Random Abilities are abilities added to a Hero's profile at the start of any new game. They are chosen at random from one of three possible lists of Hero-specific abilities.
Each Hero's profile specifies the exact number of Random Abilities he/she receives, on top of "default" abilities which are always selected. Abilities are chosen either from a master list, a "Fighter" list or a "Mage" list.
Once Random Abilities have been selected for a Hero, that Hero keeps the same set of abilities for the remainder of the game. He/she may receive different Random Abilities at the start of the next game.
Heroes with many Random Abilities may have very different uses from game to game, and may in fact be more or less valuable each time you play. Heroes with few Random Abilities remain largely the same from one game to the next, and are more predictable in their usefulness and/or tactical role.
Concept Overview Edit
Each of the 35 Heroes available for hire in a game of Master of Magic receives a set of abilities that define his usefulness and style. Some of these abilities are "built-in", meaning that the Hero receives those same abilities in each game. Others are chosen almost entirely at random when a new game begins.
For example, Reywind the Warrior Mage has - by default - the ability of Caster, which will allow him to cast spells. He will have this ability each and every time you play the game. In addition, he receives one more Random Ability selected at the start of the game, from a list of all 14 different Hero-abilities. It is impossible to know which extra ability Reywind will get, until the first time he appears for hire. Whichever extra ability was selected, it will remain until the end of the game! As a result, Reywind may be a more powerful mage or a more powerful warrior. He might even get an ability that is not very useful, making him less valuable to your overall strategy.
This randomness is meant the make the game a little more interesting, by making some Heroes more useful in one game and less useful in another - or at least useful in different ways from one game to the next.
Random Choice Edit
The choice of Random Abilities for each Hero is made when a new game is started. The program runs through each of the 35 Heroes, assigning abilities as per that Hero's profile. Whatever abilities are chosen, they will remain permanent for that Hero until the end of the game.
The profile of each Hero dictates the exact number of Random Abilities that Hero must pick. It can range from 0 (no Random Abilities) to 5. A Hero with 0 Random Abilities (such as Brax the Dwarf) will be exactly the same each time you play the game, while a Hero with 5 Random Abilities (such as Mystic X the Unknown) can have radically different properties from one game to the next.
The Hero's profile also dictates which Random Abilities are available to him/her. This can sometimes be seen as a blessing, as it forces that Hero to develop in a specific direction regardless of the randomness.
The Hero's default abilities, which never change from game to game, can also influence which Random Abilities he/she may acquire.
Random Ability Categories Edit
Random Abilities are separated into three categories: "Any", "Fighter" and "Mage". A Hero's profile dictates not only how many Random Abilities he/she must choose, but also which category they are chosen from. Each Hero picks his Random Abilities (if any) from only one of these categories.
The "Any" category contains all 14 Hero Abilities available in the game. A Hero picking from this list can end up with very different abilities each time, and thus can develop very differently from one game to the next.
The "Fighter" category contains only 10 of the possible abilities, most of which are focused on improving his Melee combat properties and/or survivability. A Hero picking from this list will likely be suitable for heavy, face-to-face combat.
The "Mage" category contains 7 of the possible abilities, pertaining to increasing the Hero's magical prowess in different ways. This Hero will likely become a combat spellcaster, support-caster, or Ranged Attacker.
A Hero's profile indicates how many Random Abilities are chosen from each category. For example, a Hero's profile can state that he/she receives 3 Random Abilities, and that they can be chosen only from the "Fighter" category. This Hero will surely have great combat properties, but will have little or no magical ability.
The list below shows the abilities in each category:
The Picking Process Edit
When the game begins, the program examines a Hero's profile to determine how many Random Abilities it must choose, and which list it can choose from.
The game proceeds to choose entirely at random one of the abilities on the appropriate list. It then tries to add that ability to the Hero's profile.
Certain limitations apply (as explained below), which means that this won't always succeed. If so, the game simply returns to the list and picks a new ability. It will continue to do so until it has added the required number of Random Abilities to the Hero's profile.
Note that each time the program returns to the abilities list, it has an equal chance of picking any of the listed abilities. No single ability is more or less common than any another.
Multi-Picks and Super Abilities Edit
Since the picking process is completely random within each category, it is possible for the game to select the same ability twice or more. However, there are rules in place that dictate whether an existing ability can be selected again.
This limitation also takes into account any abilities that the Hero already has by default.
Single Picks Edit
- For example, Morgana the Witch has the Charmed ability by default. She also has 2 Random Abilities which are picked from the "Mage" list. Since she already has one level in Charmed, she may not pick it again as either of her two Random Abilities. She must instead select from the other 6 abilities on the "Mage" list.
Unlimited Picks Edit
The Caster ability may be picked an unlimited number of times. Each pick improves the Hero's Mana reserves by 2.5 per Experience Level. This allows the Hero to cast more spells in each battle, use more Magical Ranged Attacks, or cast more powerful spells if available.
- For example, Aureus the Golden One has the Caster ability by default, giving him a Mana Pool of 5 per Experience Level. He also has 2 Random Abilities which are picked from the "Any" list - and he may freely pick Caster again as his Random Ability, once or even twice! Each such pick augments his Mana Pool by 2.5 per Experience Level. If Caster is picked twice, Aureus's final Mana Pool will contain 10 for each Experience Level - a very respectable amount.
Double Picks (Super Ability) Edit
All other abilities may be picked no more than twice. The first pick of any such ability gives the Hero the "standard" version of that ability. The second pick improves the ability to "Super" level, meaning that all bonuses given by this ability are increased by 50%.
If the Hero already has the "standard" version of any such ability by default, it may only be picked once as a Random Ability - elevating it to "Super" status. If the Hero already has the "Super" version by default, he may not pick that ability again at all as a Random Ability.
- For example, Fang the Draconian has the Might ability by default, giving him a bonus of +1 Melee Attack Strength per Experience Level. He also has 2 Random Abilities picked from the "Fighter" list. He may occasionally end up picking the Might ability from that list, replacing his default Might with the improved "Super Might", which gives +1.5 Melee Attack Strength per Experience Level. After this, Fang may not select Might again as his other Random Ability since this ability is already maxed. He must instead pick from the other 9 abilities on the "Fighter" list.
- Another good example is Spyder the Rogue. By default, he already has the Legendary ability at "Super" level. Though he has one Random Ability to pick from the "Fighter" list, he may not select the Legendary ability, since it is already maxed for him by default.
List of Hero Random Abilities Edit
Remember that the program will continue attempting to select abilities from the appropriate list until it has made the necessary number of picks. If it chooses an ability that cannot be acquired, it will simply return to the list and choose again.