|Spell Type||Unit Curse|
|To Hit or Defense rolls involved).|
Black Sleep is a Common Unit Curse belonging to the Death Magic realm. For 15 it may be cast on an enemy unit during combat. The target gets to make a Resistance roll at a penalty of -2 to avert this curse. If it fails, it immediately falls asleep. Sleeping units may not move, nor may they make any attack or even Counter Attack - or use any Special Attacks they may possess. Whenever a sleeping unit comes under attack from any damage-dealing source, that source delivers its maximum potential damage on the sleeping unit. No To Hit or Defense rolls are made whatsoever.
Black Sleep will put an enemy unit into a deep slumber from which it cannot wake up. Sleeping units are completely neutralized, and may perform no action whatsoever, even if attacked. They will suffer the maximum amount of damage from any attack directed at them. Sleeping units lose flying capacity and can be attacked by anyone.
While a unit is under the effects of Black Sleep, it is completely neutralized. This unit may not move, may not make any Ranged Attack or Melee Attack and may not cast spells. It is effectively useless.
Unless Black Sleep can be removed from the unit somehow, its role in the battle is effectively over. It will only be released from this sleep if its army manages to win or withdraw successfully.
Maximum Damage Edit
Another way of putting this is to say that the attack requires no To Hit rolls to see how much damage it inflicts, and the sleeping unit may not make any Defense rolls to reduce any damage. Therefore, the attack's maximum potential is realized.
- A unit of Halfling Swordsmen makes a Melee Attack against a sleeping Basilisk. There are 8 Swordsmen in the unit, each with a Melee Attack strength of 2.
- Normally each Swordsman's attack would have to make To Hit rolls to see how much Damage it inflicts, and the Basilisk would be able to make 4 Defense Rolls against each attack to reduce incoming damage. As a result, the Swordsmen would be hard-pressed to cause any damage to the beast at all.
- However, because the Basilisk is asleep, the Swordsmen automatically succeed all their To Hit rolls, with each Swordsman inflicting exactly 2 (the maximum potential damage for a 2 attack). The Basilisk gets no chance to block any of these attacks.
- As a result, the Basilisk will suffer exactly 2 * 8 = 16 - equal to just over half of its Hit Points!
Usage EditBlack Sleep may only be cast during combat, for a Casting Cost of 15.
This curse must be targeted at an enemy unit. Note that units possessing Magic Immunity and/or Death Immunity are invalid as targets, and can never be affected by this spell. The game will not object to casting Black Sleep while no valid targets are around, but you may cancel the casting manually with no loss of Mana if you do not find any valid targets for it.
Once Black Sleep is successfully cast on a unit, it will immediately render the unit neutralized as explained above. The unit will continue to suffer from Black Sleep until the end of the battle, or until Black Sleep is dispelled - whichever comes first.
While the spell is in effect, the cursed unit's image turns grey, as seen in the image to the right.
As a Common Death spell, Black Sleep may become available to any Wizard who possesses at least one Death Spellbook. However, its availability during the game is not guaranteed unless the Wizard acquires at least 7 Spellbooks.
Customized Wizards possessing up to 10 Spellbooks at creation time may choose this spell as one of their default spells before starting the game, in which case the spell will already be researched and available for casting immediately on the first turn. Wizards with 11 Spellbooks are guaranteed to have this spell available for casting as soon as the game begins.
Wizards with 6 or fewer Spellbooks who have not chosen Black Sleep as a guaranteed spell have a random chance of being able to Research it. The chance for this spell to appear increases with the number of Death Spellbooks the Wizard possesses or obtains during gameplay. With 7-10 Spellbooks, the spell is guaranteed to appear for Research if it is not alraedy available for casting.
Black Sleep has a base Research Cost of 100.
With at least 1 Spellbook, the Black Sleep spell may be acquired as a reward for winning encounters in creature Lairs, Towers, et cetera, or when conquering the Fortress of a rival wizard who has already researched this spell.
If Black Sleep can get through an enemy unit's Resistance, it is effectively a death sentence for that unit. Unless Black Sleep can be removed quickly, the unit is susceptible to being killed by virtually anything that attacks it. For instance, even a sleeping Great Drake can be taken out by a bunch of low-level Spearmen within a couple of turns.
Therefore, the best application for Black Sleep would be to render the strongest enemy unit useless. However, because it needs to defeat the target's Resistance score, Black Sleep is often more effective when cast on lower-level units. You can always use Resistance-lowering effects, particularly Black Prayer, to reduce a unit's resistance to a sufficiently-low score.
Once an enemy unit is under the effect of this spell, make every effort to destroy it immediately (especially if it is a powerful unit). Ranged Attacks and direct-damage spells will do the trick nicely. The last thing you want is for your enemy to Dispel the curse before you can kill his unit.
If your own unit is struck by this spell, naturally you will want to dispel it as soon as possible. Otherwise, keep enemies away from the unit and try to win the battle as quickly as possible - or you will lose this unit for real!