View Full Version : Corruption: A (small) Magic Expansion (PEACH)

2011-10-11, 10:46 PM
At this point, i've realized that what I set out to do is fundamentally flawed- having something be naturally more superior with repercussions (Such as going to Hell for eternity) that have no affect on in-game playing might reflect the real world to an extent, but in D&D it just doesn't work. That said, if anyone sees something they'd like to use or salvage, they are free to do so. I will NOT be working on this again.
For the longest time, i've loved playing a spellcaster. Not the optimized version, but the Gandalf's of the world. That being said, I draw a lot of inspiration from the Bartimaeus Trilogy, 40k, and any other amazingly fluffy spellcaster book.

(If you're interested in this, you might want to quickly give the rules (http://www.scribd.com/doc/14506183/GrimNGritty-Revised-and-Simplified) a once-over, as these creations are based upon them. Mostly the Defence, Soak and health parts.)

THAT being said, this is a WIP semi-completed project. As such any advice, experience or tips are more than welcome.


The Corruption
Corruptio Optimi Pessima

The Corruption is the Otherworldly taint that blood magic and other foul practices invite into the world from the deepest layers of the Abyss. It represents the depths that a soul will plummet to and just how many souls the Abyss can gain in the neverending struggle with the forces of [Good].

Corruption is measured against a character's Charisma to determine how fast he is losing the battle against Corruption.

If a character ever has a Corruption score that exceeds his Charisma, he is considered Violated. Must take one alignment step closer to Chaotic Evil.
If his Corruption ever exceeds DOUBLE his Charisma, he is considered Corrupted. Must take one alignment step closer to Chaotic Evil.
If his Corruption ever exceeds TRIPLE his Charisma, he is considered Lost. Must take one alignment step closer to Chaotic Evil.

(A Lawful Neutral Wizard (Cha 10) has a Corruption score of 11. At that point, he is now considered Violated, and must become either Lawful Evil or Neutral Neutral. If he was to get a corruption score of 21, he would be considered Corrupted and would need to become either Neutral Evil or Chaotic Neutral. If he was to attain a Corruption of 31 or greater, he would be considered Lost, and would make the final transition to Chaotic Evil. (This is purposefully done so only a being of the utmost Good can avoid becoming Evil.)

Gaining Corruption

Gaining corruption can be done in a variety of ways. Typically, it requires the perusal of dark knowledge. Anytime a creature that is not Chaotic Evil reads a book/scroll/message that is Forbidden, casts a spell that has the [Evil] subtype, practices Blood Magic or practices Chaos Rituals, he gains 1 point of corruption. This increases your maximum Corruption. Your alignment cannot be changed normally, and if it is ever changed by an alignment-changing effect, such as an Helm of Opposite Alignment, you lose all Corruption abilities until you get an Atonement spell.

Forbidden Knowledge

There are things in this world... things mortals were not meant to know. Delving too deeply has taken even the strongest will and shattered it.
-Torthen the Mad

Forbidden knowledge is not a skill in and of itself. It is instead any item that contains working knowledge that relates to evil.
A DM can quickly judge whether something is Forbidden or not by judging the item in question's relation to the following:

Is an item relating to the summoning/control of creatures with the [Evil] subtype.
Is an item that depicts methods for raising/controlling the dead.
Is an item that glorifies Demons or [Evil] in any manner.
Discusses the powers of Demons or [Evil]. *This may be waived if the character is seeking ways to weaken or kill them.*

Again, a reasonable DM is the final arbiter of all things Forbidden.

Using Your Corruption
May the Corruption be with you.
-Ubbi One Kunubbi.

Any creature with a Corruption rank (Violated, Corrupted, Lost) gains a number of beneficial and detrimental effects.

Any creature with a Corruption rank of Violated experiences the following effects:

-2 on all Diplomacy checks against good-aligned creatures or any creatures with the [Good] subtype.
+1 profane bonus on one save of your choice.
Gains access to Noviciate Chaos Rites.
Permanently gain a minor mutation.

Any creature with a Corruption rank of Corrupted experiences the following effects:

-3 on all Diplomacy checks against good or neutral-aligned creatures or any creatures with the [Good] subtype.
Any good-aligned or [Good] creatures you interact with start out with an attitude of unfriendly, while evil-aligned or [Evil] creatures start out indifferent. These only apply if the creature isn't in combat with you.
+1 profane attack bonus.
+1 profane damage bonus. This extra point is treated as evil for the purposes of overcoming damage reduction.
Gains access to Journeyman Chaos Rites.
Permanently loses 2 points from any ability score.

Any creature with a Corruption rank of Lost experiences the following effects:

Treated by all spells and special abilities as if he had the [Evil] subtype. He does not gain this subtype however.
Gains the 'One Most Vile' special ability. (Detailed in spoiler)
Permanently gains a moderate mutation.
May petition to join the 'Ordo Morior' and earn a place in one of their sects.

The effects of each rank stack with earlier ranks.

One Most Vile
When the corruption inside has festered for long enough, primordial Demon Gods start to take notice. Once per day you may spend any number of Corruption from your Corruption pool and add the same amount to any Fortitude, Reflex or Will save you make. This ability must be declared before rolling for the save, you cannot roll and then decide if you wish to use this.

Corruption Pool
The Corruption pool is a measure of how many Corruption points you may use a day. You can refill this pool by meditating for 1 hour after 8 hours of uninterrupted rest. Your Corruption pool is equal to your current Corruption points.


When dealing with such an encompassing force as Corruption, it is impossible for two beings to be impacted by it in the exact same way. As a person gains corruption, they experience both mental and physical changes, represented in alignment shifts and mutations. When you first become Violated, you may choose a minor mutation from the below list.

{table=head]Minor Mutations|Effects
Multiple Digits|You gain extra digits on hands/feet.
Forked Tongue|Your tongue becomes forked like a snakes.
Unnatural Eyes|Your eyes are permanently a strange color/shape/
Unnatural Hair|Your hair is permanently a strange color.
Unnatural Skin|Your skin is permanently a strange color or has a strange texture.
Unnatural Voice|Your voice changes, becoming raspy, echoing slightly or changing in pitch.

If you later gain the rank of Lost, you roll once on the following table.
Abilities are described below.
{table=head]|Moderate Mutations
2|Enlarged Form
4|Extra Arms
7|Ultra Immune System

Echolocator [Moderate]
You develop the ability to absorb sound waves and translate them into mental images that accurately portray the surrounding environment. This ability is similar to a bat’s ability to operate and hunt in total darkness via echolocation.
Benefit: You gain the blindsight ability out to a range of 60 feet.

Enlarged Form [Moderate]
Benefits: You become as large as your size category allows (8 feet tall for Medium-size characters, 4 feet tall for Small characters). However, you function in many ways as if you were one size category larger. Whenever you are subject to a size modifier or special size modifier for an opposed check (such as during grapple checks, bull rush attempts, and trip attempts), you are treated as one size larger when it is advantageous to you. You are also considered to be one size larger when determining whether special attacks based on size (such as improved grab or swallow whole) can affect you. You can use weapons designed for a creature one size larger without penalty (for example, a Medium-size character with this mutation can wield a Large weapon one-handed).
This mutation does not change your face or reach.

Exoskeleton [Moderate]
A thick exoskeleton forms over your skin. The exoskeleton usually consists of interlocking plates of bone or chitin covering 90% or more of your body.
Benefit: You gain a +2 natural armor bonus to your soak, or your existing natural armor bonus improves by 1.
Special: A creature with fur or scales cannot gain this mutation.

Extra Arms [Moderate]
You grow an additional pair of arms. The extra arms look and behave exactly like your other arms.
Benefit: As a creature with more than two arms, you gain a +4 mutation bonus on Climb checks and grapple checks. For the purposes of combat, both extra arms are treated as “off hands” (that is, you still have only one primary hand).
Special: If you have three or more natural claw attacks, you meet the prerequisites for the Multiattack feat. This mutation does not give you Multiattack as a bonus feat, however.

Great Horns [Moderate]
You sprout horns capable of damaging or goring a target. The horns may be curled like a ram’s or pointed like a bull’s. Conversely, you may grow a single horn in the middle of the forehead, like that of a rhinoceros, or a large rack of antlers, like that of an moose.
Benefit: You gain a single gore attack that deals bludgeoning damage (curled ram horns or moose antlers) or piercing damage (pointed bull horns or one great rhino horn). The amount of damage depends on your size: Small 1d4, Medium-size 1d6, Large 1d8. If you get multiple attacks in a round, you can gore multiple times. Your horns are treated as natural weapons and do not provoke attacks of opportunity.

Leaper [Moderate]
You gain the ability to leap incredible distances.
Benefit: You gain a +15 mutation bonus on all Jump checks.

Ultra Immune System [Moderate
Your immune system is bolstered by the corruption broiling inside you.
Benefit: You gain a +1 profane bonus against all poisons and diseases, magical and otherwise, for every 5 points of Corruption you have.

Tentacle [Moderate]
A single tentacle grows from your side or back. The tentacle might resemble an octopus’s suckered tentacle or a simple, scaly pseudopod.
Benefits: The tentacle grants a +2 mutation bonus on grapple checks. It can also grasp and manipulate a simple object of your size category-1 or smaller. For example, a Medium-size creature can use the tentacle to grasp and manipulate a Small-size or smaller object. The tentacle cannot be used to operate a piece of equipment that requires opposable digits or fine motor control.
You can “hang” from your tentacle indefinitely by wrapping it around a larger object, thereby freeing up your other limbs. The tentacle isn’t dexterous enough to fire ranged weapons, but it can be used to make a slam attack. The tentacle’s slam attack deals an amount of bludgeoning damage dependent on your size: Small 1d4, Medium-size 1d6, Large 1d8. If you get multiple attacks in a round, you can strike with the tentacle multiple times. The tentacle is treated as a natural weapon with a 5-foot reach, and attacks made with it do not provoke attacks of opportunity.


The Prestige of Chaos

Preacher of the Warp
When a cleric becomes consumed by the darkness within, a Preacher of the Warp is created. While they lose their ability to turn or rebuke the undead, they gain the power to channel their Corruption to harm the pure and bolster the corrupt.

Entry Requirements
Base Attack Bonus: +3
Skills: Knowledge (The Planes) 5 ranks
Spellcasting: Able to cast 3rd level divine spells.
Special: Must have a Corruption rank of Corrupted.

Class Skills
The Preach of the Warp's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (Arcana, History, The Planes) (Int), Profession (Wis) and Spellcraft (Int)
Skills Points at Each Level: 2 + Int. mod

Hit Dice: d12
{table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|Spellcasting

+2|Channel Corruption 14, Godless|-

+3|Empower Warped|+1 level of divine spellcasting class

+3|Channel Corruption 18|+1 level of divine spellcasting class

+4|-|+1 level of divine spellcasting class

+4|Channel Corruption 22|+1 level of divine spellcasting class

+5|-|+1 level of divine spellcasting class

+5|Channel Corruption 26|+1 level of divine spellcasting class

+6|-|+1 level of divine spellcasting class

+6|Channel Corruption 30|+1 level of divine spellcasting class

+7|Strike of the Unbeliever|+1 level of divine spellcasting class

Weapon Proficiencies: A Preacher of the Warp gains no weapon or armor proficiencies.

Spellcasting: The Preacher loses any Domains he may have had previously.

Channel Corruption (Su): A Preacher loses any ability to turn or rebuke undead, but instead gains the ability to channel their corruption as a weapon. They may deal up to 14 points of damage with one use at level 1, and this amount increases as listed in each level. The amount of damage you choose to deal is subtracted from your current Corruption pool. If you have no Corruption available, this ability cannot be used. Otherwise, this ability is usable at will and is a standard action.

Ex. Torthen is a 3rd level Preacher of the Warp with a current Corruption pool of 11. He may spend any amount up to 11 points of Corruption to deal the same amount in damage to a single target, subtracting that amount from his Corruption pool total.

Godless: The Preacher forevermore is spurned by all deities, evil and good alike. From now on, the only 'gods' he may worship are gods of Chaos.

Empower Warped (Su): The Preacher may choose to spend 5 points from his Corruption pool and may temporarily bless his brethren. As a standard action, he may touch someone who has Corruption. For each rank that they have of Corruption, they gains a +2 bonus on all rolls that they might make for the next 5 minutes. in addition, the blesser and blessee's each gain one point of Corruption.

Ex. Torthen want's to bless his two brothers for an upcoming battle. Touching both of them in turn, he spends 10 points of Corruption total and grants them a +4 bonus for their Corruption ranks (Each is Corrupted) for the next 5 minutes. Every person involved gains 1 point of Corruption.

Strike of the Unbeliever (Ex): At level 10, the Preacher has attained the depths of depravity and will never be accepted by any god again. He may never again worship a god for any reason. In fact, he is physically unable to speak words of praise or speak good of them. In addition, once per week, he may choose to deal his current Corruption pool x 3 to a cleric as part of a melee attack. If the target is not a cleric, the use is wasted and the attack only deals normal damage with whatever weapon the Preacher is using. The target gets a DC20 Will save to resist the Corruption damage. If the attack hits and the target suffers the Corruption damage, the Preacher's remaining Corruption pool is instantly drained and the next time it refills, only half of his maximum is refilled.

2011-10-11, 10:47 PM
Blood Magic

The practice of Blood Magic has existed for centuries. From the shaman in the wilds offering the blood of enemies to their gods, to the narcissistic noble, bathing in blood to remain youthful forever. Blood magic is the practice of taking the life energy of others for your own purposes.

Self-Sacrifice Feat:
Blood Magic
Prerequisites: Spellcaster level 1st, Constitution 12
Benefit: When casting a spell, a spellcaster may choose to deal damage to himself in order to spontaneously add metamagic feats to a class. For every 2 pips of damage suffered from this ability, he may add one +1 metamagic feat. (In this way, he could take 10 points of damage to add any number of metamagic feats that levels total 5.) In addition, the spell's casting time is increased to 1 full round.

Special: This can only be applied to spells with a casting round of 1 standard action.
If this ability is used more than Con. mod times in a 24 hour period (which begins from the first time blood magic is used), a DC(10 + previous # of times used that day) Constitution check must be made. If it succeeds, the ability functions as normal. If it fails, the caster immediately becomes fatigued and suffers 2 points of temporary Constitution damage that cannot be healed in any way until the required 24 hours has passed from the first blood magic use. After this period, the damage suffered may begin to heal normally.

Blood Ritual
Ritualistic Blood Sacrifice
Prerequisites: Spellcaster level 3rd, Blood Magic
Benefit: You may deal damage to a conscious and willing or helpless intelligent creature (Int 8) in order to increase the caster level of a spell.
Conducting a sacrifice is a full round action at all times, and requires 2 full rounds to begin. After these two rounds are complete, the following step takes place:

For every full round past two that a creature is sacrificed, 5 damage is dealt to said creature.

For every 5 points of damage a creature takes in this manner from the Ritualist, the ritualist gains a temporary 1 level spell slot, to a max of 5 spell slots. These spell slots must be used within 2 rounds of the sacrificial creatures death or end of the ritual or be lost.
If a ritualist takes damage from any source during the ritual, the ritual is considered ended and any spell levels accumulated are immediately lost.
The temporary spell-slots gained during the ritual may be used to spontaneously fuel any spell the caster knows, regardless of whether it is prepared, or spontaneously add metamagic. If spell levels are left over and 2 rounds have not yet expired, they may be used again.
(Ex. Mathros sacrifices a goblin and gains 5 temporary spell slots. It takes 7 full rounds to completely sacrifice the goblin, and the spell slots last for 2 more full rounds. He could use these slots to cast any spell he knows as long as it is not above a 5th level spell, or he could choose to add 5 levels of metamagic feats. So he could cast Shield, then have 4 spell levels left over for 1 last round.)

Conducting a Ritualistic Blood Sacrifice requires intense concentration, and can only be practiced Con. mod times in a 24 hour period (which begins from the first time blood magic is used), a DC(20 + previous # of times used that day) Constitution check must be made. If it succeeds, the ability functions as normal. If it fails, the caster immediately becomes exhausted and suffers 2 points of temporary Constitution damage that cannot be healed in any way until the required 24 hours has passed from the first blood magic use. After this period, the damage suffered may begin to heal normally.

2011-10-11, 10:48 PM
Reserved for Chaos Rituals

2011-10-12, 12:15 PM
Wait, why does the Blood Magic boost your spells at the expense of your own health? Isn't the whole idea that it's the expense of others?

2011-10-12, 12:27 PM
Wait, why does the Blood Magic boost your spells at the expense of your own health? Isn't the whole idea that it's the expense of others?

Not this blood magic, obviously.

I like, I like. Waiting for more.

2011-10-12, 12:37 PM
Not this blood magic, obviously.

Would be interesting if there was an option for both. Still, looks interesting. A couple of notes, though.

1. This reminds me of the Taint system in UA. Granted the mechanics are different, as is the fluff. Different options are always nice.

2. A fluff note: The source of Chaotic Evil is the Abyss; the Hells are LE.

2011-10-12, 06:42 PM
Yitzi & Maquise: I do plan on adding the brand of blood magic you guy's are speaking of. Hopefully i'll get to it tomorrow.

It is influenced by the Taint system. I liked it, but it wasn't what I wanted.

And thanks for catching that blunder Maquise.

SamBurke: Thank you! It's always great having people take an interest in my modest works, especially since i've only been here a week :smallbiggrin:

Added a bunch of stuff, hope to add some Corruption PrC's tomorrow and get some work done on Blood Magic.

2011-10-14, 06:29 PM
Got some Blood magic done and clarified the Corruption rules. Also added Preacher of the Warp, divine PrC.

2011-10-14, 09:42 PM
So if evil is a trade for REAL ULTIMATE POWER, then all of my chaotic neutral players are going to pretend they started off Lawful Good and just became Lost through the slow corruption of the dark. Lawful Neutral characters will pretend they started off Lawful Good and went two steps. Neutral Good will do the same thing being Violated.

Becoming more evil and getting more benefits from it is not a good idea, especially when the evilness isn't tied to level. I would love a level 1 character with Blindsight 60'--rogues become almost completely obsolete.

That also brings me to the point about Lost abilities. 4 arms means extra attacks, which is a huge deal. But +15 stack-able to jump checks is a much less huge deal. Those choices need to be balanced to each other.

In other news, I'll keep an eye out here. Hopefully you know what you're doing and can keep this under control, but I'm not sure the system will pan out well.

2011-10-14, 10:05 PM
Is there anything stopping you from changing your alignment back after changing it through corruption? The Atonement spell can do that, as can a Helm of Opposite Alignment.

2011-10-15, 08:13 PM
As far as I know, if someone says their character is Lawful Good, they better act like it, or else they're gonna have to suffer an additional alignment change when they randomly kill the innocent peasant. If someone's alignment is Chaotic Evil, they better act it, or have a very good reason for not doing so.
If alignment is just used in a gaming group as a word scribbled on a piece of paper, then this may be overpowered. Being Chaotic Evil will make it slightly difficult when you need to talk to the Cleric of Pelor and you feel the need to murder him.

I'm not sure of a better way to represent the penalties associated with being evil in a town of good people. I'm definitely open to suggestions though.

(Evil is MEANT to be more powerful though- think about it. It's much easier to get paid off rather than arresting a drug cartel, that's why dirty cops exist. The difficult route gets you a place in heaven, the quick route lands you in hell. NO RELIGION being brought into this, I assume an Abyss and Celestial, D&D style.)

I'll add a clause about losing all Corruption abilities if your alignment is forcibly changed.