Corruption in Chimera D10 | World Anvil


When the worlds were torn asunder in the cataclysm that brought the new world together, when the gods flung themselves into the world to save their creations, and when a great many of those same gods died, Corruption seeped out through the cracks of their broken, once-divine forms, as oil would leak from a faulty lamp.   Scholars of Tara still argue to this day what Corruption is, whether it came from Pelagia and the parasitic Charagma that swim there; that would explain why The Archmage Faust became so enamored with the plane, perhaps. Others argue it was when the Gods forms broke open to, in a way, glue the fractured worlds back together; as they died, their bodies spilled out magics into the world, leaving behind their divine sparks, Godblinds, and Moonwrests. And there are fringe theories where Corruption is simply coming from the new center of the world--what would have been if Tara had not stolen its throne; maybe a hungry and seething force seeks to reclaim what should have been theirs?   What corruption is, however, are residual magic forces that irradiate the land and the bones of all who live on it; corruption is inescapable, but not everyone dies from it. No, it is simply a part of life, rather like the possibility of going blind with old age. But indeed, not everyone accepts it; and that was where Heroes came from, one of the places; they were a force to thwart corruption, to save people from turning into monsters.  

Levels of Corruption

Mechanically, Corruption is a cross between a condition and a status effect, but can only be removed by spending Advancement Points to suppress it. Corruption is gained by entering upon Death's Door, by certain magical effects--such as casting spells in a Moonwrest without moonstone or jade, or by choice.   By a player willingly choosing and taking a point of corruption, a player character can regain all health, remove all energy debt and regain full energy, remove all conditions, and regain all resolve die. This is a free action, does not cost energy, and therefore can be done at anytime. -- GMs, this is a powerful tool, can disincline a party to rest, and can make any after-scenario rewards pale in comparison, but bear in mind that Corruption is near incurable. Narratively, it is an occupational hazard of all adventurers.   Corruption takes a long while before it really starts to show. There are five total levels, each with a number a circles that must be checked before moving to the next level, as demonstrated below:  
No Symptoms
(Stage 0)
Gain a Corruption
Stage 1
Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4
○○○○○ ○○○○ ○○○ ○○
Optional Rule:
GMs, consider hiding what kind of corruption your player has acquired For half of Stage 2 and only half. Allow yourself to build up suspense until a dramatic reveal to your player! -- This is optional, as most won't react well to this; some players will just prefer to know, and that's fine. They may know what they have, but no one knows how it might come up in play.

Types of Corruption

  Most Corruption has a contact-based cause; the character has come into contact with it at some point during their life--usually injured by a carrier or a source of said corruption. Other Corruptions are caused due to prolonged proximity. And finally, some races are predisposed to certain kinds of corruptions due to powerful curses. Below are a list of these corruptions, and their symptoms.  


Again, this type of corruption is one the player character has come into contact with before, normally through injury.  

Faustian Burn

You once suffered a critical hit from a spell, or you critically failed to cast a spell  
I No Symptoms.
II You gain a burn on your hands--the skin darkens, cracks, and occassionally bleeds. Anytime you fall prone on water or step on a puddle in Ars Materia, you fall through into Pelagia. All those within Pelagia are hostile toward you and will seek to harm you. However, you can move through puddles and watery spaces to navigate planar spaces. You are not affected by this while on Primordia.
III The burn spreads up your arms to your elbows. You lose 1 health everytime you cast a spell, but you regain 2 energy.
IV The burn reaches your shoulders. When bloodied, your body gains 10 temporary health and, spilling from the burn comes the Charagma which encase you. You gain 5 base defense and cannot exit this form until you heal above bloodied. For every 10 minutes you are in this form, you gain another point of corruption.
V If you cast a spell while Bloodied and in the state of the Charagma, the form swallows you and dissipates into Pelagia.

The Red Death

You were once attacked by a Vampire.  
I No Symptoms
II You gain advantage to Perception rolls with hearing--your so good, you can hear heartbeats up to 30ft away. After you make any kind of perception roll, make a Mental Save at double advantage to not let the sound infuriate you. Gain a corruption point if you fail.
III When you lethally attack, you regain energy for an amount equal to the damage to your set energy maximum. After a Combat Scenario, make a save at advantage to not touch the blood of your enemy. Gain a corruption point if you fail.
IV You can only eat meat and you can read memories of those around you by licking their flesh. When you do this, make a Mental Save to not bite down and do 1 pierce damage. Gain a corruption point if you fail.
V You are always hungry, and can only eat raw meat. But if you do, you gain the last point of corruption, and become a Vampire. The kind of vampire you become is dictated by what blood you drink--GM's discretion.


This type of corruption pulls at the spark of an individual; spending too long on any non-native plane of existence without protection can cause Corruption.  


You have spent too long in another plane of existence without protection, or guarded a Summoner's Circle for longer that your spark could handle.  
I No Symptoms
II Your body begins to turn grey and you can move your spark 15ft outside of yourself at all times. By doing this, if an effect would have put you on Death's Door, you still take a corruption point, but you instead stay one moment away from Death's Door (whether by avoiding a condition tick, damage to health, or a status effect. This spirit is invisible to all without Truesight.
III You gain sunlight sensitivity. You have disadvantage on perception checks relying on sight during the day.
IV You gain a weakness to Heat Damage and a resistance to Cold Damage.
V If at any point during this stage you step into sunlight or a source of fire comes within 15ft of you, your body bursts into flames and your character dies. After a year of avoiding the sun, your character crumbles into ash and dies.


You have looked into the future one too many times, and now it calls to you, the ever elusive future, to join it as tomorrow never comes.  
I No Symptoms.
II Your forehead occasionally itches and you begin to lose your normal eyesight as your eyes start to cloud over. Disadvantage to perception rolls relying on sight.
III Your forehead has a horizontal slit across it, fairly small, but it has scabbed over. Your eyes completely cloud over and you autofail any perception checks that rely on sight. You still, for some inexplicable reason, can see. Additionally, you gain advantage on all Expertise Skill Checks for skill you are proficient in.
IV Your third eye reveals itself, and your eyes that were once clouded over now glow. You have 30ft Truesight in place of any other sight you had, but you no longer benefit from healing.
V Make a Mental Save. On success, you maintain your sense of self, but must retire your character as your skin begins to fall off your bones as you become Accursed. On fail, you lose yourself to the promise of eternal life and knowledge, becoming a True Lich.


This is the type of corruption cautionary tales and legends are made about. These Curses and Hexes are often of some divine decree.  


You hail from an ancestral tribe of Myrrdin that once committed genocide against a tribe of Wolf Rooks. -- Can be transmitted through contact to others if attacked.  
I No Symptoms
II Your eyes turn amber, and you cannot digest vegetables.
III You gain the ability to change into a Dire Wolf. On the night of the Full Moon, you make a mental save or transform if you haven't eaten for that day.
IV Your Dire Wolf form grows stronger, and you must now make a mental save to exit the form, or be stuck in that form for another hour.
V If you ever transform in the Wolfspire Wastes, your head seperates from your body. Your character dies, and your head lives on as a Wolfhead, bloodthirsty and driven by the age old curse. If you are executed by having your head severed, the same thing happens.

Spark Scourge

Your ancestor made a deal with a Myth; your spark is not yours, not for very long.  
I No Symptoms
II Your hair begin to turn grey and your skin grows pale. You gain Darkvision for 60ft
III You are haunted by nightmares in your sleep & voices in your wakefulness. You gain a disadvantage to exhaustion saves, but you no longer require food or water.
IV Your skin awkwardly bulges and you feel something underneath your skin. You count as an Accursed, making any healing done to you hurt you. However, with every kill, you regain 1d10 health.
V Your humanoid figure erupts into black and iridescent eels and worms. You become a Scourge, and your character dies.

Special Cases and Triggers

This is the type of corruption is caused by a specific event that happens during the present, usually resulting in character death near a source of corruption. The Undead and a great many Amalgams such as Liches are created this way. The level of corruption your body was at is indicitive of how powerful a creature you become.  


Liches are arguably the most tragic of creatures, born from the deaths of either a few to a great many people. When a earthquake strikes, when war happens, it is common for conduits to be called for to pacify the souls of the disaster. If no one comes or the souls cannot be pacified, a creature of great wrath and power arises from their collective grave.  
I The form of this lich is weak and arises seasonally (around the time when the lich died). Without much connective magical energy, the form constantly shifts, making it much weaker. This lich do not often possess the ability to speak.
II This lich persists through the year, but is weak and unable to leave the area they emerged from. Tormented creatures, they use their magical abilities, to simply persist. Often confused for Vampires, they will seek out victims and drain them of their blood and souls, making resurrection an impossibility.
III This is the most stereotypical Lich known. They have a form that resembles the disaster that afflicted those who make up the Lich. A single and dominant personality may be at the helm of this Lich, though feelings of paranoia and being "watched" may creep up in these Liches (who don't recognize the many souls that compose them who may also be fighting for control of the form). This lich's magical ability, while strong, is often supplemented with the life essences of those around them. An area with a particular greedy lich may live in a barren waste land, while a more frugal one may only suffer the occassional blight. Because of the Lich's propensity to hide in a particular area, it is fairly easy to bind a lich to this area.
IV A powerful Lich, their form is much more put together as they are able to disguise themselves. They have a single dominant personality which can assimilate all of the knowledge of the other souls--which they often don't recognize as other souls. However, as they are still an emotional creature, their magic is thusly affected, causing them to affect the world around them by causing eternal night, the spirits of the dead to rise, and like supernatural effects.
V An Archlich. with no dominant personality, they are a truly unified being. They are creatures of many forms and whose magic is wildly powerful. These Liches have been known to afflict Hex-Based corruptions, or even being a worshiped "diety" of an area if powerful enough. Most of these liches have been known to leave Ars Materia.

The Wailing Death

You died on the fields of the damned, where dark spirits infiltrated your empty shell of a body and make use of your form for their own designs.  
I Your body is decayed and in shambles. Skeletal or Zombified, you are the lesser undead and cause little harm to those around you. You can be resurrected from this state with no ill effects

Cover image: Art Chimera by Madeline M


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