Monday, November 25, 2013

Secrets of Desylinn: The Elemental Alignments

by John Belliston and Frank Gori

Alignment works a little differently in Desylinn. Here's an introduction:

Alignment

The world of Desylinn is much too new for Law and its opposite Chaos to have codified as other worlds know them. The world does not divide along the same ethical and moral lines but along elemental ones. More than just the fundamental building blocks of creation, the seven elements pulse and surge through all of creation. The effects of the seven elements are most commonly seen in the array of magic that course through the world: from the sorcerer’s vicious fireball, the clerics healing shadow, and the witches’ harmful light. The elements however go much deeper than that, making up each individual’s very being and influencing their personality.

In game terms this means that each Character has two “Soul Elements” one taken from their race and one chosen by their personality. The seven elements, as well as their sub elements and personality descriptors are as follows:

Fire- Ash, Flame, Smoke
Amorous, Destructive, Gluttonous, Passionate, Warm, Wrathful

Wind- Gust, Breeze, Vacuum
Adventurous, Flighty, Hopeful, Manipulative, Needy, Transitive

Water- Ice, Steam, Water
Adaptable, Emotional, Perky, Pliable, Temperate, Volatile

Earth- Metal, Stone, Wood
Balanced, Fortitude, Generous, Stable, Stubborn, Unyielding

Light- Beam, Glare, Corona
Aggressive, Intellectual, Inquisitive, Inspiring, Relentless, Truthful,

Shadow- Rejuvenating, Consuming, Deceptive
Deceptive, Empathetic, Nurturing, Passive, Private, Quiet

Magic- Soul, Arcane, Sympathetic
Creative, Impatient, Madness, Mysticism, Unpredictability, Wisdom

During character creation players may select which of the two racial elements is dominant and which element is the character’s soul element, which can be any element. The soul element cannot be changed once selected, and is the core of the character. Racial elements can be changed with time and focus, which is represented by leveling. How the two alignments interact to help define the character is up to the player, though the soul element tends to be dominant. From the list of both elements pick two personality descriptors from each, which will be the dominant traits you roleplay. Players can change the descriptors anytime they and their GM feel is appropriate.

For example: Jim decides he wants to play a Krishtog Bard. Krishtogs have the racial elements of Wind and Water. Jim feels that Wind aligns more with the adventurous spirit he wants to portray with this character and writes down the two descriptor words he feels most appropriate (Adventurous, Manipulative.) He may now select any soul element he wishes. Jim feels Fire is most appropriate and selects that as his soul element again transcribing two descriptor words for roleplaying focus (Destructive and Passionate.) As Jim sees it his bard takes to the road a lot and doesn't really look at the long term consequences, always trying to live life to the fullest.

While using this system a player cannot change their soul element, they can change their racial element and what descriptors are dominant based on how the player wants to roleplay the character in a scenario and through level progression.

For example: Jim’s Bard is now 5th level and the campaign is settling in Hub and becoming an urban campaign. Being Adventurous and Destructive has put the Bard in jeopardy often and led to some near death experiences. Jim decides he wants his Kristog to evolve and learn from his mistakes by changing his alignment. He starts by changing the dominant descriptors of his soul element of Fire to Amorous and Warm. Jim also wants to change his racial element from Wind to Water but cannot do so until he levels up! For now he changes the descriptors to Hopeful and Needy feeling they align more closely with where he is going with the character.

Detect evil, detect law, detect good, and detect chaos are replaced by detect soul.  This spell functions like detect evil, except that it detects the auras of a specified element (chosen at time of casting), rather than evil auras, and you are vulnerable to an overwhelming aura if it shares your soul element.

Here is a list of suggested Soul Elements for the Pathfinder Standard Races:

Dwarf: Earth, Light
Elf: Water, Magic
Gnome: Wind, Water
Half-Elf: Shadow, Water
Half-Orc: Fire, Earth
Human: Water, Fire