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The Bishop (Japanese ビショップ, bishoppu ) is one of the character classes available to players in the Wizardry series of games. The Bishop is one of the first accessible advanced classes, a class whose typical requisites are much harder to achieve but are typically better than base classes. The Bishop can be accessed with enough luck upon character creation. The Bishop is a class that combines most of the particular benefits of a Priest and a Mage, along some unique capabilities. This class is a combination of fantasy archetypes (namely, the Cleric and Wizard); however, it is part of a new archetype of spellcasters that combine talents from two magic schools, much like the Mystic Theurge of 'Dungeons & Dragons' or the Red Mage of the Final Fantasy games.

Class Description Edit

The Bishop is a hybrid between the Priest and Mage classes, with some benefits that are unique and unavailable to characters that merely do a change between Priest and Mage. The Bishop is capable of wearing better protective wear and use better weapons than the Mage class; this includes the use of maces and flails, some leather armor, and at times shields, much like a Priest does. This provides the Bishop with considerable protection against attacks if the character has to enter the battlefield in the front row.

The Bishop has the unique ability to allow players to learn spells from the two different main spellcasting classes of the game, which gives them superior potential in terms of actions. However, the Bishops learn magic at a slower rate than the main classes: their magic progression is essentially divided. A Bishop will often begin its career using Mage spells, and it will remain that way until its second or third level; at that point, the Bishop acquires it's first Priest spells, and also the ability to Dispell undead enemies as a Priest does. As well, it allows a character to have bonus spell points as if a member of both spellcasting classes at the same time, but it receives less bonus points than any of them.

However, the Bishop has one unique aspect that makes it much more than a combination between a Priest and a Mage. In the first five games of Wizardry, the Bishop is the only class that can identify unknown objects in mid-dungeon, and it does so without a requirement or consumption of GP. A Bishop may fall under a special effect provided by its identification skill, which often happens when an unknown item may be cursed, or it's a powerful item; the Bishop enters a state of fear, which may affect it's fighting capabilities. Most of the Wizardry games retain this aspect, save for the last three "official" games (Bane of the Cosmic Forge, Crusaders of the Dark Savant and Wizardry 8)

Llygamyn Saga Edit

In the group of games that compose the Llylgamyn saga (Wizardry I to V, excluding Wizardry IV), the Bishop's tougher attribute requirements and the bonus attribute points provided makes this class often be inaccessible to beginner players. However, the requisites to become a Bishop are very easy to achieve, so gaining enough points and often choosing the right race may allow a player to create a Bishop character very early on.

To become a Bishop, the character must achieve the minimum stat requirements:

  • PIE 12
  • I.Q. 12
  • Good or Evil alignment

Because of both their high I.Q. and Piety stats, Elves are the best race to make Bishops. The high Piety of Dwarves and Gnomes can make decent Bishops with above-average fighting skill, but their low I.Q. makes a change a bit more difficult. Humans have the short end of the stick, as their abyssmal Piety rating makes becoming a Bishop quite a chore.

Dark Savant Saga Edit

Bishopimage

The Bishop, as presented in the Japanese SNES version of Bane of the Cosmic Forge

In the group of games that compose the Dark Savant Saga (Wizardry VI thru VIII), the Bishop gains a decent amount of Weaponry skills, including Maces & Flails, Wands & Daggers, Spears and Poles, Slings and Shields, much like a Priest does. Bishops are capable of equipping some decent armor beyond the robes available to all magic-using classes, as well. The Bishop is the only class that can develop spells from both the Theology and Thaumaturgy spell lists, but the spell progression is twice as slow as that of a pure Priest or Mage; the Bishop begins play with only one spell from each list, and it gains spells from both lists at alternating levels (one Theology spell at even levels, one Thaumaturgy spell at odd levels). The effectivity of the spells is provided by the use of Oratory, so even with the heightened growth in Theology AND Thaumaturgy, spells still may fizzle every now and then.

Wizardry 8 introduces one impressive improvement over the last few games, as it not only reclaims the Bishop's lost ability to identify items and also allows a character to learn from ALL spell lists (essentially adding the Alchemy and Psionic spell lists), it also gives it the ability to remove cursed items; something that was difficult in earlier games and near-impossible, not to mention fatal, on the previous two games of this saga. However, the flaw of slowed spell progression intensifies.

To become a Bishop, the character must achieve the minimum stat requirements (VI & VII/VIII):

  • INT (Intellect) 15/55
  • PIE (Piety) 15/55
  • DEX (Dexterity) -/55
  • PER/SEN (Perception/Senses) 8/55

Bishops are demanding in their character requirements. With their requisites of high Intellect and high Piety (two attributes that are often at odds between each other), only a few races possess the greatest chances of achieving the minumum requirements the fastest (or capable of becoming one at character creation). Elves only require 10 bonus points to become Bishops, as their Intellect and Piety are both decently high and their Personality rating is at the bare minimum. Gnomes also make for good Bishops, as their base Piety requirement allows them to become one with little effort. The Bishop stands at the middle range of class requirements, with the stringent mental requirements making it tougher to reach than other mid-range classes such as Rangers, Bards, Psychics and Alchemists.

Duhan Saga (Tales of the Forsaken Land/Wizardry Alternative) Edit

In Wizardry: Tales of the Forsaken Land (also known as Busin: Wizardry Alternative in Japan) and their sequels, the Bishop remains similar to earlier incarnations of the class. Bishops are capable of learning spells from both the Priest and Mage lists, and because the characters now learn spells by means of Magic Stones, the Bishop can learn spells as fast as the other classes. However, the Bishop gains character levels in a very slow way, and their use of spells isn't as good as that of a pure spellcaster. They also retain their ability to identify unknown objects.

To become a Bishop, the character must meet the minimum requirements:

  • Level 5
  • 23 Wisdom
  • 23 Faith
  • Good or Evil alignment

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