AnimaHADHeroes Against DarknessMechanicsSpells

Remaking Magic: No Redundant Spells

In this entry in the Remaking Magic series, we take a look at the steps taken to ensure that no spell gets left behind.

The side-effect of changing most spells to have scaling X is that they never become redundant as the character gains levels.  In the previous examples, Burning Touch and Burning Ray, the spells are just as useful at Level 10 as they are at Level 1.  As the caster’s level increases, they can put more anima into the X component of the spell, and make them a lot more powerful based on the circumstances they find themselves in.

Wherever possible the spells in Heroes Against Darkness avoid fixed bonuses or penalties and instead offer the player the choice of how much anima they want to expend on each spell.  Now, nothing in the world is perfect, so here are some spells that do have fixed effects or scale without costs.

First, Befriend offers a slightly scaling bonus to Charisma tests:

Befriend (1 Anima)

Spell Effect Add Magic bonus to Charisma ability tests (Cha).
Target Single target
Attack Magic vs. MD
Duration 1 hr + 1 hr per level
Range 5′

Second, Tremble is another example. This is one of a number of spell variants that have large penalties but only over a short single-turn duration.

Tremble (2 Anima)

Spell Effect Decrease target’s Ranged bonus by your Magic bonus.
Target Single target
Attack Magic vs. MD
Duration End of target’s next turn
Range 10′ + 10′ per level

Interestingly, Tremble has a sister spell called Quake, which does scale but doesn’t actually make it redundant:

Quake (X Anima)

Cost 1 anima for each -1.
Spell Effect Decrease target’s Ranged bonus by X.
Target Single target
Attack Magic vs. MD
Duration 1 rnd + 1 rnd per level
Range 10′ + 10′ per level

In the case of Tremble and Quake, Tremble offers a large penalty in the short term, while Quake offers directly-costed penalties over a longer duration.

The use of X costs for a large number of the spells in Heroes Against Darkness means that players have genuine choices in how they use their anima and which spells they use in the process.


Check out Heroes Against Darkness over at the downloads page: Heroes Against Darkness – Game Rules.

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