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GURPS Magic Cover.jpg
GURPS Magic cover
Designer(s) Steve Jackson, S. John Ross, Daniel U. Thibault
Publisher(s) Steve Jackson Games
Publication date

1989 (1st ed; for 3rd edition GURPS)
1994 (2nd ed; for 3rd edition GURPS)

2004 (3rd ed; for 4th edition GURPS)
Genre(s) Fantasy
System(s) GURPS

GURPS Magic is a source book for the GURPS Role-playing game from Steve Jackson Games that provides in depth coverage of magic in the context of GURPS. The book expands on the material outlined in the Basic Set, provides alternative forms of magic for GMs to use, and contains much more material. The first edition was published in 1989.


Third edition[edit]

GURPS Magic is a supplement of magic rules for use in fantasy milieus, an expansion and replacement of the rules in 1st edition GURPS Fantasy, entirely revised for use with the GURPS 3rd edition. The book is very detailed, and the spell rules enable the player to custom-design a character's magical abilities, although this can take a fair amount of time and effort. The book includes and extensive spell list.[1]

Fourth edition[edit]

This 240-page hardcover book with full color illustrations covers the third edition source books GURPS Magic and GURPS Grimoire and adds additional material. It is the latest version of GURPS Magic.

Publication history[edit]

GURPS Magic was originally written by Steve Jackson with Marc Janssen, Walter Milliken, Steffan O'Sullivan, W. Dow Rieder, Brett Slocum, and Daniel U. Thibault, with a cover by Guy Burchak, and was first published by Steve Jackson Games in 1989 as a 112-page book.[1]


Ken Rolston reviewed the first edition of GURPS Magic for Dragon magazine #147 (July 1989).[2] Rolston comments in his evaluation: "The GURPS Magic game is an excellent supplement for the GURPS system, an effective expansion of the game's original fantasy magic rules with added features and wise campaign-design guidance. As a FRPG magic supplement, it boasts exceptional virtues in systems and conceptions. As a generic supplement, however, it lacks the distinctive charm and atmosphere of a specific fantasy campaign setting. As a source book for enriching the magical elements in your FRPG campaign, it is useful—perhaps inspirational—regardless of the system you use."[2]

Rick Swan reviewed the second edition of GURPS Magic for Dragon magazine #206 (June 1994).[3] Swan comments in his evalutation: "Jackson made a few design choices that may not be to everyone's liking. In order to pack in as many spells as possible, he occasionally skimps on descriptions. [...] Nor does he dictate how much detail the spell provides. The magical-item rules make it difficult to create off-the-wall oddities favored by AD&D mages, like the portable hole and bag of beans. Also, the small amount of new material - a system for limiting the power of wizards, flow charts that show the prerequisites for spells from all colleges - barely justifies a second edition; owners of the first edition can put their money away. These are nitpicks though, irrelevant to the overall impact. A dazzling performance by a virtuoso designer, GURPS Magic is a knock-out."[3]

David L. Pulver reviewed the second edition of GURPS Magic for White Wolf magazine #49 (September 1994), rating it a 4 out of 5 overall.[4] Pulver comments: "If you already have the first edition of GURPS Magic, there's no need ot buy this one unless your copy is worn out. If you don't have it, and you want to use magic in GURPS, the material offered here is a vast improvement over the skeletal rules of the Basic Set."[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Schick, Lawrence (1991). Heroic Worlds: A History and Guide to Role-Playing Games. Prometheus Books. pp. 391–392. ISBN 0-87975-653-5. 
  2. ^ a b Rolston, Ken (July 1989). "Role-playing Reviews". Dragon. Lake Geneva, Wisconsin: TSR (#147): 61–63. 
  3. ^ a b Swan, Rick (June 1994). "Role-playing Reviews". Dragon. Lake Geneva, Wisconsin: TSR (#206): 84–85. 
  4. ^ a b Pulver, David L. (September 1994). "Capsule Reviews". White Wolf. White Wolf (49): 65–66. 

External links[edit]