Behind the Spells is a series of short PDF that take a single spell and give them a little character and history. Each one presents the circumstance of their invention and who that inventor one. They also present other spells that are variants of the original as well ways the original spell can be used in new and interesting ways. The PDFs have a simple and easy format and formula that works well for the purpose of the books.

Behind the Spells: Shatter is one in the long line of Behind the Spells PDF. The PDF is written by Bret Boyd and published by Ronin Arts. The PDF is small as they all are in the series; this one is just five pages in length. Even though it is small it is book marked. There is no art as there is no art in any of the books in the series and the lay out is good and looks like all of them in the series.

The spell Shattered was invented by a Derro. He invented it for those wacky Derro games those underground dwarves are always playing. I would like to hear more on that but the PDF does focus on the spell and not the Derro. Like many of these PDFs little bits and interesting ideas that would be fun to see expanded or as they do serve to feed oneís own imagination. The spell was gotten by other races when he was captured and they got him to reveal all his secrets. The spell was altered to the present day version by another guy and that is how the Shatter spell came to be basically. As all of them it is a good and easy to use back story that can be fit in most if not all campaign settings.

There are two spell secrets in this PDF. Spell secrets are new ways the spell can be used using easy to follow rules. The first one is instead of just shattering an object have it vibrate almost to the point of destruction and then when it makes contact with something it will break. The simplest use it to cast it on a sword and wait for someone to get hit with the sword and then watch the sword shatter. It is a tough maneuver to do requiring a spellcraft roll with a DC based on the weight of the object. With a failed check the shatter spell can go off as normal or just fail to function. The other spell secret is the ability for many caster to cast the Shatter spell at the same target at the same time and have it have a greater effect.

The two variant spells are both really interesting and possible even cooler then Shatter. The first Bone Shatter slowly breaks a part a targets skeleton over many rounds causing them a bit of damage and problems. The other spell is Shatter Storm that can cause items to not only be destroyed but break into flying shrapnel that can cause quite a bit of damage to people near it.

Behind the Spells: Shatter is one of the better ones in the series. It takes a well known spells and gives a couple of ways to additionally use it. The two variants spells might be the best pair of variant spells I have read in the series.