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Alter Aeon logo 3000

Unresolved Questions

Q: What is the nature of undeath in Alter Aeon and why do the gods seem either to despise or have special means of dealing with it? Specifically, why is 'turn undead' a general power granted by all gods, wheras 'banish demon' is not? How does 'turn undead' even make any sense in the context of current necromancy?

Misc Q/A

Q: How is the universe built?

A: The universe is nearly infinite in extent and constructed by a big fat equation controlled by Dentin. From time to time, Dentin modifies the equation, and *POOF*, the universe is different.

This really only applies to the underlying "fabric of space" in the game, which controls stuff like magic, physics, and the existence of planes. Players/gods can still build stuff in regions that allow it, but whatever is built must conform largely to the underlying physics of that region.

Put another way, the universe is the substrate upon which things are built. What's built or created exists in the substrate that is there, but the substrate itself is largely unaffected by what is built.

Q: What are planes?

A: Technical answer - planes are regions of the universe that are physically very far away in terms of distance, but 'nearby' in some high dimensional folding sense. This implies that normal travel to a plane is effectively impossible because it's too far away, but by using magic (or some other method) you can bypass that distance and wormhole between planes.

Note that different parts of the universe don't necessarily have the same fundamental constants, so the plane of water, the plane of shadow, and the perfectly ordinary outer planar fire world may have drastically different game physics.

Q: How are planes grouped?

A: Currently, there are three core 'types' of planes:

  • Those on the Prime Material Plane, all of which have the same physics and are 'far away' in the sense that they're probably within the light cone of the AA mainland. This means pretty much any world circling a star seen in the night sky, up to say a billion light years out.

  • Raw Elemental Planes, which are 'far away' in the sense that they are well outside of and will probably never be within the light cone of the AA mainland. These are not just 'far away', they're 'really, really, really far away'.

    The raw elemental planes that are known are typically very high mana and extremely hostile to things like normal matter, photons, and people. Examples include the elemental planes of fire, cold, crystal, and shadow. Shadow is a special case, in that while antagonistic to normal matter does not tend to immediately crush, vaporize, or zero point freeze anything that enters the space.

  • Edge planes and 'other' planes make up the third group, and includes areas like the elemental plane of earth (the interface layer between crystal and more normal space), darkness (an edge of the shadow plane), the demon realm, and various null-magic parts of the universe.

Q: What planes are actually part of the Prime Material plane, or have physics nearly identical to the Prime Material plane?

  • Outer Planar Ice World - commonly known as the 'ice plane', this is really a perfectly ordinary planet around a perfectly ordinary star a reasonable number of lightyears away. The game physics there is exactly the same as on the mainland. It's cold because the planet was recently kicked into an orbit farther away from its sun than in the past.

  • Outer Planar Fire World - commonly known as the 'fire plane', this is another perfectly ordinary planet around a perfectly ordinary star a reasonable number of lightyears away. The game physics there is exactly the same as on the mainland. The planet is dying because the local sun is near the end of its lifespan and is in a red giant expansion phase. Within the next ten or so thousand years, the planet will be swallowed by the star.

  • Za'Ha'Dum - yet another normal planet nearby in the prime material plane.

  • The nomagic biolab - this is an ordinary world in a very low-magic region of space. Physics here is ruled by normal, earth-standard forces and particles. The only magic that works here is that which is brought from a high-magic plane, but it's still within the bounds of the prime material plane.

Q: What are the utterly uninhabitable planes?

  • The elemental plane of Ice - this is the true ice plane, from which mages channel power for ice spells. No-one actually goes there, as there is nothing to see (it's a vast open space of elemental ice magic), you'd freeze to death instantly, and the fundamental constants don't really allow conventional matter to exist there.

    Because of the high potential difference in magic level between this plane and the prime material, a small amount of mana can be used to pull a large amount of elemental cold into the prime material plane. This is the basis for all elemental cold spells.

  • The elemental plane of Fire - this is the true fire plane, from which mages channel power for fire spells. No-one actually goes there and nothing exists there except for a vast field of relatively low energy plasma. Conventional solid matter cannot exist there due to electromagnetic constant issues.

    Because of the high potential difference in magic level between this plane and the prime material, a small amount of mana can be used to pull a large amount of plasma and elemental fire into the prime material plane. This is the basis for all elemental fire spells.

  • The elemental plane of Crystal - this plane consists of a large region of space filled completely with very high density, very high pressure, low temperature, liquid silica. Entering this plane with normal matter does not appear to be viable. It is believed that there is no sentient life or presence anywhere within this plane.

    This plane has a moderately high channelling barrier, and is commonly accessed by high level mages to create various forms of crystal. As liquid is extracted from it, it immediately expands and phase changes into solid form, allowing an experienced mage to form projectiles or other crystalline objects as they see fit.

Q: What are the remaining planes?

  • The elemental plane of Earth - this is a true elemental plane where gravity works differently. The bulk of the space in this plane is filled with stone and other objects, constantly shifting. Most matter in this plane is sentient or at least 'alive' in some sense. Normal matter can exist here, and magic works normally here. Through application of magic temporary safe regions can be constructed.

    It is believed that the elemental plane of earth is a transition region between more normal space and the elemental plane of crystal. The chaotic nature of the plane is caused by turbulence at the interface layer, which does not appear to be entirely stable.

  • The elemental plane of Water - this is a true elemental plane that consists largely of zero gravity liquid filled space with chunks of other matter found sporadically floating within. Normal matter can exist here, and magic works normally here.

  • The elemental plane of Air - this is a region of non-euclidean space in an unknown location. The 'center' of this plane is a two dimensional layer called the 'Heavyside' layer, which is manifested as a thin region of cloudy material. Gravity points toward the Heavyside layer on either side, and objects can fall through it from side to side indefinitely. There are things that float freely far away from the layer and do not appear to be affected by gravity. The plane itself appears near infinite in extent, and it is lit by a directionless ambient glow.

    The bulk of the plane consists of air breathable by prime material beings, although pockets of smoke and other gases do exist. The boundaries of the plane "curve" in on themselves, so that travelers going beyond the supposed edges of the plane actually end up somewhere else in it. This "curving" pattern constantly changes, generating wind and thusly weather patterns. There is no sun or celestial objects, but the entire plane is a suffused with light sufficent to see well. The ambient temperature is pleasant for most prime material creatures, although the weather occasionally makes it a bit cooler or warmer than usual.

    Gravity in the plane is centered on a band of two-dimensional cloud matter called the Heavyside Layer. The layer divides the plane in two: one half that is eternally lit brighter than the other. Magic functions as it does on the prime material plane, with the exception of levitation magic. Because the gravity is light, a 'fly' spell is sufficient to propel its caster through the air and is the primary means of travel for otherwise flightless visitors.

  • The elemental plane of Shadow - this true elemental plane is filled with quasi-solid, shifting shadow. Normal matter can exist here, but rapidly loses coherence and fades if not maintained. Shadow can also be pulled from this plane and used in the prime material plane, but it also fades and loses coherence over time. Magic works here, but only within small maintained areas.

  • The plane of Darkness - The so-called plane of darkness is actually an edge or transition region of the shadow plane, where more physical constructs can be built and maintained and most of the basic shadow manipulations still work.

    Historically, this area has been rife with demonic activity. Certain varieties of demons can still be found there, using and incorporating shadow magic as well as shadow-based creatures that arose or were shaped as demonic reflections of the plane's maleable substance.

    There are a few places within the plane of darkness that have taken on aspects from locations within the material plane, probably due to planar rifts influencing the substrate.

  • The Nightmare Plane - this true plane seems fairly close to the prime material plane in initial construction, however the environment responds very strongly to thought and fear. Normal matter can exist here, and magic works here.

    It is called the nightmare plane because nightmares can and do come to life here. However, what happens and what does not is often very selective, and strangely limited in scope. It is believed that this plane is actually controlled by a quasi-malicious being or automaton with substantial control over the environment.

  • The Demon Plane - this plane has different universal constants in regard to the manipulation of magic, with rules and powers that are a superset of those found on the prime material plane. (Everything that works on Prime works in Demon, but a lot of stuff that works in Demon does not work in Prime.) The denizens of this plane, 'demons', incorporate magic into their very being, and as a result have a very different appearance, society, and culture.

    This plane is often tapped by Necromancers, as demons can be bought with soulstones. Due to the differences in magic between planes, soulstones are substantially more valuable and useful on the demon plane than in the prime material.

    Various covenants and treaties have been set down between the controlling gods of the prime material and demon realms. While the protections are weak, it is possible to forge binding agreements and perform transactions with demons if one is careful.

Q: How are classes set up/invented?

A: The four original, base classes make up a triangle with Mage, Thief, and Warrior at the corners, and cleric in the center. Necromancer is between mage and cleric, paladin is between warrior and cleric, and druid is between thief and cleric.

This probably makes no sense to anyone except Dentin.

Q: What are necromancers doing when they soulsteal?

A: Initial answer from Draak: you don't collect souls, you just collect the energy that bound them to the body, that way you're not a horribly evil selfish monster keeping people from their afterlife so you use their essense to make undead servants or trade it to demons for favors

Q: What is alignment?

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