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I used to have a copy of a game, bought used circa 1998, single hardcover manual, called "Advanced Roleplaying" (if I remember correctly). The cover was a reddish illustration of a wizard summoning a bull-headed demon in a pentagram.

I thought some interesting parts of it were historical realism in terms of medieval occupational / caste systems, thorough Catholic-based magic system and European folkloric monsters. As far as I can remember, the names of the creatures, demons, angels, etc. were all drawn from historic references (Monopods, Baphomet, Michael, etc.) as opposed to being references to either recent fiction or of the author's creation.

There was a traits table where a PC might randomly be determined to be homosexual, Jewish, left-handed, ambi-dextrous, etc., with nearly a hundred entries. In addition to D&D-like characteristics, characters had vices that might lead them into sin. There was some kind of sin and damnation system with sins of various severity. Magic involved either praying for miracles, or summoning demons or angels, maybe Fae Folk. Summoning anything, under any circumstances, almost always counted as a sin of some kind.

The game was reminiscent of the Darklands computer game, except more UK / Arthurian in focus.

For obvious reasons, Googling "Advanced Roleplaying" doesn't produce anything useful. If anyone can provide an author, publisher, etc., that would be very helpful.

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You're looking for Fantasy Wargaming: The Highest Level of All; it's unmistakable. Here's the cover art:

Cover of "Fantasy Wargaming" book.

See this writeup about it:

Did you know that God, Lucifer, Heimdall, and Sif all have Leo as their astrological sign!? This is why God has bonuses to his physical strength and social status, but a penalty to his religious faith. [...]

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    \$\begingroup\$ Well, God may be a Leo, but the Earth is a Libra. goodreads.com/quotes/… \$\endgroup\$
    – From
    Mar 27, 2023 at 8:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ Note that there at least two printings. Both are hardcover, but one was smaller (pages about half an 8.5x11 or A4) with the cover illustration as a paper dustjacket and the actual cover blank, and the other larger (pages a full 8.5 x 11 / A4 or larger) and the cover illustration printed on the actual cover. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Mar 27, 2023 at 15:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ I added a Wikipedia link and an image of the cover, as well as fixing the quote formatting. Also, here's another Q&A on RPG.SE about the same book: Help me identify this 1980s book about role-playing \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Mar 28, 2023 at 4:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ Wow! That's it exactly! \$\endgroup\$
    – ucbpaladin
    Mar 28, 2023 at 12:44
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You might be thinking of Ysgarth Advanced Roleplaying. The image displayed there is the 1992 edition cover. There were two earlier editions of the system that likely had different cover art.

Do any of these covers jog your memory?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Interesting, I'll try to pick up a copy out of curiosity, but I'm pretty sure that's not it, by the descriptions I'm reading. The system I'm looking for was very specifically Christian, Arthurian romantic period. The description I found of Ysgarth mentions "six religious orders, priestly magic, and 155 gods", which doesn't sound right. Basically, you could pray for miracles or use magic to summon angels or demons, but any summoning would damn you fairly quickly. Setting-wise, more like maybe Pendragon RPG with a dose of the Malleus Maleficarum? Virtues and vices and damnation and so on. \$\endgroup\$
    – ucbpaladin
    Dec 23, 2017 at 0:17

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