GURPS Magic Systems

Magic your thing?
GURPS Basic Set introduces a Spells as skills system that is further fleshed out in GURPS Magic and its supplements. That system dates back to the beginning of GURPS with various updates since.
However magic is something that almost everyone sees differently and no single system can support all the works of fiction and history. So GURPS rather than shoehorn everything into one system GURPS has come up with several to choose from.

GURPS Thaumatology

 Expands on the basic GURPS Magic system and adds other systems and many options.
However because it covers so  much ground it is left to expansions to delve deeper.  Luckily some have  already come out, both as supplements and as Pyramid articles as well as numerous House Rules, many of which are discussed on the forums.
Some of the systems it includes...

  • A discussion on the background and  setting implications of magic and various choices.
  • At least two chapters devoted to GURPS Magic and ways minor and major to tweak it to suit various campaigns.
  • Material magic, including raw materials, Alchemy, and enchanting items.
  • Path and Book Magic which were introduced in GURPS Voodoo the Shadow War and GURPS Castle Falkensten (Both Third Edition) which is a slower but fairly flexible and low to medium powered system.
  • Flexible Magic, including Symbols, Syntactic and Realm magic (The latter introduced in GURPS Mage The Ascension for Third Edition)
  • Magic as Powers
Dungeons and GURPS YouTube going over what magic system is best for a D&D conversion.

Published Magic Systems

Below are links to this blogs pages and posts on some of the magic systems in GURPS.
Default Magic System Index of Blog Posts Each spell is a separate skill, fast casting, limited by energy in combat but can be cast over and over, possibly with short rest breaks.
Here is a video describing it. A bit dry but though clip.
Book/Path Magic Rituals organized into categories, slow casting but versatile.
Magic as Powers Based on the advantage system this is expensive point wise but probably the most balanced magic system.
Ritual Path Magic Slow or fast casting options, very versatile though powerful effects may be out of reach in lower point campaigns.


GURPS Horror adds a Corruption mechanic that works well with several systems for a system that corrupts, drives the user insane, etc. Threshold Magic and Spirit Assisted Magic from GURPS Thaumatology also discusses options.
The Fifth Attribute from Pyramid #3/120 Alternate GURPS V is another idea that reflectsthe POW or SAN stat from some other games.
A more in depth review

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