A solid book, well thought-out and focusing on magic, blood, life force, power, sacrifice and heredity.
I haven't seen so much emphasis on blood since the Vampire: the Requiem Players Guide "The Blood." Only the powerful yet dangerous blood magics of Shadowrun come close to the feel of this book.
The illustrations and book are all in black and white. A shame. It seriously needed to have red-tinged colour interior art.
Each chapter focuses on one aspect of blood magic: in the first, the role and nature of sacrifice and some common sacrificial methods and techniques of sacrifice are discussed.
The next chapter discusses bloody miracles - Divine blood magic, including new and very powerful blood-themed spells such as Purify Blood, Sense Blood, Rain of Blood and Vampiric Touch. The chapter has a very heavy South American Aztec emphasis.
The Blood Sorcery chapter answers a lot of questions raised on the Mongoose fora about what a Grimoire is - is it just a single leather-bound book, or a whole tradition or methodology. The answer is: the latter. A Grimoire could be an oral tradition passed down through memory, precepts written on the walls of a chapter of the sorcerous order or anything, really, as long as they represent a body of knowledge. This chapter discusses the use of blood rather than Magic Points in sorcery, giving sorcery a suitably dark reputation.
The spells listed, such as Abjure Life, Clone, Enslave, Switch Body and Torment are the least horrifying possibilities listed for such dark sorceries.
The next chapter introduces yet another way of looking at magic. Concert casting; enchanting using the Enchant skill; summoning of entities such as demons; these new skills are thrown into this chapter.
The book rounds off with a thorough discussion of how blood magic can be incorporated into a fantasy setting, looking at pulp fantasy, swords & sorcery, high fantasy and other genres, and a list of inspirational sources.
If you want really powerful magic in your game - the sort of magic that has a hundred people chanting, and suddenly the skies over a whole kingdom are bleeding and raining blood - this is your book.
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