Encounter AncientTemple Dialog Life

An Encounter Zone.

An Encounter Zone is a type of Terrain Special that contains some sort of Treasure that a Wizard can acquire. However, more often than not, this treasure is defended by a host of guardians. These need to be defeated before the rewards of the Encounter Zone may be claimed. Occasionally, a site will contain no monsters, in which case its treasure will be awarded to the first wizard who sends a unit to scout the area.

Encounter Zones are temporary by definition. When the defenders are cleared, and their hoard looted, the structures normally disappear from the map. The only exceptions are magical Nodes and Towers of Wizardry, as these continue to exist as Terrain Specials even after their guardians have been vanquished. However, they do cease to function as Encounter Zones at that point.

A total of 93 Encounter Zones are created at the start of each game. The general composition is the same for every campaign: there are 32 "Weak Lairs", 25 "Normal Lairs", 30 magical Nodes, and 6 Towers of Wizardry. While the "Weak-" and "Normal Lairs" are scattered randomly throughout the Planes, the amount of Nodes on each Plane is fixed: there are always 16 of them on Arcanus, and 14 on Myrror. Towers of Wizardry coexist on both Planes at the same location, and (once the guardians are defeated) provide the primary means of travel from one Plane to the other. They function as the same Encounter Zone regardless of which Plane they are entered from.

New Encounter Zones are almost never created during a campaign, which makes this feature a fan favourite for Modding. In the latest official version of the game, the only circumstance capable of creating an Encounter Zone is Rampaging Monsters successfully attacking a Town and subsequently reducing it to Ruins. However, this involves no new generation of Treasure, and defeating this encounter simply rewards the Icon Gold.png Gold lost by the original owner of the Town when the monsters took over.

The main characteristic of an Encounter Zone is its encounter "budget". This is the base value that is modified for generating the guardians found in it which, in turn, determine the amount of its Treasure. Generally speaking, the stronger the monsters, the more valuable the Treasure they defend. Each Encounter Zone may contain up to 9 individual units of up to two different unit types. These are termed the "primary" and "secondary" defenders, based on the order in which the computer generates them. This plays a role in both scouting these sites and rolling out their Treasure.

So long as there are uncleared Encounter Zones on the map that share their landmass with a Town controlled by any Wizard, there is a random chance every turn that Rampaging Monsters will spawn from one of these sites (although Encounter Zones featuring Icon Life.pngLife creatures are exempt from this procedure, as are sites that only contain Treasure without guardians). These monsters will then try to wreak havoc on a nearby settlement. This can't happen before turn 50 though, and the actual chance is influenced by the game's Difficulty setting. The overall strength of the generated creature group depends mainly on the amount of turns already played.

The Terrain Special Edit

On the overland map, uncleared Encounter Zones appear as various structures or terrain features. Mousing over them with the Surveyor (F1) active will reveal their type, and possibly their inhabitants (see below).

Encounter Zone Types Edit

The type of an Encounter Zone controls both its "budget" range (which determines the strength of its guardians), and its possible "colors" (i.e. which magical Realm these defenders may come from). It also separately sets out what type (Realm) of Spellbooks can be awarded in its Treasure.

There are a total of 11 different types of Encounter Zones in the game, that can be subdivided into 3 major categories: "Lairs" (not to be confused with the actual type of the same name), Nodes, and Towers. There is also an additional, special type of Encounter Zone, that may only be created during the course of the campaign, using completely different mechanics. However, this also follows the generic idea of neutral monsters guarding some sort of asset on a map tile.

Weak and Normal Lairs Edit


Dungeons are one of the 7 Weak/Normal Lair types.

The majority of Encounter Zones featured in MoM fall into this category. These can be considered the simplest Encounter Zones, since they have no added functionality, and will disappear from the map once they have been cleared. There is always a total of 57 of these created at the start of each campaign (32 Weak and 25 Normal), but they come in 7 different types, and the exact composition will vary from game to game.
The difference between "Weak" and "Normal" Lairs is their budget range. Weak Lairs generally have at most a few lesser creatures defending their treasures, and may often be unguarded, especially on the lower Difficulty settings. Normal Lairs, on the other hand, will usually have a sizeable monster force, and can contain some of the toughest creatures in the game. Unfortunately, there is no way to tell which grade a particular Lair is without scouting it (and sometimes it's difficult even then).
All 7 of the Lair types listed below can be of either variety. Although the Strategy Guide claims that certain Lairs (Abandoned Keep, Dungeon, Monster Lair, and Mysterious Cave) can also feature monsters from the Realms of Icon Chaos.pngChaos and Icon Death.pngDeath, this is not actually the case in the latest official version of the game: due to a bug, all of these Lairs will default to Icon Nature.pngNature creatures instead in v1.31. The unofficial Insecticide patch changes this behaviour by adding Icon Chaos.pngChaos units back into the mix, as shown in the table below (none of these Encounter Zones will contain Icon Sorcery.pngSorcery creatures in any game version):
Zone Type Graphic Defenders' Realm (Chance) Book
Icon Chaos.pngChaos Icon Death.pngDeath Icon Life.pngLife Icon Nature.pngNature
Abandoned Keep (1.31) TerrainSpecial Keep - - - Icon Nature.png 100% Icon Death.pngDeath
Abandoned Keep (1.40+) Icon Chaos.png 50% Icon Nature.png 50%
Ancient Temple TerrainSpecial AncientTemple - Icon Death.png 75% Icon Life.png 25% - Icon Life.pngLife
Dungeon (1.31) TerrainSpecial Ruins - - - Icon Nature.png 100% Icon Death.pngDeath
Dungeon (1.40+) Icon Chaos.png 50% Icon Nature.png 50%
Fallen Temple TerrainSpecial FallenTemple - Icon Death.png 75% Icon Life.png 25% - Icon Life.pngLife
Monster Lair (1.31) TerrainSpecial Lair - - - Icon Nature.png 100% random
Monster Lair (1.40+) Icon Chaos.png 50% Icon Nature.png 50%
Mysterious Cave (1.31) TerrainSpecial Lair - - - Icon Nature.png 100% random
Mysterious Cave (1.40+) Icon Chaos.png 50% Icon Nature.png 50%
Ruins TerrainSpecial Ruins - Icon Death.png 75% Icon Life.png 25% - Icon Death.pngDeath

Magical Nodes Edit


A Nature Node.

Magical Nodes form the second most common encounter category. There are a total of 30 of them in every game: 16 on Arcanus and 14 on Myrror. There are 3 different types of Nodes in the game, and each one corresponds to one of the magical Realms: Icon Chaos.pngChaos, Icon Nature.pngNature, or Icon Sorcery.pngSorcery. There are no Nodes associated with the Realms of Icon Life.pngLife and Icon Death.pngDeath, and the exact amount of each of the three Node types can vary from game to game (only the total is pre-determined).
Unlike the Lairs above, Nodes are true Terrain Specials. They do not disappear from the map when their defenders are slain: in fact, Nodes gain an increased strategic importance when this happens. This is because magical Nodes are one of the primary sources of Icon Power.png Power in the game, from which Wizards can draw to research and cast their spells, or to improve their Spell Casting Skill. To accomplish this, a Wizard must send a Icon Arcane.pngMagic Spirit or Icon Life.pngGuardian Spirit to Meld with the Node and channel its Icon Power.png Power. As the Spirit needs to be on the same square as the Node to do this, it normally requires the Encounter Zone to be cleared of defenders first.
In addition, Nodes also function as Terrain Specials by way of providing special terrain types. That is, the type of terrain under each type of Node is unique to that Node type, and will not be found anywhere else on the map (besides other Nodes of the same type). These can be exploited by building Towns in the vicinity of Nodes, and do not require the Encounter Zone's guardians to be vanquished to gain the benefit. However, settling near uncleared Nodes does run the risk of the city being set upon by Rampaging Monsters with very little warning.
Both the defenders, and any Spellbooks awarded as Treasure in a Node, will always be of the Realm associated with the Node itself. In addition, battles taking place in a Node's area of influence feature a special aura that boosts the combat abilities of any creatures that belong to the same Realm. Should combat ensue on an actual Node tile, there is also a second aura: the magical energies of the Node will attempt to counteract any spell cast in battle that does not correspond with the Node's own Realm (including Icon Arcane.pngArcane spells). Spells cast overland are not affected by this, and can target units on a Node's tile normally. However, both auras always apply to the Node as an Encounter Zone.
Zone Type Graphic Creatures & Books Reported Terrain Actual Bonus
Chaos Node TerrainSpecial ChaosNode Icon Chaos.pngChaos Volcano Icon Production.png +5% Production
Nature Node TerrainSpecial NatureNode Icon Nature.pngNature Forest Icon Food.png2½ Food availability
Icon Production.png +3% Production
Sorcery Node TerrainSpecial SorceryNode Icon Sorcery.pngSorcery Grassland Icon Food.png2 Food availability

Towers of Wizardry Edit


An ancient Tower of Wizardry.

The smallest category of Encounter Zones contains only a single zone type: the Tower of Wizardry. There are only 6 Towers of Wizardry created in every game. However, they span the game's planes of existence, and appear at the same locations on both Arcanus and Myrror. Once their initial denizens are defeated, Towers of Wizardry form permanent bridges between the two Planes, allowing units to cross without having to rely on spells or abilities.
Naturally, this means that Towers of Wizardry do not disappear once their encounter is cleared. However, they do change graphic when this happens, allowing the player to easily discern whether the encounters are still active or not. Towers are also exempt from the core game mechanic of Myrror featuring stronger Encounter Zones: they contain the same monsters and Treasure regardless of which Plane the battle is initiated from. That being said, the two sides of a Tower are still stored separately by the game, which creates a unique mechanic if the defenders need to be assaulted multiple times before a victory (see the Multiple Battles section below for more details).
Towers of Wizardry have the most varied denizens among all of the Encounter Zone types. Although they do have a slight bias towards creatures of Icon Death.pngDeath, they can actually feature monsters from any Realm. While they rarely contain Spellbooks as Treasure, it will be of a completely random color if they do. On the other hand, if there is no Special Treasure (Spellbook or Retort) in their hoard; Towers are hardcoded to always contain a spell, which is often of a high Spell Rarity.
Zone Type Intact Cleared Defenders' Realm (Chance)
Icon Chaos.pngChaos Icon Death.pngDeath Icon Life.pngLife Icon Nature.pngNature Icon Sorcery.pngSorcery
Tower of Wizardry TerrainSpecial Tower TerrainSpecial TowerOpen Icon Chaos.png 16.67% Icon Death.png 33.33% Icon Life.png 16.67% Icon Nature.png 16.67% Icon Sorcery.png 16.67%

Ruined Cities Edit


A ruined City.

Town Ruins are a special type of Encounter Zone that are not actually part of the world creation process. They have no "budgets", are not populated the conventional way, and do not contain random Treasures. These are the crumbling remains of former Towns that have been conquered and subsequently taken over by Rampaging Monsters.
If a group of Rampaging Monsters succeeds in defeating a Town's garrisoned forces, one of two things will happen: either they pillage the city and disappear into the wilderness with their loot; or they slaughter everyone who doesn't flee and take up residence in the ruins. This latter circumstance is the one that creates the new Encounter Zone, and is the only way one may be created in an ongoing game. Unfortunately, this new site will use a name and graphic combination that is also used by one of the pre-generated Encounter Zones, which may make it difficult to distinguish it from those.
The monsters have exactly 50% chance of setting up camp in a conquered city, unless the settlement happens to house the Fortress of a Wizard, in which case they will always loot and run away instead (removing them from the map).
If there are more than two types of creatures in a victorious rampaging group that decides to "re-settle" a Town, the game unfortunately has to discard some of the monsters due to the 2 creature types limitation on Encounter Zones. In this scenario, the monsters with the highest individual cost will be used to populate the Ruins. Naturally, if there is more than one unit of the selected creature type(s), they all become part of the new site. The primary guardian will always be the most expensive monster from the group.
Zone Type Graphic Defenders Treasure
Ruins TerrainSpecial Ruins remaining Rampaging Monsters Icon Gold.png Gold looted from the city

Distribution and Terrain Edit

Weak and Normal Lairs have very few restrictions on where they can appear. As the "simplest" Encounter Zones, they do not affect, nor are affected by, the terrain around them. However, they do have to be on a land-based tile, which excludes their creation on Ocean, Shore, and River Mouth tiles (although they can spawn both on Rivers and in Swamps). They will also not appear on the polar Tundra strips of either map, and may not be directly adjacent to one another (these both apply to all Encounter Zones).

Nodes and Towers are much less transparent in their creation process, mainly due to the fact that they can all alter the type of the terrain tile they are created on. Since Nodes have their own terrain types, this has to happen regardless of where they appear. For Towers, the square they are on will always be turned into Grassland. This actually makes both of these Encounter Zone types capable of being created even on Ocean tiles. While they still won't appear on the actual polar strips, they do sometimes spawn one tile north or south of them.

Both Nodes and Towers are affected by the terrain around them. According to the Official Strategy Guide, this even plays a role in the game deciding the color of a particular Node. That is, the Realm of a Node may be determined by the type of terrain that surrounds it. For example, a Node in a mountain region is more likely to be a Icon Chaos.pngChaos one. Unfortunately, the information in the Strategy Guide is outdated in this regard, as from patch 1.1 onwards, the surrounding terrain has absolutely no effect on what type of Node will be generated.

On the other hand, both of these Encounter Zone types have limitations on where they may be created. Towers of Wizardry are designed to be mostly evenly spaced out around the map, and are highly unlikely to be created less than 10 tiles apart from each other. Furthermore, at least one side of them (either on Arcanus or Myrror) must be on some kind of a landmass or continent. However, Oceans are valid for the other side, in which case the game will create a small island under them. Very rarely though, a location will be deemed acceptable even if it is in the Ocean on both maps; arguably a reasonable compromise to ensure that map generation does not fail on smaller landmasses.

Magical Nodes are also strongly biased towards being created on actual land, although this bias is considerably lower on Myrror. In theory, an Arcanus Node has a 1:40 chance of going through the creation process on an Ocean/Shore tile. On Myrror, this chance is a higher 1:25. Unfortunately, in the latest official version of the game, this generation process is actually bugged: when creating Nodes on Myrror, the game checks the tile type on Arcanus instead. This causes the Node to spawn regardless of the Myrran terrain, so long as there is land at the same coordinates on Arcanus, resulting in a much higher amount of Nodes in the middle of Oceans on Myrror (the Unofficial Patch 1.50 corrects this mistake).

Nodes also have a distance restriction of having to be at least 4 tiles away from Towers of Wizardry wherever possible. Additionally, both of these Encounter Zone types have an effect on the initial placement of Wizard Fortresses: the game generally favors starting locations that are not in the immediate vicinity of any of these structures. Naturally, this is not always viable, especially in games with smaller Land Size Settings.

Since Encounter Zones are considered Terrain Specials on their own, Minerals will never spawn on their tiles. On the other hand, since it is possible to create Towns on tiles that already have a Mineral on them, it is also possible to reduce such Towns to Ruins. Both of these processes preserve the Mineral on the tile. Because the Surveyor (F1) can only display one terrain feature on a given tile, in this case the Ruins (whether scouted or not) will actually not show up in the tool. This is akin to the Mineral not being listed when a Town is also present on the tile, except in this case the Mineral takes precedence and it will be the Encounter Zone that is omitted from the display.

Scouting an Encounter Zone Edit

Unexplored Encounter Zone

All Encounter Zones are initially "Unexplored".

At the start of the game, the player will have no knowledge of the type and nature of the creatures defending the Encounter Zones (if any). The Surveryor (F1) will report these structures as being "Unexplored". However, the game does keep track of whether the player has any knowledge of the monsters contained therein.

Encounter Zones can be scouted by any unit without engaging the creatures within. This is accomplished by moving the unit(s) onto the square that contains the Encounter Zone, which will bring up a prompt revealing the primary guardians of the site. The player is then allowed to either initiate combat or retreat their forces from the square. Unlike an actual battle, there is no penalty for withdrawing here, and the extra movement back to the original square does not cost the unit(s) any extra Movement Points. The primary guardians of an Encounter Zone scouted this way will then remain visible to the player when mousing over the site using the Surveyor (F1).

Scouted Encounter Zone

Scouting is enough to discover the type of the primary guardians...

Bear in mind that scouting a site only reveals the type of its defenders, not their amount. The unofficial Insecticide patch changes the default dialogue for Encounter Zones such that if there are at least 4 units of primary creatures, the text will now feature the word "many". However, this only applies to manual scouting, and the information is not carried over into the Surveyor (F1). v1.50 further refines this to display the default message only for 1 or 2 primary monsters. The word "few" is used for sites with 3 or 4, while "many" indicates 5 or 6 in this patch.

Naturally, if an Encounter Zone has no guardians at all, its Treasure will be awarded immediately when the site is scouted and, unlike an actual battle, this will not consume the full remaining Movement Allowance of the scouting stack. With a high Movement Allowance, it is entirely possible to loot multiple Encounter Zones, provided that they don't contain any monsters (apart from the last one to be entered).

Explored Encounter Zone

...but combat is required to reveal any secondary creatures.

The existence and type of any secondary creatures can only be gleaned by initiating a battle at the Encounter Zone. However, losing such a battle (or, alternatively, retreating, or forcing a draw) will subsequently cause the secondary guardians to also appear in the Surveyor (F1). Unfortunately, the amount of units left of either type will still not be shown. The dialog that is displayed when re-entering a site will not feature any information about the secondary guardians either, this is visible exclusively through the Surveyor (F1).

There are no spells or abilities that allow the player to scout the inhabitants of an Encounter Zone without sending units to its location.

Building Edit

Intact Encounter Zones generally do not allow any kind of construction on their tile, by virtue of the building units not being able to enter the tile. Magical Nodes and Towers of Wizardry prevent Town building even after their encounters are cleared. Roads may, however, be built on both; and Nodes may also be Melded with to provide an income of Icon Power.png Power. In the case of Lairs or ruined cities, the tile may be settled normally once the Encounter Zone is gone.

In the official 1.31 version of the game, it is actually possible to get building units on the tile of an intact Encounter Zone using one of a few different "exploits". This allows building Roads on the tile, as well as Melding with Nodes that are still occupied. However, Town building is prohibited even if a unit of Settlers does land on the tile of an intact site.

Encounter Zone Budgets Edit

The "budget" of an Encounter Zone determines the general strength of its defenders which, in turn, sets out the magnitude of its Treasure. When starting a new game, each individual Encounter Zone is given a random budget within the confines listed below. The Random() functions generate numbers between 1 and the passed parameter (inclusive).

Zone Category Base
Increment Max
Range Exact Formula
Tower of Wizardry 700 50 10 700 - 1,200 Random(11) × 50 + 650
Weak Lair Arcanus 10 10 9 10 - 100 Random(10) × 10
Myrror 10 10 19 10 - 200 Random(20) × 10
Normal Lair Arcanus 100 50 28 100 - 1,500 Random(29) × 50 + 50
Myrror 200 100 23 200 - 2,500 Random(24) × 100 + 100
Node, Weak
Magic Setting
Arcanus 2.5 × Tiles2 0.5 × Tiles2 10 62 - 750 (Random(11) + 4) × 0.5 ×
× Tiles2
Myrror 250 - 3,000
Node, Normal
Magic Setting
Arcanus 5 × Tiles2 Tiles2 10 125 - 1,500 (Random(11) + 4) × Tiles2
Myrror 500 - 6,000
Node, Powerful
Magic Setting
Arcanus 7.5 × Tiles2 1.5 × Tiles2 10 187 - 2,250 (Random(11) + 4) × 1.5 ×
× Tiles2
Myrror 750 - 9,000

Note that for magical Nodes, the budget is an exponential function of the amount of tiles they cover. This is also known as the Node's area of influence. It sets out the base amount of Icon Power.png Power that the Node can generate each turn, and marks the boundaries of its primary combat aura (that boosts Fantastic Units of the same Realm). Nodes on Arcanus cover between 5 to 10 tiles, while Myrran Nodes can extend anywhere between 10 to 20 tiles. This is determined using the functions [Random(6) + 4], and [Random(11) + 9] respectively; and become visible on the map once a Wizard successfully uses a spirit to Meld with the Node.

Difficulty Setting Edit

Before the game goes "shopping" for guardians though, the initial budget is adjusted for the Difficulty Setting of the campaign. The value is first multiplied by a number between 1 and 5 corresponding to the Difficulty, after which it is divided by 4; resulting in 25%, 50%, 75%, 100%, or 125% of the original budget. Bear in mind that below the "Impossible" setting, Treasure budgets undergo what is essentially a reversal of this adjustment (see below). This means that generally, playing the game on a lower Difficulty Setting will only reduce the strength of the opponents, while Encounter Zones will still contain roughly the same amount of Treasure. At the same time, the highest setting increases the monster budget without reversing this adjustment, yielding better Treasure as a consequence. The Unofficial Patch 1.50 changes this behaviour (see below), and in this patch, Treasure does scale down with the Encounter Zone's guardians.

Difficulty-adjusted Creature Budgets in v1.31
Zone Category Intro Easy Normal Hard Impossible
Tower of Wizardry 175 - 300 350 - 600 525 - 900 700 - 1,200 875 - 1,500
Weak Lair Arcanus 2 - 25 5 - 50 7 - 75 10 - 100 12 - 125
Myrror 2 - 50 5 - 100 7 - 150 10 - 200 12 - 250
Normal Lair Arcanus 25 - 375 50 - 750 75 - 1,125 100 - 1,500 125 - 1,875
Myrror 50 - 625 100 - 1,250 150 - 1,875 200 - 2,500 250 - 3,125
Node, Weak
Magic Setting
Arcanus 15 - 187 31 - 375 46 - 562 62 - 750 77 - 937
Myrror 62 - 750 125 - 1,500 187 - 2,250 250 - 3,000 312 - 3,750
Node, Normal
Magic Setting
Arcanus 31 - 375 62 - 750 93 - 1,125 125 - 1,500 156 - 1,875
Myrror 125 - 1,500 250 - 3,000 375 - 4,500 500 - 6,000 625 - 7,500
Node, Powerful
Magic Setting
Arcanus 46 - 562 93 - 1,125 140 - 1,687 187 - 2,250 233 - 2,812
Myrror 187 - 2,250 375 - 4,500 562 - 6,750 750 - 9,000* 937 - 11,250*

It's worth noting that two of these maximum values (marked with an asterisk in the table) are higher than what the computer can spend on a Lair full of the strongest monsters (8,800). Other than increasing the likelihood of the Encounter Zone actually containing the strongest monsters; this also has an effect on the possible value of Treasure, which is based on the "cost" of the guardians (see below), rather than the budget assigned for them. This is misinterpreted in the Official Strategy Guide, for example, which thus lists some incorrect values for Treasure budget ranges.

Insecticide Edit

The unofficial 1.40 patch (Insecticide) implements several gameplay changes that have a direct effect on Encounter Zone budgets. Firstly, the game's Difficulty Settings are different in this patch. The "Intro" difficulty is removed entirely, and a new level: "Extreme" is added between the original "Hard" and "Impossible" settings. The structure of the difficulties is preserved, however, with settings below "Extreme" shifted downwards on the scale for the purpose of generating Encounter Zones. This causes encounters below the "Extreme" level to actually become easier. The "Extreme" setting uses the budget values of the original "Hard" setting, while "Impossible" remains unchanged.

Insecticide also adds new, stronger Magic Settings. The original "Weak", "Normal", and "Powerful" settings are renamed to the arguably more descriptive "0.5", "1", and "1.5" respectively; and two new settings: "2", and "2.5" are added, that affect both the Icon Power.png Power production, and the initial Encounter Zone budget of magical Nodes. Finally, the patch also makes some other changes: the budgets allocated to Weak Lairs are tripled across the board; while Normal Lairs on Arcanus and Myrror see a general increase of their base budget by 200 and 150 respectively.

Difficulty-adjusted Creature Budgets in v1.40
Zone Category Easy Normal Hard Extreme Impossible
Tower of Wizardry 175 - 300 350 - 600 525 - 900 700 - 1,200 875 - 1,500
Weak Lair Arcanus 7 - 75 15 - 150 22 - 225 30 - 300 37 - 375
Myrror 7 - 150 15 - 300 22 - 450 30 - 600 37 - 750
Normal Lair Arcanus 75 - 425 150 - 850 225 - 1,275 300 - 1,700 375 - 2,125
Myrror 87 - 662 175 - 1,325 262 - 1,987 350 - 2,650 437 - 3,312
Node, Magic
Setting "0.5"
Arcanus 15 - 187 31 - 375 46 - 562 62 - 750 77 - 937
Myrror 62 - 750 125 - 1,500 187 - 2,250 250 - 3,000 312 - 3,750
Node, Magic
Setting "1"
Arcanus 31 - 375 62 - 750 93 - 1,125 125 - 1,500 156 - 1,875
Myrror 125 - 1,500 250 - 3,000 375 - 4,500 500 - 6,000 625 - 7,500
Node, Magic
Setting "1.5"
Arcanus 46 - 562 93 - 1,125 140 - 1,687 187 - 2,250 233 - 2,812
Myrror 187 - 2,250 375 - 4,500 562 - 6,750 750 - 9,000* 937 - 11,250*
Node, Magic
Setting "2"
Arcanus 62 - 750 125 - 1,500 187 - 2,250 250 - 3,000 312 - 3,750
Myrror 250 - 3,000 500 - 6,000 750 - 9,000* 1,000 - 12,000* 1,250 - 15,000*
Node, Magic
Setting "2.5"
Arcanus 78 - 937 156 - 1,875 234 - 2,812 312 - 3,750 390 - 4,687
Myrror 312 - 3,750 625 - 7,500 837 - 11,250* 1,250 - 15,000* 1,562 - 18,750*

Again, values marked with an asterisk(*) indicate maximum budgets that may never actually be used up by the computer, and should not be taken as any indication of possible Treasure values. Indeed, the lower difficulties can actually yield better Treasure, as discussed in the Treasure Budget section below.

v1.50 Edit

The Unofficial Patch 1.50 also makes multiple changes to Encounter Zones. In addition to the altered creature costs and Treasure mechanics explained further on, v1.50 also touches on the budget mechanics. First, both Lairs and Towers of Wizardry receive a significant boost to their encounter budgets, on top of any increases already implemented by Insecticide. The resulting budget ranges are illustrated in the table below. In addition, 1.50 shifts the Difficulty adjustments left untouched by Insecticide, bringing the lower difficulties in line with the original game in terms of base monster budgets. However, at the same time, it also increases the creature budgets of the higher settings even further, yielding a 150% monster budget on the "Impossible" Setting.

On top of these, v1.50 also reduces the maximum amount of primary guardians in Encounter Zones to 6 (from 8, contrary to the patch notes), meaning that the entries marked with asterisks (*) in the table are now capped at an even lower total than before (8,400).

Difficulty-adjusted Creature Budgets in v1.50
Zone Category Easy Normal Hard Extreme Impossible
Tower of Wizardry 350 - 1,525 525 - 2,287 700 - 3,050 875 - 3,812 1,050 - 4,575
Weak Lair Arcanus 15 - 300 22 - 450 30 - 600 37 - 750 45 - 900
Myrror 15 - 450 22 - 675 30 - 900 37 - 1,125 45 - 1,350
Normal Lair Arcanus 150 - 2,125 225 - 3,187 300 - 4,250 375 - 5,312 450 - 6,375
Myrror 150 - 2,375 225 - 3,562 300 - 4,750 375 - 5,937 450 - 7,125
Node, Magic
Setting "0.5"
Arcanus 31 - 375 46 - 562 62 - 750 77 - 937 93 - 1,125
Myrror 125 - 1,500 187 - 2,250 250 - 3,000 312 - 3,750 375 - 4,500
Node, Magic
Setting "1"
Arcanus 62 - 750 93 - 1,125 125 - 1,500 156 - 1,875 187 - 2,250
Myrror 250 - 3,000 375 - 4,500 500 - 6,000 625 - 7,500 750 - 9,000*
Node, Magic
Setting "1.5"
Arcanus 93 - 1,125 140 - 1,687 187 - 2,250 233 - 2,812 280 - 3,375
Myrror 375 - 4,500 562 - 6,750 750 - 9,000* 937 - 11,250* 1,125 - 13,500*
Node, Magic
Setting "2"
Arcanus 125 - 1,500 187 - 2,250 250 - 3,000 312 - 3,750 375 - 4,500
Myrror 500 - 6,000 750 - 9,000* 1,000 - 12,000* 1,250 - 15,000* 1,500 - 18,000*
Node, Magic
Setting "2.5"
Arcanus 156 - 1,875 234 - 2,812 312 - 3,750 390 - 4,687 468 - 5,625
Myrror 625 - 7,500 837 - 11,250* 1,250 - 15,000* 1,562 - 18,750* 1,875 - 22,500*

Defenders Edit

As mentioned already, most Encounter Zones are defended by a host of neutral creatures. These are always Fantastic Units, and if there is more than one type of unit in the zone (up to 2), they always come from the same magic Realm. Indeed, the second step the game takes when populating an Encounter Zone is determining the color of its guardians. Some sites, such as magical Nodes, have pre-defined colors; while for others, the defenders' Realm is selected randomly from a choice of options.

Zone Type Defender's Realm
Icon Death.pngDeath Icon Life.pngLife Icon Chaos.pngChaos Icon Nature.pngNature Icon Sorcery.pngSorcery
TerrainSpecial AncientTemple Ancient Temple, Icon Death.png 75%
Icon Life.png 25%
TerrainSpecial FallenTemple Fallen Temple,
TerrainSpecial Ruins Ruins
TerrainSpecial Keep Abandoned Keep, Icon Nature.png 100%
TerrainSpecial Ruins Dungeon,
TerrainSpecial Lair Monster Lair, Icon Chaos.png 50%
Icon Nature.png 50%
TerrainSpecial Lair Mysterious Cave
TerrainSpecial Tower Tower of Wizardry Icon Death.png 33.33%
Icon Life.png 16.67%
Icon Chaos.png 16.67%
Icon Nature.png 16.67%
Icon Sorcery.png 16.67%
TerrainSpecial ChaosNode Chaos Node Icon Chaos.png 100%
TerrainSpecial NatureNode Nature Node Icon Nature.png 100%
TerrainSpecial SorceryNode Sorcery Node Icon Sorcery.png 100%

Primary Creatures Edit

Once the Realm of the defenders is set, the game can start filling the encounter. The first step of this is choosing a "primary" creature. A random number is picked between 1 and 4 (or 1 and 6 in the Unofficial Patch 1.50), and the (difficulty-adjusted) budget is divided with this number. This temporary result is then compared with the "cost" of the monsters in the chosen Realm. The primary guardian will be the creature with the highest cost that is still below this value (equal cost does not qualify in any version).

Eight Sky Drakes

The second highest spendable budget (8,650 points) may be more dangerous than the first.

If there are no such units, the game rerolls the divisor and checks again, repeating this routine up to 200 times, or until a suitable creature is found. This generally means that as long as the budget can afford a creature, there will be one. Even if a unit is only affordable with a divisor of 1, the chance of 200 tries not resulting in at least a single 1 is roughly 1:1025. That is one in ten million times a million times a million times a million.

It should be adequate to say that the only times that Encounter Zones do not contain any monsters are those when their budget is too low for even the cheapest unit in their selected Realm. The costs of the creatures from each individual Realm are as follows:

Creature Costs in v1.31 and v1.40
Realm Possible Defenders
Icon Chaos.pngChaos Unit Unit Icon HellHounds Transparent Unit Icon FireElemental Transparent Unit Icon FireGiant Transparent Unit Icon Gargoyles Transparent Unit Icon DoomBat Transparent Unit Icon Chimeras Transparent Unit Icon ChaosSpawn Transparent Unit Icon Efreet Transparent Unit Icon Hydra Transparent Unit Icon GreatDrake Transparent
Cost 40 100 150 200 300 350 400 550 650 900
Icon Death.pngDeath Unit Unit Icon Skeletons Transparent Unit Icon Zombies Transparent Unit Icon Ghouls Transparent Unit Icon Demon Transparent Unit Icon NightStalker Transparent Unit Icon Werewolves Transparent Unit Icon ShadowDemons Transparent Unit Icon Wraiths Transparent Unit Icon DeathKnights Transparent Unit Icon DemonLord Transparent
Cost 25 30 80 80 250 250 325 500 600 900
Icon Life.pngLife Unit Unit Icon GuardianSpirit Transparent Unit Icon Unicorns Transparent Unit Icon Angel Transparent Unit Icon Archangel Transparent
Cost 50 250 550 950
Icon Nature.pngNature Unit Unit Icon WarBears Transparent Unit Icon Sprites Transparent Unit Icon EarthElemental Transparent Unit Icon GiantSpiders Transparent Unit Icon Cockatrices Transparent Unit Icon Basilisk Transparent Unit Icon StoneGiant Transparent Unit Icon Gorgons Transparent Unit Icon Behemoth Transparent Unit Icon Colossus Transparent Unit Icon GreatWyrm Transparent
Cost 70 100 160 200 275 325 450 599 700 800 1000
Icon Sorcery.pngSorcery Unit Unit Icon PhantomWarriors Transparent Unit Icon Nagas Transparent Unit Icon AirElemental Transparent Unit Icon PhantomBeast Transparent Unit Icon StormGiant Transparent Unit Icon Djinn Transparent Unit Icon SkyDrake Transparent
Cost 20 120 170 225 500 650 1000

The Unofficial Patch 1.50 adjusts the cost of several creatures to "provide a more reasonable distribution of monster values". In addition to shifting some creatures up or down on their respective Realm's power scale; this change also resolves the issue of two Icon Death.pngDeath creatures never appearing as primary monsters in the previous versions (more on this below). The colored values in the table below indicate the changed creature costs.

Creature Costs in v1.50
Realm Possible Defenders
Icon Chaos.pngChaos Unit Unit Icon HellHounds Transparent Unit Icon FireElemental Transparent Unit Icon FireGiant Transparent Unit Icon Gargoyles Transparent Unit Icon DoomBat Transparent Unit Icon Chimeras Transparent Unit Icon ChaosSpawn Transparent Unit Icon Efreet Transparent Unit Icon Hydra Transparent Unit Icon GreatDrake Transparent
Cost 40 100 150 200 300 350 400 550 650 900
Icon Death.pngDeath Unit Unit Icon Skeletons Transparent Unit Icon Zombies Transparent Unit Icon Ghouls Transparent Unit Icon Demon Transparent Unit Icon NightStalker Transparent Unit Icon Werewolves Transparent Unit Icon ShadowDemons Transparent Unit Icon Wraiths Transparent Unit Icon DeathKnights Transparent Unit Icon DemonLord Transparent
Cost 25 30 80 125 200 300 325 500 600 900
Icon Life.pngLife Unit Unit Icon GuardianSpirit Transparent Unit Icon Unicorns Transparent Unit Icon Angel Transparent Unit Icon Archangel Transparent
Cost 75 250 550 950
Icon Nature.pngNature Unit Unit Icon WarBears Transparent Unit Icon Sprites Transparent Unit Icon GiantSpiders Transparent Unit Icon Cockatrices Transparent Unit Icon EarthElemental Transparent Unit Icon Basilisk Transparent Unit Icon StoneGiant Transparent Unit Icon Gorgons Transparent Unit Icon Behemoth Transparent Unit Icon Colossus Transparent Unit Icon GreatWyrm Transparent
Cost 70 100 150 225 300 325 450 600 700 800 1000
Icon Sorcery.pngSorcery Unit Unit Icon PhantomWarriors Transparent Unit Icon Nagas Transparent Unit Icon PhantomBeast Transparent Unit Icon AirElemental Transparent Unit Icon StormGiant Transparent Unit Icon Djinn Transparent Unit Icon SkyDrake Transparent
Cost 50 120 200 325 500 650 1000
Take a weak Monster Lair for example. In the official 1.31 version, this zone type will always contain Icon Nature.pngNature creatures, the cheapest of which are Icon Nature.pngWar Bears with a cost of 70. On the Intro and Easy Difficulty settings, the budget will never be able to afford one of these, no matter what the divisor is, or what the budget roll was before that. Even on the Normal difficulty level, the game would have to generate the highest random number for the creature budget (10) to arrive at a budget value of 75 (10 × 10 × 75%), which is just enough for a single unit with a divisor of 1. Any lower creature budget would not cut it, meaning that a weak Monster Lair on this setting will be empty 9 out of 10 times on average (and will always be empty on the lower difficulties).

If the Encounter Zone is not empty, the game will add as many of the primary creature as will fit into the undivided budget. However, no more than 8 units are ever added (6 in the Unofficial Patch 1.50), and if there is more than a single unit, there is a 50% chance that their number is actually reduced by one. These limitations significantly increase the likelihood of encounters featuring more than one type of monster. The cost of the primary guardians is then subtracted from the budget, and the remainder will form the "secondary" creature budget.

Let's say the world generator is populating a Tower of Wizardry after a random budget roll of 4, resulting in an initial budget of (4 × 50 + 650 =) 850. The Difficulty is set to Hard (no budget adjustment), and the defenders' Realm is determined to be Icon Death.pngDeath. Based on the divisor roll, the primary creature in the tower will be one of the following:
Primary Creature Secondary Budget
Highest Unit Actual
1 850 Icon Death.pngDeath Knights 600 1 No 250 N/A
2 425 Icon Death.pngShadow Demons 325 2 Yes 200 525
3 283 Icon Death.pngNight Stalker 250 3 Yes 100 350
4 212 Icon Death.pngGhouls 80 8 Yes 210 290

Secondary Creatures Edit

To determine whether an Encounter Zone features any secondary guardians, and if so, how many, and what type; the game again uses a divisor roll. However, this time the range for the divisor is not pre-set: it depends on how many primary creatures have already been added to the encounter. The amount of primary defenders is subtracted from 10, and this is used as the maximum divisor. For example, if the site can afford 5 primary creatures, the secondary divisor will be in the range of 1 to 5 (10 - 5). On the other hand, if there is only a single primary monster, this range will be 1 to 9 (10 - 1).

The divisor is then used to pick a creature in a manner identical to the selection of primary monsters. That is, the unit with the highest cost below the divided budget will be chosen, and the divisor may be rerolled up to 200 times if no monsters qualify. However, secondary guardians must also be different from the primary monster(s), meaning that the game will skip the primary creature when looping through the units to pick the secondary. Just like above, while it is theoretically possible for a site to not feature any secondary monsters despite having enough budget for them, the chance of this happening in practice are astronomically low.

The amount of secondary guardians is ultimately determined by two factors: the available secondary budget, and the unfilled creature slots in the Encounter Zone. Since combat has a built-in limitation of 9 units on each side, Encounter Zones are similarly limited to a total of 9 creatures. Up to 8 of these may already be allocated to the primary defenders, leaving only the rest to be filled up with secondary guardians. In addition, the total cost of these creatures must fit the remaining monster budget.

Following up on the previous example of the black Tower of Wizardry, lets find out what type and amount of secondary guardians would be possible with each type of primary monster. Limitations imposed by the available creature slots are marked with an asterisk (*); in all other cases the amount is determined by the remaining budget. A double asterisk (**) indicates a (divided) secondary budget that exactly matches the cost of a monster, resulting in the game ignoring that creature and picking a different one.
Case #1: Death Knights (1 primary creature, 250 secondary budget)
Divisor Roll Max Cost Highest Unit Actual Cost Avaiable Amount
1 250** Icon Death.pngGhouls** 80 3
2 125 Icon Death.pngGhouls 80 3
3 83 Icon Death.pngGhouls 80 3
4 62 Icon Death.pngZombies 30 8
5 50 Icon Death.pngZombies 30 8
6 41 Icon Death.pngZombies 30 8
7 35 Icon Death.pngZombies 30 8
8 31 Icon Death.pngZombies 30 8
9 27 Icon Death.pngSkeletons 25 8*
Case #2: Shadow Demons, no throwback (2 primary creatures, 200 secondary budget)
Divisor Roll Max Cost Highest Unit Actual Cost Avaiable Amount
1 200 Icon Death.pngGhouls 80 2
2 100 Icon Death.pngGhouls 80 2
3 66 Icon Death.pngZombies 30 6
4 50 Icon Death.pngZombies 30 6
5 40 Icon Death.pngZombies 30 6
6 33 Icon Death.pngZombies 30 6
7 28 Icon Death.pngSkeletons 25 7*
8 25** reroll / no creature** - -
Case #3: Shadow Demons with throwback (1 primary creature, 525 secondary budget)
Divisor Roll Max Cost Highest Unit Actual Cost Avaiable Amount
1 525 Icon Death.pngWraiths 500 1
2 262 Icon Death.pngNight Stalker 250 2
3 175 Icon Death.pngGhouls 80 6
4 131 Icon Death.pngGhouls 80 6
5 105 Icon Death.pngGhouls 80 6
6 87 Icon Death.pngGhouls 80 6
7 75 Icon Death.pngZombies 30 8*
8 65 Icon Death.pngZombies 30 8*
9 58 Icon Death.pngZombies 30 8*
Case #4: Night Stalkers, no throwback (3 primary creatures, 100 secondary budget)
Divisor Roll Max Cost Highest Unit Actual Cost Avaiable Amount
1 100 Icon Death.pngGhouls 80 1
2 50 Icon Death.pngZombies 30 3
3 33 Icon Death.pngZombies 30 3
4 25** reroll / no creature** - -
5 20 reroll / no creature - -
6 16 reroll / no creature - -
7 14 reroll / no creature - -
Case #5: Night Stalkers with throwback (2 primary creatures, 350 secondary budget)
Divisor Roll Max Cost Highest Unit Actual Cost Avaiable Amount
1 350 Icon Death.pngShadow Demons 325 1
2 170 Icon Death.pngGhouls 80 4
3 116 Icon Death.pngGhouls 80 4
4 87 Icon Death.pngGhouls 80 4
5 70 Icon Death.pngZombies 30 7*
6 58 Icon Death.pngZombies 30 7*
7 50 Icon Death.pngZombies 30 7*
8 43 Icon Death.pngZombies 30 7*
Case #6: Ghouls, no throwback (8 primary creatures, 210 secondary budget)
Divisor Roll Max Cost Highest Unit Actual Cost Avaiable Amount
1 210 Icon Death.pngDemon 80 1*
2 105 Icon Death.pngDemon 80 1*
Case #7: Ghouls with throwback (7 primary creatures, 290 secondary budget)
Divisor Roll Max Cost Highest Unit Actual Cost Avaiable Amount
1 290 Icon Death.pngNight Stalker 250 1
2 145 Icon Death.pngDemon 80 2*
3 96 Icon Death.pngDemon 80 2*

This example illustrates quite well how the game's system of using divisor rolls works to provide a wide variety of primary/secondary creature/amount combinations. There are a total of 20 different encounters featured in the tables above, although two of them have almost no practical chance of occurring (no secondary creatures). The most likely outcomes for this tower are either a single unit of Icon Death.pngDeath Knights surrounded by a host of Icon Death.pngZombies (~13.9%), or a horde of Icon Death.pngGhouls led by a single Icon Death.pngDemon (12.5%). It may be worth noting that the unofficial Insecticide patch sacrifices some of this variety, in favor of a slightly higher average strength of secondary creatures, by reducing the maximum secondary divisor by 1 (making it [9 - primary monster count] instead).

Cases #6 and #7 in the above example also illustrate a perk unique to the Icon Death.pngDeath Realm: some units in this Realm may only ever be featured as secondary monsters in an Encounter Zone. This is because their "cost" is the same as that of another creature. This affects Icon Death.pngDemons and Icon Death.pngWerewolves, whose cost matches that of Icon Death.pngGhouls and Icon Death.pngNight Stalkers respectively; and causes them to appear exclusively as secondary monsters to the latter creatures.

This is because internally, the game only updates the currently selected creature if the next monster's cost is higher, and this applies to both primary and secondary guardians. Icon Death.pngGhouls and Icon Death.pngNight Stalkers have a lower internal unit index than the other two creatures, and will never be replaced by them for the same cost. However, because secondary monsters must be different than the primary ones, Icon Death.pngDemons and Icon Death.pngWerewolves are still possible to encounter; but only when the other unit of the same cost is already featured as the primary defender of a site.

Conquering an Encounter Zone Edit

Claiming the Treasure of a site requires defeating all of its guardians first, if there are any. With the exception of magical Nodes, there are no special rules during battle at an Encounter Zone; however, there are a few notable points outside of combat.

No Overland Spells Edit

Encounter Zones are not subject to the effect(s) of any spell cast on the overland map. The creatures defending these sites will not be harmed or hindered in any way by either spells cast directly on their tile, or enchanted globally. An attacking army can still contain enchanted or summoned units, and magic works as expected once combat has been initiated; but the guardians can not be "softened up" with overland spells beforehand.

Multiple Battles Edit

In the wake of a battle, the original defending units are never replenished. If, during an assault on an Encounter Zone, the invading army manages to kill a defending unit, but then loses the battle or retreats, that unit will not be restored unless it has the Ability Regeneration Regeneration ability. This means that it is possible to "whittle down" a site's defenders with several subsequent battles, instead of trying to kill all of them at the same time.

There are several caveats to this:

  • Any defenders that are not destroyed completely are fully healed at the end of each battle, and will have all Icon Figure.png figures restored to life appropriately. Thus, it is not possible to kill one unit by injuring it repeatedly in each battle - it must be killed completely to ensure that it does not reappear in the next battle.
  • Fleeing is often disastrous. Units fleeing a battle are 50% likely to be slain, regardless of their speed and defenses. At the "Normal" Difficulty setting and above, fleeing Heroes also have a 25% chance of being slain. Partial engagements are likely only worth it if either the battle can be drawn out to 50 turns, the attacking units can be magically recalled, or the loss of any fleeing units is actually affordable.
  • Killing the defenders in piece-meal fashion is likely to reward less Icon Fame.png Fame for the Wizard, and is certain to generate less Icon Experience.png Experience for Normal Units and Heroes. Neither of these are awarded after retreats or defeats: only the enemies present in the final engagement will contribute to either. Thus, the fewer battles it takes to clear an Encounter Zone, the better.

Nevertheless, any strong site whose defenses can be whittled-down perhaps should be whittled-down. In particular, Icon Fame.png Fame is only granted for defeating Very Rare creatures or 4+ defenders, so an Encounter Zone guarded by a mix of Common, Uncommon, and Rare creatures can be whittled down to 4 Common creatures with little penalty.

Towers of Wizardry Edit

Internally, the game treats Towers of Wizardry as two separate records in the Encounter Zone table. The first six Towers are created on Arcanus, after which the records are duplicated to create another set on Myrror, changing only the field that represents the location's Plane. If either side is cleared, the other is also set as such. However, the developers have seemingly forgot to copy this data after lost battles. This means that one side of the Tower can be conquered in multiple battles without affecting the other side, or having to worry about a computer Wizard taking advantage of the weakened Encounter Zone to claim its Treasure from the other Plane.

Node Auras Edit

Main article: Node

As mentioned above, magical Nodes also do have special combat rules. These are the result of two special auras that emanate from these locations. These are technically independent of the Encounter Zone itself, but will always apply in any battle initiated with the intent of clearing one of these sites (and any subsequent clashes to control them).

The first of these auras cover a range of tiles around every Node that is known as their area of influence. This ranges from 5 to 10 tiles on Arcanus, and 10 to 20 tiles on Myrror; and always includes the tile that the Node is located on. The aura will automatically activate whenever any kind of combat is initiated on any of these tiles, and is not possible to remove by any means. This aura increases the main combat attributes of any unit that belongs to the magical Realm that the Node represents. The magnitude of this bonus is +2 points, and it affects these units' Icon Defense.png Defense; Icon Resist.png Resistance; and all Attack Strengths, except those of Ability Immolation Immolation and spells cast via the Ability Caster Caster ability. The aura applies to any Icon Chaos.pngChaos or Icon Chaos.pngChaos Channeled units around Icon Chaos.pngChaos Nodes, Icon Nature.pngNature units around Icon Nature.pngNature Nodes, and Icon Sorcery.pngSorcery units around Icon Sorcery.pngSorcery Nodes; regardless of their allegiance (i.e. whether they are neutral or owned by a Wizard).

The second Node aura is local only to the single tile that the Node is on. This is a "dispelling aura", a form of magic counter, that affects every spell in combat that is not associated with the Node's own Realm (including Icon Arcane.pngArcane spells). The aura has a dispel strength of 50, and can be applied an infinite number of times (i.e. it won't be exhausted after countering a certain amount of spells). Spells will be interrupted while they are being cast, resulting in the expenditure of both Icon Mana.png Mana and the "Spell" action; for possibly no effect. However, this aura does not apply at all to spells cast by a Node Master Wizard, or any units under their control.

Treasure Edit

See also: Treasure
From the perspective of the player, arguably the most important "characteristic" of an Encounter Zone is its Treasure pile. While most types of Treasure can be obtained through other means, two in particular are available only through conquering encounters: additional Spellbooks, and Wizard Retorts. However, typically only the toughest sites will reward these coveted assets.

Treasure is determined by the game in two different stages. The generic "types" of Treasure are decided during the world generation process (when Encounter Zones are populated). However, the specifics are mostly only flashed out when the Treasure is actually awarded to a Wizard conquering the site. This means that saving the game before clearing an Encounter Zone, then reloading and replaying the battle, may (and usually will) yield different magical items, spells, Heroes, Retorts, or even Spellbooks. In this last case, the spells contained therein for Research will likely also be different.

The unofficial Insecticide patch tries to change this behaviour by saving and reloading random seeds with the game, but is not entirely successful in the endeavour.

The Treasure Budget Edit

The basic types of the Treasure found in each individual Encounter Zone are set out at the start of every game. In addition, for some Treasure types, extra details are also determined: for Icon Gold.png Gold and Icon Mana.png Mana Crystals their exact amount; for spells their Spell Rarity; and for Magical Items their maximum value. All of these characteristics depend on the "treasure budget" (and random chance, of course).

Difficulty Readjustment
1.31 Difficulty
1.40 Difficulty
Intro Easy ×4
Easy Normal ×2
Normal Hard ×1.33 (×4/3)
Hard Extreme ×1
Impossible Impossible ×1

The treasure budget is decided in 3 steps. The initial value is defined by the strength of the Encounter Zone's guardians: it is the total cost of the primary defenders, plus 50% of the cost of the secondary ones. Depending on the site, this can range from 20 (a single unit of Icon Sorcery.pngPhantom Warriors) to 8,400 (8 Icon Nature.pngGreat Wyrms and a Icon Nature.pngColossus). This base value is then put through what is essentially a reverse function of the difficulty adjustment used for determining the monster budget. As mentioned above, this ensures that Difficulty typically only scales down monster strength, not Treasure.

Finally, a random multiplier is applied to the result. Encounter Zones on Arcanus get 50%-125%, or [(Random(76) + 49)/100]; while sites on Myrror receive a 76% to 175%, or [(Random(100) + 75)/100] adjustment. Towers of Wizardry count as Arcanian structures for this calculation. Should the final budget after this last step be under 50 (as will be the case for any Encounter Zone with no guardians, for example), it is set to exactly 50, which is the minimum amount required to generate any kind of Treasure.

Because secondary defenders only contribute 50% of their cost to the treasure budget, it is not entirely accurate to create a table of budget ranges based solely on the monster budgets of the Encounter Zones, as was done in the Official Strategy Guide. While in terms of maximum budgets, this only really affects Myrran Nodes on the Hard and Impossible difficulties; with respect to the minimum budget, they are almost all affected by this circumstance. In addition, such tables generally also do not take into account the fact that the computer may end up with creatures that cost less in total than the actual minimum budget. Some maximum values may also not be obtained in practice because of the primary guardians having to cost less than a divided budget (as opposed to less or equal).

One interesting side-effect of the higher Magic Strength settings added in Insecticide is that using these settings in conjunction with a lower Difficulty setting yields higher treasure budgets than should normally be possible, and much higher than the budgets obtainable on the "Extreme" and "Impossible" difficulties. This is the result of a combination of two factors: the reverse-difficulty adjustment, and the maximum spendable creature budget. The treasure budgets seen on the lower difficulties are what the site could hold on any difficulty, if it wasn't for the fact that the computer simply can't spend that much creature budget to purchase actual monsters from. Because the difficulty-lowered budgets can still be filled to the brim, and are then up-scaled back into the correct range, they are not limited by the highest spendable budget of 8,800, which is what the original game's budgets seem to be designed around.

Example #1:
The minimum creature budget for a Tower of Wizardry on Hard difficulty is 700. In theory, using only the functions above, this would mean that its minimum treasure budget should be 350 (no change for difficulty, while 50% is the lowest random adjustment). In practice however, using these given parameters (700 creature budget, 50% treasure value), the actual treasure budget will nearly always be less than 350. Take a Icon Nature.pngNature tower for example: 700 monster budget with a primary divisor of 2 results in two Icon Nature.pngBasilisks which, if there is no throwback, will not have any secondary creatures, yielding a total treasure budget of only (325 × 2 × 0.5 =) 325 points.
Example #2:
To illustrate the actual process of determining the treasure budget, the table below examines all of the possible values for the black Tower of Wizardry from the creature budget examples evaluated above. For the sake of completeness, encounters with no secondary units are also included. Minimum treasure budgets marked with an asterisk (*) are below the "expected" minimum value (based solely on the initial encounter budget), despite the fact that this Encounter Zone did not even start out with a minimal monster budget (although only one example combination ends up having a lower final value after the random adjustment).
Primary Creature Secondary Creature Treasure Budget
Type Cost Amt. Total Type Cost Amt. Total ×1/2 Base Min. Max. Roll Final
1 Icon Death.pngDeath Knights 600 1 600 Icon Death.pngGhouls 80 3 240 120 720 360 900 108% 777
2 Icon Death.pngDeath Knights 600 1 600 Icon Death.pngZombies 30 8 240 120 720 360 900 120% 864
3 Icon Death.pngDeath Knights 600 1 600 Icon Death.pngSkeletons 25 8 200 100 700 350 875 57% 399
4 Icon Death.pngShadow Demons 325 2 650 Icon Death.pngGhouls 80 2 160 80 730 365 912 89% 649
5 Icon Death.pngShadow Demons 325 2 650 Icon Death.pngZombies 30 6 180 90 740 370 925 73% 540
6 Icon Death.pngShadow Demons 325 2 650 Icon Death.pngSkeletons 25 7 175 87 737 368 921 70% 515
7 Icon Death.pngShadow Demons 325 2 650 none - - - - 650 325* 812 98% 637
8 Icon Death.pngShadow Demons 325 1 325 Icon Death.pngWraiths 500 1 500 250 575 287* 718 59% 339*
9 Icon Death.pngShadow Demons 325 1 325 Icon Death.pngNight Stalker 250 2 500 250 575 287* 718 125% 718
10 Icon Death.pngShadow Demons 325 1 325 Icon Death.pngGhouls 80 6 480 240 565 282* 706 99% 559
11 Icon Death.pngShadow Demons 325 1 325 Icon Death.pngZombies 30 8 240 120 445 222* 556 112% 498
12 Icon Death.pngNight Stalker 250 3 750 Icon Death.pngGhouls 80 1 80 40 790 395 987 79% 624
13 Icon Death.pngNight Stalker 250 3 750 Icon Death.pngZombies 30 3 90 45 795 397 993 87% 691
14 Icon Death.pngNight Stalker 250 3 750 none - - - - 750 375 937 108% 810
15 Icon Death.pngNight Stalker 250 2 500 Icon Death.pngShadow Demons 325 1 325 162 662 331* 827 91% 602
16 Icon Death.pngNight Stalker 250 2 500 Icon Death.pngGhouls 80 4 320 160 660 330* 825 81% 534
17 Icon Death.pngNight Stalker 250 2 500 Icon Death.pngZombies 30 7 210 105 605 302* 756 111% 671
18 Icon Death.pngGhouls 80 8 640 Icon Death.pngDemon 80 1 80 40 680 340* 850 68% 462
19 Icon Death.pngGhouls 80 7 560 Icon Death.pngNight Stalker 250 1 250 125 685 342* 856 69% 472
20 Icon Death.pngGhouls 80 7 560 Icon Death.pngDemon 80 2 160 80 640 320* 800 110% 704

v1.50 Changes Edit

The Unofficial Patch 1.50 changes all 3 of the steps described above. In the first step, it removes the 50% reduction from the cost of secondary guardians. While this yields higher base Treasure budgets on average, combining it with the limitation on primary monsters results in a maximum possible base budget of 8,400, identical to the other versions. However, v1.50 completely removes the reverse difficulty adjustment step, applying a considerable Treasure penalty for playing on lower difficulties (as compared to the original game). Finally, the patch also removes the random factor from Treasure, and sets the budget to be exactly the monster cost for Encounter Zones on Arcanus, and 125% of that on Myrror.
v1.50 also replaces the original game's check that raises the Treasure budget to 50 if it is less (to allow Treasure to be found in unguarded sites). Instead, it claims to add a flat +75 to the budget after all other calculations, supposedly yielding the same (or better) result than the original. However, the actual code only adds +30 to the budget, leading to a situation where Encounter Zones can be completely devoid of Treasure. It requires a further patch (v1.51) to resolve this issue.

Budget Tables Edit

The tables below list the minimum and maximum treasure budgets for all three common game versions. Near-impossible scenarios (no primary or secondary monsters despite having enough budget) are excluded from all of the tables. The Tower of Wizardry budget bonus of +100 points for the first spell (see below) is included for versions 1.31 and 1.40, although it is omitted from the above examples for the sake of simplicity.

Treasure budget ranges in v1.31
Zone Category Intro Easy Normal Hard Impossible
Tower of Wizardry 300 - 1,600 310 - 1,600 303 - 1,600 322 - 1,600 322 - 1,975
Weak Lair Arcanus 50 - 50 50 - 75 50 - 116 50 - 125 50 - 150
Myrror 50 - 210 50 - 350 50 - 350 50 - 350 50 - 437
Normal Lair Arcanus 50 - 1,750 50 - 1,875 50 - 1,832 50 - 1,875 50 - 2,293
Myrror 50 - 4,200 76 - 4,375 70 - 4,280 91 - 4,280 129 - 5,355
Node, Weak
Magic Setting
Arcanus 50 - 850 50 - 900 50 - 916 50 - 937 50 - 1,137
Myrror 50 - 5,250 106 - 5,040 121 - 5,250 106 - 5,250 152 - 6,405
Node, Normal
Magic Setting
Arcanus 50 - 1,800 50 - 1,875 50 - 1,875 50 - 1,800 50 - 2,293
Myrror 212 - 10,080 212 - 10,500 222 - 10,500 231 - 10,500 231 - 12,775
Node, Powerful
Magic Setting
Arcanus 50 - 2,750 50 - 2,812 50 - 2,750 60 - 2,812 67 - 3,500
Myrror 364 - 15,750 334 - 15,750 308 - 15,165 351 - 14,700 425 - 14,700

Treasure budget ranges in v1.40
Zone Category Easy Normal Hard Extreme Impossible
Tower of Wizardry 300 - 1,600 310 - 1,600 303 - 1,600 322 - 1,600 322 - 1,975
Weak Lair Arcanus 50 - 350 50 - 375 50 - 350 50 - 375 50 - 437
Myrror 50 - 1,050 50 - 1,050 50 - 967 50 - 1,050 50 - 1,312
Normal Lair Arcanus 84 - 2,000 70 - 2,062 80 - 2,082 100 - 2,075 130 - 2,625
Myrror 152 - 4,550 152 - 4,550 171 - 4,585 159 - 4,410 212 - 5,775
Node, Magic
Setting "x0.5"
Arcanus 50 - 850 50 - 900 50 - 916 50 - 937 50 - 1,137
Myrror 50 - 5,250 106 - 5,040 121 - 5,250 106 - 5,250 152 - 6,405
Node, Magic
Setting "x1.0"
Arcanus 50 - 1,800 50 - 1,875 50 - 1,875 50 - 1,800 50 - 2,293
Myrror 212 - 10,080 212 - 10,500 232 - 10,500 231 - 10,500 231 - 12,775
Node, Magic
Setting "x1.5"
Arcanus 50 - 2,750 50 - 2,812 50 - 2,750 60 - 2,812 67 - 3,500
Myrror 364 - 15,750 349 - 15,750 308 - 15,165 351 - 14,700 425 - 14,700
Node, Magic
Setting "x2.0"
Arcanus 50 - 3,750 70 - 3,600 80 - 3,750 70 - 3,750 100 - 4,575
Myrror 425 - 21,000 463 - 21,000 468 - 19,600 425 - 14,700 440 - 14,700
Node, Magic
Setting "x2.5"
Arcanus 80 - 4,550 70 - 4,587 90 - 4,666 100 - 4,575 115 - 5,725
Myrror 608 - 25,620 463 - 25,550 566 - 19,600 440 - 14,700 554 - 14,700

Treasure budget ranges in v1.50
Zone Category Easy Normal Hard Extreme Impossible
Tower of Wizardry 280 - 1,555 330 - 2,310 530 - 3,080 595 - 3,830 750 - 4,605
Weak Lair Arcanus 30 - 480 30 - 705 30 - 930 30 - 1,155 30 - 1,380
Myrror 30 - 592 30 - 873 30 - 1,155 30 - 1,436 30 - 1,717
Normal Lair Arcanus 100 - 2,155 170 - 3,210 240 - 4,255 280 - 5,330 280 - 6,405
Myrror 117 - 2,998 205 - 4,467 292 - 5,967 342 - 7,405 342 - 8,905
Node, Magic
Setting "x0.5"
Arcanus 30 - 400 30 - 590 30 - 780 70 - 955 70 - 1,155
Myrror 92 - 1,905 155 - 2,842 280 - 3,780 330 - 4,717 380 - 5,655
Node, Magic
Setting "x1.0"
Arcanus 30 - 780 70 - 1,155 80 - 1,530 100 - 1,900 130 - 2,280
Myrror 280 - 3,780 380 - 5,655 498 - 7,530 655 - 9,280 811 - 10,530
Node, Magic
Setting "x1.5"
Arcanus 70 - 1,155 80 - 1,710 130 - 2,280 170 - 2,830 230 - 3,400
Myrror 380 - 5,655 592 - 8,405 811 - 10,530 930 - 10,530 1,030 - 10,530
Node, Magic
Setting "x2.0"
Arcanus 80 - 1,530 130 - 2,280 230 - 3,030 270 - 3,780 310 - 4,530
Myrror 498 - 7,530 811 - 10,530 930 - 10,530 1,117 - 10,530 1,342 - 10,530
Node, Magic
Setting "x2.5"
Arcanus 100 - 1,900 170 - 2,830 270 - 3,780 330 - 4,705 380 - 5,655
Myrror 655 - 9,280 930 - 10,530 1,117 - 10,530 1,342 - 10,530 1,780 - 10,530

Treasure Types Edit

There are 6 generic types of Treasure in the game: Icon Gold.png Gold, Icon Mana.png Mana Crystals, spells, Magical Items, Heroes, and Specials (i.e. starting picks: Spellbooks and Retorts).

Treasure Types in v1.31 / v1.40
Treasure Types Distribution Qualify Spend Max
Magical Item 5 in 15 300 300 - 3,000 3
Spell (1d4 for rarity) 3 in 15 1
* Common Spell 50 50
* Uncommon Spell 200 200
* Rare Spell 450 450
* Very Rare Spell 800 800
10 - 200 Icon Gold.png Pieces 2 in 15 (50) 200
10 - 200 Icon Mana.png Crystals 2 in 15 (50) 200
Special (Book / Retort) 2 in 15 1,000 3,000 2
Prisoner 1 in 15 400 1,000 1

Each of these Treasure types has two budget values: one to qualify for it, and an actual cost. These are listed in the table on the right. The "Qualify" amount is required to add the Treasure type to the pile, while "Spend" is what is actually deducted from the budget. The last column indicates how many instances of that particular Treasure type may be added to single Encounter Zone's hoard.

So long as there are at least 50 points remaining in the treasure budget, the game will keep rolling an imaginary 15-sided dice to try and add more Treasure to the site. As shown in the table however, not all Treasure types have an equal chance of being selected by this process. Due to the probability distribution, Encounter Zones whose budget endowments allow a Magical Item or spell are more likely to contain these; while sites with very high budgets will most likely award Special Treasure. However, if a hoard contains any Specials, the rest of the Treasure will be discarded unless the game is played with the Unofficial Patch 1.50 (in which case only spells are discarded). Although Icon Gold.png Gold and Icon Mana.png Mana don't specifically have a "Qualify" value, the fact that rolling for Treasure ends as soon as there are less than 50 points left in the budget means that they can't be added with less either.

Treasure Types in v1.50
Treasure Types Distribution Qualify Spend Max
Magical Item 3 in 15 300 200 - 5,100 3
Spell (1d4 for rarity) 4 in 15 1
* Common Spell 150 150
* Uncommon Spell 600 600
* Rare Spell 1,350 1,350
* Very Rare Spell 2,000 2,000
50 - 1,000 Icon Gold.png Pieces 3 in 15 (50) 50 - 1,000
40 - 800 Icon Mana.png Crystals 3 in 15 (50) 40 - 800
Special (Book / Retort) 1* in 15 800 800 2
Prisoner 1 in 15 400 400 1

Both multiple Magical Items; and multiple piles of Icon Gold.png Gold and/or Icon Mana.png Mana Crystals can appear at a single site. On the other hand, only one prisoner Hero or spell may ever be awarded at a time; although for spells, if another one would come up, the random roll to determine its Spell Rarity is added to the existing one, if possible (up to a maximum of 4, yielding a Very Rare Spell; this functionality is completely disabled in v1.50 though). Specials, while two may be found, are not added multiple times. Their amount depends on the remaining budget at the time they qualify for inclusion: two will be awarded if there are at least 2,000 points left, otherwise the Encounter Zone can feature only a single Spellbook or Retort. Although v1.50 allows Specials along with other Treasure and lowers their cost to 800 points per pick, it also greatly reduces the chance of this Treasure type occurring in a hoard: in addition to the base probability being lowered to 1 in 15, an additional percentile chance is now also applied, that discards the Special and rerolls the Treasure Type 45% of the time.

Treasure Specifics Edit

As noted above, Icon Gold.png Gold and Icon Mana.png Mana Crystals are the only two Treasure types that are fully determined at the start of the game. This is because the maximum amount of these resources that may be awarded at any one time is tied to the remaining treasure budget. As these values are saved at the start of each game, they will not change even if the game is reloaded and the Encounter Zone is cleared again. This is not the case for other types of Treasure though, the specifics of which will instead be determined on the spot when the encounter is won.

Gold and Mana Edit

Each time one of these resources is added to a Treasure pile, the game rolls an imaginary 20-sided die, and multiplies the result by 10 to arrive at the actual amount that it will try add to the hoard. If this is greater than the remaining treasure budget, it will be reduced to the highest multiple of 10 that does fit the budget. Either way, the full "Spend" value of 200 is deducted from the budget regardless of the amount awarded. Multiple instances of the same resource may be added together to arrive at the final amount.
In the Unofficial Patch 1.50, the amount added by a single instance of either resource is significantly increased (although not to the erroneously high values reported by the patch notes). The new formula for Icon Gold.png Gold is [Random(20) × 50], resulting in a range of Icon Gold.png 50 - Icon Gold.png 1,000, while Icon Mana.png Mana rewards use the function [Random(20) × 40] to produce a range of Icon Mana.png 40 - Icon Mana.png 800. Both Treasure Types only deduct the exact amount awarded from the Treasure budget, rather than a fixed value as it was in v1.31.

Magical Items Edit

The latest official version of the game has several major issues with the generation of Magical Items in Treasure. Luckily, at least one of these works in the player's favor. When the Encounter Zone is generated, all items in the hoard are assigned a maximum value, which would normally set the cost range that a random item will be accepted in at the time it is awarded. However, due to an incorrect order of passing function parameters, this doesn't actually work in v1.31. This results in reward items having no value limitations unless they come as replacements for a "Failed Special" (in which case they have a value range of Icon Mana.png 600 - Icon Mana.png 1,200).
At the same time, likely as a result of a design flaw, Magical Items found in Treasure are also supposed to be limited to those that the player would be able to make, based on the amount of Spellbooks in their possession. However, due to another bug in the table of pre-fabricated items that came with the game (and the attached "ITEMMAKE.EXE" program likely used to produce these), the book requirements for the items are completely botched. Instead of using the requirements as they are in-game, any requirement for the fourth item power (as listed on the item) is always converted into a Icon Life.pngLife book requirement, the third into a Icon Chaos.pngChaos one, the second into Icon Sorcery.pngSorcery, and the first into Icon Nature.pngNature. Because direct attribute boosts do not have a requirement (and are always the first powers on an item), this means that most items with special powers will only show up in an Encounter Zone if the player possesses Icon Life.pngLife and/or Icon Chaos.pngChaos Spellbooks. At any rate, very few items even match the design criteria (see the complete list here).
This situation is worsened further by the fact that a large amount of the prefab items are significantly worse that what could actually be crafted by the player. Although some items (i.e. accessories) have a lower cost in Treasure than they would when crafted, magical armor, in particular, is always worse when found, because the prefab database fails to include their native Icon Defense.png Defense bonus.
The unofficial Insecticide patch resolves nearly all of the original versions' shortcomings. In addition to correcting the book requirements of the pre-fabricated items (which are now needed for AI item creation), it also completely removes the Spellbook checks for awarding Magical Items as Treasure. That is, the items found are no longer limited to those that a Wizard can create. On the down side, the patch also fixes the incorrectly passed function parameters, resulting in item rewards once again being confined to their pre-determined value range.
When an item reward is initially added to a Treasure pile (at game creation), its maximum value is determined using the function [(Random(27) × 100) + 300]. This yields an initial value between 400 and 3,000. Since it only takes 300 points to add an item to a hoard though, this value can easily be above the site's remaining budget. In this case, the item's maximum value will be reduced to the highest whole multiple of 10 that still fits into the budget. For example, if the remaining budget is 938 points, any result of 1,000 or more from the above function will instead be lowered to 930.
At the time the Encounter Zone is cleared, the game will first try to convert any item reward to one of the pre-fabricated items. It will randomly select from the list of 250 prefab items and, if the item matches all selection criteria, it is immediately chosen as the reward. This process can be repeated up to 50 times, or until a suitable item is found. The selection criteria are as follows:
  • The item has not yet appeared in the campaign (conceptually, each of these items is unique, and may only be featured once in every game, regardless of source).
  • The item's cost is no less than half of the maximum value (ignored in v1.31 except for "Failed Specials").
  • The item's cost is no more than the maximum value (ignored in v1.31 except for "Failed Specials").
  • The item's Spellbook requirements are matched by the bookshelf of the player (botched in v1.31, removed completely in v1.40 and later).
Note that in v1.31, the computer players never receive item rewards, and as such their assortment of Spellbooks is irrelevant with regards to this Treasure type. Also, items that have been destroyed for Icon Mana.png Mana are not reset and can not appear again.
The Unofficial Patch 1.50 further improves the quality of Magical Items found in Treasure (although it also reduces their quantity). The budget assigned to each item is increased to 200 - 5,100, and the actual maximum value is now 120% of the budget spent (as opposed to the previous 100%). This yields items in the Icon Mana.png 240 - Icon Mana.png 6,120 cost range, which is typically sufficient for awarding most items, including custom-made ones.
In all versions, the game will ultimately resort to creating a random Magical Item from scratch if no qualifying prefab items are found. In v1.31, these are between Icon Mana.png 800 and Icon Mana.png 1,700 in value, and have 3, occasionally 4 enchantments on them. v1.40 and later uses the pre-set maximum values instead. In either case, these items are limited to attribute enhancements only, and can never contain any special Item Powers. How exactly these items are created is explained in more detail in the Random Items section of the article on Magical Items.

Spell Edit

Spells, like most other Treasure types, are not defined fully when the Encounter Zone is generated. Instead, the game stores the default Spell Rarity that it will use to generate the spell when the zone is cleared. There is only room for one spell reward in MoM's encounter data records, and this is shared with the Special Treasure type, which means there can only ever be one spell in each hoard, and they are mutually exclusive with Specials, even with the Unofficial Patch 1.50.
Spell Rarity is normally determined with a direct random roll between 1 and 4, where 1 corresponds to a Common Spell, 2 to an Uncommon Spell, and so on. Before v1.50, multiple spell type rolls actually are valid, and in this case the rarity of the spells will be added together to determine the final default Spell Rarity (this is true even in Insecticide). Only if the pile already contains a Very Rare Spell (or if v1.50 is installed), will the game reroll the Treasure type if it indicates another spell reward. In either case though, this is the only aspect of this Treasure type that is determined at the start of the campaign.
In the original game, Towers of Wizardry are also unique among the Encounter Zone types in that they are designed to always contain a spell reward. The only circumstance in which they do not is if it gets overridden by a Special. Before any other Treasure is rolled at a Tower, a spell will be added to its pile at a discount of 100 treasure points (meaning that a Common Spell will actually increase the budget). This reward completely ignores the "Qualify" requirements, and is added to the Tower's Treasure regardless of budget, although a high rarity combined with a low budget may result in no more Treasure besides the spell.
v1.50 removes this feature, although Towers still branch into trying to generate a spell reward before moving on to regular Treasure. However, the discount is omitted, and the Tower must also "Qualify" for the spell based on its default rarity. This creates a fair chance that the Tower will not feature a spell, especially on the lower Difficulty settings, or if the rolled rarity is higher than Uncommon.
In both v1.31 and v1.40, spells are the only Treasure type available in empty Encounter Zones besides Icon Gold.png Gold and Icon Mana.png Mana. This makes it advantageous to scout out these sites as early in the game as possible. Unfortunately, v1.50 raises the cost of spells in Treasure to values where this can no longer happen (see the tables above). At the same time though, the general increase in monster budgets makes empty sites much more rare, which shifts the focus clearly away from early scouting.
When the site is cleared, and the spell is awarded, the game decides the actual spell received in a somewhat counterintuitive manner. Rather than building the choice around the spell's pre-determined default rarity, the developers decided to take a more straightforward (although arguably simpler and shorter) approach. MoM enumerates the Realms available to the victorious Wizard based on their Spellbooks, and then picks one at random from these. Each available Realm has an equal chance of being selected, and only if that particular Realm has no spells that the Wizard could learn, can it be re-selected (after invalidating it). If the Wizard already knows every spell they could find, this Treasure is ultimately discarded with no replacement (possibly resulting in "Absolutely nothing" being found).
The Icon Arcane.pngArcane Realm is supposed to be always included in the initial enumeration. However, this is not the case in practice in the official versions. Due to a botched loop implementation, the game actually "checks" for the presence of Icon Arcane.pngArcane "books". Namely, at the location of the first two Retorts: Alchemy, and Warlord. If the Wizard has either of these Retorts, then Icon Arcane.pngArcane spells are valid for Treasure, otherwise, they are not. The Unofficial Patch 1.50 fixes this bug, while at the same time also disqualifies the Icon Arcane.pngArcane Realm if the spell's default Spell Rarity is Rare or Very Rare.
Once the Realm is chosen, the game picks a random spell that matches the default Spell Rarity. That is, unless the Wizard has less Spellbooks in that particular Realm than what would be required for a spell of this rarity (1 book for Common and Uncommon spells, 2 for Rare, and 3 for Very Rare). When this happens, the program uses a somewhat convoluted remainder function to determine the initial rarity of the spells picked. While most of the time this results in the highest rarity available in the Realm, this is not the case if the default rarity is exactly one higher than what the Wizard can learn: i.e. a Rare Spell found with 1 book, or a Very Rare with 2. Under these circumstances, the spell selection will always start with a Common spell.
If the Wizard already knows the initially selected spell, MoM will start going over the spells from the same Realm and same Spell Rarity, and tries to award each of those in succession. If those are also known, the rarity is increased by one (wrapping around from Very Rare to Common), until either an unknown spell is found, or all spells of the Realm are exhausted. For Icon Arcane.pngArcane spells, rarity is disregarded completely. In fact, if this is the selected Realm, the game will simply try 40 times to randomly award one of its 11 spells valid for Treasure (the excluded spells are Icon Arcane.pngSummon Champion, the Icon Arcane.pngSpell of Mastery, and the Icon Arcane.pngSpell of Return), and only rules out the Realm if it fails to award one by then. However, even if the Wizard is only missing a single Icon Arcane.pngArcane spell, this process is roughly 98% certain to award that, instead of selecting another Realm.

Prisoner Edit

Heroes found as prisoners will always be one of the 25 non-champion Heroes in the game, drawn at random from those who would normally be available for hire or Icon Arcane.pngSummon by the Wizard. These captive V.I.P.s will offer to join for no initial cost, out of gratitude for being rescued, although their upkeep won't actually be free unless they bear the Ability Noble Noble trait. There are a few caveats, however: if the victorious army stack is 9 units deep, the Wizard already controls 6 Heroes, or all qualifying Heroes are already hired or dead, "Absolutely Nothing" will appear in the prisoner's place. The Unofficial Patch 1.50 reduces these limitations by allowing a Hero to be rescued even if the winning army already has 9 units.

Spellbooks and Retorts Edit

Spellbook and Retort Combinations
(Descending Order of Frequency)
1 Pick Conditions
Spellbook ~74%
Retort ~26%
Artifact 1 Failed Special
2 Picks Conditions
2 Spellbooks ~55%
Spellbook & Retort ~31%
1 Expensive Retort ~8%
2 Retorts ~6%
1 Spellbook 1 Failed Special
1 Retort 1 Failed Special
Artifact 2 Failed Specials
If the Encounter Zone contains a "Special", each "pick" has a 74% chance of becoming a Spellbook, and a 26% chance that it will be a Retort. Retorts that cost 2 picks can only appear at a site with 2 Specials, and will cost both Specials. Otherwise, if there are two Specials, their nature is determined individually (i.e. they can be 2 books, 2 Retorts, or one of each). This also means that 2 pick Retorts can only be selected as the first Special, as the remaining pick will no longer qualify after that.
Prerequisites are completely ignored for all Retorts awarded as Treasure, and Myrran will never be selected. On the other hand, two Retorts that normally include additional assets besides their effect (if selected at the start of the game), will not grant these when acquired through Treasure. These are: Famous, that should grant Icon Fame.png +10 Fame; and Artificer, which should add the Icon Arcane.pngEnchant Item and Icon Arcane.pngCreate Atrifact spells to the Wizard's Spellbook.
Spellbook Probabilities
Lair Icon Life.png Icon Death.png Icon Chaos.png Icon Nature.png Icon Sorcery.png
Mysterious Cave
Monster Lair
Tower of Wizardry
Ancient Temple 1
Fallen Temple
Dungeon 1
Abandoned Keep
Chaos Node 1
Nature Node 1
Sorcery Node 1
In addition, a Wizard can only possess at most 6 Retorts and 13 Spellbooks in a single campaign (although Retorts costing multiple picks only count as one Retort towards this limit). Any Special reward gained above these will instead be replaced by a single Magical Item with a maximum value of Icon Mana.png 1,200 (regardless of the amount of picks being converted). The chances described above may also be ignored if a Wizard has already maxed out one of these assets but not the other: in this case the Special will default to the asset type that can still be awarded (e.g. a Wizard with 4 Retorts and 13 Spellbooks will always get a Retort, rather than receiving a replacement item 74% of the time).
Unfortunately, there are also a few scenarios where a Special pick can be wasted with no replacement item, all of which can only occur at Encounter Zones with 2 Specials. In the simplest case, if the Wizard has 13 Spellbooks but only 5 Retorts, finding a single-pick Retort will not also add a Magical Item to the Treasure, thus wasting the second pick. The same thing happens every time that the first pick can be awarded but the second can not, for any other reason. This is because the replacement item is only added if the generation of the Special Treasure failed completely, and awarding a single pick does not actually satisfy this.
Another common example would be a Wizard who has 6 Retorts and 12 Spellbooks: again, a single book may be found, but if that is the case then a Magical Item will not be added. Finally, there is the problem of opposing Icon Life.pngLife and Icon Death.pngDeath Spellbooks. When such a book would be found in Treasure, it is immediately discarded, but also counts as a pick that has been spent (which is quite possibly a bug). Only if this means that there is no actual Special reward, will the game generate an item in its stead.
It's also worth noting that the Unofficial Patch 1.50 removes the constraint of other Treasure types not being available at Encounter Zones that have Special Treasure. Apart from the obvious benefits, this also leads to a situation where a "Failed Special" item will occasionally be impossible to award either (because the site already contains 3 Magical Items). If this happens, the game replaces the Special with a lump sum of Icon Mana.png 1,000 instead. However, this patch also improves the quality of "Failed Special" items, by raising their maximum values to Icon Mana.png 2,000 or Icon Mana.png 4,000 depending on whether they are substituted for a single or a double Special (which also increases their minimum value to Icon Mana.png 1,000 and Icon Mana.png 2,000 respectively).

Rampaging Monsters Edit

Main article: Rampaging Monster

Starting from turn 50, most Encounter Zones that have not yet been cleared of defenders become possible sources for Rampaging Monsters. The only exceptions are sites featuring Icon Life.pngLife creatures, and sites that have no guardians.

Difficulty Avg.
Intro Turn × 0.4 1/50 turns
Easy Turn × 0.6 1/30 turns
Average Turn × 0.8 1/20 turns
Hard Turn × 1 1/14 turns
Impossible Turn × 1.2 1/10 turns

At roughly the intervals outlined on the right, the game will attempt to spawn Rampaging Monsters from a random Encounter Zone. The principle of using a creature budget for this is similar to generating guardians, however the actual procedure is different. There are no divisor rolls involved, the game will simply pick random monsters that match the Realm of the site's defenders to create the rampaging group. As long as the creature budget contains at least 25 points (or until the computer has expended its 2,000 tries allocated for this), the game will keep trying to add more monsters to the stack. The resulting units are often completely different than the ones inhabiting the Encounter Zone itself.

Rampaging Monsters

A high budget monster group.

The budget assigned for these creatures depends on the game's Difficulty Setting and the amount of Turns that have elapsed since the start of the campaign. The budget is halved if the Encounter Zone is on the home continent of an AI player, but only if that same continent does not also contain the human player's Fortress. The frequency of Rampaging Monster spawns is also Difficulty-dependent (with a random element involved above the "Intro" difficulty), and may also be increased if there are isolated neutral Towns on the map that don't share their landmass with a player-controlled City. This is because such Towns may not generate Raiders (neutral Normal Unit groups similar to Rampaging Monsters), which circumstance will cause them to increase Rampaging Monster frequency instead (see the main article for more details).

Rather than "moving" out of the Encounter Zone they are created from, Rampaging Monsters simply spawn on a tile adjacent to it. This means that their appearance will not be highlighted by the game even if it is set to display enemy movement. The creatures will only start moving on the following turn, usually targeting a nearby city, and often preferring Towns owned by the human player over other targets. The main article describes several strategies to defend against these assailants, although they typically don't pose a high threat to major armies. They may, however, force the player to increase Town garrisons on continents that still contain inhabited Encounter Zones.

The Insecticide patch increases the budgets allocated for Rampaging Monsters by 25%, and implements a new option in the Game Settings: "Monsters Gone Wild". When checked, this option further doubles the creature budgets, while also disabling the AI's "handicap" of halving the budget when the monsters spawn on a computer player's home continent.

It is important to note however, that in the official game (and also in Insecticide), Rampaging Monsters can not actually defeat a player. If their target is a Fortress Town, their chances of razing it (as opposed to looting and disappearing) is reduced to 0. This feature is removed in the Unofficial Patch 1.50, making it much more important to keep ample garrisoned forces at the capital, especially if the above option is also enabled.