|Spell Type||Unit Curse|
|As of Master of Magic v1.31, Possession is known to be malfunctioning in at least one way. Please read the Known Bugs section below.|
Unless Possession is dispelled before combat ends, it will destroy the unit at the end of the battle (if it reaches the end alive at all). Possessed units will never carry on back to the campaign map.
Possession warps the very mind of a target enemy Normal Unit or Hero, making them little more than puppets in the hands of Possession's caster. They will fight for this wizard like any of his other units, and will be executed at the end of the battle.
Control Exchange Edit
When Possession is cast on a target unit, that unit must make a Resistance roll at a penalty of -1. If the unit succeeds its roll, then Possession fizzles harmlessly. However if the unit fails its roll, control of this unit is transferred to Possession's casting wizard.
That wizard gets to move the unit as though it was his own, and make any attack or use any of the unit's other abilities (if it has any). The unit may now attack its former friends, and its friends may now attack it. It has effectively switched sides.
Unless Possession is dispelled, the unit will remain a part of the enemy army for the remainder of the battle - whereupon it is immediately and automatically destroyed. There is no way to save a Possessed unit from being destroyed - even pulling it out of battle with the Word of Recall spell will not result in it appearing on the overland map after the battle. In this way, Possession is effectively a death sentence, which can only be averted if it is dispelled!
Note: The -1 penalty is not mentioned anywhere in the game manual or in-game tooltips. However it is demonstrably true, as the spell will occasionally affect units with 10, but never those with 11. Testing also shows that the ratio of success for this spell corresponds with -1.
The enemy unit receives a chance to Resist this Curse. However it must do so at a penalty of -1. Any unit that succeeds this roll will not be affected by Possession. Units with 11 are completely immune to the spell.
Once Possession is successfully cast on a unit, it will immediately switch sides. If the unit has any Movement Points left over from the previous round, it may move, attack, or use any special abilities immediately after falling under this curse.
There is no visual indication on the battlefield that the unit is Possessed. Of course, if you can select the unit, then it is part of your army now. Also, its details panel will show the icon for the Possession spell.
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 who possess at least 8 Spellbooks, or Wizards with 11 Spellbooks who did not select Possession as a guaranteed spell, will be able to Research this spell at some point during their campaign. Wizards with fewer than 8 Spellbooks have a random chance of being able to Research it. The chance for this spell to appear increases with the number of Death Spellbooks the Wizard possesses or obtains during gameplay.
Possession has a base Research Cost of 350.
With at least 1 Spellbook, the Possession 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.
Possession is quite a powerful spell - if it can get through the target's Resistance. Aside from adding an extra unit to your force (and reducing the enemy's force by one unit), it also spells death for the Possessed unit as it will be destroyed by the end of the battle.
Try to target a strong unit with a low Resistance score, as this will increase the chance of the unit changing sides. Alternatively, you can repeatedly attempt to cast Possession on a high-value enemy unit, such as a Hero. While this doesn't always work (such units usually have high Resistance), the payoff is usually very significant.
The Possession spell is afflicted by several different bugs, glitches, and exploits.
The Possession spell can only be dispelled by its caster - who has no real reason to want to do so. It cannot be dispelled by the target's original owner. This is because the Possession effect is classified as a hostile effect, and hostile effects on a unit can only be dispelled by that unit's controller. With Possessed units, the caster of the hostile spell becomes the controller of the unit, leading to this illogical situation.
Note however that dispelling Possession is entirely useless regardless, as it does not cause the unit to return to its original owner's control anyway.
Army Size LimitsEdit
Since the size of an army is normally limited to 9 units, and no more than two armies can participact in any battle, the game is normally designed to handle only up to 18 units on the battlefield at any given time. It also preserves this limit by preventing players from summoning additional units if they already have 9 units on the battlefield.
Possession, however, allows a wizard to control more than 9 units in combat, by taking a unit from the opponent's army. The 18-unit limit remains unbroken, because no new unit is created - one is simply transferred from one army to the other. However, if both players had 9 units each on the battlefield before the spell was cast, Possession now leaves one army with 8 units, and the other with 10. The problem is that the game now believes that the player who has 8 units now has room in his army to summon an additional combat unit. Doing so will increase the number of the units on the battlefield above 18, which will then immediately crash the game.