Theoretical question....



Feb 02, 2004 22:48:07
.... what would happen to a Defiler (from Darksun) who, when taking the test, tries to draw magical energy from the magical tree's in the grove that grows around tower of high sorcery?

thoughts, idea's etc.... gota solve the problem before it happens to the specific player campain....

thanks in advance


Feb 02, 2004 23:29:48
Interesting question.

The thing to keep in mind here is the source of magic. The Wizards of High Sorcery gain their magic from the moons. Defilers draw upon living plants, etc. to gain their magical might. So from this point of view, they are two totally different types of arcane magic.

Now, let's look at this from another angle. Let's say that the defiler travels through the planes from Athas to Krynn. We'll assume that he will draw his arcane energy from High Sorcery, rather than primal sorcery (which is another option).

The defiler now draws his arcane energies from High Sorcery, but he is able to use his defiling abilities to enhance that magical might.

This isn't a perfect fit by any means.

Anyway, back to the question at hand. The defiler may certainly try to use his magic in one of the groves, but my thought is that it would backfire. Remember, the groves are magical and are designed to protect the Towers of High Sorcery. I would think they would be enchanted to resist even magical attempts to destroy them. Perhaps they would even turn the defiling arts back upon the defiler.

This may, in itself, be the Test. Any mage who uses magic in this sort of fashion is being reckless with magic. Chances are, in these regards, the mage would die.

Even if the defiler did manage to destroy some of the trees in the grove, he's got a whole bunch of Wizards of High Sorcery to contend with.

So it is possible for the defiler to give this a try. He should be aware, though, that his actions will have consequences.


Feb 02, 2004 23:44:17
yeah, i agree with trampas. i'd have the grove basically act as either a null field and stop his power altogether, or because of the evil nature of it, warp his magic in unexpected ways.


Feb 03, 2004 3:20:31
Thanks Guys, interesting replies, much appreciated. My thinking sorta goes like this:

Defilers (and preservers for that matter) draw thier power from plant life, now on Krynn, that could mean one of two things:

A: They continue to draw power normally, casting spells and scaring the living hell outa other mages, making themselves big, bad targets as renegades (unless they past the test) and then become a 'regular mage' (see point B)

B: They learn how to draw power from the moons, but enhance it with plant-life-force, thus perhaps gaining spell penetration as a 'free' feat or making thier spell DC slightly (2-3) harder.

Now onto the defiling... the tree's in the grove are magical, semi-sentient, and they are plants. Defilers can be very, very damaging to plant creatures (as per original 2e rules) but these are magical plants.... hmmmm....

Possibilities: (any or all could be used)

1. They CAN defile them, but the plants get a WILL saving thow to resist

2. There is a backlash causing the defiler 1d4 point of damage per spell level drawn from the tree's

3. As the tree's are magical, they provide awesome amounts of power requiring a spell-craft check of DC equal to 2 x (Spell level + 10) or lose the spell and take 1d4 points of damage per spell level attempted to be drawn as a result of the unexpected influx

In anycase, even if he does succeed in defiling them, the tree's are gonna be hella off!


Feb 03, 2004 5:29:01
*hmmmms* Very interesting quandry...

As you said, the Groves are not only magical, but semi-sentient and take steps to defend themselves (such as the undead of Shoikan Grove). I think the first time the Defiler uses his or her power, it'd work in one of the prescribed ways, however, the Grove itself is not going to react very well to that individual. Shoikan would attack with undead... which Defilers cannot drain, while Wayreth may simply "move" the Defiler someplace dangerous...

In the end, although the Defiler is dangerous to plant creatures, the Grove itself is more than a plant creature, it is a manifestation of the Towers and the power of magic... a gift from the gods.

Then, of course, there is going to be reactions from the other gods. Chislev would sense such an abomination in one of her domains, while both Morgion and Chemosh would also be interested in such an individual...



Feb 03, 2004 7:11:55
But the wizards of Athas were forced to draw energy from plants because there was no magical energy directly available in a Web or whatever..

So why would they continue to take 'the hard route' when they travel to a world where magical energy just floats around?

Any defilers so hooked to defiling would very rapidly become prime targets for all nature-priests, rangers, Wizards of High Sorcery and most other Good beings. Not a healthy hobby, I'd say, and probably not worth the bother.


Feb 03, 2004 9:37:52
The problem with exporting a spellcaster from one setting to another is that you’ve got two different forms of physics to deal with, which may or may not mesh. In this case, drawing upon the energies of plants (or life energies, for that matter) fits the model of mysticism (inner divine magic) moreso than it would arcane magic. You can make the two fit together, although it would come across as a square peg/round hole type of situation.

One thing we have to consider with our defiler here is that he may draw his magic from the moons, or he may gain his power from primal sorcery. Remember, Dragonlance has two types of arcane magic now.

Many Dark Sun fans will tell you that sorcerers wouldn’t exist on Athas to begin with, so if you follow that train of thought, then sorcerers aren’t a problem. A sorcerer would give players the freedom to use magic however they wish, although with many of the same consequences one would normally get for defiling. A sorcerer’s magic is supposed to come from the creative and elemental energies of the world, but you could phrase it to where the defiler now taps into that, with the side effect being that vegetation around him is destroyed.

The way I had considered using defiling in Dragonlance is to have it as one of the Black Robe’s secrets. The Black Robe chooses when to use this ability, and would never use it within a grove. He then draws upon life energies to boost his spells (perhaps by allowing him to use metamagic feats without the higher spell slot), which then destroys vegetation. If one goes this route, I would recommend that the Curse of the Magi rules are put in place, or that something else is put in place to balance out the ability.

You’ll have to pardon me if I went on a tangent there. Very interesting topic, and one that could have numerous repercussions.


Feb 03, 2004 10:53:11
I dunno, defiling to me sounds a lot like sorcery; both draw their power from the planet. The only thing is that krynn has a natural energy reserve, whereas athas does not. it could very well be that a defiler doesnt defile at all on krynn, given that the plants and animals and such already have more than enough energy to share.


Feb 03, 2004 11:27:07
Originally posted by talinthas
I dunno, defiling to me sounds a lot like sorcery; both draw their power from the planet. The only thing is that krynn has a natural energy reserve, whereas athas does not. it could very well be that a defiler doesnt defile at all on krynn, given that the plants and animals and such already have more than enough energy to share.

In SAGA, sorcery couldn't affect living things. In 3e, that changes as the D&D sorcerer becomes the sorcerer class for Dragonlance.

Other than that, I would agree that the path of a sorcerer would probably fit the defiler the best.

Of course, this hinges on whether a person feels that sorcerers exist in Dark Sun or not. I think they can (with appropriate flavor text), but some Dark Sun enthusiasts do not.


Feb 03, 2004 15:48:38
My opinion:

As someone pointed out earlier, the Groves are gifts from the Moon gods, and I believe Dragons of Summer Flame lists which god enchanted each grove. Therefore, it seems probable to me that if some meddling offworlder tried to suck the magic out of them to power his own spells, the appropriate diety would send an avatar to open up a can o' smitin' on his defiling butt! :D


Feb 03, 2004 16:03:53
Incorporate it into the Test. Make it stated that the trees are essential to maintaining the grove and protecting the towers (hence essential to the WoHS nuturing magic). Also make a situation wherein it is very tempting to steal from the trees (perhaps the character gets an inkling that it would supercharge his spells). However, if he does steal energy from the trees he fails the Test. As for wether he can or not....well, he'd probably be able to do it once or so....but the WoHS and any other protections around the area would be on him quickly. Also, since I believe the Gods of Magic had a hand in the creation of the Towers....they might do something to protect the groves.



Feb 04, 2004 3:27:41
I used to play Dark Sun and I really like that setting. I'd say sorcerers could fit on Athas, but I wouldn't go through alot of trouble to make them fit. Mostly I think that the psions have fully replaced all sorcery.

Defiling is, to me, nothing like sorcery. The defilers and preservers simply use a different source of energy for their spells, but they are still wizards. They still have spellbooks, and they still have to study every day.
What they do is, in fact, precisely the same as wizards who make use of sources of magical energy; only their powering-up can have effects on the material Plane.


Feb 04, 2004 4:04:31
This is what i love about on-line communication... the flow of really good ideas, thanks too you all.

Ok, here are my thoughts after reading all your contributions....

I don't have darksun sorcerers.... i'm one of those darksun fans who thinks they don't fit that well. Defilers use spell books, and have to memorsie spells. Even though defiling and preserving was developed the 'hard' way by Rajaat, my take on it is that it become refined over the centuries to be as effective as other forms of magic. If it wasn't, they couldn't cast 9th level spells for example, and would perhaps have a lower max-spell level or number of spells per day, neither of which exist. So it is NOW a fully developed alternative energy source.

I think the black robes would be very, very interested, and i think the idea of it being a secret of thiers fascinating. Perhaps a very small groups of Black Robes have an intuititive understanding of how to defile, but have never understood it - they arrival of this new 'renegade' opens thier eyes to new possibilities... if he survives the test....

Even if he survives, only a small part of the black-robe order will want anything to do with him, if he keeps making use of his powers. He'll be hunted by white, black and red robes, have few friends.... his life will be on a short fuse. Besides, he has Dregoth's agents chasing him for using his portal.....