Friday, January 13, 2017

Raiders Preview: Agrippa’s Book of Occult Philosophy

It's been too long since I posted an update on Raiders!

The character classes are fairly nailed down now, the rest of the book is written and edited. Now it is just doing as many drawings and placing as much art as possible before the deadline. What deadline? Well, I'd like to have these books in time for Dundracon, and to make sure they arrive in time I'll order a batch from Lulu by February 9. So I'll be uploading the files February 8 for the Lulu Print-on-Demand (POD) version. PDF's will only be available on DriveThruRPG.

It takes a week or so to get a sample book back from DriveThruRPG before they'll allow me to approve the book for sale. So the POD + PDF discount combo will likely be available around February 15th. This seems to be the preferred deal to order if sales of this book are consistent with previous books I've done.

I'll continue to do the previews of Raiders until then. Here is another one, the classic ancient tome trope, another relic of great power that belongs in a museum, not in the hands of a madman...

Agrippa’s Book of Occult Philosophy: Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa (1486-1535) is the most influential writer of Renaissance esoterica, and indeed all of Western occultism. The Book of Occult Philosophy (De Occulta Philosophia libri) is Agrippa’s study of occult philosophy, acknowledged as a significant contribution to the Renaissance philosophical discussion concerning the powers of ritual magic and its relationship with religion. The book was printed in 1531 in Paris, Cologne, and Antwerp. It was an ambitious attempt to rejuvenate the art of magic which had degenerated during the medieval ages. He did this by assembling an intellectual and theoretical foundation from his extensive collection of sources. Agrippa started with a “systematic exposition of Ficinian spiritual magic and Trithemian demonic magic and treatised in practical magic” (I. P. Couliano in Hidden Truths 1987, p. 114). Other major sources used by Agrippa include Liber de mirabilibus mundi of pseudo-Albertus Magnus, Giovanni Pico’s Oratio de Dignitate Hominis and Apologia, Johannes Reuchlin’s De Verbo Mirifico, Pliny’s Historia Naturalis, as well as Picatrix and the Hermetic and Neoplatonic texts. The resulting text circulated widely in manuscript form.

Unknown to most was that the original hand written book contains true occult power, filled with spells, incantations, and alchemical recipes. The original has long been lost, but recent clues have arisen that might reveal its actual location. The volume was published in three books (and it might make for a more interesting adventure to have the players collect three originals).

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