Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 28

Thread: Dark Sun-style Defiling

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    220
    Rep Power
    727

    Default Dark Sun-style Defiling

    My group is cooking up a setting based on Dark Sun, and I've been meditating on defilers and how to express their themes in a BW game. For those who have never played Dark Sun, defilers are sorcerers who suck the life out of the land to cast spells. When they use magic the plants die and the land is blighted. The most powerful of them can even suck the life out of nearby creatures. Here are my thoughts so far, and input is very welcome.

    Defilers use Art Magic. I'd likely trim the list and maybe add a power here and there, but I'd use Art Magic to keep the obs high and the magic potent.

    To get the bags of dice necessary to cast Art Magic effectively, defilers would be able to use an action of some sort to rip life out of spirits (from Spirit Binding). Perhaps each success on the defiling skill would net two dice toward a spell they would cast? Or maybe just net one success? In any case, if they draw too much they can harm the spirit. Maybe if they draw more dice than the spirit has Strength, the spirit is permanently weakened by 1D. Or by the margin by which the defiling successes overtop the spirit's Strength... Diminishing a spirit diminishes the ability of its domain to support life, and killing a spirit blights its domain. Obviously spirits will turn hostile as soon as they realize someone is a defiler.

    Defilers can also pull extra dice from living creatures, using their defiling skill, but this is much less effective than pulling dice from spirits. Maybe it would be an attack against Forte, and every two successes would net a single die on their Sorcery roll or something. Forte could be permanently reduced if the defiler successfully draws any dice from the target.

    Defilers are subject to Corruption. Defiling counts as a test toward Corruption.

    What do you think? How would you express defilers?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    725
    Rep Power
    1517

    Default

    I've not got huge amounts of BW experience, but what I would do is ask the player "what are you defiling?" Then give them Defiling dice accordingly, and if they want more, I'll tell them how far they have to go. Then I'd set guidelines as to how much defilement is required for certain amounts of dice. I don't generally like setting up multiple rolls for what is effectively a single action.

    I might also use an Emotional Attribute for this. You can defile your surroundings to add the attribute in dice to your test, and then log an extra attribute test to double-tap it. I'd work something out about the attribute levels, where the higher your attribute is, the more you have to defile to get that bonus (something akin to the Obs for Hatred, Greed, and Grief).
    The Player's Side of the Screen (my RPG blog)

    "No more runnin'. I aim to misbehave." ~ Mal Reynolds, from Serenity

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    220
    Rep Power
    727

    Default

    Cool. I like the "what are you defiling" question.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Red Bluff, CA
    Posts
    403
    Rep Power
    860

    Default

    I don't have my MaBu at hand at the moment, but could drilling maybe be a modification of blood magic? Also, if reverse the successes to advantage dice ratio - 2 defiling successes net one Sorcery advantage die.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    725
    Rep Power
    1517

    Default

    Thanks! For me, the most important part of defiling is impressing the fact that the defiler is warping and corrupting the world around them. So you let the player get advantage by making demands on the world. Maybe even require them to take an Instinct about ripping power from the world.

    (You could also take the Tax rules from Sorcery, and loosely apply them to the world instead of the character; give guidelines for what 1D, 2D, etc. of Tax looks like in the world, and then declare that the player can freely Tax to get more dice.)
    The Player's Side of the Screen (my RPG blog)

    "No more runnin'. I aim to misbehave." ~ Mal Reynolds, from Serenity

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Seoul
    Posts
    513
    Rep Power
    175

    Default

    Ya know, it might also be represented with just Corruption alone. The amount of dice you can pull from the spirits = your Corruption level. Use those dice in a narrative magical way.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    725
    Rep Power
    1517

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dean View Post
    Ya know, it might also be represented with just Corruption alone. The amount of dice you can pull from the spirits = your Corruption level. Use those dice in a narrative magical way.
    And suck the life out of things.
    The Player's Side of the Screen (my RPG blog)

    "No more runnin'. I aim to misbehave." ~ Mal Reynolds, from Serenity

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    2,258
    Rep Power
    1499

    Default

    In our Dark Sun game different types of land had life dice and Sorcerers could choose to rolle Forte or the Land's life dice to resist tax. Taxing the land involved turning plants to ash creating a barren lifeless area with loss of Life Dice equal to Margin of Failure.

    So, the Salt Flats had B1 life dice, while Thick Forest had B7.
    Last edited by noclue; 07-08-2013 at 10:19 PM.
    --James R.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    220
    Rep Power
    727

    Default

    Shaun, I don't have a MaBu either... Dean's got it. Dean, does blood magic have anything we could loot?

    Carpe, is there any way we can marry up your idea of the description and the single roll with my idea of harming the spirits? My group has already decided that spirit binding is going to be in the setting, and I'd love to have the magic systems (defiling and spirit binding) connected. I was excited that spirit binders, while also using the spirits against their wills, would be opposed to defilers the way that preservers were in Dark Sun because of their different philosophies on how to use the spirits. The defilers use them up like fuel, but the binders can use them continuously with no diminishment. A binder would want to protect a powerful spirit from a defiler, not because he loves the spirit but because a powerful spirit can be bound to do greater work than a weak spirit.

    Dean, I like the idea of using the Corruption stat directly in defiling. Maybe if we keep the system I proposed initially, with the two rolls, Corruption could only be added to the first roll (the defiling) and not directly to the second roll (the sorcery).

    Noclue, that sounds similar to the "implement" in my witchcraft rules. It's cool, but it doesn't make the caster more powerful - just less cautious.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    2,258
    Rep Power
    1499

    Default

    They were pretty damn powerful already.
    --James R.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •