Magic: Create Your Own Cantrip
4/5 on the Bat Shit Crazy Meter
While the stat system may appear mundane, the magic system blasts off the scale in terms of ambition. This isn’t just tabletop magic with pretty spell effects. This is the crazy DM who builds their own magic system full of all sorts of complicated wonders, and if CSE truly pulls off this magic system as they’ve described this week, they’ll be casting a masterful spell of their own.
For those few who may be familiar with it, Camelot Unchained’s magic system is inspired by Jacobs’ previous MUD, Dragon’s Gate. Spells are created by the players themselves through the combination of multiple elements. By choosing these elements intelligently, players will be able to create spells that offer specific effects depending on their combat situation. These elements include reagents, the character’s own blood, and Runes, the last of which are physical inscriptions on the character’s body. Both core elemental runes and class-specific runes will be accessible, giving each class its own edge and play-style.
While magic will be powerful, it will also be costly. Spells will be powered primarily through a character’s own health force, rather than a separate mana bar. With no easy means of restoring that health and a classically low defense, this might scare some players. However, magic users will also have their own spellbook, a specially attuned piece of equipment which can store inscribed spells. Here players can create and scribe spells (even naming their discoveries), share their spells with others, and most importantly, charge their scribed spells for later use. While charges will be limited by the spellbook, this secondary resource gives mage types two choices for spell casting during battle.
If you don’t have sparkles in your eyes yet, get ready: the real core of the spell system comes through what the development team calls A.I.R. (Action, Interaction, and Reaction). Camelot Unchained’s spells aren’t simply glowing effects appearing after action’s already been taken. They’re more like semi-tangible objects in the world itself, which means they can be interacted with not only by the caster, but also by allies and enemies. Spells can be reinforced, weakened, deflected, or even transformed by others, adding an entirely new element to combat. Take this illustrative example: a fireball is cast at an ice wall, creating steam (fire + ice); the enemies then quickly cast a wind spell at the approaching steam to blast it back toward the enemy (wind = movement).
Spells can also be affected by weather, seasons, the time of day, and the world’s ley lines. Veilstorms may even appear in areas that see a heavy amount of spell casting, adding even more elements to the battle. Casting itself won’t be easy either: mages won’t be very mobile while casting, backfires and misses can occur, spells will be expensive in cost, and both silences and interrupts will be a major obstacle. In short, magic is going to require skill, teamwork, strategy, and quick thinking – and that’s why we’re excited to see this system come to life.