Battle Magic (3.5e Variant Rule)
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Greetings, gamers. This section is reprinted from a previous source and is not my original work, but is intended to clarify the mechanics behind certain spells utilized in battle magic. If you're interested in the source, download the Encylopaedia Arcane Compendium, which contains the books on Demonology, Necromancy, Battle Magic, and the never-before published Transmutation. If I can post the pictures (I may need help with coding that), then this section will be self-explanatory. -- Danzig 18:29, 8 April 2010 (UTC)
Areas of Effect
Battle mages are not content with the simple areas of effect so common in other types of arcane magic. In order to gain the maximum impact from their spells, they have created several new ways to deliver magical effects for some of their castings, detailed below.
Spiral areas of effect are unique to battle magic and were devised to provide greater coverage of a battlefield without sacrificing a spell’s effective potency. A spiral has one variable dimension, its length, but its basic shape is always the same. A spiral is targeted on one five feet square when it is cast. On impact, the spiral effect fills the target square and then travels in a straight line for ten feet, filling all the squares it passes through. At the beginning of the next round, the next leg of the spiral unfolds and the area of effect makes a 90-degree turn to the left or right (caster’s choice of which) and continues on for 15 feet, again filling each square it passes through. Each round thereafter, a new leg of the spiral unfolds and the effect turns 90 degrees to the direction of the second leg and travels five feet further than it did previously. Note that all legs of the spiral remain in existence until the round after the final leg unfolds. If a spiral spell runs into an obstruction, it immediately makes a 90-degree turn and continues normally for the rest of its length. This will often cause the spiral to cross over itself, which battle mages must be aware of to avoid unintended consequences. If the spiral runs into a dead end, it immediately stops and the spell ends. An obstruction must completely fill the square the effect is crossing through – a wall or door will block the effect, but a column or stalagmite will allow the spell effect to pass through unhindered. Battle mages can use a spiral to protect themselves or friendly units inside an expanding area of deadly magic. Precise targeting of this type of spell can be used to clear away forces harassing the battle mage or his allies and is very useful in constrained areas where obstructions limit the usefulness of a standard burst or emanation spell. The spiral area of effect also provides a significant surprise factor with its extended, unusual effect patterns and duration. Careful planning can also allow the spiral spell to bend around corners and pass through open doors to create a ricochet effect that is sure to keep enemies off guard. Unless otherwise noted, each leg of a spiral is 20 ft. tall or as tall as the ceiling of the area in which it is cast. A spiral does not ‘spread’ across a ceiling if the ceiling is less than 20 ft. tall.
A stream area of effect is a straight line that originates with the caster and can be ‘swept’ across an area during its duration. When cast, the stream extends from the caster out to the limit of its length in a straight line. On each following round, as a standard action, the caster an swing the far end of the stream up to 20 ft. to the left or right, moving the area of effect to conform to the new location. Any target in the line of the stream’s new position, or in a location the stream moved through on the way to its new location, suffers the spell’s effect. In the round that it is cast, the stream extends as shown in the first diagram, catching targets A and B within its area of effect. On the next round, the battle mage sweeps the stream to the right, as shown in the second diagram. The second diagram illustrates the area the spell swept through, and we can see that targets D and E were affected as the stream crossed through their squares. When determining which squares are affected by a stream, simply laying a string or flexible ruler between the caster and the original target location works very well. When the spell is swung, move the string to the new location and the stream affects any square that the string passes through. All movement of the stream is assumed to occur during the caster’s action and persists from round to round until its duration has expired. Stream spells are most effective for scattering enemy forces or forcing them to move in a particular direction. Because the area of effect can be moved from one spot to another, enemies are forced to remain on the move if they want to stay out of the stream’s way. A stream is also frighteningly effective when used against large numbers of relatively weak creatures; burning up a horde of kobolds is a snap when you have a stream of acid at your fingertips.
Spells with this area of effect have an initial area that is the same as a normal emanation. However, each round after the first, the caster can move the centre of the emanation up to 30 ft. in any direction and the area of effect will move with it. This allows casters to cover a larger area with this spell than would otherwise be possible with a standard burst or emanation spell. An example of this type of effect and its movement is provided below. In the first diagram, the grey square indicates the original centre of the emanation. The black squares show the surrounding area of effect. In the second diagram, the greyed-out area represents the original location of the area of effect, while the black squares show the new location of the spell. When a mobile emanation spell moves, the whole area of effect moves at once. The original area of effect fades away to be replaced a moment later by the new area of effect – the emanation does not ‘sweep’ through an area like a stream spell.