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Old 10-03-2014, 11:07 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Montréal, Québec
Default GURPS Magic: Death Spells

Fireballs are dandy
And death-touches are handy
But this will slay 'em
— Some creepy dude in a black robe
GURPS Magic hasn't had a new supplement in such a long time that people probably thought it was dead. Not quite . . . but death was in the equation. Specifically, GURPS Magic: Death Spells, a compendium of killer curses for murderous mages.

Sometimes, you just want to do damage, to beat down the enemy and take him for ransom or teach him a lesson he won't forget. Occasionally, the less-lethal touch isn't for your victim's benefit but for your own – you'd rather avoid desecrating the temple or facing a murder charge. GURPS Magic provides a wealth of spells that serve such purposes: fireballs and lightning bolts, magic that induces sleep or paralysis or sickness, and dozens of other possibilities that offer the option of victory without death.

And sometimes, you want your target dead, dead, dead. Then GURPS Magic is more limited. Fortunately, we're unearthed a new chapter of the grimoire which fills that need.

GURPS Magic: Death Spells is an exploration of "one casting, one kill" wizardry. It examines what constitutes a death spell, offers several distinct game mechanics for such curses, and then provides 48 grim examples – two for each of the 24 standard colleges. Yes, that does include Food, Healing, and Protection and Warning.

As is the custom of our people, these deadly one-shots come with a user's manual. Asides discuss special defenses against insta-kill curses, giving "death magic" its own college and mana aspect, getting clerics in on the act, interactions with the Resurrection spell, the forensics of magical murder, and even committing sorcerous suicide. On the meta level, there's also advice on keeping all this stuff balanced and introducing it into an ongoing campaign.

Whether you're a grim-dark cultist with a mysterious "NPC" tattooed on your forehead, a holy hero who wants to make sure Evil goes down and stays down, or a munchkin mage in search of the ultimate weapon, it's time to crack open a new spellbook.

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Sean "Dr. Kromm" Punch <>
GURPS Line Editor, Steve Jackson Games
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