Part 10: Bonus Update 5.5: NightshadowBonus Update 5.5: Nightshadow
Voting's closed, and the Temple of Yak has won by a comfortable margin, so that's where we'll be headed next update.
There's a small error in this town map: the positions of the guild and the mirror portal are switched with each other. Apart from that, Nightshadow is a small and straightforward town. The enemies are quite challenging early on (especially Count Draco), but the rewards are worth it.
Nightshadow Cleric Spells
Beast Master: Hypnotizes a group of monsters into stillness until they overcome the spell.
We actually picked this up at the Witch Tower, not in Nightshadow, but now's as good a time as any to talk about it. It puts a group of animals to sleep with a decent chance of success. It might be more useful in Darkside than in Clouds, since Darkside has quite a few powerful enemies that count as animals.
Bless: 2 SP/level + 1 Gem. Improves the armour class of a character by 1 per level of the caster.
The spell description says it affects "a character", but all buffs in this game affect the entire party. Keep this buff up when fighting enemies that have powerful physical attacks. Every round when you don't get hit is another round your party survives.
Cold Ray: 2 SP/level + 4 Gems. A cone of absolute zero springs from the caster's hand momentarily, inflicting 2-4 points of Cold damage per level of the caster on all visible monsters.
The amount of damage is nothing special, but it hits every monster in a straight line ahead of the party. Good if you're fighting a huge swarm of monsters, provided they don't resist cold.
Deadly Swarm: 12 SP. Covers a group of monsters with biting, stinging, burrowing insects, inflicting 25 points of Physical damage to each monster.
The in-game spell description says 25 damage, but the printed manual says 40. Either way, it's basically a stronger, more efficient version of Pain, and is useful in much the same circumstances as Pain is. Still doesn't scale with level, and therefore has a limited useful life.
Heroism: 2 SP/level + 3 Gems. Increases the temporary level of a character by 1 per level of the caster.
Seems to only increase level for the purpose of physical attacks: level-dependent spells don't increase in cost or effect. Still, effectively doubling your party's physical damage output is nothing to sneeze at.
Holy Bonus: 2 SP/level + 1 Gem. Increases the damage inflicted by a character when fighting by 1 point per level of the caster.
Again, only applies to physical attacks, but provides a decent boost to the party's damage output.
Nature's Cure: 6 SP. Heals a character of 25 points of damage.
The next step up from Cure Wounds: a little less efficient, a little more powerful. Good for emergency healing in combat, although casting attack spells to end the battle faster may sometimes be more helpful in the long run.
Suppress Disease: 5 SP. Slows the effect of disease on a character, but does not remove the Diseased condition.
This sure would have been useful in the Forest of the Walking Dead.
Turn Undead: 5 SP + 2 Gems. Weakens the evil magic that animates the Undead, inflicting 25 points of damage.
This too. It damages a group of undead regardless of their resistances, which is handy considering how many resistances some undead can have.
Nightshadow Sorcerer Spells
Clairvoyance: 5 SP + 2 Gems. Causes the two gargoyle heads on the screen to animate and give advice for certain yes/no decisions, usually chests.
Still one of my favourite buffs in the game. It helps with almost every decision, not just chests, and once you know how to interpret its advice it's rarely misleading.
Detect Monster: 6 SP. Shows the location of all the monsters near the party.
Pops up a little window that shows the location and size of all monster groups within 3 spaces of the party. Why are you spending a turn and 6 spell points to look for monsters that are already within visual range? If you want to find out if there are monsters behind a locked door, just save your game and open it! If this were a buff that made monsters appear on the minimap for the rest of the day... well, I still probably wouldn't cast it, but there'd at least be situations where it might be helpful to do so.
Fire Ball: 2 SP/level + 2 Gems. Sets off a fiery explosion within a group of monsters, inflicting 3 to 7 points of Fire damage per level of the caster.
Twice the cost of Energy Blast, does only slightly more average damage, but can hit up to 3 enemies. Useful, but can drain your casters' SP fast.
Identify Monster: 5 SP. Reveals the condition of the monsters the party is fighting.
This spell shows a monster group's current HP, AC, number of attacks and any harmful conditions they can inflict. Can be useful to let you know if you're making headway in a tough fight or if you should just cut your losses and run. Also quite useful for me in documenting monster stats and abilities when making this LP.
Levitate: 5 SP. Imparts weightlessness to the party members, preventing them from falling into pit traps, quagmires, holes in clouds, etc.
Essential for some areas, and very helpful for others. Just remember to get back on solid ground before it wears off!
Lightning Bolt: 2 SP/level + 2 Gems. Lightning flashes from the caster's hand, electrocuting monsters for 4 to 6 points of damage per level of the caster.
The last spell we picked up at the Witch Tower. More or less equivalent to Fire Ball, but with a different elemental property.
Poison Volley: 25 SP + 10 Gems. Fires 6 poison arrows into each square in front of the party. The arrows do 10 points of Poison damage each.
Kind of a weird attack spell. I'm not 100% sure whether there's a separate 6 arrows for every space in front of the party, or whether it's just 6 arrows total; I'm inclined to think it's the latter, but it's tricky to test. The arrows seem to target random enemies, so I guess the optimal use case for this spell would be when you're fighting a single strong enemy that isn't resistant to Poison. In any case, it's expensive and doesn't scale with level, so you probably won't be casting it very often.
Power Shield: 2 SP/level + 2 Gems. Reduces the damage inflicted on a party member by a number equal to the level of the caster.
A solid buff throughout the game, protecting the party from both physical and elemental damage, whether inflicted by monsters, traps or hazardous terrain. The protection it provides won't scale up as fast as the damage output of late-game enemies does, but it still helps. Especially useful against enemies that have a lot of weaker attacks rather than a single strong one, since the damage is deducted from each hit.