|Spell Type||Unit Curse|
The target unit is inflicted with the following ill effects if it fails a Resistance roll:Magic Immunity or Illusions Immunity may not be targeted by this spell.
Vertigo is an Uncommon Sorcery Unit Curse. For 25 it may be cast on an enemy unit during combat. The target may make one attempt to Resist this curse as a unit. If it fails to do so, it is inflicted with penalties of -20% To Hit and -1 Defense until the end of the battle or until Vertigo is dispelled.
Vertigo can reduce an enemy unit's potential to both inflict and block damage, unless it succeeds a Resistance check (with no extra modifier) when targeted by the spell.
To Hit Penalty Edit
Once a unit has been successfully inflicted with Vertigo, it receives a To Hit penalty of -20%. This applies to any Conventional Damage attack made by the unit, with the exception of those that inflict direct Spell Damage. In other words, it affects Melee Attacks, all three types of Ranged Attacks (, , and ), Thrown Attacks, and Fire Breath; but not Immolation, or spells and spell-like abilities such as Fireball Spell.
This means that whenever the unit makes an Attack Roll, its base 30% chance to inflict a point of "raw" damage with each die is reduced to only 10%. This applies to every figure in the unit, and is cumulative with all other modifiers To Hit, although it's worth noting that the grand total chance may never be reduced below 10% per die, even if multiple penalties apply. For units that only have the default 30% chance, this translates to a total effective reduction of 66% in the amount of damage they cause! This can render even a powerful unit largely unable to cause any significant amount of Conventional Damage to its enemies during combat.
Defense Penalty Edit
While affected by Vertigo, the cursed unit also suffers a Defense penalty of -1. This means that each figure has one less die to use during any Defense Rolls made in an attempt to block incoming Conventional Damage. This increases the average amount of damage that the cursed unit takes from such attacks. Since Defense can't go below zero, this effect will be ignored if the target's score is already 0.
Usage EditVertigo may only be cast during combat. It has a base Casting Cost of 25, and must always be targeted at an enemy unit that is not already under the effect of this curse. The target gets exactly one chance (as a unit) to Resist the effect with no default penalty, although if Vertigo is cast by a Hero, this may be improved by Magical Items bearing a -Spell Save enchantment. The curse will last until the end of the battle, until it is dispelled, or until the target unit is destroyed; whichever occurs first. While the spell is in effect, the cursed unit will have a blue rotating spiral shown above it, as seen in the image to the right.
As an Uncommon Spell of the Sorcery Realm, Vertigo may become available to any Wizard who acquires at least 1 Spellbook. With none, the spell can naturally not be learned during the campaign. This is the minimum requirement for it to be traded for, appear in Treasure, or be found in the spoils of victory when conquering the Fortress of a rival Wizard who already knows it.
The base chance for Vertigo to be researchable (at some point) in the campaign is roughly 10% (with 1 book), which gradually increases with the amount of Sorcery Spellbooks possessed or found during gameplay. With 8 or more, the spell is certain to show up sooner or later, unless acquired from another source. It has a Research Cost of 400, although its research is quicker for Wizards possessing the Sage Master, and/or Sorcery Mastery Retorts; or a bookshelf containing 8 or more.
Vertigo may also be selected as a starting spell by players who allocate all of of their picks into Sorcery books when creating their Wizard. In this case, it will be available for casting as soon as the game begins.
In addition, Vertigo is available as a Hero spell. It is known by both Valana the Bard, and Aerie the Illusionist, although it's worth noting that neither of them can actually cast it at their initial level. Valana needs to become at least a Champion (level 5) to use Vertigo, while Aerie will have enough Mana at Captain (level 3), or possibly even at Myrmidon (level 2), if one of her Random Abilities is extra Mana. Of course, they can both gain more by equipping appropriate Magical Items.
Vertigo can significantly reduce a unit's combat effectiveness, and at the same time make it easier to destroy. Unfortunately, due to allowing the target to make its Resistance roll with no penalties, Vertigo may need to be cast several times before it can affect a unit - and units with high Resistance scores are completely immune to it.
When Vertigo is cast on one of the player's own units, it may be best to try to distance that unit from combat as much as possible, as it is now more vulnerable to the enemy, and won't be able to do a lot of damage anyway. Another alternative is to seek to dispel the Vertigo as soon as possible.
Known Bugs Edit
Vertigo is a Unit Curse, which all suffer from a bug or concept flaw in the latest official game version. Whenever a dispel type spell targets this curse, it will bypass making a dispelling attempt, and instead remove the curse automatically. This is corrected in the Unofficial Patch 1.50.