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Risk Godstorm: Anticipating Armageddon!
by Mike Selinker, lead developer, Risk Godstorm

"The goddess of magic controls fate itself. She gains strength when fate conspires to favor the lucky."

-- from the Risk Godstorm rulebook

The magic goddess is the most capricious of deities. She demands tribute but you may not be fortunate enough to appease her. Luckily, she can control your destiny better than you can.

Goddess of MagicThe goddess of magic is the solitary female figure in Godstorm. (OK, I admit I don't know about the elephant.) In the myths of more benighted times, goddesses tended to be both the bringers of all things fortunate -- harvest, fertility, beauty -- and all things unfortunate -- discord, pestilence, dark magic. We wanted to capture those seemingly contradictory essences in our female figure, so our magic goddesses are a stunning quintet.

Here are the goddesses of magic in Godstorm.

The Goddesses of Magic

The Greeks' goddess of magic is Hekate, priestess of the moon. She aids those who practice dark sorcery under the stars. Flanked by ghostly canine servitors, she can look in three directions at once and confer luck, both very good and very bad.

The Norsemen's goddess of magic is Freya, the goddess of riches. Ever youthful, she weeps tears of gold when her husband Odr disappears. Freya is the life force of the Norse gods, so the giants always scheme to carry her off to Jotunheim.

The Celts' goddess of magic is Brigid, the Fire of Inspiration. She tends the sacred apple orchard of Avalon, the Celtic land of eternity. The goddess of creativity gives the Celts civilized life and, in her guise as the Lady of the Lake, gives King Arthur mighty Excalibur.

The Babylonians' goddess of magic is Ishtar, the Great Mother. She rules over both love and strife in the lives of the Babylonians. Ishtar bestows great bounties upon man, making fields and livestock flourish, but just as cruelly makes them barren with hardly a thought.

The Egyptians' goddess of magic is Isis, Queen of Heaven. She teaches her priestesses to heal the sick and even raise the dead. Isis makes the Nile flow, bringing both the power of life and the ferocity of the flood.

The Magic Goddess's Domain: Fate

The rest of the world suffers the consequences of fate. Only the magic goddess can control it. Your dice are subject to her manipulations, whether or not she's on your side. Serve her well, and she'll reward you. Fail to do so, and she'll seal your fate.

In any combat at which the magic goddess is present -- any attack, any defense, and any godswar in her territory or one she invades -- you reroll any 1s you roll. This can be a huge advantage because 1s almost always lose. You've effectively changed from six-sided dice to five-sided dice with a plus-one bonus. With a range of 2–6, it amounts to another half point on every die in a fight involving the magic goddess.

Rerolling 1s can be a tremendous confidence booster. It shaves off the bottom end of the luck factor, so you never roll terribly. You can be more confident about attacking or about leaving a small roadblock of soldiers standing in the way of a rampaging force.

TempleThis combines with other deities' divine powers, too. If you attack with both the war god and magic goddess supporting your soldiers, you get to reroll your 1s AND win ties. This is a monstrous attacking force that probably won't be stopped until it either runs out of momentum (too few soldiers remaining to advance) or it hits something stronger than just opposing soldiers.

The magic goddess doesn't have any additional effect in defense of a territory with a temple. Both of these figures allow you to reroll 1s on defense. You're well advised to send the goddess out in the world where she can do more good.

The Magic Goddess's Power: Versatility

In a godswar, having a magic goddess can be like having one or two more soldiers backing up your deity. Her power takes affect in godswar regardless of whether the goddess is the deity doing the battling. As long she's in the attacking or attacked territory, she lets you reroll all your 1s in the godswar.

This power also stacks with the other gods' powers, assuming they've been declared to be in the fight. (The game presumes your deities are always involved unless you say otherwise before the invasion.) If you attack with a war god, a sky god, and a magic goddess in one godswar, you win ties, reroll 1s, and roll an extra die. That's pretty intimidating. Trust me, though -- even that can go horribly wrong!

That's the big lesson of the magic goddess: she gives you just enough confidence to overcommit yourself. By controlling fate, she can prove more fickle than you imagine. You'll hear sentences beginning with "I can't believe ..." coming out of your mouth. Good luck with that.

Also, if you roll with exceptional good fortune, the magic goddess will reward you. Next column, we'll see the magic goddess's cards, which are unlike any others.


Catch up on any previews you missed!

  1. Into the Fire
  2. The World of the Ancients
  3. God-Fearing People
  4. Gods Among Men
  5. The Warlords
  6. Miracles On the Battlefield
  7. The Sky Kings
  8. Blessings From the Heavens
  9. Enchantresses
  10. The Reliquary Opens
  11. Hellions
  12. Pandora's Box

Mike SelinkerMike Selinker has been playing, designing, developing, and just plain loving games of every variety for many, many years. He is a gamer in the very best sense of the word. Mike lives in Seattle.

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