Communions are a way for mages to increase their magic power in combat. A communion represents mages pooling together their magical resources to gain increased arcane power. Some mages act as masters, tapping into the energy of the communion, while others act as slaves, offering their energy to the communion - sometimes with dire consequences for their own lives.
Forming a communion has several benefits:
For all its upsides there are a few downsides to using communions as well:
There are several paths a mage can utilise to enter a communion, either as a master or a slave. There is only one communion per side (attacker or defender). All Masters on a side use all slaves on the same side to aid in spell casting. So blood mages who cast Sabbath Slave can be drained by mages who cast Communion Master etc.
Becoming a Master
Becoming a Slave
Players should take into account the casting time of entry spells when planning communion scripting. In particular, a master who enters using a trait or item (at the start of combat), could find that the blood slaves (150% casting time) are not all online when they cast their first spell. Items that reduce spell casting time like the also affect calculations.
Once a mage joins a communion as a communion slave he or she becomes paralyzed for as long as the communion lasts. Communion slaves cannot take any actions of their own until their masters are all dead or have fled the fields of battle. Even then the slave might not wake up in time before being slaughtered by the enemy.
Currently communion slaves will stay paralyzed as long as any communion master is still present on the battlefield, even enemy masters. It is unknown if this is intended behavior or not.
Masters in a communion gain an increase to their magic paths. A communion master gains n extra levels in each of his or her known magic paths for every 2ⁿ slaves in the communion. This is true for each communion master in the communion. Note that the maximum path boost from communions is 6.
Number of Slaves
Path Boost for Masters
Holy magic is boosted by communions, but only if the master is also a mage. I.e. the master must have non-holy magic paths for their holy power to be boosted (11 for example). Simply equipping a priest with a Crystal Matrix will not give a boost to the priest's holy path.
An additional effect of communions is that any spell cast by a communion master with Area of Effect: Caster will be applied to all slaves in the communion as well. Spells like, , , and are common ways to make use of this and keep the communion slaves alive for longer.
However, the most notorious use of this feature is with thespell, available to Blood 1 mages at Blood 1. It removes all fatigue from the caster. This effect is very useful for communion slaves, as they often accrue high levels of fatigue very quickly from the comm masters. It is a common tactic for blood nations to have a sabbath master cast this spell one or more times in their script, just to reset the fatigue of the slaves. Be advised that these casters may deviate from the script if they are fatigue-neutral after spell-casting encumbrance; they don't want to use a blood slave if their own fatigue is zero.
Whenever a communion mage casts a spell, the fatigue from that spell is distributed among the communion slaves and the master who cast the spell. When a master casts a spell the fatigue cost is handled in two steps:
When calculating the fatigue cost of a spell the path boost for being in a communion is taken into account.
Once the spell cost has been calculated the fatigue is now distributed between the master and all the slaves. First the fatigue cost is divided by the total numbers of slaves plus the master. This is the amount of fatigue the master receives plus any penalties for wearing armor, casting in extreme heat etc.
The amount of fatigue each slave receives depends on their current path level relative to the master's current path level without the communion path boost. A slave with higher path level than the master will receive less fatigue, while a slave with lower path levels will receive more.
If Master path / 2 is higher than Slave path ⇒
The slave receives fatigue cost x 4
(quadruple fatigue cost)
If Master path is higher than Slave path ⇒
The slave receives fatigue cost x 2
(double fatigue cost)
If Master path is equal to Slave path ⇒
The slave receives fatigue cost
(same fatigue cost)
If Master path is lower than Slave path ⇒
The slave receives fatigue cost / 2
(half fatigue cost)
NOTICE : The Caster level / 2 is actually rounded down for odd numbers of caster levels. This means that master of path one will have the calculations 1/2 = 0.5 ~= 0. And 0 is not higher than 0, so slaves with no paths will only get double fatigue from path one masters, not quadruple.
Once a mage enters a communion as a slave, he or she is essentially stuck in the communion. As more and more spells are cast slaves can quickly ramp up fatigue. Once the slave's fatigue reaches 200 the slave will take one damage with every spell cast and one extra damage per 50 spell fatigue cost. The steady stream of damage might eventually kill the communion slave. But even if it survives it may have accumulated a lot of afflictions.
There are a few ways of preventing fatigue damage or mitigating the harmful effects:
When battles go long communion slaves tend to die to fatigue damage. However, if the slave has a very high hp pool and regeneration, then it becomes possible to shrug off the damage, thus allowing the communion masters to safely casts many more spells than would otherwise be possible. This particular approach to using communions is called using "turbo communions," and the comm slaves in this case are referred to as "batteries."
The most classic example of turbo communions is the Niefelheim/Jotunheim/Utgard nation line. These nations can recruit, which can shapeshift into werewolves with very high hp and natural regeneration. They also get access to blood, which means they can cast the spell.
The rule of thumb when using turbo communions is that each slave can support a total number of masters equal to their hit points regenerated per turn.
Thespell allows a Death mage to siphon HP and replenish fatigue from surrounding units. Since the spell has Area of Effect: Caster it can be used to create Soul Vortex Batteries.
If your communion slaves are surrounded by high HP / regenerating bodyguards (e.g.s or s), and a Death master casts , the slaves can act as Soul Vortex Batteries, replenishing hit points continuously at the cost of its less valuable bodyguards.
Once a communion slave has entered a communion, they become helpless and cannot take any actions of their own. The communion otherwise lasts for as long as there is at least one communion slave and one communion master still on the field. Whenever the last communion master dies or retreats - thus ending the communion - each slave becomes freed to act on their own again. However they immediately take 3d50 fatigue damage - that is, a number between 3 and 150 which centers around 75 - and are stunned for one round. This is due to the "psychic feedback" of exiting a communion in this way.
Unlike other communion slaves, MA Man's chorus slaves automatically leave the communion once they pass out from reaching 100 fatigue. This represents the slave's inability to contribute to the spell singing once they lose consciousness. They receive no damage from exiting the communion. A chorus slave can thus never die due to communion fatigue, but they risk exiting a communion prematurely.