The Fortress is the seat of a Wizard's power, and houses the wizard himself. If the town containing a Wizard's Fortress is successfully captured or destroyed by an enemy force, the Fortress is destroyed and the wizard is either Banished or permanently defeated!
The Fortress itself produces a number of Power points equal to the number of Spellbooks in the possession of its owner.
During combat, the cost to cast any spell is determined by the distance of the battlefield from the Fortress - with greater distance translating into higher costs for all combat spells.
There are only two methods to move the Fortress from one town to another. One is to use the Move Fortress spell from the Nature realm. The other occurs after a wizard is Banished and successfully casts the Spell of Return, in which case he/she will be able to choose a new location for the Fortress as appropriate. If neither option is available, a wizard's Fortress will remain where it was originally placed: in the starting town of that wizard's empire.
The Fortress is a wizard's home, the focal point of his power, and his imperial throne room, all rolled into one imposing structure. A wizard will not leave his fortress - he (or she) is bound to it, almost a mutual dependence.
The Fortress itself is a sort of tower built out of a magical greyish-blue stone that is not found anywhere else in nature. It is shaped as a sort of trapezoid, with sloping front and back walls but sheer side walls. At the top of the structure is a large balcony, surrounded by battlements, which allows the wizard to step outside to survey his empire and to cast spells both near and far.
At the center of this balcony is a small chamber with a pointed roof, containing the wizard's study. This is where a wizard will perform his most powerful spells and research new ones. It is also the most secured room in the Fortress, protected by various magical barriers. A wizard will retreat here if the Fortress comes under attack, to make his last stand.
As a Town Building Edit
As mentioned earlier, the Fortress is in fact a unique type of Town Building. Unlike other buildings however, it cannot be constructed in any town by the same means that normally construct other buildings (i.e. through application of a town's Production or Gold). In fact, only one Fortress may exist in each empire at any given time.
The Fortress does appear in a town's panoramic view window like other buildings do. It can be seen very clearly, which also allows other wizards to determine an empire's capital simply by examining its towns.
Furthermore, the Fortress is one of only two Town Buildings that appear on the battlefield when a town is under siege. The other building that does this is the City Walls. The Fortress on the battlefield has no special properties (other than the fact that no unit may move into the tile it occupies).
The Fortress may not be sold off like other buildings, and cannot be destroyed by any sort of magical or natural calamity. The only way to destroy a fortress is to successfully invade the town containing it.
Power Bonus Edit
The Fortress continuously produces an amount of Power equal to the total number of Spellbooks possessed by its owner. For example, if a wizard possesses 3 and 5 Spellbooks, his Fortress will produce exactly 8. On top of this, if the Fortress is located inside a town on the plane of Myrror, it produces an additional +5.
This is added together with any Power produced from town populations, certain Town Buildings and any controlled Nodes, to give the wizard's total Power score. This Power can be invested into generation of Mana for spellcasting, into Research of new spells, into increasing the wizard's Spell Casting Skill, or any combination of these.
If additional Spellbooks are acquired (a rare but possible occurrence), the Fortress's power output will grow accordingly. Each new Spellbook acquired increases the Fortress's power output by exactly +1.
Banishment and Defeat Edit
Victory and defeat in a game of Master of Magic revolves primarily around the Fortress - or rather the Fortresses belonging to the various wizards. A wizard cannot maintain his physical presence in the worlds of Arcanus and Myrror without his Fortress.
As a result, in order to defeat a wizard, it is necessary to destroy his or her Fortress. This is done by locating the town that contains said Fortress, attacking this town, and winning the battle. When this happens, the Fortress is destroyed.
The results of this action depend on several factors. If the wizard's empire has additional towns, and the wizard has some Mana left in his/her Mana Pool, he/she is simply Banished, and may begin casting the Spell of Return - which essentially builds a new Fortress in one of these other towns.
The Banished wizard may not cast any other spells until the Spell of Return is completed, nor can he draw a power base. Buildings cease to contribute Power and Research points, and Nodes cease to function as well, although they remain under his control. The wizard has three options for generating the mana needed for the Spell of Return: Alchemy, smashing Items on the anvil, and finding mana crystals in loot.
If the Fortress town was the last remaining town in the wizard's empire, or the wizard was at zero Mana after the battle, he or she is entirely defeated. This wizard is out of the game and will never return. If the Wizard is an AI Wizard with less than 40 casting skill, then he is also defeated instead of being banished.
Therefore, protecting the Fortress town is of utmost importance to any wizard. It must not be allowed to fall into enemy hands. Even a random Rampaging Monster or pack of Raiders can end up banishing or defeating a wizard if he did not protect his Fortress well enough! As a result, the Fortress town is often the most heavily-defended town in any empire.
Spellcasting Range Edit
The position of the Fortress town on the overland map has an important effect that can influence much of the empire's strategy. It determines the Casting Cost of all spells cast during combat. This is done through a factor known as the Spellcasting Range.
When a battle involving a wizard's army is initiated, the game measures the distance between the Fortress's current location and the location of the battlefield. This distance is then translated into a multiplying factor - the Spellcasting Range - which is used for determining the cost of casting any combat spell.
The following is a breakdown of distance and respective Spellcasting Range as computed by the game.
|At the Fortress town||x0.5|
|1-5 tiles away||x1.0|
|6-10 tiles away||x1.5|
|11-15 tiles away||x2.0|
|16-20 tiles away||x2.5|
|21+ tiles away||x3.0|
| Fortress and battlefield|
are on different planes
The computed multiplier is applied to the Casting Cost of any spell cast during the battle. In other words, a spell that has a base combat casting cost of 10, cast in a battlefield 20 tiles from the Fortress, will drain 25 instead ( 10 x 2.5 = 25). The same spell cast during a siege of the Fortress town itself would cost only 5. The same spell cast in a battlefield on the opposite plane to where the Fortress town is will cost 30.
Note that Spell Casting Skill consumption is not altered by this factor. A spell with a base casting cost of 10 will drain 10 Spell Skill points regardless of how far away the battle is.
Finally, note that Channeler wizards completely disregard this gameplay mechanic. They will always cast spells at x1.0 cost regardless of the location of the battle - except when fighting at their own Fortress in which case the Spellcasting Range factor is x0.5.
Strategic Implications Edit
The Spellcasting Range mechanic is very important to an empire's overall strategy. It means that the more an empire expands, the more Mana is necessary in order to fight along the borders. This also means that the further away an enemy empire is located, the harder it is to fight that empire.
As a result, large quantities of Mana must be built up prior to starting a war with any distant enemy, and it must be conserved as much as possible so that enough Mana remains for combat spellcasting during the war. This requires great efficiency, and may give an added incentive to create powerful armies to take on such enemies, rather than relying on powerful spells to help win the day.
Note again that invasions of the opposite Plane (i.e. the plane the Fortresss is not in) carries the same problems. If your Fortress is located in Arcanus, any battle in the plane of Myrror has a Spellcasting Range multiplier of x3.0 - just like battles on the far side of Arcanus would have.
For those wizards who can move their Fortress (see below), it may be extremely useful to relocate it closer to any area where constant warfare is taking place.
Fortress Town and Imperial Unrest Edit
The town containing the Fortress has an important effect on all other towns in the same empire (including itself) - depending entirely on which Race populates this Fortress town and the other towns.
Relations between the various races is sometimes strained and uncomfortable. When an empire includes towns belonging to two or more races, race-relations can become an important factor in the efficiency of the entire empire. No race likes to be conquered or ordered around by another race, and especially if the dominating race is their mortal enemy.
For example, if the Fortress town belongs to the Klackon race, Unrest in each town in the same empire that is not populated by Klackons will increase by exactly 20% - i.e. turning 20% of the town's citizens into unproductive Rebels who only drain your resources. This is because every race hates the Klackons equally (relations are -20% between the Klackons and all other races), and no one seem to like being part of an empire that is controlled by these insectoids. On the other hand, while the Fortress is in a Klackon town, all Klackon towns in the empire receive an Unrest reduction of 20% - meaning they will have 20% fewer Rebels per citizen than normal (allowing for a higher Tax Rate without negative repercussions).
The Klackons are only the simplest example of this. Race relations are much more complex, with some races reacting more strongly to specific other races. For example, High Elves do not mind being part of an empire run by Halflings (i.e. they get +0% Unrest), but will vehemently oppose being part of an empire run by Dark Elves (+40% Unrest).
Note that relations are completely symmetrical. In the example above, High Elves will resent living under occupation by Dark Elves, but the same is true in reverse: a Dark Elf town in an empire run by High Elves will receive the same +40% Unrest penalty.
The chart below illustrates the various race relations, as of patch 1.2 to 1.31. The numbers indicate the change in a town's Unrest as a percentage of the town's total population. For example, a value of "+10%" means that 10% of a town's citizens will turn into Rebels - on top of whatever unrest is caused by the current Tax Rate.
Note: This table is taken directly from the patch 1.2 change-log, which contains several proven errors. A few have been fixed in the table above, but further research is required to make sure that all values are correct!
Moving the Fortress Edit
A wizard may only possess one Fortress at any given time. As explained above, the location of the Fortress affects both the Casting Cost of combat spells based on their distance from the Fortress, and the Unrest levels throughout your empire.
For most wizards, these are just the simple facts and cannot be changed. The town where the Fortress was placed at the start of the game (i.e. the wizard's "starting town") will continue to contain the Fortress for the remainder of the game. However, there are two ways in which a Fortress's location can change. One is voluntary; the other not so much.
Move Fortress Spell Edit
When the spell is cast and properly targeted at a friendly town, the casting wizard's Fortress will immediately move to the targeted town.
Both of the effects that depend on the Fortress's location, as explained in previous sections of this article, will automatically be adjusted in response.
By moving the Fortress to a town closer to a war zone, the wizard may now cast combat spells much more cheaply during battles taking place in this area. Thus, wizards possessing the Move Fortress spell may be inclined to move their Fortress close to the border whenever starting a new war, or when expecting a powerful invasion.
Move Fortress can also allow you to manage Unrest levels, by moving the capital town to a town whose population belongs to a race that doesn't bother the other races so much. For instance, if your current capital belongs to the Dwarves, and you've recently conquered several Troll towns, it may be prudent to move the Fortress to one of the Troll towns. This will result in more unrest in the Dwarf town(s), but reduces unrest in the Troll towns. The racial variety in your empire should be studied carefully before attempting this - though it can always be undone by casting the Move Fortress spell again if necessary (costly, though...).
Finally, the Move Fortress spell is extremely important for keeping enemies from Banishing or defeating you. If an enemy force is closing in on your Fortress town, it may be a good idea to move the Fortress elsewhere to avoid a premature end to your campaign!
Note: If the Summoning Circle is in the same town as your Fortress, Move Fortress will move the circle together with the Fortress to its new location. Keep this in mind, and cast the Summoning Circle Spell if you need to undo this.
Spell of Return Edit
This is often an extremely important choice, especially if you do not possess the Move Fortress spell. You've been given an opportunity to relocate your Fortress, so make good use of it. Take racial relations and distance to other empires into consideration. You may even want to put your new Fortress on another Plane, if you have towns there and the situation encourages it. Remember that a Myrran fortress draws a bonus of +5.
Most importantly, try to place your Fortress somewhere where the empire that destroyed the original one cannot reach it so easily! Learn from your defeat!
Also, note that if your empire has managed to re-capture your original Fortress town while you were stuck in limbo, you may place the Fortress in its original position just as in any other town. This is assuming you have a good reason to put it there again.
Heroes, Mercenaries and Items Edit
The location of the Fortress has another important significance, related to Mercenaries and Heroes. It is essentially the gathering-place of such units, and has several implications as explained below.
Recruiting Heroes and Mercenaries Edit
When a Hero or a unit of Mercenaries comes seeking employment in your army, they will come directly to your Fortress town. If these units are hired, they will appear in this town (or, if the town's garrison is full, next to the town).
Spellcasting Heroes Edit
When a Hero who has the Caster skill is located in the same town as your Fortress, your Spell Casting Skill is increased by 50% of that Hero's current Caster skill (rounded down). For example, a Hero with Caster 40 that is in your Fortress town increases your Spell Casting Skill by 20 points.
In the "Magic" overview screen, this bonus is displayed in the Casting Skill read-out. The first number is the actual casting skill of your wizard, including any bonuses from Heroes as described above. The second number (in parentheses) is the wizard's own Casting Skill without the bonuses.
The Fortress Vault Edit
Magical Items that are bought from Item Merchants or constructed via the Enchant Item or Create Artifact spells are automatically placed in a special vault within the wizard's Fortress. From there they can be distributed to your Heroes as necessary.
If a Hero is presently in the Fortress town, you may move items to that Hero's inventory freely. However, to get an item to a Hero who is anywhere else - even in the next tile - a teleportation cost of exactly 20 must be paid (distance is irrelevant). This must be paid for any item that is moved from the vault to such a Hero.
Note that Magical Items found by Heroes as a reward for combat are assumed to be in the Hero's location at the time. However, you must immediately choose whether to equip the Hero with this item, or send it back to the Fortress Vault.
Also note that if two or more Heroes are in the same tile together, they may exchange items freely between themselves. As long as their items remain with them, no extra charge is required. If you teleport any of these items back to the vault, however, it will cost you 20 to send it back to those Heroes.
The Fortress Vault can only contain up to 4 items at any given time. If you need the room, you may always break any item on the magical anvil in the vault, regaining half of its value in Mana, but losing the item itself. Alternatively, you could shuffle items between Heroes to make room for additional items in your vault. It is always a good idea to keep a few extra items, but try not to clog your vault with useless junk.