For a Node Master, all Nodes produce twice as much Power as they would without this Retort. In addition, a Node's dispelling effect does not apply to this Wizard's spells, regardless of which school of magic they belong to.
This retort costs 1 pick, and requires the Wizard to have at least 1 Spellbook, 1 Spellbook, and 1 Spellbook.
The planes of Arcanus and Myrror are practically littered with weak points between physical reality and the outer planes - the Nodes to the Magical Realms. Immense amounts of Power seep through these weak points, and the powerful Wizards of the primary planes will often find themselves vying for control of that power.
The Node Master is a wizard who has studied the workings of these magical portholes, and has learned how to efficiently collect all of that Power that is leaking through. Once the Node Master manages to gain steady access to one such Node, she can collect very large amounts of that Power, wasting little or none of it. Since Nodes provide plenty of Power even to the least skillful of wizards, it is needless to say that the Node Master can acquire substantial amounts.
Furthermore, the Node Master has studied ways to work around the powerful counter-magical vortexes that surround a Node. The sheer amount of power will often make spellcasting within the Node's vicinity difficult - almost impossible - to most wizards. The Node Master can weave her magics in such a way that they will harmonize with these vortexes, and thus won't be interfered with at all. The Node Master relies on this ability to help her forces conquer these Nodes from the creatures that defend them and take control of their power - and later to defend the Node from rivals coming to take it for themselves.
Node Mastery is one of the more powerful Retorts available in Master of Magic. Any Wizard possessing this Retort receives two special benefit that will positively affect her for the duration of the game.
Doubled Node Power Output Edit
Any Node that is currently controlled by a Node Master generates exactly twice as much Power as it otherwise would.
This bonus makes Nodes extremely important for the Node Master, and can ultimately provide her with vast amounts of Power. This extra Power may be invested into Mana generation, into Research, or into Spell Skill improvement, giving the wizard a fantastic boost in any of the three fields as necessary at the time.
This bonus is multiplicative with Sorcery Mastery, Chaos Mastery, and Nature Mastery. If the Node Master has one of these Retorts, any Node of the appropriate realm will generate 4x as much Power instead of 2x. This can potentially generate up to 100 Mana for a single Myrran Node!
No Node Dispelling Edit
Combat inside Nodes is often more difficult for several reasons, one of which is that the Node will automatically attempt to counter any spell cast during the battle that is not from the same Magical Realm as the Node itself. For example, while fighting in a Nature Node, all non-Nature spells must survive a strong dispelling attempt in order to be cast at all.
The Node Master completely ignores this rule. No Node, of any type, will attempt to dispel any of his combat spells.
This makes it somewhat easier for the Node Master to conquer Nodes, which plays right into her hands thanks to her first bonus (see above). \
Cost and Prerequisites Edit
In order to acquire the Node Mastery retort, a Wizard must first obtain at least 1, 1 and 1 Spellbooks. She may have any combination of additional spellbooks and/or retorts on top of this minimum requirement.
Note that Node Master may be acquired as Treasure for defeating particularly difficult Encounters. For Node Master to be awarded this way, the prerequisites outlined above are not required at all. A wizard may have any combination of spellbooks and still acquire this retort as treasure.
When creating a new Wizard, the Node Mastery retort consumes 1 pick.
Having an easier time to conquer Nodes, and a much greater Power output from each captured Node, the Node Master will focus on obtaining control of as many Nodes as possible. She will then fiercely hold these Nodes against takeover attempts by her rivals.
The immense amount of Power drawn from these Nodes will significantly boost the Node Master's magical capabilities, thus giving her a strong advantage in Mana generation, Research, Spell Skill, or any combination of these.
On the other hand, the Node Master must constantly balance her defense of the Nodes against defending her cities. Furthermore, she must make large initial investments in order to build the great armies that are necessary to take some of the more difficult Nodes. This is even more true for a Myrran Node Master, who will need incredibly powerful armies to take even a single Node on Myrror, but will acquire a massive advantage for each one she manages to take.