|Natural Magic, Caster, Caster link, Juice, Scroll, Magic Item, Spell, Grandiocosmic Strings, H-strings, Channels, Nodes, Dictums|
Caster proficiency: Novice – Adept – Master
Casters are created in the same way as warlords; when a Side pops a warlord, there is a chance it will get a caster instead. The Side also does not get to choose the type of caster it receives. Some Erf culture appears to hold that the Titans decide when a Side will pop casters. There is no way to intentionally pop a caster.
Casters are units that can use scrolls and cast spells. While certain units can use spells or spell-like abilities (e.g. Archons), Casters are the only units in Erfworld that can learn and cast spells beyond their unit's specific ability or spell set. Casters are further defined as being Commanders and being able to form caster links. Casters are called by their class or discipline, so a caster who casts from Lookamancy is called a Lookamancer, and a caster who does general Hippiemancy would be called a Hippiemancer.
Every caster belongs to a magical discipline (e.g. thinkamancy or croakamancy) and can cast spells from that discipline. Some casters can only cast spells belonging to their discipline, while other casters can cast spells from multiple disciplines.Erf-b1-p013 Multi-discipline casters are uncommon and there may be limits on what spells they can cast and how successful those spells are.
Casting spells uses a caster's juiceErf-b1-p104 so there is a limit on the amount of magic a caster can perform during one turn Erf-b1-p090. Casters can extend this limit by creating and using scrolls. Scrolls increase the versitility of casters by allowing them to cast spells they don't know or spells that are part of a discipline they can't otherwise cast from.Erf-b1-p126.
Like Warlords, Casters are commanders and can lead units in combat. Erf-b1-p084a However, they almost never do so since they are too rare and valuable to risk. Moreover, they do not have the Leadership ability and do not grant a Leadership bonus to units under their direct command. Some casters can grant a special bonus to particular units, presumably limited to those directly tied to their magical specialty. For example, Dirtamancers provide bonuses to golems under their command, and Croakamancers provide bonuses to uncroaked units.Erf-b1-p084a
In some situations, casters can also grant abilities to units under their command. For example, a Croakamancer can grant the Dance-Fighting special ability to Uncroaked units under its command. Erf-b1-p127 The Caster would likely need to possess the dance-fighting ability on their own to be able to bestow it to other units.
Main Article: caster link
A Thinkamancer can join one or two other casters together into a caster link allowing those casters to cast powerful spells, multi-discipline spells, or create multi-discipline magical items or scrolls. The most powerful spells and items (apart from those created and used by Titans) are created by linked casters.
Main Article: Magic Kingdom
The Magic Kingdom is an island that can only be entered by casters through portals in Erfworld cities. Communities of barbarian casters live here, and the island is divided into eight sections, one for each class of magic. Casters of the various disciplines co-mingle freely, including those who are members of different sides, who may enter and leave through Portal Park to socialize or deal with other casters for their Rulers.
Casters can receive orders from Warlords and Rulers while the caster is in the Magic Kingdom.
Once a caster is croaked they may be uncroaked. An uncroaked caster does not retain spellcasting abilities and functions as generic uncroaked infantry.Erf-b1-p077a
It is currently unknown if casters can still cast after being decrypted. This, among other reasons, led Stanley to deny Wanda from attempting to croak Jack Snipe and decrypt him instead of healing himErf-b2-p11-p6 (supposedly because the healing scrolls were getting harder to come by, probably due to resistance from Healomancers in the Magic Kingdom).
Casters are extremely rare, largely because they cannot be popped intentionally.
After a side pops its first caster, popping another caster becomes much more unlikely.
Many sides seem to have Thinkamancers (at least three among the combatants of the Battle for Gobwin Knob). They may be more commonly popped than members of other Disciplines. Conversely, even in the Magic Kingdom, Dirtamancers are apparently rare and in demand.
Some additional possibilities on how casters' numbers might be restricted:
- As a side has existed for more turns, the chance of popping a caster decreases.
- Each time a side pops a caster, the chances of popping another decreases.
- There is a limit on the number of casters in the world (could be based on each type)
- The odds of a caster popping decreases as the number of casters in the world increases
- There is a hard limit on the number of casters in the world
- It may be that sides are limited to a maximum number of casters. For example, three or fewer, with it being rare but possible to pop up to three casters. Capture, however, would be more beneficial since it allows for more than the minimum number and it means the casters may have already leveled.
Casters, Sides, and the Magic Kingdom
The Magic Kingdom is a special location that only casters can enter. Casters from active sides can enter and exit the Magic Kingdom via portals. However, some casters in the Magic Kingdom do not belong to sides on Erfworld. The number of casters in the Magic Kingdom may, at any given time, outnumber those elsewhere on Erfworld.
Leveling for casters may work differently then for other units. If casters need to kill enemy units to gain experience then leveling could be very difficult due to the fact that casters tend to be kept in capital cities. Some types, such as florists, might not even possess any magical means to croak another unit. Note that in Book Two, Text Update 45, Sizemore says that he has gained three levels recently, two from croaking units ("from traps and combat") and one from other activities ("from all of the city rebuilding"). So it seems canon that not all caster leveling comes from croaking units.
Caster levels are often refered to as their class, often before the type of caster. This class may also determine what ability a caster has at casting spells outside their discipline. A master-class caster may be able to cast spells that are not their forte with greater ease. An example is Wanda who is a Master-Class Croakamancer but claims to be able to cast other spells with ease (though she has little interest in doing so), whereas the two other casters most commonly seen (Maggie and Sizemore) either cannot or do not cast outside of their discipline. It is known Maggie is only an Adept-Class, but Sizemore's class is unknown. Given his power compared to Wanda's, as well as his expectation that he could reach master class prowess soon (Book Two, Text Update 45), it seems likely that he is only be an Adept at the middle of Book Two. If so, this would offer an explanation as to his self-professed lack of talent in other disciplines.
It is possible that casters gain experience by using magic or by simply participating in a battle in any way.