|As of Master of Magic v1.31, Weakness is known to be malfunctioning in at least one way. Please read the Known Bugs section below.|
|Spell Type||Unit Curse|
Weakness is a Common Unit Curse belonging to the Death Magic realm. For 5 it may be cast on an enemy unit during combat. The target gets to make a Resistance roll, albeit at a penalty of -2 to avert this curse. If it fails, it immediately receives -2 and -2. These penalties will continue to affect the unit until the end of the battle or until Weakness is dispelled.
Weakness can significantly reduce an enemy unit's attack strength - whether it's a Melee Attack, Ranged Attack, or both. This renders the unit less dangerous, and may make it completely incapable of attacking.
Melee Attack Penalty Edit
While Weakness is affecting a unit, the unit's Melee Attack score is reduced by -2. This reduces the unit's maximum damage output by 2 (per figure), and thus also reduces the amount of damage it does on average with its Melee Attack.
Any unit reaching 0 or less due to this effect will skip the Melee Damage phase of the Melee sequence, including any Touch Attacks that would be delivered along with this damage. It may still initiate attacks, but the AI will no longer do so, even if the unit possesses Special Attacks that it may still be capable of using.
Ranged Missile Attack Penalty Edit
While Weakness is affecting a unit, the unit's Ranged Attack score is reduced by -2. This reduces the unit's maximum damage output by 2 (per figure), and thus also reduces the amount of damage it does on average.
Units with Death Immunity, Magic Immunity, or the Righteousness effect are completely immune to this spell. Furthermore, units with a total Resistance score of 12 or more (after other modifiers) will never fail their Resistance roll and thus will not be affected either. The conditional Resistance bonus of the Bless spell also applies against Weakness.
Weakness may only be cast during combat, for a Casting Cost of 5. It must be targeted at an enemy unit.
Once Weakness is successfully cast on a unit, it will immediately affect that unit's statistics as explained above. The unit will continue to suffer from Weakness until the end of the battle, or until Weakness is dispelled - whichever comes first.
As a Common Death spell, Weakness may become available to any Wizard who possesses at least one Death Spellbook. However, its availability during the game is not guaranteed unless the Wizard acquires at least 7 Spellbooks.
Customized Wizards possessing at least 2 Spellbooks at game creation may choose Weakness as one of their starting spells, in which case the spell will be available for casting immediately on the first turn. Wizards with 11 Spellbooks are guaranteed to have this spell available as soon as the game begins.
Wizards with 6 or fewer Spellbooks who have not chosen Weakness as a guaranteed spell have a random chance of being able to Research it. The chance for this spell to appear increases with the number of Death Spellbooks the Wizard possesses or obtains during gameplay. With 7-10 Spellbooks, the spell is guaranteed to appear for Research if it is not already available for casting.
Weakness has a base Research Cost of 40.
With at least 1 Spellbook, the Weakness spell may be acquired as a reward for winning encounters in creature Lairs, Towers, et cetera, or when conquering the Fortress of a rival wizard who has already researched this spell.
Weakness can be used in either two ways: it can neutralize a weak unit, or it can hinder a strong unit. Depending on the situation on the battlefield, choosing which unit to inflict with Weakness can be a tough call.
Note that Multi-Figure units normally suffer more from this spell, as they lose 2 attack strength points per figure. Also, most Multi-Figure units do not have a very high attack strength to begin with, so Weakness can cut such a unit's effectiveness by half or even more.
Reducing a very powerful unit's strength by such a small amount is often pointless, but can still be the deciding factor in one-on-one combat between two powerful creatures. In most cases however, there are probably better spells to cast on such units.
Known Bugs Edit
The in-game help text of the Weakness spell and the tooltip of the Weakness effect itself both indicate that the spell also reduces Thrown Attack Strength. However, this does not actually happen, Thrown Attacks are completely unaffected by Weakness.
This spell can bring the Melee Attack Strength of certain units to 0, which will cause the AI to stop moving or attacking with the unit regardless of other properties. This can negate the use of certain Special Attacks that are otherwise unaffected by the spell, but would only be executed on voluntary attacks ( Breath, Thrown). Units with Gaze Attacks are also affected, although in this case the situation is marginally better as they can at least utilize these abilities on Counter Attacks. Unless, of course, the bug is exploited to simply gain more time to kill them off at range.
The tooltip of the Weakness effect further indicates that the spell does not allow a Resistance roll, a feature that was removed in patch 1.1. Unfortunately, not all of the tooltips have been updated to reflect this change.