Age of Conan: Levels of Corruption

So it was pointed out to me after fairly extensive playtest that the corruption rules in my Age of Conan books are B.R.U.T.A.L. By the time a sorcerer hits second level, he's almost guaranteed to already be irredeemably evil and has so many penalties that it's pointless to try save against corruption anymore.

It's true, too. If every time you fail a save you rack up a cumulative -1 penalty to future saves, it takes only three spells to wipe out the Sorcerer's +3 to save vs. Spell Magic when making corruption saves. Three spells. That's rough, even for Conan.

Thus, I am tweaking the corruption save rules as follows:

For every three levels of corruption gained--that is, every time the sorcerer would ostensibly drop a rank in alignment (regardless of whether he actually does drop)*, he suffers a cumulative -1 penalty to all future corruption saves.

*Remember, if a Sorcerer begins play as Neutral (Unaligned), he still has to fail 6 saves before he would drop to Neutral (Balance). Just because his moral code is naturally different than others does not mean that he's already corrupted by evil. Optionally, you could implement the first penalty upon the first failed save, to represent the beginning of the path of corruption, and then implement additional penalties for every multiple of three thereafter.

The best way to handle this is to track levels of corruption on the character sheet, marking a -1 penalty advancement with each level of corruption gained. Thus, a progression on the sheet might look like this, with a box checked every time a save is failed:

[ ] (-0) (-1)
[ ]
[ ] (-1) (-2)
[ ]
[ ]
[ ] (-2) (-3)
[ ]
[ ]
[ ] (-3) (-4)
[ ]
[ ]
[ ] (-4) (-5)

The second set of numbers represents the optional progression.


  1. You might just think about assigning one corruption point for every level achieved, so at 9th level, 9 corruption?

  2. Nah, I'd rather it be directly associated with the use of magic. It's the magic that corrupts you, not how experienced an adventurer you are.

  3. Fair enough. I just sort of figured that it would an easier mechanic that having to track or roll on every single casting.


  4. The system as it stands isn't complicated or slow at all. We've been playing with it for a few months and it works great--the only issue was how fast you succumb to corruption. Cutting that by 66.6% will solve things neatly :).


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