Magic points (MP; also called mana) are units of magical power that are used in many role-playing, computer role-playing and similar games as an expendable resource that is needed to pay for magic spells.
Thus, magic points can be considered a specialized type of action points that are renewed slowly compared to other game events.
A character in such games will usually have a number of magic points based on his or her level and character class, among other things. Thus a mage will have more MP than a fighter and an experienced mage will have more MP than a novice. When a character uses a magic spell, a number of MP will be deducted from that character’s available MP to pay for the spell (more powerful spells generally cost more MP). If a character has too few MP, the spell cannot be cast. This system makes players choose between casting a few powerful spells, or many weaker ones.
In some games, MP replenish slowly over time, while in others a character must rest to recover MP. Other possibilities include stealing or absorbing them from other characters or from the ether, or by eating food or drinking magic fluids.
In many western computer games, the magic points gauge is depicted as being blue, in contrast with the red or green of the hit points gauge. These colors might be seen in the user interface and in the game’s items or spells (for example, a red potion is used for healing, a blue potion for restoring magic).
In general, losing all of one's MP in a game does not do the same thing as someone losing all of their HP (dying, fainting, etc), though a few cases (Star Ocean 3, for example) will cause a character to faint if their MP reaches zero.
Magic points have seen use in many fantasy games, including tabletop role-playing games
such as GURPS
and Dungeons and Dragons
, and computer role-playing games
such as Diablo
Many alternate names are used in different games. Magic points are also referred to as
Other terms designate units of psionic, or otherwise supernatural, power equivalent to MP:
In traditional RPGs, magic points remained entirely in the realm of magic spells or psionic powers, while fighting skills and abilities were never under such a restriction. Many newer games, however, have introduced similar skill-limitation systems for fighters:
- Spirit Commands in the Super Robot Wars series of video games (1991) include a variety of exceptional feats used by expending Spirit Points (SP).
- In the World of Darkness (1991), supernatural creatures must expend some resource, such as Blood Points, Gnosis, Rage, Quintessence, Vitae, Essence or Mana to fuel many of their powers.
- In the Pokémon video games (1995 and later), Power Points (PP) are used to limit the number of times a Pokémon can perform each type of attack.
- Super Mario RPG (1996), as well as its informal sequels Paper Mario and Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, use Flower Points (FP) to fuel special moves. Both characters on the field draw FP from the same pool.
- In Diablo II (2000), all character classes (magic users as well as fighters) each have access to a unique and exclusive set of skills, and many of the skills in each set are powered by mana as if they were spells.
- Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga (2003) has Brothers Points (BP) which the two titular characters use to perform special team-up attacks.
- World of Warcraft (2004) uses Rage for Warriors, or Energy and Combo points for Rogues, as well as Focus for Hunters' pets.
- Everquest II (2004) uses a Power pool to “fuel” combat arts as well as spells.
- In Star Ocean 3 (2004), MP was used as a second 'life-gauge'. Certain attacks reduced the target's HP and MP or may only target MP entirely, and characters die when their MP reach 0 as well. Enemies also follow this and the player can decide whether to kill them by attacking their HP or MP.
- In Guild Wars (2005), energy powers most skills, even non-spell ones. Certain skills use adrenaline, which is increased by attacking.