View Full Version : D&D 3.x Other Taint Rules Overhaul; slight refluff (PEACH)

2015-01-18, 11:22 PM
I'm working out an overhaul of the overly complicated Taint system for a campaign setting. The setting presents a Prime Material world that has endured a near-apocalypse. 3 Elder Evils and the Far Realm are accidentally keeping one another at bay and have struck a balance, but not an accord. Several existing systems behave differently as a result, and characters can be corrupted due to exposure to certain setting elements.

Earlier today, it was suggested that I use the Taint system to represent that, but what I found when I read over it was a nightmare of tables, inscrutable point subsystems, random attributions, and fields of thinly fluffed arbitrary effects. It's a mess. The idea behind the system is cool, and thematically engaging. Personally, I found the execution lacking. A bit hard to understand, and reliant on excessive bookkeeping. We can do better, and I'm going to give it a shot. Here's what I have so far. It's going to be presented a bit laconically. It's just notes, after all.

Acquired in points, for exposing yourself or being exposed to corrupting influences, like raw Far Realm garbage, Ragnorra's blood, Atropus's tears, or using Bad Soulmelds. Get enough Corruption, and you get Bad Things. Infirmities for Atropus, Mutations for Ragnorra, Psychoses for the Far Realm. Each Bad Thing has two tracks, so it's like this:

Infirmity Track A
Infirmity Track B
Mutation Track A
Mutation Track B
Psychosis Track A
Psychosis Track B

Characters have threshold for corruption. Base threshold is 10, plus Constitution mod. As long as a character's corruption is equal to or less than their threshold, nothing happens. When a character's corruption exceeds their threshold, they must make a save at the end of each day. For every 2 points a character's corruption exceeds their threshold, they suffer a -1 penalty to this save. Infirmity and Mutation something something Fort save. Psychosis something Will save. I have no idea how to best differentiate which bad thing type happens, since all corruption goes to the same pool and adding more pools is a bad idea.

On a failed save, the character gains Mild Bad Thing of their choice, lose all of their corruption and their threshold increases by 2. If the character exceeds their threshold and fails another save they gain Severe Bad Thing, lose their corruption, and their threshold increases by another 2. Repeating this process causes the character to gain the other track for that Bad Thing type.

Cleansing and Losing Corruption
Characters naturally lose corruption each day, similar to natural healing. 1 plus Con mod, minimum 1. A feat allows magical healing to cleanse corruption on a certain scale.

Heal, remove disease, restoration and greater restoration all help by reducing or eliminating existing Bad Thing levels. Heal skill can alleviate corruption from Atropus and Ragnorra, Lucid Dreaming can help with Far Realm corruption, but only with getting rid of points, not with losing Bad Thing levels.

Extranatural items, such as anything blessed by the Cerulean Sign, can absorb between 1 and 7 points of corruption before being degraded and useless. Soaking for a day in a Cerulean Spring sheds an additional 4 corruption points. Cerulean Sign amulets might be cuttings of young trees, vine bracelets, purified crystals... anything that embodies and emphasizes the purity of nature itself.

The Pure Soul feat equivalent comes at the end of a 3 or 4 feat tree. None of them are taxation, specifically, but it should take more than a single feat to buy out of this system. Corruption resistance comes in small numbers, but is as significant as saying you resist ability damage by point.

So... Con 15, threshold 12, recover 3 corruption per day... this makes it "safe" for your character to collect 3 corruption per day, but any more and you'd need Heal or Lucid Dreaming to stem its progress. If you get 13+ corruption, you need a daily save to avoid repercussions. This character's save is at -1 at 14, -2 at 16, et cetera.

How does that look? Better than the original Taint system? Any glaring issues? Care to offer any fervent decrying of the system?