Hero Abilities is a subset of the wide variety of Unit Abilities available in Master of Magic. They differ from all other abilities in that they can only be acquired by Heroes, perform different functions that particularly help Heroes, and obey several other minor rules.
The various Heroes in Master of Magic often possess unique properties that are not available to Normal Units or even Fantastic Units. These Hero Abilities serve to make Heroes significantly more powerful - especially as they gain Experience.
Hero Abilities often given the Hero a strong bonus to his/her basic attributes (such as Melee Attack strength, Defense, and so forth). Thus they confer a strong advantage to that Hero when performing certain actions on the battlefield and/or on the overland map.
There is a total of 14 different Hero Abilities in the game. The majority of Heroes possess at least one specific Hero Ability by default, and over half the Heroes can pick extra Hero Abilities at random when a new campaign begins - which they will keep for the remainder of that game.
In Master of Magic, each unit has a set of properties that define its strengths and weaknesses. This serves to determine how well the unit would do in different situations.
The most mundane (and ubiquitous) properties are called "attributes", and nearly every unit has the same set. Attributes include Melee Attack, Defense, Hit Points, and so on. They are listed clearly at the top of a unit's details panel, and in many other places too. The value of each "attribute" determines how well the unit will fare in basic combat.
Additionally to these "mundane" properties, many units also have a set of assorted Abilities. These abilities give the unit an "unusual" advantage that most other units don't get at all. The variety of Unit Abilities is quite large - including 63 different types of abilities - and each of them gives a different advantage!
14 of these abilities are known as Hero Abilities. Aside from one small exception, these Hero Abilities are unique to Heroes: they can only ever be acquired by Heroes, and never by other unit types. Most Hero Abilities also behave a little differently from the other Unit Abilities, being geared to improve with the Hero's Experience Level, in order to eventually give massive bonuses as the Hero's level reaches its peak.
Almost all Hero Abilities give the Hero a bonus to his/her "attributes", such as increasing the Hero's Melee Attack strength or making him/her Healthier. A few Hero Abilities allow a Hero to perform special actions, or even to produce resources for the Hero's employer. Again, the size or impact of the bonuses usually increases with the Hero's Experience Level, so the benefit will grow with time.
Finally, Hero Abilities are unique in that some Heroes may start the game with a random set of extra Hero Abilities. These are called Random Abilities, and some Heroes may pick a large number of them. A lucky selection of certain extra abilities can turn a Hero almost invincible as a result.
Studying a Hero's abilities and how they interact with each other is extremely important - it tells you what combat/strategic role this Hero should assume, which Magical Items would be best suited for him/her, and what to expect as this Hero's Experience Level increases.
Heroes, Hero Abilities and Random Abilities Edit
Each Hero gets a set number of Hero Abilities at game-start. The number and type of these Abilities is determined by the game's rules, based entirely on the Hero's default template. On top of this, each Hero receives a set number of Random Abilities (selected at random from a subset of the Hero Abilities list) to improve his/her performance further.
For example, Shin Bo the Ninja always receives the Blademaster ability in each and every game you play, because the game data dictates that he should. He also receives 2 extra Random Abilities chosen at random from the "Fighter" category (a subset of 10 specific Hero Abilities). In other words, Shin Bo always has 3 Hero Abilities at the start of each game, one of which is always Blademaster.
Hero Abilities are permanent: there is no way to remove them by artificial means, and they will only improve as a result of gaining more Experience. A Hero will keep the same set of Hero Abilities throughout the entire campaign. However, due to the random nature of selecting Random Abilities, many Heroes will have somewhat different Hero Abilities from game to game. Note that even if a Hero leaves and comes back (or dies and is Resurrected), his/her Hero Abilities are not changed in any way.
Note that some Heroes have no "default" abilities at all - instead choosing only Random Abilities. It is thus difficult to tell whether these Heroes will be useful (or, what they'll be useful for) before encountered for the first time during the campaign. Other Heroes only have "default" abilities, which means that they will be exactly the same each time you play the game.
The Abilities List Edit
In order to determine which abilities a unit has, all you need to do is look at the unit's details panel (right click on the unit). The bottom half of this panel is called the "Abilities List", since it is mostly dedicated to displaying the unit's Abilities, as well as any additional magical effects that the unit is currently enjoying / suffering from.
For Heroes, the first page of the list shows Experience and Magical Items. Click the "arrow down" button to scroll to the Abilities list. Each item on the list includes an icon, a label, and possibly a numeric value. Hero Abilities are distinguishable from all other effects in that their icon has a red-colored background.
The label indicates the name of the ability. The value, if it exists, indicates the strength of the ability where applicable. If the value is followed by an asterisk (*), it indicates a Super Ability, which is stronger than the "Basic" version (read more on this below).
A right-click on any ability icon will bring up a short in-game tooltip. Beware - they are commonly inaccurate, vague, or ambiguous. Refer to the various Hero Ability articles for more accurate explanations.
List of Hero Abilities Edit
As mentioned above, there are exactly 14 different Hero Abilities in the game. Each Hero Ability provides a different benefit to the Hero possessing it, though the majority will give a certain bonus to the Hero's attributes.
|Agility||Fighter||This Hero receives +1 Defense per Experience Level.|
|Arcane Power||Mage||This Hero receives +1 Magical Ranged Attack per Experience Level.|
|Armsmaster||Fighter||All Normal Units stacked with this Hero receive +2 Experience at the start of each and every overland turn.|
|Blademaster||Fighter||This Hero receives +5% To Hit per Experience Level.|
|Caster||Mage||This Hero has his/her own Mana pool, equal to Caster level * Experience Level, can cast any combat spells known to his/her employer, and can contribute to the employer's Spell Skill.|
|Charmed||Any||This Hero will never fail a Resistance roll during combat.|
|Constitution||Fighter||This Hero receives +1 Hit Point per Experience Level.|
|Leadership||Fighter||This Hero and his/her entire stack receive +1/3 Melee Attack strength and +1/6 to most other attack strengths per Experience Level.|
|Legendary||Fighter||This Hero's employer receives +3 Fame per each of the Hero's Experience Levels.|
|Lucky||Any||This Hero receives exactly +10% To Hit, +10% To Block and +1 Resistance. Opponents are penalized with -10% To Hit when attacking this hero.|
|Might||Fighter||This Hero receives +1 Melee Attack strength per Experience Level.|
|Noble||Any||This Hero has no Upkeep Costs. Instead, he/she provides +10 Gold each turn.|
|Prayermaster||Mage||This Hero and his/her entire stack receive +1 Resistance per each of the Hero's Experience Levels.|
|Sage||Mage||This Hero provides +3 Research Points per Experience Level.|
Further explanations on this table are given below.
Each of the 14 Hero Abilities has a certain unique effect, giving an advantage to the Hero possessing it.
The majority of Hero Abilities give a set bonus to one of the Hero's primary attributes, such as Melee Attack strength, Defense, and so on. These abilities improve with Experience Level, so the more Experience a Hero gains, the greater the bonus the ability bestows.
Some abilities do not increase the Hero's own attributes, but rather affect other units stacked with the Hero. Some abilities combine bonuses to the Hero and to his/her stack.
A few abilities do not improve with experience at all, giving the same bonus always, regardless of level.
Super Abilities Edit
- Main article: Super Abilities
10 of the Hero Abilities come in two distinct flavors: "Basic" and "Super". The "Super" version of the ability gives a bonus that's 50% greater than the "Basic" version. For example, if "Basic" Agility gives +1 Defense per Experience Level, "Super" Agility gives +1.5 per level.
Only a scant few Heroes have one or more Super Abilities by default. However, many Heroes have the chance to start with a Super Ability thanks to Random Ability picks. If they pick an ability they already possess, or spend two picks on an ability they don't already possess, they will acquire the "Super" version of that ability.
A Super Ability will generally boost one of the Hero's attributes by a massive amount by the time he/she gains several Experience Levels. Nonetheless, over-specialization is sometimes crippling, and experienced players will note that it is often better to get several different "Basic" abilities than a few "Super" abilities.
Improvement per Level and Rounding Down Edit
For the 11 Hero Abilities that are affected by Experience Level, the bonus they bestow grows over time. That bonus can eventually become so large as to make the Hero potentially stronger than some of the high-tier Fantastic Creatures.
To calculate the bonus at any given time, multiply the original bonus (see the list above) by the Hero's current Experience Level. If the ability is a Super Ability (see above), multiply by another 1.5. Finally, round down to the nearest whole number.
Note that bonuses from Hero Abilities are cumulative with the natural bonuses that Heroes receive at each and every Experience Level.
Random Abilities Edit
- Main article: Random Abilities
Each Hero gets a pre-defined set of Hero Abilities and/or Unit Abilities in each and every game you play. These are called the Hero's "Default" abilities, since the Hero will have the same set every time. These abilities, coupled with the Hero's default attributes, generally set the tone for that Hero's usefulness both in combat and on the strategic map.
On top of these, the majority of Heroes will acquire a certain number of extra Hero Abilities, chosen at random during game-start from a specified subset of all Hero Abilities. Depending on that random choice, the extra abilities may enhance a Hero's existing abilities (i.e. upgrading them to Super Abilities) or add new capabilities that the Hero does not have by default at all. Thus, from one game to the next, a Hero's usefulness can vary greatly.
The Hero's profile defines how many Random Abilities he/she gets, and which Hero Abilities he/she can choose from. There are three separate "lists" of abilities available for that choice: a "fighter" list, a "mage" list, and an "any" list that contains all 14 abilities. For example, Shalla the Amazon gets to choose 1 Random Ability from the "Fighter" list, while Torin the Chosen choose 2 from the "Any" list.
Two Heroes (Aureus and Mystic X) actually get no default abilities whatsoever. They only get to pick Random Abilities (2 and 5, respectively), which means that their usefulness can vary greatly from game to game. Conversely, other Heroes (particularly low-value ones) get no Random Abilities at all, having only default abilities to rely upon - and thus have the same set of abilities in each and every game you play.