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Underworld Ascendant Kickstarter Update #19: The Magic System

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Underworld Ascendant Kickstarter Update #19: The Magic System

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Tue 24 February 2015, 22:14:16

Tags: OtherSide Entertainment; Underworld Ascendant

Today's Underworld Ascendant Kickstarter update provides some details about the game's magic system. It's an evolution of Ultima Underworld's rune-based magic system, with additional experimentation and crafting options:

We wanted to do a deeper dive into one of the core game systems in Underworld Ascendant, magic. Can’t have a fantasy game without magic!

Magic in Underworld Ascendant springs from the original Underworlds. As with the originals, magic is built on rune stones. Scattered around the Abyss is an alphabet of rune stones, each inscribed with a runic letter. The Avatar discovers these stones as they explore the Abyss, over time building a vocabulary of spells.

To cast a spell, the player lays outs particular combinations of stones. For instance, the pair of stones IN LOR casts a dim magic light. A much more powerful version of this spell using 3 rune stones, VAS IN LOR, casts the brightness of daylight. Learning new spell combinations is part of the fun. You feel as if you are growing in arcane knowledge --- which of course you are!

Underworld Ascendant explores a new dimension of runic magic. As players master the lore they will uncover hidden powers, and learn how to magically transform their runes. For instance, a mage might learn how to transfigure the runes for a Fireball, POR FLAM, to enlarge its blast radius. As the mage’s knowledge deepens, to make the Fireball dance around the chamber, seeking out each nearby foe in turn. Or perhaps instead, to burn with a violet aura, which clings to foes longer and with more terrible effect. Ultimately, a mage can craft their own repertoire of unique and powerful runes.

Spells in Underworld Ascendant are also far more diverse than the standard RPG variations on “blast your foe”. There is magic that will aid in your being stealthy, alert you to a variety of dangers, let you levitate or fly, bar a door, to name just a few. These more diverse non-combat spells feed right into the Improvisation Engine, giving spell casters all sorts of clever approaches to solve challenges.

Speaking of spell casters, any Avatar can learn to wield at least some magic. A player focused on, say, combat skills, will never become master of the magical arts. However, they can still learn to cast some less powerful spells if they choose.​

The update also reports that a name has been selected for the game's gelatinous "Tunnel Trapper" monster - Earthclot. No new backer vote has been introduced after the conclusion of this one, so I guess they're done with those.

There are 8 comments on Underworld Ascendant Kickstarter Update #19: The Magic System

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