31 December 2013

Blade Raiders

Blade Raiders, by Grant Gould, is an 80's inspired fantasy game that uses a simple resolution mechanic (referred to as the CAST System) and has a unique way of handling magic.

Everything in Blade Raiders is streamlined. From the system to character creation, there isn't a lot to get bogged down in (for better or worse). Character creation is extremely straight forward and primarily consists of only three choices: your talents (ranked 3, 2 and 1; 3 being the highest). Beyond height, weight, hit points and money, that is all you have. Those talents are, however, incredibly important and will significantly define what kind of character you are playing.

They come in two equally straight forward categories: non-magic and magic. The non-magic talents give you a bonus to something mundane based on which number you assign to it. The magic talents are similar, the rank being your bonus to using it, but higher ranks will potentially give you access to more powers, or at the very least make them significantly more useful.

Reading through them, the non-magic talents are pretty staid, everything you would expect (move faster, take more damage, do more damage, bonus to hit, bonus to exploring, etc.), while the magic talents are rather unique. They are a collection of daily use powers based on a theme, such as Enchanter (who improves items), Protector (allows you to create Ghost Armor), or Firecaller (it does pretty much what you think it does).

The element that balances these two is in the setting: runestones. These magical objects can be found throughout the setting and cannot be moved or tampered with. Trying either of these tends to cause the troublemaker to come down with a severe case of the not livings. Magic talents will only work in the vicinity of a runestone and the provided map is very clear that there are plenty of areas where magic will not be able to help you. In fact, some people specifically settle those areas for pretty obvious reasons.

While there is no limit to the number of magic talents that you can have, any character that relies too heavily on magic is going to be quickly out of their depth whenever they aren't near a runestone. On the other hand, whenever there is an abundance of runestones around, their magic is more effective than normal. This particular give and take makes talent selections particularly important and gives more importance than usual to characters who eschew magic in a fantasy setting.

As mentioned, the system is simple: roll a d10 and apply modifiers; if you have a 10 or more after all modifiers, you succeed. There aren't any resisted rolls here, nothing fancy - what you see is what you get. The most common modifier you are going to apply will be a skill (or a magic talent, if that is what you are using).

If you are paying close attention, you may note that skills weren't brought up in character creation. That is because, unless you have the Achiever talent, you will not be starting with any. Skills are for characters that earn them and this is very much a zero to not-quite-zero game. Rated from 0 to 3, you can only earn a skill once you have successfully used it. At which point you get a rating of 0 and can improve it with Character Advancement Points (CAPs).

Here is where I start to take issue with the game: to even begin learning a skill, you have to get a 10 on a d10. Certainly, there are bonuses that can be applied outside of a skill, but something extremely easy nets you a +4, while easy just gets you +2. Those are not great odds, unless you enjoy failure (no judgments here). Once you accomplish the daunting feat of advancing a skill to 3, you are still looking at a total of +7 to an extremely easy task. Unless you have a talent associated with that task, that is as good as it gets. For magic, you are not likely to see something better than a +4 bonus total (and that is assuming you put that magic talent at your highest rank) and those powers are once a day.

For some, this may be a feature. Others, not so much. To help defray that, you can spend your CAPs to gain a bonus to any roll after the roll. I have never been a fan of systems that mix your long-term advancement with short-term gain. It tends not to end well. This, however, falls into a category of to each their own.

The one unambiguous thing about this game is the art. It is all done by the author and is uniformly good. Unsurprisingly, it conveys a singular vision for how the setting looks and the common aesthetics that can be found there. For example, the only beasts of burden are a variety of giant lizards known as riptur. Their skin is also commonly used for armor and the section on armor is amazing for anyone that likes to assign each individual piece to their character and get a unique look out of it.

Blade Raider's setting is sparse as presented. The default is part of a continent with a brief history and a list of locations and some of the factions operating in the area. Unfortunately, there are not any plot hooks that capture the imagination.

For some, the unique magic and simple, but challenging system will be of great interest. While for others, the difficulty associated with success and expectation that you will be selling your future for now is going to be a problem.

27 December 2013

Earthdawn: Part 30 - Comparison of 1E and 3E Part 4: Nethermancer Spells

This is the thirtieth part in an ongoing series about Earthdawn. Introduction and Index.

Below is a list of all the Nethermancer Spells found in 1E (Core book, Arcane Mysteries of Barsaive and Magic: A Manual of Mystic Secrets) and the 3E Player's Guide.

Right now it is just a list, though if there is a desire for it (which means leave a comment to that effect) I can add some commentary and thoughts on the changes between editions.

Some of the changes were almost certainly made to accommodate the move to a battle map and hexes with a 2-yard standard size. Which means that, depending on how you count spaces, some of the areas of effect may not have changed. Regardless, the most significant changes are that the minimum casting difficulty is now a 6 instead of 2 and ranges have been drastically reduced across the board.

First Circle

Astral Spear: Range: -72 yards.

Bone Dance: Range: -15 yards; Effect: -1; Effect Test must be made every round; no longer a penalty to Strength on Effect Test failure.

Chilling Circle: Area: -3 yards; now affects everyone in area, not just a single target.

Command Nightflyer: Range: -72 yards; 

Detect Undead: Area: +5 yards; now uses Nethermancer's Willpower instead of target's Willpower.

Dry and Wet: Range: -1 yard.

Experience Death: Can no longer cause a Wound.

Insect Repellent: Casting Difficulty: +4.

Mount Scare: I cannot actually find the 1E version of this spell.

Putrefy: Casting Difficulty: Minimum +4; Range: -1 yard.

Spirit Dart: Range: -15 yards.

Spirit Grip: Shrines to the Passions are specifically considered sacred ground.

Undead Struggle: Range: -6 yards; damage is now equal to the difference in rolls; ties are now won by the Nethermancer.

Second Circle

Bone Circle: Area: -1 yard; Spellcasting Test now takes an hour; stats have changed.

Detect Nethermancy Magic: Range: -30 yards.

Ethereal Darkness: Casting Difficulty has changed; Area: +7 yards; Duration is different.

Fog Ghost: Range: -15 yards; stats different.

Gadfly: Casting Difficulty: +6; Range: -18 yards; penalty is now Harried (instead of -3 to all actions).

Life Circle of One: Casting Difficulty: +4; Area: -3 yards.

Pocket Guardian: Stats different.

Repel Animal: Casting Difficulty: +4; Area: -3 yards.

Shadow's Whisper: Casting Difficulty: +2; Defined range.

Shield Mist: No changes.

Third Circle

Arrow of Night: Explicitly works on all missiles.

Dark Messenger: Words allowed was 15 + Rank, now is 2 x Rank.

Death Trance: Extending the duration used to cost 2 Permanent Damage and now costs 4 Blood Magic Damage.

Death's Head: Threads: -1; Reattuning Difficulty: +5; now allows for resistance checks every round.

Dispel Nethermancy Magic: Casting Difficulty: +4; Range: -30 yards.

Fog of Fear: Casting Difficulty: +4; Range: -36 yards; Area: -3 yards; now allows for resistance.

Grave Message: Difficulties have changed.

Pack Bags: Casting Difficulty: +4; Range: +1 yard.

Pain: No longer causes damage; resistance is now against the Effect Test, not a static value.

Preserve: Larger area (10 ft^2 v. 2 yard radius);

Shadow Meld: No changes.

Spirit Double: No changes.

Summon Bone Ghost: Range: -6 yards; additional summons in one day now require an additional Result Level instead of increasing the Difficulty by +1.

Fourth Circle

Animate Skeleton: Casting Difficulty: +4; Range: -60 yards; stats are different.

Astral Flare: Casting Difficulty: +4; Area: -15 yards.

Blood Servitor: No changes.

Dark Spy: Senses do not shut down completely now.

Evil Eye: Range: -15 yards; resistance is now against the caster's Willpower Step, not a static value.

Fatal Food: No changes.

Friend or Foe: Range: -6 yards; now affects everyone in range, instead of 5x Rank targets.

Last Chance: No longer grants an actual Recovery Test if none are available, just Step 8 healing.

Nightflyer's Cloak: No longer requires the actual creature to be present.

Spirit Servant: Stats are different.

Viewpoint: Casting Difficulty: +4.

Visions of Death: Range: -60 yards; resistance is against caster's Willpower, not a static value.

Fifth Circle

Animate Spirit Object: Range: -15 yards; stats are different.

Astral Horror: Range: -72 yards; stats are different.

Astral Mount: The Casting Difficulty is now variable, though reduced (-1 or -2).

Astral Whisper: Range: -36 yards.

Blind: Range: -12 yards; now causes a Complete Darkness penalty.

Circle of Astral Protection: Area: -3 yards.

Incessant Talking: Range: -24 yards; resistance is now against caster's Willpower Step, not Spellcasting Test Result.

Pass Ward: Casting Difficulty: +4; now discharges only once.

Sculpt Darkness: No changes.

Sense Horror: No changes.

Shadow Hunter: Range: -6 yards; stats are different.

Spiritual Guidance: Casting Difficulty: +4; Duration now in rounds, not minutes.

Star Shower: Range: -1 yard.

Target Portal: No changes.

Tears of the Scourge: Range: -6 yards; resistance now against Effect Step, instead of Effect Test Result; prohibition against harming targets now extends to allies.

Whisper Through the Night: Effect Test no longer made in secret by GM.

Wither Limb: Range: -36 yards; more specific penalties applied to targets who have withered limbs.

Sixth Circle

Blessed Light: Casting Difficulty: +3; Area: -9 yards; 

Bone Puppet: Range: -15 yards.

Bone Shatter: Range: -36 yards; number of Effects is equal to the Result Level, not Spellcasting Rank; up to two may be directed at a single target, not three; now increases the difficulty of Knockdown Tests, instead of giving a penalty to them.

Bone Walker: Casting Difficulty: +4; Area of effect: -80 yards; weaving each thread now takes an hour; extending the duration of the spell costs Blood Magic Damage, not Permanent Damage; stats are different.

Dust to Dust: Casting Difficulty now increases for each target beyond the first; Range: -36 yards; now limited to a number of targets equal to Spellcasting Rank.

Foul Vapors: Casting Difficulty is now the highest Spell Defense among the target group; Area: -15 yards; the Nethermancer may no longer grant immunity to others; 

Friendly Darkness: Area: -9 yards; bonus granted now +5.

Recovery: No changes.

Soul Armor: Now adds a static value to Mystic Armor.

Wall of Darkness: Range: -6 yards; added thickness to the wall.

Seventh Circle

Astral Beacon: Range: -24 yards.

Astral Maw: Casting Difficulty now Nethermancer's natural Spell Defense instead of 8; Range: -15 yards.

Banquet of Dis: A Recovery Test must be sacrificed for each: going without food/water or going without sleep; now gives a specific penalty to Recovery Tests.

Bone Pudding: Range: -6 yards; penalties are limited to Wound penalties; duration extended, but specific effects last only for the duration (not 2-3 hours).

Cold Storage: Area now that of the Bone Circle.

Constrict Heart: Range: -15 yards; resistance is now against the Effect Test, not a static number; provisions are given for targets without a heart.

Damage Shift: Mystic Armor now protects against this spell.

Marathon Run: Range: -48 yards; resistance now against Nethermancer's Willpower Step, not Spellcasting Test result.

Restrain Entity: Range: -15 yards.

Reverse Withering: Casting Difficulty is now against Target's Spell Defense; an Effect Test is no longer required.

Spirit Bolt: Range: -36 yards; no longer affects physical Horrors.

Spirit Portal: Casting Difficulty: +4; removes provision for not causing Strain when preventing entry.

Steal Strength: Casting Difficulty: +4; limits to maximum strength that can be stolen; healing reduced.

Step Through Shadow: No changes.

Wit Friend: No changes.

Eighth Circle

Control Being: Range: -15 yards; now specifically disallows use of talents and spells.

Globe of Silence: Range: -24 yards; area change from 10 ft radius to 4 yard radius.

Horror Call: Area: -6 yards; now gives a specific time interval for resistance tests; now specifically states that when the spell ends, the Horror returns to astral space.

Netherblade: No changes.

Restrain Horror: Range: -15 yards.

Shadow Tether: Casting Difficulty: +1 for each additional target; Range: -30 yards; targets are now Harried.

Translator Spirit: Casting Difficulty: +5.

Visit Death: Now offers a daily resistance check.

Wall of Bones: Range: -20 yards; dimensions different; stats different

Wither Away: Penalties now Harried instead of -3 to all actions.

24 December 2013

Earthdawn: Anatomy of a Horror 02 - The Krampus

This is the second Anatomy of a Horror in an ongoing series about Earthdawn. Introduction and Index.

The legend of the  Krampus used to be whispered among families as the air grew cold in Barsaive. This was the first herald that the Krampus would be coming. The Krampus is a Horror Named before the Scourge and the loss of numerous kaers are attributed to it, though perhaps erroneously. 

It was one of the first Horrors to return, possibly even the very first Named Horror. Before the kaers closed, many denizens of Barsaive would warn their children (its favorite prey) to avoid engaging in any behavior that could attract the attention of the Krampus. In the stories, it could sense those who held secrets and fear in their heart, who had the seeds of darkness growing within. The Krampus could use those to place its mark upon the poor Namegiver.

When the weather turned particularly harsh, preventing travel and keeping most inside their homes to stay warm, the Krampus would be drawn to its prey. It would arrive with its host of constructs and their various traps. Under the cover of a darkness that will not end, they work quickly to ensure no one escapes the Krampusnacht.

There is no opening that can hold the Krampus and its host. Many children that have been marked have been known to open the way for the Krampus, while in others it will slip easily through even the smallest opening, leaving no trace of its passing.

While it will prey on the fears of all when it arrives, not all meet a grisly end. The Krampus always leaves a few to continue its legend. It will even leave many of its fiendishly ingenious traps, typically disguised as toys for children they have replaced. Special gifts for generations to come. What it does not leave behind is children. None of the children are ever seen again after the Krampus comes to town.

The Krampus has not been seen in Barsaive since the end of the Scourge, leading to a number of competing theories. Most popular of them is that it was defeated at some point and banished to where ever in astral space Horrors come from. With it was taken the cold and season that announces its arrival. Consequently, the people of Barsaive have largely forgotten of the Krampus over the years and no longer recall the ways to help keep it at bay. But it waits and will one day return - when the winds grow chill and the skies darken early, a stray jingling of bells can be heard in the distance.

DEX: 8   STR: 16   TOU: 12   PER: 16   WIL: 18   CHA: 8

Initiative: 12
Actions:  5
Attack (4): 18
Damage: Brutality (8): 24

Physical Defense: 16
Spell Defense: 18
Social Defense: 12
Physical Armor: 15
Mystic Armor: 15

Death: 100
Wound Threshold: 15
Knockdown: 20
Movement: 10


Burning Coals: All damage dealt by Fire or Cold attacks has the damage reduced by 10. Additionally, the Krampus may add Step 4/D6 Fire damage to its attacks (this does not include Chains of Guilt below).

Litany of Misdeeds (St): The Krampus can make a Step 18 Test against the target's Spell Defense to learn their secrets and greatest fears. The target is Harried for one turn per Result Level as all of their past misdeeds resurface.

Chains of Guilt (St): If a character has had Litany of Misdeeds used successfully on them, Krampus may use one of the numerous chains that surround it to grapple the target, a Step 20 Attack Test. A success will grapple the target with the chain. Targets grappled may be damaged automatically for Strength Step (16) Physical damage on subsequent turns.

Chains may be attacked, they have a Physical Defense of 14 and Death Rating of 20. The Krampus has five (5) chains total during any given encounter, though they will replenish at the end of an encounter.

Knows Your Fears (St): Tthe Krampus may make a Step 18 Test against any character currently Harried by Litany of Misdeeds with a lower Initiative. If successful, one die per Result Level is reduced to a 1 on a subsequent Test made that turn.

Let Go of Your Guilt and Fears (St): If a character is grappled by Chains of Guilt, instead of automatic damage, the Krampus may quickly retract a chain, releasing them and rending their flesh as a result; this also heals any damage on the chain. The target takes Step 20 damage and at least one Wound (every multiple of the Wound Threshold will inflict an additional Wound).

Tight Fit (F): The Krampus can get into any structure by one measure or another. Intense preparation (without knowing its specific weaknesses) can only delay the inevitable.

Traps: Lots of traps of all kinds.

Loot: Whatever can be found in the Krampus' bag.

Legend Award: Tenth Circle (Group)

20 December 2013

Earthdawn: Anatomy of a Thread Item 24 - Counterspell Staff

This is the twenty-fourth Anatomy of a Thread Item in an ongoing series about Earthdawn. Introduction and Index.

Found in the Gamemaster's Guide (pg. 132), the Counterspell Staff is a Thread Item first introduced in the original Earthdawn book (pg. 273). Yet another classic item that I have never seen any indication that it got much use.

There will be an analysis of how the 3E Thread Item stacks up to the proposed guidelines (pg. 46 of the Gamemaster's Companion) and what it looked like in its original release.

Counterspell Staff
Spell Defense: 16
Legend Point Cost: Journeyman

It is at the top end of expected Spell Defense for the tier, but that may be expected given the function of the item. With six Thread Ranks, it is pretty standard so far.

Thread Rank One
Effect: +1 Spell Defense.

Starting off with a standard effect (+1 to a Defense Rating).

Thread Rank Two
Effect: Damage Step 5 and the wielder may cast Counterspell up to Thread Rank times each day, defaulting to Perception if they do not have Spellcasting.

It starts off with another standard effect (+1 Damage Step), which is pretty unnecessary for this item, so we may as well ignore it. Particularly since the primary effect just showed up: a very good Fifth Circle Wizard spell. The guidelines indicate that spells of that Circle should be showing up starting at Rank 7, and have a cost of 3 Strain if you can use it up to three times a day.

Well, this is five Ranks early with multiple uses and no Strain cost. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal. This is already setting up to be a particularly useful Thread Item for any group with a spellcaster, particularly if it isn't a Wizard.

There is going to be a question associated with this: how many targets does this affect if you have no Ranks in Spellcasting? The easy answer is that you shouldn't give this to a non-spellcaster.

Thread Rank Three
Effect: The Effect of Counterspell increases to +3 per Result Level.

It improves the primary function of the item, which is always good, but now it is officially better than the spell. Sure, you may only be able to use it a limited number of times per day, but you really shouldn't need it more than you have available - which is actually a lot.

Thread Rank Four
Effect: Damage Step 6 and the Effect of Counterspell increases to +4 per Result Level.

Technically two bonuses, though the boost to damage is just comical compared to how powerful that particular effect is becoming. Yes, there is a sacrifice of 2 Blood Magic Damage, but it is well worth it.

Thread Rank Five
Effect: The Effect of Counterspell increases to +5 per Result Level.

Does it ever end?

Thread Rank Six
Effect: Damage Step 7 and the Effect of Counterspell increases to +6 per Result Level.

Answer: Yes, but it is faintly ridiculous at this point.

How does it all stack up? This is going to be a powerful tool in the hands of any spellcaster. The costs are pretty low and the effect is way beyond what should be available for this kind of item. It has only one trick, but it is a very good trick. The ability to provide that level of a boost to Spell Defense to the entire group is pretty insane - Counterspell was already good at a mere +2 per Result Level.

If you put this in your game, expect your players to mostly shrug in the face of spells unless they are caught completely flatfooted. This particular item is very powerful, and while it may seem like a narrow focus general bonuses to an entire Defense are game deforming.

This is a decent item to look at for ideas. It has a very direct purpose associated with it and builds on it nearly every Rank. The bonuses to damage are out of place and only lend to how outlandish it gets in the end. While it has an interesting concept, it is a poor item to ultimately use as a model because it's a little boring and it's extremely powerful. 

How does the 3E version compare to the 1E version? Let's find out:

Counterspell Staff (1E)
Spell Defense: 13
Legend Point Cost: (Journeyman)

Generally the same, though the Spell Defense was increased in the latter version.

Thread Rank One
Effect: Damage Step 3 and the wielder may cast Counterspell (Willforce + 5), defaulting to Perception if they do not have Spellcasting.

The first two ranks get switched and there are two things to note here: that the details of Counterspell changed between editions (in 1E it replaced Spell Defense and has unlimited targets, while in 3E it provides a bonus and has limited targets) and there are no limits on how many times it may be cast. Oh, the damage is different, but that is still irrelevant. Spellcasters should have something better to do than whack someone (poorly) upside the head with a stick.

Thread Rank Two
Effect: +1 Spell Defense.

And here is the other effect from the switch. However, here is a strange thing that is revealed in the Key Knowledge for this Rank: the staff only works against spells of one Discipline. That sounds like information that would have been useful back in Rank One. That makes this significantly less powerful, since it won't even work against many of the worst effects out there that are just powers rather than spells.

Thread Rank Three
Effect: The Effect of Counterspell is Willforce +6 and affects the spells of a second Discipline.

A decent bonus, given how limited this version turned out to be. Here is a spoiler: you never get more than two Disciplines. This is pretty analogous to how things look in 3E.

Thread Rank Four
Effect: Damage Step 4 and the Effect of Counterspell is Willforce + 8.

That is a two Step bonus there to the effect and I suppose a damage increase as well. Given the limited functionality, the bonus seems reasonable considering that you take 2 Permanent Damage here. Again, this matches up to 3E.

Thread Rank Five
Effect: Spell Defense +2 and the Effect of Counterspell is Willforce + 9.

Here there is a Spell Defense bonus that is not found in 3E. If it were, that would make the already really good Thread Item even better.

Thread Rank Six
Effect: Damage Step 5, Spell Defense +3 and the Effect of Counterspell is Willforce + 10.

Pretty much the same, except for the Spell Defense bonus that has been omitted. Which is really for the best.

How do they stack up? Well, the 3E version is pretty insane compared to the 1E version (which also likely explains why it didn't see much use). In 1E, it was of dubious value given how unreliable it was and that it doesn't work against Horror powers. Those happen to be the #1 category of things that I want a good Spell Defense against. 1E does offer a better Spell Defense boost, which is ironic since the spell replaces your Spell Defense. Between the editions, this Thread Item went from bad to unbalancing.

17 December 2013

Earthdawn: Part 29 - Comparison of 1E and 3E Part 3: Elementalist Spells

This is the twenty-ninth part in an ongoing series about Earthdawn. Introduction and Index.

Below is a list of all the Elementalist Spells found in 1E (Core book, Arcane Mysteries of Barsaive and Magic: A Manual of Mystic Secrets) and the 3E Player's Guide.

Right now it is just a list, though if there is a desire for it (which means leave a comment to that effect) I can add some commentary and thoughts on the changes between editions.

Some of the changes were almost certainly made to accommodate the move to a battle map and hexes with a 2-yard standard size. Which means that, depending on how you count spaces, some of the areas of effect may not have changed. Regardless, the most significant changes are that the minimum casting difficulty is now a 6 instead of 2 and ranges have been drastically reduced across the board.

First Circle

Air Armor: No changes

Crunch Climb: Weaving Difficulty: +2.

Earth Blend: No changes.

Earth Darts: Range: -18 yards.

Flameweapon: Range: -6 yards; +1 Damage Step, difficulty is now the higher of the wielder or the weapon's Spell Defense (was just the weapon's Spell Defense).

Heat Food: Casting Difficulty: +4.

Moonglow: Casting Difficulty: +2.

Plant Talk: Casting Difficulty: +4.

Purify Earth: Casting Difficulty: +1; now a 2-yard radius (was 100 ft^2).

Purify Water: Casting Difficulty: +4.

Resist Cold: No changes.

Resist Fire: No changes.

Second Circle

Air Mattress: Casting Difficulty: +1.

Billowing Cloak: Duration is now in minutes (was rounds).

Boil Water: Casting Difficulty: +4; now has a maximum volume of Spellcasting Rank quarts, -1 Damage Step per quart.

Detect Elementalism Magic: Range: -30 yards..

Flame Strike: Range: -18 yards.

Gills: No changes.

Hunter's Sense: Range: +5 yards.

Ice Spear: Range: -72 yards.

Icy Surface: Casting Difficulty: +4.

Path Home: Casting Difficulty: +5.

Shield Willow: Threads: +1; Casting Difficulty: 6 (was TSD).

Slow Metal Weapon: Range: -34 yards.

Small Slayer: Casting Difficulty: +2; duration in minutes (was rounds); Damage Step is now 1.

Sterilize Object: Casting Difficulty: +4.

Stick Together: Range: -15 yards.

Third Circle

Behind Eye: No changes.

Dispel Elementalism Magic: Casting Difficulty: +4; Range: -30 yards.

Fingers of Wind: No changes.

Fuel Flame: Casting Difficulty: +2; Range: -6 yards.

Grounding: Physical armor is -6, but now grants an equal amount of mystic armor.

Ice Mace and Chain: Range: -24 yards.

Lightning Bolt: Range: 15 yards.

Plant Feast: Casting Difficulty: +4; Range: -1 yard.

Porter: Casting Difficulty: +5.

Puddle Deep: Casting Difficulty: +4; Range: -9 yards; the general effects are different.

Repair: Casting Difficulty: +4.

Rust: Threads: +1; Range: -15 yards; penalty is -1 per Result Level (was flat -5).

Sky Lattice: Casting Difficulty: +4; +1 yard wide; can hold 2500 lbs less.

Smoke Cloud: Radius: -6 yards.

Snuff: Radius: +2 yards.

Sunlight: Radius +20 ft.

Thrive: Radius: +2 ft; 3 days less growth.

Throne of Air: Max vertical distance now 4 yards, not Rank yards.

Winds of Deflection: No changes.

Fourth Circle

Air Blast: Range: -36 yards.

Blizzard Sphere: Range: -60 yards; Area: -2 yards; now physical damage.

[Element] Spear: Range: -16 yards; Effect: +1.

Falcon's Cloak: No changes.

Fire Whip: Casting Difficulty: +2.

Great Sticky Vines: Casting Difficulty: +4; Range: -15 yards.

Lighten Load: No changes.

Lightning Shield: No changes.

Lightning Step: Physical Defense and Movement increase by +2 instead of being replaced.

Liquid Arrow: Range: -48 yards.

Lodestone's Touch: Range: -4 yards; Area: -8 yards.

Root Trap: Casting Difficulty: -2; Range: -6 yards.

Shield of Warping: Effect Test is now against the Damage Step (was Spell Defense), an effect is now given for Extraordinary Success.

Spirits of Death's Sea: Difficulty is now TSD (was 10), it can only affect one person per casting, and the Damage Step is +1.

Suffocating Paste: Range: -15 yards; duration is now Rank + 6 Rounds, not Willforce Rounds.

Uneven Ground: Radius: -15 yards; removed the ability to shield others, the penalties were reduced, movement rate is now reduced.

Weapon Back: No changes.

Fifth Circle

Balloons of Mist: Casting Difficulty: +4; Range: -1 yard; movement rate is x6.

Earth Staff: Casting Difficulty: +4.

Fireball: Area: -6 yards.

Inflame Self: Willpower Test to resist (was Willforce - depending on 3E reading of Willforce, this may not be a change).

Ironwood: Area is x3.

Metal Scream: Range: -60 yards; Difficulty is now +1 per additional person, there are no limits on the number of targets, targets must now flee on a failure, on a success they take the penalties.

Metal Wings: No changes.

Nutritious Earth: Casting Difficulty: +4; radius, not a square, Blood Magic Damage instead of Permanent Damage.

Resist Poison: No changes.

Shattering Stone: Range: -15 yards; Area: +2 yards.

Stone Cage: Range: -36 yards

Sixth Circle

Drastic Temperature: Casting Difficulty: +4; Range: -60 yards; Area: -4 ft radius.

Ease Passage: No changes.

Fireweave: Area: +1 yard; no longer affects Physical Defense, Effect damage instead of Step 8.

Flameshaw: Range: -60 yards; altitude limited to 100 yards (was 1000 ft).

Living Wall: Range: -15 yards; Height: -1 yard.

Ricochet Attack: Range: -45 yards.

Stone Rain: Range: -18 yards; Radius: -4 ft.

Tossing Earth: Casting Difficulty: +4; mechanics are different.

Tree Merge: No changes.

Seventh Circle

Beastform: No changes.

Calm Water: Reduces waves by inches (was feet).

Cloud Summon: No changes.

Death Rain: Area: -45 yards.

Earth Q’wril: No changes.

Earth Surfing: Range: +1 yard; Area: +2 yards.

Engulf [Element]: Range: -6 yards; now has casting requirements, now requires concentration, now causes Harried.

Fire Hounds: Range: -6 yards; Minimum Threads is now 1, chance to get one more hound, now a maximum distance for hounds, hound stats are different.

Flame Darts: Range: -14 yards; Area: -4 ft.

Grasping Hand of Earth: Range: -36 yards; Threads: -2; now causes Harried.

Storm Manacles: Range: -36 yards.

Thunderclap: Area: -1 yard radius.

Whirlwind: Casting Difficulty: +4; Range: -36 yards; Area: +2 ft radius; now tests against the highest Spell Defense (was against each Spell Defense).

Eighth Circle

Blade Fury: No changes.

Crushing Hand of Earth: Range: -36 yards; Threads: -2; now requires concentration, shields now protect against the damage, now prevents actions.

Earth Wall: Casting Difficulty: +8; Range: -30 yards; dimensions have changed.

Perimeter Alarm: Casting Difficulty: +4; may now set a maximum size of creature that will trip the alarm.

Silence Metal: No changes.

Silver Shadow: Range: -60 yards.

Waterspout: Distance required from water reduced by -10 yards; Success Level required for smaller targets has been reduced to Good (was Excellent).