Maybe the idea that wizards aren't corrupted and tempted at any small incantation they perform might be the impression we, common peasant, got by hearing their tales. Maybe even the real lives of the most famous wizards were on the brim of oblivion, fighting a constant war against demons and the darkness inside themselves, we just don't know that.
It's these kinds of stereotypes that I find so troubling... The assumption that the use of magic is a corrupting force bothers me terribly. I don't mind it as a part of the game (the bad guys have to have their toys too) but it's presented as the only way to access magic. That's why I say give wizards some different options, like the use of True-Names, or some other path that doesn't involve the wizard having to pander to an extra-dimensional pimp... I mean Patron.
In this setting you can't even say that wizards are playing "Russian Roulette"... because it's only a matter of time. Eventually (given enough levels) the dice will turn your wizard into a many-tentacled-space-turnip-thing that wanders around terrorizing villages.
I think giving anything that goes against natural physics a chance to corrupt and taint a wizard gives DCC the gritty tone it wants
It depends on how you define "natural physics." In the Quantum world things can get spooky real fast. In my game worlds magic is just "applied quantum physics," which makes wizards just another scientific specialty. Magic is just another collection of forces to be studied & harnessed like any others. Its a neutral & natural force. It is the decisions of people (and monsters) that determine whether it is good or evil. Besides, there are other ways to make things "gritty."
For example: I try to find ways to let the "natural world" find its own balance. If a wizard casts a fireball spell in a dungeon hallway, then he or she has conjured up enough fire to fill 33,510.32 cubic feet with fire... that's roughly 335ft or so of standard 10ft wide by 10ft tall hallway. It is a fire that consumes enemies, player characters, treasure, & oxygen with equal vigor. Then there are the secondary effects of the collapsing vacuum to consider...
That being said, and used properly, it can still be a very effective way to clear out kobold infestations.
I recognize that I'm in the minority on this one, and that my version of Aereth is radically different than its author's. Heck, one of the first things I did when I got my DCC#35 set was to put Aereth, her sun, and her sister planets into a crystal sphere and give them Spelljamming coordinates.
to each their own I guess.