Magic is not science, it is a collection of ways to do things — ways that work but often we don’t know why.
– Robert A. Heinlein, “Glory Road”, 1963
Roleplaying games often feature flashy, instantaneous magic. Magic users hurl fireballs, call down lightning, and summon monsters, all within an instant and with much visual fanfare. When you look to magic systems in the real world, though, things are rarely so dramatic.
The development of magical beliefs grew out of the human need for control of the world or the self. For real world practitioners, magic takes time, effort, care, and patience. It is anything but spontaneous. It doesn’t share the flavor of the sorcery found in high fantasy rpgs, but real world traditional magic practices can provide a wealth of interesting ideas for games that take a more subtle approach to things.
Other Magic is an old style zine designed to translate “real” magic practices into a format that is useful for fantasy and horror rpgs. In addition to the spells and rituals themselves, the zines gives background information about the magic traditions which inspired them: Pennsylvania Dutch Braucherei/Powwowing, Brujeria / Hechiceria / Curanderismo, Hoodoo / Rootwork / Conjure, Ozark Magic, and Russian Slavic Zagovory. It includes ingredient lists, tips on running subtle magic campaigns, and more.
This product is the result of a successful Kickstarter campaign that ran in February of 2019. PDF and print copies of Other Magic #1 can be purchased on DriveThruRPG.