Medieval Player’s Manual

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This is a guide to roleplaying in medieval Britain.

OK, I don’t need to ask why Green Ronin thought it would be a good idea for me to write a book about the Middle Ages. Indeed, the president of Green Ronin wrote to the president of Atlas suggesting that he should really be charging an advertising fee, given the number of Ars Magica books I referenced in the bibliography. Fortunately, the respective presidents are friends, so there wasn’t a problem.

In some ways, this book is even more medieval than Ars Magica. The magic system in Ars Magica, while brilliant, is not at all medieval. For this book, I created magic systems based on actual medieval beliefs about magic. (I own a medieval necromantic text, in a handy paperback edition, and a few other books on the subject.) I also included rules for priests and saints, to keep the Church as central as it was in the middle ages, and for scholars and artists, to try to push the scope of the game beyond physical combat.

I really enjoyed writing this book, and I’d like to have a proper chance to play in the setting at some point. In fact, I’d like to place most of the “What if…” campaign ideas in the final section. That may have something to do with the fact that I came up with them, of course. I don’t think it’s particularly deep or profound, but I do think it does a decent job of making the d20 system properly medieval. The biggest weakness, in retrospect, is the limited discussion of non-human supernatural entities. Still, there wasn’t really space to fit much more in the book.