Spellcaster University: Guide To Higher Magical Education

General tips that took me from a llama to a Lord

Note: This guide is written for version 1.0.


The Care And Feeding Of Factions
As far as I can tell, there are four faction interactions that slow down the LoE.

1) (Kingdom) Attack the Lord Of Evil (-3%)
2) (Kingdom) Use our magic to repel (-1%)
3) (Kingdom) Hit them hard with reinforcements (-3%)
4) (Orcs) Gather against Evil (-3%)

Choice #1 requires a reputation of 50 with the King and drops that reputation by 15 when this action is used.

Choice #4 reduces the reputation with the orcs by 40%. It is difficult to justify this as a main strategy because, even with great luck (i.e. the option you need is not always available), you will only be able to attack LoE once for every three guinea pigs expended. This is not enough.

However, the others have a bit better chance. For choices #2 and #3, there is no loss of reputation. Furthermore, since they are all in one faction, you usually have a chance of doing something constructive every time you visit.

So let’s think about how to keep the king happy.

There is the basic ‘I came for the pleasure’ action that grants 10 reputation. Certainly viable and not to be passed if it is the only choice at the moment. But it still will only allow an attack on LoE with 2/5 of the guinea pigs expended.

Next is the ‘Use our magic to repel’ action. It only requires that we have a Door Between Worlds and that it actually shows up as a choice. Again, this is not our best bet. Even if it shows up as a choice every time (it doesn’t), we are still at the 1/3 benchmark for attacks vs guinea pigs expended.

Finally is the holy grail. The wondrous ‘Let’s you and him fight’ option – ‘Hit them hard with reinforcements’. Now we are getting somewhere. This lets us attack without any loss of reputation. The only problem is that it does not show up all of the time. Yet, when it is there, it is our first choice. Coupling it with asking the King to attack (and the residual reputation repair) we can improve our benefits above the 1/3 ratio so often mentioned.

Now lets think about repairing that reputation. The 10 points offered by just showing up does not help much. It helps but it is not the best we can do. If we get the chance to say ‘Enjoy the hunt’, it grants 15 (which balances perfectly the loss from attack. If we could get this one every time, we could now expect to reduce the LoE’s progress 1/2 of the time.

Also, if you have a rune scriptorium, you can answer the complaint about paperwork and then choose an option that will give you 15 reputation with the king.

But there is even a better method. If we have a Weapons Rack at the school, we will sometimes get the option to ‘Train Son With Weapons’ which grants us a full 35 reputation! If we can see this option reliably, we now have the chance to repel LoE 2 times for every 3 guinea pigs. Now we’re cooking!

So what is our plan?

1) have a weapons rack.
2) have a rune scriptorium.
3) raise reputation with Inquisition to 80
4) Visit the king and choose (in order of best to worst)
A) Train The Son With Weapons (if available AND if reputation is below 65 or so. This one is so good, it pays to use it when available for the future if you have room in the ‘bank’.
B) Hit Them Hard With Reinforcements (if available). No reputation loss.
C) Attack Lord Of Evil (if reputation is 50 or more). Smoke him if you got ‘em.
D) Enjoy The Hunt
E) I Came For The Pleasure.

I find that this works fairly well and once it gets going, I think I average over 1/2 of my guinea pigs reducing LoE’s progress by 3% in the long run.

So now what? What else can we do?

Breeding Guinea Pigs
No, I don’t care about them. No, I don’t feed them. I just load them into a catapult and hurl them into the skies screaming ‘Fly Little Piggie, FLY!’ whilst playing an old Pink Floyd album. (oink, oink, oink).

All I require is as many guinea pigs as I can get. This can be affected in two ways.

First, raise the peasants’ reputation to 75 and KEEP it there. (Try not to let the orcs to attack them.)

Second, buy and use every Pig Chamber card you can. (Some places call them guinea-pig towers, no matter – its the same thing.)

The Guinea And Aerodynamics -or- Making Pigs Fly
In my quest to with the game, I started upgrading my guinea pig tower every chance I got. It helped. However, it wasn’t enough. So I thought some more. (Dangerous, I know.) I had another revelation. (Again, disclaimers of ‘maybe I should have realized sooner’ and all that. But hey, late is better than never?)

Before other benefits, improving a pig chamber grants a 10% bonus to efficiency. BUT, adding anew pig chamber grants a 100% bonus! So I quit updating my pig chambers and started adding new ones at every opportunity.

What a difference it made! Yet I was faced with another problem. Combining Pig towers with an ill advised Greenhouse and an ill placed Bright Staff Refectory put me in a situation where I absolutely could not add any more rooms! (More disclaimers about my lack of forward planning, but in my defense, I thought this was a casual game.)

So I thought about it some more and had a great idea. So great, I was forced to abandon that quest and start a new campaign. So great, I was sure it would be the master stroke! And, it was. At least part of it.

When I started a new university and had a fist full of cards to play before unpausing, I did something different! Instead of building horizontally first, I went ballistic! (trust me – it’s true).

First to go ballistic, you must go up. I built straight up as high as I could. Well, almost. If I had multiple rooms for a single ‘Colour Of Magic’ (some of you will get it), I would put them on the same level. Other than that, UP, UP, UP and Away.

I then (with fore planning this time, used those multiple rooms of the same color near the top. (For those of you keeping score, this is the ballistic part of the structure.) So, imagine if you will an upside down L with rooms at the top just hanging there weightless.

Now I had a platform for my pig towers that would not interfere with the rest of my rooms! I could build as many rooms as I wanted!

Or Not!

Guidance Counseling In The Age Of Magic -Or- Focus, You Twit!
How? How on earth? How on all the magical planes of existence do you get your nature students to go to Druid class (and satisfy that ‘star’ goal) instead of mucking around in the petting zoo?

You might say, build a house. Limit their studies.

Yes, that will work for part of it, but it still won’t keep little Hermione from petting the magical llama instead of dancing around the stones, will it?

How? You ask.

Here’s how. (This is where you should guard against splatter damage in case your head explodes.)


Seriously. Just Don’t Do It. Until you have satisfied your star goal, guide your students by only building the right buildings to accomplish that goal.

I had been frantically building at least one of every building to make sure my students were well rounded practitioners of the art. PFFFT! Who cares about the greedy little grubbers. We have the LoE to worry about. Those star goals are MUCH more important in that they produce the spell books that make the next incarnation of SU a much better place.

In one level I needed druids. So I built only (as far as nature classroms) one Nature Room and FOUR Dolmens. (Four was overkill, I think, but I was experimenting.)

I had my 20 druids well before the LoE progress bar reached half way. In fact, I may have had them before I was set up to actually repel the LoE. It was amazing! It was liberating. The applications are endless – once you know what you are aiming for.

Student Dress Code -Or- Intimidating Others Through Accessories
One application of the aforementioned limitation on buildings has to do with what ornaments you allow (or encourage) your student’s to wear.

Let’s examine a powerful one – Sign Of The Eldest. If you play this card, students with at least level 3 in Demonology and 2 in Portal Magic will repel the Lord of Evil by 1% when they graduate. This has the possibility of being even more powerful than guinea pigs. I haven’t gotten it to be that successful … yet. (But, as another disclaimer, I am pretty sure I know what went wrong and after this section, maybe you can clean the walls.)

How do we make the most out of this card?

1) Create a house that forbids everything except Shadow and Arcana.
2) Only build Shadow and Arcana classrooms that will forward Portal Magic and Demonology.
3) Add Students
4) Blend Well. (Umm, not really. More of a mix rather than a blend. Some students are never quite the same after a good blend.)
5) Play the Sign Of The eldest Card.

I did this. It did not work.

Why!?!? You ask.

Because I gave the Demonic Horns Card first. Once they get the demonic horns – oh my – they are too good to wear the Sign Of The Eldest. My bad. Next time, the dress code will be more restrictive.

Seriously, once a student earns a piece of equipment, it becomes a security blanket that they will not (EVER) put down. Make sure that when manipulating towards a certain piece of equipment that you don’t give them an opportunity to get something else before they can earn the one you want them to have.

Other Tips
Don’t form any houses until you know what your star goals are. THEN form the houses to fit those goals. Face it, with proper guinea pig manipulation (is there a future for Guinea Pig Chiropracty? Should be – devs I’m Looking At YOU) you will have plenty of time to change over to your pet project that does not involve star goals.

The magical hat is always in fashion for teachers. I just had to throw this in. It is wonderful, especially when you have curses that keep the good teachers away.

In Closing
When I adopted these strategies, for the first time I got all three star bonuses on the first university and graduated about 200 students. The legendary spell book cut the additional cost of cards in half! Ohhh boy is this great.

In my second university in this campaign, I am not even half way to the LoE crashing the party and have 97 graduates and 86 students AND have completed all of my star goals!

I think this will work for you.

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