|As of Master of Magic v1.31, Cause Fear is known to be malfunctioning in at least one way. Please read the Known Bugs section below.|
- This article is about a unit ability and spell effect called Cause Fear. Fear Damage redirects here, as it is always delivered in one specific way and only by the Cause Fear effect.
Two Fantastic Creatures possess the Cause Fear ability by default. In addition, it is possible to add Cause Fear to a unit by casting the Cloak of Fear Unit Enchantment upon it. Furthermore, Heroes may be equipped with Magical Items imbued with a Cloak of Fear Item Power. The resulting effect of all three methods is exactly the same.
One of the best ways to defeat an enemy is to dissuade it from fighting at all. For example, by scaring it beyond its wits - freezing the enemy in place with a debilitating fear. There are creatures in the world of Master of Magic who are so terrifying to behold, that enemy combatants facing them must overcome their own natural urge to just flee in terror. The Death Realm in particular even possesses ways to make a creature seem as though it is much scarier than it really is. If the enemy freezes from fear, it cannot attack - thus providing indirect protection to the fear-inspiring creature.
Cause Fear refers simultaneously to a Unit Ability (confusingly called "Cause Fear Spell" in the game), and to its effect - making a single, unique kind of Special Attack which delivers Fear Damage. Both "Fear Attack" and "Fear Damage" are completely unique, resembling no other attack or damage type in the game - and both are used only by the Cause Fear effect.
Fear Attack Edit
Cause Fear is triggered whenever the unit is making a Melee Attack against an opponent, or is making a Counter Attack to an opponent. The exact timing for this is immediately before the opponent would deliver its Melee Damage (and any Touch Attacks associated with it).
At this point, Cause Fear executes a Fear Attack against that opponent, with the intent of preventing some or all of the target's figures from being able to act for the remainder of the melee combat sequence (the exchange of Melee Damage).
In other words, if the Fear Attack is successful, the target unit simply stops fighting for the rest of this combat round. On the other hand, by this stage, the enemy already had a chance to execute its Breath Attacks, Thrown Attacks, or Gaze Attacks - if it has any. The Fear Attack can only prevent the enemy from proceeding to deliver actual Melee Damage and any Touch Attacks it might have. Still, the resulting prevention of damage may still be significant - even though it is not as effective against, say, Fire-Breathing units.
Fear Damage Edit
The attack described above delivers only Fear Damage at the target, and is the only source of this damage type in the game. Fear Damage causes no actual harm to the target. Instead, it may cause some (or all) Figures in the enemy unit to immediately stop fighting - preventing them from delivering Melee Damage and Touch Attacks.
Fear Damage does this by forcing each individual figure within the target unit to make a Resistance check. Any figure that fails this check is struck with unspeakable terror. Until the end of the current combat process, the terrorized figure will deliver no more damage, nor make any attacks against the Fear-Causing unit.
- If the rolled number is higher than the Resistance score, the figure is struck by fear and becomes unable to attack. This prevents that figure from delivering any Melee Damage (and added Touch Attack if it has one) at the Fear-Causing unit.
- If the rolled number is equal to or lower than the unit's Resistance score, the specific figure that rolled this number is completely unaffected.
- Lets imagine a unit of Gnoll Spearmen going into Melee Combat against a Demon Lord; it doesn't matter which attacked the other, since the process is the same in both cases.
- The Gnoll Spearmen unit contains 8 figures, and has a Resistance score of 4. The Demon Lord possesses Cause Fear.
- Cause Fear will be triggered whenever the Demon Lord makes a Melee Attack against the Spearmen, and also whenever the Spearmen make a Melee Attack against the Demon Lord. Cause Fear behaves the same in each case.
- When it is time for both units to exchange Melee Damage and Touch Attacks, Cause Fear first forces each and every Spearman to make a Resistance roll: each Spearman rolls a random number between 1 and 10, and compares it to the unit's Resistance score of 4.
- Any Spearman who rolls 5 or higher is struck by Cause Fear, and cannot deliver any Melee Damage at the Demon Lord. If all 8 figures failed their rolls, the unit would deliver no Melee Damage at all! Meanwhile, the Demon Lord is free to deliver its own damage as normal.
Since Fear Damage has no Resistance penalty, units with a modified Resistance score of 10 or higher are also immune to its effect, since they cannot possibly fail their Resistance rolls. The conditional bonuses of Bless and Resist Magic both apply to Resistance checks against Cause Fear, regardless of its source.
Units with Default Cause Fear Edit
Two units in the game possess Cause Fear by default. They are both powerful Fantastic Units:
Acquiring Cause Fear Edit
The Cause Fear ability can be also added artificially to any unit via the Cloak of Fear effect, which is available both as a Unit Enchantment and Magical Item Power. Both of these yield an effect that is identical to the innate Cause Fear possessed by the above Fantastic Creatures.
Cloak of Fear Unit Enchantment Edit
Cloak of Fear is a Common Unit Enchantment. When cast on any unit, it will add the Cause Fear ability to that unit (although this is not displayed separately). The ability remains while the spell is in effect.
The spell has a basic Casting Cost of 60 when cast on the overland map. In this case it is a lingering effect, so the unit gets to keep its Cause Fear ability as long as the spell remains active. However, the caster must pay an Upkeep Cost of 1 per turn to keep the spell in play.
Alternatively, it is possible to cast Cloak of Fear during combat for a cost of only 12. This version of the spell will only last until the end of the battle, at which point it automatically dissipates. As such, tt has no additional Upkeep Costs.
Cloak of Fear Item Power Edit
A permanent version of Cloak of Fear can be imbued into any Shield, Chainmail, Platemail or Jewelry piece. While a Hero is wearing this item, he/she receives the Cause Fear ability (not displayed separately).
During Item Crafting, Cloak of Fear can only be selected by Wizards possessing at least 2 Death Spellbooks. Of course, it is always possible to find an item already enchanted with this Item Power as reward for defeating an Encounter.
The Cause Fear ability bestowed by any item is transient: it will disappear if the Hero ever removes or loses the enchanted item.
Known Bugs Edit
In version 1.31 of the game, there are two distinctive bugs with Cause Fear (regardless of its source), both of which are fixed in the unofficial patches:
- If the Cause Fear unit is defending against a Melee Attack, the ability has no effect at all.
- If the unit with the ability is the attacker, it is instead also affected by the ability, in a rather peculiar way. The defender rolls Resistance for each of its figures (a second time), and for each failed roll, one of the attacking figures also gets feared and deals no damage. This is in addition to the defender being subjected to Cause Fear, and the attacker's Resistance or immunities play absolutely no part. If there is a figure disparity between the units in favor of the attacker, this can still result in the ability being at least somewhat beneficial. However, that will never happen for the units with the innate or Magical Item versions of Cause Fear, as they are all single figures.