GURPS 333, Introduction

Welcome to the 333 setting, a neo-noir magi-technothriller world of modern Ritual Path Magic spanning not just the Earth, but also nine more planes of existence. These outer planes are new frontiers in fantastic terrain and magical discoveries, but swarming with strange dangers like monsters and unnatural phenomenon. Meanwhile, back on the alternate Earth, the aftermath of the Cold War and the reveal of magic to the public has caused rapid socio-political changes, magi have to fill a niche in an increasingly unstable world. Mysteries, power struggles, disasters, cruelties and monetary costs lurk everywhere, from Russian countryside villages to the magical city of Triangle, from North American suburban sprawls to the Malkuth wilderness!

Wherever you’re adventuring on mundane Earth or the exotic outer planes, you must be on guard against sorcerous conspiracies, dubious authorities, fantastic monsters, hazardous magical materials, treacherous criminals, unstable terrain, an alarmed public, and, most of all, your own ignorance and flaws.

The 333 campaign can be any mixture of neo-noir crime drama, low fantasy, thriller intrigue, action adventure, and slice-of-life picaresque. The central themes of the setting are sacrifice and suspicion. In a 333 campaign, the questions are thus; what is the cost of your goals? And who can you trust?

The setting is TL 5+3 (TL 8^, to our eyes) Earth (2016 C.E.), with nine “mystical realms” (outer planes of existence named after the nine Paths) accessed through dimensional gates. The only magic system is Ritual Path Magic – and magic is definitely the only supernatural power available (no Psi or Divine Favour, for example).

Recommended Books

Obviously, Thaumatology: Ritual Path Magic is the centrepiece underpinning the main attraction of the 333 setting. That book is, of course, paired with Thaumatology, Pyramid issues 3/66, 3/56, 3/48 and 3/43, Thaumatology: Magical Styles, and Powers (including the Power-Ups series) for further options.

Meanwhile, Thaumatology: Urban Magics and Fantasy will help with modern fantasy campaigns in general. Since the 333 campaign is typically set in a relatively realistic modern day context, the High-Tech series is used in conjunction with Tactical Shooting, Martial Arts, Social Engineering, City Stats, and any sub-books of those (e.g. Technical Grappling, Back to School, Adventure Guns) for further options regarding non-magic elements.

The Basic Set goes without saying. Depending on campaign genre, Horror or Mysteries may be self-evidently useful.

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