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Alter Aeon FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

FAQ Section 10 - [advanced] Spell system questions

Question 10.1 - Why isnt there a 'protection from good' spell? For exactly the same reason there isn't a 'detect good' spell, or a 'conceal good' spell. The short answer is that evil and good, while somewhat balanced against each other, are not exact opposites. Evil is not a mirror reflection of good, and as a result good can do things that evil cannot. The converse is also true. Specifically, in the world of Alter Aeon, evil has most of the powerful magical artifacts. Evil is also much, much easier to sense than good, and the 'detect evil' spell is very low level cleric. The gods have also granted protection from evil to most clerics. Good characters on the other hand, lack many of the more powerful items and magical talismans, and their numbers are much smaller. Despite their advantages over evil, the life of a good aligned character can be hard. In the future, the balances of power between evil and good may shift - but understand that they will never be opposites and they will never be symmetrical. They will always have different powers and abilities.
Question 10.2 - Why isn't there a 'gate' spell? From looking at other muds, traditional spells like 'gate' were deemed a bad idea. They reduce exploration of the mud and allow easy short circuiting of areas intended to be difficult to get to. Transportation should take some work - you should not be able to walk from the northern ocean to the viking warship in five minutes of mudding time. We feel that the gate spell makes the apparent size of the mud much smaller by allowing instantaneous, directed travel. The need for reliable trade routes is noted however, and plans are underway to guarantee safe passage to caravans between the major cities in the future.
Question 10.3 - Why isn't fly the way I think it should be? Because 'fly' isn't really fly, it's more like 'levitate'. Fly really should be named 'levitate 6 feet', where it will lift a character up to 6 feet off the ground but no higher. Thus fly might be of help when climbing walls, but casting fly would not be enough to eliminate the need for the climbing skill. A lot of things in were created as though this were the intended behavior, but not all - for example in an airfall room, you should still fall if you are flying, but not take damage when you hit the ground. You also shouldnt fall as fast. Not everything about the 'fly' spell is up to our satisfaction, so don't be surprised if it changes slightly in the future.
Question 10.4 - Why can't I maintain <your favorite spell name here>? Because typically, only the weakest and longest lasting spells can be maintained. There are very few spells that are worthwhile to maintain, most of them being for detection or a small amount of protection. Larger spells such as strength and sanctuary simply cannot be maintained - the cost is too great.

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