July 07, 2010

Master of Magic -- The best treasure of all


It hardly gets better than this. (I do remember once upon a time finding two spell books at the same time.)

UPDATE: Table of spell books and how many spells they enable below the fold.

spell books common uncommon rare very rare
1 3 1 none none
2 5 2 1 none
3 6 3 2 1
4 7 4 3 2
5 8 5 4 3
6 9 6 5 4
7 10 8 6 5
8 10 10 7 6
9 10 10 9 7
10 10 10 10 10

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Gaming at 03:08 PM | Comments (11) | Add Comment
Post contains 101 words, total size 2 kb.

1 ...I'm afraid to ask what you had to kill to get that kind of drop.

Posted by: Douglas Oosting at July 07, 2010 05:45 PM (z9O1B)

2 For the non-MoM player, what exactly does an additional spellbook do?

Posted by: metaphysician at July 07, 2010 06:05 PM (OLeXB)


Douglas, I don't remember what it was. It was at least moderately tough. It was a node on Myrror, so the defenders would have been higher rank.

MP, it's like of like levels in D&D. With more spell books you can learn more spells of a given type, and have access to higher level spells of that type. This particular case it was even more nice because I was playing Merlin, who has five white books and five green books, so when I found that treasure it meant I could learn some blue spells. As it happens, none of them were really of use to me, but they might have been.

The retort was a different matter. First thing that does is make it easier for you to research blue spells, but that didn't matter. Second thing it did was to give me double output for every blue node I had captured, and that meant there was an instant stairstep up in my magic income.

...um... To cast magic you have to use mana. Mana can be acquired a number of ways. First, certain buildings in cities create mana e.g. a shrine gives you one per turn. Second, you can use alchemy to convert 2 gold into one mana. Third, there are special squares on the board called "nodes", which are either red, blue, or green. If you capture one of them, summon a Magic Spirit (or a Guardian Spirit if you have white magic) and move it to that square and then "meld" it, you get 10 mana per turn on Arcanus and 20 mana per turn on Myrror.

When I found that retort, the magical output for all the blue nodes I controlled doubled -- and that was quite a lot.

There are three things you can do with mana. First, you use it to cast spells. And some continuing spells require you to spend mana per turn. So, for instance, at one point I put "Invulnerability" on each of the six units in my all-star stack. Each of those required me to spend 5 mana per turn for maintenance.

The second thing you can do with it is to spend it on spell research. To  begin with, spells in your books are written in runes. When you research a spell, you have to expend a lot of mana (how much depends on the spell) and having done so it converts to English, and then you can cast it. (And when you find a spell book, new entries in runes appear, representing additional spells you can eventually master.)

The third thing is to invest mana in increasing your own skill. That starts low (like 30) and increases as the game goes on. If your skill is 37, then it mean you can cast 37 points of magic per turn. If you're trying to cast a 100 point spell, then it would take you three turns. But if your skill was 150, you could cast that spell immediately.

It's less complicated than I just made it sound; you pick it up quickly.

The upshot, however, is that having lots of mana income is a Good Thing, right up there with having a lot of gold income, which you also need.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at July 07, 2010 06:34 PM (+rSRq)


The top spell in the game is the Spell of Mastery:


Every player has it in their books but it takes a long time to research (and you don't get to research it until you've done nearly every other spell in your book) and it costs fully 5000 mana to cast. However, when you finish casting it, you win the game. That's one of the ways of winning.

Every mage has a citadel. If you capture the city that a mage's citadel is in, then he is out of the game. Do that to all your opponents, and that's the other way of winning.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at July 07, 2010 06:44 PM (+rSRq)


I dug into the manual. Spells come in four levels: common, uncommon, rare, and very rare. Let's see if I can copy-and-paste a table from FrontPage:

spell books common uncommon rare very rare 1 3 1 none none 2 5 2 1 none 3 6 3 2 1 4 7 4 3 2 5 8 5 4 3 6 9 6 5 4 7 10 8 6 5 8 10 10 7 6 9 10 10 9 7 10 10 10 10 10

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at July 07, 2010 06:52 PM (+rSRq)


Evidently not. Let's try it a different way:

spell books common uncommon rare very rare 1 3 1 none none 2 5 2 1 none 3 6 3 2 1 4 7 4 3 2 5 8 5 4 3 6 9 6 5 4 7 10 8 6 5 8 10 10 7 6 9 10 10 9 7 10 10 10 10 10

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at July 07, 2010 06:52 PM (+rSRq)

7 I think that I'm getting caught by the aggressive anti-HTML filtering in the comment code. I'll put it at the end of the main post.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at July 07, 2010 06:53 PM (+rSRq)

8 Like most games of this genre, you build your character/ruler by spending 'picks' at game start to buy Good Stuff, like books and talents.  Unlike others, MoM doesn't let you also take Bad Stuff to get more Good Stuff.  10 picks, no more.

That drop Steven posted is two picks..or three, I don't remember if the various Mastery talents are 1 or 2 by themselves.  Either way, that was a HUGE drop in pure numbers terms.

.and now I'm curious to see if a few-books-but-several-talents wizard has a chance of success...

Posted by: Douglas Oosting at July 07, 2010 07:30 PM (mNd5t)

9 Wait until you clear a tough node and find a retort of "Myrran". (Or was that fixed in the patches? I know version 1.0 of the game could do that to you...)

Posted by: Mikeski at July 08, 2010 05:48 AM (GbSQF)

10 I tended to start with the Warlord ability a lot, and focused on building super-stacks more than on casting battle magic.  I don't know if statistically it was worth it, but I did enjoy elite magicians...

Posted by: BigD at July 08, 2010 09:12 AM (LjWr8)

11 Interesting.  I started a custom game two days ago, with Freya as my avatar, giving her 4 red, 4 green, 2 blue (a "red/green Magic:TG deck, with a splash of blue")

The result, per your table, was 40 spells.  If I had gone 5/5 red green, which I seriously considered, I'd have gotten...40 spells.  The difference is that I have 7 rares and 4 very rares instead of 8 and 6.  But I have 19 commons instead of 16 and the same number of uncommons. What this suggests is that I've taken a hit in top-end power to gain more flexibility and additional "quick-research" spells for an early power boost.

On the Easy level, that's a valid strategy, especially given that I now control 2/3 of Arcanus and a quarter of Myrror. I don't know if it's going to work in the long run though...

Posted by: ubu at July 08, 2010 02:43 PM (i7ZAU)

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