There are 14 Races available in Master of Magic. Nine of those races are found on the plane of Arcanus, and the other five are found on the plane of Myrror.
Towns are populated by a single race, and that race determines its food and production, its available buildings, the standard and racial units it can create, and other race-specific attributes. When starting a game each wizard selects a race to populate that wizard's starting town. Only wizards who select the Myrran Retort may select a Myrran race. Neutral towns in Arcanus are populated by Arcanian races, and neutral Myrran towns are populated by Myrran races.
Background on Races Edit
This section aims to summarize the strategic context of each race. They are covered in greater depth on their respective pages.
- Barbarians are a low-tech expansionist race native to Arcanus. Their troops use Thrown weapons on the attack, and their townsfolk seem to mate and multiply faster than any other race, making Barbarians a good choice for expanding the tax base through conventional warfare and settlement. They get along with Nomads and Orcs and excite mild tensions with all others. They are the only race with any semblance of compatibility with Dark Elves.
- Beastmen are an expansive and versatile Myrran race. They are the fastest growing race both among Myrrans, and among those races which generate magical power within the population. Beastmen also field the least expensive and most widely-varied unit types on their native plane, but they lack other Myrrans' highly-specialized talents. This is a definite liability in choosing Beastmen. Owing to their workable, but not particularly friendly, diplomatic standing it is common to begin with a more focused race and search high and low for Beastmen, to task them with building whatever the Fortress cannot.
- Dark Elves are a powerful, magically-gifted Myrran race. Dark Elf citizens make other magical beings look like amateurs, generating a full power point each. Their troops can make ranged magical attacks, with higher-tier units boasting a great variety of powers and defenses. All of them are expensive. Dark Elves grow very slowly and will need to build a lot of town structures to reach their full potential. They are hostile to all other races, and particularly despise Dwarves, Trolls, and High Elves. Governing this race, or using it to supposedly govern others, is tricky.
- Draconians are a magical, fast-flying Myrran race. They pass over the normal barriers to exploration and will quickly locate targets of opportunity. They are an ideal choice for small landmass games begun on Myrror. While Draconians bring their fiery breath and flying abilities into battle, build-up is expensive, and their magical nature and high urban development level lends them a contingency plan for assisting the empire and the wizard more peaceably. Draconians are badly-disposed toward Klackons and fellow Myrrans, and excite mild tensions with all others.
- Dwarves are a rich and powerful Myrran race. By virtue of their tax revenues, mining, production, and road building, the Dwarves are the game's premier economic race from start to finish. They will earn their wizard an immense treasury and rapidly advance his game. Dwarven military units are expensive and limited in scope, but tough and dependable. Spread the Dwarven race far and wide if it is friendly to the Fortress, to maximize raw income. Dwarves are comfortable with High Men, Nomads, and Halflings, and generally want nothing to do with the other races.
- Gnolls are a low-tech military race native to Arcanus. Their regulars are the strongest units of their type on this plane. Using this race may be difficult and confining; with severely limited end-stage economic and military potential, the Gnolls commit the wizard to a strategy of early conquest. Conquered neutrals and plunder from lairs will decide the empire's growth and direction. Fortunately the Gnolls have rather easy race relations. They are able to work best with Beastmen, Halflings, Orcs, and Trolls, and tensions are fairly mild in other quarters.
- Halflings are a friendly agrarian race native to Arcanus. Their inherent Lucky trait and high unit figure count makes Halfling troops unexpectedly strong, especially their Slingers, and especially when they are well-trained. At home, Halflings receive a unique food output bonus. They have the strongest diplomatic position of all races. These features make the Halflings a popular, practical choice for a wide range of strategies in the game. Halflings get along with pretty much anyone, only having trouble with the usual recalcitrants, the Klackons and Dark Elves.
- High Elves are an advanced magical race native to Arcanus. They are, in fact, the only magical race available to wizards on Arcanus. This alone makes them useful in a bid to maximize early spell-casting power, though the High Elves are otherwise a slow-going, strictly economic choice. Their military units are somewhat fragile for their expense, their cities develop very slowly, and their race relations are discordant. High Elves are allied with the Halflings, High Men, and Nomads and distrust everyone else.
- High Men are an advanced military race native to Arcanus. Their growth is ordinary and they have no economic or military advantages on paper, but their urban development is highly consequential in practice. If the High Men can hold on, end-stage units like their Paladins are strategies unto themselves and have little to fear from anything else on the map. High Men are popular both as a starting race and as a target of conquest. They get along best with Dwarves, Halflings, High Elves, Nomads, and Orcs, have easy relations overall, and no determined enemies.
- The Klackons are an expansive industrial race native to Arcanus. They have a strong edge in morale, finances, and production when the Fortress city is Klackon, and are nearly useless when it is not. All of their build options are tailored to settlement, integration, and defense of Klackon holdings. Generally, players will want the entire world to either be covered with them or completely rid of them, and games involving a Klackon wizard or multiple Klackon rivals might proceed with unusual violence and genocide.
- Lizardmen are a primitive military race native to Arcanus. They have virtually no urban development potential. The idea is to dodge the problem using the Lizardmen's cheap, strong, seaworthy units, fast population growth, and savings from all the foregone infrastructure. They are an ideal choice for small landmass games begun on Arcanus. Lizardmen will rely on conventional warfare and settlement to expand their tax base and hopefully bring in some more advanced races. They experience some tensions with all the other races except for Halflings.
- Nomads are an advanced mercantile race native to Arcanus. Their towns' productive potential is high, especially considering the Nomad foreign trade bonus, and their racial units offer serious mobile support. This is an otherwise unremarkable race that will require patience in the early stages, and it tends to get overlooked when a specific strategy is in the works. Should the situation present itself, Nomads can run the government in the absence of Halflings, as their diplomatic situation is the second-best.
- Orcs are an advanced general-purpose race native to Arcanus. They are considered the least remarkable race in both realms; arguably, the Orcs are a strictly weaker choice than the High Men due to their softer military options. Encountering them overland is usually preferable to starting the game with them. Orcs can build whatever an empire needs, for they have no building restrictions, and their units come at bargain rates. Orcs have problems with Dwarves, Klackons, and both types of Elves, but their diplomatic situation is otherwise in good shape.
- Trolls are a low-tech warmongering Myrran race. They exist for no other purpose than to build troops and win battles. Trolls have overwhelming combat stat boosts and regenerative powers, and are bottom-ranked on domestic growth. Their shoddy Myrran relations may prevent the Fortress from bending captured towns fully to its needs, but it is not impossible; furthermore, there is plunder from lairs that Trolls can obtain long, long before any other race. As with the militaristic Arcanians, the Troll wizard should concentrate fully on conventional army build-up.
Economic Summary Edit
- Powerhouse Economies - Dark Elves, Dwarves
- These two races represent the most effective use of land for generating magical power and raw wealth respectively. They do not get along. Dark Elves are essentially a superior Advanced Economy, Dwarves are a superior Rush Economy.
- Advanced Economies - Beastmen, Draconians, High Elves, High Men, Nomads, Orcs
- Advanced races, with very high end-game potential that requires costly infrastructure.
- Rush Economies - Barbarians, Halflings, Klackons
- Races with frontloaded economic advantages and lower end-game potential.
- Depressed Economies - Gnolls, Lizardmen, Trolls
- These races should generally avoid creating new outposts if possible. One strong city will enable access to their superb units, dodging arduous and redundant town building projects under their economic handicaps.
Racial Politics Edit
This section aims to summarize alliances and rivalries between the races that may be exploited or avoided during gameplay. In lieu of memorizing statistics by rote, it may be easier to use some intuition. Master of Magic's governable races are modeled on preexisting fantasy paradigms.
- Civilized Arcanians - Halflings, High Men, Nomads
- These races inspire trust. Allied with High Elves, Dwarves, and Orcs. No more than 20% unrest, for any race, under their government.
- Marauding Arcanians - Barbarians, Gnolls, Lizardmen
- These races inspire mild tensions. Enhanced early and mid-stage units, but somewhat stunted economic potential later on. No mortal enemies, and not nearly as hostile as Myrrans. Trolls take their qualities and shortcomings to an extreme.
- Myrrans - Dark Elves, Draconians, Beastmen, Dwarves, Trolls
- The most distinctive, specialized races, ranging from isolationist to outright malevolent. The diplomatic situation on this plane is in shambles; no Myrran race will get along with another Myrran race. Dark Elves and Draconians are cut-off. Beastmen, Dwarves, and Trolls may find a friend or two on Arcanus, but not among their immediate neighbors.
- Xenophobes - Dark Elves, Draconians, Klackons
- Tension with all other races, serious in many instances. Draconians are somewhat cruel and oppressive; Dark Elves are very much so. The Klackon hivemind does not communicate with the outside and faces a flat 20% unrest with everyone.
- True Adversaries - Dark Elves, Dwarves, High Elves, Orcs, Trolls
- General conflict of ethics, values, and interests between most of these. Overcoming the interracial unrest will be a headache.
- Unusual Alliances
- Raiders: Barbarians—Nomads—Orcs
- Canine: Beastmen—Gnolls
- Naturalists: Halflings—Lizardmen
- Troll Alliance: Halflings—Gnolls—Orcs—Trolls
Citizens, Units, and Buildings Edit
The following sections aim to highlight distinctions among the Races on plainer statistical terms. Races have varying degrees of technology, Worker and Farmer productivity, population growth, ability to get along with other races, and of course, military capabilities.
- Main article: Normal Units
The military table shows attribute information for each individual Figure of a unit produced by that race, as it differs from the baseline for archetypal units of that sort. Many races have Unit Abilities above and beyond the archetypes, as well. They can also cost a lot more Hammers to create.
- For example, an Orc Swordsmen unit defaults to 6 Figures and completely normal Swordsmen stats. A Troll Swordsmen, on the other hand, gets only 4 Figures, but each figure is far mightier, enjoying +2, +3, +3 and the unit's Regeneration ability. The Troll unit costs 60, compared to the Orc unit's 20.
In combat, the Figure mechanics and unit abilities have pretty serious consequences. 60 hammers' worth of Orc Swordsmen might be able to kill a Troll Swordsmen if they swarm it and take it down fast. If the human player controls the Troll and employs proper hit-and-fade tactics for a couple turns of Regeneration, though, this chance vanishes.
|Arcanian Races - Military|
|High Elves||+10% +2||x1.5|
|Myrran Races - Military|
|Beastmen||+1 +1 x2||x2|
|Trolls||+2 +3 x4 4||x3|
The table below shows what archetypal units are available to each race. Most of these units have their Figure stats adjusted, and racial Unit Abilities added, as per the chart above. There are exceptions, including the "universal" units like Triremes.
|Normal Unit Archetypes||Races|
|Engineers||Roads & siege||■||■||■||■||■|
|Universal Normal Units|
|Trireme||Light cargo ship||■||■||■||■||■||■||■||■||■||■||■||■||■|
|Galley||Medium cargo ship||■||■||■||■||■||■||■||■|
|Catapult||Ranged & siege||■||■||■||■||■||■|
A hollow point □ indicates the existence of a racial unit with identical building requirements but points of distinction from the archetype. A colored point indicates that the unit for the race does not obey the rules above in at least one way:
■ for the better, ■ for the worse, ■ slightly for the worse, ■ discount but no Thrown or Fire Breath.
Domestically, some races have large building trees while others have higher productivity to begin with, or stronger units, meaning that they will shift in prominence as a game advances. For instance, Lizardmen have strong, early-rising units, heightened population growth, and very poor late-game potential. High Men are in a weak position, on the other hand, until they get Paladins and their suite of high-end Town Buildings.
|Arcanian Races - Domestic|
|High Elves||-20||2 ½ ½||2 ½||½|
|High Men||2 ½||2|
|Klackons||-10||2 ½||3||-20% Rebels under Klack govt|
|Nomads||-10||2 ½||2||+50% Trade|
|Myrran Races - Domestic|
|Beastmen||2 ½ ½||2 ½||½|
|Dark Elves||-20||2 ½ 1||2 1||1|
|Draconians||-10||2 ½ ½||2 ½||½|
|Dwarves||-20||2 ½||3||Doubled Minerals and Tax|
The numbers above are the initial potential; in the theoretical case of a maximally upgraded city, actual production would be as follows:
|Arcanian Races - Domestic|
|High Elves||-20||3 1¼ ½||5 ½||½|
|High Men||3 1¼||5|
|Klackons||-10||2 1||6||-20% Rebels under Klack govt|
|Nomads||-10||3 1¼||5||+50% Trade|
|Myrran Races - Domestic|
|Beastmen||3 1¼ ½||5 ½||½|
|Dark Elves||-20||3 1¼ 1||5 1||1|
|Draconians||-10||3 1 ½||4 ½||½|
|Dwarves||-20||2 1||6||Doubled Minerals and Tax|
- Main article: Town Building
Town buildings can be likened to technology. Creatures like Gnolls, with scarce building options, are considered primitive. Other races are advanced in particular building paths and deficient in others, like the secular High Elves. Orcs are the most advanced race of all, but they have difficulty leveraging this with Normal Units.
|Urban Tech by Race|
Relations between the various races is sometimes strained and uncomfortable. When an empire includes towns belonging to two or more races, race-relations can become an important factor in the efficiency of the entire empire. No race likes to be conquered or ordered around by another race, and especially if the dominating race is their mortal enemy.
For example, if the Fortress town belongs to the Klackon race, Unrest in each town in the same empire that is not populated by Klackons will increase by exactly 20% - i.e. turning 20% of the town's citizens into unproductive Rebels who only drain your resources. This is because every race hates the Klackons equally (relations are -20% between the Klackons and all other races), and no one seem to like being part of an empire that is controlled by these insectoids. On the other hand, while the Fortress is in a Klackon town, all Klackon towns in the empire receive an Unrest reduction of 20% - meaning they will have 20% fewer Rebels per citizen than normal (allowing for a higher Tax Rate without negative repercussions).
The Klackons are only the simplest example of this. Race relations are much more complex, with some races reacting more strongly to specific other races. For example, High Elves do not mind being part of an empire run by Halflings (i.e. they get +0% Unrest), but will vehemently oppose being part of an empire run by Dark Elves (+40% Unrest).
Note that relations are completely symmetrical. In the example above, High Elves will resent living under occupation by Dark Elves, but the same is true in reverse: a Dark Elf town in an empire run by High Elves will receive the same +40% Unrest penalty.
The chart below illustrates the various race relations, as of patch 1.2 to 1.31. The numbers indicate the change in a town's Unrest as a percentage of the town's total population. For example, a value of "+10%" means that 10% of a town's citizens will turn into Rebels - on top of whatever unrest is caused by the current Tax Rate.
Note: This is the table that is used on other pages for reference.