Historical Medieval Magic Notes

Historical Medieval Magic Notes

Postby Galloglaich » Mon Oct 31, 2011 7:15 pm

Types of Magic
Natural Magic
Neo-Platonic
Arab Astral Magic
Sufi Magic
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rouhaniya
Kabalistic Magic

Grimoires
Shams al-Ma'arif
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shams_al-Ma%27arif
CLM 849
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Munich_Man ... onic_Magic
Picatrix
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Picatrix
Die Nigromancia / Secretum Secretorum (Roger Bacon)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secretum_secretorum
http://www.colourcountry.net/secretum/
Confession of Pope Honorious
Das Buch Aller Verboten Kunst
MS Rawlinson D252

Wizards
Roger Bacon
Regiomontatus
Al Kindi
Al Razi
Marsilio Ficino
Giovanni Pico
Johannes Reuchlin
Johannes Trithemius
Heron of Alexandria
Archimedes
Johannes Hartlieb
Giodorno Bruno
John Dee
Elijah Ba'al Shem of Chelm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elijah_Ba% ... Che.C5.82m
Judah ben Loew
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judah_Loew_ben_Bezalel
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Re: Historical Medieval Magic Notes

Postby Daeruin » Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:35 am

This is an awesome resource.

Ian Plumb over on TROSfans.com once created a magic system using The Guide for the Perplexed, which is more of a philosophical/theological text. It was pretty interesting.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Guide_ ... _Perplexed
My blog: fantasy fiction, gaming, and music
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Re: Historical Medieval Magic Notes

Postby Galloglaich » Fri Nov 04, 2011 4:27 am

These are unorganized notes at this point...

It's a small world! thanks for the link I didn't know Ian did that. Ian did the layout for the original Codex book and hosts this very web-forum! I'll have to take a look at that.

I've been doing some research on Medieval magic, and thinking about releasing a magic supplement, I have one about 80% done which we used for beta testing for the (also unfinished) Baltic campaign, but I'm thinking of revising it more based on historical sources. A lot to think about there though.

What got me thinking more about it is I've been reading this excellent book

http://www.amazon.com/Forbidden-Rites-N ... 658&sr=1-1

This guy opens up the existence of 14th and 15th Century Grimoires that I was not aware of. Some of the spells in there are in the ballpark of what would be suitable for a DnD game: spells for various degrees of stealth and invisibility, summoning demonic horses, summoning banquets and castles and so on. More interesting for gamers than the usual divination and mnemonics stuff or the very long rituals one finds in the 16th Century Grimoires. Like Giodorno Bruno is fascinating but doesn't translate that well to an RPG game. At least not one like DnD.

There are also some other earlier sources with similarly viable material.

Another question though is by using historical based stuff would I be opening myself up for attacks from religious groups, or would stupid kids be tempted to try to really make spells and so on. I wouldn't include that level of detail anyway, but the whole thing brings up a bit of a conundrum.

Right now it's just interesting to me to try to kind of map out the "reality" of Medieval magic.

G
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Re: Historical Medieval Magic Notes

Postby Galloglaich » Fri Nov 04, 2011 2:25 pm

Some norse magic sources I had dug up earlier and posted on my pseudo blog on Enworld:

http://www.enworld.org/forum/general-rp ... ost5069688
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Re: Historical Medieval Magic Notes

Postby Daeruin » Sun Nov 06, 2011 9:52 pm

I'd love to see your magic system. Using historical sources for RPG magic systems is tough because it's hard to fit into game terms.

I checked out some of those links and I ended up at this description of Necropants. I totally want me some of those!

http://www.galdrasyning.is/index.php?op ... &Itemid=60

I did a little research into Norse magic myself a few years ago and posted some tidbits on my blog.

http://www.benjaminrose.com/post/old-norse-magic/
My blog: fantasy fiction, gaming, and music
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Re: Historical Medieval Magic Notes

Postby Daeruin » Sun Nov 06, 2011 9:54 pm

Oh, regarding the possibility of antagonizing religious groups... I don't think I would worry about it. Most gamers are pretty open minded. It seems to me that the only people who would give you trouble would be those who already think D&D in general is of the devil. I've met a few of those, and they're not really in your potential audience anyway.
My blog: fantasy fiction, gaming, and music
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Re: Historical Medieval Magic Notes

Postby Galloglaich » Mon Nov 07, 2011 12:26 am

Daeruin wrote:I'd love to see your magic system. Using historical sources for RPG magic systems is tough because it's hard to fit into game terms.

I checked out some of those links and I ended up at this description of Necropants. I totally want me some of those!

http://www.galdrasyning.is/index.php?op ... &Itemid=60


Wow! I am speechless. That is definitely the wierdest thing I've seen all day!

I did a little research into Norse magic myself a few years ago and posted some tidbits on my blog.

http://www.benjaminrose.com/post/old-norse-magic/


[/quote]

Cool, I'll check that out...

G.
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Re: Historical Medieval Magic Notes

Postby Galloglaich » Mon Nov 07, 2011 12:30 am

Daeruin wrote:I'd love to see your magic system. Using historical sources for RPG magic systems is tough because it's hard to fit into game terms.


There are definitely some spells in CLM 849 which could translate into DnD type spells, of the more quirky / indirect type granted, and you'd have to abbreviate some of the rituals. But I've already used spells kind of similar to these (more indirect) from the Dying Earth stuff, in my little test campaign I ran and they worked well.

I checked out some of those links and I ended up at this description of Necropants. I totally want me some of those!

http://www.galdrasyning.is/index.php?op ... &Itemid=60


Wow! I am speechless. That is definitely the wierdest thing I've seen all day!

I did a little research into Norse magic myself a few years ago and posted some tidbits on my blog.

http://www.benjaminrose.com/post/old-norse-magic/


Cool, I'll check that out...

G.
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Re: Historical Medieval Magic Notes

Postby Arkon » Mon Nov 07, 2011 3:53 am

Galloglaich wrote:Another question though is by using historical based stuff would I be opening myself up for attacks from religious groups, or would stupid kids be tempted to try to really make spells and so on. I wouldn't include that level of detail anyway, but the whole thing brings up a bit of a conundrum.

To these religious groups D&D magic is real enough anyway.

Daeruin wrote:I'd love to see your magic system. Using historical sources for RPG magic systems is tough because it's hard to fit into game terms.

I checked out some of those links and I ended up at this description of Necropants. I totally want me some of those!

http://www.galdrasyning.is/index.php?op ... &Itemid=60

Crazy stuff.
...
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Re: Historical Medieval Magic Notes

Postby Galloglaich » Mon Nov 07, 2011 2:33 pm

Arkon wrote:To these religious groups D&D magic is real enough anyway.


Yeah I agree. but the magic system in DnD (and as far as I know, just about all other RPG's) are quite abstract and don't deal with anything remotely real, certainly not to the point of realism I put into the combat system. Putting in stuff from "real" historical Grimoires is something to be considered carefully, some of the stuff in CLM 849 is pretty sinister I certainly wouldn't want teenagers out there emulating it. Unlike fencing, which does also carry some risk but it's something I see as a net positive. Some of these Grimoires are harmless enough but some get into some ... transgressive areas. So I have to tread carefully I wouldn't want to be a conduit into that direction. Nor to offend anyone!

In other words, it's one thing to be realistic but on the other hand I have no intention of being some kind of Anton LaVey or Aleister Crowley of the RPG world! :shock: hahahhhaha

G
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