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Magic (system)

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Illyriad's magic system is primarily managed through one building Mage Tower and one resource mana exclusively produced and used by that building. All magic so far comes in the form of spells which are cast at a Mage Tower and target a city within some spell-specific range limit. The range of possible effects is mostly limited to defense (repelling or killing hostile inbound units) and affecting resources (bonuses or penalties to some resource production rate, and in a few cases destruction of resources).

All spells have an initial cost for casting, usually consisting of books, livestock, and mostly mana. After that, the spell may either have instantaneous effect, or have an ongoing upkeep cost in mana. The latter may also a limited number of uses before automatically expiring, and in either case a cooldown period is applied to the target of an expired spell, the duration of which depends upon the spell.



With two exceptions—Identify Caster and Dispel Magic)—all spells are divided into schools which must be separately researched prior to researching specific spells and also require sufficient research and infrastructure for the expansion to a new school. The current schools are Blights (resource attacks), Geomancy (resource bonuses), and Runes (defense). Any given city can only be affected by one spell per school at a time, and any cooldown caused by a spell applies to all spells in that school.

There are plans for introducing seven additional schools of magic.

Spell Power

The only effect of varying spell power is to resolve conflicts. For example, when a spell is cast upon a target where another spell of the same school is already in effect, the spell with higher power "wins" and the losing spell is deactivated or fails to cast. The spell's basic attributes and effects are not altered by spell power in any way.

The effective power of a spell is affected by various factors. Base spell power is equal to the base mana cost. In some cases, the power can be increased by spending additional mana. The sum of those values is then multiplied by the level of your Mage Tower. After that, special bonuses are applied, such as the Elves' permanent 5% bonus, and a modifier based on the current lunar phase.

Effect Bonuses

With the introduction of "Tier 2" city buildings, it is now possible to alter the actual level of effectiveness of a spell. The new buildings Geomancers' Retreat and Runemasters' Grounding provide these bonuses, which apply across the Geomancy and Runes schools, respectively. Additional buildings are planned for later release: the Mansion of Misfortune for Blights, and the Mana Projector to increase spell range.


  • Due to the deep investment and poor return on early spellcraft, it is recommended that new players focus on resource upgrades for as long as possible. Spells will not help player growth for at least the first 2 weeks of play.
  • Instantaneous-effect spells (i.e. those without upkeep) cannot be dispelled nor their caster identified.
  • Players can defend against Blights (both maintained and instant-effect) by intentionally maintaining a Blight against their own cities with high spell power. This can be tactically valuable, for example protecting against destruction of swords, books, research, and similar high-value resources with the tradeoff being a constant -2% to the production rate of some low-value resource that's available in excess.