Battle magic can only be cast during a tactical battle. These spells have battle effects like inflicting damage, granting increased protection, reducing fatigue, or some similar effect which only makes sense in the context of the battle mechanics. Battle magic can be scripted into a mage’s list of battle actions using Set battle orders. If a battle spell requires gems, that mage must have those gems in his inventory before the battle begins.
Some battle spells affect the whole battlefield and are termed battle enchantments. Some of these last the length of the battle. A battle enchantment is dispelled if its caster dies.
When a mage attempts to cast a spell the game goes through a workflow to determine whether the spell is cast.
Certain spells have specific requirements to who they can affect. E.g. undead units within range. When attempting to cast a scripted spell, if no available targets are within range the mage will skip casting that spell.only affects
When picking a target the mage will generally go for the square with the highest damage potential. This means that units with high hit points per square and no elemental resistances are more likely to be targeted by damage spells than other units.
When a spell is being cast the current level of the mage determines whether the spell can be cast at all. The current level of the mage is the basic path level of the mage plus any kind of path-boosting effects currently affecting the mage. The path level of a mage can be boosted in a number of ways:
Note that a mage can never boost paths outside their basic paths. A 1 mage cannot equip to gain 1.
If the mage has gems in their inventory or blood slaves in their vicinity these can be used to fuel their spellcasting. In combat, gems may do one of three things:
Rule of Paths
A mage may never spend more gems or blood slaves in one turn than his current level in the relevant path.
Rule of One
A mage can use exactly one gem to boost the corresponding path one level.
Rule of None
Blood slaves cannot be used to boost a mage’s blood path level.
Rule of Stash
A mage can only use gems from their own inventory.
Rule of Blood
A mage can use any friendly blood slave within 8 squares.
Example: Consider the Alteration 5 spell 3 caster and 1., which requires an
Mages can only use gems from their own inventory. However, blood slaves are special in that any blood mage within 8 squares of a blood slave can use that slave to fuel their magic.
The casting time detailed as a percentage of a round in the description of a spell is divided into two steps: the first half is spent by the mage preparing to cast the spell, the second half is spent recovering from the casting. The spell itself resolves somewhere in the middle, the Casting Point, at approximately half the casting time of the spell.
Of note is the fact that a spell does not resolve exactly at half its casting time. Instead, some randomness is involved: a spell will resolves at half its casting time plus or minus up to 15% of a round, linearly distributed 1) This can be mechanically important, such as in the interaction between and .
Casting time / 2
+/- up to 15% of a round
Example: Let us assume we set up one mage to cast 2 mages to cast then . We get the following result:with his first script slot, and a group of
Some mages are innate spellcaster (X). These monsters do not require any preparation time for their spells. They also completely ignore the casting times of spells they cast. Instead they cast X amount of spells at the start of each round. Mechanically this means that a mage with innate spellcaster (1) has a 100% casting time for all spells they cast with a casting point of 0%.
A mage with spell singer adds a flat 50% of a combat turn to the casting time for all spells cast.
During the preparation time mentioned in the previous section, the caster can be interrupted by taking damage.
The chance of being interrupted when taking damage while casting a spell is expressed as a percentage of your full hit points caused by the damage, plus 25%. Thus, a strike that inflicted half of a spellcaster’s full hit points in damage would have a 75% chance of interrupting the spell being cast.
A mage with Innate Spellcaster cannot be interrupted by damage. They cast spells at the very beginning of a round leaving no time for damage to interrupt the cast.
When a spell has been succesfully cast the spell's effect is resolved. Each spell has a spell description that determines what happens when a spell is cast.
Just like attacking in combat, casting spells in battle incurs fatigue. And just like all other units, a mage that reaches 100 fatigue will pass out. For this reason, fatigue management is very important for spellcasters. It is often the limiting factor in combat, and higher-pathed mages thus have an advantage in that they incur less fatigue.
Various factors may affect this basic calculation:
Spell fatigue cost / (1 + mage's path level - minimum path level required)
+/- 10% per scale in Drain or Magic
+ Base Encumbrance
+ 2 x Armor Encumbrance value
+ Cold / Heat penalties
+ Other fatigue modifiers
+ a random component
Spells that reduce fatigue, like, and , can be very useful as a way of getting mages to cast more spells in combat.
A mage with spell singer halves the basic fatigue cost of all spells cast by the mage.
Joining a communion significantly changes spellcasting in different ways. It boosts the path level of communion masters and spreads the fatigue cost between masters and slaves. Please refer to the Communions page for an in-depth explanation.