The Let's Play Archive

Might & Magic II

by Thuryl

Part 7: Might & Magic Hates You, Part 2

Update 6: Might & Magic Hates You, Part 2

When we last left the party, they were busily exploring the cavern under Middlegate. Let's see what they've found!

"What's a J-26 Fluxer?"
"I don't know, but I've heard strange rumours about Lord Peabody Von Pinehurst. He was a close confidant of Corak the Mysterious before his disappearance, you know. It's said that the two of them dabbled in arts even more powerful and arcane than sorcery."
"So I've heard. I'm counting on those rumours being true..."

"Wait, does it mean 'black' in a literal or a metaphorical sense? What I'm asking here is are we going to have to kill Gothmog or John Shaft?"
"Actually, I believe it's referring to the Black Ticket Triple Crown. By taking a Black Ticket to the battle arenas in Middlegate, Sandsobar and Atlantium and winning a battle in each--"
"Speaking of battles, look out behind you!"

"Heeey, what gives? My arrows aren't doing anything to it!"

Remember those Dancing Bones in the last update, which could only be harmed by female characters? Well, there are also monsters that can only be harmed by males. Cursed Corpses are one of them.

Cursed Corpses can also inflict a curse with their melee attack: you may notice that this has has happened to Cale Thomas. Being cursed prevents a character from casting spells, and can only be cured at a Temple or with a Remove Condition spell. Annoyingly, like all status ailments, it also prevents characters from buying or selling anything in stores, so it's a problem even for non-spellcasters.

Fortunately, the battle is won without any of the party's spellcasters being cursed, so they can continue exploring for now.

"Interleave? An interleave for what? What leaves are we supposed to be interring with this?"
"Green ones, apparently."

"The Long One, huh? Wonder how he got that name."
"If he's been dead since the 8th century, I doubt you'll have the chance to find out."

"But what if I don't want to be encased in earth?"
"Earth Encasement is a spell, silly. It's for encasing other people in earth. I've tried to cast it before, but it just creates a bunch of sand everywhere and makes everyone nearby very uncomfortable."

This is another of the fixed encounters down here. Giant Ogres have 70 HP and hit hard, but as long as you're around level 5 and can keep your cleric alive to heal everyone, things should be A-OK.

They give out mediocre experience, but loads of money, and sometimes a decent item.

"Yay, gold!"

"Oh, gee, I guess we'd better turn back then."
"We've come here to assault the kobold headquarters, you fool. We're not going to listen to the sign."
"I know that! What, just because I'm a grunt I can't be sarcastic once in a while?"

"How is it, exactly, that we were surprised to find kobolds in a kobold lair?"

Kobolds have 8 HP and are no more of a threat than goblins. Enough said.


The next wave is a little more threatening, but only a little. Sewer Rats can cause disease, and Kobold Captains are stronger and tougher than regular kobolds, but the party is probably overlevelled at this point and makes short work of them.

"You are Sir Hyron and Drog, are you not? Your mother's been worried sick about you, you know."
"Yes. I'm Sir Hyron, and this is my brother Drog. Thanks for rescuing us!"
"That's right! I'm Drog, and this is my brother Sir Hyron!"
"I already said that!"
"Did you? Or did I already say that?"
"... perhaps you should just run along back to Nordonna now."
"Oh, right, we've gotta get back to Mom in time for dinner! Bye!"

"Well, that was peculiar. We've finished exploring the caverns, so perhaps we should return to Nordonna and claim our reward."
"Assuming they got back alive, that is."

(There's nothing special in the light grey unexplored spaces: they're mostly just random monster encounters that are a pain to kill. The darker grey area in the middle of the map is a magically darkened zone, requiring multiple Light spells.)

"Yay, untold riches! Those are almost as good as the kind of riches where you can tell how many riches you have."
"I must admit, I have been curious about Feldecarb Fountain ever since that incident with the fairies and the farthing -- or rather, without the farthing."

"And we've seen all we can see in Middlegate. Very well: when we get the chance, we shall tour the towns of Cron. Perhaps we may even take your sons with us!"

"Sure, but can we do that later? I'm sweatin' like a pig in this armour and I need a bath."
"He really does. Please, for our sake, give him some time to freshen up before we set out again."

"Hey! I heard that!"

"At least we haven't started killing each other yet -- well, if you don't count Gothmog. As adventuring parties go, we're not so dysfunctional. Also, I've finally started learning clerical magic and my axe casts lightning bolt spells, so that makes up for a lot of ill treatment."

"These weapons are neat and all, but I could use some better armour if I'm going to be in the front lines like this."

"I'm faster than a speeding bullet, and at least twice as stealthy!"

"I finally have access to level-3 mage spells. I'll explain them all at the end of this update, after some... other business... has been taken care of."

"And I have level-3 and 4 clerical spells now."

"Hey! What about us? Don't forget about me and Drog!"

Ah, yes. It's about time I explained hirelings. If you're not interested in game mechanics, you can probably skip to the vote at the end of the update.

As you've probably worked out, hirelings are characters you can pay to adventure with your party. There are quite a lot of hirelings, but they must be found before they become available: once found, they're available to any party forever (or until you reset the character roster). A party can contain up to 8 members: at least 1, and no more than 6, must be characters, which means that a party can contain up to 7 hirelings. Most of the time we'll be using 6 characters and 2 hirelings, since I want to show off your characters as much as possible.

For the most part, hirelings can be treated the same way as player characters, but there are a few important differences. See how Sir Hyron's has a "Cost per Day" listing where "Gold" would normally be? Whenever the party rests or a day passes, that amount will be deducted from the party's balance. If you don't have enough money, the hireling will desert and return to the last inn he stayed at. Hirelings can also be dismissed voluntarily at any time.

Cost per day rises when a hireling gains a level, and will also rise if you do something to seriously piss him off, like stripping him of his entire inventory at once or keeping him at the front of the party's marching order all the time. Cost per day is capped at 50,000 gold, but Sir Hyron currently charges the perfectly reasonable fee of 2 gold. He's only level 1 and his stats are nothing special, but he's worth keeping around as an extra source of muscle.

Since hirelings can't carry gold, they can't buy items, and have to be given them by other characters. They can train to gain levels for free, but the more expensive training grounds will increase their cost per day more rapidly. They also can't buy spells, but this isn't a problem because they don't need to! Spellcasting hirelings automatically know every spell that they're of sufficient level to cast, which is exactly as awesome as it sounds.

For the sake of completeness, here's Drog. His stats aren't much better than his brother's, but again, he's cheap and he's one of the only hirelings available right now.

"If you're done with all that, I think it's high time we started talking about my new clerical spells. Remember, I don't know all of these yet, since some have to be bought and others have to be found."

Level 3 Cleric Spells

1. NAME: Cold Ray
COST: 3 SP + 2 Gems
TYPE: Combat, not in hand to hand
TARGET: 5 monsters
DESCRIPTION: Attacks with a ray of intensive cold that penetrates to the monster's heart and inflicts 25 points of damage to each monster affected.
"If I wanted to do much damage with my spells, I'd have become a sorcerer. I don't know this spell and I'm not in a hurry to learn it."

2. NAME: Create Food
COST: 3 SP + 2 Gems
TYPE: Non-combat
TARGET: Spell caster
DESCRIPTION: Adds 8 food units to caster's food supply. Caster may then distribute food among other Party members, if he/she desires.
"We need food to rest and recover our strength. It's better to go on an adventure prepared with all the food you'll need, but this spell sure beats starving."

3. NAME: Cure Poison
TYPE: Anytime
TARGET: 1 character
DESCRIPTION: Flushes poison out of a character's system, instantaneously removing the poisoned condition.
"Well, I don't like to see anyone's health dwindle away to nothing, so it's a good thing I know this spell now."

4. NAME: Immobilize
TYPE: Combat
TARGET: 5 monsters
DESCRIPTION: Immobilizes any monster affected.
"Well, it doesn't always work, and they'll shake it off eventually, but the fewer monsters that are attacking you at once the better."

5. NAME: Lasting Light
TYPE: Non-combat
TARGET: Entire Party
DESCRIPTION: Bestows 20 light factors on the Party, for use in dispelling darkness.
"I don't know this spell yet, but I should probably learn it. We'd be in a right old pickle if we tried to explore a magically darkened area without it."

6. NAME: Walk on Water
COST: 3 SP + 2 Gems
TYPE: Non-combat, Outdoor
TARGET: Entire Party
DESCRIPTION: Creates a floating sand dune upon which the Party may walk. Lasts 1 day.
"Well, isn't this convenient, now? With Pathfinder, Mountaineer and this spell, you could walk just about anywhere in Cron! Too bad I don't know it yet."

Level 4 Cleric Spells

1. NAME: Acid Spray
COST: 4 SP + 3 Gems
TYPE: Combat, not in hand to hand
TARGET: 3 monsters
DESCRIPTION: Sprays a corrosive stream of acid inflicting 6-60 points of damage, unless immune to acid.
"Again, I'm not much for damaging spells. I suppose they have their uses, but I'm happy to leave them to the sorcerers."

2. NAME: Air Transmutation
COST: 4 SP + 3 Gems
TYPE: Non-combat, Outdoor
TARGET: Entire Party
DESCRIPTION: Transforms the Party into air, allowing the exploration of the elemental plane of air.
"I don't know this spell yet. Even if I did, I'd have to find a way to get to the plane before it'd be useful. And even with the spell and a way to get there, an elemental plane is still a right dangerous place. I'd need a good reason to go there."

3. NAME: Cure Disease
TYPE: Anytime
TARGET: 1 character
DESCRIPTION: Restores full health to a sick character, instantaneously removing the diseased condition.
"Another curing spell that I'm glad I know. You never know when you'll need it."

4. NAME: Restore Alignment
COST: 4 SP + 3 Gems
TYPE: Non-combat
TARGET: 1 character
DESCRIPTION: Restores a character's original alignment, after actions and responses have caused it to shift.
"It takes a lot of work to change your alignment, but if you manage to do it and then regret it, this is the spell you need. Some people say alignment doesn't make much difference in the long run, but what kind of cleric would I be if I believed that?"

5. NAME: Surface
TYPE: Non-combat
TARGET: Entire Party
DESCRIPTION: Instantly transports all Party members from an underground location to ground surface.
"The way I see it, sometimes the best way to save someone's life is to get them out of danger -- and if you're underground, chances are you're in danger."

6. NAME: Holy Bonus
COST: 4 SP + 3 Gems
TYPE: Combat
TARGET: Entire Party
DESCRIPTION: The mystic forces of the Cleric's deity increase the damage done by Party members by 1 point per 2 levels of the caster.
"I don't know this spell, but I should probably learn it. All that extra damage on every attack adds up."

"I hope you're not forgetting me. After all, I still have to explain my newly-recovered sorcerer spells."

Level 3 Sorcerer Spells

1. NAME: Acid Stream
COST: 1 SP/level + 2 Gems
TYPE: Combat
TARGET: 1 monster
DESCRIPTION: Sprays a burning stream of acid inflicting 2-8 points of damage per level of caster, unless immune to acid.
"A most painful and satisfying spell, and an excellent step up from Energy Blast. I must take the time to learn it as soon as possible."

2. NAME: Fly
TYPE: Non-combat, Outdoors
TARGET: Entire Party
DESCRIPTION: Grants magical flight to all characters, allowing the Party as a whole to move to any other outdoor area. The Party will land in the safest square in that area.
"Ah, Fly. It's the only way to travel outdoors, you know. Walking is for those too weak to use magic."

3. NAME: Invisibility
TYPE: Combat
TARGET: Entire Party
DESCRIPTION: Drops a cloak of invisibility over all characters, greatly decreasing the monsters' chances of hitting them.
"A remarkably effective spell against enemies who rely on physical attacks. He who strikes from the shadows can attack without fear of retaliation."

4. NAME: Lightning Bolt
COST: 1 SP/level + 2 Gems
TYPE: Combat
TARGET: 4 monsters
DESCRIPTION: Blasts the monsters with a gigantic lightning bolt that inflicts 1-6 damage points per level of caster.
"Perhaps less entertaining than Acid Stream, but more visually impressive and usually more practical."

5. NAME: Web
COST: 3 SP + 2 Gems
TYPE: Combat, not in hand to hand
TARGET: 4 monsters + 1 monster per level of caster
DESCRIPTION: Wraps monsters in a supernatural web, preventing them from fighting for the duration of combat or until they escape.
"To stab and stab again at a helpless foe... can there be any greater pleasure in life? Monsters resistant to magic will shake off the webs easily, but others can be dispatched at one's leisure."

6. NAME: Wizard Eye
COST: 3 SP/level + 2 Gems
TYPE: Non-combat, indoors
TARGET: Caster
DESCRIPTION: Uses the magical eye of a powerful wizard to show a 5x5 overhead view of your party's location in any indoor maze.
"Feh. Is a map not good enough for navigation?"

Well, that's all the spells we can use right now. As you may have noticed, some party members have reached level 7, which means that members of the Might & Magic I party are now available to be voted for! Once again, vote for as many or as few characters as you like. To refresh your memory, here are your options:

Tarquinn, Evil Male Human Knight. Varn's burliest, surliest warrior, now visiting Cron in search of a worthy opponent.
Successhands, Evil Male Gnome Robber. A master of the thieving arts who seeks enough wealth to live a long, comfortable and safe life. Somehow, that goal remains forever elusive.
Drewjitsu, Good Male Human Paladin. His heart's in the right place, but his brain is nowhere to be found.
Mattybee, Evil Male Human Archer. A charismatic sociopath with a talent for getting himself and others into trouble.
Preacher, Good Female Human Cleric. A holy woman in the service of the sun god Radaso, perpetually frustrated by the attitudes of her companions.
Jostiband, Neutral Female Human Sorcerer. A fun-loving arch-sorceress, sexual deviant and constant thorn in Preacher's side.
Sylphosaurus, Neutral Male Human Robber. A common thief from Varn with a serious grudge against Tarquinn's party: pursued them all the way to Cron in search of revenge.
Semiru, Evil Male Human Paladin. A brute who calls upon dark gods to grant him power and wealth.
Schildkrote, Good Male Human Cleric. A flamboyant but good-hearted healer native to Varn and intent on preaching where he's not wanted, even in other worlds.
Julius, Good Male Half-Orc Barbarian. A strong, loyal and oddly-pigmented fighter.

McGuffin, Neutral Male Half-Orc Knight. Former servant of a lich lord and current right-hand man of Julius.

Cale Thomas, Good Male Human Paladin. A holy warrior with considerable natural talent for both swordplay and wordplay.

neongrey, Evil Female Human Archer. A would-be sorceress with more ambition than dedication.

Godobor, Neutral Female Half-Orc Ninja. A fellow outcast from Julius' tribe, she's a little too enthusiastic about violence to make a good assassin.

David, Good Male Gnome Cleric. A well-meaning horse veterinarian dragged into the adventuring life by circumstances beyond his control.

Gothmog, Evil Male Human (?) Sorceror. And that's all he wants you to know.

Chunko Splendid, Neutral Male Dwarf Sorcerer. A down-on-his-luck young dwarvish fop with an unusual interest in the arcane arts.

Brad, Evil Male Human Cleric. Allegedly Chunko's doctor, but appears to have more interest in taking people apart than putting them back together.

Eastman, Neutral Male Human Knight. Chunko's bodyguard, ill-suited to any task more complicated than hitting things until they die.

Waddle Dee, Good Male (?) Dwarf (??) Robber. Your guess is as good as mine.

If you'd like, you can also include a wildcard vote: if I get enough of those, I'll roll up one of the characters who hasn't been made yet and include them in the party. Vote now!