Hey again, Today we will talk about one of the most controversial topics of D&D, alignments and our new system degenerations.
Characters acting out of their alignment has been an issue all the time. It is a bit hard to decide when to change the player’s alignment or what alignment it should become. Although alignment system is good and adds a nice flavor, it can make the game more complex in a bad way -complexity is not always bad though- when the DM or players can’t decide on it. The same situation also exists when a character wants to turn to evil from good or an already evil character who wants to delve deeper and deeper into its wicked ways.
Because of these reasons and more, we wanted to make the alignment system more clear. We have created a new mechanic called Degeneration System that both players and DMs can use as a guideline on alignment issues.
In this system, characters gain several types of essences, Degenerating Essences, according to their acts and their origins. These essences can be considered as the corruption level, the wickedness of the soul.
The philosophy behind this system is that when you make an evil act, you attract the attention of both good and evil forces in the universe. As you continue your evil acts, you become easier to be tracked by good forces and evil forces. These evil forces, dark gods and goddesses, demon lords and ladies, archdevils, may want to hire you. They do so by giving you more power, gifts. However, they act cautiously and wisely. At the same time, they grant you curses to make you dependent on them. Now, let’s get inside the system.
First of all, let’s talk about the types of these essences. There are 4 types of them, categorized based on the acts and sources granting essences. These sources can be necromantic, fiendish, far realm or the evil in nature. They grant rotten, foul, maddening and desecrating essence accordingly. This means that if you enter the grave of an exalted paladin and raise its body to create a powerful servant to yourself, you gain rotten essence. If you consort with fiends to gain more power, you gain foul essence, etc.
More mechanical, every time you commit such acts, you make a Wisdom saving throw whose DC is equal to 10, 15 or 20 (for minor, major or ultimate evil acts). On fail, your soul becomes tainted and you gain 1, 2 or 3 points of proper degenerating essence. If you commit several acts at the same time, you roll for the tensest one. Every time you gain 5 essences of the same type, you gain a gift and a curse.
When it comes to alignment changes, you can shift the alignment of a character one step when it gains 5 points of degeneration. According to the act, you can shift the alignment to evil, to lawful, to chaotic, etc. Working with devils may make you move closer to lawful evil alignment or demons make you move chaotic evil. Also, if the act is horrifically evil, you may choose to shift it more than one step.
There will also be 20 gifts and 20 curses for each of the essences in Corpus Malicious. Also, there will be guidelines for each of the essence types for the acts and their levels in terms of minor, major and ultimate acts.
To summarize, Corpus Malicious will be your ultimate guideline in alignment shifts, evil acts, their impacts on gameplay and roleplay elements that can be added to the game.