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RELOAD-014-LAIR

TerrainSpecial Ruins A Dungeon is a type of Encounter zone.

Dungeons are among the easier Encounters (relatively speaking). They are guarded by Icon Nature.pngNature Fantastic Creatures. Depending on the location of a Dungeon (i.e. on Arcanus or Myrror), it may contain anything up to and including Great Wyrms. Some Dungeons are empty (containing no monsters).

The rewards for defeating a Dungeon's garrison are random, and vary based on the strength of the creatures found within. They range from nothing all the way up to new Spellbooks and Retorts. If the randomly-selected treasure is one or more Spellbooks, the book will be a book of Icon Death.pngDeath (cannot get if you already have Icon Life.pngLife).

Unconquered Dungeons may occasionally spawn new Rampaging Monster groups, consisting of Icon Nature.pngNature Fantastic Creatures, whose strength increases as the game matures. These will head straight for any nearby town controlled by one of the Wizards. On higher difficulty levels, they will head straight for the human player's towns.

Description Edit

A Dungeon is the domicile of a Icon Nature.pngNature Fantastic Creature and possibly additional creatures allied with it. These creatures defend their homes ferociously. Dungeons appear on the map as a pile of rubble vaguely resembling the hollow remains of a grey tower. Dungeons are visually identical to Ruins, but contain a completely different variety of defenders. If you wish to know whether a rubble pile represents Ruins or a Dungeon, use the surveyor tool. As with other basic Encounter zones, the Dungeon can appear on almost any type of land terrain (excluding Rivers, River Mouths, Tundras and Volcanoes).

The Encounter Zone Edit

Encounter Dungeon Dialog

As long as a Dungeon appears on the map, it designates an Encounter zone. It may contain up to 9 different Fantastic Units of the Icon Nature.pngNature realm, chosen semi-randomly from all possible Icon Nature.pngNature creatures.

Normal/Weak Dungeons Edit

Each Dungeon is discreetly assigned a relative toughness out of two choices: it is either "Weak" or "Normal". Weak Dungeons are more common (on either Plane).

This choice is made randomly at the start of the game, and will determine the relative strength of the Dungeon's defenders, as well as the value of the reward for defeating these defenders.

The DefendersEdit

When initially created on the map, a Dungeon will contain Fantastic Creatures that defend the Dungeon. To determine exactly what creatures the Dungeon contains, the game goes through the following procedure:

Determine Realm and Possible DefendersEdit

First, the game needs to determine the magical Realm from which defenders will come. This will determine what monsters are available to fill the encounter. For a Dungeon, the possibilities are as follows:

Realm Possible Defenders
Icon Chaos.png% Unit Unit Icon HellHounds Transparent Unit Icon FireElemental Transparent Unit Icon FireGiant Transparent Unit Icon Gargoyles Transparent Unit Icon DoomBat Transparent Unit Icon Chimeras Transparent Unit Icon ChaosSpawn Transparent Unit Icon Efreet Transparent Unit Icon Hydra Transparent Unit Icon GreatDrake Transparent
Cost 40 100 150 200 300 350 400 550 650 900
Icon Death.png% Unit Unit Icon Skeletons Transparent Unit Icon Zombies Transparent Unit Icon Ghouls Transparent Unit Icon Demon Transparent Unit Icon NightStalker Transparent Unit Icon Werewolves Transparent Unit Icon ShadowDemons Transparent Unit Icon Wraiths Transparent Unit Icon DeathKnights Transparent Unit Icon DemonLord Transparent
Cost 25 30 80 80 250 250 325 500 600 900
Icon Life.png% Unit Unit Icon GuardianSpirit Transparent Unit Icon Unicorns Transparent Unit Icon Angel Transparent Unit Icon Archangel Transparent
Cost 50 250 550 950
Icon Nature.png100% Unit Unit Icon WarBears Transparent Unit Icon Sprites Transparent Unit Icon EarthElemental Transparent Unit Icon GiantSpiders Transparent Unit Icon Cockatrices Transparent Unit Icon Basilisk Transparent Unit Icon StoneGiant Transparent Unit Icon Gorgons Transparent Unit Icon Behemoth Transparent Unit Icon Colossus Transparent Unit Icon GreatWyrm Transparent
Cost 70 100 160 200 275 325 450 599 700 800 1000
Icon Sorcery.png% Unit Unit Icon PhantomWarriors Transparent Unit Icon Nagas Transparent Unit Icon AirElemental Transparent Unit Icon PhantomBeast Transparent Unit Icon StormGiant Transparent Unit Icon Djinn Transparent Unit Icon SkyDrake Transparent
Cost 20 120 170 225 500 650 1000

Determine Mana BudgetEdit

Next, the game determines the basic mana budget; for a Dungeon this is: Arcanus: 10-100 if Weak, 100-1,500 if Normal, Myrror: 10-200 if Weak, 200-2,500 if Normal. Note that this basic value is what is used for rewards. Then, the game adjusts for difficulty; this is the value used to generate monsters.

Intro Easy Average Hard Impossible
-75% -50% -25% +0% +25%

Determine the First Monster TypeEdit

If the mana budget is insufficient for any creature in the chosen Realm, the Dungeon has no defenders and is defeated the first time any unit attempts to enter its square. Otherwise, the game divides the base budget by an integer in the range of 1-4, and selects the most expensive monster which costs no more than this value, or the first monster if no monsters qualify. This will be the monster your scouts will see when you visit but do not enter a Dungeon.

Next, the game divides the budget by the cost of the chosen creature, rounding down, to determine how many of those creatures will actually be in the Dungeon; this will never be more than 8. If this is more than 1, there is a 50% chance that it will be reduced by 1.

Determine the Second Monster TypeEdit

Subtract (number of first monster) * (cost of first monster) from the budget to determine the remaining budget. If this is insufficient for any creature in the chosen Realm other than the first monster, there is no second monster. Otherwise, the game divides the remaining budget by a random integer in the range 1 to (10 - number of first monster) and selects the most expensive monster, other than the first monster, which costs no more than this value. The number of the second monster will be equal to (remaining budget) / (monster cost), with a maximum of 9 - (number of first monster).

Multiple BattlesEdit

In the wake of a battle, the original units defending the node are never replenished. If, during an assault on a Dungeon, the invading army manages to kill a defending unit but then loses the battle or retreats, that unit will not be restored unless it has the Regeneration ability. This means that it is possible to "whittle down" the node's defenders with several subsequent battles, rather than trying to kill all of them at the same time.

Note several caveats to this:

  • All of the defenders who were not completely destroyed are fully healed at the end of the battle, and will have all Icon Figure.png figures restored to life appropriately. Thus, it is not possible to kill one unit by injuring it repeatedly in each battle - you must completely kill a unit in order to ensure that it does not reappear in the next battle.
  • Fleeing is often disastrous. Units fleeing a battle are 50% likely to be slain, regardless of their speed and defenses. At the Normal difficulty setting and above, fleeing Heroes also have a 25% chance of being slain. Only go in for partial engagements if you can wait out 50 turns, magically recall your forces, or afford to lose the fleeing units.
  • Killing the defenders in piece-meal fashion is likely to generate less Icon Fame.png Fame for the Wizard, and certain to generate less Icon Experience.png Experience for Normal Units and Heroes present in the battle(s), when the invasion finally succeeds and all defenders are subdued. Experience and fame are not awarded after retreats or defeats. Only the enemies present in the final engagement will contribute to these rewards. The fewer battles it takes to clear a Dungeon , the better.

Nevertheless, any strong Dungeon whose defenses can be whittled-down perhaps should be whittled-down. In particular, Icon Fame.png Fame is only granted by Very Rare creatures or defeating 4+ defenders, so a Dungeon defended by a mix of Common, Uncommon, and Rare creatures can be whittled down to 4 Common creatures with little penalty.

Treasure Edit

Main article: Treasure

The rewards for taking a Dungeon rise proportionally; the stronger the creatures guarding it, the better the treasure; supreme rewards such as new Spellbooks or Retorts are only found behind the strongest defenders.

Treasure Types Distribution Qualify Spend Max
Magical Item 5 in 15 300 400-3000 3
Spell (Roll 1d4) 3 in 15 1
* Common Spell (25%) 50 50
* Uncommon Spell (25%) 200 200
* Rare Spell (25%) 450 450
* Very Rare Spell (25%) 800 800
10 - 200 Icon Gold.png Gold Pieces 2 in 15 50 200
10 - 200 Icon Mana.png Mana Crystals 2 in 15 50 200
Special 2 in 15 1000 3000 2
Prisoner 1 in 15 400 1000 1

When the game begins, the program assigns each Dungeon a treasure budget of either 50-125% (Arcanus) or 75-175% (Myrror) of the base budget (before adjustment for difficulty) used to generate monsters; this is increased by 25% if playing at Impossible, and has a minimum of 50. It then rolls imaginary 15-sided dice to select the basic types of loot found in the Dungeon's hoard (see chart). If the remaining treasure budget is less than Qualify or the maximum number of that treasure has already been created, it rerolls; otherwise, it subtracts the cost of the treasure from the budget and rolls again. If a Special is generated, all other rewards are discarded and the process ends. The program only determines particulars about the treasure when a Wizard successfully conquers the Dungeon. If you reload the session and fight the Encounter repeatedly, you will obtain the same basic types of loot every time, but the exact spells, items, and specials will vary.

General Notes Edit

The weakest Dungeons might only be able to afford a small pile of Icon Gold.png Gold or Icon Mana.png Mana Crystals. Due to the probability distribution, Dungeons whose budget endowments allow a Magical Item or Spell are more likely to contain these instead. Multiple Magical Items and multiple piles of Icon Gold.png Gold and Icon Mana.png Mana Crystals can appear in some hoards. Only one Spell may appear at a time, but the 1d4 rolls from multiple Spell results are added together to determine Rarity (maximum 4).

The quality of a Magical Item reward is supposed to scale with remaining treasure points, but in version 1.31, the program only manages to constrain the item's quality in the case of a "Failed Special". Typically, then, the wizard only needs the Spellbook ranks that an item demands, for it to be eligible to (randomly) appear in a Dungeon. Full lists of pre-fab items and their arbitrary rank requirements can be found here in the article on treasure.

A Prisoner, a most uncommon find, might be held at a Dungeon. This individual will be one of the 25 non-champion Heroes in the game, drawn at random from those who are not already in your service or defeated. These captive V.I.P.s will offer to join you at no charge out of gratitude for being rescued. Beware: if your army stack is 9 units deep, or you control 6 heroes, "Absolutely Nothing" will appear in the Prisoner's place.

Specials Edit

When a special is generated, there is a 74% chance that it is a Spellbook, 26% chance that it is a Retort. If the remaining treasure budget was 2,000 or higher two specials will be generated, otherwise only 1. Retorts that cost 2 picks can only appear at a site with 2 specials and cost both specials; Myrran cannot appear, all other prerequisites are ignored. Spellbooks for a Dungeon will be Icon Death.pngDeath (cannot get if you already have Icon Life.pngLife).

A Wizard cannot possess more than 13 Spellbooks and 6 Retorts; if this occurs, the reward is instead a Magical Item with a maximum value of 1,200.

Rampaging MonstersEdit

Main article: Rampaging Monster

Any Dungeon that has not yet been cleared of defenders is a possible source for Rampaging Monsters.

Difficulty Budget Frequency
Intro Turn x 0.4 1/50 turns
Easy Turn x 0.4-0.8 1/33 turns
Average Turn x 0.4-1.2 1/25 turns
Hard Turn x 0.4-1.6 1/20 turns
Impossible Turn x 0.4-2.0 1/17 turns

Starting at turn 50, and again every frequency turns, Rampaging Monsters are generated from a random still-populated nonIcon Life.pnglife Encounter; the procedure is similar to defenders, but Realm will always match the source, and budget is determined by the turn number and difficulty. The budget is halved if Rampaging Monsters are generated on the same continent as any wizard's Fortress.

Defeating a Dungeon Edit

When a Dungeon has been defeated, it is removed from the map.

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