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Mystery Codex RPG Review

Posted on September 20, 2004 by Flames


Available at RPGnow.com

Written by C. J. Carella, Eden Studios (EDN4001)

The first supplement available for Witchcraft, Mystery Codex provides all the information needed to keep your Witchcraft tabletop role-playing game fresh.

First off, time is taken to update anyone still using an older version of Witchcraft to the current version, as published in Eden Studio’s CJ Carella’s Witchcraft. With this information, you DO NOT need to buy the latest version of the main book if you own the previous version of Witchcraft published by Myrmidon Press.

As always, the artwork and writing are top-notch. The cover grabs your attention, while the artwork on the inside doesn’t distract you from the wonderful words. It’s nice to not be talked down to by role-playing game developers. I like being treated as an equal, even if they do write and draw bunches better than I do. Here’s another book from Eden Studios that you can’t go wrong buying.

New character types and Covenants/Associations are introduced. While these are covered in part of Chapter Two, Chapter Four goes into more depth on these new Associations. The Fellowship of Judas is a group of vampyres that worship the concept of Free Will. The House of Thanatos seeks a way around mortality. Most of its members have returned from the dead in one form or another. The Pariahs seek to fight back against abusers, becoming agents of justice, or vigilantes. They also try to hide and protect themselves from normal humans who will not understand what they are. The Storm Dragons are a secret society dedicated to fighting evil supernatural creatures, using Oriental methodology.

Inhumans are discussed in Chapter Three. Inhumans consist of Spirits, Ghosts, Undead (yes, that includes vampyres), and Phantasms. The chapter is fairly in-depth, even providing material on how to create player characters that are Inhumans.

More Metaphysical items are provided. Invocations, Necromancy, the Storm Dragon’s Tao-chi, Immortality, and more Items of Power are discussed. The horrid Disciplines of the Flesh are brought forth in this chapter. The Disciplines of the Flesh are nasty creatures, perhaps once human, that have the ability to change what their flesh looks like and what makes up their flesh content.

The Supernaturals portion of the book discusses Sephiroth, including Malkuth and Geburah. Long time players of KULT will recognize those two names. In fact, the whole of the Archons are used in this game. However, instead of being entities and ideals as they are in KULT, the Sephiroths are considered different realms of reality. We exist at the center of this reality on Malkuth. Kether is the furthest from us. It is also the most metaphysical. Gateways are also discussed, places where it is easy to travel between the worlds of the Sephiroth.

New Dark Covenants are introduced as antagonists for player characters. Dark Covenants are groups of Mundanes and Gifted who want to use their means to help what is normally considered evil.

Information on Ferals (shapeshifters) is made available. There is also a page on animal spirits. Much more information on Ferals and Spirit Patrons can be found in the Abomination Codex.

The back of the book contains a Glossary, pre-generated characters, and some charts for ease of use. And there’s an INDEX! Some games, like Hero Wars, don’t believe in using an index. Shame on them for not using one.

In whole, Mystery Codex, slides the world presented in Witchcraft a little further into the darkness that is the hollowed soul. A darkness that I have not seen since KULT was published. It is NOT as dark as KULT, however. The main book for Witchcraft may not necessarily be the epitome of the happy citizen, but it did not come across this dark.

Yet, the darkness works. We’ve been given a world sitting of “on the brink” of the Armageddon.

“Prepare yourselves or perish.”

“Fight now, so that you will be ready tomorrow.”

For players and game masters looking for a game that shows levels of darkness equated with first edition Vampire: The Masquerade or half as much as what is available from KULT, this rpg supplement is for you.

Reviewer: Derek Stoelting

Look for CJ Carrella’s WitchCraft eBooks at RPGNow.com.

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