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I Cavalieri del Tempio
Avventure nei segreti della storia

role-playing game  
Original Language Italian
Collection RoleGame 
Edition E.Elle, Trieste 1990 
Authors Andrea Angiolino, Giuliano Boschi, Agostino Carocci, Massimo Casa & Luca Giuliano 
Illustrators Marina De Ferra 
Description "I Cavalieri del Tempio" is a RPG dedicated to the legend of the Templar Knights. Players have the role of members of a secret organization born from the ashes of the Templar Order destroyed by the King of France and the Pope. Templars got exoteric knowledge in the East that allow them to separate their "astral body" from the phisical one. This allow them to travel in time and space, to direct the course of history following their secret "Celestial Plan". Players' characters are of course, at the beginning, the outermost part of the organization, knowing very less of the real purposes of their missions.
The setting is strictly historical and the kind of magic available to the players reflects the supernatural powers that could be belived at that age in the real world.
"I Cavalieri del Tempio" was influenced by Umberto Eco's novel "Il pendolo di Foucault", that has been published for the first time in Italy in october 1988. The medieval setting of the game is also under the influence of Eco's "Il nome della rosa": one of the official adventures, appeared in the supplement "E.Elle Avventura" n.1, is even set in the ruins of Eco's abbey some years after the burning that destroyed it.
The rulebook, in a Old English typeset and with a layout resembling a medieval handwritten code, contains firstly an introduction about role-playing game (a hobby that was not yet so popular in Italy at that time). There is then a detailed introduction to the Templar Knights.
The "Initiates' book" is the procedure for creating playing characters. Each character has two character sheet: one is the "astral body" that belongs to the player, and the second is the "physical body" that can change from adventure to adventure if they are set in different ages. The astral body determines the real character, that sometimes overwhelmes the player's will: a daresome character will sometime act of its own will if its player wants to act cowardly, for example. The physical body is mainly based on a skill system, used to resolve normal actions and checks. Some exoteric powers, compatible with the historical setting and the secrecy of the organization, belong to the astral body.
The book has then all the rules for actions, combat, exoteric powers, experience. Checks are made under the value of the characteristic or involved skill, using a growing number of 6-sided dice depending on the difficulty: 3 dice are used for easy checks, up to 6 dice for extreme checks. Trying a chek on a skill that the character does not have means adding one more die. If in the dice there are at least three 6s (the "number of the beast") the action is a total failure, while three 1s are the perfect roll.
A section is dedicated to the life in Europe in the fourtheen century: a glossary goes from "Abbey" to "Travels", with details on food, heresies, prices, games, inventions, superstitions and so on. Weapons are detailed in the combact section of the rules.
The backgrounds section is completed by several non-player characters matching typical figures of that age, that can also be used as a reference in creating players' characters. Some famous NPCs, such as Pope Giovanni XXIII and the inquisitor Bernardo Gui are also provided.
Two adventures are included. The first, "I Trentasei Invisibili", is an introductory mission starting in Avignon and ending in Genoa. It is provided with several almost-ready "physical bodies" to be completed with an "astral body" and some extra skills to become full PCs. The second adventure, "Le porte del paradiso", is set in northern Italy.
Several other adventures appeared on Italian magazines, to be used with the basic book only or with the first expansion set too. They are set mainly in Italy, France, Transylvania and on the Island of Rhodes.