|As of Master of Magic v1.31, Gaia's Blessing is known to be malfunctioning in at least one way. Please read the Known Bugs section below.|
|Spell Type||Town Enchantment|
Grants the targeted Town the following bonuses:
For the base Casting Cost of 300, the spell blesses a target friendly town with several bonuses. It increases the town's Maximum Population by a large amount, subsequently boosting Maximum Food production and Population Growth. It also reduces Unrest and doubles the Production bonus from each Forest square in the town's vicinity.
The effect lasts as long as you keep paying its Upkeep Cost of 3 per turn, or as long as it is not dispelled or canceled manually.
Gaia's Blessing bestows a lasting bonus on a selected Town, increasing its potential size and growth rate, improving production, and clearing the town's vicinity of specific types of non-productive terrain.
There is a total of seven different effects bestowed by this spell.
Maximum Population Bonus Edit
While under the effect of Gaia's Blessing, a town's Maximum Population is increased by 50% (rounded down).
Maximum Population is the absolute maximum size this town can reach (measured in thousands of people). It is calculated by examining the types of Terrain tiles and Terrain Specials present within the town's catchment area. Increasing Maximum Population by 50% allows the town to have 50% more citizens when it has fully grown than it would without Gaia's Blessing. Note, that the town buildings Granary and Farmers' Market might also increase Maximum Population, but without receiving this 50 % bonus. So whenever we speak about Maximum Population here, we mean it in terms of Terrain only.
Growth Rate is of course of paramount importance, as it determines how many people are added to the town's population each turn. The higher the town's Maximum Population compared to its current population, the higher its Growth Rate - and thus the faster it will gain more working citizens that can be put to use as Farmers and Workers. Of course, a town that grows too fast can end up having Unrest and becoming less efficient, so it is important not to over-grow.
The Maximum Food limit is equal to the Maximum Population value. Once the town's Farmers are producing more than this much Food per turn, the surplus is halved. For example, with a Maximum Population of 20, if the Farmers are producing 30 then the surplus food (30-20 = 10) is halved, giving a final output of only 25. Therefore, increasing Maximum Population allows a large town to avoid inefficiency for longer, thus potentially producing more Food for your empire. In this example, the enchanted Town receives a bonus of +5 to its Maximum Food output.
Maximum Food is the total amount of food the town would produce once it is fully-populated, with half its citizens set to Production and the other half to Food. It is calculated based on the Terrain around the town. Maximum Food determines Maximum Population in the town, and influences its Population Growth rate per turn.
Note: While the maximum population of a town may be 25, having a Maximum Food in excess of this will continue to increase the town's growth rate, and the amount of food the town can produce before inefficiency sets in. This means that Gaia's Blessing runs nearly at full effect even when cast on a 25 pop site.
Unrest Reduction Edit
Forest Production Bonus Edit
Normally, each Forest within the town's vicinity gives that town a +3% Production bonus. This percentage acts on the total amount of Production generated by the town's citizens (it ignores Production bonuses from other sources, like Town Buildings).
While Gaia's Blessing is in effect, each Forest gives a +6% Production bonus - twice as much as normal. Thus, a town with plenty of Forests within its catchment area will now be generating a lot more Production than before. It can build Town Buildings and units faster, and can generate more Gold or Population Growth when working on the Trade Goods and Housing projects respectively.
Automatic Terraforming Edit
For each such tile it has found, the program rolls a random number between 1 and 100. If the rolled number is 10 or less, the tile will be terraformed automatically into a more productive tile.
Deserts terraformed by Gaia's Blessing will turn into Grassland. Volcanos will turn into Hills, this includes any Chaos Nodes located within the town's vicinity although the tile will retain its Node properties. In both cases, the town usually benefits greatly from this terraformation.
Any number of Desert and Volcano tiles may succeed their terraformation rolls simultaneously at the start of the turn - and so there is no limit to the number of tiles that can be terraformed simultaneously by the spell. It's all a matter of luck.
Automatic Purification Edit
At the start of each turn, the game checks the town's surroundings - a 5x5 tile square area centered on the town - for any Corrupted tiles.
For each such tile it has found, the program rolls a random number between 1 and 100. If the rolled number is 20 or less, the tile will be Purified, returning to normal production.
Any number of Corrupted tiles may succeed their purification rolls simultaneously at the start of the turn - and so there is no limit to the number of tiles that can be Purified simultaneously by the spell. It's all a matter of luck.
Food Output Bonus Edit
While Gaia's Blessing is in effect, the town's Food production is increased by a small amount, up to 20% of the total amount of Food being generated by the town's Farmers.
For more detailed information, see the section Maximum Population Bonus above.
Growth Rate Bonus Edit
The 50 % bonus to Maximum Population will also boost Population Growth. Each turn Gaia's Blessing is in effect, the Population will grow by another 2.5 * original Maximum Population people, rounded to the next multiple of 10.
Usage EditGaia's Blessing may only be cast on the overland map, for a basic Casting Cost of 300. It may be targeted at any friendly Town which does not already have a Gaia's Blessing spell effecting it.
When the spell is cast, the game automatically opens a town-information window showing the contents of the target town. A few moments later, the land underneath the town will turn a verdant green color, indicating it is under the influence of this spell. The green ground will remain in the town's information screen as long as the spell remains in effect.
At the start of each turn, the casting wizard must pay an Upkeep Cost of 3 to keep Gaia's Blessing active. Failure to pay this cost due to lack of available Mana will cause the spell to dissipate immediately.
If you've placed Gaia's Blessing on a town, you may remove it by examining the town's details and clicking the text reading "Gaia's Blessing" in the town's Enchantments list. The primary reason to do this would be in order to remove the spell's Upkeep Cost, thus conserving Mana for other spells.
If the Gaia's Blessing spell is removed from the town in any way, only some of its effects will disappear - namely the bonus to Maximum Food output, as well as the automatic terraformation and purification of nearby tiles. However, tiles already terraformed or purified by the spell will remain so. Furthermore, the town's population does not decrease now that its maximum size is lower (read more on this above).
As a Rare Nature spell, Gaia's Blessing may become available to any Wizard who possesses at least 2 Spellbooks. However, its availability during the game is not guaranteed unless the Wizard acquires at least 10 Spellbooks.
Customized Wizards possessing 11 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 2 to 9 Spellbooks have a random chance of being able to Research Gaia's Blessing during the game. The chance for this spell to appear for research increases with the number of Nature 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.
Gaia's Blessing has a base Research Cost of 1,600.
With at least 2 Spellbooks, the Gaia's Blessing 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.
Gaia's Blessing is a very potent spell for creating very large towns - larger than normally allowed. It also speeds up Population Growth, making it a good spell to cast on smaller towns that are not even close to reaching their maximum size yet.
Furthermore, the terraformation and purification effects can do wonders to towns placed in inhospitable areas, or being targeted by enemy wizards with the Corruption spell.
Remember to disable the spell once it has fulfilled its potential. That is, when the town's population can grow no further, the town has no Deserts or Volcanos nearby, and no Corrupted tiles. Of course, if you can spare the Mana, you may keep the spell on the town to make sure that future maledictions befalling it will not require recasting this spell. By default, it is worth keeping the spell going for 100 extra turns (!) beyond its useful period rather than casting a new one!
Known Bugs Edit
Chaos Node Proximity Edit
It is demonstrably possible for Gaia's Blessing to convert a Chaos Node into a Hill tile. This is likely unintentional (given that Change Terrain cannot target such tiles), and may be considered a problem for some.
When this occurs, the resulting tile behaves like a regular Hill tile in terms of the benefits to nearby towns - giving +0.5 to Maximum Population and +3% Production, just like any Hill tile. The +5% Production from the Chaos Node is gone forever.
However, the tile still contains a Chaos Node, which may be liberated, fought over, and even be Melded with as normal! The surveyor tool will report a Chaos Node in the tile, if used. Of course, if the Node is melded with, its tile and surrounding area will glow as normal.