This article is an overview of all aspects related to magic and it gives a general description. For more specific information about any of the subjects explained in this article, see:
- Spells (article) or Spells category if information is needed about all spells available or a specific spell and its ranks.
- Magic Items for all items uses in magic.
- Magic Runes for the locations of runes.
- Alchemy for anything related to this magic skill.
To cast a spell, the player need the following things:
- A spell in the spellbook of the player character;
- the character must have the minimal level, in order have a certain version to become available;
- enough Magicka;
- the necessary skill in the specific school of magic; and
- a consumable is needed sometimes, such as Arcane Stones or Teleport Runes with each use.
Spells can be learned from Spell Merchants or from studying Magic Runes. They are divided into schools related to the skills Alteration, Conjuration, Destruction, Illusion, Mysticism and Restoration. In addition, there's Greater and Lesser Powers and some spells only used for specific quests. The spells are available in ranks, from I - VII, with increasing effects and mana consumption. The ranks are unlocked at levels 1, 7, 14, 21, 28, 35 and 42 respectively. Though every spell might have seven ranks in total, most spells have only four to six versions, thus a new and stronger version of a spell is not always gained when the next rank is open.
For example the spell Mana Sink. This spell has four versions in total, but they are not gained at levels 1 up to level 21. Instead, the first version can be learned at level 1, while the other versions can be at levels 14, 28 and 42 respectively.
Casting the spell
When the spell is available and learned, the skill in the school of magic must be sufficient in order to cast it. The level requirement are either novice, apprentice, journeyman, expert or master, with minimum levels of 0, 25, 50, 75 and 100 in the respective school.
Magic scrolls are a type magical documents that can be used to cast spells. Anyone can use a scroll, regardless of level or magical talent, and casting a scroll does not use any Magicka. However, each scroll can only be used once and scrolls do not provide experience towards the schools of magic they're from.
Scrolls are cast the same way as spells, from the magic menu tab. Scrolls have levels that determine how powerful they are. These levels are:
Contracting a disease weakens specific skills or attributes of your character. Disease effects will remain active until cured with a potion, spell, an ingredient or by bathing in the bathhouse in Erothin. Diseases should be cured as soon as possible. Multiple disease effects will stack together. Also note that diseases cannot be spread by the player.
See this article for possible diseases, its symptoms, and the creatures that spread it.
The magic schools are related to the corresponding Skill level, and their use increase that skill a small amount. You can't use a spell until your skill level is high enough.
This is a group of spells that modify abilities or status of a person (or a lock). In this school you find Feather, various Shield spells, Feather, Water Breathing and Water Walking, in addition to Open Lock and the Catharsis spell, that cure diseases at the cost of your health. Some, but not all the Teleport Spells and the Recall Spell (but not Mark, is also in the Alteration school.
Conjuration was added in patch 184.108.40.206. Like in oblivion you can summon various creatures to aid you in combat. The effect last for 180 seconds or when your summoned creature dies. Conjuration spells are learned from runes scattered across Nehrim. There is no spell merchants that sell conjuration related spells .Conjuration skill can be increased either by casting spells or from an Almanacs of Conjuration, which are found around Nehrim.
Various spells that damage foes directly or by Fire, Frost and Shock, close up or ranged. The Mark spell is also in this category.
Here are spells that changes others view of you, like Charm, Calm and Invisiblity spells, Light and Night vision, but also the Silence and Paralyze spells. Also, the Voodoo Eye spell that gives you information about your enemys status. 3 Teleport spells are also in this school.
Here you find spells that manipulate magic itself, like Dispel, Spell Reflect and Absorption and Bloodletting, trading Health for Mana. Detect Life, Reflect (damage), Soul Trap and Telekinesis also belongs to this school. Teleport to Waverock is also found here.
In addition to Restore Health and various Fortification spells, you also find the spells that Absorb Life in this category. Teleport to Zerobilon is also found here.
Some spells are not related to the ordinary schools of magic. This include the Greater and Lesser Powers, along with some special spells only used in connection with a quest.
Magic in Combat
Alteration, mysticism and restoration schools all offer spells used to protect you from harm. Spells like resist element, reflection and different kind of shields should be used at the beginning of combat especially when facing stronger foes.
Aggressive Defense is another option, referring to the use of paralysis (and sometimes calm) effects to control your enemies. When the situation turns ugly illusion spells like paralyze and silence provide you with time to either think or regenate your magicka. Eye of Midnight (and light) are useful spells for anyone.
Conjuration provides decoys for your enemies and more powerful summons have no problem dishing out some deadly hits. Even a kobold can provide a distraction at the critical moment. Healing is best done by Restoration at the end of any given skirmish, but always have some health or mana potions with you in case of an emergency.
Practically though, in the case of a mage, it appears that the best defense is offense - instead of wasting magicka and time on protecting oneself, use it up on frying the enemy before they can hurt you.
Your magicka will last longer if you can give it time to regenerate, and the more magicka you can throw around the more options you have. The more options you have, the better your chances of coming out of combat alive. For this reason, small amounts of damage over a long period of time are generally preferable to a single but largely damaging blast. On the other hand, one does not want to give the enemy time to regenerate.
Mages generally should always carry a number of restore magicka potions with them, and with a high level in alchemy, you can make some wonderful magic juices to aid in tough situations. Weaker enemies will just go down after one hit, against the strongest ones drink up 2-3 restore magicka potions and keep casting as often as you can.
Choosing the right spells to cast is also rather important. Many creatures are immune or have resistances to specific types of damage (fire, ice, shock, magic). Some creatures are actually vulnerable to specific types of attacks. In a standard fight however, Life drain from restoration is likely to be one of the best spells; you will weaken your enemy while refilling your health, however this is only available as a touch spell, not a target so it is ill-advised to use the spell againt powerful enemies and groups of monsters, or things could get bit hairy.
When engaged in melee combat watch carefully for their strike and block in time to meet the blow. The instant your enemy strikes you and recoils, cast your spell and prepare to block again. Do not at any circumstance hold your block, enemies are likely to perfom power attacks when you do. And power attacks are very dangerous for your physically somewhat feeble mage. It is also unadvised for battle mages and thieves, though their skills in melee combat are greater.
In ranged combat wait until you see the enemy's bow or casting animation then dodge. Return fire with a powerful ranged spell. Alternatively, you can chain small spells, which is safer at low levels.
Complications arise when facing groups of enemies. In ranged combat, a duration attack spell makes the offensive complication trivial; just keep your distance and watch your health. If you are unable to cast summons to aid you in bigger fights, don't panic. Forget blocking and shield spells focus on causing as much damage as possible. Keep a close eye on your health; life drain is a good choice for this kind of situation and any kind of enchanted melee weapon or a staff in reserve can save your neck.
The worlds are pervaded by a structure of arcane energy that stabilizes them and makes sure that they don't fall apart. Magic can be used when a fraction of this arcane magic is deducted which then flows through the body of the mage. Because the energy needs some time to rebuild itself again, the power of the spell depends on the arcane power of the caster. Particularly powerful and talented magical creatures are said to have managed to strip the energy from their surroundings and to change it.