Mineral Magic: Volume Three is the latest volume in a series of d20 magic item books from Tangent Games. The zipped file is just over a megabyte in size, and contains a single PDF. The book itself is thirty-three pages long, including a page for the cover, one of credits/ads, and one for the table of contents, which is fully hyperlinked. The PDF also has full bookmarks.
This volume of Mineral Magic has a fair amount of artwork. Like its predecessors, it has a full color cover, and has a color photograph of each gemstone discussed. There are no page borders or other use of color, save for the purple headers on the tables at the end of the book. A printer-friendly version would have been nice, but the pictures of various gems shouldn't be too hard to handle.
Mineral Magic is about unlocking the magical properties inherent in gemstones. After a brief piece of fiction where a character uses such a magical gem, the product presents two feats (which have been listed in every volume). The second feat helps a character make gem-related skill checks, but it's the first that's more interesting. It allows spellcasters with the appropriate prerequisites to unlock the magic in gems with a successful skill check. This still costs XP, but there's no need to use spells to enchant the gem. Every magic item given in the book has a line of information regarding using this feat. Thoughtfully, they've also provided a line with the standard magic item information in case you'd like to create such items normally.
Mineral Magic covers twenty-nine real-world gems and precious metals. Each has at least one magic item that it can be made into, and several have more than one such item listed. Rather than just being given quick descriptions, most cover how the process to unlock their magic is done, giving the item several paragraphs of description. The book ends with appendices listing the items by item name, and by gem name, followed by tables integrating these with the minor, medium, and major magic items in the DMG. Unfortunately, there's no master table that compiles the magic items from all three volumes together.
Like its predecessor volumes, Mineral Magic Volume Three is good, but ultimately boils down to being a collection of a few dozen new magic items. The new way of creating these gems tries to be innovative, but ultimately feels like just another item creation feat, one that's more specialized than Craft Wondrous Item (which is a prerequisite for the new feat here), and that's bad, since these items can all be made with that feat and some spells anyway. The items themselves are interesting, and useful, but other than their expanded flavor text regarding gems, don't feel very different from other items. Among the plethora of magic item books available for d20, Mineral Magic is only a semi-precious stone.
LIKED: The pictures of the gems are quite nice, and the expanded flavor text regarding how the magical property relates to the gem is also pleasant.
DISLIKED: Ultimately, despite the book's attempt to make these items feel different, it still ultimately felt like another magic item collection, with a theme that didn't seem to overcome the standard nature of d20 magic items.
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