Friday, 30 March 2012

Alpha Rules Updated to v0.244

I've updated the downloadable Heroes Against Darkness Alpha rules to v0.244.

This is a huge revision of the rules, and incorporates many of the significant changes I've been discussing here on the blog and over on the Game Design & Development forums at

Healing, Anima and Resting

The biggest single change to the game system has been a full overhaul of the Healing Powers and resting in the game.

First, the old Healing Powers (Rally, Recuperate, Rejuvenate, Regenerate) have been removed and replaced with a single Rallypower that is available to all classes at Level 1.

Previously, the Healing Powers healed fixed amounts of Health Points, didn't regain any Anima Points. They also had some fairly fiddly rules for when they could be used. The new Rally power rolls up the regeneration of Health Points and Anima Points during encounters and in short rests into one single power.

Instead of healing fixed amounts of HP, Rally now allows the character to regain half of the amount that their Health Points and Anima Points are depleted.

This change also meant that I made a slight (but significant) change to the formula for Anima Points:

• Anima Points: 5 + Magic Bonus

The final part of this package of changes was to allow the Rally power to be used at short rests, and to allow multiple short rests to be taken between encounters (but each with a longer duration than the last, starting at 15 minutes, then 1 hour, then 4 hours).

Action Time Full action
Power Effect Character regains ½ of the amount by which their Health and Anima Points are depleted.
+4 to all Defenses until end of character‟s next turn.
Special This power can only be used once per encounter

With this change, I've also changed to rules for Resting:

Rule: Characters can take short rests after encounters.
Rule: At a short rest, characters can use their Rally power to recover Health Points and Anima Points.
Rule: At a long rest, characters recover all of their Health Points and Anima Points.

And I've updated the examples of resting:

Rothgar the berserker, Brythil the warrior, Charlange the warlock and have just fought and defeated a vengeful spirit, leaving Rothgar with just 9 HP (out of 31) and Brythil with 16 HP (out of 28). Charlange has emerged unscathed, but his remaining AP is just 3 (out of 10).
When they all used their Rally power at a short rest, Rothgar regains 11 HP, taking him up to 20 HP. Brythil regains 6 HP, so he goes to 22 HP. Charlange regains 3 Anima, taking him to 6 AP.

Other Major Changes

Here are the other big changes:
• Changed some fonts! :-)
• Split example character sheet section into two pages for clarity
• Major edit pass over the whole book.
• Added a 7th Role-Playing Tip to the Role-Playing Encounters section.
• Updated the Combat Encounters section with more examples of powers.
• Conditions section revised, including sections on how to remove ongoing, enforced and area conditions and effects.
• Clarified the healing rules for dying or stabilized characters (returns them to 1 HP, but dazed until the end of their next turn).
• Changed magic Armor enhancements (e.g. +1) to apply to all Defenses, not just AD.
• Updated Powers: Attacks & Spells section with more examples of each of the components of powers.
• Major revision of all class powers.
• Recuperate, Rejuvenate and Regenerate have been removed and replaced with three all-new attack powers for all of the martial classes.
• Unified all ability test powers to use the same difficulty (15 + level of caster or creature that applied the spell effect or condition).
• All martial classes now have five Level 1 powers, two powers each level between Level 2 and Level 5, and one power each subsequent level up to Level 10.
• Improved the presentation of Attack and Spell powers to reduce the amount of wasted space and split lines.
• Reworked many spell powers to scale with X Anima.
• Expanded and differentiated spell lists for all magi classes.
• Added huge section for GMs on Ability Tests and difficulties for lots of tests (Perception, Break Doors, Lifting, Diplomacy, Lock Picking, Climbing, Tracking, Swimming).
• Added section on Magic Weapons & Armor with level breakdowns for appropriate pieces.
• Added section on Magic Items with level breakdowns for appropriate stuff.
• Expanded the On Magic section with lots more detail on the Anima cost of specific spell components.
• Updated the appendix tables and stuff at the back for printing for a GM screen.

Beta Soon?

With all of these changes, there are only a few things to clean up before we're Beta!

Head over to the game rules download page to grab yourself a copy of this bad-boy: Heroes Against Darkness - Game Rules.

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