|As of Master of Magic v1.31, Charm of Life is known to be malfunctioning in at least one way. Please read the Known Bugs section below.|
|Charm of Life|
|Spell Rarity||Very Rare|
|Spell Type||Global Enchantment|
|Multi-Figure units, this bonus applies to each individual figure.|
Charm of Life is a Very Rare Global Enchantment belonging to the Life Magic realm. For 1,250 it may be cast on the overland map to grant a bonus of either +25% Hit Points or +1 Hit Points (whichever is greater) to each and every friendly unit on the map. This includes existing units as well as units created while the spell is in effect.
Charm of Life requires an Upkeep Cost of 10 per turn to maintain.
Charm of Life makes all friendly units healthier. This enables them to take more damage (and sometimes much more damage) during combat, increasing their chances of survival.
Health Bonus Edit
For units with 7 or fewer (per figure), the Hit Points of each figure is increased by exactly +1. Units with 8 or higher (per figure) receive a bonus equal to +25% based on the unit's original number of Hit Points.
Multi-Figure Unit Health Bonus Edit
With Multi-Figure units, the unit's Hit Points score reflects the number of hit points possessed by each individual figure. Therefore, the effects of Charm of Life apply to each individual figure, rather than to the unit as a whole.
For example, a unit comprised of 2 Doom Drakes has a total of 20, equally divided between the two individual drakes - so each drake has 10. When Charm of Life is in effect, each drake's Hit Points are increased by +25%, resulting in each drake having 12.
This is even more clearly seen in lower-tier Normal Units, where this effect can end up increasing the unit's total Hit Points by quite a large amount. For example, a unit of 8 Slingers has a total of 8, meaning 1 per figure. When Charm of Life is in effect, each Slinger gets a +1 bonus, for a total of 2 per Slinger. This is an overall increase of 8 for the whole unit - effectively doubling its survivability!
As a result, each figure can take more Damage before it is killed. Not only does this delay the unit's death, but it also slows down the rate at which this unit weakens; it loses figures more slowly, and thus can maintain full or at least high overall strength for a longer time, during combat.
For example, with the Slingers in the example above, lets assume that 2 of the slingers are dead, leaving the unit with 6 live Slingers. Charm of Life is then cast, increasing each living slinger's health to 2, but it does not bring back the lost Slingers. Only healing, whether naturally or via a spell, will restore the dead figures to life - at which point they'll have 2 like the others.
Note that natural healing (occurring at the start of each overland turn) is not made more effective by Charm of Life, so units will still heal at the normal rate and thus take more time to regain 100% health from poor condition. Of course, the whole point is that units take more Damage to reach poor condition than they used to.
Charm of Life may be cast only on the overland map, for the very high Casting Cost of 1,250. It is the most expensive spell in the Life Realm.
As long as the spell remains in effect, each and every friendly unit will feel its benefits, including units created before or after the spell was cast.
To keep Charm of Life in effect, the casting wizard must pay an Upkeep Cost of exactly 10 per turn - regardless of how many units it is affecting. Failure to pay this cost due to lack of Mana will cause the spell to dissipate, reducing all units' health scores back to their normal values. This can have a very negative side-effect (read more on this below).
After casting the spell, its name will appear on the "Overland Enchantments" list in the Magic menu. The color in which the name is printed indicates which wizard controls the spell. If the player controls the spell, he or she may cancel it manually by clicking the name of the spell. The primary reason to do this would be in order to remove the spell's Upkeep Cost, thus conserving Mana for other spells.
As a Very Rare Life spell, Charm of Life may become available to any Wizard who possesses at least 3 Spellbooks. However, its availability during the game is not guaranteed unless the Wizard acquires at least 10 Spellbooks.
Charm of Life may not be acquired at the start of the campaign regardless of how many Spellbooks the wizard possesses. It must either be Researched during the game, or acquired through other means.
Wizards with 3 to 9 Spellbooks have a random chance of being able to Research Charm of Life during the game. The chance for this spell to appear for research increases with the number of Life Spellbooks the Wizard possesses or obtains during gameplay. With 10 or 11 Spellbooks, the spell is guaranteed to appear for Research at some point, if it is not already available for casting.
Charm of Life has a base Research Cost of 6,000. It is the most expensive Life spell in terms of research.
With at least 3 Spellbooks, the Charm of Life 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.
Charm of Life is another Life spell that greatly benefits wizards relying on Normal Units, though it can also have a very good effect on any kind of unit.
The increased survivability resulting from Charm of Life means that units are more likely to win battles or at least get out of them alive. This can lend a hand to training up Normal Units and Heroes, who are otherwise extremely fragile when first recruited.
The Charm of Life spell works excellently with several other spells in the Life repertoire, including Heroism, Crusade, and Lionheart. Use these in conjunction to acquire powerful units and armies that are very hard to destroy.
Charm of Life can easily double the effectiveness of your entire army, so try to cast it as soon as you can and keep it in place. More specifically, casting Charm of Life just before launching an offensive against a rival empire can turn the tide of an entire war within a few turns.
Known Bugs Edit
This results in "phantom" units. Such units are still visible on the overland map, and can even be commanded during combat despite being completely invisible (there are no figures in the unit, so nothing is drawn on-screen). If such a unit ever receives any damage, it will be destroyed immediately. Phantom units do not heal naturally.
This happens because of a fairly obvious bug in the way the game recalculates a unit's health when Charm of Life is removed. This is the algorithm the program uses:
- Reduce the unit's total Hit Points by the same amount that it gained from Charm of Life.
- Recalculate the number of figures the unit has left, given how many Hit Points it has left, and given the original maximum Hit Points of each figure.
This is a very messy way of doing things. The examples below illustrate why.
Example #1 Edit
- Lets take a unit of Slingers again. This unit has 8 figures, with each Slinger having 1, for a total of 8.
- Under the effect of Charm of Life, each Slinger has 2 Hit Points - double the amount they originally had. The unit's total number of hit points is 16, so we can say that Charm of Life increased the unit's hit points by 8 - this will be important later.
- Now lets assume this unit is damaged: 3 figures are lost. The unit has 5 figures remaining, each with 2.
- The unit survives the battle, but after it's done we remove Charm of Life. Here's what happens:
- The unit's total Hit Points count is 2 * 5 = 10.
- We reduce this by the same amount that the unit received from Charm of Life, which was 8. Therefore, the unit now has a total of 10 - 8 = 2 Hit Points.
- Finally, we recalculate how many figures the unit would now have, given that it only has a total of 2 left: Without Charm of Life, each slinger has only 1, so the unit now has 2 figures with 1 each.
- Due to this recalculation, we started with a 5-figure unit with 2 each, but have ended up with a 2-figure unit having 1 each.
Example #2 Edit
- Now lets assume that the same unit suffered 4 casualties during combat while Charm of Life was still in effect. So, the unit has 4 figures left, with 2 each, for a total of 8 in the entire unit.
- Now lets figure out what happens when Charm of Life is removed:
- The unit's total Hit Points count is 2 * 4 = 8.
- We reduce this by the same amount that the unit received from Charm of Life, which was 8. Therefore, the unit now has a total of 8 - 8 = 0 Hit Points! You can already see the problem right there.
- Finally we recalculate how many figures the unit would now have. Obviously, with 0 Hit Points, the unit has 0 figures left.
- This confuses the heck out of the game, because as far as it concerns the unit should still be alive. Logically it should be - it had 4 living figures just a second ago. The game simply doesn't bother to check whether the unit should still be allowed to exist.
- This results in a phantom unit, which, as explained above, continues to exist until anything so much as sneezes at it - at which point it'll be destroyed.
So what does this mean? Edit
A phantom unit is inherently unstable; the game was not designed to handle the existence of units with 0 figures, and may end up crashing for all sorts of subsidiary reasons (especially divide by 0). This is more likely to happen if the unit goes into combat and ends up being targeted by enemy spells.
Since the unit does not get natural healing, it will likely be stuck in this condition permanently - or until destroyed. Unfortunately, it also continues to require an Upkeep Cost - possibly in Mana or Gold - despite not being able to contribute anything to your efforts. Therefore, if you do not possess a way of healing the unit in an artificial manner, it may be better to disband it immediately - especially if the unit would be easy to replace.
Fortunately, Life-wielding wizards powerful enough to cast Charm of Life will usually have one or more types of healing spells. These can be used to restore the unit's dead figures to life, at which point the unit returns to normal. Healing and Mass Healing can do this during combat (though targeting a phantom unit can be a little tricky, since it's invisible). Stream of Life is a great way to restore many such units to normal, as it will fully heal even a phantom unit to maximum Health and figures.
Of course, the best way to handle this is to never cancel Charm of Life while you have valuable units who are injured, but sometimes this is not in your hands. If at all possible, try to recast Charm of Life as soon as you can, as it will immediately fix any of the problems caused by its previous removal. In any case, try to keep your phantom units as far away from combat as possible.