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Karma is an attribute that hailed from YGGDRASIL but is also present in the New World.

Description

Back in YGGDRASIL, Karma has a degree of influence over the game's mechanics such as the strength of different items, races, classes, abilities, and spells. This would even include the likes of Super-Tier Magic skills, ranging from the kind used by Yamaiko that have an effect on those with positive Karma to others. Based on Suzuki Satoru's experience in the New World, it is presumed that the karma system is still having an effect within the New World, functioning under the same standard as in YGGDRASIL.

Mechanics

Depending on how high or low one's karma values are, it can determine the power output of skills or even spells like Uriel regardless of the difference in tier magic level. Spells only did its listed damage when cast by a magic caster with a maxed-out positive or negative karma value. For good or for worst, the character's karma value being in the positive/negative does prove influential to the complementary and opposing karma-type spells used by the latter. Because of that, either the spell's damage decreased as one's karma value decreased or its damage simply increase because one's karma values increased. The right synergy includes positive-karma characters using positive-karma spells while negative-karma characters using negative-karma spells to achieve effective damage output for both the opposing sides. Contrary to that idea, positive-karma characters using negative-karma spells or negative-karma characters using positive-karma spells will result in the weakening of a spell's effect. With bad synergy, a 10th tier spell would have done a lesser amount of damage than a 1st tier spell.

Any kinds of karma-aligned spells whether it be the positives, the neutrals, or the negatives, are susceptible to influences from karma-aligned beings entering special environments. An environment created by a spell or skill plays a major factor in affecting how specific races and their respective spells obtain improved attributes. Such improved attributes may include neutral-karma spells, negative-karma spells, or positive-karma spells dealing more damage than originally based on what sort of environment that race is positioned in.[1] As followed by this notion, the karma value rating can differentiate the attack spell's damage output between all sorts of karma-aligned enemies. Its effect on monsters of the same or opposite alignment could be proved to be beneficial for some while harmful for the rest. In that regard, a positive karma-type spell like [Shining Blast] could deal bonus damage to evil creatures such as the undead, with more damage the lower their negative karma value was. In turn, as their targets’ karma increased to positive, it would do less or no damage to them. Similarly, a negative karma-type spell could dish out extra damage to good entities such as angels, with more damage the higher their positive karma value was. In turn, as their targets’ karma decreased to negative, it would do little to no damage to them.[2]

However, if a person has a neutral karma value, they will still receive damage from those with positive or negative karma values either way. The only difference being were those that have negative or positive karma values can sustain a greater amount of damage than individuals who are of the neutral karma values. From that standpoint, entities with neutral karma values will take lesser damage in comparison to the other two types of karma values individuals who have to deal effective damage output against each other. Players like Bukubukuchagama possessed skills which they can use to manipulate and manage the foe's karma rating value than what the latter have normally.[3] Meanwhile, many races like angels, for example, have a different set of karma values ranging between either positive or negative. There were some classes which had the penalty of not being able to summon monsters whose karma values were too different from their own. Incidentally, the monsters summoned by those classes got stronger the closer the monsters’ karma values were to their masters.[4] In addition, characters having levels in good-aligned classes like Evil Slayer can prove to be effective against evil-aligned monsters or the latter way around which is the evil-aligned class to good-align monsters.[5]

As it originates from YGGDRASIL, the game's mechanic of Karma values continues to represent NPCs or certain characters' alignment. It symbolizes their sense of justice by negative to positive numbers as shown in some of the character sheets provided every Light Novel Volume Release. Other than it and the spells, there were magic items and abilities that centers on a person's karma.[6][7] It was possible for people to get strategically targeted by particular karma-specific items such as Ahura Mazda[8] or in the middle of an ongoing battle. One notable change is that in the New World, the karma value of individuals can even affect a person's decision-making ability to carry out their actions. For instance, there was once a demon NPC called Mephistopheles who was famous for only spouting out tsundere lines to good-aligned beings.[9] In other words, the karma values could go as far as to dictate the actions of AIs like how they behaved under various circumstances.[10] Fortunately, Kugane Maruyama has stated that the player Ainz is an exception to the change.[11]

Nonetheless, the game's mechanic regarding the changes in Karma values is still fundamentally based on a person's actions like Buser. Using the skulls of one’s food as ornaments to decorate themselves does not give way to the penalization of one’s karma rating.[12] According to the author Maruyama, within the realistic setting of the New World, having a positive karma value does not entirely suggest that person is part of the good alignment. Under this said notion, possessing a negative karma value is not by any means an indicator to believe such a person who was rated that way is connected to the evil alignment. One's karma values can be changed into either positive or negative depending on the kinds of beings that person have managed to slain. An example of this includes Suzuki Satoru suggesting Keno Fasris Invern who has a negative karma value that if she wants to turn it positive, she needs to slaughter more foes with a negative karma value first for this to occur. Likewise, the same could be said with individuals with a positive karma value requiring themselves to kill off enemies with a positive karma value to make it fall under negative.[13]

Known Karma Rankings

Extreme Evil

Great Evil

??? Evil

Evil

  • N/A

Neutral Evil

Neutral

Neutral Good

Good

??? Good

Great Good

  • N/A

Extreme Good

  • N/A

Trivia

  • Characters like Shalltear Bloodfallen can have their alignment varied in-between the two karma rankings.
  • Based on the Character Sheets officially made by the author Maruyama and the illustrator So-bin, some include the person's karma value, sense of justice or alignment while the rest doesn't have it.
  • For the Character Sheets of Ainz Ooal Gown's guild members, nobody except Momonga has the kind that included their karma value, sense of justice, or alignment.
  • In the New World, it is not fairly accurate to judge someone's alignment like Buser based on the scaling of their karma value they possessed.

Gallery

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References

  1. Overlord Volume 13 Chapter 5: Ainz Dies
  2. Overlord Bonus Volume Chapter 4: The Beyonders
  3. Overlord Blu-ray 06 Special: Prologue (2nd Half)
  4. Overlord Volume 10 Chapter 1: The Sorcerer Kingdom of Ainz Ooal Gown
  5. Overlord Volume 12 Chapter 1: The Demon Emperor Jaldabaoth
  6. Overlord Manga Volume 01 Chapter 4: Types of Magic
  7. Overlord Volume 13 Chapter 4: The Siege
  8. Overlord Volume 03 Chapter 4: Before the Death Match
  9. Overlord Volume 11 Chapter 2: In Pursuit of the Land of the Dwarves
  10. Overlord Volume 03 Chapter 3: Confusion and Understanding
  11. Overlord Volume 03 Author Thoughts
  12. Overlord Volume 12 Author Thoughts
  13. Overlord Bonus Volume Chapter 3: Five-Year Preparations
  14. Overlord Bonus Volume Chapter 4: The Beyonders
  15. https://twitter.com/maruyama_kugane/status/924969197448212480
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