"Limiting" Corruption

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Re: "Limiting" Corruption

Post by abk108 » Wed Jun 29, 2011 4:19 am

bholmes4 wrote: I assume one is not entirely bound to one path? As such any wizard can cast Illusion?
Of course not! I would allow each wizard upon reaching 1st level to choose how many of the 4 spells he's supposed to get will be rolled randomly from the White Table and how many from the Dark Table. Maybe Elves, given that rp element of "good wise people" can only pick 1 Dark spell at 1st level.
Every next level, when they level up, they can pick again if the want to roll on the white or dark table.
I would love to see someone do this. The one problem I foresee is that it's not quite that simple. I imagine some domination-type charm spell that reduces you to a gibbering fool for the rest of your life is likely more to the Dark Path. Or perhaps divining through a giant eye above your tower, so that you can watch for and capture the Halfling with your ring, is not such a nice spell either.
Of course, spot on! The schools of magic where just a rough indication. Each spell should be classified individually, not just "every divination is good".
Example: Charme spell could be white (you're just making the target your friend); Dominate should be Dark (you're puppetteering the target); a "Know Weather" spell should be White, a "Read Mind spell" should be Dark Magic. Summoning should always be dark, unless your just "calling" a small animal to send a message.
I really think corruption chances should just be added to the spell charts and ignore "crits" of "fumbles" (that's what the chart is for already). Perhaps Enlarge has 0 chance for corruption but Giant Eye of Searching For Your Lost Possessions causes corruption on a 1-10.
Excellent. You mean like adding an entry at the beginning of the Spell table? In that case there could be some difference between easy/hard spells, and white/dark spells, which is reflected respectively in a higher base DC and a higher corruption chance:

EASY , WHITE SPELL
1 Fail, spell lost, Corruption;
2-11 Fail, Spell Lost;

EASY, DARK SPELL
1-5 Fail, spell lost, Corruption;
6-11 Fail, Spell Lost;

HARD, WHITE SPELL
1-5 Fail, spell lost, corruption;
6-15 fail spell lost;

HARD, DARK SPELL
1-9 Fail, spell lost, Corruption;
10-15 Fail, Spell Lost;

..... What do you think?!
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Re: "Limiting" Corruption

Post by geordie racer » Wed Jun 29, 2011 5:13 am

abk108 wrote:
bholmes4 wrote:
I really think corruption chances should just be added to the spell charts and ignore "crits" of "fumbles" (that's what the chart is for already). Perhaps Enlarge has 0 chance for corruption but Giant Eye of Searching For Your Lost Possessions causes corruption on a 1-10.
Excellent. You mean like adding an entry at the beginning of the Spell table? In that case there could be some difference between easy/hard spells, and white/dark spells, which is reflected respectively in a higher base DC and a higher corruption chance:

EASY , WHITE SPELL
1 Fail, spell lost, Corruption;
2-11 Fail, Spell Lost;

EASY, DARK SPELL
1-5 Fail, spell lost, Corruption;
6-11 Fail, Spell Lost;

HARD, WHITE SPELL
1-5 Fail, spell lost, corruption;
6-15 fail spell lost;

HARD, DARK SPELL
1-9 Fail, spell lost, Corruption;
10-15 Fail, Spell Lost;

..... What do you think?!
I like it !
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Re: "Limiting" Corruption

Post by bholmes4 » Wed Jun 29, 2011 5:14 am

abk108 wrote: EASY , WHITE SPELL
1 Fail, spell lost, Corruption;
2-11 Fail, Spell Lost;

EASY, DARK SPELL
1-5 Fail, spell lost, Corruption;
6-11 Fail, Spell Lost;

HARD, WHITE SPELL
1-5 Fail, spell lost, corruption;
6-15 fail spell lost;

HARD, DARK SPELL
1-9 Fail, spell lost, Corruption;
10-15 Fail, Spell Lost;

..... What do you think?!
Yeah this is what I had in mind. Though I might be tempted to remove Corruption chances from White Spells or perhaps you get a +10 to his Corruption roll or something. You'd probably need to adjust the Corruption table to add "no effect" or something too, since this system would actually increase your chance of Corruption.

On one hand I like that those who dabble in the dark arts are at greater risk, while those on the white path are fairly safe, but on the other I worry this would actually slow things further in combat.

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Re: "Limiting" Corruption

Post by Hamakto » Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:07 am

Any chance of corruption greater than a 1 (with the way corruption works currently), would be disastrous in a long term campaign.

It would make the wizard completely unplayable by 99% of the gamers out there.
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Re: "Limiting" Corruption

Post by abk108 » Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:09 am

bholmes4 wrote:
abk108 wrote: EASY , WHITE SPELL
1 Fail, spell lost, Corruption;
2-11 Fail, Spell Lost;

EASY, DARK SPELL
1-5 Fail, spell lost, Corruption;
6-11 Fail, Spell Lost;

HARD, WHITE SPELL
1-5 Fail, spell lost, corruption;
6-15 fail spell lost;

HARD, DARK SPELL
1-9 Fail, spell lost, Corruption;
10-15 Fail, Spell Lost;

..... What do you think?!
Yeah this is what I had in mind. Though I might be tempted to remove Corruption chances from White Spells or perhaps you get a +10 to his Corruption roll or something. You'd probably need to adjust the Corruption table to add "no effect" or something too, since this system would actually increase your chance of Corruption.

On one hand I like that those who dabble in the dark arts are at greater risk, while those on the white path are fairly safe, but on the other I worry this would actually slow things further in combat.
OK, so: we want something like the examples i posted, but in addition a small modification for the corruption table. It should become something where the first 1/4 of the results are null/non-affecting game mechanics/just rp. Then the next 2/4 of the results as medium effects (like horns, lip-tentacles and small stuff). The last 1/4 should be heavy, like permanent ability loss, polymorph, loss of part of the caster soul (losing exp levels) and death. Reincarnation as vampires, shadows or liches could be cool too.

The only thing, i think you either add an increased corruption range for dark spells, or give a bonus/penalty on the roll for the corruption table. You shouldn't do both. That way, casting a lesser white spell has a 5% of rolling on said table, and then it also gains +10 to the roll...

I think that corruption with white spells could be viewed more like a goofy attempt to cast it, rather than "corruption": maybe the patron is angered by how goofily the wiz tried to cast even the simpler spell, but maybe the wizard grew tentacles all by himself with a miscast (ok this is going to sound silly but... Ron Weasley, when he auto curses himself and starts vomiting slugs?! that's a 1)
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Re: "Limiting" Corruption

Post by meinvt » Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:10 am

To me this shows why you don't need a binary solution. You can just apply these sorts of low spell check results on a range across spell types and levels (or difficulties if levels are dropped). One of the archetypal stories about magic is the wizard who starts out well enough but is steadily lured in by ever more powerful magic until he begins meddling in dark arts that are too powerful and dangerous for him. Rather than a white and black spell list, this means everything is shades of gray (at first level likely bracketed by Cantrip and Patron Bond). This gives you the intended result organically out of the spell tables without changing rules beyond what causes a fumble or corruption.

You could still have different starting spell lists to roll from, although I'd suggest to keep the game theme you populate them with spells known by Lawful, Neutral or Chaotic spell casters.

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Re: "Limiting" Corruption

Post by jmucchiello » Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:47 am

Hamakto wrote:Any chance of corruption greater than a 1 (with the way corruption works currently), would be disastrous in a long term campaign.

It would make the wizard completely unplayable by 99% of the gamers out there.
meinvt wrote:To me this shows why you don't need a binary solution.
I agree with this. I think the difference should generally be in the 1 result. But sometimes, the 1 result is not bad enough:

Nice spell:
1: Failure, spell lost, no corruption
2-11: failure, spell lost

So-So spell:
1: Failure, spell lost, roll for corruption (+4 bonus to the roll)
2-11: failure, spell lost

Bad spell:
1: Failure, spell lost, roll for corruption
2-11: failure, spell lost

Horrid spell:
1: Failure, spell lost, roll for corruption (-4 penalty to the roll)
2-11: failure, spell lost

Really Horrid spell:
1: Failure, spell lost, roll for corruption (-10 penalty to the roll)
2-3: Failure, spell lost, roll for corruption (-2 penalty to the roll)
4-15: failure, spell lost

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Re: "Limiting" Corruption

Post by bholmes4 » Wed Jun 29, 2011 12:15 pm

Jmucchiello's is probably closer to what I was imagining. If you tied it in with lesser, greater and major corruptions (from another post) I think you could really create some cool flavour.

Just make it so you can do some really powerful things without corruption causing spells but less directly, you just have to be creative. I am thinking Gandalf, Galadriel type things...

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Re: "Limiting" Corruption

Post by meinvt » Wed Jun 29, 2011 12:28 pm

jmucchiello wrote: Nice spell:
1: Failure, spell lost, no corruption
2-11: failure, spell lost

So-So spell:
1: Failure, spell lost, roll for corruption (+4 bonus to the roll)
2-11: failure, spell lost

Bad spell:
1: Failure, spell lost, roll for corruption
2-11: failure, spell lost

Horrid spell:
1: Failure, spell lost, roll for corruption (-4 penalty to the roll)
2-11: failure, spell lost

Really Horrid spell:
1: Failure, spell lost, roll for corruption (-10 penalty to the roll)
2-3: Failure, spell lost, roll for corruption (-2 penalty to the roll)
4-15: failure, spell lost
IMHO this, in essence, is it. I'd probably make all the 1 results a Fumble as well, although then the Fumble table would need some revision too. Also, clarify that the 1 results apply to die roll of 1 as well as final modified roll of 1. Since the other results can only be obtained with very low caster level and bonuses, I'd even be willing to expand the Horrid and Really Horrid spell ranges for bad things to happen.

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Re: "Limiting" Corruption

Post by GnomeBoy » Wed Jun 29, 2011 3:46 pm

Now that is a really, really beautiful thing. I love how it takes that dull part of each spell chart and makes use of it!

I love throwing something on the table and watching it shape into something unexpected. I'm not saying I planned/foresaw that result -- but I've had this kind of thing happen before...

Keeping my mouth shut works wonders sometimes. :mrgreen:
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Re: "Limiting" Corruption

Post by jmucchiello » Wed Jun 29, 2011 6:06 pm

I've been think about this some more and wonder if this is better or worse:

Magic Missile
1 Failure. Spell lost. Mishap Roll d6 (1: Roll for corruption; 2-4: Missile arcs from finger, circles back and strikes you for 1d4 damage; 5-6: Missile strikes nearest ally for 1d6 damage)
2-11: Failure. Spell lost

Comprehend Languages
1 Failure. Spell lost. Mishap Roll d6 (1: Aphasia strikes all creatures with 20' radius; 2-3: Aphasia strikes caster; 4-6: No other effect)
2-11: Failure. Spell lost.

Summon Monster
1 Failure. Spell lost. Mishap Roll d20 + luck (1 or less: Random 10HD demon arrives and is not happy; 2-4: Random 8HD demon arrives and is not happy; 5-8: Random 5HD demon arrives and is not happy; 9-12: d3+1 1HD demons arrive and immediate fly away to wreck whatever havok they can; 13+: No other effect)
2-5 Failure. Spell Lost. Roll on Mishap chart above adding spell caster level to the die roll.
6-15 Failure. Spell Lost.


I like it because the spell fumble chart isn't really that diverse. And if you are going to waste a whole page per spell on their descriptions, they may as well be interesting.

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Re: "Limiting" Corruption

Post by yfr » Wed Jun 29, 2011 6:16 pm

bholmes4 wrote:Lol in all seriousness though I don't see corruption as a big deterrant to "limit" casting. Definitely won't work in one-offs or short campaigns, and it actually encourages some types of players who will want to see just how crazy they can make their character look. Add in old school meat grinder-style adventures and their is no real reason to hold back.
That is exactly my problem. My players are not dedicated tabletop gamers - they are not committed to gaming with me every week. They will have absolutely no emotional attachment to keeping their characters pretty.

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Re: "Limiting" Corruption

Post by bholmes4 » Thu Jun 30, 2011 5:17 am

jmucchiello wrote: Magic Missile
1 Failure. Spell lost. Mishap Roll d6 (1: Roll for corruption; 2-4: Missile arcs from finger, circles back and strikes you for 1d4 damage; 5-6: Missile strikes nearest ally for 1d6 damage)
2-11: Failure. Spell lost

Comprehend Languages
1 Failure. Spell lost. Mishap Roll d6 (1: Aphasia strikes all creatures with 20' radius; 2-3: Aphasia strikes caster; 4-6: No other effect)
2-11: Failure. Spell lost.

Summon Monster
1 Failure. Spell lost. Mishap Roll d20 + luck (1 or less: Random 10HD demon arrives and is not happy; 2-4: Random 8HD demon arrives and is not happy; 5-8: Random 5HD demon arrives and is not happy; 9-12: d3+1 1HD demons arrive and immediate fly away to wreck whatever havok they can; 13+: No other effect)
2-5 Failure. Spell Lost. Roll on Mishap chart above adding spell caster level to the die roll.
6-15 Failure. Spell Lost.
I like this more. Since I am not big on the corruption mechanic as is, I think this is much more fitting for "fumbles"and can be even more dangerous than corruption. Are you SURE you want to risk casting Summon Monster one more time? Of course some sort of other limiting mechanic may be needed for spells but I am in favour of that anyway.

It also puts it all on one chart which is nice, less "handling time". Finally you can put corruption on the spells that really deserve it (it does have a place in this game, just not so prevalent) but all of them have their own set of drawbacks. No spell is without risk.

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Re: "Limiting" Corruption

Post by abk108 » Thu Jun 30, 2011 5:28 am

bholmes4 wrote: It also puts it all on one chart which is nice, less "handling time". Finally you can put corruption on the spells that really deserve it (it does have a place in this game, just not so prevalent) but all of them have their own set of drawbacks. No spell is without risk.
I like this as well.
The only thing I am against is making some spells PERFECTLY SAFE to cast. Not even Cantrip. Not even a Torch Spell. At least a 1 on the d20 should be something that the wizard is scared of no matter what he's casting. If you don't like corruption then fair enough, add the mishaps like it has just been suggested. A wrong cantrip could make your hands or your tongue numb, thus -2 to spellchecks in the next hour. A wrong torch could set your wizard's sleeves aflame.
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Re: "Limiting" Corruption

Post by smathis » Thu Jun 30, 2011 6:02 am

abk108 wrote:I like this as well.
The only thing I am against is making some spells PERFECTLY SAFE to cast. Not even Cantrip. Not even a Torch Spell. At least a 1 on the d20 should be something that the wizard is scared of no matter what he's casting. If you don't like corruption then fair enough, add the mishaps like it has just been suggested. A wrong cantrip could make your hands or your tongue numb, thus -2 to spellchecks in the next hour. A wrong torch could set your wizard's sleeves aflame.
+d7 and I agree on the "perfectly safe" part as well.

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Re: "Limiting" Corruption

Post by Dreamslinger » Thu Jun 30, 2011 8:18 am

abk108 wrote: The only thing I am against is making some spells PERFECTLY SAFE to cast. Not even Cantrip. Not even a Torch Spell. At least a 1 on the d20 should be something that the wizard is scared of no matter what he's casting. If you don't like corruption then fair enough, add the mishaps like it has just been suggested. A wrong cantrip could make your hands or your tongue numb, thus -2 to spellchecks in the next hour. A wrong torch could set your wizard's sleeves aflame.
I don't see why anyone would bother developing, praticing or learning Cantrip or a Torch spell in the first place. Why would anyone mess with trivial magic when the odds are that about every twelve successful castings will have one failure with consequences?
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Re: "Limiting" Corruption

Post by bholmes4 » Thu Jun 30, 2011 11:47 am

Dreamslinger wrote:
abk108 wrote: The only thing I am against is making some spells PERFECTLY SAFE to cast. Not even Cantrip. Not even a Torch Spell. At least a 1 on the d20 should be something that the wizard is scared of no matter what he's casting. If you don't like corruption then fair enough, add the mishaps like it has just been suggested. A wrong cantrip could make your hands or your tongue numb, thus -2 to spellchecks in the next hour. A wrong torch could set your wizard's sleeves aflame.
I don't see why anyone would bother developing, praticing or learning Cantrip or a Torch spell in the first place. Why would anyone mess with trivial magic when the odds are that about every twelve successful castings will have one failure with consequences?
Thats why you need varied charts and chances for this sort of thing. Maybe Torch only has a 1 in 20 chance of "blow back", no corruption chance, no chance to blow yourself up, just a chance to set yourself on fire by mistake and you can stop-drop-roll it away or throw your robes off.

Fireball on the other hand might go off prematurely causing 2d6 damage, or it might summon a minor fire elemental, etc. Or it might leave you with permanently blackened arms...

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Re: "Limiting" Corruption

Post by smathis » Thu Jun 30, 2011 12:40 pm

bholmes4 wrote:Or it might leave you with permanently blackened arms...
Nice. I like it!

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Re: "Limiting" Corruption

Post by Aplus » Fri Jul 08, 2011 2:02 pm

I'm going to give corruption a shot as-is in campaign play, but there will be plenty of outs in case it gets out of hand.

I suspect that I will modify it for campaign play eventually, and here is what popped in my head:

Corruption: Permanent effect to the caster - can possibly be undone, but not without great effort and/or sacrifice.
Spell Fumble: Temporary effect to the caster and/or party

A natural 1 is a spell fumble. The spell fumble has a 10% chance of becoming a corruption per level of the spell. The caster rolls a d10 and some other die that will be used for both the spell fumble chart and the corruption chart (probably a d24 or d30).

For example, a natural 1 is rolled while casting a level 1 spell. Both dice are rolled. If the d10 comes up as a 1, the other die's result is checked on the corruption table. If the d10 shows a 2-0, the other die's result is checked against the spell fumble table.

For a level 2 spell, corruption is a 1 or 2 on the d10.
For a level 3 spell, corruption is a 1-3 on the d10, and so on.

This would make permanent corruption much less frequent, but casting still dangerous. I also like that it gives spell levels more meaning. Plus, there are a good number of variables here, so tweaking should be easy. (Editing spell fumble results table, editing corruption table, using a d12 instead of d10, etc.)
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Re: "Limiting" Corruption

Post by dunbruha » Fri Jul 15, 2011 6:41 pm

abk108 wrote:I mean, if you're worried about a wizard player quitting because you're just roleplaying lots of people hunting him down as an aberration (something like Dragon Age: Origins), and he doesn't want to bear the consequences of his reckless abuse of magic, you're better off without him.
I'm more worried about a wizard player quitting, not because spellcasting is dangerous, but because of the nature of the danger (tentacles, horns, etc.). These are signs of evil. What if the spellcaster is not of evil intent? What if she is trying to use magic to do good? Such a wizard would not have an evil patron, and thus she should not gain "the mark of evil" if the spell goes awry. I like the idea of having patron-specific or spell-specific dangers of spell failure. So if you are working with an evil patron, or casting an "evil" spell, then, yes, corruption is appropriate. But if you are casting a neutral or a good spell, let the danger be more appropriate to the spell or the patron.

So my preference is to limit corruption to evil, dark magic. But not limit the danger of spellcasting--just make it more appropriate to the spell or patron.

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Re: "Limiting" Corruption

Post by abk108 » Fri Jul 15, 2011 11:30 pm

dunbruha wrote:
abk108 wrote:I mean, if you're worried about a wizard player quitting because you're just roleplaying lots of people hunting him down as an aberration (something like Dragon Age: Origins), and he doesn't want to bear the consequences of his reckless abuse of magic, you're better off without him.
I'm more worried about a wizard player quitting, not because spellcasting is dangerous, but because of the nature of the danger (tentacles, horns, etc.). These are signs of evil. What if the spellcaster is not of evil intent? What if she is trying to use magic to do good? Such a wizard would not have an evil patron, and thus she should not gain "the mark of evil" if the spell goes awry. I like the idea of having patron-specific or spell-specific dangers of spell failure. So if you are working with an evil patron, or casting an "evil" spell, then, yes, corruption is appropriate. But if you are casting a neutral or a good spell, let the danger be more appropriate to the spell or the patron.

So my preference is to limit corruption to evil, dark magic. But not limit the danger of spellcasting--just make it more appropriate to the spell or patron.

Then the easiest solution is to use taints as corruption and having some fizzle results for example :

Magic Missile lvl 1
1 Spell lost. Roll on patron taints table
2-3 Backfire 1d6 dmg.Spell lost.
4-7 Spell lost.
8-11 backfire: you take 1d6 magical damage as the spell goes off as per result 12-13. Spell lost.
12-13 as is
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Re: "Limiting" Corruption

Post by dunbruha » Sat Jul 16, 2011 2:17 pm

abk108 wrote:Then the easiest solution is to use taints as corruption and having some fizzle results for example :

Magic Missile lvl 1
1 Spell lost. Roll on patron taints table
2-3 Backfire 1d6 dmg.Spell lost.
4-7 Spell lost.
8-11 backfire: you take 1d6 magical damage as the spell goes off as per result 12-13. Spell lost.
12-13 as is
I like this. Is there any support for this model, or do most people favor the existing corruption method?

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Re: "Limiting" Corruption

Post by jmucchiello » Sat Jul 16, 2011 7:06 pm

dunbruha wrote:
abk108 wrote:Then the easiest solution is to use taints as corruption and having some fizzle results for example :

Magic Missile lvl 1
1 Spell lost. Roll on patron taints table
2-3 Backfire 1d6 dmg.Spell lost.
4-7 Spell lost.
8-11 backfire: you take 1d6 magical damage as the spell goes off as per result 12-13. Spell lost.
12-13 as is
I like this. Is there any support for this model, or do most people favor the existing corruption method?
Scroll up and read this whole thread (or at least the whole 3rd page). We proposed this back in late June and I did some of the refining above.

There are plenty of people who are okay with the corruption levels as written but I'd wonder how many of those people plan to "just house rule it" and thus aren't very vocal on the boards.

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Re: "Limiting" Corruption

Post by abk108 » Sat Jul 16, 2011 11:03 pm

jmucchiello wrote:
dunbruha wrote:
abk108 wrote:Then the easiest solution is to use taints as corruption and having some fizzle results for example :

Magic Missile lvl 1
1 Spell lost. Roll on patron taints table
2-3 Backfire 1d6 dmg.Spell lost.
4-7 Spell lost.
8-11 backfire: you take 1d6 magical damage as the spell goes off as per result 12-13. Spell lost.
12-13 as is
I like this. Is there any support for this model, or do most people favor the existing corruption method?
Scroll up and read this whole thread (or at least the whole 3rd page). We proposed this back in late June and I did some of the refining above.

There are plenty of people who are okay with the corruption levels as written but I'd wonder how many of those people plan to "just house rule it" and thus aren't very vocal on the boards.
it had already been suggested before that spell charts should have "fizzle" results for 1-11, but i don't recall anyone proposing the use of taints in place of corruption.
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geordie racer
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Posts: 376
Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2011 5:13 am
Location: Newcastle, England

Re: "Limiting" Corruption

Post by geordie racer » Sun Jul 17, 2011 6:37 am

My gaming crew have now played nine sessions (0-4, and 4 at 5th Level) through some intense scenarios with the rules-as-written, and I'm finding that Corruption is the gamebreaker because:
- the players of wizards are using less magic than they'd like to - because corruption is too likely, whereas the warriors and thieves are forever using MDoAs/Burning Luck. Atv 5th Level the wizards want to be getting the benefit of the 2 spells/round.
- the players of other classes don't want corruption dispensed with as then the wizard rules the game.

So, after discussions about house-ruling we instead deciding to ditch the Wizard as a PC class and just stick with warriors and thieves (no demihumans). I hope it'll be fun but it means play may too limited for my liking (having just finished a no-magic Heroes campaign I wanted a change).
Sean Wills

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