The Malleus Maleficarum –Source Material for DMs

The “Malleus Maleficarum” or “The Hammer of Witches” is a 15th century tome describing the methods and practices of witches. It also gives instructions on identification and elimination of witches.

The books is split into three parts. The first and second sections deal primarily with witchcraft practices and behaviors. These are clearly meant to aid in a witch’s capture. The last section covers trials, witnesses and evidence needed to convict a witch.

Although dry and dull as a lich’s tongue, the book literally brims with tidbits to liven up any gaming witch hunt! Specific examples of evil deeds perpetrated on the faithful, magical effects and witch hunting techniques all appear in this tome.

Besides its value as gaming/campaign inspiration, the primary reason I am directing you to this document is its historical value. Skimming the “Malleus” gave me some real insight into the thought process of men with no foundation in reason, only fanaticism. There are examples of people being burned alive because a hailstorm disrupted a wedding to which the “witch” was not invited!

Take a look and get a feel for the true meaning of “Inquisition.”

Full Text of the Malleus Maleficarum

Trask, the Last Tyromancer



Trask is a long-time gamer, world traveler and history buff. He hopes that his scribblings will both inform and advance gaming as a hobby.