The strength of a Stoning Touch ability is noted after its name (e.g. "Stoning Touch -3"). The negative value indicates a temporary penalty applied to the target figure's Resistance score while the attack is taking place. The higher the penalty, the harder it is for the target to survive the attack.
Only one creature in the game possesses Stoning Touch by default: Cockatrices. It is however possible to bestow a weakened version of this ability on Heroes, by equipping them with a Magical Item that has the "Stoning" bonus.
Note that a similar ability exists, Stoning Gaze, which makes a single petrifying attack on each and every Figure in the target unit, prior to melee action. This gaze attack is furthermore only fired once per instance of Melee combat, regardless of how many figures are present in the unit possessing the ability.
Cockatrices may look like overgrown, mutated chickens - but they possess a rather dangerous weapon in the form of a Stoning Touch attack. The Cockatrices are essentially venomous, and their venom can instantly turn a living creature into stone. This transformation is absolutely deadly to the vast majority of enemies. Fortunately for these enemies, the venom only has a certain chance of working, and a particularly hardy creature may be able to survive it without harm. A Nature attuned Wizard can imbue weapons with a dissolutus which presents the same basic type of threat.
When used, it forces the target unit to make one Resistance roll per figure in the source unit. To resolve this effect, the game rolls a random number between 1 and 10. This is then compared to the target's current Resistance , minus the resistance modifier of the Stoning Touch, if any. If the rolled number is higher than the modified Resistance score, the target unit is struck for Irreversible Damage Points equal to the full Hit Points of one of its Figures, slaying one figure instantly and possibly inflicting further Damage to the next figure in line.
The modifier to the target's Resistance score is equal to the strength of the Stoning Touch attack, as noted after the name of the ability. Thus, Stoning Touch -3 gives a -3 Resistance penalty to the target. This penalty applies only for the purpose of this specific attack, and is removed once the attack is over.
Timing within the Melee Attack Edit
- As a Melee Touch Attack, Stoning Touch is executed simultaneously with the unit's Melee Damage; thus, figures destroyed by a Thrown, Breath, Gaze Attacks or First Strike will not deliver Stoning Touch, and figures destroyed by Stoning Touch will still deliver damage unless the unit is attacking and has First Strike.
- Units with Stoning Immunity and/or Magic Immunity are impervious to Stoning Touch. They do not need to make any Resistance rolls, instead completely ignoring the attack.
- Also, any unit with 10 remaining after all factors have been computed, as well as any Charmed hero, is rendered effectively invulnerable to Stoning Touch by virtue of its resistance score.
- A unit of 4 Cockatrices engages a unit of 2 War Bears. The War Bears must make four resistance rolls, one for each Cockatrice. Each time a roll fails, the unit is struck for the full health of a single War Bear figure, or 8 Damage.
- In point of contrast, when exposed to the Stoning Gaze of 4 Gorgons, the bears will only make two resistance rolls— one for each War Bear.
Units with Default Stoning Touch Edit
There is only one unit that possesses Stoning Touch by default:
The Cockatrices have Stoning Touch -3, which means that they inflict a -3 Resistance penalty on the target when using this ability. This makes it very difficult for low-to-mid tier units to resist the effect. Stoning Touch -3 is the strongest known Stoning Touch in the game.
Acquiring Stoning Touch Edit
It is possible to add Stoning Touch to pretty much any Hero unit, and furthermore, to add a Ranged dimension to the ability. This is accomplished by imbuing a Magical Item with an Item Power called "Stoning" (or "Petrifying" in the game manual), and equipping that item on a Hero.
The "Stoning" bonus can only be added to Swords, Maces, Axes, Wands, Staves and Bows. During Item Crafting, the "Stoning" bonus is only available if you possess at least 2 Nature Spellbooks. Of course, it is always possible to find an item already imbued with this bonus as a reward for defeating an Encounter.
The Stoning Touch given by a Magical Item has a strength of -1 (it gives a -1 Resistance penalty to the target), making it significantly weaker than the Stoning Touch ability of Cockatrices, but still quite useful against low-Resistance enemies. The Stoning Touch icon does not appear in the Hero's details panel while holding such an item. The property is also transient: the hero only possesses this ability while holding the weapon, and will lose it immediately if the item is ever removed or lost.
"Stoning" is a weapon-derived power. It may only appear on a magical weapon as mentioned above, and only triggers a Stoning Touch during the type of attack for which that weapon is designed. These are, respectively: