As you can see, there is a lot in it! 🙂 Those who game with me know the Codex books make up a core and vital component of my games. I want the players who game at my house or the game stores to have access to all the Codex classes so that they can really delve into the folklore I wish to bring to life in my games. Thus, I get a copy of the codex books for myself, and I have player copies for those that don’t own the books but want to reference them for making characters.
However, you might notice that I got two of the Codex Celtarum 2nd editions, but only one of the Codex Egyptium, and that is because for some reason I don’t understand, the Codex Egyptium has no character classes in it!?😕
Although I have a couple of players who enjoy reading the lore that Brian Young puts into these wonderful codex books, the real draw for the players are the character classes. If there are no character classes, most of my players are not interested. Case in point: the Codex Celtarum 1st edition only had 1.25 character classes – the Wildbeing/Woodwose, and the Wolf Charmer (the latter of which was just a single ability that you would add to a rogue or ranger). When my players discovered the lack of character classes while browsing through that book they shrugged and never looked at the book again. For the new Codex Celtarum 2nd edition, Brian dropped the previous 1.25 character classes (why?), but did add a Celtic Bard, Celtic Druid, and a Celtic Seer (although for the Seer they just tell you to go to the Codex Classicum and use the Oracle class, which is fine for me since I have several copies of that book, but I am sure this will be annoying for players who want to run a Celtic Seer but don’t have or want the Classicum book).
So I guess the good news is that my players might finally make some Celtic characters once they see the Codex Celtarum 2nd edition classes. The bad news, though, is that they’ll probably completely skip over the Egyptium book, and it will only be used by me for reference (thus why I only bought one copy). I do, however, want Egyptium character classes, and for that reason I purchased books that Green Ronin made during the d20 era – a box set called Hamunaptra-Egyptian Adventures, a book in their Mystic Vistas series called Testament (which covers Old Testament cultures), and a Frog God Games book named Necropolis (written by Gary Gygax). Indeed, I’ve already made rough conversions of those 3E/d20 classes/prestige classes for Castles & Crusades.
It’s really a shame Brian left Egyptian classes out of the Egyptium book. At several points in the book he describes an Egyptian priest and the unique Egyptian wizard/priest along with their unique names, but then says there isn’t enough historical information on them to make a proper RPG conversion. This is puzzling. I love Brian’s work on these due to the great academic rigor he brings into his design of these books. As an academic myself (well, former academic), that is a huge draw for me. But these codex books are not academic treatises, they have to be a usable game product, and in this case it falls short for the player, I think. Funny enough, if you look through the Green Ronin books I mentioned above, they have almost identical names for Egyptian priests and wizard/priests and reference much the same abilities that Brian does, but then they provide playable character classes to use in a game! So the Codex Egyptium falls short with this lack of support for the player. I will reference the Egyptium book as a GM, however, since I have the Green Ronin books for the classes and the background for those classes, I’ll probably find myself using those books more often, since they provide a complete GM/Player system all-in-one.
I don’t want to end on a down note, though. As you can see, from this kickstarter I got lots of Egyptian maps, laminated Egyptian symbols, the Book of the Dead, several Egyptian adventures, Egyptian minis, the new Codex Celtarum, and a new Celtic adventure. And the Celtic material is going to get a great deal of use from me, since the Norse and Celtic cultures play a large role in my games!