RogerBW's Blog

Pyramid 82: Magical Creations 11 October 2015

Pyramid is the monthly GURPS supplement containing short articles with a loose linking theme. This time it's about items one can make with magic.

Dungeon Brewmasters (Jason "PK" Levine) is a Dungeon Fantasy add-on to allow delvers to brew potions and alchemical elixirs, rather than buying them in Town as one usually does. This is basically a matter for Alchemy skill, optionally with Quick Gadgeteer, and fairly rules-heavy. Medium quality, low applicability: Dungeon Fantasy leaves out a lot of GURPS in order to be a quick monster-bashing game, and isn't really my thing.

The Sorcerer (Antoni Ten Monrós) adapts the new Sorcery system for Dungeon Fantasy: there's a 250-point Sorcerery template, some power-ups, and some more spell conversions. Medium quality, low applicability, as before.

Eidetic Memory: Eight Artifacts (David L. Pulver) describes eight magic items: appearance, history, and powers. Interesting enough, but a bit old-fashioned (I was reading this sort of thing in White Dwarf in the 1980s). Medium quality, low applicability: while they're not specific to Dungeon Fantasy like the first two articles, they still rely on a game that's basically about bashing monsters. Though I like the umbrella.

The Hunter's Reliquary (Christopher R. Rice) defines "relics", magical items for the Monster Hunters setting, in similar terms to Dungeon Fantasy "artifacts". Just like those artefacts, they're there to provide costly power boosts to player characters rather than to be understood or integrated into a mythology. Medium quality, low applicability: I'm not running Monster Hunters any more than I'm running Dungeon Fantasy. Designer's notes here

Instruments of Enchantment (Jon Black) integrates information from Thaumatology and Low-Tech to build a comprehensive system for magical musical instruments, dealing with symbolism (shape and construction can give an affinity with a particular sort of magic) and the various ways in which an instrument can become enchanted, as well as giving several examples including bagpipes made from a dragon's stomach. High quality, medium applicability: I can see these principles, if not the examples, worked into a modern game with magic.

Random Thought Table: Tangible Abstractions (Steven Marsh) considers things that aren't things: the portable hole, for example. One example item lets you bring "home" with you; another is a bottle of fluid imbued with the idea of "up". High quality, low applicability because I don't tend to run games that are quite that free-wheeling.

Appendix Z: More Charms (Antoni Ten Monrós) briefly defines more alchemical amulets and charms for Dungeon Fantasy. Medium quality, low applicability.

This issue is clearly more relevant to players of Dungeon Fantasy or Monster Hunters than it is to me, but there's still good stuff here. Pyramid 82 is available from Warehouse 23.

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