Spell Defense

The information on this page is not guaranteed to be accurate; it has been gathered from observations on the way saves seem to work, and the explanations that MeNo has occassionally given when explaining deaths in bug reports. Do not under any circumstances attempt to use this information to argue with MeNo about a spell's effect or non-effect. If anything else, this information has been slightly modified from the way it was presented by MeNo to make it more clear, and there are factors in the game that are not always made perfectly available.

This information is for players to use to better understand the game mechanics and the design of their characters. Any other use is at one's own risk. We are not responsible for any errors or omissions that may cause you to wind up dead in the middle of a dungeon.

Blocking Spells Cast Against You

As you no doubt have discovered, some critters in the game cast spells against you. If you have no protection from a spell, and it is a high enough level, it won't take the critters very long to kill you.

MRA uses a level-based spell combat system. Whenever a spell is cast, the level of the spell, the level of the target, and the saves of the target are all considered, as well as any protective spells, amulets, or potions.

Regardless of the source of protection, if a protective spell's effect is higher than the attacking spell, the attack will always be blocked. If the attacking spell is higher than the protection, then the protection is removed, and the attacking spell passes through at the level of the attack minus the level of the protection. The next time the spell is cast, however, the protection will not be there and the spell will go through at full strength.

Protective spells can come from three sources: By being cast, drinking a potion, or wearing an amulet.

Spells block all effects up to and including that spell's level, but do not grant any bonus to saves. For example, if you have a ProtBody cast on you at level 30, then any level 30 or below Harm spell will be blocked, while a level 31 spell will remove the protection and pass through at level 1.

For potions and amulets, you add a Save Adder to the level of the item. So, if you wear a L30 ProtBody amulet, and have +6 to your save, then any L36 or below Harm spell would be blocked, but a L37 Harm would remove the protection and pass through at level 1. If the protection comes from an amulet and the spell is greater, the amulet is destroyed (see "pop"). The exception to this rule is that if an amulet is popped in a Player-Vs-Player arena, it is not destroyed, but the protection is still removed for the duration of the combat.

Each character derives his save adder from his class skill ring and his class' unique item (see Other Items). For example: If a healer has a L5 Healer's Holy Symbol and a L4 ring of Healing, then he has a +9 save adder.

Your save adder is also added to your level when calculating the damage or effect that a spell has if you have no protection from that spell. A higher save adder means reduced damage from the spell.

How save adders work when you are unprotected

It is important to understand that save adders are not 'automatic' protection against spells if you are not protected by a spell, amulet, or potion. Each save adder is a chance to cut the damage of the spell in half (with each successive save cutting the damage in half again). The actual number of saving throws is determined by comparing your level + save adder to the level of the spell. The chance for that saving throw to take effect is 50% unless modified by your stats. All spell saving throws are modified by your Charisma; low Charisma reduces your chance to save, and high Charisma increases it.

Additionally, some spell types are modified by specific stats:

If you have low Charisma and low Strength, for example, you're going to suffer generally against all spells, and suffer horribly against Priest spells in specific. The stat modifier is the specific stat – 17, so if you have 18 Agility, you'd get a +1 save bonus vs. Sorcerer spells. If you have a 10 Strength, you'd get a –7 penalty to saves vs. Priest spells.

The Math

When a spell is cast against an unprotected player, the spell level is first compared to the player's Effective Save Level (character level + Hero Count + elegance bonus + save adder + or – the stat modifier). If the levels are the same (example L70 spell vs. L70 ESL) then the target gets two saving throws. If the spell level is higher, then the target gets one saving throw. If the ESL is higher, then the target gains the difference in levels +1 (for example, a L70 spell vs. L75 ESL would gain 6 saving throws, and a L70 spell vs. L69 ESL would gain only one).

Then the difference in spell level/ESL is compared again to determine any modifiers - where the difference itself (ESL - Spell Level) is the modifier. For example, the L70 spell vs. the L70 ESL gets two saving throws with 50% chance of success. Each point higher for the ESL means an extra 5% chance of success (the L70 spell vs. the L75 ESL has a 25% bonus, or a 75% chance of success for each save).

Once the base chance of success is determined, stat modifiers are applied based on the type of spell. This time the stat modifier (stat - 17) is multiplied times 5%. So, for example, a character with 20 Agility gets a +3 (15%) bonus; using the L70/75 model we've been using so far, this means a 90% chance of making the saving throw.

Charisma is also a modifier, however; the bonus granted is the target's Charisma – 12, but each point of difference is doubled (10%)! If the character has 10 Charisma, that's a -2, a 20% loss, meaning that there's now an 70% chance of making the saving throw.

How this works in game terms: When the game determines saves, it rolls 1d20. Our fictional character starts with a base 50% chance of success (he needs to roll 10 or less), but his save is modified by the following:

  • +25% for his high save level (75%);
  • +15% for high Agility (90%);
  • -20% for poor Charisma (70%)

The final percentage converts to a 14 on the die - if he rolls 14 or under, the save is successful, and he takes half damage. Because he has 6 saving throws, he can do do this 6 times - each success reduces the damage by half. If he has the bad luck to fail all six saves, he takes full damage.

Now let's look at the poor Healer trying to save vs. the L70 sorcerer spell with a L68 ESL. Our Healer doesn't use Agility for much, so he has only 10… and has 11 Charisma. Now it's time to calculate saves; his ESL is too low, so he gets only 1 save. So, his save looks like this:

  • Base 50%
  • -2 levels (-10%)
  • Agility 10 (-70%)

His chance of success is -30%. I think you can see that he's going to fail his saving throw and die a horrible horrible death…

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