I'm in a (formerly GURPS 4e with Dungeon Fantasy) DFRPG game on RPoL, and a question has come up concerning an NPC that my group rescued from a very odd curse (or wish backfire, we think).

The end result is that, after centuries of continuous fighting and then being chained in the dark, alone, for more centuries, this man is, as you might expect, quite mentally deranged. In looking for how to help him get fixed up, we've run across the fact that there appears to be no permanent cure for madness or insanity in GURPS Magic 4e.

Relieve Madness (p. 92) is a temporary spell. It says that for permanent relief, you need Cure Madness. By its name, that ought to be a healing spell, possibly cross-college to Mind Control. However, neither of those colleges seem to include it, and the full spell list in the back of Magic doesn't have Cure Madness among the various "Cure" spells.

Restoration (p. 93), in GURPS, restores only body parts.

So, given the suggested solution for a permanent cure doesn't exist (and custom enchantment, to provide an always-on item that casts Relieve Madness on the wearer, is far out of reach, even if DFRPG permitted it), what can we do to permanently cure this poor NPC of his madness?

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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't have an answer (at least yet), but note that the line about Cure Insanity has been struck out by errata: sjgames.com/errata/gurps/4e/magic.html \$\endgroup\$ – vicky_molokh Mar 23 '19 at 7:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ Well, it turns out the GM has dangled the possibility that remove curse could fix this poor guy up -- and backing that up, we have the stone with one remaining wish (likely the indirect source of his problems in the first place). Now we just have to decide whether to talk to the local magical contract lawyer and use the (presumed) wish to do the job, or pay a priest to try to remove the curse. \$\endgroup\$ – Zeiss Ikon Mar 24 '19 at 1:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ Would an official spell that does so from a GURPS, Third Edition product be of interest? \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Mar 24 '19 at 2:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ For my case, that won't help; my GM has already ruled out grandfathering in any 3e material. \$\endgroup\$ – Zeiss Ikon Mar 24 '19 at 11:10

I would think that would be campaign-specific and up to your GM. As would, potentially, the actual nature/availability/existence/details of all the other spells. GURPS is more of a toolkit for GMs to design and tune settings to taste than a list of things that should all exist and be available in all campaigns. Many times, less is more, in more ways than one - trying to include and make available everything in GURPS or even everything in GURPS Magic can be overwhelming and/or make many interesting situations trivially solvable (and so effectively removed from play).

For example, if it's easy to find a wizard to just cast a spell to cure serious madness, then perhaps few mental disadvantages should be allowed for points, since they're all trivially curable.

Finding out what might cure the poor man's madness (if anything), and then finding someone who can do that, could be an adventure-worthy quest, and more interesting and appropriate if it is a matter for the PCs to explore in the game world, rather than looking for an official spell in whatever GURPS book.

As for your actual question of what published spell might be used, there was once a Cure Insanity spell in earlier editions, but it was (I and others suspect for reasons related to what I mentioned - i.e. that it would easily cure most mental disadvantages) removed from later editions.


Find the Right Sorcerer!

Why Sorcery?

Yes, this looks like the beginning of a long and arduous quest, involving research and travel. Sorcerers are not bound to the strict letter of grimoires, though they have many of their own, different limitations. Chances are that a faraway land might be where a Sorcerer famed for turning the mad sane again resides. Or maybe you'll luck into learning of several, and even have a choice of where to go!

Do not be fooled by superficial similarity between book-learned spells and sorcerous abilities: the latter can have subtle differences, of which you would be particularly interested in those that are permanent or truly permanent unlike their bookish counterparts.

Where to Start Looking

Of course you want some scholarly knowledge about Sorcerers and their capabilities. In the hidden Twenty-Third Library, search for the Pyramid scrolls, particularly the one labelled Magical Creations (numbered 3/82), and scroll it to page 9, which details the existence of Sorcerers among dungeon-delving heroes. You would also find it helpful to consult the manuscript named Thaumatology: Sorcery for more general information.

If talking in the plain language of magical formulae, you want one whose ability can Afflict, permanently, the lack of the type or category of insanity your unfortunate ward is suffering from. The possibility of such a spell-like ability existing of course depends on the fact that sorcerous powers work in mysterious ways:

Any spell from GURPS Magic can serve as inspiration for a sorcerous spell, but remember that the GM is free to tweak any such builds to match his tastes.

Side Notes

  1. Just FYI, the mention of Cure Insanity has been struck out by errata from GURPS Magic. So that is something of a red herring originally left out due to rushed editing of Magic back when Steve Jackson Games were trying to release hardbacks approximately once a month.

  2. Obviously, there is a lot of portability between the DF and DFRPG ruleset and implicit setting, so the sorcerers should fit your game, especially if limited to such a unique situation. Assuming the GM approves, that is.


Yes, there is. The Create Gate spell (p. 85 of GURPS: Magic 4e) can be used to open gates to other GURPS worlds.

This would include high Tech Level worlds like Transhuman Space, which would have various Ultratech methods to treat mental illness, which would likely include Brainscanners (TL 9, GURPS: Ultra-Tech 4e p. 203), Neurotherapy Implants or Psych Implants (TL 9, GURPS: Ultra-Tech 4e p. 217), the Eunuch Biomod (Transhuman Space: Changing Times, p. 65), Mitigator Nanodrugs (Transhuman Space: Changing Times, p. 66), Psychosurgery (TL 10, GURPS: Bio-Tech 4e, p. 180), the Emotional Regular Genetic Surgery (TL 9, GURPS: Bio-Tech 4e, p. 182), and Neurovirus Proteus Nanovirus (TL 11, GURPS: Bio-Tech 4e, p. 186). It's also likely that Deep Learning (TL 9, GURPS: Bio-Tech 4e, p. 143) and Dream Teachers (TL 10, GURPS: Ultra-Tech 4e, p. 59) could be used to cure mental disadvantages, though their game rules only mention using them to inflict mental disadvantages.

Having used such a spell to transfer themselves to a suitable world, it's entirely possible that the PCs might be able to procure one or more of the therapeutic procedures or technologies to assist the NPC in regaining his psychological function.

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    \$\begingroup\$ First, DFRPG characters most likely won't/can't know about the possibility of whole worlds where technology takes the place of magic, and secondly (this might have changed in 4e, I don't recall) you at least used to need to have access to both ends of the proposed gate to effectively use create gate. \$\endgroup\$ – Zeiss Ikon Mar 25 '19 at 11:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ That said,we do have access to a gate -- but it leads to the Lovecraftian Dreamlands. I doubt that'll be much help. \$\endgroup\$ – Zeiss Ikon Mar 25 '19 at 11:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ You no longer need to have access to both ends of a Gate in order to cast the spell; you just take penalties to the spellcasting roll and increases to the casting cost in accordance with the "distance" it travels. Also, a suitable variant of the Divination spell (GURPS Magic 4e, p. 108) might be able to grant the caster the knowledge of the existence of such sci-fi worlds. \$\endgroup\$ – nick012000 Mar 25 '19 at 11:18

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