I have read many attempts at bringing defiling to 5e, and I Iike the approach where it’s not a class choice upon character generation, but rather an ongoing temptation for spell casters to wrestle with. I want the boons and banes of defiling to be quite pronounced also.
These rules are in addition to what is found in the Toucanbuzz Dark Sun Campaign Guide pg 32-34, curious what other folks think…
All arcane cantrips are considered awakened psionic talents and do not incur a defiling point. These are awakened as a result of the intense focus and self discipline required to learn to cast arcane spells.
All arcane spells cast incur 1 defiling point per spell level if cast at their usual casting time, however if they are cast at one speed slower they do not incur a defiling point.
- eg a spell that normally takes 1 bonus action to cast, will not incur a defiling point if cast as 1 action
- eg a spell that normally takes 1 action to cast, will not incur a defiling point if cast as 1 action and 1 bonus action (combined)
NOTE: Reaction spells are not slowed but incur 2 defiling points per spell level.
Once an arcane spell caster takes on the permanent taint of defiling (which can only happened once per character lifetime):
- They immediately increase their class level by 1 with any new spell slots immediately ready for use if a spell of that level is known.
- Rather than adding a hit die to their hit points, they reduce their total hit points by 1 hit die (average or rolled), and their vitality points by 1. This cannot result in a hit point total less than their vitality points minus 1.
- They incur 2 levels of exhaustion, to a maximum of four levels if there are already existing levels of exhaustion present. (This may be too severe and I may drop it down to 1 level of exhaustion)
Anyone within the defiling area of an arcane spell being cast will have to roll initiative with a die 1 size larger (this is in regards to the dynamic initiative optional rules found in Toucanbuzz Dark Sun Campaign Guide) for the next round only, regardless of how many spells are cast (this is not cumulative)