Friday, 23 March 2012

Heroes Against Darkness: Beta Update

Almost two months ago I posted about what I was working on for Beta:

• More monsters from the extended list on page 35 of Beasts and Bastards
• Further development of the On Magic section on page 18 of the Game Master's Guide to determine the Anima cost of each component of a spell
• Refinement of the magi class spell lists, including Anima costs and scaling costs of multiple target and longer duration spells
• Additional combat powers for martial and specialist classes
• Update to combat rules to clarify allowable movement directions
• More market costs for scrolls, potions and wands
• More magic artifacts

So here's an update on what I've achieved (so far):


So far I haven't done much on the monsters, other than add in some Dragons as boss monsters. Boss monsters are designed to appear on their own and to challenge an entire party. So they have two initiatives each round, and lots of abilities to really mush the player's characters!

On Magic

The On Magic section has had an overhaul, with a lot of work to really establish what the factors are that contribute to the Anima costs of each spell. Of course, this has meant that I've had to go back and actually review all of the spells in light of their component costs, which has been a long process.

Magi Spell Lists

Following on from the review of the On Magic section, I've reviewed all of the spells of all Magi classes to re-cost them based on their components (range, damage, targets, duration, etc) and also make more of the spells use scaling Anima costs. Furthermore, I've also reworked the durations and ranges to be based scaling factors (1 round + 1 round per caster level for durations and 10' + 10' per caster level for ranges).

So where the old version of a spell looked like this:

Bane (1 Anima)
Spell Effect Decreases target's attacks by -2
Target Single target
Attack d20 + Magic Bonus
Against Magic Defense
Duration Magic Bonus rounds
Range 10'+10' per caster level

The new version looks like this:

Bane (X Anima)
Cost 1 Anima for each –1
Spell Effect Decreases target's attacks
Target Single target
Attack d20 + Magic Bonus
Against Magic Defense
Duration 1 round + 1 round per level
Range 10'+10' per caster level

The goal of this sort of change to all of the spells is the ensure that the spells never become irrelevant, and put the power of the spell back into the players' hands.

Martial Combat Powers

All of the martial classes have had their power lists expanded up to Level 10. I've also added the Reflex Strike attacks that operate a bit like Attacks of Opportunity, by these are different for each class and they leave the character Hampered on their next turn (so they only have a Major Action and a Minor Action).

Combat Rules Updates

I've added a diagram to the combat rules that clarifies the valid movement directions, and also added guidelines for allowing creatures to 'push past' others as an opposed Ability Test.

Market Costs for Scolls, Potions, Wands

I haven't really expanded the list of market costs for the scrolls, potions and wands, and I'm not sure that I will end up doing this for Beta.

Magical Weapons, Armor and Items

I've added a bunch of level-appropriate weapons, armor, and items that you should be able to drop straight into your games.

Beta Rules release

I hope to have the Beta rules out before the end of the month, with a version 1.0 of the system available towards the end for April so that they qualify for entry into the ENnie awards.

Check out the full rules for Heroes Against Darkness over at the downloads page: Heroes Against Darkness - Game Rules.

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