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A Wizard is the leader of an empire in Master of Magic. Each player represents (and controls) a single Wizard, the defeat of whom spells game over for that player. Wizards influence gameplay through their profile traits, and the spells that they can cast, both overland and on the battlefield. However, they may not otherwise have an active fighting role in combat.

Concept Edit

In a world filled with the wonders of magic, it is only natural that some individuals will rise to the occasion and try to achieve mastery over this power. Alas, very few are dedicated enough to endure the rigorous study and research involved in understanding even its basics. Fewer still are the ones that also possess the focus and willpower necessary to channel these energies over any appreciable distance. Those that do however, tend to quickly find themselves at the center of attention; both of others looking to follow in their footsteps, and rivals wary, or even outright afraid of their power.

Lesser beings often seek their counsel, inevitably leading to small settlements forming around their dwellings. These grow and mature as the Wizard grows in skill, eventually leading to the founding of a nation of their own. Not many get to see the mighty spellcasters in person, however. Furthering their knowledge requires constant experimentation with the forces that bind the worlds together. Because of this, they almost never leave their fortress towers, often choosing mortal champions to see to the more mundane matters of the land. Nonetheless, their very presence can always be felt across their empire. If not through the beneficial effects of their magic, then through the soldiers and otherworldly beings paid or summoned to enforce their will.

Most Wizards desire one thing above all, however: to become the one, true, Master of Magic.

Effect Edit

The presence of the Wizard impersonated by each player has several effects of varying significance on the game. The most obvious of these is the ability to cast spells, albeit some units and Heroes can duplicate this feat during battles. Of similar importance is the fact that defeating their Wizard ends the game for the players. However, profile traits, selected at the start, or acquired during gameplay, also often have a major impact on how the match plays out.

Spells and Spellcasting Edit

Master of Magic features a grand total of 214 spells that a Wizard can learn to cast. These are grouped into 6 Realms: Icon Arcane.pngArcane, Icon Life.pngLife, Icon Death.pngDeath, Icon Nature.pngNature, Icon Chaos.pngChaos, and Icon Sorcery.pngSorcery. Of these, only the 14 spells of the Icon Arcane.pngArcane Realm are available unconditionally to every Wizard. To learn spells from any of the other Realms (which have 40 each), the Wizard must possess Spellbooks of the corresponding color. A single book allows the acquisition of Common- and Uncommon Spells, two are required to obtain any Rare Spells, while three or more will allow the player to also learn the Very Rare Spells.

Since each Spell Rarity level contains 10 spells from every Realm (except the Icon Arcane.pngArcane), the first books always allow access to more spells than any subsequent ones. This gives a slight advantage to Wizards that take a "multi-color" approach instead of specializing in a single Realm, as the amount of spells known will contribute to the final Score at the end of the game. However, since each is only worth a single point, this difference can usually be offset through the other fields. Regardless, having access to multiple schools of magic increases spellcasting versatility, and enables more spells to be acquired through Diplomacy.

Any Heroes with the Ability Caster Caster ability automatically have access to all of the spells known by the Wizard under whose banner they serve. While they can't cast overland spells, they can make use of any combat ones in the Wizard's repertoire. The same is not true for other spellcasting units however, whom instead base their selection on the magical Realm they are associated with.

Spells are learned mainly through Spell Research, a long process that involves deciphering ancient tomes, and experimenting with the secrets found therein. This is not the only way of acquiring them though. Already deciphered spells can show up in Treasure, particularly in Towers of Wizardry that, in the original game, will always contain a spell, an entire Spellbook, or a Retort (see below). They can also be traded with rival Wizards through diplomatic negotiations. Finally, conquering the Fortress of another Wizard can randomly award up to two spells that they already know, provided that the player is eligible for learning them, and has not yet done so.

Banishment and Defeat Edit

There are two ways of defeating a Wizard: by conquering the Town that their Fortress resides in, or by casting the ultimate Icon Arcane.pngSpell of Mastery. While the latter method always instantly wins the game, the former does not necessarily eliminate a Wizard or their player. So long as they have at least one other Town or Outpost, they can choose whether to resign, or attempt to cast the Icon Arcane.pngSpell of Return. Should they continue playing, they are considered "banished".

Banished Wizards are prohibited from casting any spells, with the exception of the above mentioned Icon Arcane.pngSpell of Return, which they automatically begin channeling if they decide to stay in the game. However, any spellcasting Heroes under their control retain access to the combat spells they know, and can use them even though the Wizard may not cast anything themselves during battles.

In addition, the destruction of their Fortress removes a Wizard's ability to focus and transform Icon Power.png Power. This halts all Spell Research, prevents the improvement of Spell Casting Skill, and negates all per-turn Icon Mana.png Mana income. Because of this, players with Icon Mana.png 0 remaining at the time they would be banished are automatically defeated instead in the official game, as the Icon Arcane.pngSpell of Return has a base Casting Cost of Icon Mana.png 1,000. However, Icon Mana.png Mana can still be gained, most commonly through Alchemy or destroying Magical Items; but Encounter Zones may also be plundered in the hopes of finding Icon Mana.png Mana Crystals in their Treasure. Banishing or defeating another Wizard also appropriates half of their Icon Mana.png Mana before the Unofficial Patch 1.50, but this is quite the feat to attempt while being banished.

Meanwhile, the player's empire remains fully operational in all other respects. Cities will carry on with their assigned Production, and units don't disband or abandon the banished Wizard. However, keeping Fantastic Units and Enchantments around can become risky, as they put a further drain on the ever-decreasing Icon Mana.png Mana reserves. Aside from this though, the player's armies can still continue moving, conquering assets, and gathering resources.

Profile Traits Edit

Profile traits can be thought of as the defining characteristics of a Wizard. Most of these can be viewed through the mirror screen, available by clicking on the "Info" button on the top bar, or by pressing F9 directly from the main overland view. A similar display is available for inspecting rival Wizards from the magic screen, but only after having made contact with them or their forces.

Spellbooks Edit

Spellbooks denote the Wizards aptitude in their relevant Realms of magic, in addition to being the source of the spells that they can research. They are illustrated on the mirror screen by a shelf of books, the bindings of which are marked with the symbol of their corresponding color. Each Wizard can possess up to 13 Spellbooks in any given game, which also form the core of their Icon Power.png Power income. In addition to setting out the maximum Rarities of the spells that the Wizard can learn from each Realm, a high amount (8+) of books from a single color both enhances Spell Research, and reduces the Casting Costs of the associated spells. They also play a role in Diplomacy, as likeminded Wizards tend to get along better with each other. In fact, the Starting Relations between all of the Wizards are based entirely on the types and amounts of the Spellbooks that they begin the game with.
Apart from selecting them at the start of the game, Spellbooks may also be found in Treasure, albeit only in the toughest of Encounter Zones. Regardless of the method they are acquired though, they typically also contain new spells for the Wizard to research. Furthermore, Spellbooks picked up during character creation improve the Wizard's initial Spell Casting Skill, and each book above the first in a certain color allows the selection of a Common Spell, that the player will already know, and be able to cast, when the game begins. In fact, choosing to spend all 11 starting "picks" (see below) on Spellbooks of a single Realm lets a player start with two Uncommon Spells and a Rare one, in addition to all of the Common Spells of that Realm.

Retorts Edit

Retorts are special abilities possessed by certain Wizards, that can affect many aspects of the gameplay. There are a total of 18 different Retorts in Master of Magic. While most of them are magic-oriented, there are some that enhance economy (e.g. Famous), or military power (Warlord) instead. Each Wizard can have up to 6 Retorts in a single game. They may be chosen at the start of the game, or acquired during the campaign as Treasure from well-defended Encounter Zones. However, some Retorts are deemed more powerful than others, and require multiple "picks" (see below) to obtain at the beginning of the game. This also makes these Retorts much more rare in Treasure, as the encounter itself needs to be capable of rewarding multiple ones to be able to award them at all.

Fame Edit

Fame represents how well-known a Wizard is, an indicator of the overall success of their campaign. Icon Fame.png Fame is gained by vanquising large armies, Very Rare creatures, or rival Wizards; and by conquering Towns. It may also be lost in much the same ways, should the player find themselves on the receiving end of defeat. In addition, a static increase to this trait can be gained from the Famous Retort, and a transient boost may be acquired by hiring Ability Legendary Legendary Heroes, or maintaining a Icon Life.pngJust Cause spell. Icon Fame.png Fame decreases the total Icon Gold.png Gold Upkeep of the Wizard's mundane armies; increases their chance of being approached by wandering Merchants, and Mercenaries or Heroes for hire; and plays a part in the final Scoring. In addition, certain Heroes will only appear at the doorstep of particularly famous Wizards.

Capital Race Edit

This attribute is not visible in the mirror screen, but has important economical and strategic consequences nonetheless. Since it always matches the Race of the Town that the Wizard's Fortress is (or last was) located, it is possible to change during gameplay via the Icon Nature.pngMove Fortress spell or, under more dire circumstances, through a Icon Arcane.pngSpell of Return. Initially however, the capital Race is always the player's starting Race. It determines the base Unrest in every City controlled by the Wizard, which is a function of the racial relations between the capital Race, and the one populating the Town in question. In addition, as there is no guarantee that a Town of given Race will appear on the map at all, selecting it as a starting Race is the only way of ensuring that it will be available in the campaign.

Spell Casting Skill Edit

Another attribute that is not listed on the mirror screen, Spell Casting Skill denotes the Wizards aptitude at focusing magical energy without becoming exhausted. It determines how much Icon Mana.png Mana can be channeled into overland spells in a game turn, and how much Casting Cost worth of spells can be cast in a single battle. While these are theoretically the same, in the latter case, the actual Icon Mana.png Mana spent is influenced by the distance of the battlefield from the Wizard's capital, but this does not actually affect the amount of available Skill deducted for casting the spell. That is, in a battle that takes place far away from the Fortress, the cost of the spell, in Icon Mana.png Mana, may be up to 3 times as much as the amount of Skill it requires to cast.
For most Wizards, Spell Casting Skill can only be increased in one single way: by assigning Icon Power.png Power income to training it. This is a slow and arduous process, as it takes twice as much Icon Power.png Power as the Wizard's current Skill to improve it by a single point. This is why many Wizards direct the majority of their Icon Power.png Power into Skill training: both Icon Mana.png Mana and Icon Research.png Research Points can be acquired through other means. Players with access to Icon Death.pngDeath magic have a slight advantage here, as the Icon Death.pngLife Drain spell can also provide points towards Casting Skill improvement, equal to that of Icon Power.png 3 invested points per Icon Damage.png damage done. This is typically inefficient however, as the spell can only be cast in battle, has to be cast by the Wizards themselves (Heroes are instead healed by it), and will quickly require a disproportionate amount of Icon Mana.png Mana investment as the battlefield gets farther away from the capital.

Portrait Edit

While not a profile trait strictly speaking, it's worth noting that each Wizard's portrait in a game must be different. In practice, this means that no AI Wizard will be created with a portrait that is already in use, either by the human player, or a previously created computer Wizard. This can be exploited to avoid having to face a certain opponent, as choosing their portrait, even for a custom character, will preclude the computer players from selecting that Wizard. Naturally, the AI Wizards will also always be different from one another as a result.

AI Traits Edit

Computer-controlled Wizards also have two more profile traits that influence their behaviour. These are called "Personality" and "Objective", and are shown among their other traits, when right-clicking their profile gems on the Magic Screen (once contact has been made). These attributes affect mainly the computer's choices for Production, Spell Research, and diplomatic actions. However, as the game's AI is designed to be ultimately probabilistic, rather than deterministic, and because the impact of these traits can vary greatly within each area, their effect may or may not be actually felt in any given game.

Creating a Wizard Edit

When starting a new game, after choosing the world settings (Difficulty, Land Size, number of opponents, and magic strength), the player is prompted to choose or create their own Wizard. At the lowest Difficulty setting ("Intro" in the original game, "Easy" from the unofficial Insecticide patch onwards), the player must always select and play with one of the default Wizards. On all other difficulties though, they are allowed to fully customize the character.

Default Wizards Edit

The "default" Wizards in Master of Magic each represent a certain combination of magical Realms, as illustrated below:

Icon Life.pngLife Realm Icon Nature.pngNature Realm Icon Sorcery.pngSorcery Realm Icon Chaos.pngChaos Realm Icon Death.pngDeath Realm
Icon Life.pngLife Realm Ariel Merlin Horus Sss'ra N/A
Icon Nature.pngNature Realm Merlin Freya Raven Oberic Tlaloc
Icon Sorcery.pngSorcery Realm Horus Raven Jafar Lo Pan Kali
Icon Chaos.pngChaos Realm Sss'ra Oberic Lo Pan Tauron Sharee
Icon Death.pngDeath Realm N/A Tlaloc Kali Sharee Rjak

As seen from the table, the combination of Icon Life.pngLife and Icon Death.pngDeath is not available. This is because these Realms are mutually exclusive. No Wizard, whether created by the player or controlled by an AI, can ever become proficient in both at the same time. However, the Unofficial Patch 1.50 contains an optional feature file that enables this selection, although there are still no default profiles that possess it.

It should also be noted that all of the single-Realm characters start with at least one Retort. That is, there are no default Wizards with an 11-Book profile. In fact, the only premade character with an all-book profile is Raven - all others have exactly one Retort in addition to their Spellbook selection, which are as follows:

Default Wizard Profiles
Wizard Traits Wizard Traits
Wizard Merlin Merlin Sage Master - Icon Life.png5 - Icon Nature.png5 Wizard Sss'ra Sss'ra Myrran - Icon Life.png4 - Icon Chaos.png4
Wizard Raven Raven Icon Sorcery.png6 - Icon Nature.png5 Wizard Tauron Tauron Chaos Mastery - Icon Chaos.png10
Wizard Sharee Sharee Conjurer - Icon Death.png5 - Icon Chaos.png5 Wizard Freya Freya Nature Mastery - Icon Nature.png10
Wizard LoPan Lo Pan Channeler - Icon Sorcery.png51 - Icon Chaos.png5 Wizard Horus Horus Archmage - Icon Life.png5 - Icon Sorcery.png5
Wizard Jafar Jafar Alchemy - Icon Sorcery.png10 Wizard Ariel Ariel Charismatic - Icon Life.png10
Wizard Oberic Oberic Mana Focusing - Icon Nature.png5 - Icon Chaos.png5 Wizard Tlaloc Tlaloc Warlord - Icon Nature.png4 - Icon Death.png5
Wizard Rjak Rjak Infernal Power - Icon Death.png9 Wizard Kali Kali Artificer - Icon Sorcery.png5 - Icon Death.png5
1: due to a developer oversight, Lo Pan actually starts with more profile "picks" than the other Wizards. To correct this, starting with the Unofficial Patch 1.50, he only has Icon Sorcery.png4 Sorcery Spellbooks.

Starting Spells Edit

The starting spells of default and AI Wizards are pre-set, determined by the number of Spellbooks they own in the corresponding Realms. In the latest official patch, v1.31, these are:
Book Grey 1 Books Icon Nature.pngNature Icon Sorcery.pngSorcery Icon Chaos.pngChaos Icon Life.pngLife Icon Death.pngDeath
2+ War Bears Nagas Fire Bolt Heroism Life Drain
3+ Stone Skin Psionic Blast Fire Elemental Guardian Spirit Ghouls
4+ Sprites Phantom Warriors Eldritch Weapon Holy Armor Weakness
5+ Water Walking Floating Island Hell Hounds Just Cause Dark Rituals
6+ Giant Strength Confusion Corruption Healing Black Sleep
7+ Web Counter Magic Warp Creature Holy Weapon Darkness
8+ Earth to Mud Word of Recall Shatter Star Fires Terror
9+ Wall of Stone Dispel Magic True Wall of Fire Endurance Skeletons
10+ Resist Elements Resist Magic Disrupt True Light Mana Leak
11 Earth Lore
Change Terrain
Cockatrices
Gorgons
Guardian Wind
Flight
Phantom Beast
Storm Giant
Warp Wood
Lightning Bolt
Doom Bat
Efreet
Bless
Resurrection
Unicorns
Angel
Cloak of Fear
Black Prayer
Black Channels
Wraiths
The unofficial fan patch 1.40n, also known as Insecticide, makes many changes to the above table, resulting in the following instead:
Book Grey 1 Books Icon Nature.pngNature Icon Sorcery.pngSorcery Icon Chaos.pngChaos Icon Life.pngLife Icon Death.pngDeath
2+ Water Walking Dispel Magic True Fire Bolt Just Cause Life Drain
3+ Sprites Psionic Blast Eldritch Weapon Heroism Skeletons
4+ Giant Strength Phantom Warriors Hell Hounds Holy Weapon Black Sleep
5+ Resist Elements Confusion Warp Wood Healing Mana Leak
6+ Web Counter Magic Fire Elemental Holy Armor Ghouls
7+ War Bears Guardian Wind Corruption Star Fires Dark Rituals
8+ Stone Skin Word of Recall Shatter Guardian Spirit Cloak of Fear
9+ Wall of Stone Resist Magic Warp Creature Endurance Weakness
10+ Earth to Mud Floating Island Disrupt Bless Darkness
11 Earth Lore
Change Terrain
Cockatrices
Gorgons
Nagas
Disenchant True
Phantom Beast
Storm Giant
Wall of Fire
Lightning Bolt
Chimeras
Doom Bolt
True Light
Dispel Evil
Prayer
Incarnation
Terror
Black Prayer
Shadow Demons
Wrack
Additionally, AI Wizards (but not the human player) will always start with at least one common Summoning Spell. This spell is based on the primary magical Realm of the Wizard. This is the Realm that the Wizard has the most Spellbooks in, with precedence descending in the following order in case of a tie:
Icon Nature.pngNature   Icon Sorcery.pngSorcery   Icon Chaos.pngChaos   Icon Life.pngLife   Icon Death.pngDeath
On the "Hard" and "Impossible" Difficulty settings, AI Wizards will also always be able to research an Uncommon Summoning Spell in that primary Realm:
Icon Nature.pngNature Icon Sorcery.pngSorcery Icon Chaos.pngChaos Icon Life.pngLife Icon Death.pngDeath
known Sprites Nagas Hell Hounds Guardian Spirit Ghouls
 learnable  Basilisk Phantom Beast Chimeras Unicorns Shadow Demons

Custom Wizards Edit

On all but the lowest Difficulty setting, the player's Wizard can be fully customized. This process is started by clicking on the "Custom" button under the bottom of the second column of premade Wizards. The first step is choosing the portrait which, as mentioned above, will prevent any computer players from using the selected Wizard. After that, the character can be given a custom name, although this defaults to the original name that the selected portrait belongs to.

Picks Edit

Spell Picks Screen

The spell picks screen allows customization of the Wizard's traits. The abilities that are darkened out do not have their requirements met.

The next step of custom Wizard creation is to allocate a total of 11 "picks" into either Spellbooks from any of the non-Icon Arcane.pngArcane Realms, or into special abilities called Retorts. There are only two restrictions here. First, Icon Life.pngLife and Icon Death.pngDeath books may not both be selected: the player can only choose one or the other, if any. Second, over half of the Retorts are initially greyed out, and may not be picked. This is because these all have some sort of requirement, in terms of Spellbooks being necessary to select them. Clicking on any inactive ability displays a short message revealing these requirements. For example, Archmage and Mana Focusing both become available once the Wizard chooses at least 4 books in any single Realm, while Sage Master requires 1-1 books of two different colors.
In addition, some of the Retorts are considered more powerful than the rest, and cost two "picks". These are Warlord, Channeler, Divine Power, Infernal Power, and Famous. Furthermore, the Myrran Retort, which enables the player to start the game on the Myrror Plane, with a Myrran Race, even costs 3 "picks". It may be worth noting though, that despite them being more expensive in "picks", these Retorts still only count as single ones towards the Wizard's limit of 6 total per game.

Spells Edit

Unlike default Wizards, custom characters can choose the spells they start with. Within each Realm, every book after the first allows the selection of one Common Spell in that Realm. Should the player decide to allocate all 11 of their "picks" to Spellbooks of a single color, then they may also choose two Uncommon Spells and one Rare Spell, in addition to beginning the game knowing all Common ones. While this requires foregoing any Retort picks, there are a fair amount of Rare Spells that allow for very strong starting strategies, that can quickly overwhelm the computer opponents, even on the hardest Difficulty settings.