An Inadvertent Omission by Timothy C. Bateson

Issue: 9
System: Hordes of the Things
Publisher: Wargames Research Group

An Inadvertent Omission
by Timothy C. Bateson

Being an exposition wherein the errors and oversights in the previous article, A Kind of Magic, are addressed.

It rapidly occurred to me and my wargaming colleagues that, although we enjoyed having the option to choose which spells to cast in HOTT [see A Kind of Magic in Ragnarok 7], something was not quite right. The anger of a frustrated cleric who could no longer interere with the casting of magic just had to be seen to be believed. On reflection and under threat of excommunication, we came up with the following set of rules. I think that they solve the problem without adding any complexity to the altered magic rules.


Magic-using individuals are collectively referred to as sorcerers. Sorcerers are classified by the highest PIP cost spell they can cast, something that was only suggested as an option before. The classifications are Magi, Magician, and Hedge Wizard. Magi can cast any spell, magicians can cast up to 2 PIP spells, and hedge wizards can cast 1 PIP spells. You may prefer to use other names if these do not take your fancy, or even use different names for each race's magic users.

Magic, Clerics & Paladins

The Strike spell (the only spell allowed under the old HOTT rules, although not explicitly named) is affected by the presence of clerics and/or paladins as in the basic HOTT rules (see HOTT page 13). For other magic, a different system is needed.

Any other spell whose area of effect lies OR line of sight passes within 600p of a cleric or paladin will fail unless the caster rolls 5 or more on a D6.

Magi add + 1 to their D6 roll, hedge wizards subtract 1. If extra sorcerers aid in the casting of such a spell, then add +1 for each extra sorcerer to a maximum of +2. Note that the relative position of assisting sorcerers and hostile clerics/paladins is immaterial. It is the relative position of the actual casting sorcerer and hostile clerics/paladins that matters.

Note that it is only the initial casting of the spell that can be disrupted. Thereafter the presence of a hostile cleric or paladin will have no effect. Thus Raised units may go to fight a cleric without fear of being disrupted, but a unit within 600p of a cleric may not be raised without running the risk of spell failure.

Magic and Water

Again the basic HOTT rules suggest that magic is hampered by water. This is something that I overlooked in the original article. The following rule seeks to correct this.

With the exception of the Strike spell which already has its own penalties for being cast across water, no spell may be cast across running water. Spells may, of course, be cast without hindrance into/out of/across marshes, swamps, stagnant lakes etc.

Again this applies only to the initial casting of the spell. Thus you may not cast a Raise spell on a unit on the far bank of a river; you may cast it on a unit on your side of the river and then get the unit to cross.

See also:

Ed Note: Hordes of the Things is a generic set of Fantasy wargames rules produced by the Wargames Research Group and was reviewed in Ragnarok 1. A second edition is now available and was reviewed in Ragnarok 43. HOTT has won the Best Fantasy Wargames Rules category in the SFSFW Awards five times out of seven! For further details regarding price and availability, send an SSAE to Wargames Research Group, The Keep, Le Marchant Barracks, London Road, Devizes, Wiltshire, SN10 2ER.