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Hedge Magic

About Hedge Magic

Note: Hedge Magic is based on the Hedge Magic system created for GURPS (R) by S. John Ross. (GURPS is a registered trademark of Steve Jackson Games.) GURPS Hedge Magic can be found at: http://www.io.com/~sjohn/hedge.htm

Hedge Magic is the “peasant” version of magic: Hedgerow witches and village wizards concocting herbal potions, creating charms, nullifying (or, alas, casting) curses, etc.

Learning Hedge Magic

You may spend up to four points in the Hedge Magic group, but only as many points as you have levels of the Magic Talent: Hedge Magic Gift. That is, if you take only one level of Magic Talent: Hedge Magic Gift, you may only spend one point on Hedge Magic skills.

The skill list for Hedge Magic follows, and is treated like any other skill group. That is, one point spent in Hedge Magic allows you to choose 3 skills at Fair and 1 at Mediocre, etc. Each skill is a mundane skill found in other skill groups if you learn it in the Hedge Magic group, there is no need to learn it from another group.

You may use a mundane skill from this group without applying Hedge Magic. But if you use Hedge Magic, you can accomplish more than you could otherwise. Hedge Magic is not flashy magic you’ll never see major magical effects from it. It’s nonetheless effective in what it tries to do.


Hedge Magic is fatiguing, however your Health attribute drops one level, temporarily, for each use. If your Health level falls below Terrible, you are exhausted and collapse (treat as the fatigue equivalent of “Incapacitated).

A level of fatigued Health is regained simply by resting 15 minutes.

Another possible downside to Hedge Magic is that the results may be perceived as magical, which, depending on the situation, may get the caster in trouble.

Hedge Magic Skills

The following mundane skills are the only ones which may be enhanced by Hedge Magic, unless the GM permits otherwise. Those without descriptions are simply assumed to provide enhanced results.

Animal Handling

Astrology: fortune telling for other folk grants no inkling of your own future.

Camouflage: if you don’t want to be seen, you’re very hard to spot.

Cooking: tasty, nourishing, mildly healing.

Counseling: your sympathetic ear and wise advise can soothe troubled souls.

Craft: most of the craft skills, such as Pottery, Smithy, Tailor, etc., allow you to make superior quality items more quickly. These items are of exceptional quality, but are not really magic items? or are they?

Detect Lies

Farming: a very common use of hedge magic, you can bless or curse crops: increased yield, faster growth, etc. or the opposite.

First aid: you can stop bleeding with a touch, and enable the severely injured to survive until appropriate care is available.

Herb Lore: the archetypal hedge magic skill: preparation of magical concoctions. While not as potent as alchemical elixirs, they are quicker to make. Common potions include healing, sleep, love, charisma, strength, endurance, etc. ask the GM what’s possible. Use Poisons for harmful potions.

Medicine: expeditious and efficacious healing.

Move Quietly

Poisons: your poisons are more potent, faster acting, and harder to detect. Shame on you.

Storytelling: you can enthrall an audience, and even sway their mood to your purposes.


Veterinarian: expeditious and efficacious healing.

For evil hedge witches, this is also the skill used to sicken animals, a common complaint in former days.

Weather Sense: you’re remarkably accurate.