Mineral Magic has nothing to do with those relaxing modern day bath houses that advertise that they will steam your every pain away. Instead, it is a series of books by Tangent games that does seem to steam away the player dilemma of what to do with this bag of different gems.
Gems are the Dungeon Masters cliff notes for handing out treasure. Instead of going through tables and charts to find the right treasures, simply take the gems valued at the suggested treasure for the encounter. The PC cashes in the gems and eventually gems become little more than a means to reduce PCs ?treasure? weight but still give them the same value. Mineral Magic: Volume 2 tries to delete the notion that gems are little more than currency note by providing secret powers that can be unleashed by the gems.
Expanding upon its first book, 25 more gems are given the well researched treatment and given special abilities that can be created by a character with a particular feat or the class from the first volume. Each gem is given a nice description and what its unlocked power does.
For the Player
Mineral Magic provides a new set of magical items that are not overpowered yet useable by everyone. It also provides more of a creative use for the many gems you get in the game. Hematite is a gem that can come up often as mundane treasure and is one of my favorites from the book. Its special ability is Stone of a thousand cuts, turning the hematite into a potent high damage rock. .
For the DM
I like this product a lot for GMs whom are tired of giving away hordes of magical treasures or for GMs who want a low magic feel.
The Iron Word
Mineral Magic: Volume 2 is a nice resource for a different type of magical items. The book is well written and the description of each mineral is intricately tied into the items special power. Some of the entries are a bit lengthy but more is always better than less.
LIKED: - a unique new type of magical item that makes a use out of often discarded treasure
- the images show that the writers went through a lot of detail to research and blend the flavor of each gem with its ability.
DISLIKED: - some of the entries run a bit too long
QUALITY: Very Good