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Elemental Gemstones $0.99
Average Rating:5.0 / 5
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Elemental Gemstones
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Elemental Gemstones
Publisher: Bards and Sages
by Shane O. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/21/2008 17:52:09
I confess that I’ve never been a person who cared for RPG supplements that didn’t have any rules. Such flavor-based books always seemed like a waste to me; why pay for something when, as often as not, the information you really wanted could be found at your local library, or on the internet, or even in the fertile depths of your own imagination? What I wanted was someone to do the math for me, inventing new systems and sub-systems that I couldn’t find elsewhere. And yet, despite all of that, I found myself head-over-heels for Elemental Gemstones before I’d even finished the first read-through.

The zipped file containing Elemental Gemstones is just over three megabytes in size, holding a single PDF version of the book. The supplement is a full twenty-seven pages long, though this includes the cover, a credits page, a Consumer End-User License, etc. The PDF does have bookmarks, but they’re for each section of the book, not for each gem. Luckily, the table of contents does list each gem, and is hyperlinked.

The book is also quite beautiful to look at, much like a gemstone itself. Almost every page is lightly tinted with various colors (the introduction seems to have a light violet, while the section with the gemstones is a light green, for example). Moreover, each of the seventy gemstones listed in the book has a photograph of an example stone right by the entry. There are no other illustrations here, but you won’t miss that at all, given how visually spectacular the book is. The only problem with this approach is that printing it out might be a bit of a hassle. Having a plain-text version wouldn’t have hurt.

As mentioned above, Elemental Gemstones is a system-neutral book. While it drops some hints to being compatible to Bards and Sages new Karma RPG, you’d never know this if they hadn’t mentioned it; and even so, I’m still not sure where this book intersects with that, as it still seems system-neutral. The premise of the book is that it describes seventy gemstones, and talks about their elemental natures, which make them suitable for certain kinds of magic.

The book opens by talking about the various elements. The four classical elements are discussed first (air, earth, fire, and water) followed by three secondary elements (lightning, metal, and wood), and three “astral elements” (aether and void). After this, it briefly mentions the availability of various gemstones, dividing them up into common, difficult, and rare, and discussing what those terms generally mean.

Each gemstone is then discussed (in alphabetical order) along with what elements it corresponds to, and what its availability is. The majority of each entry, which is roughly two paragraphs long, is to discuss specifically how the gem’s elemental affinities translate into magic. Both amethyst and aquamarine are water/aether gemstones, for example, but the former augments protection against fear and encourages peace, while the latter calms the restless dead and soothes the seas. At the end of the book are several lists indexing various gems by availability and by elemental affinity.

I confess that reading Elemental Gemstones reminded me of something that I’d forgotten: some supplements are supposed to stoke the imagination, rather than make new rules. And this book does that excellently. It provides a clear and lengthy list of new ideas for use of gems in your game, and leaves you to do the rest. Elemental Gemstones is a gem of a book unto itself.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Elemental Gemstones
Publisher: Bards and Sages
by Nadine S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/12/2008 13:27:36
Just beautiful, though like Cosmology of Karma this product almost killed my printer. Well written overview of dozens of gems and their supposed magical properties. Gems by Elemental Affinity Chart provides a quick reference in case you want to find gems for specific elements.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Elemental Gemstones
Publisher: Bards and Sages
by CJ W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/15/2008 15:01:55
Another handy reference book from Bards & Sages. As with Elemental Metals, gemstone's elemental alignments, availability of the gemstone and some information (such as how the stone may usually be used as a luck charm for example) is provided as well. Very handy for item creation or for adding a little "extra" information/color/etc. as you like. Definitely a time-saver for the GM who needs detail but who hasn't got the time to do the research on their own. Each pictured gem is shown in one of a variety of formats (either cut and set in jewelry, tumbled/polished or raw). Ideally I would have liked to have seen two pictures per gem, one each as raw and finished. If you liked Elemental Metals, I'm certain you will enjoy this too.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Elemental Gemstones
Publisher: Bards and Sages
by Dale M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/01/2008 17:29:56
Elemental Gemstones details seventy gems and crystals for magic item creation in the Karma Roleplaying System. Each has a bit of fluff attached to help GMs determine the appropriate use. Also listed is the element the gem is aligned to (earth, fire, air, and so on) as well as its availability (common, difficult, and rare). That is the whole of the crunch presented in this product. The introduction of the book gives the reader a sense of basics of the Karma magic system.

With such limited amount of crunch as well as it being presented in general terms, it is easy to port these over to other role playing games. D20 gamers that desire an alternate item creation system that does not involve spending experience can instead seek out rare and precious stones to make their items. This book works perfectly with Exalted as written. Elements Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Wood are all represented. Metal and Lightning are also present if your game involves Autocathon. Modern games that involve magic, such as Mage and Shadowrun, can use these to help draw depth to the game and explain why certain gems are required and not others. Players could the ones to discover why a certain corporation’s secret hording of sapphires has nothing to do with their monetary value. Even in Scifi games Star Wars, these gems have a place. With Old Republic Jedi searching out the gems that best suits their individual personalities, this reference can provide a quick guide as to which gems would be appropriate and how difficult they are to acquire.

Disclaimer: My first writing credit is with Bards and Sages

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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