Digital Hero - Hero Games Webzine
Digital Hero - Hero Games Webzine
A Power Pool-Based Magic System for Fantasy Hero
(Part 2 of 3)

by Keith Curtis and Paul Clark
Playtesting by Kevin Wells, Susan Dwyer, and Barbara Leavitt.

Editor's Note
These options, like everything in Digital Hero, are strictly optional rules. Please make sure your gamemaster wants to use these variations before you use them in a game.

As promised last time, here are some sample spells, The name of the spell is listed first along with the power used to dreate the effect. The Cost is listed in the format: Real Points/Active Points. This is the amount the caster must pay per level of effect. Remember, the total active points in a spell cannot exceed the size of the spell pool. The size of the pool less the number of Real point equals the number of Real points left to cast other spells. If the cost is separatered by a "•" instead of a "/", it means that the spell is not scaleable, i.e., that more points placed into it do not increase the level of effect. These numbers are rounded off for quickness of play. This may result in a small advantage to the spellcaster, but it should not be unbalancing.

This might seem a little math intensive at first, but if the player marks down his maximum effect and cost for each spell, it should speed up play. In cases where effects are not immediatley obvious (such as in the control weather spell), the effects have been listed in a table.

Remember, unless otherwise noted, all spells cost END, even if the power does not normally cost END. All end comes from the END Reserve first, then the Casters END, then the Caster's stun.


Eagle Eye (Green)
Telescopic sight, +6 range to sight, 3 END
Cost 3•13

    Lim: -3.25 Adv: .5
    Gestures, -.25
    Incantations, -.25
    Casting Time: 1 Turn, -1
    Material Components
    eagle feather
    IIF, -.25 Need resources to replace,
    Spell is One Color, -.25
    UBO any target, +0.5

This spell give the caster sharp distance vision. It does not affaect range penalties for combat. Note that the caster can give this ability to another person instead of himself, should he desire.


Control Weather (Blue)
Change Environment, 2"r, x2r/level
Cost First Level: 4•7
Each Additional Level 2/7

    Lim: -2.5 Adv: .5
    Casting Requirements
    Gestures, -.25
    Incantations, -.25
    Casting Time 1 Turn, -1
    Material Components
    Small silver talisman representing weather desired
    IIF - Not expended, -.25
    Noisy, -.5
    Spell is One Color, -.25
    Range Normal, 0 75''
    LTE paid every hour (3 LT END), +.5

This spell can create any weather condition represented by the silver talisman material component. The area of weather created increases with each level.

Level Effect Cost
Level 1: 2" radius, Large Room 4/7
Level 2: 4 hex radius, Courtyard, medium-sized hall 6/14
Level 3: 8" radius, Great Hall, Large City Plaza 8/21
Level 4: 16" radius, Amphitheater or Arena 10/28
Level 5: 32" radius, Castle 12/35
Level 6: 64" radius, large village or small town, very large castle or fortress 14/42
Level 7: 256" (third of a mile) radius, small city, farmlands supporting large town 16/49

The END cost of this spell can be devastating on the caster. Controlling the weather is usurping the role of nature and the gods and not done lightly. Please note that devastating weather effects (i.e. tornadoes, hurricanes) should not be allowed.


Beast Speech (Green)
Universal Translator, 1 question/4 END
Cost 4•20

    Lim: -3.5 Adv: 0
    Gestures, -.25
    Incantations, -.25
    Casting Time: Full Phase, -0.5
    Skill Roll 11- (knowledge of the type of Animal), -1.25
    Material Components
    A small piece of the appropriate food.
    IIF - Easy to Replace, -.25
    One animal type at a time, -.25
    Spell is One Color, -.25

This spell allows the caster to converse with a single type of animal for the duration of the spell. It basically allows him to ask one question for each point of speed he possesses. Note that the caster must have some Knowledge Skill or Familiarity pertaining to the type of creature to be contacted. KS: songbirds would allow one to speak with a lark or nightingale. KS: Lizards would allow one to speak with an iguana, but an attempt to speak with a wyvern might be made at -3 to the roll. Note that most animals are of limited intelligence and might not give very helpful answers.


Fireball (Red)
1d6 EB explosion
Cost 3/7

    Lim: -1.5 Adv: .5
    Gestures, -.25
    Incantations, -.25
    Casting Time: Full Phase, -0.5
    Material Components
    Small rag soaked in oil
    IIF - Easy to Replace, -.25
    Spell is One Color, -.25
    Explosion, +0.5

This spell allows the caster to hurl an exploding fireball in the area of effect. All beings in the area are inundated with flame. The flame is magical and disappears as instantly as it was summoned. Anything not immediately destroyed will not continue to burn. All explosive items (oil, natural gas) should be treated as separate attacks. their container must be destroyed
first though. To determine if a flask of oil explodes, the fireball must do twice the bod of the container. A glass flask has 2 DEF/2 BOD, a steel container might be 5 DEF/2 BOD. Normally flammable objects such as paper or open oil containers should be ruled as immediately destroyed.
The area of effect for this spell is a 1" per die.


Witchblade (Red)
1d6 HKA, SFX: Flaming Sword
Cost 3/15

    Lim: -3.75 Adv: 0
    Gestures, -.25
    Incantations, -.25
    Material Components
    A magic weapon to enhance
    IAF - Not expended, -.5
    Lockout (Can cast no other spells), -.5
    End of spell leaves caster at 0 END, -.5
    Must have familiarity with weapon, -.25
    Spell is One Color, -.25

This spell enhances an already magical blade. The caster must know how to use the weapon. The damage is an extension of the caster's power, so no further spells may be initiated while the weapon is in use. Note that a hit with the weapon does the spell only damage, it does not add to the damage of the sword.


Water Breathing (Blue)
Life Support Water Breathing, 1 LTE paid by target, ends when
breathe air
Cost 3•6*

    Lim: -1.25 Adv: 1
    Gestures, -.25
    No Incantations, 0
    Full Phase, -0.5
    Material Components
    Fish Oil
    IIF - Easy to Replace, -.25
    Spell is One Color, -.25
    UBO any target, +0.5
    LTE paid every hour (1 LT END), +.5

This spell allows one individual to breathe underwater. The spell is taxing to maintain and must be maintained hourly. The recipient of the spell must be the one to pay the maintenance
cost. The spell will also end if the target breathes normal air.


Charm Person (Blue)
2d6 Mind Control, "Like Me"
Cost 4/10

    Lim: -1.75 Adv: 0
    Gestures, -.25
    Incantations, -.25
    Material Components
    No Focus, 0
    One Command, "Like Me", -.5
    Spell is One Color, -.25
    Noisy, -.5

This spell allows the caster to gain the favorable attention of another. The target becomes more friendly, more open to the caster. They do not becomes slaves, servants, or even friends of the caster. They are more likely to listen, though, and far more likely to do little favors or grant them liberties or priveleges they might not otherwise enjoy. Example, the caster could
charm a guard into releasing them, a captor into freeing them, a debtor into forgiving them, or an informant into confiding in them. The spell does not generally last that long, but it may become nearly permenent in weaker-minded individuals. The caster and target must share a common tongue, even if only a few words. It would be prudent for a mage to buy at least a familiarity with the languages of the most likely targets.


Haste (Blue)
3d6 Aid to Speed, lose at 10pts/minute
Cost 5/19

    Lim: -2.5 Adv: .25
    Gestures, -.25
    Incantations, -.25
    Full Phase, -0.5
    Material Components
    Hourglass, which must be broken
    IIF - Easy to Replace, -.25
    Noisy, -.5
    Caster finishes spell with 0 END, -.5
    Spell is One Color, -.25
    Points are lost at 10/minute, +.25

This spell increases the speed of the caster. It is a tiring spell to cast, leaving the caster breathless. The caster gets no END bonus, although, 1 or more phases can certainly be used to recover. Loss of extra SPD is at 10 pts. per minute


Airy Servant (Blue)
TK - 5 STR, Continuous, Uncontrolled
Cost 6•28

    Lim: -3.75 Adv: 2.5
    Gestures, -.25
    Incantations, -.25
    Casting Time:1 Turn, -1
    Material Components
    Small Iron Bottle
    IIF - Not expended, -.25
    Noisy, -.5
    Spell is One Color, -.25
    Continuous, +1
    Uncontrolled, +.5
    Visibility to only one Sense Group (hearing), +0.5
    Indirect Any Location or Direction, +.75

With this spell, the caster summons an airy force to do his bidding. It possesses only a STR of 5, so it is not particularly combat useful. It will perform any simple task the Summoner requests, as long as such a task can be accomplished by mere physical force. It could for instance, clean a room, but it could not file the books alphabetically. For any task requiring precision or decision-making (wielding a dagger, sorting socks), it must be closely monitored by the caster (1/2 DCV). The caster must have some way to communicate his desires to the servant, although pre-arranged non-verbal signals could be used. The servant can be banished (requiring recasting) by a strong wind or sufficient force to its "body". The servant is invisible to sight, but may be heard as a whispering sound. Magicians can see it, as can many magical beings.It may not stray more than 14" (100 ft) from its master. The Servant is not a living being, merely a sort of "air golem".
Note that this is one of the few spells bought continuous and uncontrolled, costing 0 End to maintain.


Magic Mouth, Permanent (Blue)
Sound Images, no PER bonus
Cost 5•30

    Lim: -4.5 Adv: 2
    Gestures, -.25
    Incantations, -.25
    Casting Time: Full Phase, -0.5
    Material Components
    Any object with a mouth or representation of a mouth
    OIF - Not expended, -.5
    Noisy, -.5
    Spell is One Color, -.25
    Continuous, +1
    Uncontrolled, +.5
    Trigger-Variable, +0.5

WIth this spell, a caster can enchant any item bearing a mouth to deliver a message upon a certain set of conditions he specifies. The spell lasts until the item is destroyed, or the spell is countered. This is a "cast-and-forget" spell. Once the caster has enchanted the object, he no longer needs to reserve those points in his spell pool. The object carries the enchantment and would deliver it even after the death of the spellcaster. Any magician can detect the presence of magic on the enchanted item, although not necessarily the nature of the enchantment. The message is delivered in the voice of the caster. If the caster has disguise, mimicry or acting , he can attempt to make the voice sound different from his own.
Characters with Magic Sense can see that there is a magic mouth placed on an object, but cannot detect the trigger or the message.


Feather Fall (Blue - White)
5" Flight with limitations
Cost 3/10

    Lim: -2.25 Adv: 0
    Gestures, -.25
    Incantations, -.25
    Material Components
    Feather
    IIF - Easy to Replace, -.25
    only to subtract falling velocity, -1
    Spell is Two Color, -.5

This spell reduces the falling velocity of the caster at a rate of 5" per level per phase. The velocity can never fall below 1"/segment. Since the spell lasts only so long as endurance is paid, the caster may wish to withold casting until he is closer to the ground. This spell can take the caster from terminal velocity to feather fall in 6 phases at level 1, 3 at level 2, 2 at level 3 and instantly at level 6.


Shield (White)
1 DCV level
Cost 1/5

    Lim: -3.25 Adv: 0
    Gestures, -.25
    Incantations, -.25
    Material Components
    A tiny shield
    IIF - Need resources to replace, -.25 ,
    Spell is One Color, -.25

With this spell the caster animates a tiny shield which grows to normal shield size and interposes itself between the caster and incoming attacks. It cannot be used to perform the block maneuver. The shield must be replaced after the spell is cast. Note that this spell costs some endurance to maintain.


Blinding Lights (White)
1d6 Flash
Cost 4/10

    Lim: -1.75 Adv: 0
    Gestures, -.25
    Incantations, -.25
    Material Components
    Powder Ball
    IIF - Easy to Replace, -.25
    Fragile, -0.25
    15 pts. Growth gives target 1 Flash DEF, -.25
    Spell is One Color, -.25

The caster hurls a ball of powder at a target. The powder explodes on impact realeasing a harmless, though dazzling light. This light can briefly blind an opponent.


Light (White)
Change Environment
Cost : First Level: 5•10
Additional Levels: +2/10*

Lim: -3 Adv: 1
Gestures, -.25
Incantations, -.25
Casting Time: Full Phase, -0.5
Material Components
Any item the caster has prepared in advance
IIF - Not expended, -.25
Noisy, -.5
Spell is One Color, -.25
LTE paid every 5 hours (4 LT END), +1

This causes an item the caster has prepared to cast a light equivalent to bright torchlight. The glow lasts for five hours every time END is paid. It emits no heat or smoke and has no other magical properties. At the first level of effect, the light can light only the caster's hex. Each 5 points doubles the range of the light. First level=1 hex, Second level casts for two hexes, third level for 8 hexes, etc. The item the caster has prepared is not used up by the casting. The table below is helpful:

Level Effect Cost
Level 1: Caster's Hex 5/10
Level 2: 2" radius, Large Room 7/20
Level 3: 4 hex radius, Courtyard, medium-sized hall 9/30
Level 4: 8" radius, Great Hall, Large City Plaza 11/40
Level 5: 16" radius, Amphitheater or Arena 13/50
Level 6: 32" radius, Castle 15/60
Level 7: 64 hex radius, large village or small town, very large castle or fortress 17/70
Level 8: 256 (1/3 mile) radius, small walled city, farmlands supporting large town 18/80


Enfeeble (Black)
3d6 Str Drain
Cost 13•30

    Lim. -1.25 Adv. 1
    Gestures, -.25
    Incantations, -.25
    Casting Time: Full Phase, -0.5
    Material Components
    a wet rag
    IIF, -.25
    Regained at 1pt/hour, +1

This spell saps the target's Strength. This will at the very least affect their weapon damage and perhaps their DCV as they become encumbered. Anybody whose strength is sapped to 10 below their racial norm or below zero (whichever is lower) will need to make a STR roll to move or perform a physical action.


Entangle (One color, see below)
1d6 Entangle

Cost 4/10

    Lim: -1.5 Adv: 0
    Gestures, -.25
    Incantations, -.25
    Material Components
    Tiny representation of item that does the entangling
    IIF+ need resources to replace, -.5
    Easy to Carry, 0
    Noisy, -.5

WIth this spell, the caster can engulf the target in some substance that impedes their movement. The exact nature of the substance is unique to each color, and the caster may only cast the spell for that substance. All entangles have the following in common. They can be seen through, and the target can speak normally. The target may use weapons or gestures if a DEX roll is made at -3.
This spell actuall represents five similar spells, since each school has its own version. Examples could be:
RED: Stone or iron manacles
BLUE: Ice pillar constrains limbs
GREEN: Vines or roots
BLACK: Bands of shadow
WHITE: Crystal Manacles
So if a spellcaster with proficiency in white or blue found a black entangle spell, he could not use it.


Dispel Magic (any color)
2.5d6 dispel

Cost 3/7

    Lim: -1.25 Adv: .25
    Gestures, -.25
    Incantations, -.25
    Material Components
    A small stick of charcoal which is broken by the thumb
    IIF, -.25
    Noisy, -.5
    Affects any single magic spell, +.25

This spell allows the caster to counter a specific magic spell. The spell to be countered does not have to be a specific spell, but it can only affect one spell at a time. It can also be used to counter the spell-like abilities of creatures or magic items. The caster rolls 2 1/2 d6 for every level of ability. If the total rolled is higher than the active cost of the incoming/active spell, the spell is countered and has no effect.


Analyze Magic (Any Color)
Detect, Discriminatory, +2 PER/level, -1 PER/10 active pt.s, -2 for each additional ability

Cost 5•20

Cost First Level: 5•20
Each Additional Level 2/10

    Lim: -4.5 Adv: 1.5
    Gestures Throughout, -.5
    Incantations Throughout, -.5
    Casting Time: 5 minutes, -2
    Material Components
    No Focus, 0
    Reduced by power of item scanned, -.5
    Concentrate 0 DCV, -.5
    Lockout (Can cast no other spells), -.5
    Affects all Magic Spells, +1.5

This spell allows the caster to detect an object, analyze an item suspected of possessing magical power. The caster must be abl e to touch and examine the object. The base spell allows a simple PER roll at +2. The PER roll is further modified by -1 for every 10Active points in the item, and +2 for every 10 Active points in the Caster's spell. This roll may be further altered by situational GM modifiers. If the item has multiple abilities, the caster may learn an additional ability for every 2 pt.s he made his roll by. If the powers are of a college he is unfamilar with, this is a -4 to the roll and any knowledge gained would be vague.


Next Week: Magic Items!



Updated: 6/11/00 -- E-Mail: bruce@herogames.com   
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