Castle of the Winds/Magic

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CoTW tends to favour the use of magic in combat, as spells are the only weapons that work from a distance (there are no bows). The player character automatically gains a spell with each level-up, and can permanently gain another using the corresponding book (found or purchased), until he learns all the 30 spells that he can learn. (The maximum level is also 30.) There are two opposing pairs of elements: cold vs. fire, and lightning vs. acid/poison. (The player has no acid/poison attacks, but some monsters do.) The spells are divided into seven categories.

The Mana concept[edit | edit source]

Mana is the player's reserve of magical energy. It is replenished over time, and when a player levels up or drinks specific potions, and is spent whenever he or she casts a spell. The player can cast spells that run Mana into the negative, risking a temporary but potentially fatal drop in Constitution.

A player gains one Mana point on the hour while awake, and two while sleeping. When sleeping, he will not wake until he or she is attacked, or full Mana is restored.

Unlike Dungeons & Dragons, where wizards must prepare specific spells, and can cast a limited number per day, CoTW allows any spell to be cast at any time. This typically means that attack spells are cast much more often.

The Mana cost of a spell depends not only on the spell itself but also on the caster’s level. All spells always cost at least one Mana point; there are no free spells or fractional points.

Attack Spells[edit | edit source]

  • Magic Arrow: The basic magical attack, weak and non-elemental, affecting one target monster.
  • Cold Bolt, Lightning Bolt, Fire Bolt: More powerful, elemental attacks, also affecting one target monster. Against an elementally neutral monster, fire is stronger than lightning, which is stronger then cold.
  • Cold Ball, Ball Lightning, Fireball: Affect a 3x3 area. Do damage equivalent to the corresponding bolt in the center square, and half as much damage in the eight adjacent squares. As with the bolts, fire is stronger then lightning which is stronger then cold. May hurt the player, but nevertheless be worthwhile.
  • Sleep Monster: Puts one target monster to sleep. Some monsters and all bosses are immune and all will wake in about ten minutes or when attacked.
  • Slow Monster: Slows the target monster's movement and attacks to half. Bosses are immune. A second cast reduces the speed to 1/3, a third to 1/4, etc. Some monsters, like devils, will never move at less than half the player’s speed.
  • Transmogrify Monster: The monster targeted will change into any creature, selected at random. Bosses cannot be transmogrified, and monsters will not become bosses. Percentage health is preserved.

How bolts and balls work[edit | edit source]

Bolts (Magic Arrow, Cold Bolt, Firebolt and Lightning Bolt) may be fired in any direction, at a target tile any distance away. Bolts will fly past traps, open doors, landmarks, furniture and even town buildings. If the target tile is empty, the bolt will explode in midair. If a wall or closed door is in the way, the bolt will hit it; walls will be unharmed, but doors will break. If the bolt hits a monster, either at the target tile or in the way, there is a random chance (depending on distance) that it will miss and do nothing. If it hits, it will damage the monster.

Balls (Cold Ball, Fireball and Ball Lighting) are so large that they always hit. Like bolts, they may hit something and explode before reaching their targets, but this applies only to the center tile of the ball. The damage done by a ball is equivalent to the corresponding bolt in the center, and half as strong in the eight surrounding tiles. There is no ball spell corresponding to Magic Arrow.

Defense Spells[edit | edit source]

  • Shield: Temporarily increases the player's armour value by 5. Casting the spell multiple times will cause the bonus to stack additively, but it will reach a limit.
  • Resist Cold, Resist Fire, Resist Lightning: Temporarily decreases by half the damage the player sustains from these elemental attacks. The damage is further halved with each additional cast.

Healing Spells[edit | edit source]

  • Heal Minor Wounds, Heal Medium Wounds, Heal Major Wounds: Respectively heal 20%, 40% and 60% of the user's max health or 8/16/24 hp, whichever is higher.
  • Healing: Restores the player to full hit points.
  • Neutralize Poison: Stops poisoning. Although the spell has the same mana cost as Heal Medium Wounds, it is effective against any strength of poisoning, even that inflicted by Green Dragons. It will not heal any damage inflicted by the poison prior to the spell's use.

Movement Spells[edit | edit source]

  • Phase Door, Teleport: Both move the player to random locations on the same floor, but Teleport is longer-range.
  • Levitation: Makes the player impervious to non-magical traps. That is, everything except glyphs of warding and teleporter traps.
  • Rune of Return: Carries the player from the dungeon to town, or from town to the deepest visited level of the dungeon. After casting this spell, the user will need to wait a while before being teleported.

Divination Spells[edit | edit source]

  • Clairvoyance: Fills in the player's map of a 10x10 area anywhere on the floor, including any traps and secret doors.
  • Detect Objects: Reveals all movable items on the floor, except those carried by monsters.
  • Detect Traps: Reveals all traps within 10 tiles, and has a decreasing chance to reveal more distant traps.
  • Detect Monsters: Reveals all monsters on the floor for 30 minutes. (A map can only be displayed for the current floor.) Carries from floor to floor should the user move vertically.
  • Identify: Reveals enchantments/curses or lack thereof on an object, and reveals the number of charges of a wand or staff. Identifying an unknown object increases its resale value, unless it turns out to be cursed or worthless. (A merchant will refuse to buy unidentified objects if too many have been junk.)

Miscellaneous Spells[edit | edit source]

  • Remove Curse: Makes a cursed object "uncursed," meaning that the player can take it off. Normally, cursed items cannot be removed once put on. Its negative effects are not removed, and it is still worthless.
  • Light: Reveals a room, or a 3x3 area of corridor, including any monsters or objects that may be within it. (Rooms and corridors are distinguished not by structure, but by different types of floors with different colours and descriptions.)

Non-Character Spells[edit | edit source]

Non-Character Spells are those that cannot be learned by the player. They can only be cast by items such as scrolls and wands.

  • Create Traps: Fills the floor squares adjacent to the player (up to eight) with traps. If the player then casts Detect Traps and Levitation, he can usually disarm the traps with minimal danger, and gain experience for disarming them. Cast only by cursed items.
  • Clone Monster: Creates a healthy duplicate of the monster; effective even on bosses. Some players use it to gain more experience and treasure against monsters which usually carry a high experience value and a lot of treasure. Cast only by cursed items.
  • Teleport Away: Similar to Teleport, but affects a target monster rather than the player.
  • Haste Monster: Reverse of Slow Monster. Cast only by cursed items.
  • Summon Monster, Summon Undead (not listed in the Spell Directory): Create a random monster in the space next to the caster. Cast only by cursed items.