On Athas, there is no external power source for arcane magic, and thus, spellcasters must draw energy for their spells from plant life (and sometimes animal life). A defiler abuses this energy, causing the vegetation around them to wither and turn to ash, destroying it forever and tainting the surrounding land for decades. Spellcasters with more self control who do not wish harm upon Athas' already dwindling vegetation are called preservers. They are able to channel the life force in such a way that causes negligible harm to the environment. To the average Athasian, however, there is no difference. All spellcasters are evil, and it is because of them that the world is the desolate wasteland it is today.
Defiling allows a caster to employ a variety of beneficial effects on his spells. However, this power does not come entirely for free. Each use of such defiling causes the defiler to accrue taint which can incur mental and physical penalties (see chart). The defiler must choose whether to defile before he casts the spell. Defiling is a free action and requires nothing more than a character's conscious choice.
There are no mechanical benefits or penalties for preserving, but the temptation for defiling is always present. Just this once, right? You'll repent later, won't you?
Limits to Defiling: You may not stack defiling bonuses or use more than one defiling bonus once per round. Additionally, accruing at least 1 taint level permanently grants the Tainted trait to the character.
Amplify Spell: You may add 1d6 to the die roll of the spell. This includes damage or a d20 roll.
Extend Spell: You may increase the duration of the spell by 2x its normal duration per taint level up to a maximum of 4x the normal duration. Spells without a lasting duration are unaffected.
Quicken Spell: You may make your spell a swift spell. Spells which are already considered swift are cast as a free action.
Maximize Spell: You may maximize the die roll of the spell. This includes damage or a d20 roll.
Recover Expended Spell: Unlike other uses of defiling magic, you aren’t casting a spell at the moment. Instead, you spend a standard action to draw forth the life energy of Athas (which provokes an attack of opportunity from any nearby foe) and recall any one spell that you had prepared and then cast. The spell is ready for use as if it had not been previously cast.
Cast Spell Without Material Component: You can gain taint levels to substitute a material component with the life energy of Athas. You can split the cost between defiler points and Cp if you wish. Note that if you choose to use this option, even if the total cost of material components is less than 500 Cp, you still must gain a taint level.
Defiler Benefits TableEdit
|Recover expended spell||1|
|Cast spell without material component||1 per 500 Cp|
Taint levels accumulate over time and also affect the radius of vegetation destroyed around the caster. Defiling the planet’s life energy takes its toll on your own body. Too much defiling can weaken your own life energy and willpower, and it also produces a sense of unease within yourself and in others. Accumulated defiler points have the following effects:
Taint Effects TableEdit
|1||Gain Tainted trait.|
|2||-1 penalty on all WIS and CHA checks.|
|3||-1 penalty to CON.|
|5||Further -1 penalty on all WIS and CHA checks.|
|7||Further -1 penalty to CON. -5 HP. If you engage in strenuous activity (fighting, hustling, etc.) for more than 1 minute, you are fatigued. +1 to Spell Save DC|
|9||Further -1 to all WIS and CHA checks. Further -1 to CON. Further -5 HP. Further +1 to Spell Save DC.|
|11||You become a t'liz, an undead creature, and fall under the DM's control.|
Tainted: Though the effects of the Tainted trait are not readily apparent, a character who is Tainted is affected by certain spells that target defilers. Druids and Rangers with the Tainted trait lose their ability to cast spells from the Druid and Ranger spell lists.
When a wizard defiles, the radius affected is determined by the defiled spell's spell level per the table below.
|Terrain Vegetation||Radius Defiled|
|Lush (forest, garden, oceans)||1 ft. x Spell Level|
|Abundant (grassland, active farmland, swamps, mud flats)||5 ft. x Spell Level|
|Fertile (oases, scrub plains, inactive farmland)||10 ft. x Spell Level|
|Infertile (cities, rocky badlands, bare mountains)||20 ft. x Spell Level|
|Barren (boulder fields, sandy wastes, salt flats)||30 ft. x Spell Level|
Defiling in the Same Spot: If you defile from within a recently defiled area (such as on a subsequent round), add the radius of the previous defilement to half the new radius in order to determine the new defiled radius. (Previous radius + ½(New radius)) = Defiled radius.
Defilerʹs ash is black and totally devoid of life‐giving properties. It is the telltale sign of wizardry. Nothing grows in a defiled area for years. Even if the defilerʹs ash moves with the wind, the ground remains a lifeless scar.
Exposure to Defiling Radius: Creatures except the defiler caught within the defiling radius at casting time experience pain and suffer a –1 penalty to all attack rolls, weapon damage rolls, and ability checks for 1 round. Plant creatures also suffer 2 hp damage x spell slot level expended (a 0‐level spell inflicts 1 hp damage).
Reducing Taint LevelEdit
The only way to reduce a character's taint level is by taking an uninterrupted 8 hour long rest, regardless of any special or racial abilities. Resting in this manner reduces the character's taint level by 3 to a minimum of 1. To remove the Tainted trait, a character must enter a cleansing meditation.
Cleansing Meditation: In order to completely remove a character's taint, they must find a grove of druids and make atonement for their vile acts against nature. Assuming the druids accept the character's request (which may be no small feat itself), the character must then enter into a cleansing meditation with the druids' aid. The character must be completely at rest (no movement, talking, etc.) for the duration of the meditation, though they may be conscious. The duration of the meditation is dependent on the defiler's highest taint level, not his current taint level (See table). For example, a character that has accumulated a taint level of 10 and then rests normally to reduce it to 1 would still have to meditate for 3 full days in order to remove their taint completely.
|Taint Level||Time Spent Meditating|
|3 or below||8 hours|
|4-7||1 full day|
|8-10||3 full days|