Thursday, February 18, 2021

Pyramid Scheme: Fantasy Issue

 So the kickstarter is out and at this point most backers have their copies of the three issues. This is my review f the Fantasy issue.

Other reviews are listed here. Mailanka and Dungeon Fantastic

Toxic Grimoire

This introduces the Poison college for GURPS Magic with 40 spells, most of them new to this issue and a handful of existing spells from other colleges. There are some really neat and innovative spells here and if your a fan of GURPS Magic this is a very nice addition.


This is ideas for poem magic and is heavily influenced by Japanese lore. It discusses the metaphysics behind poem magic and some specifics for Japanese culture and how it could influence these mages. It is not a new magic system but provides ideas for working with GURPS Magic, Sorcery, and Ritual Path Magic.

The Demonic Temple of Felltower

This is a Dungeon Fantasy adventure. I wont go into details as that would be a spoiler.

Healing and Purification Ritual Path Magic

A collection of premade spells for the Ritual Path Magic system. One of the reviewers wondered what is the point of building spells for a flexible magic system. The thing is that while anyone could come up with these spells that doesn't mean they would. Christopher Rice made several spells nd they are playtested (I'm in a campaign that used them) so they have had a chance to observe and address any unforseen consequences. Also just as with spells as powers someone else building them saves the reader time and may be done in a way that reader would not have thought of.  The Succor spells in this issue for example are done in a way I would not have thought of.


A historical location in southeastern France in the late ninth century. Like all of Matt Riggsby's stuff it is well written and researched.
Basically the story is a small band (reportedly) took over a castle almost by accident. Very useful fodder for adventurers doing the same in your campaign!

Tactical Looting

This is ideas for a dungeon run on the clock.  Resource management is essential to much adventuring, yet many dungeons let you rest between fights and bypass that problem. Kromm gives lots of advice for these speed runs and even if your not into that the "How Long Does it Take" section gives handy times for certain common delving activities.

Stilpnotita, the City of Lamps

This is a city on the elemental plane of earth and its an interesting base for adventurers. Basically a settlement in a large cavern lit by lots of lamps, from whence it gets its name. It is in my opinion really well thought out and has some useful ideas.

Supernatural Energy

This is my article so I'll refrain from offering an opinion and just say what its about. It is two sections, the frst takes a fresh look at Magery and imagines how it could have been built if it were designed for GURPS Fourth Edition from the ground up instead of being relatively unchanged from the original GURPS.  Also looks at how to make Magery work better for powers based magic such as Sorcery.  The latter is mainly ways for mages to cooperate with each other and duplicate feats possible in various magic systems. The second portion focuses on tapping external energy such as ley lines, fires, storms, etc. I was inspired by psychic vampires and shows such as Lost Girl so tapping emotions are also referenced. I use a lot of this material in my Chalice World setting, for Sorcery and Vampires.


An alternate earth setting where the landscape is littered with demons, both petty and powerful. A lot of reference to GURPS Infinite Worlds but really it can be used as a standalone setting concept or inspiration. I found it interesting, though obviously incomplete due to space limitations.  Maybe it will get its own supplement.

Fusion Alchemy

Christopher Rice keeps adding to and tweaking his Metatronic generator rules and this time its adapted for alchemy.  Good article and can be ported into other genres as tech or supers based drugs.

The Cube

An interesting puzzle room. Basically its a cube that rolls around inside a larger cube and you have to maneuver it next to a wall in the right position for a door to match up.

Random Thought Table (Lack of Speed Kills)

This is some really good GM advice for helping keep the game moving along.  Probably worth the price of the issue all by itself as odds are you have run or played in campaigns where this would have been helpful.

Overall I loved this issue and can't wait to see more feedback on it and the others.  If things go well this may be an annual thing.  I will point out as an author on the project, we had specific guidelines on how long each article had to be.  Several articles would have merited much more space, while some were a concise and natural fit at the targeted word count. With good feedback on the SJG forums and purchase of issues when they eventually go on sale for those who missed the kickstarter we may see some of these get more detail.

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