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Special Damage is a collective term used to describe a group of Damage Types. The only common property of the Special Damage types is that they do not behave like Physical Damage. Other than this, various Special Damage types can be radically different from one another.

The most common attacks, Melee Attacks and Ranged Attacks, do not deliver any Special Damage by default. However, there are many Unit Abilities and magical effects that can add Special Damage to such attacks. Magical Weapons equipped on Heroes will often add one or more Special Damage types to one of the Hero's attacks as appropriate.

More commonly, Special Damage will be delivered by Special Attacks, which are executed during the process of a Melee Attack. Gaze Attacks and Touch Attacks always deliver some type of Special Damage.

Finally, there is a wide variety of spells that will deliver a Special Damage attack against one or more targets.

Since Special Damage types can be so different from each other, it is difficult to compare them directly. Fortunately, each Special Damage type has its own article, explaining the finer details that that Damage Type has on its target.

Concept Edit

The Master of Magic Wiki differentiates between two major groups of Damage Types (the effects an attack has on its target). These are Physical Damage types and Special Damage types.

Physical Damage types are quite complex, but they are very similar to one another in the way they affect the target. All Physical Damage types are meant to inflict actual Icon Damage.png Damage Points on the target. The process involves many random Icon ToHit.png To Hit and Icon ToBlock.png To Block rolls, which are compared against each other to determine the final amount of Icon Damage.png Damage caused to the target.

All Special Damage types are defined simply by not behaving like Physical Damage types. Though some Special Damage types behave somewhat similarly to Physical Damage, others are completely different. The bottom-line is that none of them adhere to the Physical Damage process - and many of them don't even cause Icon Damage.png Damage to the target.

General Categories of Special Damage Edit

Although Special Damage types can be radically different from one another in terms of their effect on the target, a few are actually similar to each other, enough that they can be grouped into several "sub-categories".

Resist or Suffer Edit

The largest group of Special Damage types includes all types that, when striking their target, force that target to make Icon Resist.png Resistance rolls. The target will suffer a specific harmful effect based on whether it succeeds or fails this roll. In some cases, the degree of harm is based on how badly the target failed its roll.

"Resist or Suffer" types include the following:

Death Damage Edit

When a target unit is struck by Death Damage, each Icon Figure.png Figure in the unit must Icon Resist.png Resist successfully or die on the spot - regardless of how much Icon Hits.png Health that figure had remaining.
Each Figure can be killed separately from the others, so the target can potentially lose all of its Icon Figure.png Figures, none of them, or any number in between.
Death Damage usually applies a Icon Resist.png Resistance penalty on the target while this is occurring, making it harder to succeed in each roll.

Disintegration Damage Edit

When Disintegration Damage strikes a unit, it will completely destroy the entire unit unless its current Resistance score is Icon Resist.png 10 or higher. If the unit's score is in fact Icon Resist.png 10 or higher, Disintegration Damage has no effect on it whatsoever.
Disintegration Damage is all-or-nothing: Either the entire target unit is destroyed, or the entire unit is unharmed.
Furthermore, any unit killed primarily by Disintegration Damage cannot be restored to life (or Undeath) in any way.

Dispel Evil Damage Edit

When a target unit is struck by Dispel Evil Damage, each Icon Figure.png Figure in the unit must Icon Resist.png Resist successfully or die on the spot - regardless of how much Icon Hits.png Health that figure had remaining.
Each Figure can be killed separately from the others, so the target can potentially lose all of its Icon Figure.png Figures, none of them, or any number in between.
Dispel Evil Damage works only against targets associated with either the Icon Death.pngDeath or Icon Chaos.pngChaos realms. This includes all Fantastic Units from those realms, the Undead, and any Chaos Channeled units. Dispel Evil Damage has no effect on any other target!
Dispel Evil Damage usually applies a Icon Resist.png -4 Resistance penalty on the target while this is occurring, making it harder to succeed in each roll. The Undead are even more susceptible, suffering Icon Resist.png -9.

Fear Damage Edit

When a target unit is struck by Fear Damage, each Icon Figure.png Figure in the unit must Icon Resist.png Resist successfully or be unable to retaliate against the attacker.
Fear Damage is only delivered during Melee Attacks, and is delivered at a very specific point during the Melee combat process. When successfully affecting the target, it will reduce the number of enemy Icon Figure.png Figures that can participate in the exchange of Melee Damage and Touch Attacks between the attacker and target. This reduces the risk to the attacker.
Fear Damage does not cause any permanent harm to its target whatsoever. It only prevents it from retaliating until the end of the current Melee combat process.

Life Stealing Damage Edit

When a target unit is struck by Life Stealing Damage, it must make a single die roll resulting in a number between 1 and 10. This number is then compared to the unit's Icon Resist.png Resistance score. The target then suffers an amount of Icon Damage.png Damage based on the gap between these values.
Furthermore, whoever delivered the Life Stealing Damage will regain a number of Icon Hits.png Hit Points based directly on the amount of Icon Damage.png Damage Points caused to the target. In other words, while the target is being injured, the attacker is being healed.
Finally, any unit that is killed primarily or entirely by Life Stealing Damage may rise as an Undead unit at the end of the battle. In this case, the unit also switches allegiance, and now serves the master of the unit that inflicted Life Stealing Damage upon it.

Poison Damage Edit

When Poison Damage strike a target unit, that unit must make a number of Icon Resist.png Resistance rolls equal to the total strength of the poison attack.
For each failed roll, the target unit suffers exactly Icon Damage.png 1 point of Damage.
The stronger the poison attack, the more Icon Damage.png Damage can be inflicted on the target in total. Conversely, the higher the target's Icon Resist.png Resistance score, the more Icon Damage.png Damage it will suffer on average. Thus, Poison Damage is particularly effective against units with low Resistance scores.

Stoning Damage Edit

When a target unit is struck by Stoning Damage, each Icon Figure.png Figure in the unit must Icon Resist.png Resist successfully or die on the spot - regardless of how much Icon Hits.png Health that figure had remaining.
Each Figure can be killed separately from the others, so the target can potentially lose all of its Icon Figure.png Figures, none of them, or any number in between.
Stoning Damage usually applies a Icon Resist.png Resistance penalty on the target while this is occurring, making it harder to succeed in each roll.

Anti-Armor Edit

The Anti-Armor group is the smallest of the Special Damage groups, containing only two types of damage. Both of these have no effect on their own, and must be delivered alongside any amount of Physical Damage in order to work.

Anti-Armor damage types are designed to lower the target's Icon Defense.png Defense score, at which point the Physical Damage component of the attack strikes the target, exploiting this temporary weakness. This "one-two punch" is the reason why Anti-Armor damage types are also called "tandem damage types".

"Anti-Armor" types include the following:

Armor Piercing Damage Edit

When Armor Piercing Damage strikes a target, it will temporarily lower the target's Icon Defense.png Defense score by 50%, rounded down. This makes it easier for any Physical Damage immediately following the Armor Piercing Damage to get through the target's defenses, thus increasing the average damage output.
The reduction in the target's Icon Defense.png Defense score applies only for purposes of processing the Physical Damage delivered alongside the Armor Piercing Damage. Once that's done, the target's Icon Defense.png Defense score returns to normal. Therefore, Armor Piercing Damage must be delivered alongside Physical Damage in order to give any tangible benefit.

Illusion Damage Edit

When Illusion Damage strikes a target, it will temporarily lower the target's Defense score to exactly Icon Defense.png 0. This prevents the target from making any Icon ToBlock.png To Block rolls against the Physical Damage immediately following the Illusion Damage.
The reduction in the target's Icon Defense.png Defense score applies only for purposes of processing the Physical Damage delivered alongside the Illusion Damage. Once that's done, the target's Icon Defense.png Defense score returns to normal. Therefore, Illusion Damage must be delivered alongside Physical Damage in order to give any tangible benefit.

Abnormal Edit

Finally, three types of Special Damage fit into neither of the above sub-categories. Since they work so differently from all other damage types, they are known as "abnormal" damage types. They don't even resemble each other; they're only grouped together because they fit in none of the other groups.

Doom Damage Edit

A Doom Damage attack inflicts an exact and specific amount of Icon Damage.png Damage Points on the target. This is subjected to absolutely no outside factor (except Magic Immunity, which negates all Doom Damage outright).
In other words, Doom Damage does not need to make any Icon ToHit.png To Hit rolls to determine its accuracy, and the target may not make any Icon ToBlock.png To Block nor Icon Resist.png Resistance rolls to minimize the harm in any way.
Therefore, the same Doom Damage attack will deliver the exact same amount of Icon Damage.png Damage every time.

Power Drain Damage Edit

Power Drain Damage will only have an effect on the target if it possesses the Caster ability. If so, the target loses a random amount of Icon Mana.png Mana, anywhere between Icon Mana.png 2-20.
Targets that do not possess the Caster ability will suffer no harm from Power Drain Damage.

Immunities Edit

Different Special Damage types will trigger different immunities - if the target possesses them. Just as Special Damage types are diverse in their effects, so are they diverse in the types of immunities that block them.

For the most part, if a Special Damage type triggers one of the target's immunities, that Special Damage is completely negated - it will cause no effect on the target. Of course, if an attack delivers several Damage Types simultaneously, some of these damage types may get through unimpeded while others are blocked.

Ability DeathImmunity Death Immunity Edit

A unit possessing Death Immunity will not be affected in any way by Death Damage, Fear Damage and Life Stealing Damage. Such a unit simply ignores these damage types when struck by them.

Ability IllusionsImmunity Illusions Immunity Edit

Illusion Damage is responsible for lowering a target's Defense score to Icon Defense.png 0 just before Physical Damage strikes that target. However, when the target possesses Illusions Immunity, the Illusion Damage does nothing at all. The target's Defense score remains unchanged.

Of course, the Physical Damage component of the attack can still strike the target (though it may trigger other immunities, of course). Therefore, the target is not made completely immune - it simply avoids losing its ability to defend itself. It will defend as normal, and thus still stands a chance of suffering from the Physical Damage component.

Ability MagicImmunity Magic Immunity Edit

The vast majority of Special Damage types are completely blocked if the target possesses Magic Immunity. These damage types will cause no harm whatsoever to a Magic-Immune target.

The only three types that do not trigger Magic Immunity are Armor Piercing Damage, Illusion Damage and Poison Damage.

Ability PoisonImmunity Poison Immunity Edit

A unit possessing Poison Immunity will not be affected in any way by Poison Damage, regardless of how strong it is. Therefore, no amount of Poison Damage will cause any Icon Damage.png Damage to such a unit.

Ability StoningImmunity Stoning Immunity Edit

A unit possessing Stoning Immunity will not be affected in any way by Stoning Damage. It will not lose any Icon Figure.png Figures when struck by such damage, regardless of its Icon Resist.png Resistance score.

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