Magician without a Mana Site?

I was just wondering do any Magician players get anything other than a Mana Site?
In game are Mana Crystals a rare resource and really costly?

Some do- I know some battlemage/ritualist Sentinels that have military units, for example. You can use the resources from raiding or guerdon payments to buy mana crystals. Mana crystals aren’t so much rare as in high demand and consumed by rituals and battles.


It depends on what kind of mage you go for. If you want to do things to do anything with rituals, from their creation to their casting, then a mana site is a must but if you are relying on personal mana for things like healing and fighting then you can take what ever you want. Mana crystals can go for 1 and a half to two crowns. @Bradstyley is right, they are in high demand. To some extent I would agree that they aren’t rare as it is fairly easy to get your hands on some, it is just difficult to get your hands on a lot. If you want to sell mana crystals, you will have no problem as long as the price isn’t too high. If you want to buy it then you will have to ask around.

When I started I didn’t realise that there was a difference between personal mana and crystal mana. I think you might get about 6 personal mana which allows you to cast spells. At the end of the day you regain all your personal mana.

Crystal mana is a resource like herbs or liao or other such things. it is represented as a card which you rip up when you use in the field or is taken off you if you use it and G.O.D (game operation desk) is involved (so something like an arcane projection, which is making a new ritual).

Once you have used a piece of crystal mana, it can not be got back. Your mana site will generate about 7 pieces of crystal mana which you get when you attend an event.

Crystal mana is used for casting rituals, creating new ones or in place of personal mana to cast a spell. This is usually not a good use of mana but sometimes, when you are desperate, you will need to do this,

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I’m playing a battlemage with healing magics and a mana site.

Crystal Mana can be used for any spell. This means it can be used for the 2 mana spells (Swift Heal, in my case) for 1 Crystal each. While expensive, it does make an excellent emergency power source.

So I’ve been planning on carrying 2 to 5 crystal mana onto battles etc with me, to use when I need a Swift Heal in an emergency.

Given that I get 7 Crystal mana each season from the mana site, this leaves me a bit to sell or donate to my group, towards rituals etc.

Also of use to the low-mana mage: Mageblood Potions: Each one restores 2 personal mana, and they usually cost 2 crowns or so. Also good for having a couple on reserve.

And finally, there’s the area enchantment, House of Chimes (I think?). This enchants an area so that if you rest there for a time, you can regain your personal mana. It’s in play on some tents etc in Anvil, IIRC.

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Solace of Chimes. Chamber of Delights also works


Basically if you intend to be a ritualist as a central part of your character concept, having a mana site is convenient. However, if you’re willing to make getting crystal mana part of your game, or finding groups to help who have plenty of mana but not enough casters, you can go without.

If you aren’t planning to do rituals, don’t worry about a mana site. As mentioned you can use crystal mana to cast spells rather than rituals, but mana is just expensive enough that that’s quite an investment. Most people would probably sooner tell you to get Extra Mana and seek out items to increase your personal mana pool (defaults to 4 mana per day with just the Magician skill, btw) before taking a site.

Basically no resource is mandatory for any character, but if you want what a resource gives and you aren’t interested in trading, it makes sense.

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There is a 0-item mage robe called Crystal Tenders Robe that allows you to convert 1 Crystal mana to 3 personal mana once a day.

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Note Empire works really well for groups, so in my group we have 5 mages and only 2 mana sites, the others have congregations and a forest, because we pool resources and this works for us.

Also if you are offering your services to cast for others it is quite common to ask them for either the money for the mana or the mana itself plus a small payment for your time. So you could cast quite alot of magic without owning any mana crystals yourself, if you have mastered rituals that are wanted.


As @CharlieP says - a lot of the ritual groups on the field will ask for the mana to cover the rituals, so it is possible to make game without having a mana site. As Charlie also says, being part of a coven (which you likely will be if you want to be able to cast the bigger rituals) means that someone will probably have a mana site.

The other thing to keep in mind is that 1) you can get mana from trading at the right places if you have the fleet resource (though it doesn’t get you as much as a mana site, you also get other resources from it) and 2) you can change your resource between events for the low price of 2 crowns. So you could always start with a mana site and change if you find you don’t want it, or change to it if you have something else.

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The best way to be a magician without a mana site is as part of a group. The powergaming build for a ritual group includes artisans and people who can get stuff for magic items, everyone with a mana site makes that harder unless you also have a really good trader. I currently have a military unit for complicated reasons.

As a solo ritualist build (I’d define this as at least Lore 2 or 3) I would strongly advise going for a mana site, (Many people who want rituals don’t actually have mana, and it means worst case you can guarantee being able to get some rituals cast.)
In my case for a while I was effectively creating a weird herb garden out of casting the winter herb buff in exchange for herbs,

In a coven or hoping to be in a coven it matters a lot less, but talk to your group about it. I think over half of my coven actually have military units (but my coven is not well built at all :p, and casts by the power of catherding.)

I’m a ritualist and I frolic through my forests of iridescent gloaming, dancing with the butterflies - efficiency be damned…

Mana sites are obviously very useful, but if you’re part of a coven, you may find in play there are other resources that better suit you. It costs 2 crowns to switch so I wouldn’t worry about the decision too much.


Depends what your character will need and use. Mages and Preists tend to be the main users of Mana and Liao and so it’s kinda natural for them to lean towards Mana Sites and congregations.
On the other Side, I knew a business owner who was a mage just to be able to cast Night Pouch.

But whatever you’ll think you use is what you should go for. You can always trade for Mana if you need it and change your resource for 2c as a worst case scenario. 2c sounds a lot, but it’ll be easy to get that by selling some of the resource you have.

As with anything, the values of stuff goes up and down depending on whats happening in the world. I remember at the start, Liao was worth very little, then suddenly Exorcisms became the cool thing, and the value suddenly shot up.
Other times large project will be the cool thing, and people will be hoovering up a specific resource AND the resource next to it on the magic stuff-conversion wheel.

In the whole scheme of things it literally only matters to you. And also that you sell it cheaply… i mean at a mutually beneficial price to me :stuck_out_tongue: