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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Titan in the Playground
    Zaydos's Avatar

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    Aug 2009

    Default Defilers of Athas (3.5 PrC)

    Well in Dragon Magazine issue #316 they attempted to create new rules for Defiling for 3.5. Personally I disliked these rules so I've decided to create my own (I was bored).

    For those of you who are not aware defilers are from the Dark Sun campaign setting where wizards were divided into two groups Preservers and Defilers. This was because in Dark Sun magic drew upon the life energy of living things nearby (normally plants, although the Sorcerer-Kings were so powerful they actually drained nearby animals of life as well). Preservers took longer to cast spells and took longer to level up because they learned how to take only a little energy from each plant nearby and return any excess energy. Defilers leveled faster, and had the initiative modifier from their spells lessened. In setting this was balanced by how most people would kill a preserver for being a wizard (except later on in the free city of Tyr) but almost everyone would kill a defiler for being a defiler (including preservers, other defilers, and especially druids). So with this PrC I'm trying to keep that "fast track to power" feel, at the same time it isn't really intended for games not set in Athas where there are social ramifications to being caught. I gave them a medium will save since they aren't really any more strong willed than other wizards (giving in to the quick and easy path because it is just that quick and easy doesn't indicate you're stronger willed than a normal wizard).

    If you know the setting's fluff, or have played in a 3.5 Dark Sun game, I'd love to hear your comments, and in the latter case how you made defiling work.

    Skills: Spellcraft 6 ranks.
    Feats: Any 1 metamagic feat.
    Spells: Ability to cast 2nd level spells.
    Alignment: Evil.

    Level Base Attack<br>Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special Spells
    Defiling +1 +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
    Free Metamagic I +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
    Defiling +2 +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
    Free Metamagic II +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
    Superior Defiling +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class

    HD: d4.
    Skill points per level: 2 + Int.
    Class Skills: Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Profession (Wis), and Spellcraft (Int).
    Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: A defiler gains no new weapon and armor proficiencies.
    Defiling: Okay here's the important ability. Defilers draw heavily upon the life force of nearby plants when they use their magic. Whenever a defiler casts an arcane spell he kills all non-magical, non-creature plants within a 10-ft radius per spell level cast. This radius is halved in a particularly verdant area (thick forest, jungle) or doubled in a barren landscape (the desert, the tundra). As a result of this, though, a defiler gains a +1 bonus to caster level for arcane spells he casts; at level 3 this bonus to caster level becomes +2. A defiler may not choose to de-activate this ability, and from the time they enter this class all arcane spells they cast defile the surrounding landscape. See Ex-Defilers below for information on how to stop defiling.
    Free Metamagic I: Once per day a defiler may apply a metamagic feat he has that increases spell level by +0 or +1 to any spell he casts without increasing the spell level, increasing the casting time of the spell, or preparing the spell that way ahead of time.
    Free Metamagic II: Once per day a defiler may apply a metamagic he has that increases spell level by +0, +1, or +2 to any spell he casts without increasing the spell level, increasing the casting time of the spell, or preparing the spell that way ahead of time. This is in addition to the daily use of Free Metamagic.
    Superior Defiling: When casting an arcane spell of 6th level or higher a defiler may choose to draw in the life energy of nearby living creatures as well as plants. If he does so the casting time of the spell increases by one step (from swift to standard or standard to full-round action or full-round action to 1 full round, etc) all living creatures within a 20-ft radius of the defiler (with the exception of the defiler and his familiar if he has one) take 1d4 damage/2 spell levels. Doing this increases the save DC of the spell by 1. Unlike defiling a defiler may choose when to and when not to use this ability.

    Ex-Defilers: A defiler cannot simply stop defiling, even becoming good aligned is not enough (although becoming good aligned is difficult when every spell you cast requires an evil act). But they may forsake their path with the aid of an atonement spell (in 2e a defiler could take a hit to XP and then another hit to level to become a preserver so I need some way to emulate that). If you do so you retain all your levels in Defiler and retain all your abilities, but if you choose to use Defiling, either Free Metamagic ability, or Superior Defiling you immediately lose 500 XP and from that point on all spells you cast activate the Defiling ability.

    So what do people think? I know it is strong (upped caster level, free metamagic, upped save DCs), and I'm mainly going for just emulating the feel of Dark Sun the best I can with 3.5, but I'd still like to hear opinions on how well it did that.
    Last edited by Zaydos; 2014-04-21 at 09:59 PM.
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  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
    Mulletmanalive's Avatar

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    WOTC ≱ my opinion

    Default Re: Defilers of Athas (3.5 PrC)

    Well, it doesn't really reproduce the feel of Darksun very well, but that's because the original Darksun version [as opposed to the 2.5 revised version] didn't match the class' flavour very well either.

    The point of defiling over preserving was that it was quicker and easier, not more powerful, specifically. Your superior defiling covers that, though the features are effectively the other way around from the original: overdrawing was a late game ability [a bit like Augmenting Psionics]

    Here's a thought: design the features of the Superior Defiler into a tiered ACF for spellcasters [wizards or sorcerers, presumably the latter] that makes them quicker at the cost of some of their flexibility and then design the metamagic and power increasing thing as a prestige class for them [preferably with at least -1 caster level] to do the continent withering stuff of the dragon kings.
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  3. - Top - End - #3
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    Anonymouswizard's Avatar

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    Default Re: Defilers of Athas (3.5 PrC) has a 3.5 Dark Sun
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  4. - Top - End - #4
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Mnemnosyne's Avatar

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    Default Re: Defilers of Athas (3.5 PrC)

    Well first off I would say that it shouldn't really be a prestige class if you're trying to keep the proper Dark Sun feel of all mages being either defilers or preservers. It should be a base class that replaces Wizard, along with a second Preserver base class, with no option to cast mage spells without being one of those two classes. Either that, or some sort of caster-template that is automatically applied to any casting class, so that all arcane casters are required to be either defilers or preservers.

    Beyond that, free metamagics should increase the defiling radius. Also, if I remember right, didn't they have the option of doing their energy gathering either when they prepare the spell or when they cast it?

    I'd set it up the same way - defiling can be done either at spell preparation time or at casting time, and if done while casting, the casting requires a full-round action. Metamagic can be prepared either at casting time or on the fly. Since this is a smaller draw of energy it doesn't bump it up to a full-round action if done on the fly, but it does require the instant defiling.

    This allows the defiler to pretend to be a preserver if they manage to prepare their spells ahead of time in seclusion.

    The other thing I'd throw in is the disadvantage of not being able to gather energy at all, if the area they're in is too barren. If I remember right there was a table for that in 2nd Edition as well, and if you were in too barren an area - deep salt flats or something of that sort - where there's no vegetation to draw on, a defiler couldn't cast or prepare their spells at all.
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