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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Default Let's Play Master of Magic

    I'm never going to start if I don't get around to starting, so I'll start!

    Let's Play Master of Magic!

    Or let's try anyways.

    First things first. Master of Magic is an amazing, one-of-a-kind 4X game. Between multiple races, spell types, 2 parallel worlds and more, there's nothing else like it. I was 2 years old when it was first released, so I can't say first hand how awesome it was back in the day, but I can say how awesome it is right now. In fact, I'd like to share that with you all. Actual explanation of the game with come later. So, without further babbling:

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    Yeah, I know, it's kinda small. Which brings me to my first problem. The screen shots are either small, or bad quality. I can't seem to find a medium. Maybe using something other than DosBox's screen shot taker would be a fix? I don't know, do any of you?

    Some examples:
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    So, if people have a fix, or if not, a preference, I'm all ears... or eyes.... yeah, eyes.

    Now, back to the game. I'll try to add screenshots of these screens once I can get better screens. OK, for starters, you choose difficulty, landmass size, # of opponents, and the amount of mana that magic nodes give. I leave the latter 3 at their defaults (that's 4 opponents, the max number), but for difficulty I'm not sure what I want. I always play on medium, but I admit it's no great difficulty, and supposedly the top difficulty is the closest thing to a challenge. However, I don't want to fail my LP. Kinda anti-climactic.

    Next up, wizard choice. There are 14 pre-determined wizards, but we'll be going with a custom wizard. Choose a portrait, choose a name, and then the real decisions begin. Each player has 11 wizard points to spend, and here are the choices:
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    The Five Schools Of Magic:
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    The more points you put into a school, the more spells you will have in it, and at higher numbers, the spells also become cheaper for you to cast.

    Life: A school of healing and protection. Also has spells to jump between the planes, spells that hurt creatures of Death and Chaos, and some other typical good-like spells. Other wizards also inherently like you more (normally you get a bonus for each spell pick you have in common, but life is always a bonus)

    Death: The opposite of Life, and as such, no wizard can have picks in both Life and Death. Raising dead, cursing people, draining their life and mana, corrupting people and land. All fun, but other wizards also dislike you more for it, even other Death wizards.

    Chaos: Spells about fire, lightning, and change. Fireballs, hellhounds, and other flashy damage stuff is all here. Also, as stated, has spells that change things, either weakening enemies, warping allies, or destroying an archer's ammunition.

    Nature: Growth, fertility, bears. Has some good creatures, and can really help your cities and your early scouting (Earth Lore can reveal screens worth of territory at a time). Also many buffs for your troops and ways to mess with enemies.

    Sorcery: Wind and meta-magic. These spells mess with other people's spells, as well as control wind, phantom troops, and stuff like flight and invisibility.


    Other Picks:
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    Alchemy: Costs 1 Pick, units always have magic weapons (bonus to hit), and you can transmute gold to mana and mana to gold at a 1:1 ratio, instead of 1:2.

    Warlord: Costs 2 Picks, units start 1 level of experience higher, and can reach one higher max level.

    Channeler: Costs 2 Picks, spells cast during combat always only cost their base amount (normally, the farther you are from your capital, the more mana you must spend). Also, only pays half of spell maintenance for permanent enchantments.

    Archmage: Costs 1 Pick, requires 4 Picks in any 1 school, gives 10 bonus skill to wizard (how much mana can be channeled into spells per turn), makes his spells harder to dispel, skill rises faster.

    Artificer: Costs 1 Pick, can make magic items from the start of the game, and does so for half mana.

    Conjurer: Costs 1 Pick, 25% decrease to casting, research, and maintenance of summoning spells.

    Sage Master: Costs 1 Pick, requires 1 pick in any 2 schools, research of all magic is 25% faster.

    Myrran: Costs 3 Picks, starts on the world of Myrror, as opposed to Arcanus. That means 5 extra mana per turn, generally a safer start (enemies on the other plane), and 1 of 5 special races to choose from that aren't found on Arcanus. The creatures in caves and magic nodes are a bit scarier though.

    Divine/Infernal Power: Costs 2 Picks, requires 4 picks in Life/Death Magic, increases mana gained and unrest reduced by shrines, temples, etc. by 50%. By and large, not worth it at all.

    Famous: Costs 2 Picks, 10 starting Fame (normally gained by wining large battles, a certain Sorcery Spell, or having Legendary heroes, it causes more heroes and mercenaries to offer their services, and more magic items to be offered to sell to you. Also, each point reduces the gold upkeep of your army by 1). Also, doubles chance of heroes, mercenaries, and magic items.

    Runemaster: Costs 1 Pick, requires 2 picks in any 3 schools, 25% faster researching and cheaper casting of Arcane spells, the generic spells available to everybody (Dispelling, moving your summoning circle, spying on cities, etc.).

    Charismatic: Costs 1 Pick, makes heroes, mercenaries, and magic items half priced, and causes good diplomatic actions to have double the effect, and bad actions half the effect.

    Chaos/Nature/Sorcery Mastery: Costs 1 Pick, requires 4 picks in associated school, 15% research bonus, 15% reduced casting cost, spells twice as hard to dispel, and doubles magic from associated nodes (all previous bonuses also only apply to associated school).

    Mana Focusing: Costs 1 Pick, requires 1 Pick in any 1 school, makes increases mana you generate by 25%.

    Node Mastery: Costs 1 Pick, requires 2 picks in Sorcery, Nature, and Chaos, doubles magic gained from all nodes, and spells are immune to dispelling effect of nodes (when fighting at a node, spells from schools that aren't of the same school as the node are very often dispelled).


    Then, one must choose a race (I swear, this is the last overloaded spoiler tag).

    Races:
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    Barbarians:Populations grow faster than any other race, most troops have throwing weapons, giving them a decent first strike before other blows are dealt. Only missing a few high end building. Berserkers are nice.

    Gnolls: Grow a little slowly, all units have extra attack, but cities can't build many buildings.

    Halflings: Farmers grow more than others, units have less attack but more defense and resistance, are "Lucky" (small bonus to attack, defense, resistance, etc.), and some units come in units of 8 (default is 6). Also only missing some high end buildings. Also, they generate the least unrest in conquered races (or when they themselves are conquered).

    High Elf: Generates 1/2 Power per population (power is what goes into mana generation, research, or skill building), grow quite slowly, units move through forests easily, have higher resistance, and have small bonuses to hit. Generate higher than average unrest in conquered people.

    High Men: All around, their units have no bonuses, they can build almost everything, and have good unique units. Also note, that their units are base price (most other armies whose units have bonuses are also more expensive).

    Klackon (think bug people): Units have bonus defense, and a good unique unit, but lack many building options, and grow a little slowly. Workers produce extra Also, klackons ruled by klackons have an unrest decrease, but very disagreeable as conquerers or as the conquered.

    Lizardman: Units have extra defense, resistance, and health (given units have multiple men per unit, this means an extra hit on every guy. Not huge, but definitely good), and are amphibious. Unfortunately, they are probably the most gimped in building options in their cities. Population grows slower than barbarians, but faster than everyone else.

    Nomads: The final human side, they grow a tad slowly, but get some extra gold, and have most building options open to them. Rangers are good.

    Orcs: The most average of the average. Can build everything, excel at nothing.

    The following races can only be found on Myrror:
    Beastmen: Produce 1/2 power per population, have extra attack, small resistance bonus, and health in units.

    Dark Elves: 1 Power per population, units have extra magic resistance, and basic units have inherent ranged magic attack. Also produce massive unrest in conquered races.

    Draconians: Units fly, breathe fire (same as barbarian thrown weapons), and have extra defense and resistance. Produce 1/2 power per population.

    Dwarves: Workers produce more, cities produce more gold, units have bonus health (more than beastmen and lizardmen) and resistance, engineers build roads faster (roads allow faster movement), and bonuses from special ores in hills near cities are doubled. Good unique units. Produce a good amount of unrest in conquered people.

    Trolls: Units come in groups of 4, but are strong, have high resistance, have most health of any race, and regenerate during battle (also, fully heal after battle, and dead units come back as long as their side won). Produce more unrest in conquered people than usual.


    Finally, pick between red, purple, blue, yellow, and green as your national color, and away we go.

    So, interest, screen shot advice, suggested wizards and races? EDIT: It's begun!

    Copper, the Myrran wizard with 4 picks in both Chaos and Death, is leading the Dark Elves in their schemes. Even though he'd rather not. It's to be updated every other day, if all goes well.
    Last edited by Copper8642; 2010-01-19 at 06:05 PM.
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  2. - Top - End - #2
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    Default Re: Let's Play Master of Magic

    I think the bigger pictures work a tiny bit better here.

    As for the wizard?

    As "Cowardice" isn't an available trait, I figure we should go with either Mustrum Ridcully or Ponder Stibbons instead of Rhincewind. Of course, the ability picks will take a minute, and the lack of Octarine makes color choice arbitrary, (Red sounds good.) but race should probably be high men.

    So, yeah. Put some points in life at least.
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    Default Re: Let's Play Master of Magic

    My vote?

    Chaos, Channeler, and as for race... Klackon. Because bugs are always awesome.
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    Default Re: Let's Play Master of Magic

    640x480 is fine.

    Wizard - Myrran/Warlord/Alchemy (that way, you can not bother with generating mana at all, freely transmuting gold, and putting all into magic research and skill rises).

    If you want to go for Heroes, take Artificer/Charismatic. Million to one chance and all that, especially given the might of ranged Champions

    You can find books later, in ruins, so it pays to have a few free slots.

    Race - Dark Elves (Warlocks?) or Trolls.

    Hmm, if you go "Discworld" route, go for Trolls

    Spells - full Sorcery, Phantom Warriors are very useful in the beginning.

    Or Chaos, legions of Hell are also worth it. The rest, not so much.

    Color - Red!
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  5. - Top - End - #5
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    Default Re: Let's Play Master of Magic

    I'd go Life magic, Dwarves, Alchemist and Myrran, since not only their production rate is great, but their far-end unit (the Hammerhands) is four kinds of awesome.

    Plus, it's dwarves. Everyone likes dwarves.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Let's Play Master of Magic

    In a perfect world, I would have read some of the Discworld novels, if not all of them. Also, taking 6 points worth of special bonuses leave 5 for magic, which isn't very much.
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    Default Re: Let's Play Master of Magic

    It isn't very much, granted, but Sorcery books are easiest to find (granted, some may have tough defenders). Now that I think about it, these special bonuses were picked to complement Troll/DE special bonuses (Super-elite units of these races simply rule, and they have easier start, too). With other races (seriously, dwarves?), they might hinder you, unless you go for Non-Myrran Warlord fielding Paladins (Higm Men unit). Start on Arcanus is much tougher, though.

    Plus, this is a game where all sorts of heroes and units can cast a spells for you. In fact, you can win easily even if you never cast a spell (but Summon Champion is a must). You can have a good game with 10 of 11 picks given to traits

    But honestly, pick a race corresponding to style of play you like, and go for it.
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    Default Re: Let's Play Master of Magic

    I'd say go for Elf, Earth, and with magicaly-armed heroes... so Alchemists and Charismatic?

    I never played the game, but I like the idea.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Let's Play Master of Magic

    I once went Death and High Men just to have Death Knights march with Paladins. Good times.

    But yeah, the current consensus definitely appears to be a Myrran wizard.

    Note that I would like to have a number of spell books, and 2 bonuses tops (3 if cheap).

    Course, gotta give more time for possible suggestions before I pick anything.
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  10. - Top - End - #10
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    Default Re: Let's Play Master of Magic

    Hmm, I wish I could remember if you can raise Paladins.

    Note to non-players, the unit name gets "Death" in front of it, if you raise it with necromancy.

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    Default Re: Let's Play Master of Magic

    Voting for Dark Elves or Trolls as well.

    Oh, and 640x400 is fine. It would perhaps be better if you could resize them to something a little smaller for readability, but it works the way it is.

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    Default Re: Let's Play Master of Magic

    You forgot to mention Beastmen, the Myrror equivalent to Highmen (sort of). Full building tree, no growth penalty, decent high end units and produce 0.5 mana per pop (I think).

    Apparently, the number of computer opponents starting on Myrror depends heavily on the difficulty setting. At some point there is at least 1, and up to 2 or 3 I think.
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    Default Re: Let's Play Master of Magic

    Hum.. just started a game for the first time. I decided to go in a Dwarven mindset, so I took:

    - Merlin Face
    - Alchemy
    - Warlord
    - Myrran
    - Charismatic
    - Artificer

    and 3 Life magic ticks. I decided that since I am not at ease with magic for now, but I know my civilization game mentality well, I'll be roleplaying my strenghts

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    Default Re: Let's Play Master of Magic

    Unique units do not get "death" in front of them, even when they're raised, it works only on generic "swordsmen" and such, iirc.

    Dwarves get double resource and gold production, making them perfect for exploiting Myrran's abundant resources; hammerhands, one of the most powerful units in the game, can be deployed very quickly, long before Warlocks, and they can utilise mithril/adamantine weapons and armor (unlike war trolls). A few books of life and nature magic will give a good chance at further boosts to growth, productivity and units' power, while the quickly conquered dark elf cities will provide support units and extra power in places where there are fewer minerals.

    Myrran, alchemist, (warlord), 3/4 life and 2/3 nature books; alternatively, myrran, alchemist/1 life, node mastery, 2 nature, 2 chaos, 2 sorcery. The second choice allows for a boost in node power production, wider choice in the trading in spells and general flexibility at the cost of either alchemy or life spells (life/death books are relatively rare compared to elemental magic books).

    Somewhere out there is the runemaster/artificer/archmage/(alchemist) combo, which allows to make very cheap and versatile artifacts and to profit from making artifacts and then crystallising them, but it necessitates starting the game on Arcanus (in which case High Elves, Halflings or Humans, possibly Nomads, would be good).
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    Default Re: Let's Play Master of Magic

    Ah, yes, you're correct. I gave it a little experiment, and first, it's the Black Channels spell, not raising dead, and second, units are a little mismatched as in who gets Death and who doesn't.

    So, Death Galley is okay, but Death Paladins isn't. Oh well.

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    Default Re: Let's Play Master of Magic

    I vote for Sorcery/Chaos mix...though maybe toss enough nature in to pick up Node Mastery. I've frankly never tried a Node-focused character in the game. Node Mastery + Channeler? Though I sorta wanna vote for pure Red...err Chaos, and Call the Void endgame. So. Much. Fun.

    And I vote for High Elves either way. Mana generating race makes for so much more fun with spells, while Myrrans just cost a wee much. I say, focus on making yourself an awesome caster and either Chaos or Chaos/Sorcery.


    EDIT: Just started a new game on Dosbox and noticed I can't play it worth a crap anymore. Don't remember unit powers, don't remember build orders, make poor attacks, summon stuff too slowly, etc. Literally, I'm losing to computers on Impossible.

    And I just remembered that Nodes tend to have some pretty powerful guardians. If you can find a Stone Giant/Djinni-level guard tho, it's quite takeable and Node Mastery makes it a gamebuster (and makes taking one possible, what with the ability to actually cast magic in there).
    Last edited by Eldariel; 2010-01-11 at 06:58 AM.
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    Default Re: Let's Play Master of Magic

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    Though I sorta wanna vote for pure Red...err Chaos, and Call the Void endgame. So. Much. Fun.
    Armageddon is more fun

    Huh, so many MoM players here.

    I second Sorcery or Chaos, Red, Warlord, focus on heroes (Champions, actually, regular heroes except for nobles are generally weak in the endgame) - (artificer/famous/charismatic/just cause).

    Wait, why there is no "Just Cause" on your list of picks?
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    Default Re: Let's Play Master of Magic

    IIRC, Just Cause isn't a pick. It's a Life Spell that increases your fame.

    Also, to the TC, do you have a different version? There's a couple of differences between your descriptions and what I'm used to (i.e. Node Mastery only needed 1 book in Sorcery/Chaos/Nature from what I remember).

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    Default Re: Let's Play Master of Magic

    Ah, right. Never mind, then
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    Default Re: Let's Play Master of Magic

    Go for trolls, they sound like fun. Go for Chaos/Death to get a good evil overlord theme going.
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    Default Re: Let's Play Master of Magic

    Quote Originally Posted by Irbis View Post
    Huh, so many MoM players here.
    Well, given the theme of the forum and the game, I'm not exactly surprised. MoM is after all like Civilization in D&D.

    And I personally prefer Call the Void just 'cause it leaves the land basically uninhabitable for the rest of the game, with all the Corruption it crams the squares full of. "Not gonna lay a finger on you; your armies will vanish and your cities will never produce anything again tho!"

    I once played a game with stock Tauros and got Call the Void (first time I saw the spell) and specifically left an AI alive so I could mercilessly bombard his cities with it :P
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    Default Re: Let's Play Master of Magic

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    And I personally prefer Call the Void just 'cause it leaves the land basically uninhabitable for the rest of the game, with all the Corruption it crams the squares full of. "Not gonna lay a finger on you; your armies will vanish and your cities will never produce anything again tho!"
    But... most of the cities survive it. Armageddon more fits your description - randomly destroys the land, converting it into power for you
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    Default Re: Let's Play Master of Magic

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    Well, given the theme of the forum and the game, I'm not exactly surprised. MoM is after all like Civilization in D&D.
    Well, I don't actually remember much of the game. I don't think I really played it that much, either. I do remember fun times with warlocks and surprisingly successful warmongering halflings, though.

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    Default Re: Let's Play Master of Magic

    Quote Originally Posted by Trixie View Post
    640x480 is fine.

    Wizard - Myrran/Warlord/Alchemy (that way, you can not bother with generating mana at all, freely transmuting gold, and putting all into magic research and skill rises).

    If you want to go for Heroes, take Artificer/Charismatic. Million to one chance and all that, especially given the might of ranged Champions

    You can find books later, in ruins, so it pays to have a few free slots.

    Race - Dark Elves (Warlocks?) or Trolls.

    Hmm, if you go "Discworld" route, go for Trolls

    Spells - full Sorcery, Phantom Warriors are very useful in the beginning.

    Or Chaos, legions of Hell are also worth it. The rest, not so much.

    Color - Red!

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    Default Re: Let's Play Master of Magic

    Hum...

    Do units gets experience points just by travelling on the map?

    Also, I forgot to invest in skill do you think my Dwarfy game is crippled yet? I got almost all put into research...

    Also, my only hero (a healer) helped attack a ghoul stronghold. At the beginning, she cast True Light on the battlefield, but afterwhile, she was denied her usual ranged magical attack. Does this attack requires casting points? Or maybe ghouls are immuned to magical attacks?

    My 2 elite swordwarves, with magical swords, with Holy Armor, pwned those stupid ghouls..

    Hmm.. btw. With only 3 picks in White Magic, is there a limit on the spells I will be allowed to cast eventually?

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    Default Re: Let's Play Master of Magic

    All units get 1 experience point per turn (more if they're in a square with a hero who has Armsmaster ability).

    Magic ranged attacks of heroes use up 3 of their mana points per shot.

    The number of book picks limits the number of spells you'll be able to research (those that you can research are selected at random at the beginning of the game). Any book in the same school of magic above 7 gives you a bonus to research and cheapens the casting cost, 10 books guarantee that you'll be able to research all of the spells, 11 picks give you some spells for free from the beginning.

    Also, my bad, node mastery requires only 1 pick in each elemental school.
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    Default Re: Let's Play Master of Magic

    Quote Originally Posted by MickJay View Post
    Interesting stuff
    That was both straightforward and helpful! thanks!

    So I am effectively screwed, spellwise, regarding my spells?

    Oh well, I'll be a badass Warlord then!

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    Default Re: Let's Play Master of Magic

    You can always get more spells by trading them with other wizards, or by finding them in ruins (or by finding additional books in nodes or temples). The spells you find are - to a degree - random, so you might want to save before battles if you think you might be able to get a spell you really need and reload until you're satisfied (with overwhelming forces, you can set battles to autoresolve so you don't have to resolve the battle yourself over and over).
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    Trixie's Avatar

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    Default Re: Let's Play Master of Magic

    Quote Originally Posted by MickJay View Post
    All units get 1 experience point per turn (more if they're in a square with a hero who has Armsmaster ability).
    Two if Warlord, I think.

    Magic ranged attacks of heroes use up 3 of their mana points per shot.
    Not in all cases IIRC, but generaly if you pay attention to their mana you can easily see it.
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    dsmiles's Avatar

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    Default Re: Let's Play Master of Magic

    Also, casters only get a certain number of shots, just like archers/bowmen.
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