't something we really track any more (that is left over from an earlier version of Core Rules which more closely adhered to 3.5 OGL).

The K/O threat for a blunt weapon Critical Hit is indeed based on the damage roll of the attacker. We answer a few more of these kinds of questions incidentally in a FAQ at the end of the Players Guide. And since you like Codex a lot, (if you haven't already) please leave a review, those help a lot!
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This title was added to our catalog on December 25, 2009.