[DMG] Chapter 9's Ability Options

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[DMG] Chapter 9's Ability Options

Post by RobJN »

Has anybody used any of the optional rules in Chapter 9 of the DMG in their games?

I'm using the Sanity Ability Option (even though the missus doesn't know it); this fits nicely with the flavor of magic in the ages after the Great Rain of Fire.

Demons have tainted the world's original source of magic, their corruption slowly eating away at anyone practicing the arcane arts.

Any class (except the warlock) using wizardly magic is at risk of contamination. This includes bards, arcane tricksters, eldritch knights, and to a lesser extent, druids and rangers. Clerics and paladins do not typically need to check for corruption unless their patron is of demonic or Entropic origin.

Here is what I'm doing with the ability:
Sanity vs. Corruption
Each time a wizard casts a spell of 1st level or higher, s/he must make a Sanity check vs. their own spell's Save DC. Success indicates they build up no Corruption. Failure means they take 1/2 their Proficiency bonus in Corruption. A critical failure (Natural 20) inflicts their flull Proficiency bonus in Corruption.

Once Corruption builds up to a number of points greater than their Sanity score, they must make a Sanity check. Even if they succeed the check, they still suffer a fit of short-term Madness (as described in Chapter 8). Failure indicates they descend into long-term Madness, losing one point of Sanity upon recovering.

Upon recovering from Madness, the wizard's Corruption "resets" to zero, building up again as described above.

When the wizard Sanity reaches 0, their mind is completely given over to the demonic essence, and they become an unwilling host to any number of demonic essences. To the casual observer, not only is the wizard stark raving nutters, but extremely dangerous as well....

My intention is to have the demonic corruption manifesting as a gradual degradation of the magic user's sanity, becoming harder and harder to fight off the longer they use magic, reflected in the degradation of the ability score, the bonus ground away until the wizard is taking penalties to the rolls.

I thought about just using Wisdom, but then that would adversely affect things like perception and willpower, which (to my thinking, anyway) really have nothing to do with mental stability.

Sanity would be able to be restored through clerical magic. Also, drawing on the magical field through a Soul Crystal "filters" some of the demonic corruption, granting advantage on the wizards' Sanity saves and checks.

Thoughts? Ideas to help refine this very roughest of ideas about how to make use of the mechanic? I welcome your feedback :D
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