In Master of Magic, spells are divided by Realm and by Rarity. The rarity of a spell determines how many Spellbooks a wizard must obtain to be eligible to acquire that spell, how likely a wizard is to acquire that spell as a result of getting more Spellbooks, and how likely a wizard is to find that spell in Treasure. Rarity also correlates to a spell's Research Cost, with rarer spells taking longer to research.
There are four categories of Rarity:
Each magical Realm has 10 spells in each of these categories, totaling 40 spells per Realm, and 200 spells in all.
The Arcane realm has 14 additional spells which are not subjected to the rules of Spell Rarity at all. They are always available to any wizard regardless of how many Spellbooks he or she has.
Rarity Categories Edit
Common spells are the 1st through 10th spells of each magical Realm. Common spells include low-tier Fantastic Unit Summoning Spells, simple Enchantments providing minor bonuses, simple Curses that cause little damage or are easy to Resist, low-damage direct-damage spells, and so forth. Most of the Common spells are useful only during the early part of the campaign, and will likely be supplanted by higher-rarity spells later on. The low Casting Cost of Common spells, however, may keep them handy later whenever Mana conservation is imperative.
Any wizard with at least 2 Spellbooks in a magical Realm will be able to pick (Spellbooks − 1) Common spells from that realm to be available for casting as soon as the game begins. A wizard starting the game with 11 Spellbooks in a single realm will have all Common spells from that realm available to him/her at game-start.
With between 1 and 10 Spellbooks in a single realm, the wizard may be able to research additional Common spells that were not available at game-start. The spells available for research are selected at random, but their number correlates directly to the number of acquired Spellbooks. Common spells require 20 to 250 to learn.
Uncommon spells are the 11th through 20th spells of each magical Realm. Uncommon spells include a few mid-tier Fantastic Unit Summoning Spells, but for most realms they largely include low-cost spells that are nonetheless quite effective. Uncommon spells will often be the lynch-pin of a wizard's strategy early in the game, and carefully building one's strategy around the early availability of even one such spell can make a huge impact. Later on in the campaign, Uncommon spells will see a great deal of use, particularly in conjunction with stronger spells (i.e. in support of your increasingly-powerful assets).
Any wizard with at least 1 Spellbook in a magical Realm will be able to research a number of Uncommon spells. The number of such spells available for research is limited by the number of Spellbooks acquired. The exact spells available for research are randomly selected. With 8 or more spellbooks in a single realm, a wizard will be able to research all Uncommon spells of that realm. Uncommon spells require 300 to 800 to learn.
With 11 Spellbooks in a single realm, a wizard can pick 2 Uncommon spells from that realm which will be available as soon as the game begins.
Rare spells are the 21st through 30th spells of each magical Realm. Most Rare Spells exemplify the realm they belong to, and will often play very well to that realm's strengths. There are fewer Rare Fantastic Units than there are in any of the other rarity categories; instead there is a much stronger selection of Enchantments, Curses, and Instant Spells here. Most Rare Spells provide either a surprisingly-strong benefit for a relatively-high cost, or an above-average benefit for a relatively low cost. During the middle- and late-game, Rare Spells tend to be cast very often, Mana permitting.
A Wizard needs at least 2 Spellbooks in a magical Realm to be able to research any Rare spells at all. The exact number of Rare spells available for research increases with the number of Spellbooks acquired. The exact spells available for research are randomly selected. With 10 or more spellbooks in a single realm, a wizard will be able to research all Rare spells of that realm. Rare spells require 880 to 1,700 to learn.
With 11 Spellbooks in a single realm, a wizard can pick 1 Rare spell from that realm which will be available as soon as the game begins.
Very Rare SpellsEdit
Very Rare spells are the 31st through 40th spells of each magical Realm. These are the strongest (or at least, the most cost-efficient) spells in each realm, and many of them are outright game-changers. A single casting of certain Very Rare Spells can turn the tide of a war, topple an enemy's entire economy, or win an otherwise hopeless battle. Furthermore, each magical Realm has at least one top-tier Fantastic Unit that can be created using a Very Rare Summoning Spell - and these units may be nigh-unstoppable. Most other Very Rare spells are Global Enchantments that will have a profound effect on the game world.
Of course, simply acquiring a Very Rare spell is only the first step: virtually all Very Rare spells have respectively high Casting Costs and/or Upkeep Costs, which means that a Wizard needs high Spell Casting Skill and Mana reserves to utilize any of them. They will almost never be used before the mid-game, and may still be (appropriately) very rarely used even much later. The first wizard to become capable of casting Very Rare Spells, even on an infrequent basis, has a good chance of winning the game.
A wizard needs at least 3 Spellbooks in a magical Realm to be able to research any Very Rare spells at all. The exact number of Very Rare spells available for research increases with the number of Spellbooks acquired. The exact spells available for research are randomly selected. With 10 or more spellbooks in a single realm, a wizard will be able to research all Very Rare spells of that realm. Very Rare spells require 1,850 to 6,000 to learn.
No Very Rare spell will be available for casting when the game begins, regardless of how many Spellbooks a wizard possesses.
Similar to the research constraints, with at least 3 Spellbooks in a realm, a wizard may learn any Very Rare spells of that realm through trade with rivals, conquest of rival Fortresses, or as Treasure - though they are exceptionally difficult to acquire this way.
Guaranteed Repertoire Edit
A Wizard's initial repertoire - the number and type of spells he/she can cast at the very start of the game - relies entirely on the number of Spellbooks from each magical Realm that he/she possesses upon creation.
If a Human player possesses at least 2 spellbook in any realm, he/she will be able to choose one or more spells from specific Spell Rarity categories. These spells are called "guaranteed spells", and will be available for casting right from the very first turn.
As mentioned in the previous chapter, the number of guaranteed Common Spells from each Magical Realm is exactly X-1, where X equals the number of spellbooks of that realm possessed by the wizard. Therefore, with 2 spellbooks in a realm, the player may choose 1 guaranteed Common Spell from that realm. With 11 spellbooks, the wizard is guaranteed all 10 Common Spells from that realm, and does not have to choose at all.
Uncommon and Rare spells can only be picked as guaranteed spells if the wizard possesses 11 Spellbooks in a single realm. Only 2 Uncommon and 1 Rare spell may be picked as guaranteed.
Very Rare spells cannot be selected as guaranteed spells, regardless of how many Spellbooks a wizard possesses in any realm.
The table below shows how many spells from each Rarity category may be selected as "Guaranteed" spells, depending on the number of Spellbooks the wizard has in any specific Realm:
|# of Spellbooks||Common||Uncommon||Rare||Very Rare|
Note: This table describes guaranteed spells in Master of Magic v1.31. In earlier versions of the game, distribution leaned more towards higher-rarity spells, and allowed picking Very Rare guaranteed spells when possessing a large number of Spellbooks.
Research Availability Edit
During the game, wizards can increase the size of their repertoire by conducting Spell Research. However, there is a limit on the number of spells that may be researched in each Spell Rarity category within each Realm. This limit is set by the number of Spellbooks the wizard possesses in that Realm. The limit can only be exceeded by acquiring spells through external means, such as Treasure or Diplomacy, or by acquiring additional Spellbooks during the campaign.
These limits include spells that have already been granted as guaranteed spells (see above).
The spells that will be available for research are chosen randomly for each Rarity category in each Realm. Therefore, a wizard with few Spellbooks in a realm will not be capable of researching certain spells from that realm. He/she may still acquire those from external sources, as mentioned above, but cannot research them.
The table below illustrates these limits, based on the number of Spellbooks in a single realm:
|# of Spellbooks||Common||Uncommon||Rare||Very Rare||Total|
Note: If the wizard manages to increase the number of spellbooks he owns in a single realm beyond 11, this does not increase the number of available spells any further (since they are all available already).
For example, a wizard with 1 Spellbook in a realm may research 3 Common Spells from that realm, and 1 Uncommon Spell. He/she may not research any additional spells from these rarity categories, and may not research any Rare Spells or Very Rare Spells. If, during the campaign, that wizard acquires a second Spellbook of the same realm, he/she may now research 2 additional Common Spells, 1 additional Uncommon Spell, and a single Rare Spell of that realm.
As mentioned above, "guaranteed spells" picked at game-start (if any) count towards the total. Therefore, if a wizard starts the game with 2 Spellbooks in a realm, he/she is guaranteed one Common Spell, and so will only be able to research 4 additional Common Spells from that realm, rather than 5. The guaranteed spell will already be available from the very first turn, and does not need to be researched at all. This also means that a wizard with 11 Spellbooks in a single realm will not have any Common Spells to research - since all of them are already available for casting at game-start (see previous section).
Random Selection Edit
At game-start, and at any time when the spell limit for a given wizard is increased, the game will randomly select any spells from the appropriate Rarity category (or categories) to populate the research lists. The choice is entirely random within that rarity category, excluding any spells already known to the wizard.
- For example, when starting a game with a wizard possessing only 1 Spellbook, the game randomly picks any 3 Common Spells and any 1 Uncommon Spell from the Nature Realm, and adds those spells to the wizard's research lists.
- Had the wizard started with 2, and picked Resist Elements as his guaranteed Common Spell, the game would instead add any 4 Common Spells from the Nature Realm other than Resist Elements to that wizard's research list, as well as any 2 Uncommon Spells and any 1 Rare Spell, at random.
When a wizard acquires an additional Spellbook during the game, the limits are increased according to the table above, and the game will automatically populate the wizard's research list as necessary to meet the new limits. Again, the game may pick any random spells except those already known to the wizard, and those already on the research lists. If a wizard has already acquired additional spells to meet or exceed the new limit, no new spells are added to the research list.
- For example, lets take a wizard with 1 Spellbook. Initially, this wizard has 3 Common and 1 Uncommon Spells available for research. During the game, this wizard has performed some spell exchanges and won some treasures, earning two additional Chaos Common Spells. If this wizard acquires a second Chaos Spellbook, the new limit is now 5, but since the wizard already has 5 spells available (regardless of how many of these are available for casting and how many have yet to be researched), he/she does not gain new spells for research. He/she only receives a new Uncommon Spell and Rare Spell.
Correlation with Research Costs Edit
It should be noted that a spell from one Rarity Category will always take more time to research than spells from a "lower" Rarity category, and always take less time to research than spells from a "higher" Rarity category.
This is the only direct correlation between a spell's rarity and its in-game effects. Casting Costs, Upkeep Costs and even the spells usefulness may vary, though they are all usually higher for rarer spells. Rarer spells, however, usually provide a stronger benefit to justify these higher costs. A scant few higher-rarity spells have a similar effect to some lower-rarity spell, but coupled with a lower Casting Cost - giving a better cost-efficiency rather than a stronger effect.
Arcane Spell Rarity Edit
There are 14 Arcane spells in the game, but they are not categorized by Rarity.
This is mainly because all 14 Arcane spells are available to any wizard regardless of the number or distribution of the Spellbooks he or she possesses.
Exactly two of these spells are always "Guaranteed" and available for casting immediately:
There is no way to "guarantee" any additional Arcane spells.