- This article is about the Wizard Retort called "Alchemy". For the action of Transmuting Gold and Mana, see Alchemy.
Alchemy allows the Wizard to Transmute Gold into Mana and vice versa at a ratio of 1:1, thus making these two resources practically interchangeable. In addition, all Normal Units recruited by this Wizard will be equipped with Magic Weapons by default.
The art of Alchemy is an obsession with the transformation of plain materials into gold, using the arcane and mystical properties of special reactive agents. In Master of Magic, the reactive agent is plain and simple magical energy. Mana Crystals, containing a vast store of magical energy, can be transmuted directly into chunks of Gold through the proper magical procedure, and the opposite works just as easily.
Though all wizards practice this skill, they will often find that some of the input material tends to disappear during the process. A select few wizards, however, have unlocked the secret of performing the transmutation so efficiently that none of the input material is lost at all. These wizards can turn a quantity of Gold into Mana Crystals, and then back again without losing any of the materials in the process. The secret of lossless transmutation is well-guarded, and provides a wizard with an important advantage: enabling them to treat Gold and Mana as two entirely interchangeable resources. This advantage can be leveraged to help a wizard fulfill their ultimate goals very easily.
With a greater understanding of the principles involved in transmuting magic into precious metals and vice versa, the Alchemist wizard also has a very easy time producing an intermediate material - a magical metal. While this material is unsuitable as a trade currency, it is exceptionally suitable for making very effective weapons which use magic to improve their wielder's performance. The Alchemist can produce vast quantities of this type of metal with virtually no effort, allowing them to equip entire armies with keen and deadly weaponry.
The first ability is that of lossless Alchemical transmutation: A Wizard with this Retort transmutes Gold to Mana (and vice-versa) at a ratio of 1:1. In other words, each Gold Piece is transmuted into 1 Mana point, and each Mana point is transmuted into 1 Gold Piece.
Default Magic Weapons
The second ability is that of default Magic Weapons. Whenever the Alchemist wizard creates a new Normal Unit in any of his cities, that unit receives Magical Weapons by default, instead of Normal Weapons.
These weapons give the unit a 10% To Hit bonus when using its Melee Attack or non-magical Ranged Attack (if it has one). However, Ranged Magical Attacks and Special Attacks such as Thrown and Fire Breath won't be affected.
The unit also has an easier time hurting enemies who possess Weapon Immunity. Without Magical Weapons, those weapon-immune enemies would have 10 defense against Melee Attacks and Ranged Missile Attacks.
Wizards without this Retort must acquire such weapons through the construction of Alchemists' Guilds. Since some races have no access to this structure, the Alchemy retort can boost the combat potential of those races by a large margin - especially since these races normally produce very powerful units to begin with.
Note that if a town has access to either Mithril Ore or Adamantium Ore and does end up building an Alchemists' Guild, new units produced there will receive Mithril Weapons or Adamantium Weapons as appropriate.
Cost and Prerequisites
When creating a new Wizard, the Alchemy Retort consumes one pick. It has no prerequisites.