Does Dark Magic work better if your rep is negative? A couple of weeks ago, I killed old Witherfang for my Paladin's promotion, using naught but weapons and Elemental spells. It was tough, but doable. This time around, with my Dark and Light both at Master level and a party of similar level and strength, I whaled away with Shrapmetal. Result: 4 points damage. I changed to Implosion. Result: 26 points damage. Tried again. Shrap: never more than 5 points. Implosion or Ice Bolt: never less than 7. Brute force: variable from 4 to 24. In both this attempt and the one two weeks ago, my rep was Respectable.
So tell me again, what's so wonderful about Dark Magic?
P. S. ANY attack seems to be much more powerful if you can manage a direct head shot. Maybe I'm doing it wrong, but I've found Shrapmetal to be virtually un-aimable, except for a vague direction of attack.