About a year after the release of GURPS Thaumatology: Sorcery, it got its first dedicated supplement in August 2016: GURPS Sorcery: Protection and Warning Spells. This is a relatively small PDF supplement (15 pages, including the obligatory cover page and 1-page ad at the end), going for a minimal $5. It presents 35 new spells (and repeats the two spells of this college from the original book)… and very little else.

Thanks to the nature of power builds in GURPS 4e, it’s very easy to rework every spell here for use elsewhere if you don’t want to use Sorcery, and a little under a half page is spent discussing that process. It is likely that some math would be required if you want to get rid of the standard fatigue cost, though methods of keeping costs in line without that are also mentioned.

Having the first supplement for the under-resourced Sorcery system be ‘protection and warning’ seems a bit odd at first, but it makes sense. Many offensive powers aren’t too hard to figure out, and there’s a good number of example abilities that could be ported over. Several of the spells here get very complicated in how they’re built out, and it’s another great buy just on the tinkering GM end.

Two spells are marked with a warning that they are based on spells from GURPS Magic: Death Spells, and are particularly lethal (they are!) and must be specifically approved by the GM. Black Sphere gives a chance for the target to get out before it forms (DX roll, etc.) or make a quick contest of HT vs the caster’s HT + Talent, or be completely destroyed (no damage, just good old ‘instant death’). This is done with a couple different applications of the Cosmic modifier, at a cost of 110 points (which really means 10 levels of Sorcerous Empowerment + 22 points). The other, Force Guillotine, comes in at a very hefty 315 points (or 31 levels of Sorcerous Empowerment + 63 points) for a 20d6 (‘5dx4’) attack that ignores all normal protections.

Sorcery has been no stranger to 100+ point spells, but this supplement establishes a new top end with Force Guillotine simply having the highest minimum cost of any spell. Utter Dome creates a 2-yard radius barrier that stops 10 damage points of just about anything at a cost of 197 points + 40 per extra yard of radius. Or it can be boosted to a DR100 barrier for 1,367 points + 265/yard of radius. (And yes, 500 points is still considered to be well into the superheroic genre; some of these will not appear in very many campaigns no matter what the GM allows.) Meanwhile, Mystic Mist sets a new high-water mark in complicated mechanics breakdowns, since it has three parts linked together into one ability.

As would be expected from a ‘protection’ supplement, there are eight different ‘resist’ spells. Several of these are for things that normally have lingering effects (poison, disease, acid), and have the interesting effect in that they protect against getting them, but cannot cure an ongoing condition. However, they do cause the subject to make all HT rolls for an ongoing condition for the duration of the spell, and can allow the person to outlast the effects.

Overall, the spells range from the expected (Armor) to some unusual ones (Nightingale, as well as most of the ones previously mentioned), and really extend the usefulness of the Sorcery system. Repeating the earlier spells is a little surprising, though I expect the idea is that once there’s a supplement for every magic college out, there’ll be no need to go back to the original supplement other than for basic reference. Since some spells ‘are also water spells’ and the like, I do wonder if they’ll repeat them when those supplements come out. If they come out; it has been mentioned that a very high crunch supplement like this is a lot more expensive to produce than the low price from its low page count suggests. I certainly hope it does well enough for the series to continue.