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TerrainSpecial Tower A Tower of Wizardry (or just "Tower") is a type of Encounter zone and a magical bridge between the realms of Arcanus and Myrror.

A single Tower of Wizardry simultaneously occupies the same location on both Planes, and can be considered as actually being two Towers that are inextricably linked to one another. Any unit occupying one of these Towers is said to be present in both Towers, on both Planes, simultaneously. Such units can essentially choose which Plane to move on when leaving the Tower's tile. The liberated Tower does not "belong" to any one wizard - any army can utilize it to move to the other plane. This is why powerful empires will try to block Towers in their area with powerful armies to prevent rivals from using them.

Before a Tower of Wizardry can be used however, its original garrison must first be defeated. Towers of Wizardry are some of the more difficult Encounters in the game, and can potentially be as difficult if not more difficult than most Nodes. Based on random chance, they may be guarded by Fantastic Creatures from any of the 5 Realms of magic.

The rewards for defeating a Tower of Wizardry's garrison are partly random, and vary based on the strength of the creatures found within. Whatever the rewards, the wizard conquering a Tower of Wizardry will win at least one new spell, if possible. If Spellbooks are awarded, they can potentially be of any of the 5 colors!

Unconquered Towers of Wizardry may occasionally spawn new Rampaging Monster groups. The type of monsters spawned depends on the color of the creatures guarding the Tower of Wizardry. The strength of such groups increases as the game matures. These monsters will head straight for any nearby town controlled by one of the Wizards. On higher difficulty levels, they will head straight for the human player's towns.

Description Edit

A Tower of Wizardry is a magical construction built by the wizards of old in order to connect the worlds of Arcanus and Myrror, and allow even non-magical beings to cross between them with ease. As the elder empires fell, these Towers have fallen into disuse and have attracted powerful monsters who will fight ferociously to defend them.

Each Tower of Wizardry built on one of the Planes has a corresponding "twin" Tower on the other Plane. Any creature standing in one of these Towers co-exists in both of them simultaneously. The creature can then step through the correct door to leave into either of the Planes - thus having an instant teleportation device!

Towers of Wizardry appear on the map as tall, round, green towers, with a somewhat crumbled top. After a Tower of Wizardry is cleared of its monstrous defenders, it can be reactivated - in which case its insides will show a visible eerie-green glow. This can help the player to quickly distinguish an activated Tower from one that's still defended by monsters.

Towers of Wizardry are always placed on top of a Grassland tile. On occasion, the placement of these Towers can form a tiny island out in the middle of the Ocean - giving another good reason to explore the vast blue waters.

The Encounter Zone Edit

Encounter Tower Dialog

An example of the Tower of Wizardry scouting dialog.

A Tower of Wizardry is initially an Encounter zone. It may contain up to 9 different Fantastic Units, from one of the 5 Realms, chosen semi-randomly from all possible creatures of the selected realm.

DefendersEdit

When initially created at the start of the game, a Tower of Wizardry will usually contain Fantastic Creatures that defend it, and any Treasure stashed inside. To figure out exactly what creatures the Tower of Wizardry contains, the program goes through the procedure outlined below.

First, the game determines the basic mana budget that it will use to "buy" creatures from in order to populate the encounter. The basic formula setting out the monster budget for a Tower of Wizardry is: 700-1200. This is then adjusted for the campaign's Difficulty setting:

Intro Easy Average Hard Impossible
-75% -50% -25% +0% +25%

At the same time, the game also needs to choose the magical Realm from which defenders will come. This sets out the monsters available to fill the encounter with. For a Tower of Wizardry, the possibilities are as follows:

Realm Possible Defenders
Icon Chaos.png16.7% Unit Unit Icon HellHounds Transparent Unit Icon FireElemental Transparent Unit Icon FireGiant Transparent Unit Icon Gargoyles Transparent Unit Icon DoomBat Transparent Unit Icon Chimeras Transparent Unit Icon ChaosSpawn Transparent Unit Icon Efreet Transparent Unit Icon Hydra Transparent Unit Icon GreatDrake Transparent
Cost 40 100 150 200 300 350 400 550 650 900
Icon Death.png33.3% Unit Unit Icon Skeletons Transparent Unit Icon Zombies Transparent Unit Icon Ghouls Transparent Unit Icon Demon Transparent Unit Icon NightStalker Transparent Unit Icon Werewolves Transparent Unit Icon ShadowDemons Transparent Unit Icon Wraiths Transparent Unit Icon DeathKnights Transparent Unit Icon DemonLord Transparent
Cost 25 30 80 80 250 250 325 500 600 900
Icon Life.png16.7% Unit Unit Icon GuardianSpirit Transparent Unit Icon Unicorns Transparent Unit Icon Angel Transparent Unit Icon Archangel Transparent
Cost 50 250 550 950
Icon Nature.png16.7% Unit Unit Icon WarBears Transparent Unit Icon Sprites Transparent Unit Icon EarthElemental Transparent Unit Icon GiantSpiders Transparent Unit Icon Cockatrices Transparent Unit Icon Basilisk Transparent Unit Icon StoneGiant Transparent Unit Icon Gorgons Transparent Unit Icon Behemoth Transparent Unit Icon Colossus Transparent Unit Icon GreatWyrm Transparent
Cost 70 100 160 200 275 325 450 599 700 800 1000
Icon Sorcery.png16.7% Unit Unit Icon PhantomWarriors Transparent Unit Icon Nagas Transparent Unit Icon AirElemental Transparent Unit Icon PhantomBeast Transparent Unit Icon StormGiant Transparent Unit Icon Djinn Transparent Unit Icon SkyDrake Transparent
Cost 20 120 170 225 500 650 1000

If the mana budget is insufficient for any creature in the chosen Realm, the Tower of Wizardry has no defenders and is defeated the first time any unit attempts to enter its square. Otherwise, the game divides the base budget by a random integer in the range of 1-4, and selects the most expensive unit which costs no more than this value; or the first monster on the list if no creatures qualify. This will be the monster seen by any scouts that visit (but do not initiate combat at) a Tower of Wizardry.

Once the "main" creature is chosen, the game divides the budget by the cost of this unit, rounding down, to determine how many of these monsters will actually be in the Tower of Wizardry. However, this will never be more than 8, and if it is more than 1, there is a 50% chance that it will be reduced by 1. These limitations significantly increase the likelyhood of encounters featuring more than one type of monster.

Finally, the game calculates the remaining budget by subtracting (number of first monster) * (cost of first monster) from the initial budget. This may then be used to "purchase" a set of secondary creatures, which will always match the Realm of the primary monster. Only if the remaining budget is insufficient for any other creature than the first monster, will there be no second monster.

Otherwise, the game divides the remaining budget by a random integer between 1 and (10 - number of first monster), and selects the most expensive unit (other than the primary monster), which costs no more than this value. The rest of the encounter is then populated with this creature, up to the maximum of 9 total units (including the first monsters), or until the remaining budget is exhausted. That is, the amount of secondary monsters will be the lower of either (9 - number of first monster), or (remaining budget) / (cost of second monster).

Multiple BattlesEdit

In the wake of a battle, the original defending units are never replenished. If, during an assault on a Tower of Wizardry, the invading army manages to kill a defending unit, but then loses the battle or retreats, that unit will not be restored unless it has the Ability Regeneration Regeneration ability. This means that it is possible to "whittle down" a Tower of Wizardry's defenders with several subsequent battles, instead of trying to kill all of them at the same time.

There are several caveats to this:

  • Any defenders that are not destroyed completely are fully healed at the end of each battle, and will have all Icon Figure.png figures restored to life appropriately. Thus, it is not possible to kill one unit by injuring it repeatedly in each battle - it must be killed completely to ensure that it does not reappear in the next battle.
  • Fleeing is often disastrous. Units fleeing a battle are 50% likely to be slain, regardless of their speed and defenses. At the Normal difficulty setting and above, fleeing Heroes also have a 25% chance of being slain. Partial engagements are likely only worth it if the battle can be drawn out to 50 turns, the attacking units can be magically recalled, or the loss of any fleeing units is affordable.
  • Killing the defenders in piece-meal fashion is likely to reward less Icon Fame.png Fame for the Wizard, and is certain to generate less Icon Experience.png Experience for Normal Units and Heroes. Neither of these are awarded after retreats or defeats: only the enemies present in the final engagement will contribute to either. The fewer battles it takes to clear a Tower of Wizardry, the better.

Nevertheless, any strong Tower of Wizardry whose defenses can be whittled-down perhaps should be whittled-down. In particular, Icon Fame.png Fame is only granted for defeating Very Rare creatures or 4+ defenders, so a Tower of Wizardry guarded by a mix of Common, Uncommon, and Rare creatures can be whittled down to 4 Common creatures with little penalty.

Treasure Edit

Main article: Treasure

The rewards for conquering a Tower of Wizardry depend largely on its defenders: the stronger the creatures guarding it, the better the treasure. Supreme rewards, such as new Spellbooks, or Retorts, are only found behind the strongest monsters.

Treasure Types Distribution Qualify Spend Max
Magical Item 5 in 15 300 400-3000 3
Spell (1d4 for rarity) 3 in 15 1
* Common Spell 50 50
* Uncommon Spell 200 200
* Rare Spell 450 450
* Very Rare Spell 800 800
10 - 200 Icon Gold.png Pieces 2 in 15 50 200
10 - 200 Icon Mana.png Crystals 2 in 15 50 200
Special (Book / Retort) 2 in 15 1000 3000 2
Prisoner 1 in 15 400 1000 1

When the game begins, each Tower of Wizardry is assigned a treasure budget of either 50-125% (Arcanus), or 75-175% (Myrror), of the base (before adjustment for difficulty) mana budget used to generate the inhabitants. This is further increased by 25% on the "Impossible" Difficulty setting, and has a minimum value of 50. The computer then rolls imaginary 15-sided dice to select the basic types of loot found in the Tower of Wizardry's hoard (see chart).

For each roll, if the remaining treasure budget is less than the "Qualify" value; or the maximum number of that treasure has already been created; the die is rerolled. Otherwise, the cost of the treasure is subtracted from the budget, and, if there are at least 50 points left, the die is cast again. If a "Special" is generated, all other rewards are discarded, and the process ends.

This initial randomization only sets out the type of the treasure that will be awarded for defeating each encounter. The particulars are instead determined "on the fly" when a Wizard successfully conquers the Tower of Wizardry. Thus, reloading the session and fighting the Encounter repeatedly will yield the same basic types of loot every time, but the exact spells, items, and specials will vary. Towers of Wizardry always generate a spell on their first roll.

General Notes Edit

The weakest Tower of Wizardrys might only be able to afford a small pile of Icon Gold.png Gold or Icon Mana.png Mana Crystals, and nothing else. Due to the probability distribution, Tower of Wizardrys whose budget endowments allow a Magical Item or Spell are more likely to contain these instead. Both multiple Magical Items; and multiple piles of Icon Gold.png Gold and/or Icon Mana.png Mana Crystals can appear in some hoards. On the other hand, only one Spell may ever be awarded at a time, but the d4 rolls from multiple Spell results are added together to determine Spell Rarity (up to a maximum of 4, yielding a Very Rare Spell).

The quality of a Magical Item reward is supposed to scale with remaining treasure points, but in version 1.31, the program only manages to constrain the item's quality in the case of a "Failed Special". Typically, then, the wizard only needs the Spellbook ranks that an item demands, for it to be eligible to (randomly) appear in a Tower of Wizardry. Full lists of pre-fab items and their arbitrary rank requirements can be found here, in the article on treasure.

A Prisoner, a most uncommon find, might be held at a Tower of Wizardry. This individual will be one of the 25 non-champion Heroes in the game, drawn at random from those who are not already in the Wizard's service or defeated. These captive V.I.P.s will offer to join for no initial cost, out of gratitude for being rescued (however, their upkeep won't be free unless they bear the Ability Noble Noble trait). Beware: if the victorious army stack is 9 units deep, or the Wizard already controls 6 Heroes, "Absolutely Nothing" will appear in the Prisoner's place.

Specials Edit

When a special is generated, there is a 75% chance that it will be a Spellbook, and a 25% chance that it is a Retort. If the remaining treasure budget was 2,000 or higher, two specials will be generated, otherwise only 1. Retorts that cost 2 picks can only appear at a site with 2 specials, and will cost both specials. The Myrran retort cannot appear in Treasure, and the prerequisites for all other retorts are ignored. Spellbooks found in a Tower of Wizardry will be a random type (cannot get Icon Life.pngLife if you already have Icon Death.pngDeath, or vice versa).

A Wizard cannot possess more than 13 Spellbooks and 6 Retorts; if this occurs, any special reward will instead be replaced by a Magical Item with a maximum value of 1,200.

Rampaging MonstersEdit

Main article: Rampaging Monster

Any non-Icon Life.pnglife Tower of Wizardry that has not yet been cleared of defenders is a possible source for Rampaging Monsters.

Difficulty Budget Frequency
Intro Turn x 0.4 1/50 turns
Easy Turn x 0.4-0.8 1/33 turns
Average Turn x 0.4-1.2 1/25 turns
Hard Turn x 0.4-1.6 1/20 turns
Impossible Turn x 0.4-2.0 1/17 turns

Starting at turn 50, and again every frequency turns, Rampaging Monsters are generated from a random still-populated nonIcon Life.pnglife Encounter; the procedure is similar to defenders, but Realm will always match the source, and budget is determined by the turn number and difficulty. The budget is halved if Rampaging Monsters are generated on the same continent as any wizard's Fortress.

A Bridge Between the Planes Edit

The reason that the ancient empires built these Towers of Wizardry in the first place was to allow instantaneous and reliable travel between the worlds of Arcanus and Myrror. Despite centuries or possibly even millennia passing since then, the Towers still function in this manner!

Once a Tower of Wizardry has been cleared of its original defenders, it will permanentlyTerrainSpecial TowerOpenglow green - indicating that it has been restored to active status. From this point onward, any unit can use this tower to switch between Arcanus and Myrror freely.

A unit or army stack occupying the location of a Tower of Wizardry will coexist in two locations simultaneously: the position of the Tower it entered, and the position of the corresponding Tower on the other plane. The stack can be seen when examining either plane, because it exists in both at the same time.

Therefore, while the stack is selected, simply click the "Plane" button until you reach the desired plane, and then move the stack out of the Tower. To get back to the other Plane, move the stack back into the Tower, click the "Plane" button, and move the stack out of the Tower.

Note that this coexistance also means that an army inside a Tower of Wizardry is exposed to attacks on both Planes simultaneously. In other words, even if this army does not actively switch between planes, enemy units on either plane may attack it by moving into the Tower's tile.

The Tower of Wizardry can also be used to build Roads on Ocean and Shore tiles, where these cannot normally be built, or to make Walking units pass Ocean and Shore tiles without being actually able to walk the water. See more on Roads page.

Blocking Access Edit

A Tower of Wizardry is never owned by any specific empire. If the tower's tile is empty, any army can move into it and utilize its power to move between the Planes. As a result, an empire that manages to liberate a Tower of Wizardry has some incentive to place an army in that Tower, thus blocking any passage through it. Any other empire that wishes to enter this tower will need to attack and destroy the defenders first.

This technique is particularly important to Myrran wizards. It is certainly in their interest to prevent any of the rival Arcanian empires from gaining access to Myrror. The best way to do so would be to use the Planar Seal spell, but if this is not available the next best thing would be to reach each and every Tower of Wizardry, clear it of its original guardians, and then garrison it with powerful forces that cannot easily be defeated. As long as rivals can be kept out of Myrror, the Myrran wizard's empire is relatively safe, and he/she can spend some more time consolidating his/her position, tackling the valuable Myrror Encounter zones, and taking over Nodes and Neutral towns. Of course, this strategy falls apart if any enemy has access to Planar Travel, Plane Shift, or Shadow Demons...

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