Tabletop Review: Castles & Crusades: Elemental Spells

Castles & Crusades: Elemental Spells
Publisher: Troll Lord Games
Cost: $9.99 (Free to Kickstarter Backers)
Page Count: 52
Release Date: 6/24/2015 (Kickstarter Backers)/TBD (Everyone Else)
Get it Here: (Eventually)

As I said in my Gaxmoor review, the Castles & Crusades Sixth Printing Kickstarter continues to roll out a ton of free stuff. Sure I’m still waiting for my leather-bound copy of the Castle Keeper’s Guide, but I have a digital copy and a plethora of other great content to make up for it. Case in point – Elemental Spells, a new supplement containing two stretch goals from the Kickstarter campaign.

Make no mistake, Elemental Spells is just that. Aside from the covers, intro page and legal mumbo-jumbo, the entire book is nothing but spells. So if you only play warriors or rogues, this is an easy pass for you. For everyone else, this is a must-have as it drastically (and dramatically) increases the numbers of spells open to a magic using character. Think I’m exaggerating? There are 176 new Cleric spells, 115 Druid Spells, 183 new Wizard Spells and forty-six new Illusionist spells. That’s 520 new spells in all! HOLY CRAP! If that isn’t enough, there are also fifty new magic items for your campaign. All this content packed into roughly fifty pages. It’s insane, but also something every Castles & Crusades player will want to pick up simply because of the bevy of new magical content. Sure Illusionists get the short end of the stick, but they still get nearly fifty new spells, which is nothing to sneeze at.

The beginning of the book lists the spells by class and then level. These charts take up four pages. After that we get into the actual spells themselves which are listed in alphabetical order (by name of spell), followed by the level and class. So the first spell in Descriptions section is Acid Rain, which is a Level 6 Wizard spell. Each spell gets a paragraph of description along with the in-game stats. Each Stat is abbreviated however, so newcomers might not know that CT is Casting Time, R is Range, D is distance and so one. As such, if this is your first entry into Castles & Crusades, you will be quite lost. Once you’ve read the Player’s Handbook though, all of this will make a lot of sense and you’ll be able to comb through Elemental Spells with no trouble at all.

Although the title of this supplement implies that all the spells in this collection will be elemental based, there is more to Elemental Spells than earth, wind, fire and water. There are spells like Amber Trap which immobilizes a target, or Route to Target, which gives you a glowing line that gives you the shortest, most direct route to your goal. The vast majority of spells though, are indeed elementally aligned. I mean, it’d be an oddly named book otherwise, right? Don’t expect to see spells that are damage dealing only though. There are a lot of creative and outside box uses for each of the four elements. Restorative Fire, a Level 6 Cleric spell, repairs/recharges magic items. Eagle’s Wings, a Level 4 Cleric/Level 3 Druid spell lets a character form wings and fly. Call Smog Monster (Level 5 Druid/Wizard) gives you a unique take on summoning an air elemental. So on and so forth. There are also a lot of new healing spells (eight along with the word “Heal” starting off the spell name) and all sort of other things. Really the book is simply fantastic, especially if you are a fan of spell-casting characters.

For players, Elemental Spells gives you a lot of new options and ways to customize your character so he or she stands out from the usual spellslinger. For Castle Keepers, you can use these spells to devise all sorts of new antagonists for you players. Keep the book a secret and see how they react to these never encountered bits of magic. Either way, Elemental Spells is a top-notch supplement and a fantastic addition to any Castles & Crusades collection.



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