Magic spells in the Heroes of Might and Magic IV universe are based on five alignments: Life, Death, Nature, Chaos and Order. Each has its own particular School of Magic associated with it, which can be found in a town of the same alignment:
- Holy Cathedrals in Havens, where clerics find new ways to cast the blessings of the Light
- Towers of Darkness in Necropolises, where the undead focus on new curses and raising the dead
- Institutes of Magic in Academies, where the mages study and improve magics of the mind
- Sorcerer's Guilds in Asylums, where renegade wizards experiment with fire control spells
- Druid's Halls in Preserves, where the ancient wisdom of summoning spells is kept
Magic School Specializations Edit
Each School of Magic focuses on a certain domain of spellcasting, in which it excels. To be more specific: Life Magic is renowned for its healings and blessings, Death Magic specializes in curses and techniques of raising the dead, Order Magic usually affects the mind, Chaos magic controls fire and bestows physical enhancements and finally Nature Magic focuses almost exclusively on summoning spells.
Magic School AlliancesEdit
Each School of Magic is also allied with two other schools, as are their corresponding towns:
- Life is associated with Nature and Order, each represented by separate Orders near the Cathedral
- Death is related to Chaos and Order, each having its own Annex near the Tower of Darkness
- Order studies go along with to Death and Life, these having each assigned a Library near the Institute
- Chaos magic extends to the domain of Death and Nature, studies being conducted in Halls near the main Guild
- Nature lore also comprises Chaos and Life spells, which are kept in Conservatories
In the Heroes IV universe, spells can only be cast by heroes and several creatures. However, in some cases the magical effects creatures may have are inherent to their nature. For example, a faerie dragon always reflects a hostile spell back to its caster, because it has the "Magic Mirror" ability; similarly, Efreeti always deal fire damage to attacking creatures, because of their "Fire Shield" ability.
On the other hand, some creatures and, of course, heroes can actually cast spells. The respective creatures don't need special training to do this, whilst heroes need to accumulate enough experience in order to become efficient spellcasters. Once this obstacle is passed, heroes can choose from one or more of the five magic classes. Magic heroes of each town type start with basic skills in the corresponding magic class.
When a hero learns three or more Magic skills, they become an Archmage and get 20% to all spell effects. It is very useful for such heroes to know chaos magic for its subskill, Sorcery, which increases the hero's spell damage and thus is useful for all magic schools.
Spell Levels, Casting and Mana Edit
Spells are also classified by their complexity. There are five levels of spell-casting, corresponding with the mastery of the particular magic skill required: a Priest with Expert Life Magic will only be able to learn and cast Life Magic spells of levels 1, 2 and 3, for example. Heroes' spell-learning capacity cannot be altered; the only way of improving it is through level advancement.
The actual casting of spells can be done either on the adventure map, or, the vast majority of them, on the battlefield. In either case, the caster must have a sufficient supply of Mana for the casting. Mana (or Spell Points, as it is also called) represents the mental energy necessary for the casting of a particular spell; creatures regenerate it after every battle, while heroes must wait a whole day in order to regenerate part of their Mana; alternately, they can drink a Potion and instantly restore a fixed quantity of Spell Points. Each Magic Skill has a Spell Point sub-skill which increases the hero's mana capacity and mana regeneration rate.
There are several spells that can affect the target by means of its Spells Points: Spell Shackle, for example, causes the target to take damage for every spell point it uses; Power Drain and Magic Leech cause the target to expend double the spell points when casting a spell, while Mana Flare reduces the Mana cost of all spells by 2. All of the Mana effecting spells use a similar animation that includes a spell book - Spell Shackle shows a chained spell book, Power Drain shows a spell book with torn pages and Mana Flare shows a spell book in good condition.
Imps (level one Necropolis creatures) have the "Mana Leech" ability, which enables them to steal Mana from enemy spell casters during battle and channel it to allied spell casters, if any.
Magic Resistance Edit
When casting a spell, the caster must take into consideration the fact that the target might resist it. This chance is calculated using the creature/hero's Magic Resistance. Some creatures are completely immune to all forms of magic (the frenzied gnasher and the black dragon) and others have limited resistance (such as the well known dwarf, or gold golem).
Heroes can develop their magic resistance by advancing in the corresponding Combat subskill or by using artifacts.
Another aspect is that some creature's physical skills can also affect their magic resistance in some cases. The Phoenix, for example, has the "Fire Resistance" ability, and as such is immune to many Chaos magic direct damage spells.