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New Product: The Fantasy Codex PDF

Jason S.Walters

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Hero Games is proud to present a new supplement for Fantasy Hero by Kestrel Arts: The Fantasy Codex! Empower your Wizard! Almost a thousand new spells for your fantasy game, detailed and organized for use by GMs and Players alike. Designed for Fantasy Hero by Kestrel Arts, this collection of magic may be adapted for any fantasy setting.

Unlock spells like Grimstaff’s Grand Enhancement, Cinder Spray, Tornado, and Call Aether Spite! Learn magical spells from five different orders and seventeen magical schools! Summon not just elementals but a keep or siege weapons! Cast spells to baffle and confound your enemies! The Fantasy Codex is packed with unique and creative magic for your spell caster to learn and use... and for your GM to use against you. 


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Not precisesly, no.


It appears to be an amalgamation of the Tree of Life, an elemental pentagram, and a dream catcher.


Though the elements are in the wrong place and WTF is that supposed to be between Fire and Air?


The artist really should have done some research.



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The artist really should have done some research.




The artist either produced a design incorporating specific elements in specific positions as requested by the person commissioning the artwork..




The piece follows internal logic of the the magic used in the product....




The artist did do research and designed a piece that purposely avoided reflecting accepted religious beliefs...


kinda like the way the Navy has a specific way to order that signal flags are hung when are used for decoration, the order they are strung together ensures they do not spell anything real that may be offensive in another language. 


I don't know for sure any of these are the case, but then we are talking Spell Magic, which doesn't really exist/work in the first place and someone that can sling a fireball or summon a real dragon would have made the news by now... ;)

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Thanks for your interest and the discussion!  I am the author of this book and yes, its a lot of spells.  Some are the usual (fireball, lightning bolt, light, etc) but there are hundreds of unique and different spells as well.  I mined all the sources I could find around the gaming world, dug into past spells and ideas players have used in my games, came up with as many new ideas as I could to fit the campaign, and the 6th edition of Hero gave me many more ideas and concepts.


The cover was a lot of fun to work on.  I agree its not the typical arrangement from other sources of the elements, but that's because they are set up for my world, not some other game setting.  It is indeed an amalgamation of several concepts, primarily intended to be natural and elemental to give an overall magical feel without being something that might shock parents (i.e. no pentagram or demons).


Yes, its a dreamcatcher, and a tree (although not meant to be the tree of life), and the five elements are Aether, Air, Earth, Fire, and Water.

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Yeah it just looks wrong to my pagan eyes. Mostly since as Spirit is supposed to be a the top, since the Spiritual controls everything below it.


Next down are water and air as they represent emotions and the mind respectively, which are the next tier down of control.


Earth and Fire represent the Physical Body and Reproductive Drive, so they are the base desires and level of control.


Spiritually speaking.


An inverted pentacle, btw, is not necessarily a Satanic symbol, it just means that the person using it views the physical as being more important than the mental or spiritual.


And I can totally sympathize with not wanting to offend people of certain religious groups that shall not be named.

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There is a 15 page preview of the first pages of the Codex here (where the hard copy may be found).  I'll post a page of spells here too, so you can see the format and what the content looks like.  Incidentally, the spell count does not include the variants at the bottom of many of the spells; those are additional.  If I added all those up it would be several thousand spells.


Eventually I'll get a product page with preview pages and such on my website but I hate coding and its a lower priority for me than writing.



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Here's a sample spell to give an idea what you can find in The Fantasy Codex:


EFFECT: Lowers the casting time on a spell by one step
Active Cost: 12
Real Cost: 5
Spell Roll: -2
END Cost: (4) - the spell costs 4 END to start and 0 to maintain, unless changed.
Casting Time: Phase
Focus: OAF 
Range: Personal
Gesture: both hands
Incantation: yes
Side Effect: yes
Concentrate: ½ DCV
Some spells take quite a while to cast, and in combat this can be a liability.  Alacrity enchants the caster’s focus to speed up spell casting, and some mages keep it in place at all times.  The magic of Alacrity is channeled through the focus the mage selects when the spell is learned.
Alacrity reduces extra time limitations by one step, so a full turn casting becomes a phase, a six minute casting time is reduced to one minute, and so on.  A spell cannot have a casting time reduced to less than a zero phase action.
POWERS: Reduces time of spell casting by 1 step down the time chart on up to 40 active point spells
MODIFIERS: Costs END Only to Start (+1/4); Bonus (-1), OAF (-1), Gesture (-1/4), Incantation (-1/4), Extra Time Full Phase 
(-1/4), Concentrate ½ DCV (-1/4), Side Effect 2d6 stun only and 3d6 flash (-1/2) [+1/4; -3 3/4]
Novice: 20 active pts=6/1; 30=9/2
Apprentice: 50 active pts=15/3; 60=19/4; 70=21/4
Journeyman: 80=25/5; 90=27/6; 100=31/6; 110=34/7; 120=37/8; 130=40/8; 140=44/9; 150=46/10
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Another sample from the Codex, for naval mages:



EFFECT: Removes the wind from around a sailing ship
Active Cost: 37
Real Cost: 7
Spell Roll: -4
END Cost: 4
Casting Time: Turn focus
Focus: OAF
Range: 100m
Gesture: yes
Incantation: yes
Side Effect: no
Concentrate: no
Becalm afflicts a sailing ship with a lack of wind.  This drop in wind speed affects the ship for an hour or more, with each casting of Becalm slowing the wind that reaches the sails of the ship even further.  Even a slight amount of sailing speed can make the difference between death and escape, or escape of the prey or them being captured, which makes this spell a popular one among sailors and pirates.
POWERS: Drain 1d6 (Swimming)
MODIFIERS: Recover per hour (+1 3/4), Can Remove Adders (+1); Bonus (-1), Only to sailing ships (-1), Extra Time Full Turn focus (-3/4), Gesture (-1/4), Incantation (-1/4), OAF (-1) 
[+2 3/4; 4 1/4] 
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It took a bit of thought to work out the practical aspects of summoning bases and vehicles, which I wrote up in the Codex, but here's an example of a spell that does just that


EFFECT: Creates a temporary keep
Active Cost: 37             Range: no
Real Cost: 6                 Gesture: yes
Spell Roll: -4                 Incantation: yes
END Cost: 4                 Side Effect: yes
Casting Time: minute   Concentrate: ½ DCV
Focus: OAF
This spell creates a tower out of thin air to act as an instant fortification.  While the tower is temporary and will vanish on it’s own after a month, it’s defense can be a lifesaver.  Unlike the Travelhut, this is not magical and will not provide any sustenance or protection from the elements beyond simple shelter, but is significantly tougher and bigger.  
The Citadel constructed by this spell is detailed in Appendix 1 of this Codex.  It will last one day at the base level of this spell.
POWERS: Summon (123 pts) Keep
MODIFIERS: Loyal Amicability (+1/2); Bonus (-1), Extra Time One Minute (-1 1/2), Gesture (-1/4), Incantation (-1/4), OAF (-1), Concentrate ½ DCV (-1/4), Side Effect 1d6 Flash and 3d6 STN Drain (-1/2) [+1/2; -4 3/4]
ACTIVE / REAL COST FOR OTHER AMICABILITY: None=25/4; Friendly=31/5; Devoted=44/8; Slave=50/9 pts
And the base it summons:
Val     Char  Cost
  8       BODY   6
11/13  PD       14
 6/8    ED         6
Characteristics Cost: 34
Cost  Power
  8      Dungeon: Resistant Protection (2 PD/2 ED) (Protect Carried Items) (16 Active Points); Partial Coverage (covers 81 m^3; three 3m x 3m cells; -1)
 22     Ballista: Killing Attack - Ranged 3d6, Armor Piercing (+1/4) (67 Active Points); Extra Time (Extra Phase, -3/4), Limited Power Crew Served by 2 (-1/2), Limited Power Real Weapon (STR Min 30) (-1/4), Beam (-1/4), Limited Range (400m; -1/4), 32 Charges (+1/4)
Powers Cost: 30
Cost  Skill
  3      PS: Cooking 12-
  3      +3 vs Range
  8      +2 with DCV (16 Active Points); Limited Power Rooftop Only (-1)
Skills Cost: 14
Cost  Perk
 45     Location:  Distant; Location Easily-defended location, Modifier Underground, Wilderness
Perks Cost: 45
Total Character Cost: 123
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And now, a utility spell, one of the less expensive ones.  I find that magic in Hero often is at its most useful at the low end.  You won't be blowing anything up but you can make life much easier and do so many things with so few points.



EFFECT: Lets the caster manipulate objects at a distance

Active Cost: 9        Range: 7m

Real Cost: 2          Gesture: yes

Spell Roll: -1          Incantation: yes

END Cost: 1          Side Effect: yes

Casting Time:        Phase focus Concentrate: no

Focus: OIF Glove

The Distant Hand spell allows the caster to reach through the Aether and manipulate things at a distance.  This power is limited in its use for combat and the spell takes long enough to cast it is not likely to find much use in a fight, but can be very handy for reaching past dangerous things or to work on something remotely.  While in effect, the caster’s arms fade into a bluish glow and his hands appear at a remote distance from a bluish glow. This spell requires a glove worn to be cast, and if miscast Distant Hand causes cramping and pains in the hands, causing a temporary reduction in the caster’s agility.

POWER: Stretching 7m

MODIFIERS: Does not cross intervening Space (+1/4); Bonus (-1), Gesture (1/4), Incantation (1/4), Extra Time Full Phase focus (1/2), Side Effect 2d6 DEX Drain REC/Min (-1/2) [-3 1/4]


Apprentice: 10m=12/3; 15m=19/4; 19m=24/6

Journeyman: 20m=25/6; 25m=31/7; 30=37/9; 35=44/10; 39=49/9

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Today's spell is inspired by a spell someone came up for as a Skyrim addon.


EFFECT: The caster gains a damage shield of the type of attack spell last used.
Active Cost: 26                 Range: self
Real Cost: 5                     Gesture: both hands
Spell Roll: -3                     Incantation: yes
END Cost: (6)                   Side Effect: no
Casting Time: Full Turn    Concentrate: ½ DCV
Focus:  no
Elemental Echo creates an automatic damage shield around the caster that harms anyone who attacks him with the same kind of power that the last spell cast had.  However, the shield will only last a short time, and takes a bit of mana to create, but not maintain.  The caster can always shut off the Elemental Echo at any time.
The trigger for Elemental Echo is an automatically resetting trigger that takes no time to cast and no time to reset. The trigger will always go off (and renew its time, costing mana each time) whenever an attack spell is cast.  The variable special effect is always set to whatever the special effect of the spell that triggered it used; fire, lightning, cold (water), spiked stones (earth), or aetheric energy (aether).
POWERS: Blast 1d6 (NND)
MODIFIERS: NND LS vs temperatures or hardened PD (+1), Does Body Damage (+1), Variable Special Effect (+1/4), Constant (+1/2), Costs END Only to Start (+1/4), Trigger (see text; +1), Area Effect Surface Damage Shield (+1/4); Bonus (-1), Gesture both hands (-1/2), Incantation (-1/4), Concentrate ½ DCV (-1/4), Extra Time full turn focus (-3/4), No Range (-1/2), Lasts 1 turn (-1/4), Side Effect 2d6 blast and 2d6 flash sight (-1/2) [+4 1/4; -4]
Apprentice: ½d6=10/2
Journeyman: 1½d6=37/7
Master: 2d6=52/10; 2½d6=63/13
Grandmaster: 3d6=79/16
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