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Review – Arcania of Legend: Blood Magic
Arcania of Legend: Blood Magic is a recently released sourcebook for the Legend RPG, released by Mongoose Publishing. It’s strated the new Arcadia of Legend series with a blast, as on it’s pages you receive game information on bloody sacrifices, ancient curses, rains and rivers of blood, and gruesome death in high quantity. This book is definitely not for the faint of heart.
The Arcania of Legend series is dealing with the different magic schools available for the game. In the Blood Magic book you will find the same excellent detail as we sen in Vikings of Legend, including lots of connection to mythology and literature.
The Blood Magic book deals with the darkest kind of magical practices available : human sacrifices, blood sacrifice, and spells killing your opponents with the most gruesome ways possible. The magical spells include many “staple effects” from fantasy literature, religion and mythology, including rivers turning into blood, liches creating their phylacthery, and enemies weeping blood. It’s both awesome and terrible in some way.
I have to note, that as the designers pointed out, several of the new magical spells are abilities are not balanced compared to other magical spells. This is intentional, as they are planned to be the dreaded abilities of the most feared spellcasters, and not something known by every single hedge mage around.
The first chapter deals with the power-source behind these dark powers : Sacrifice and Blood. There are several ways to get magic point on this path, including auto-sacrifice, torturing, and animal and human sacrifices and others. Some of these could be reasonably enabled to player characters, while others are irredeemably evil. Of course, the bigger the sacrifice the bigger pool of Magic Points are available for use. The chapter importantly also offers several rule-options on the use of the sacrifices, including how long could you keep the magic you harnessed, and what limitations could hamper the otherwise extremely potential magic users.
In the second chapter you may find the divine part of blood magic, titled Blood Miracles. This includes effects like the already mentioned biblical spells, or powerful curse-like spells to defend ancient tombs. Rules also provided, to deal with the blood magic using divine casters, including the ways they could receive and use their spells in a new way.
As you may guess, the next chapter Blood Sorcery deals with arcane casters. Many of these spells are well above the power of the core Legend spells, and i1m not happy with that, even if this is intended as an NPC material. Many of the spells looks like epic-awesome on paper, until your players gets with the sorcerer face to face to get a gruesome death from the first spell. Or you may choose to don’t use them against the players, which would be lame. However apart from the instant-win spells the others are fine (even if uber-powerful), and very flavorful.
The book also contains several new Magical Skills on it’s pages, including Concert, Enchant and Summon. With Concert the spellcasters are able to cast a spell as a team for great effect, but they are risking dangerous mishaps. With Enchant characters are able to create powerful magical items. on the other hand my favorite is Summon, which enables casters to summon terrible demonic creatures to their side.
I think the original content in the Arcania of Legend: Blood Magic is excellent. While I’m not a fan of the instant kill spells, even for NPC-s, even those are very flavorful and interesting. The options provided i the book are extremely powerful and dreadful, but keep in mind that these are mostly for major antagonists and shouldn’t be provided lightly to player characters.
As a final score I give it 4/5 points, noting that it’s mostly a supplement for Game Masters and not for player character casters.
The book is already available as a pdf release at DriveThruRPG, on this link.
Zoltán “Cain” Mészáros