Different magic systems.

From: Patrick Dughi (dughi@imaxx.net)
Date: 04/26/99

        Was curious if anyone out there had managed to make a
combination-based magic system.  I'm not talking spell components, well,
specifically, but more like the magic system from ultima 5.

        If you're unfamiliar with the system, you were given something
like the following:

        12 ingredients.
        24 (or so) runes.

        Your spells were mixed before hand, and then you had them ready to
cast.  To make a spell you needed to know the runes you are using, and the
ingredients each spell takes.  For example, cure poison, and cure

An (Negate) Nox (Poison) : Garlic + Ginseng.
Vas (Great) Mani (Life)  : Garlic + black perl.

        Etc.  There was a master list of the spells you could get, but as
you played, you discovered new spells and the sort - a spell to turn a foe
into a rat, a spell to create food, etc.

        These spells were limited by levels (8 of them), and so you could
only cast (correctly) a certain set of spells at each level, gaining new
spells as you increased in experience.  This worked fine for a limited
single-user environment, but when we introduce multiplayer into the scene,
it gets a bit more difficult.

        First, I wanted to generalize the system so that you could create
combinations without pre-designing everything.. ie, you'd get a fire ball
by mixing the fire rune, with the ball rune, with the missile rune.. if
you add 'great' in there, maybe it does severe damage.  Who knows, you
mix poison in there, hey - you've got a ball of posion smoke..

        General rules that can be applied so as to create one end product.
This way you could generate the small master list of spells, and have
everything else derived from it.  Introduce a new rune, and you can have a
whole series of new spells.

        This is the sort of thing I was looking around for.  I had brought
this up a year ago, intending to actually write it then, but I got
distracted, and noticed it was still in my 'projects-to-do' bin.  Any
examples, ideas, etc would be appreciated.


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