One of the deliberate features of the magic system in Heroes Against Darkness is the strict limits on the amount of anima that is available to magi. Level 1 magi have about 9 anima and by Level 10 they have about 15 anima. This is combined with the rules that limit the amount of anima that magi can spend in a single turn: Level + 1 anima.
|Rule: Maximum anima points is 5 + Wisdom bonus.
Rule: Magi spend anima points to cast spells.
Rule: All spells have an anima points cost.
Rule: Variable anima cost spells must have at least 1 anima spent on the variable X component.
Rule: Magi cannot spend more than Level + 1 anima points in a single turn.
Rule: Magi can end the ongoing effects of their own spells as a move action.
The combination of these two rules means that magi have a virtual abundance of anima at lower levels, but at higher levels they have the potential (and risk) to ‘spend’ their anima very quickly, or to eek out lesser amounts over more rounds.
But there’s always another option. Once magi are out of anima they can choose to use blood anima to pay for their spells:
|Rule: Magi can overspend anima at the cost of 4 health points per anima point.
Rule: Magi cannot overspend anima on healing spells.
Each blood anima costs 4 HP, so magi will generally be able to afford an extra blood anima each level they gain, in addition to the four or five that they have at Level 1. So by Level 10, a brave magi has almost 30 anima at their disposal, rather than the nominal value of 15, which is their actual anima.
A curious person would ask, simply:
What is the point of blood anima? Why not just double the amount available anima (or ramp up to the higher amount) and get rid of the blood anima?
In combat warriors and their ilk ‘spend’ their HP to defeat enemies. Blood anima introduces a risk/reward mechanic for magi classes. The player of a magi character can choose to operate within the limitations of their normal anima or they can choose to use their blood anima to increase their round-to-round power at the risk of their character’s safety. The also combines with the Rally power, making that power all the more effective when used by a character whose anima and health are depleted, compared to a magi who has only used his (or her) anima and is otherwise on full HP.
Check out Heroes Against Darkness over at the downloads page: Heroes Against Darkness – Game Rules.