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7/20/2016 2:32 pm  #1


Corruption from Spellcasting.

Hi Group.

I've recently found a fan made supplement for OD&D  ("The Age of Conan" by Jason Vey) that provides rules for playing a Conan/Hyborian Age campaign with OD&D (it's been out awhile, and many of you may already know of it, but ... it's new to me). It really is most excellent, and I recommend checking it out if you haven't yet (and it's companion volume ... "Age of Conan II: Age of Acheron" ... both found here: http://www.grey-elf.com/). So, within the main volume is laid out a magic system, based on OD&D "Vancian" magic (of course), but adding the concept of Corruption. When I read this section, I was gob-smacked! I immediately thought, "this is exactly what I've always wanted for my magic/spellcasting in AS&SH!", for me, it's a perfect addition to the setting ... and one that I think adds the perfect dark overtone to spellcasting ... it's dangerous. I've cherry-picked the parts from the system I feel are most appropriate (I.e: I'm not using the system exactly as-is), and it works like this: When any Spellcaster casts a spell of any kind (and this includes Magicians and Clerics and all sub-classes), they must make a Saving Throw against Sorcery (Spells), if they fail the Saving Throw they gain a Corruption Point (CP). For every five CP's gained, the caster suffers -1 (cumulative) to future Spellcasting saves. Additionally, If a Spellcaster rolls a natural "1" on their Saving Throw, they suffers "backlash" and take 1d4 points of damage, and lose access/the ability to use that spell for 24 game hours. For every five (5) CP's the Spellcaster gains they also begin to exhibit physical effects of their dabbling with darker powers (per the "Age of Conan" rulebook ... "...These effects are up to the GM, but they should include things like glowing red eyes, jet black or scaly skin, an aura of corruption that makes those around him uncomfortable, causes plants to whither, food to rot, etc.,vestigial tentacles, clawed hands, gaunt appearance...the options are nearly endless."). I have not actually put this into play yet, but am excited to try it out with my group asap to see how well it works, to see if it adds the effect I'm hoping for. I'd love to hear any feedback on this you may have, and/or anyone else's similar ideas. Thanks gang!

 

7/20/2016 6:12 pm  #2


Re: Corruption from Spellcasting.

In my experience GM's find these more interesting than players, especially if there's nothing given to balance this out (like more castings/day). And does the rule apply to NPC sorcerers? Even if so it's simply not the same impact, as NPC sorcerers with such drawbacks have to be carefully managed (by the GM taking their corruption into account as if they were a PC sorcerer) or the drawbacks are meaningless.

But I do find Jason's works inspirational and often wonder why Spellcraft & Swordplay didn't gain much traction. I especially like S&S's devolution to rolling to cast spells, which I've proposed in my AS&SH game to much wailing.http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/wink.png


"'Silence!' thundered Pharesm. 'Do not forget that your penalty remains to be fixed; it is the height of impudent recklessness to hector a person already struggling to maintain his judicious calm!'"
Jack Vance, The Eyes of the Overworld
 

7/20/2016 6:57 pm  #3


Re: Corruption from Spellcasting.

Thanks for sharing, measuredrums. I'm not really in the market for a corruption-from-magic system, for much the same reasons that rhialto mentions, but I'm sure there are some folks here who might find this useful. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/happy.png

 


Blackadder23: Insanely long villain soliloquy, then "Your action?"
BORGO'S PLAYER: I shoot him in the face
 

7/21/2016 8:51 am  #4


Re: Corruption from Spellcasting.

I see it as a setting theme/flavor.

In Conan/Hyboria and Lankhmar/Nehwon spell casters are Corruption. There is always a price to pay for casting a spell. The benefit is that you get to cast spells.

I'm surprises Francisca hasn't mentioned this before (the fan supplement that is), it really fits his idea of magic (especially for any Lankhmar settings). I can see it being tweaked a bit to not be too onerous.

It could be an interesting addition to ASSH with some tweaking but definitely fits into a Hyborian or Nehwwan based/influenced setting I think.


What? Me worry?
 

7/21/2016 11:14 am  #5


Re: Corruption from Spellcasting.

rhialto wrote:

In my experience GM's find these more interesting than players, especially if there's nothing given to balance this out (like more castings/day). And does the rule apply to NPC sorcerers? Even if so it's simply not the same impact, as NPC sorcerers with such drawbacks have to be carefully managed (by the GM taking their corruption into account as if they were a PC sorcerer) or the drawbacks are meaningless.

But I do find Jason's works inspirational and often wonder why Spellcraft & Swordplay didn't gain much traction. I especially like S&S's devolution to rolling to cast spells, which I've proposed in my AS&SH game to much wailing.http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/wink.png

I like the idea of corruption allowing additional castings.  If you stay within your allocation then no corruption but going beyond generates bad effects very quickly. Those pesky NPC's would just tend to stay within the normal allocation.

I don't want to add further mechanical things to worry about in my game but in your game have at it!!

Morgan


"Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens,"
 

7/21/2016 1:28 pm  #6


Re: Corruption from Spellcasting.

Not very fond of corruption rules, but what does make me happy is that folks like AS&SH enough to tinker around with it and make it their own. You are the master of your own game, so adjust as you see fit. Excelsior!

Cheers,
Jeff T.


Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea - A Role-Playing Game of Swords, Sorcery, and Weird Fantasy
 

7/21/2016 7:12 pm  #7


Re: Corruption from Spellcasting.

Ghul wrote:

Not very fond of corruption rules, but what does make me happy is that folks like AS&SH enough to tinker around with it and make it their own. You are the master of your own game, so adjust as you see fit. Excelsior!

Cheers,
Jeff T.

I totally agree. I wouldn't have corruption in an ASSH game but as I wrote above I would totally look at this to adapt to a setting where magic is corrupting.
In fact I will be looking at these for my 1e campaign. Mostly because I sort of have a "3rd way" of magic that is powered by Tharizdun basically. It is corrupting but I played it more in a Call of Cthulu-ish way. This along with looking at some DCC craziness might be the final form I need.


What? Me worry?
 

7/22/2016 6:42 am  #8


Re: Corruption from Spellcasting.

I had a go at putting together some magical corruption rules/guides here on the Forum a while back: http://hyperborea.boardhost.com/viewtopic.php?id=355 Whilst this sort of thing is not everyone's cup of tea, I see them as a vehicle for adding flavour to magic and spellcasters.   Interesting comment above about corruption adding more spells; must look into this (perhaps some 'benefit' from corrupting activities - e.g. I recall seeing somewhere an idea that blood sacrifices during a ceremonial-type spell cast preserves the spell slot)...
 

 

7/22/2016 6:43 am  #9


Re: Corruption from Spellcasting.

gizmomathboy wrote:

 I totally agree. I wouldn't have corruption in an ASSH game but as I wrote above I would totally look at this to adapt to a setting where magic is corrupting.
In fact I will be looking at these for my 1e campaign. Mostly because I sort of have a "3rd way" of magic that is powered by Tharizdun basically. It is corrupting but I played it more in a Call of Cthulu-ish way. This along with looking at some DCC craziness might be the final form I need.

I've mentioned it here before, but if you're looking for other ideas check out Akratic Wizardry for a white/grey/black magic inspiration. Another idea I floated for my AS&SH game that went nowhere. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/happy.png

 


"'Silence!' thundered Pharesm. 'Do not forget that your penalty remains to be fixed; it is the height of impudent recklessness to hector a person already struggling to maintain his judicious calm!'"
Jack Vance, The Eyes of the Overworld
 

7/22/2016 6:53 am  #10


Re: Corruption from Spellcasting.

Second that Rhialto! It's an excellent site full of useful stuff.  I believe the white/grey magic approach was also implemented in Crypts & Things.

Rob

 

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