When you use defiling while spellcasting, treat the roll as if you rolled a 12
Defiling drains the nature all around you according to the level of the spell. It also does damage to everyone nearby with every level increasing the range of this. (not 100% sure about the numbers yet)
When you cast a spell while preserving (is that what it was called in Dark Sun?) roll Cast a Spell normally.
On a 7-9 you may also choose to defile.
That is how it works right? Maybe add some countdown thing for the addiction/decay thing of defiling (is there such a thing?).
24 thoughts on “When you use defiling while spellcasting, treat the roll as if you rolled a 12”
What’s the bonus for defiling (or maybe the penalty for preserving)? Since the magic has to come from something living in Dark Sun, where does it come from if you don’t defile?
From within you. That is why you might forget the spell or weaken your future spells (the -1 ongoing).
Perhaps defiling deals your level in damage to everyone near you? (An advanced move might increase the potency of defiling, but also increase the range.)
I’d go for more damage but that is mostly intuition right now.
Oooh, got it. So defiling removes the possible penalties from casting spells. Makes sense.
I would let them make the choice after a 2-6 as well. Make it tempting. Defiling is easy-mode to power.
What were you thinking of as a consequence to using defiling magic? How does it chance the wizard who does it?
– tempt with power and corruption
or something like that would be a GM move.
I am not quite familiar enough with Dark Sun to speak about Defiling consequence so right now I am thinking along the lines of the Dark Side in Star Wars or breaking one of the 7 Laws of Magic in Dresden Files.
They are universally hated and feared. Me, I’d just do it like this: “After any scene in which a PC used Defiling magic, roll +(number of times it was used). On a 10+, they are now a defiler by nature, and no longer a PC.”
Kinda like the emotional traits in Burning Wheel.
Yeah Dark Sun! From what I remember you eventually turn into a dragon. A lot of the sorcerer kings are partly dragonic.
“There is only one true dragon !”
I got that reference.
I thought in DS (its been a while) that learning to Preserve was the trick, so by default all Arcane magic was Defiling. They also had people attuned to Defiling and could direct it or intensify the defiling to augment the magic. Also, for a countdown, each region would have one to represent how much more defiling it could withstand before the ecosystem would collapse
The basic idea of Dark Sun was that orginally, it was a hunky dory fantasy world, and then defiling happened. The problem is, D&D was really poorly equipped to handle expressing defiling as more powerful than the thing that was already ridiculously overpowered, so defiling became the default overpowered thing, and preserving was the nerfed version.
Other games (4e D&D, and DW here) are better equipped to handle preserving as the default, with defiling as the high cost, high benefit alternative, so they can do it that way.
So maybe preserving should be the default casting (like what the Wizard already does) and defiling could be:
When you use defiling while spell casting, choose 1, 2, or 3 drawbacks:
The land around you has no more life in it.
All around you take harm/damage.
You gain a new draconian feature, describe it, this is permanent and marks you as a defiler
For every drawback you choose gain 1 boon:
Treat your spell casting roll one step higher than what it actually was (miss=7-9, 7-9=10+)
Any numerical value is maximized
It looks wicked sick and everyone is totally jelly of your mighty power.
Ok so maybe that last one needs some work.
There’s no need to overcomplicate it. First, draining from living creatures was something only absurdly powerful defilers could do, and physical changes were pretty much the same. I see no real problem with “Drain the land of life in a large area to upgrade your roll”, especially tied into the fact that everybody is going to hate you, even other defilers.
Ah, it’s been a long time and I figured that all defilers could control some aspect of their defiling. It sounds like a defiler could almost be its own compendium class.
Oh I actually am lost at this point. I only had the ADnD books on Dark Sun where their was only that one singular bipedal dragon that some folks worshiped (and got eaten by). I ended up making a conversion of that world in 3.5, but made it….challenging. “Create Water” for example was no longer a 0th level spell, but a 5th >>
Also, to clarify the above statement, my players (been with the same group for close to a decade) have learned to keep a few “back-up” pc’s…I’m an unforgiving GM.
Does the act of defiling make spellcasting more powerful, or it just a normal occurrence of using magic? If it’s the latter, defiling could go on the list of 7-9 choices. If it’s the former, make the effect of the spell more powerful. Either way, I’m not so crazy about fiddling with the roll.
On Athas, all arcane magic leeches energy from the land. Preservers simply learn to take only what they need and to cause as little harm as possible. Defilers just take and some learn to take on a scale that is horrific
Oh and Defilers als should be taking on Draconic aspects over time until they are Dragons in their own right.
So the rules stated above totally work. Yay.
Absolutely. The idea that all defilers should take on draconic aspects is really not a thing all defilers go through. Turning into a dragon, even partially, was pretty much solely the realm of high level defiler/psions, that’s why they were called the dragon kings, in part. (The other part being their association with Dragon.)
Even starting on the path to becoming a dragon required you to be something like a level 20/20 human wizard/psion, and then sacrificing a huge number of people each of the 10 levels on your way to dragonhood. In short, not something you have to deal with on a PC level, most likely.
There’s the book I was thinking of. Apparently there is only one Dragon, but many Dragon Kings, who have taken on some of his aspects as they subvert their wills to his. There’s a great novel on the subject, also !
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