GURPS: Thaumatology - Ritual Path Magic

Yes, the much anticipated new supplement has been released upon the world, with little fanfare from Steve Jackson Games, but to generally very positive reviews from the masses.

I picked it up the second I saw that it had become available, having been waiting for this one with greater anticipation than any other supplement in the recent pipeline (Sorry +Douglas Cole - Technical Grappling is in my to be read pile as well, but I barely understand the Basic Set grappling rules as it is...) and am also generally pleased with it.

First, some highlights:

  • Much more language, with explicit numbers where appropriate, to help define the line between a Lesser Effect and a Greater Effect. Probably the most difficult portion of the process for most of us to get our heads around.
  • A short Grimoire of pre-built spells to serve as examples for those of us who learn best by examples. Far from complete and begging for a series of Pyramid articles to expand upon them.
  • Enchantment and Elixir rules, for potions and other magical artifacts. There's an assumption about them that keeps them from feeling remotely D&D-like - you'll not find troves of +1 longswords in this system.
Where does it fall down for me? Too much of the exact same language as was presented in Monster Hunters 1. Yes, of course, this supplement had to include it, as the assumption was only that you have the Basic Set when you pick this one up. But the examples used to illustrate the rules were also verbatim copied from the MH materials, and while I'm sure they're fine, there was a squandered opportunity to expand upon the global set of examples in circulation by using different ones that highlighted the same concepts in slightly different ways, without over-blowing word count.

At 52 pages, cover to cover, it could have been longer. I'd expected a significantly larger Grimoire section. And I think that a half-dozen pages devoted to longer-form examples would have been generally helpful to more than just me. Guess I'll just have to write them up myself, get them vetted by the experts, and post them here...


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