Resistance is one of the basic unit attributes. It describes the unit's ability to withstand malicious magical manipulation, poison, disease, and other ill effects. It is denoted in the unit statistics window as a row of golden cross icons.
Resistance is tested against using 10-sided dice, in what are called Resistance Checks, Resistance Rolls, or sometimes "saving throws". If the die comes up equal to, or lower, than the attribute, then the roll is successful. Otherwise, it is a failure. Thus, each cross can be said to symbolize a 10% chance to avoid an ill effect. However, many such effects temporarily lower their target's Resistance score, to make it easier for them to hurt the target.
Resistance increases gradually with Experience Levels for units that can acquire them. Several spells can also increase or decrease a unit's Resistance score. There are a few units in the game that already possess extremely high Resistance upon creation, while others may be exceptionally vulnerable to enemy magic until such bonuses can be acquired for them. Magical Items can also improve Resistance by a significant amount. Furthermore, certain items can actually help to reduce a target's Resistance through the -Spell Save enchantment, although this typically only works with spells that target a single unit.
Although there are many magical spells and effects in Master of Magic that are meant to deal direct damage to the target, much like a sword strike would; other spells attack the target in indirect or complex ways. In particular, this includes attacks on a target's mind, soul, or connection to the primary Planes. Though they cause intangible damage to the target, these magical effects might severely impair or even kill it nonetheless.
In order to avoid being affected by such magic, the target may attempt to "resist" the effect. Often, this is a matter of applying one's force of will to negate the malicious effect - essentially not giving in to it and "wishing" it away. In other cases, such as poison for example, it is instead the target's physical durability that works to counter the effect, simply as a product of its stamina or hardiness.
The concept of using Resistance checks against these effects most likely originates from the system of "saving throws" used in Dungeons & Dragons, although the separation of success from failure works the opposite way here. Master of Magic also uses 10-sided dice, rather than a d20, and the amount of different types of saves is consolidated into a single statistic. Granted, one of the most common uses of saving throws in D&D is against direct damage magical effects, which this game handles as physical damage instead. 10-sided dice also have the advantage of success probabilities being easily expressed as percentages, which are easier to understand.
Resistance Rolls Edit
Certain spells and magical effects force their targets to make one or more Resistance Rolls, the results of which will determine whether they suffer an ill effect, part of an ill effect, or no harm at all. These are also often called "Resistance Checks", and sometimes "saving throws", or simply "saves".
A Resistance Roll involves rolling a random number between 1 and 10 - a metaphorical 10-sided die. This number is then compared to the target's Resistance. If it is equal to, or lower than the score, then the check is considered "successful". This means that the ill effect has failed against this target. Conversely, if the rolled number is higher than the Resistance score, then the save is considered "failed", and the target will suffer the intended effect. In some particular cases, the game has to consider the compound result of several subsequent rolls to determine an overall effect on a target unit.
With this system, it is easy to see how Resistance can be referred to as a percentage chance to avoid an ill effect:
Furthermore, there are units in the game with a Resistance score higher than 10, whether innately or through external buffs. A unit like that still has a 100% chance of succeeding its roll. The extra points above 10, however, serve as a buffer: the enemy would need to reduce the unit's Resistance to 9 or less if they wish to have any chance of affecting it at all. Therefore, the higher a unit's score above 10, the safer it is against enemy magic that might try to reduce its Resistance score somehow.
Ad-Hoc Resistance Modifiers During a Roll Edit
The majority of spells that force the target to make a Resistance Roll will simultaneously alter its Resistance score by a certain amount, in order to make it easier to affect that target. These modifiers only remain in effect while the unit completes the necessary roll(s), and are then removed. That is, they are strictly "ad-hoc", unlike the more permanent modifiers applied by Unit Enchantments and other effects described later in this article.
Some of these can be quite severe penalties. For example, a Holy Word spell targeting an Undead unit will reduce its Resistance score by -7. Thus, if the target has 7 or less to begin with, it will have no chance of resisting the spell at all. The Life Drain and Banish spells, in particular, even have adjustable Resistance penalties that can be increased by paying more Mana for their casting. They can both go as far as -8, which is one of the highest possible ad-hoc penalties.
When attempting to target particularly resistant units, only effects that apply a serious penalty will have any chance of affecting them at all. For example, a target with a Resistance score of 15 cannot possibly fail any Resistance Roll, unless targeted by effects that inflict -6 or greater. All other resistable spells and abilities will fail against this target.
Spell Save Penalties Edit
Heroes have an additional way to boost the ad-hoc penalties applied by their spells: by using Magical Items containing the -Spell Save attribute. When a Hero is wearing such an item, their targets' Resistance penalties are increased by the appropriate amount against certain spells cast by the Hero. This enchantment is cumulative with whatever penalty the spell normally inflicts, allowing the Hero to cast spells that are incredibly hard to resist, and can thus potentially affect even the most resilient targets.
Naturally, to be able to utilize -Spell Save, the Hero holding the item must have the Caster ability, and needs to be able to cast one of the relevant spells. Heroes without either of these properties have no use for this particular bonus. Not every spell benefits from -Spell Save either. Below is the full list of those that do, categorized by magical Realm:
|Petrify||Banish||Disintegrate||Dispel Evil||Black Sleep|
|Creature Binding||Warp Creature||Weakness|
|Vertigo||Word of Death|
As a general rule of thumb, -Spell Save works with all spells that target a single unit. It does not affect Special Attacks and other abilities, even if they do normally call for a Resistance Roll. It also won't work with Life Drain in the official game, as this spell is classed as "variable damage" by the developers, instead of simply a resistable effect. However, from the unofficial Insecticide patch onwards, this behaviour is changed. -Spell Save will now affect Life Drain, in addition to applying to the battlefield spells Holy Word and Death Spell. This makes this Item Power incredibly useful for the spellcasting Heroes of Death Wizards.
The -Spell Save attribute may be only be imbued into Wands, Staves, and Jewelry. Of these, Wands are limited to an enchantment of up to -2. Staves and Jewelry can both hold the highest attribute, at -4, although this greatly increases the item's value (and thus, the cost to purchase or create it). All of these are cumulative with each other however, yielding a maximum possible combination of -12 for pure caster Heroes, who can equip two Accessories in lieu of an armor piece.
Per-Figure Resistance Edit
Many effects that test a unit's Resistance will actually force it to make one roll per standing figure in that unit. This is typically the case for figure-based Special Damage attacks initiated by spells and Gaze Attacks. Here, if a unit has 4 figures remaining, it will have to make 4 separate Resistance Rolls simultaneously. Depending on the effect being tested, the implications of one or more figures failing their rolls may differ. Most often, a figure that fails its roll will be killed off, but other effects are possible as well.
An effect that forces each figure to roll separately typically has a higher chance of inflicting at least some harm on the unit (provided its Resistance score is not too high to begin with), than a spell that forces only a single roll on the entire unit. However, with a single roll, the effect is often more likely to harm the entire unit - since it only needs one failure to receive the full effect.
- The Petrify spell will force each figure in a targeted unit to separately resist or be turned to stone. Vertigo, on the other hand, requires its target to make a single roll, or suffer some combat penalties. Neither of these spells inflict any ad-hoc Resistance penalties. For this example, take a target unit with 6 figures and a Resistance score of 5.
- In this case, the Vertigo spell has a 50% chance of either affecting the entire unit, or failing to affect it altogether. Petrify, on the other hand, has a 50% chance of affecting each individual figure. Statistically, the Petrify spell has a much higher chance of affecting at least one figure in the unit (about 98.5%), but a terrible chance of turning all of them to stone (about 1.5%).
Unusual Resistance Rolls Edit
There are three cases where a resistable effect works slightly differently than usual. The first of these is Poison Damage. When an attack with this Damage Type strikes a target, it must make a series of Resistance Rolls in rapid succession, instead of just one roll. The amount of rolls required is equal to the strength of the attacker's Poison Touch ability. Each failed roll results in the target suffering exactly 1 point of damage.
An even more unusual roll occurs when a target is struck with Life Stealing Damage. In this case, it is not enough to know whether the target has succeeded or failed in its Resistance Roll; if the roll fails, it is also important how badly. The game takes the difference between the rolled number and the unit's Resistance score, and uses that to determine how much damage it suffered, as well as how much of a benefit the attacker receives as a result. If the roll succeeds, however, then the exact value does not matter.
Finally, it is important to mention the role of Resistance in determining the effect of a Disintegrate spell. When this spell is cast at a target, the game will simply inspect that target's overall Resistance score. If it is below 10, the target is destroyed. If it is equal to or higher than 10, the spell has no effect whatsoever. In other words, if the spell can succeed, it automatically does so, while otherwise it will naturally fail. No chance is involved - only the target's effective Resistance score in and of itself matters at all. However, conditional modifiers still can apply, including those of any -Spell Save Magical Items, which can make this spell even more powerful than it already is.
Resistable Spells Edit
The following is a list of all the spells in the game which force their targets to make one or more Resistance Rolls. Each spell is listed with the ad-hoc modifier that it inflicts on the target, as well as a short description of the effect, should the target (or some of its figures) fail the roll.
|Dispel Evil||Combat Instant||-4 / -9||Each figure in the target Death or Chaos unit must resist or be destroyed. The modifier is -9 for Undead.|
|Holy Word||Combat Instant||-2 / -7||Each figure in each enemy Fantastic Unit on the battlefield must resist or be destroyed. The modifier is -7 for Undead.|
|Weakness||Unit Curse||-2||Target unit must resist or suffer -2 and -2 until the end of combat. Thrown is not affected due to a bug that is only fixed in v1.51|
|Black Sleep||Unit Curse||-2||Target unit must resist or become unable to do anything (even Counter Attack) until the end of combat, taking maximum damage from all Conventional Damage attacks.|
|Life Drain||Combat Instant||0 to -8||Target unit must resist or suffer damage equal to the rolled number minus its Resistance. Extra Mana invested into the spell increases the ad-hoc Resistance penalty, which increases potential damage.|
|Terror||Combat Enchantment||+1||Each turn, each enemy unit must resist or become incapable of performing any action for the duration of that turn.|
|Possession||Unit Curse||-1||Target Normal Unit or Hero must resist or change its allegiance until the end of combat. The documentation claims that Heroes should not be affected, but in fact they can be.|
|Wrack||Combat Enchantment||+1||Each turn, each figure in every enemy unit must resist or suffer 1 point of damage. This spell is bugged in the official game, and will inflict much more (squared) damage than intended.|
|Black Wind||Instant Spell||-1||Each figure in every unit on the targeted overland tile must resist or be destroyed.|
|Word of Death||Combat Instant||-5||Each figure in the target unit must resist or be destroyed.|
|Death Spell||Combat Instant||-2||Each figure in every enemy unit must resist or die.|
|Death Wish||Instant Spell||0||Every enemy Normal Unit and Hero on the overland map must resist or die.|
|Confusion||Unit Curse||-4||Target unit must resist or become confused, acting erratically from turn to turn until the end of combat.|
|Vertigo||Unit Curse||0||Target unit must resist or suffer -1 and -20% until the end of combat.|
|Banish||Combat Instant||-3 to -8||Each figure in the target Fantastic Unit must resist or be destroyed. Extra Mana invested into the spell increases the ad-hoc Resistance penalty.|
|Stasis||Instant Spell||-5||Every unit on a target overland tile becomes immobile until it manages to successfully resist. Each affected unit gets one chance per turn.|
|Creature Binding||Combat Instant||-2||Target Fantastic Unit must resist or change allegiance until the end of combat.|
|Great Unsummoning||Instant Spell||-3||Each Fantastic Unit on the overland map (including friendlies) must resist or be destroyed.|
|Shatter||Unit Curse||0||Target Normal Unit or Hero must resist or have its Attack Strengths set to 1 until the end of combat.|
|Warp Creature||Unit Curse||-1||Target unit must resist or suffer one of these effects at random until the end of combat: Melee Strength halved, Defense halved, or Resistance set to 0.|
|Disintegrate||Combat Instant||0||If the target unit has less than an effective 10, it is destroyed. No roll is required.|
|Petrify||Combat Instant||0||Each figure in the target unit must resist or be destroyed.|
Resistible Unit Attacks Edit
Some units in the game possess certain Unit Abilities which allow them to make Special Attacks against their opponent. The majority of these attacks deliver some kind of Special Damage. Rather than allowing the target to perform Defense Rolls, like conventional attacks do, these force it to make one or more Resistance Checks, as described above. The amount of rolls will vary depending on either the number of attacking figures, or the remaining figures in the target unit. Furthermore, in the case of Poison Damage, this also depends on the strength of the Poison Touch ability.
Ad-hoc Resistance penalties for Special Damage, if any, are determined by the strength of the Unit Ability that made the attack possible. For example, a unit with Death Gaze -3 would deliver Death Damage with an ad-hoc -3 penalty. However, many Special Damage Types can be outright countered by certain immunities. If the target possesses the correct one, then it does not need to make any Resistance Rolls whatsoever - it simply shrugs off the Special Damage without suffering any harmful effect.
The following table shows all the of Unit Abilities which force their target to make Resistance rolls. This also includes Item Powers, which are bestowed to Heroes holding certain Magical Items. Each ability is listed along with the factors influencing the number of rolls, the ad-hoc penalties, any immunities that would counter it, and the effects should the target fail to resist.
Resistance Modifiers Edit
The Resistance score of a unit can be permanently or semi-permanently modified through a variety of means, some naturally occurring, others magical in nature. First and foremost, as Normal Units and Heroes gain Experience Levels, their Resistance score will gradually increase. Heroes can become particularly resistant this way, since they have many levels to gain. These modifiers are also always universal, meaning that they will apply equally against all spells and attacks brought around by the enemy.
Furthermore, several long-term spells, such as Unit Enchantments, can be cast on friendly units to increase their Resistance. This can be very useful when fighting against Wizards who use many resistable assets. However, some of these grant only a conditional benefit. That is, they will work against certain attacks, but not against others (see below). Finally, there are a couple of Unit Abilities and Hero Abilities whose purpose is to improve Resistance. These are, again, nearly all universal.
It is also possible to reduce an enemy target's Resistance score by artificial means, although there are only a handful of spells that can accomplish this feat. One of these in particular, Warp Creature, is a Unit Curse, and is itself resistable. If it succeeds however, and applies its Resistance reduction effect (which is unfortunately only one out of three randomly chosen possibilities), it effectively zeroes out the target's attribute score.
Experience and Resistance Edit
With each Experience Level gained by a Normal Unit or Hero, the unit's Resistance score goes up by +1. Although this does not include the first level, the increase is permanent, and cannot be undone by any means. Normal Units can usually go up to Elite, which is the 4th Experience Level. Thus, they can gain an overall +3 above their initial score - a good, but not too impressive bonus, given the low Resistance score they often start with. However, this can be extended by Wizards who possess the Warlord Retort or an active Crusade Global Enchantment, both of which enable Normal Units to gain an extra level above Elite, called Ultra-Elite. In fact, if a Wizard has both of these assets, their units can even reach the 6th, Champion level, which is not attainable otherwise, and grants a further +1, among other benefits.
Heroes, on the other hand, can all reach a 9th Experience Level, Demi-God, which provides a +8 bonus to their initial score. This is quite sufficient to surpass 10 and render Heroes hard, if not impossible, to affect with evil magic. For them, Warlord and Crusade do not enable any further levels, although they do raise the Heroes' initial level by one each, an effect that they also grant to Normal Units. It may be worth noting though, that freshly hired Heroes do not get the extra level(s) on the turn that they are recruited, but only on the next one.
The Heroism spell can also instantly increase a unit's Experience Level to 4, if it has not already reached that level naturally. This provides the unit +3 above its initial score, but lasts only until the unit reaches that level on its own (or until the spell is removed by other means). In addition, a Town that possesses the right assets can produce units that start out at a higher level. The Fighters' Guild and War College Town Buildings, and the Altar of Battle Town Enchantment provide an additional +1, +2, or +3 levels respectively, with the spell thus allowing the recruitment of Elite units.
Spells Improving Resistance Edit
The best method to improve a unit's Resistance score quickly is to cast a spell that will provide it a bonus. There are several different kinds of spells that do this, each providing a different bonus and affecting a different selection of units. Most of these are Unit Enchantments, which continue to affect the targeted unit until they are dispelled or, if cast in battle, will affect the unit until the end of combat. Several Combat Enchantments are also available, which will improve the Resistance score of some, or all friendly units on the battlefield.
The first list below shows the spells that grant a universal bonus. This means that the benefit they provide works against all effects that call for a Resistance Roll. The table includes the bonus they bestow, and any special notes on additional conditions.
|True Light||Combat Enchantment||+1||Affects all Life units on the battlefield (including both friendly and enemy units).|
|Prayer||Combat Enchantment||+1||Affects all friendly units on the battlefield.|
|High Prayer||Combat Enchantment||+3||Affects all friendly units on the battlefield, but overrides Prayer.|
|Darkness||Combat Enchantment||+1||Affects all Death units on the battlefield (including both friendly and enemy units).|
|Black Channels||Unit Enchantment||+1||Only affects Undead units. Can also be cast on Normal Units and Heroes, but turns them permanently into Undead.|
In addition, some Unit Enchantments will only increase a unit's Resistance score against certain types of effects. These are called conditional modifiers, and work similarly to the ad-hoc penalties described earlier. However, instead of lowering Resistance, they increase it for the duration of resolving the attack that triggered them. The spells listed below all have such an effect:
Spells Reducing Resistance Edit
It is also possible to decrease an enemy unit's Resistance score using specialized magic. All such spells are either Unit Curses or Combat Enchantments, which means they will only affect the targeted unit(s) until the end of the battle. The reductions bestowed by these spells are cumulative with any ad-hoc penalties inflicted by the actual effects directed at the unit. Thus, it is usually best to cast these Resistance-reducing spells before attempting to use any resistable effects on the enemy. The list below shows all spells of this type, including the penalties they inflict, and any special notes on additional conditions.
|True Light||Combat Enchantment||-1||Affects all Death units on the battlefield.|
|Darkness||Combat Enchantment||-1||Affects all Life units on the battlefield.|
|Black Prayer||Combat Enchantment||-2||Affects all enemy units on the battlefield.|
|Mind Storm||Unit Curse||-5||Can't target units with Illusions Immunity.|
|Warp Creature||Unit Curse||Special||1/3 chance of setting the target's Resistance score to 0. The target can make a Resistance Roll to try and avoid this effect entirely.|
Abilities and Resistance Edit
There are several Unit Abilities and Hero Abilities which increase Resistance by a certain amount. Each of these behaves in a different manner from the others, and they interact differently with one another as well. The size of the actual bonus may depend on the strength of the ability, where applicable which, in the case of Hero Abilities, may also be a function of the Hero's level. The list below details each ability, the bonuses they bestow, and the targets they affect.
|Resistance to All||Unit||+1 or +2||Affects all friendly units in combat. Does not stack with other Resistance to All or Prayermaster bonuses - only the best one available at any given time is applied, others are ignored.|
|Holy Bonus||Unit||+1 or +2||Affects all friendly units in combat. Does not stack with other Holy Bonuses - only the best bonus available at any given time is applied, others are ignored.|
|Prayermaster||Hero||+1 to +9||Bonus is equal to +1 per each of the Hero's Experience Levels, including the first level. Affects all friendly units in combat. Does not stack with other Resistance to All or Prayermaster bonuses - only the best one available at any given time is applied, others are ignored.|
|Super Prayermaster||Hero||+1 to +13||Bonus is equal to +1.5 per each of the Hero's Experience Levels, including the first level, rounded down. Affects all friendly units in combat. Does not stack with other Resistance to All or Prayermaster bonuses - only the best one available at any given time is applied, others are ignored.|
|Lucky||Both||+1||Applies only to the unit itself.|
|Charmed||Hero||+30||Applies only to the Hero with the ability.|
|Magic Immunity||Unit||+30||Applies only to the unit itself. Does not work against Poison Damage.|
Node Auras Edit
Magical Nodes emanate an aura strongly aligned with the Realm that the Node is connected to. These empower any Fantastic Unit associated with this Realm, should they engage in battle within the aura. Among other benefits, this increases their Resistance score by a universal +2 against all hostile effects. The size of these auras is the same as the Node's zone of influence. These are the sparkling tiles that appear around the Node once it has been Melded with. Unfortunately, there is no straightforward way to scout these beforehand, but the auras do apply regardless of who or what occupies the Node. It may also be worth noting that Chaos Channeled units do benefit from Chaos Node auras, should they find themselves doing battle in one.