5e’s Historical Universe, Historica Arcanum has returned!
With Historica Arcanum: Era of the Crusades, journey through the occult history of the Holy Lands of the XII Century!
Uncover the secrets of Jerusalem and Cairo, clash or ally with legendary figures - Baldwin the Leper King, and Saladin, the Avenging General, venture forth in a massive adventure module, and unlock new gameplay overhauls for all your 5th Edition Games.
At A Glance
Two Grand Sourcebooks: Era of the Crusades, the setting guide and the Sigil of Jerusalem, a massive adventure module.
Two Legendary Cities: Cairo and Jerusalem, reimagined for 5th Edition, with arcane secrets to explore, iconic characters to meet, and accursed beasts to slay in every corner.
Deck of the Damned: Combat and Narrative stress overhaul, for the darkest moments of 5e - designed as an easy to use ruleset that adds flavor, danger, and if the fates allow, solace. In addition to the cards, the deck is also in the setting guide as rolling tables.
A Vast Library of Subclasses & Bestiary: 5th Edition Content Inspired by the History and Legends of the Holy Lands.
Knight Orders: Forge your own Knight Order - roll or pick through hundreds of options; heraldry, tenets, headquarters, titles and more.
Massive Gameplay Package: A massive tome of maps and posters, monster minis; item, spell and artifact cards; immersive hand-outs.
Collector Accessories: Posters, Designer-made GM Screen, Canvas Maps of Cairo and Jerusalem, and a Premium Box to house everything in, and be the centerpiece of your collection.
Full Soundtrack Suite: Each Historica Arcanum setting comes with a immersive soundtrack album to set the tone and herald the coming of key NPCs, and Era of the Crusades is no exception!
Historica Arcanum Series
Historica Arcanum is 5th Edition’s Historical Universe, where occult secrets hide in the darkest corners of the world history. With Historica Arcanum players and game masters can delve into exciting timelines and regions of the world brimming with an ever expanding universe of lore and storylines; from Victorian Era Istanbul, to Silk Road under the Mongolian Invasion, to the years of the Crusades.
Era of the Crusades, the Setting Guide: Welcome to the Era of the Crusades, Historica Arcanum’s massive guide to the monumental conflict between Crusader Knights and the Forces of Saladin.
The setting guide explores the sprawling open world of two legendary cities in 1182: Jerusalem and Cairo, with quests, character highlights and cultural articles allowing you to bring the era to your gaming table.
In addition to the deep dive to the two cities, the setting guide also houses all the gameplay options: Character Creation, Subclasses, Bestiary, the rules and guides for the Deck of the Damned and Knightly Orders, and Professions.
The Sigil of Jerusalem, the Adventure Module: The Sigil of Jerusalem is a massive Adventure Module, spanning levels 1 to 10, filled with massive dungeons, legendary NPCs, immersive handouts and soundtracks, and a deep and branching storyline.
The year is 1182, and the Crusades came to a halt as an unexpected truce was struck between Baldwin and Saladin. Hidden behind this peace is an occult war, against an eldritch threat, awakening deep below in the catacombs of Jerusalem and the dunes of Cairo.
The adventurers must carve their path to fight back against the eldritch forces, corrupted knights, accursed beasts, and mythical creatures - to survive, to thwart, or to usurp the dark powers of eons past.
Click Here to Grab the FREE Quickstart PDF!
Make Your Own Bundle
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Single Hardcover Print
Hardcover Bundle & Digital Library
Collector’s Box Set
The Ultimate Historica Arcanum Box Set
(Early Bird) Collector’s Box Set
(Early Bird) The Ultimate Historica Arcanum Box Set
What to Expect
Storyline Sneak Peak
Crusaders led by Baldwin IV the Leper King, and the avenging army of Saladin, the Legendary General of Cairo, have been preparing for the inevitable battle that will seal the fate of Jerusalem.
Yet, an unexpected truce halted the onslaught. Now, the wartorn battlements and towers, the dunes and streets, lay calm. The sounds of war cries have been replaced by an eerie silence. Yet, this peace is not a relief, not at all. The chambers of Kings and Counts, the inner circles of Knightly Orders and Generals’ Tents, and the catacombs below Jerusalem and Cairo, echo with the clashes of another war. The arch-rivals of the world atop became unlikely allies, knight orders of the crusade drew blood of one another, all is drawn to eldritch powers of eons past, like moths to flame.
With each day, warmongers move to sever the truce between the Leper and the Caliph. With each sunset atop the Lands of Canaan, the seeping arcane lets loose madness and horror upon the inhabitants of the cities and the castles. With each chess piece moved, the alliances shift, and heads are crowned - or lost.
As a mighty hosts of eldritch knights assemble below Jerusalem, the shadow of the pyramids still loom over the Cairo and the Caliph, as the city’s ancient past awaken below the dunes. The grand halls and towering palaces of Cairo echo with the whispers of a dark strategy; fight fire with fire.
Branded with the mark of the Beast, fate threw you into the heart of this occult conflict. It is now up to you to bind allies, hunt down the wicked or the zealot, and seal or usurp ancient powers.
New 5th Edition Content
As with each Historica Arcanum setting, Era of the Crusades comes with 12 subclasses inspired by the history, myths and legends of the region.
The Lands of Canaan hold way too many secrets to be free from eldritch corruption in the world of Historica Arcanum. Arcane beasts roam the edges of the civilization, haunted knights wander the catacombs and castle ruins, ghouls feast on the dead lying restless in abandoned battlefields, and monsters with the face of men walk among the alleyways and battlements of cities.
Deck of the Damned
The combat and the spurn narratives of the 5th Edition can be very brutal, with crimson carnage, arcane madness, and unbearable tragedy taking the center stage. Yet this is rarely experienced by the players in a mechanical way.
That’s why we developed the Deck of the Damned: A System for Combat and Narrative Stress, available as both a massive physical card deck and easy-to-use ruleset in the Era of the Crusades, our setting guide.
Within the Deck of the Damned are nine separate sections; three categories of stress: Combat, Arcane, and Tragedy, and three severity levels for each category.
The rules for the Deck of the Damned are very easy to implement to any 5th edition game. Just follow triggers for each deck, such as “a member of your party have fallen unconscious” for Combat Stress, Severity One, and draw a card - or roll for the related table.
Forge Your Knight Order:
Give your player party and factions a distinct identity, be they on a righteous crusade against a dark foe, or sellswords hunting beasts for gold and glory.
With this module, you will be able to pick a heraldry for your knightly orders, create tenets for perks and narrative tools, assign and manage titles for your order, and design headquarters.
One of Historica Arcanum’s iconic gameplay edition makes a return! Professions are super-backgrounds that adds unlockable perks, skills and craftable recipes for each character, as well as their unique level up mechanics.
Player characters are no longer just “adventurers” but alchemists, spies, archeologists and more!
Who is this Book for
While the mechanical sections of the book is designed for the current state of 5th Edition in ish to read a work of fiction that blends history with fantasy.
You are also more than welcome to use each part of the book to get inspired, pick up plot points and quests, maps and characters, gameplay mechanics, and all sorts of ideas for your own homebrew settings and even adapt everything to other RPG systems.
Cultural Authenticity & Sensitivity Reading
Historica Arcanum series exists to bring a well researched and authentic representation to world cultures and historical periods, created by designers from a diverse range of cultural, religious, and personal backgrounds.
As we have in all our previous work, we work with historians that studied the region and time period, and we research intensively when designing our art and narrative. At the end of each setting guide, we even include a section to talk about the creative liberties we take
While we do not shy away from representing the grim realities of the time periods and regions our work takes place in, we take great care in bringing an authentic depiction of the peoples involved, frequently explaining all sides and perspectives of a conflict.
So, the sourcebook you will be inspired by, run games from, and explore the Crusader Era with, will be created with a deep care and respect towards all cultures that it encompasses!
Free Updates for Future Editions
While this book is created for the current state of the 5th edition, our game design team takes great care in keeping all our books, including the past titles of Historica Arcanum, updated with the most recent rules. We also frequently release free new editions of the PDFs with features and gameplay mechanics clarified, and typos fixed!