Life Stealing Damage is a type of Special Damage that can be delivered by various units as part of their Melee Attacks and/or Ranged Attacks. An attack delivering Life Stealing Damage stands a good chance of causing extra Damage to the target, and may even heal the attacker himself in the process.
When a target is struck by Life Stealing Damage, it does not make Defense rolls. Instead, it makes a single Resistance roll. The result of this roll determines how much Damage the target takes, and how much of the attacker's Health is restored. A successful Resistance roll by the target will completely avert any damage.
Aside from damaging the defender and healing the attacker, Life Stealing Damage also has an additional effect: If any unit is killed primarily as a result of Life Stealing Damage inflicted upon it, it might rise as an Undead unit once the battle is concluded - and will now be under the command of the enemy.
Life Stealing Damage is commonly found as a component in the attacks of powerful Death Creatures, thanks to their Life Steal ability. Ravashack the Necromancer also possesses Life Steal, and thus delivers Life Stealing Damage with each of his attacks. Other Heroes may also add a Life Stealing Damage component to their Melee Attacks by equipping a Magical Melee Weapon that contains the "Vampiric" enchantment. Other than these, no other units or attacks will deliver Life Stealing Damage.
Life Stealing Damage has three distinct effects: It may cause damage to the target, it may heal the attacker, and it may cause the target to rise as an Undead at the end of the battle. Each of these effects depends primarily on a single Resistance roll made by the target in response to the attack.
Rolling for Damage Edit
Whenever an attack containing a Life Stealing Damage component strikes any target on the battlefield, that target must immediately make a single die roll - resulting in a random number between 1 and 10. This number is then compared to the target's Resistance score (with possible modifiers which are explained below).
On the other hand, if the rolled number is higher than the target's Resistance score, the difference between these two values directly determines the amount of damage inflicted by the attack. The following formula is used:
Damage = Rolled Number - Target's Resistance
This Damage is directly applied to the target, lowering its Hit Points and killing off figures as necessary. The target may not make any Defense rolls or any additional Resistance rolls to avert this damage.
Resistance Modifiers Edit
- Each attack that delivers Life Stealing Damage inflicts a certain penalty on the target's Resistance score. The higher this penalty, the less chance the target has to "win" the roll and avert the damage altogether. Also, a higher penalty increases the potential amount of Life Stealing Damage that can be inflicted, and the greater the statistical chance to inflict an amount of damage closer to that potential.
- The Resistance penalty varies from attacker to attacker, with the "strongest" penalty being that inflicted by a Demon Lord's attacks: -5! This attack has no problem affecting units with 5 or less (it will never fail to inflict damage on them), and can occasionally affect targets with Resistance scores as high as 14.
- The weakest attacks, those possessed by Ravashack as well as other Heroes who acquire a "Vampiric" weapon (see below), inflict no Resistance penalty on the target at all. If the target has 10 or more, a Hero's Life Stealing Damage will always fail to affect it.
Healing the Attacker Edit
For most Life Stealing units, it seems that the attacker is healed by half the amount of Damage inflicted on the target. Heroes delivering Life Stealing Damage seem to be healed by an amount equal to the amount of Damage they caused.
For example, if a Demon Lord's Life Stealing Damage component inflicts 4 points of Damage on a target, the Demon Lord is healed by 2 Hit Points. If Ravashack the Necromancer inflicts 4, he is healed by 4. The reasons for this disparity are currently unclear and unexplored. You may or may not experience the same results in your game.
Furthermore, it seems that some units (Demon Lords in particular) can actually gain a boost to their maximum Health as a result of this effect. If this occurs, the unit will only keep its extra Hit Points until the end of the battle. The mechanism behind this effect is not understood at all, and any further information will be helpful.
Creating Undead Edit
When a battle is concluded, the game runs through each and every dead unit on the battlefield, checking what type of damage killed that unit. If the majority of the damage that killed the unit is found to be Life Stealing Damage, and it is the enemy army that just won the battle, the unit will rise again as an Undead unit, and will switch allegiance. It is now under the control of the master of the enemy army.
For example, imagine a battle where several Wraiths assault an enemy High Men Cavalry unit and completely destroy it. If the majority of the damage inflicted on the High Men Cavalry unit was Life Stealing Damage from the Wraiths' attack, and the Wraiths' army went on to win this battle, then the High Men Cavalry returns as an Undead unit, serving the Wraiths' master.
Remember that for this to happen, the majority of the damage must have been Life Stealing Damage. Most often, an attacker will end up delivering Life Stealing Damage alongside regular Melee Damage or Ranged Damage. If we go back to the example above, the Wraiths will probably deliver a lot of Melee Damage in their attacks in addition to the Life Stealing Damage. The High Men Cavalry will only be raised as Undead if the amount of Life Stealing Damage delivered was greater than the amount of Melee Damage.
For more information about what happens to a unit when it is raised in this way, see the article on Undead.
Life Stealing Damage is considered to be associated with the Death realm. As a result, it will never hurt any unit that possesses Death Immunity. Since no Life Stealing Damage is inflicted, no Healing will occur, and the target will never rise as Undead.
Furthermore, Life Stealing Damage is also entirely blocked by Magic Immunity as described above.
Finally, any unit with 10 Resistance or more may be completely invulnerable to Life Stealing Damage, as it cannot possibly fail its Resistance roll. Of course, it's always important to remember that Life Stealing Damage may inflict a penalty on the target's Resistance, lowering it below 10 and thus making it possible to hurt that target.
Note that these immunities will only block the Life Stealing Damage component of an attack. If the attack also delivers any Melee Damage, Ranged Damage or any other type of damage, that damage may or may not go through the target's immunities unimpeded.
Sources of Life Stealing Damage Edit
Units with Life Steal Edit
- Main article: Life Steal
The Life Steal ability is the most common source of Life Stealing Damage. Whenever a unit possessing this ability makes any type of attack (Melee Attack, Ranged Attack or even Counter Attack), it will also execute a separate Touch Attack that delivers Life Stealing Damage.
The strength of a Life Steal ability is very important: it indicates how much Resistance penalty is inflicted on the target. The greater the penalty, the greater the chance of inflicting any Life Stealing Damage on the target, as well as the average damage expectancy and maximum damage output.
The table below lists all units possessing the Life Steal ability, and the Resistance penalty inflicted by the unit's attack.
Vampiric Weapons Edit
The other source of Life Stealing Damage comes from weapons imbued with the "Vampiric" Item Power. This enchantment can be placed only on a Sword, Mace or Axe. During the custom Item Crafting process, the "Vampiric" bonus is only available if you possess at least 5 Death Spellbooks. Naturally, it's always possible to find a weapon containing this bonus as a reward for defeating Encounters.
In theory, when such an item is equipped on a Hero, that Hero's Melee Attack should now deliver Life Stealing Damage in addition to any Melee Damage or other damage types it has. The process is handled exactly the same as with the Life Steal attack described above - there is no real difference. Note that the Life Stealing Damage delivered by the Hero's attack does not inflict any Resistance penalties on the target.
The Hero's attack will only deliver Life Stealing Damage while the Hero is holding the enchanted item. If the item is removed or lost, the Hero's attack no longer delivers Life Stealing Damage.