originally published mar 2005
The magic system in Ummo is very complex. It is mostly comprised of Five Elemental Schools and also Two additional groups of Yin and Yang. Instead of one uniform system of magic, each realm has their own system of magic and a practitioner can study under any school of magic as long as they meet the prerequisites.
Certain classes such as Demons and Angels automatically gain new magic abilities as they gain experience. Within the various realms and schools of magic there are a multitude of schools, teachers and scrolls available.
Some magic instructors only know a few spells and some know whole complex systems with multiple branches. Our system of magic is similar the system of “nanos” used in Anarchy Online with a lot of influence from the “World of Martial Arts” attacks and skills seen in many Hong Kong Martial Arts movies.
The leveling system for spells and their acquisition is different depending on which school of magic is studied. Generally there are three types of magic energy. General magic energy (mana) and Chi, which is comprised of Yin and Yang.
Chi of Yin and Yang variety can be obtained through Tantra (sexual magic) while Mana is obtained through meditation, through potions and from various mana pools and locations (similar to stonehenge).
Psionics are a different breed and separate from the magic system in Ummo. The magic system in Underworld is one of the areas of the most intense debate among our developers. Most likely, we will settle on a system that works best within the programming confines of the Realmcrafter engine.
Technically, it would be possible for an enterprising player to learn a variety of magic skills using Mana, also learn various Chi based skills and THEN learn some psionics based skills. This would require massive amounts of gametime, but keep in mind that some of the NPCs will have access to all three abilities. Of course those NPCs have had centuries worth of gametime in order to learn those abilities.
(Sun, The Monkey is an example of an NPC that has access to all three sets of magic ability).
NOTE: Even after a magic skill is learned, the player can still become more powerful or more skillful in a particular usage of that skill by studying with specific Masters/teachers or even players that have greater power/skill in a particular area (only if that player has the requisite “teaching” ability).
Some players have a specific ability which allows them to learn new skills and abilities simply by observing them in use, if the player already has a foundation in the same school or branch of magic.
Superscience is very similar to magic in that it has similar effects, but it is not based upon mana, chi or psionic ability, and does not rely on willpower as it’s foundation as the other schools of magic do.
Throughout Ummo there are various “Secret Scrolls” that contain untold powers and abilities, waiting for the right player to discover them.