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The Magic Box: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Role-Playing Game
John Snead
Eden Studios, 126 pages

The Magic Box:  Buffy the Vampire Slayer Role-Playing Game
John Snead
John Snead is a freelance role-playing writer living in Portland, Oregon. He went to college in Washington University in St. Louis, where he received a double major in Mathematics and History with minors in Classics and Physics. From there, he went on to get an MA in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and ended his academic career in the midst of working on a Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology at the University of Southern California.

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Past Feature Reviews
A review by Cindy Lynn Speer

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So, you've managed to defeat the big bad about 500 times, and maybe, just maybe, you're tired of being the nifty kick butt slayer or whatever other role you've found for yourself in the Buffy-verse. If that's so, why not see what Giles has for you down at the Magic Box?

This supplement, The Magic Box: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Role-Playing Game, has everything you could possibly need to add an advanced magic system into your role playing. The whole book is made, not just to set up rules and get you started (it completely adds a whole new list of rules to the role playing game) but to give the player ideas and get them in the proper frame of mind. Peppered with quotes and pictures from the series and pop culture references galore, it's much like stepping into an episode of the show. They also use examples from the show, applying them to the magic system to give the player a real idea of what's going on.

The chapters are divided up much as you'd expect. There is an overview of the Buffy constant history of magic and the supernatural, which begins with the past and ends with several major characters and events from the show, including a couple sample character sheets. There are a lot of new quality/drawbacks listed just for magic users -- empathy, magical family and invisible are just a few. There are also new Archetypes, taken from the show and updated, such as AWOL Invisible Spy and Young mystic. The Archetypes each come with a mini-bio, a quote and an explanation on how to role play them. There is also a chapter dedicated to spells, many of them pulled right off the show, and includes a section on enchanted items that I'd think would inspire some aspects of the story. There is also a really nifty sample episode to get everyone started right. The book is finished off with an in-depth appendix that lists mythological gods and characters, magic working dates, the meanings of various candle colors and more.

While you don't need this supplement (as with any role playing supplement) to play the actual Buffy game, I think that it really adds a lot of interest and new rules to the game. Even if you don't have a member of your RPG group who wants to be a mage, it adds a lot to the general atmosphere and to the rules and therefore to the story you're creating, so I think that it would make things more interesting. A fun addition to the game.

Copyright © 2003 Cindy Lynn Speer

Cindy Lynn Speer loves books so much that she's designed most of her life around them, both as a librarian and a writer. Her books aren't due out anywhere soon, but she's trying. You can find her site at www.apenandfire.com.


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