Chivalry & Sorcery

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Chivalry & Sorcery
Designer(s)Edward E. Simbalist, Wilf K. Backhaus
Publisher(s)Fantasy Games Unlimited (1st & 2nd edition), Highlander Games (3rd edition), Brittannia Game Designs (Light, Rebirth, Essence v1.1)
Publication date1977 (1st edition)
1983 (2nd edition)
1996 (3rd edition)
1999 (Light edition)
2000 (Rebirth edition)
2011 (Essence v1.1)
System(s)Custom, Skillscape (since 3rd edition), Essence

Chivalry & Sorcery is a fantasy role-playing game that was first published in 1977 by Fantasy Games Unlimited. Originally created by Edward E. Simbalist and Wilf K. Backhaus in 1977, Chivalry & Sorcery (C&S) was an early competitor to Dungeons & Dragons (D&D).[1] Historically, the two designers of the game were dissatisfied with the lack of realism in D&D and created a gaming system derived from it,[2] which they named Chevalier. They intended to present it to Gary Gygax at Gen Con in 1977,[2] but changed their minds once at the Con, where they met Scott Bizar who wrote out a letter of intent.[3] After some final changes to get rid of the last remnants of D&D[3] (e.g. the game contained a table of "Saving-throws" similar to D&D), Simbalist and Backhaus published the first edition of their game - now renamed Chivalry & Sorcery - shortly after the release of the first edition Advanced D&D Monster Manual.

According to Michael Tresca, Chivalry & Sorcery "embraced a realistic approach to medieval France in the 12th century, complete with feudalism and the Catholic Church..." and "was most noteworthy for creating the term "game master." (Actually though, that term had already previously been used in Tunnels & Trolls and Bunnies & Burrows.) "It was one of the first games to place the setting at utmost importance over the mechanics of the game."[1] More focused on medieval chivalry than fantasy, Chivalry & Sorcery had from its first version a sophisticated and complex set of rules. The game has been published four times to improve its presentation and to modernize its game mechanics. C&S was the first to introduce new concepts like levels for monsters.[citation needed] Players could adventure in a variety of locations instead of being confined to a dark underground dungeon. The action taking place outside the framework of an adventure became very important, especially for magicians, who had to spend many days to learn their spells and enchant their materials.

First edition (C&S1)[edit]

Also called The Red Book (see image above). To reduce the printing cost, the FGU edition was printed by photo-reducing four pages onto each page of the rule book with the consequent loss of readability.

Rules not only for character creation (including Monster player characters), combat and magic, but also for Knights (tournaments, courtly love, fiefs, political influence), a hierarchical priesthood who could perform miracles, a large section on monsters, including the Infernal Court of demons and even wargames rules for armies were contained in the rulebook. In addition to ideas taken from Arthurian myth, the first edition also incorporated elements of J. R. R. Tolkien including hobbits and balrogs. These references have disappeared in subsequent editions for reasons of copyright. Thus, C&S has less of a modern literary influence than D&D which was influenced by Tolkien but also by other authors such as Jack Vance, Fritz Leiber, L. Sprague de Camp and Michael Moorcock.

Creating a character[edit]

Creating a character begins with the random selection of the race among human, elf, dwarf, hobbit, or monster. Non-human races are not restricted in how many levels they can rise to as in D&D. Some non-humans races are superior to humans (possessing innate magical abilities, sometimes considerable longevity or immortality, racial bonus to certain skills, etc..). These show the influence of the world of Tolkien and the elves, especially the "High Elves" are by far the most powerful race of C&S1. Once the race specified, the player randomly draws "primary" characteristics, as well as size, weight and astral sign. Characteristics are seven in number: dexterity, strength, constitution, intelligence, wisdom, appearance, bardic voice.

Some "secondary" characteristics are derived from primary characteristics, size and weight: Body points, Fatigue points, charisma, Carrying Capacity (CC), Military Ability Factor (MAF), Personal Combat Factor (PCF) and Command Level (CL or ability to lead an army). The astral sign, accompanied by auspices (favorable, unfavorable or neutral), determines if the character is more or less born under a lucky star regarding his vocation. For example, the sign Leo is a good sign for the Warriors while the sign Scorpio is a good sign for magicians. This results primarily (but not only) in a gain greater or lesser experience in the tasks performed. The alignment of a character from 1 to 20, corresponding to a 1-5 character Lawful and 16-20 in a Chaotic character. These concepts are very different from those of D&D, C&S they determine the behavior of a report by the teachings of the Christian religion. A Lawful character would be very respectful of the sacred texts and behave like an honest citizen of good moral. A Chaotic character considers religion and moral principles which are attached as secondary or even devoid of any significance and will deliver the worst abuses that morality condemns.

A character can also have one or more phobias or fears, which allows the player to give a little more depth to his character. In C&S social status is very important and a random drawing determines the origin and social rank of the character. Finally, taking into account the characteristics, his astral sign of social background, race and his natural inclination, the player decides what role the character will follow.

Depending on Social background Fighters range from the peasant soldier, through the belted knight, to the members of Religious Fighting Orders and for the most devout the Paladin. A magician will choose among 19 different classes. The priests were also present but are almost exclusively of a monotheistic faith with a Christian-like hierarchy (as the game was intended as a simulation of an essentially medieval Christian Europe.) Finally, there are three classes of thieves: thieves (very similar to the Lankhmar-style thieves of D&D), brigands (most often encountered on the roadside as NPCs), and assassins.

The creation of a character in C&S1 is complex and may require several hours in the company of a Game Master, but the characters have their creation story, an experience that gives them a head start in creating a back-story for the character and assisting the player's role. For this same reason, when a character dies, it is common to stop the game temporarily for as long as the player creates another character, as creating a character is not a matter of a few dice and a few minutes. This certainly influenced the game to campaigns in which the mortality figures are considerably lower than in other role-playing, which has the effect of requiring a lot of attention preparation of C&S scenarios and difficulty level by the Game Master, especially as returning from the dead is not common in C&S, compared to other games like D&D.


Combat in C&S attempts to be more realistic than the abstract systems of games such as D&D, though it still has the Armour Class and Hit table concepts. C&S introduced concepts such as fatigue being separate from damage and the "Bash" (a strong blow that can cause the target to be knocked to the ground). This means that level differentials between combatants are less prone to make one invulnerable to the other if one outmatches their opponent in level.


The magic system of C&S was very sophisticated and complex. It was created by Wilf Backhaus and inspired mainly by Real Magic by Isaac Bonewits. The rules of magic, being scattered over several chapters of the rule book, made it difficult to follow. A magician's capability is defined by his Concentration Level (which depends on his characteristics, his bonus astral and experience) which determines Magick's Level (MKL, the 'k' of Magick is emphasized by C&S). The MKL determines what level of spells will be available (a new level of spells are available both MKL). The highest MKL a magician can have is 22 (as the 22 "Major Arcana" cards of occult tarot). On the other hand, the Personal Magick Factor (PMF) of a magician depends on its characteristics and its MKL and defines its ability to affect the world around them. In practice, PMF determines the scope and duration of spells and the number of volumes of materials used by the Magick User (see below on Magic Basic). This aspect of magic is questionable because the power of a spell will depend in some cases the level of the spell (spells the highest levels being most powerful) but for Basic Magic spells will no longer depend on the level of the spell but the magician PMF is to say its power. This ambiguity persisted until the third edition of the game.

Basic Magick[edit]

Alongside "classic" spells, charms, illusions, black magick, there is a special class of magic, Basic Magick (BM) dealing with spells manipulating the four elements (water, air, fire, earth) and their derivatives (ice, cold, heat, light, dark, sand, dust, rain, etc..) All sorts of BM are the result of mixing of at least one spell of creation / manipulation (and up to three) and an element. There are eight creation / manipulation spells: Create, Remove, Detach (Move), Accelerate, Amplify, Intensify, Concentrate and Affix (Fix). Thus creating a fireball requires the following formula: Create Fire. If the magician wishes to launch the fireball at an enemy, he must use Detach Fire. A magician who wants to create and launch a fireball at the same time uses a spell with the formula Detach Create Fire. Knowing that we can combine up to three spells of creation / manipulation with an item, the number of possible combinations is immense. A magician will generally focus on one or two elements and attempt to optimize combinations using them. BM is much more dangerous than the magic commonly found in other games. For example, an intermediate magician (e.g. MKL9, which is the level at which teachers become magicians and can take a student) can cast a fireball that causes 130 to 240 Body points of damage, with an average damage of 180. An average man has 30 body points and an athletic one rarely exceeds 50 points. In contrast, in AD&D the fireball spell is unlikely to kill a character in a same average level as the caster.

Different classes of Magick Users[edit]

When a player decides to play a Magick User, the class to which he will belong must be determined randomly (or selected if his game master agrees). There are 21 classes of Magick Users are available, divided into four main categories: Magicians Nature, Arcana Minor Arcana Major and Mystics.

  • The Wizards are the Primitive Natural Talent, who make the magic instinctively but are unable to learn spells from a book or to enchant magic items, and the Shaman, Medium, Dance and Vocal Trance which Drug learn magic by a spiritual guide, contacted in a trance, which is induced by an altered state due to the concentration of the magician, the absorption of drugs or the use of sacred songs, or else a mixture of all this.
  • The Minor Arcana consist of highly skilled magicians such as the Alchemist seeking the philosopher's stone and the potion of immortality, the Jewelsmith Artificer, which manufactures protective amulets and rings Powers (similar the Elves of Eregion who were manipulated by Sauron in the work of Tolkien), the Mechanician Artificer that makes the statues come alive, mechanisms and magical traps, the Weaponsmith Artificer that manufactures weapons and armor magic (a class in which Dwarves particularly excel), the Astrologer who reads the future in the stars and Diviner which reads the future in Tarot cards. The last category is the Minor Arcana's Stone (Hex Masters) which itself comprises several types of magicians. There are Witches and Warlocks who live in convents, specialize in black magic and demonology, and are able not only do magic but to ask miracles of Lucifer and his angels. Finally, the Solitary Master Hex uses his knowledge of black magic and demons to fight evil, which requires a Lawful alignment.
  • The Major Arcana are closer to traditional magicians found in writings or in other RPGs. The conjurer specializes in potions that he prepares in his magic cauldron; the Enchanter hides his spells in songs and tunes and often takes the disguise of a minstrel who goes castle to castle; the Necromancer animates the dead and commands them. All his life he searches for the Secret of Life and Death which will create a being of flesh animated entirely at his command, in the style of Frankenstein's monster. When he reaches a high enough MKL he may make the Rings of Power and One Ring that allows great power, as did Sauron of Mordor. The Necromancer often plays the villain in the adventures of C&S and is a formidable opponent. The last class of the Major Arcana is Thaumaturgist, it produces powders and perfumes and is the undisputed master of illusions.
  • The Mystics are three in number and practice more esoteric forms of magic, even sealed their colleagues in other classes. The Kabbalist (Cabbala-Symbolist) practice his art by the use of runes that can draw in the air or on objects. He often works with other magicians, especially the fireworks blacksmiths. This form of magic is sufficiently distant from the Jewish Kabbalah, but rather a kind of "generic" cabbalist, which can be adapted to different cultures (Judeo-Christian, Nordic, etc..). Power Word is the master of words and commands. He learned many languages and seeks to discover and learn all over the Words of Power. A good example of this type of character would be Ged (Sparrowhawk), in the saga of Earthsea Ursula K. Le Guin. Finally the Mystic Square uses the numbers to do magic. Perhaps the most mysterious of all magicians, one whose knowledge is the most hermetic and difficult to teach, which may explain why this Magick Users class is very uncommon in C&S campaigns. At very high level, his knowledge of the fundamentals of magic is such that it is able to cancel any magic in a wide radius around him, whatever the power of magic he meets.


The magic system itself is based on the premise that the world is resistant to magic and to learn a spell or enchant a material to make something magic, a magician must lower the resistance (Basic Magick Resistance or BMR) of this fate or what material to 0. Spells and materials have a BMR varies from 1 to 10, the highest BMRs match spells / materials more durable and therefore more difficult to learn / enchant. A magician will then spend time, lots of time to ponder his spells to learn and easier to enchant materials. The time spent on these activities purely magical is going to bring in experience, although often it would have earned on an expedition adventurer to kill monsters and find treasures. In practice, to cast a spell, the magician must first pass the Casting, which is automatic if the fate is known to BMR 0, which otherwise requires a throw of the dice. Then it must reach its target spell correctly (Targeting), the effectiveness of targeting depends on experience and that of its target. Some spells do not need to be targeted, they act on an area of effect. Finally, if fate is kind of illusion or charm, the target is allowed a Saving throw, using either his intelligence (for illusions) or wisdom (for command) to resist. This three- stage system makes magic less automatic, more random, but not less dangerous because the effects of high level spells are often terribly final.

Magical devices[edit]

The process of making magic items was particularly detailed and far more advanced than other games of the moment. Magic items were classified into three categories:

Simple magical items
Items that require a limited number of different materials (under 10) and contain a limited number of charges, these charges being worn or when the spells contained in it are used. They are classically simple rings, potions, scrolls etc.
Magical items of Power
More complex and time consuming to make, they require consulting an astrologer who should determine what the astral sign of the object. The Magick User will then enchant the 22 corresponding materials to the sign of the object and end his spell during the 30 days covered by the sign of the object, without anyone coming to interrupt this period of time. These objects are much longer and difficult to manufacture, but contain more spells, more loads and feature a power recharge allowing them to return every day some of the loads.
These are enchanted like Magical items of Power, but each class magician produces a type of Focus of its own. For example, the Medium has a crystal ball, the Artificer Blacksmith, a hammer and anvil, the conjuror a pot on a verbal stick, etc. The Focus is essential to the Magick User who wants to practice his art in good condition. It will store a huge number of spells in and he can use his Focus for his personal magic defense. From MKL1, any self-respecting magician who undertakes the manufacture of a Focus, long-term undertaking that can last several years.


The demons of C&S have clear origins in myth and prior works of fiction. They include, in ascending order of power, Gargoyles, Imps, Balrogs, Elementary of four elements, Jinn of the Ring, Jinn of the Lamp and Efreet, Knights of Hell, Fallen Angels, Powers, Principalities and Lord of Hells at the top of the demonic hierarchy. There is a spell of invocation to the demons of each circle of power, the most powerful demons requires a black mass and a sacrifice for their invocation. The Magick User who wants to invoke a demon must first succeed in drawing a protective circle, then the devil appears and it can then be ordered to request a service or be bound for a period of time. The most powerful demons can not be bound but they know many secrets they can teach the Mage. Despite the interest and realism of the system, which makes a case demonic invocations no Mage can not afford to treat lightly, this part of the system has not been well integrated with the rules of magic and is confined to the end of the rules, and also the mixture of styles, the Judeo-Christian demonology adjacent to the Thousand and One Nights, all sprinkled with a touch of mythology came from the writings of Tolkien.

Guilds and secret societies of magicians[edit]

One of the most interesting details of the game is an opportunity for a Magick User to be part of a guild or society, more or less secret, including members of his class, and sometimes other classes of magicians pursuing the same ideals and animated by the same designs. Thus, there are secret societies of sorcerers and witches, which may or may not be persecuted for their beliefs. But there are also guilds of Artificers and Blacksmiths who sell magic items to those fortunate enough to encounter them. The advantage of belonging to a guild or society for a Magick User is to have access to knowledge of the guild, which is sometimes overwhelming and made available to members only. Often, the Mage will be on a mission by his guild, which provides the game master opportunities for scenarios. Within the guild, the young Mage will have to prove himself and is framed in its infancy by a master who taught him his first spell and ensure its training and its protection. Then, when it reaches the MKL9, the student becomes the master and can in turn take an apprentice, thus perpetuating the spread of the knowledge and traditions of the guild. Among the many secret societies, are the very powerful Great White Lodge, inspired other esoteric secret societies like the Rosicrucians, or Freemasonry. The avowed purpose of the Great White Lodge is to ensure that magicians do not use their powers to increase their influence, wealth or social position and does not harm the balance of the world through the use of magic. The members of such an order, very limited and highly selective, are the natural enemies of sorcerers, Necromancers and by extension any user of black magick which aims to get more power through knowledge and use of magic.


Two reviews of Chivalry & Sorcery appeared in Ares Magazine. In the inaugural issue of March 1980, Greg Costikyan gave the game an average score of 6 out of 9, saying, "Although the lack of world-design rules and poor organization are sorely felt, C&S remains the best full-scale complicated frp game published to date."[4] In the September 1980 edition (Issue #4), Eric Goldberg liked the well-researched information on the medieval period — particularly heraldry — presented in the rules, but bemoaned the complexity, saying, "The worst problem arises when the game is actually played — it can move as awkwardly as an octopus on dry land." Goldberg called the production values primitive — "The text consists of reduced reproductuions of typewritten pages, and the illustrations are fair to mediocre." He also found the extensive rules extremely disorganized. Although Goldberg admitted that "No FRP system has since matched the quantity and quality of its technical system design", he did not recommend the game: "C&S is a poor game for all but the serious devotee of fantasy. It is a worthy purchase for he who wishes a reference work from which to authenticate FRP rules; it is a terrible investment for he who wishes one FRP system upon which to base a campaign.

In the October 1981 edition of The Space Gamer (Issue No. 44), Jon Tindel agreed that the rules were complex and extensive, but thought that the investment of time to learn them was worth it: "It has been said that C&S is unplayable, that it is better as a work of reference, but that is emphatically untrue. I know many people who play C&S and enjoy the game very much [...] It all comes down to one question: are you willing to spend the time to learn the complicated rules? If you are, by all means buy C&S; your reward will be many hours of joy. If you are not, stay away, it is not for you."[5]

Second edition (C&S2)[edit]

The second edition, released in 1983, was presented in a cardboard box containing three booklets of rules, showing greatly improved presentation in comparison to C&S1. The text is lighter and more concise and there is a tendency towards greater consistency in the organization of the rules. There are no fundamental mechanical changes as compared with C&S1; but multiple changes intended mostly to clarify or simplify some points in the rules. The medieval setting was clearly divided into three distinct periods: Early Feudal, High and Late Chivalric Feudal, each period having a distinct technology. For example: Heavy plate armor and two-handed swords only become available in Late Feudal (14th - 15th centuries). This avoids the anachronisms and gives a useful indication of technological advances at each period, allowing campaigns to be made more realistic; an ongoing concern to which the authors, Ed Simbalist and Wilf Backhaus, were very attached.

One addition in this second edition (which would subsequently be extended to the whole system of rules in the later editions) is the appearance of Skills, mainly—but not exclusively—for thieves, murderers and affiliated professions. A character can learn skills by spending experience points, some talents are more expensive than others. Alongside the skills of "traditional" thieves are—for example—cooking skill. This system of skills (very popular in the roleplaying of the vintage, including in particular Chaosium's) diversifies the characters away from rigid traditional stereotypes.

The mass combat system was removed from the second edition, but could be found in various forms in extensions of the game, especially Swords & Sorcerers and the two Sourcebooks. C&S refocused on the roleplaying aspect and its wargame aspect was set aside, presumably both to reduce the size and complexity system of basic rules and to mark the distinction between genres.

With C&S2, the system was designed as a complete simulation of the Middle Ages in all its aspects: Political, economic, and military; enhanced by a strong fantasy element, derived mainly from the world of J.R.R Tolkien, giving a strong sense of realism, much stronger than in most other games in the same period.


In the October 1983 edition of White Dwarf (Issue 46), Marcus Rowland gave the improved production values of the second edition a 10 out of 10, but found various aspects were still overly complex: "Overall, character generation in C&S is still extremely complicated and might take inexperienced players several hours, especially if they make the fatal mistake of working in the wrong order... Skill acquisition in C&S is almost indescribably complex and involves at least three distinct systems." Rowland did admit that some of the complexity allowed for very unique characters. "Probably the best feature of these rules is their attention to detail... expressed in such minutiae as the table used to develop the exact culinary skills, and... tables for Eye and Hair colour." Rowland concluded by scoring the complexity of the game 10 out of 10 and its playability only 6 out of 10, and expressed reservations about the suitability for new gamers: "I cannot recommend this game to inexperienced referees or players, but anyone with some knowledge of roleplaying games who is looking for a complex system for a prolonged campaign will probably find Chivalry & Sorcery ideal. If the rules were slightly better organised and the set gave more aid in character generation and setting up campaigns, I would not have these reservations."[6]

In the April 1984 edition of Dragon (Issue 84), Ken Rolston found the overhauled rules of the second edition were still too complicated, saying, "The game was revised to broaden its appeal, but the presentation still shows problems, and the audience is still limited, because of the bulk and detail involved. This game is committed to comprehensiveness, at the expense of comprehensibility... C&S is still the most difficult and time-consuming FRP system on the market, when played at a level that fully exploits its virtues." Rolston warns that even the revised edition still is not meant for newcomers and part-time players: "This is the wrong product for the beginning or casual FRP gamer. For the intermediate gamer, it may be useful as a supplement and sourcebook. But as a complete campaign system, the virtues of C&S are only fully realized in the hands of the superior gamer — one who’s serious, sophisticated, dedicated, and familiar with medieval history, legend, and fantasy literature."[7]


Third edition (C&S3)[edit]

After the relative success of the second edition C&S sank into obscurity for a number of years, mainly from the lack of support of Fantasy Games Unlimited (FGU). The game was finally reissued by Highlander Designs (HD), an American publishing house founded by GW Thompson. The authors are Ed Simbalist, Wilf Backhaus and GW Thompson. What is striking from the first reading of C&S3 is the almost complete disappearance of medieval references, the game was now very orientated toward the fantastic, imagination and even less near constant concerns of the previous editions, namely some historical realism and a strong smell of medieval Europeans. The magic has been significantly simplified. There is a new class of "General" magician, which sees itself as the archetype of the "classics" magicians found in other RPGs like AD&D. C&S3 sells well enough, given the reputation of the game and its base of loyal fans. These same fans will be on the mailing list of the "Loyal Order of Chivalry & Sorcery", created in September 1996 at the instigation of Wilf Backhaus, mailing list that will, for many years (until 2005, when the creation of the first forum of LOCS, posted by Ian Plumb), stimulate debate about C&S3 then C&S4, most players lamenting the disappearance of the medieval flavor and realism of the first two editions.

C&S3 established a system of "skills" which covers all areas of the game, including fighting, magic, knowledge of geography, languages, dances and songs, and other things a person is able to do or know. The talent system (called "Skillscape") uses a percentile die and a 10-sided die (D10) for all actions determined by talent, the D10 determining if the success (or failure) of talent is "critical" or not. This flexible and efficient system is a decisive contribution to C&S, and led to both a simpler single resolution system for all aspects of the game and a modernistic game with an operating system talent.

The game, however, was unable to gain an increase in its already small market share and player base, in large part because of the lack of a coordinated release of supplemental products such as modules, source books, and campaign settings- most especially during the months after release. While a variety of products were released years after the game launched at retailers (as C&S4), those products were too often thought to be lacking in material and production quality, and a very few were released in a timely fashion to allow for C&S3 or C&S4 to interest new players; who generally saw the lack of materials as a barrier to entry into the game. The "Bestiary", a collection of monsters and mundane creatures, was considered by many of the players to be an example of what they wanted and needed for their campaigns, unfortunately it was released almost a year after the game launched.


Fourth edition (C&S4)[edit]

Highlander Designs went bankrupt and was bought by Brittannia Game Designs Ltd. (BGD), a company based in England and directed by Steve Turner. The fourth edition of C&S, called "The Rebirth" was born a few months later. The result was the return of some medieval references and some gameplay mechanics (such as "bash" or "Targeting" for spells) adding this degree of realism that was lacking in the previous edition. Moreover, many additions to the rules (such as "Laws of Magick") brought novelty to the game.

The core rules had several extensions, including the "Knights Companion", "Armourers Companion," "Dwarves Companion" and "Elves Companion". BGD also wanted to develop their own world "Marakush". Despite the interest of a certain segment of the population for a type of game that is realistic and that C&S has been an example of, sales of C&S4 were not sufficient to ensure the continuity of the game and stopped producing.



Core rules[edit]

  • Chevalier (1976) : self-published precursor to C&S self-published (40 copies printed).
  • Chivalry & Sorcery (1977)
  • Chivalry & Sorcery 2nd Ed. (1983)
  • Chivalry & Sorcery 3rd Ed. (1997)
  • Chivalry & Sorcery Light (1999)
  • Chivalry & Sorcery 4th Ed. Deluxe (2000)
  • Chivalry & Sorcery 4th Ed. Core Rules (2000)
  • Chivalry & Sorcery 4th Ed. Magick & Miracles (2000)
  • Chivalry & Sorcery 4th Ed. Gamemaster's Companion (2000)
  • Chivalry & Sorcery Essence v1.1 (2011)

Rules supplements[edit]

1st edition

2nd edition

  • Chivalry & Sorcery Sourcebook (1983)
  • Chivalry & Sorcery Sourcebook 2 (1983)
  • Swords & Sorcerers (1983)

3rd edition

  • Game Master's Handbook (1997)
  • Creatures Bestiary (1998)
  • Chivalry & Sorcery Gamemaster's Shield (1998)
  • Chivalry & Sorcery Magical Devices (1997)

4th edition

  • Knights' Companion (1999)
  • Armourers' Companion (2000)
  • Dwarves' Companion (2000)
  • Elves' Companion (2000)
  • The Book of Items, Vol 1 (2002) - published by Mystic Station Designs
  • The Book of Vocations, Spells & Skills Vol. 1 (2002) - published by Mystic Station Designs
  • The Book of Vocations, Spells & Skills Vol. 2 (2003) - published by Mystic Station Designs
  • The Book of Vocations, Spells & Skills Vol. 3 (2004) - published by Mystic Station Designs
  • C&S Player's Pack (2004) - published by Mystic Station Designs
  • C&S Player's Pack Volume 2 (2006) - published by Mystic Station Designs
  • The Game Master's Toolkit Vol. 1 (2002) - published by Mystic Station Designs
  • The Game Master's toolkit Vol. 2 (2003) - published by Mystic Station Designs
  • The Game Master's Toolkit Vol. 3 (2004) - published by Mystic Station Designs
  • The Game Master's Toolkit Vol. 4 (2006) - published by Mystic Station Designs
  • The Library of Spells (2006) - published by Mystic Station Designs
  • Psionics for SkillSkape (2004) - published by Mystic Station Designs
  • Great Cats for SkillSkape (2002) - published by Mystic Station Designs
  • Creatures for SkillSkape Vol. 1 (2004) - published by Mystic Station Designs
  • The Book of Enchanted Beings and Unusual Creatures Vol. 1 (2006) - published by Mystic Station Designs
  • The Library of Spells Volume 1 (2008) - published by Mystic Station Designs
  • The Book of Additional Magick (2009) - published by Mystic Station Designs


1st edition

  • Saurians (1979)
  • Arden (1979)
  • Land Of the Rising Sun (1981)

3rd edition

  • The Dragon Reaches of Marakush (1998)
  • Anderia (1998)


1st edition

  • Rapier & Dagger (1978)

2nd edition

3rd edition

  • Stormwatch (1998)

4th edition

  • Where Heroes Fear to Tread (1999)
  • Marakush Treachery (2002)

C&S Light

  • Under the Castle Gates (2000)


There have been six settings for Chivalry & Sorcery to date.

First edition[edit]

The historical world[edit]


  • Arden. A kingdom based on England set in a much larger game world (Archaeron, hinted at in an article printed in Different Worlds issue 1.)
  • The world of intelligent dinosaurs in the Saurians supplement (the section dealing with the saurian Hss'Taathi is however set within the world of Archaeron).

Third Edition[edit]

  • Tannoth for third edition
  • The World of the Dragon Reaches of Marakush by the publishers of the current, 4th, edition Britannia Game Designs. The Marakush Kingdom of Darken is the supplied setting for C&S Essence v1.1.

None of these areas, with the exception of Marakush, have been explored in any great detail. Marakush more so than many others. With six books released as either world books or scenarios set directly in Marakush. There was a project to flesh out Tannoth, and another to recreate Arden and the other lands but they were not completed.

The overriding theme of Chivalry & Sorcery settings is a world where magic is rare, and whose societies mimic real-world medieval Europe. It places strong emphasis on nobility and family rank, as well as relegating magic and the supernatural to more mythical and arcane roles.


Chivalry & Sorcery won the H.G. Wells award for All Time Best Ancient Medieval Rules of 1979.[9]


  1. ^ a b Tresca, Michael J. (2010), The Evolution of Fantasy Role-Playing Games, McFarland, p. 63, ISBN 078645895X
  2. ^ a b
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  9. ^ "1979 Origins Awards Winners". Archived from the original on December 16, 2012.