Time for a few Magic Tricks
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.
Over a 100 suggestions to rename the Tunnel Trapper have been submitted by fans. Some quite descriptive, some funny, some embarrassing. Of these, we choose Baal’s clever nomination of Earthclot. The name says it all!
Speaking of fan submissions, we could not resist sharing SteveC’s fan art on an interpretation of the 3 factions, Underworld 1992 style!
Keep the art coming!
Finally, a reminder that this Wednesday from 3-5 pm ET we will be running the second in our series of OtherSide plays LookingGlass Twitch sessions, this time playing the classic System Shock 2:
Adam Sessler will be our host, joined by some very special guests. Come join the fun!
The Team at OtherSide