Spellforce is a combination Real Time Strategy and RPG franchise created by German game developers Phenomic.The original game Spellforce: The Order of Dawn was followed by two expansions: Spellforce: The Breath of Winter (2004) and Spellforce: Shadow of the Phoenix (2005).Spellforce (Gold Edition) includes the first two games in the series, while Spellforce (Platinum Edition) includes all three games. Spellforce: Universe includes all three of the Spellforce games as well as both the sequel games.A sequel, Spellforce 2: Shadow Wars was released in 2006 and Spellforce 2: Dragon Storm was released in 2007. A standalone expansion called Spellforce 2: Faith in Destiny was released in 2012.Both games take the RTS/RPG concept and run with it, using slightly different leveling concepts along the way. There are Diablo-like hero-only maps, and full scale RTS maps as well. The player controls a magically-gifted hero (an immortal Rune Warrior in the first game, a dragon-blooded Shaikan in the second) who must travel across the fractured world of Eo to win allies and raise armies against the various forces that would finish the world's destruction. Along the way they must perform numerous quests to prove their goodwill, delve into ancient dungeons to rediscover lost secrets and artifacts, and solve the problemsof every random personthat you meet (in true RPG fashion).Like everything else, there's a wiki.
Batman Gambit: How the Big Bad kills the Big Good. Also, the Convocation on the part of the Demons and elemental powers. They convinced the Circle Mages that performing the rituals at the right time would give the performer unlimited power. It turned out that it summoned them to wreak havoc on the world.
Blessed with Suck: Rune warriors can summon huge armies and are immortal. However, if they are stay too long "dead" they will loose their memories and abilities. Oh, and they have to completely obey the person who has their rune stones.
Maybe more a bit of a case of Cursed with Awesome are the Shaikan: They can revive other Shaikan, summon them from great distances and can use Blood Magic. The downside? If they die, they are not allowed into the River of Souls and have to stay on the riverside forever.
Broken Bridge: Many of them. Most portals don't become available until you've done something on that map. A new quest arc is usually kicked off by a previously-inaccessible gate in a major city becoming available.
Call Back: Spellforce and all its sequels start with a shot of a hero monument, which lights up and summons the Player Character. Spellforce 2 starts with a shot of a hero monument, totally inactive, then pulls back to the Player Character ruminating on the fact that the Rune Warriors are no more.
Contemptible Cover: Look at that smoking hot elf chick! What do you mean the graphics are nothing like that?
Critical Existence Failure: Almost. One's damage output is unaffected by Hit Points, but at about 15% of a unit's health, it slows way down. Useful to you when hunting down enemies, but it cuts both ways.
Cutscene: Most in-engine, the beginning and ending ones are cinematics.
Dark Is Not Evil: The PC can use Black Magic, if you like. Also, both the light and dark races are playable, and form a segment of the campaign.
Headdesk: To get your siege units to use their anti-building attacks against buildings, you have to set them next to the buildings without ordering them to attack -— otherwise, they'll bang their heads against the walls as they melee attack the buildings.
Lady Not-Appearing-in-This-Game: Every cover for every Spellforce game or expansion has a scantily-clad woman on it. Most of them have nothing to do with the game, and the few that do tend to have minor roles that don't warrant their place on the cover.
Player Party: Up to five heroes serve the player character. In the first game they don't level, you just replace them with new ones as you level. In the second one they do level, and are actual characters in their own right.
Side Quest: Aplenty. Some particularly convoluted ones lead to the Infinity+1 Sword and Armor, and stretch throughout entire games.
Take Your Time: Unless you've opened up a headquarters for an RTS mission. In that case, get an army ready, and quick, because the CPU will start attacking soon and the attacks will get stronger and stronger unless you destroy their camps.
Either way, you can still turtle like an absolute Frenchman for hours - the plot can't go on without you unless you go through the Portal Network, and there are no Timed Missions.
Stable Time Loop: All Time Travel seems to work this way. Anytime the player helps build a Time Machine, he'll also be deeply involved in the resulting time loop. The entire plot of the first game is one of these, with the Big Bad/Big Good as the time traveler in question.
Take a Third Option: The Circle Mages began to research and create rune warriors as a result of their need for reliable assistants. Standard magical servants such as bound elementals were loyal but unable to think for themselves, human mercenaries had the power to think and learn, but were prone to treachery. The rune warriors, humanoid souls bound to magical runes, have the best of both worlds.
World in the Sky: Part of the backstory, but gets so little actual play that it amounts to little more than a Hand Wave for why the Portal Network exists, is important, and is the only means of travel.
Spellforce and its expansions provide examples of:
An Ice Person: Any mage specializing in ice magic, of course. Notably, both Rohen and The Dark One (in-game, not in the opening cutscene). Also, all offensive elf spellcasters, since they worship an ice/nature deity.
Beef Gate: Of undead at the gate from Greydusk Vale to the Northern Windwalls. And another at the Frost Marshes made of Mecha-Mooks. Removed in a plot event by the Order of Dawn, at the cost of most of their manpower.
Stealth-Based Mission: The ruined city Mulandir. On your first visit, the city is full of high level Medusas who petrify your characters on sight. But Mulandir is only a stealth based mission the first few times you visit the place, because after some grinding, the enemies in the city are weak compared to your characters.
Unwinnable by Mistake: Present in The Breath Of Winter, on the Firefangs map. Did you get the Shadow Ring from the hermit before activating the Dark Elf monument? Have fun restarting the campaign from scratch, provided you didn't just break the CD first. However, if you are not above cheating, you can cheat yourself to victory and continue your adventure as normal.
Heroic Vow: Why you can't just teleport off to another island in the middle of a Real Time Strategy fight - the only way to get your first ally in Shadow Wars is to swear a vow never to abandon your allies on the field, since they otherwise don't trust you as a Shaikan. Even when you leave behind your Light allies to join the Dark races, you keep your word.
In the Blood: A Shaikan is anyone with even a trace of dragon's blood in their veins. It has a tendency to turn them into a Blood Knight. This is viewed as the Dark Side by the Shaikan at large. One Shaikan in each generation also has the spirit of the evil first Shaikan in him. That would be the Player Character, of course.