The Mage Weapon Property is one of the most misunderstood weapon properties in the game. The following is meant to be an explanation of how it works, and how it can be useful to characters with Magery skill. A Mage Weapon lowers your Magery Skill by the amount listed, as a side effect of its other properties. For most loot and crafted weapons, the best Mage Weapons can be -20 penalty, ranging down to -29. Some Artifacts (minor & major) can be gained with less than that, such as the Staff of Power & Jana's Staff; or even at no penalty (shown as "-0"), such as the Swords of Prosperity, Staff of the Magi, and Staff of Pyros. Combat Features: The primary feature of this property, is that it will allow you to use that weapon as if your Magery Skill was the proper Weapon Skill for the weapon. So, if you have a Staff of Pyros, and your character has 120 Magery skill, you will swing the weapon as if they have 120 Macing skill, for purpose of determining chance to hit. However, you cannot use special moves of the weapon (things like Whirlwind), if you do not have the actual weapon skill and support skill (usually, tactics) at the proper levels. Similarly, it also gives you the defense chance that someone with such weapon skill would have, against attacks. There are three major forms of constant, passive, defense for characters - Weapon skill (with the correct type of weapon in hand) Parry skill, and an average of Evaluate Intelligence & Anatomy (minus 20), with a spellbook in hand. The first two are those most common to warriors, and work extremely well. The last was meant to be a mage's normal form of defense, but has fallen into disuse from most persons no longer having Anatomy on Mage templates. Mage Weapons allow a mage to use the superior "weapon skill" based defense posture, even if they have no intention of entering combat. The downside is that, while doing so, they cannot use the special properties of their spellbook (that are gained when it is in hand, such as slayer properties). Note that if the actual skill for the weapon is possessed, it will use whichever skill is higher, after applying the Mage Weapon penalty. Previous experience shows that, if left unlocked, the weapon skill and Magery will gain when the mage weapon is used while the Magery score is higher, but if the weapon skill goes over the magery skill, then the weapon skill will take over. Other Features & Guidelines for Uses Use of a Mage Weapon will allow a mage to be able to damage certain creatures immune to most spells & pets (Shadow Iron Ore Elementals, for example), as well as giving the mage a means of offense that conserves mana for other uses (such as summons, healing party members and healing pets). Bows work exceptionally well in this regard, as a mage normally stands away from the fight when casting; however, there are not as yet any artifact mage weapon bows, so care will have to be taken to offset the temporary loss of some of the casting skill. (For how to do this, see two paragraphs below) If a Mage Weapon has Spell Channeling, it will remain in your hand when you cast spells. If it does not, it will fall into your backpack, and your Magery Skill will return to normal as you choose a target. All the artifact Mage Weapons released so fare have Spell Channeling as well. You can use items with Magery bonuses (like jewelry) to bring your skill back up to its normal level (or up to its cap). Example: If I use a "Mage Weapon -24" Bow with Spell Channeling, at 120 Magery skill, it would lower my effective Magery to 96. I could then put on jewelry that adds up to +24 or more magery, and be at 120 Magery again (which will also increase my chance to hit with the Bow, in addition to giving my full casting ability back). Holding a Spell Channeling Mage Weapon with a skill penalty, and not using anything to offset the skill reduction, will allow you to gain Magery skill more quickly, by casting lower level spells to gain skill. This only works if you have the room in your skill to go up, without the weapon. This is done more to save mana, than reagents, as most people casting for the sole purpose of skill gain will use a 100% Lower Reagent Cost suit. One can also gain Magery from weapon combat, as the Magery skill is treated as the weapon skill. It will only do so, if you do not have the actual weapon skill at a higher level than the adjusted Magery skill (as noted above). One can even gain magery using a Mage Weapon with 100% poison damage, by the method normally used to train weapon skills with a golem - and because you will be doing so little damage to the golem from not being a warrior type, the golem will probably regenerate its hit points faster than you can lower them with the weapon, even on one that does not have 100% poison resist.