When starting a new game, you must pick a Wizard, who will be your avatar in the game. Other Predefined Wizards will be randomly selected by AI players, whom will have their personality traits and strategies.
You can either create a custom wizard using a portrait or choose a predefined wizard. Each wizard has a pick limit of 11, either used on Spellbooks or retorts. Spellbooks determine what spells you can learn by type. There are 5 types of Spellbooks: Death, Life, Chaos, Nature, and Sorcery.
- Chaos Magic generally deals with fire and focuses on damaging foes as well as summoning underworld creatures.
- Death Magic generally involves curses, possession, and summoning the undead.
- Life Magic generally focuses on buffing your units and dispelling Death and Chaos.
- Nature Magic generally deals with Earth and Water and focuses on summoning a variety of creatures and changing the land.
- Sorcery deals with Air Magic and disrupting your enemy's casting ability while protecting you units against hostile magic.
Chaos, Sorcery, and Life Magic are easier to play with, while Death and Nature are harder. Some of the Predefined Wizards Good for Beginners Are:
- Tauron - A Straightforward Demonic Chaos Spellcaster with Chaos Mastery, ideal for harassing foes with spells.
- Jafar - A Nomadic Magician has eventual access to all Sorcery Spells and his Alchemy Retort allows him to transmute Mana to Gold on a 1 to 1 ratio.
- Ariel - This Life Priestess has many buffs for her forces and her Charismatic Retort can make it less likely for an opponent to declare war if not directly provoked.
- Lo Pan - An Oriental Mage has access to Chaos and Sorcery Magic and his retort causes him to always use the base mana cost of combat spells, regardless of distance from fortress.
- Horus - A Young Archmage Prodigy who has access to life and sorcery and has more casting points than average.
When starting out, you begin with a city with your fortress, your seat of power. Nature Wizards can move it once they research the proper spell. The location of your fortress determines the cost of casting combat spells; the farther the battle is from your fortress, the more mana is required. If the city containing your fortress is conquered by raiders or an enemy wizard's force, you will be banished into the void and unable to cast spells or conduct research or diplomacy until you finish the spell of return and establish a fortress on one of your remaining cities. If you don't have enough mana (100 is required for the spell of return), or you have no other cities left, you will be defeated and eliminated from the game. The same goes with other wizards, however. And like you, they can be banished or defeated the same way.
The Other Wizards
In the game, you will sooner or later run into a party belonging to another wizard. He/she will have traits and personalities randomly determined at the beginning of the game. The wizard will give you either a polite or hostile greeting, determined by personality but it merely signals that contact was made and diplomacy is possible. Diplomatic actions you can perform can range from alliances, wizard pacts, to spell exchanges. However, wizards are generally busy and will be unavailable after a few negotiations. Be warned that they can declare war on you and they are more likely to do so the worse the relations. Even if relations aren't that bad, they may still wage war if they consider you an easy target or a potentially serious threat. Wizards also have a tendency to honor alliances, and join in a war against you. You won't be able to negotiate with a wizard for a while once he/she declares war. After some time, they will be open for audience and possible negotiation of peace, but they tend to reject it if they are "winning" the war or your forces are still on their islands. Even if you are not at war with them, they may occasionally cast hostile spells against you. The only way to win the game is to eliminate all other wizards, either by conquering the fortresses and defeating them or with the Spell of Mastery.