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communions

Communions

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:

  • Communion masters will have their magic paths increased significantly depending on the number of communion slaves. This can give the masters access to spells that would otherwise be outside their abilities as the mages.
  • When a communion master casts a spell with an Area of Effect: Caster it will apply the spell effect to all slaves in the communion.
  • Fatigue from spellcasting is shared with the slaves in the communion. Thus the communion masters may cast for longer before passing out from fatigue.

For all its upsides there are a few downsides to using communions as well:

  • Each mage used as a communion slave is a mage not casting spells. Too many communion slaves may lessen the offensive power of an army.
  • Communion slaves rarely make it off the field on a rout due to accumulating too much fatigue.

Forming a Communion

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.

Entering a Communion


Becoming a Master

Spells:

Communion Master
Sabbath Master
Chorus Master

Abilities:

Communion Master

Items:

Crystal Matrix
Crystal Heart
Oppressors Headband


Becoming a Slave

Spells:

Communion Slave
Sabbath Slave
Chorus Slave

Abilities:

Communion Slave

Items:

Slave Matrix

  • Some mages such as the Phlegran Oppressor have the Communion Master trait. Similarly some mages like the Shackled Mage and units like the Theurg Communicant have the Communion Slave trait. Units with any of these traits automatically enter the communion at the very start of the battle before any other spells are cast.
  • Items that convey master or slave traits also operate similarly - i.e. the mage is included in the communion immediately at the start of the battle.
  • The Sabbath Slave and Sabbath Master spells inherently cost 100 fatigue due to requiring one blood slave each. This can be significant as the fatigue cost can make a blood 11 master pass out from fatigue in provinces without Magic scales, thus delaying any further spellcasting.

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 Crown of the Magi 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.

Whose communion?
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.

Communion Path Boost

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.

Path Boost in Communions


Number of Slaves
2
4
8
16
32
64


Path Boost for Masters
1
2
3
4
5
6

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 (astral 11holy 11 for example). Simply equipping a priest with a Crystal Matrix will not give a boost to the priest's holy path.

Slaves Receive Self-Buffs

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 Personal Regeneration, Summon Earthpower, Air Shield, and Personal Luck 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 the Reinvigoration spell, 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.

Fatigue in a Communion

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:

  1. First the fatigue cost of the spell is calculated as normal.
  2. Afterwards the fatigue cost is distributed between the master and all communion slaves.

Calculating Spell Fatigue Cost

When calculating the fatigue cost of a spell the path boost for being in a communion is taken into account.

  • For example, a death 33 mage casting a death 22 spell will normally receive half the listed fatigue for being one above the path requirement.
  • If that same mage joins a communion with four slaves that mage's death path is boosted from death 33 to death 55. This means that the spell only costs 1/4 the listed fatigue to cast.

Spell Fatigue

Spell fatigue:





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

Distributing Fatigue

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.

  • E.g. a master with four communion slaves would get a fifth of the spell fatigue cost.

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.

Communion Slave Fatigue Multiplier

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.

Fatigue damage

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:

  • Using only masters that share paths with the slaves will reduce the fatigue cost of slaves.
  • Using more slaves in a communion divides the fatigue cost further.
  • Boosting the path levels of slaves relative to the masters will reduce the fatigue cost of spells. This can be done by having one master cast a path-boosting spell like Power of the Sphere or Phoenix Power
  • A master casting Reinvigoration will reset his own fatigue as well as the fatigue of all slaves in the communion.
  • Adding Reinvigoration through a bless, items or a master casting Summon Earthpower can help slaves regain fatigue. Relief can help slaves regain fatigue as well.
  • Personal Regeneration can help the slave regain lost hit points from fatigue damage.
  • Enlarge gives the slave more hit points which lessens the chance of afflictions. Combines with Personal Regeneration for even more longevity.
  • Casting Life after Death ensures that even if the slave dies to fatigue damage it may serve in death as well. Note that mages with the Communion Slave ability will lose that ability upon death.
  • Giving your masters a bow to shoot with after their script is finished, so they don't drop high-fatigue or out-of-path spells off-script
  • Casting cold or fire resistance may help the slaves survive longer when fighting in Cold or Heat provinces.

Turbo Communions

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 Skratti, which can shapeshift into werewolves with very high hp and natural regeneration. They also get access to blood, which means they can cast the Sabbath Slave 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.

Soul Vortex Batteries

The Soul Vortex spell 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. Lamias or Vine Ogres), and a Death master casts Soul Vortex, the slaves can act as Soul Vortex Batteries, replenishing hit points continuously at the cost of its less valuable bodyguards.

Exiting Communions

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.

communions.txt · Last modified: 2021/11/22 23:32 by wigglefig