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Keeping in mind that this is still the rough edit, allow me to offer the Corruption teaser for Domain.  Note that this system replaces the usual "transform" and "bonds" and all sorts of other labels for 'acted upon by an outside influence.


It's a common theme throughout all of fantasy, and a common concept throughout many stories that go beyond the notion of swords and sorcery.  The premise is simple:  in a world filled with magic and concepts, choices and consequences, the world has a tendency to react to the things you do.

Corruption in Domain represents, simply, the idea that your choices (and perhaps even those choices that are thrust upon you) have consequences, and they change you… tangibly.  Whether you choose to claim angelic power for your good deeds, or end up devolving into something bestial for your viciousness, it's all corruption in the end.

Domain codifies corruption based on a simple scale of 1 to 5 - each act taken in service of the corrupting influence slowly increases your corruption rating.  If, at any point, your corruption would move to '6', you have essentially "Fallen" to the  influence doing to the corrupting, and are no longer playable as a PC - your character loses their sense of themselves, and becomes a servitor of the force or concept that was steadily changing them.

There are dozens of different types of corruption, and it is possible for several different forces to be wearing on a character all at once.  However, if two directly competing forces are opposed and corrupting a single individual, they will instead cancel each other's corruption.

E.g., if your character is corrupted by darkness (to level 3, let's say) and encounters and is influenced by a corrupting influence of Light, they will not gain 1 level of Light corruption.  Rather, their 3 levels of Darkness will be reduced to 2.

Low levels of corruption are not necessarily voluntary, but, as a general rule, advancing past a second tier of corruption requires a character to voluntarily assume the corruption themselves.  This acceptance may be tacit and subtle, and is always at the discretion of staff.

In any case, moving to the final stage of corruption always requires a significant choice on the part of the character.

The stages of corruption are, essentially, as follows:

Stage 1:  Enticement.

At this stage, the character is being indoctrinated into the service of the corrupting influence.  In exchange for a minor physical change, the character gains a minor ability specific to the influence in question.

Stage 2:  The Path.

If the character comes to rely on and use the gifts given by the corrupting agent, or if they revel in their corruption, it will steadily progress to stage two.  At this point, the character is granted a refinement to their minor ability, and their physical changes grow more pronounced.  Additionally, they will begin to hear 'whispers' of the influencing power - occasional urges that try to nudge them in the direction of the power's ideals.

Stage 3:  Acceptance.

Once the character voluntarily accedes to even a single whisper - whether they would have committed to that action regardless of the corrupting influence  - they will find themselves Bound.  Characters at this stage must spend five focus (5) to avoid taking the action suggested by a whisper, but will find their minor ability transitions into an actual Descriptor that they can further refine.   Additional physical changes may take place; it is certain that temprament changes may also occur, usually taking the form of required or proscribed action.

Stage 4:  Fallen.

A character who comes to embrace their corruption will eventually become a servant of that concept, capable of corrupting others and sharing in both the vulnerability and power of the corrupting influence.    This is a deepening of the bond found in earlier stages, and is often called 'becoming a locus' - the corrupting influence swirls around them, intrinsic to the character's nature and largely inseparable from it.

At this point, no further corruption from any source save this one can take hold.

Stage 5:  Avatar.

Rather than simply embracing the corruption that has taken root within them, the character chooses to go farther, to embody the very heart of whatever it is that changes them so fundamentally.  Actions are now rigidly proscribed, with heavy consequences, and the physical changes are near-complete.   Whispers can no longer be resisted - at all - and the Avatar may now even take on physical immunities and vulnerabilities intrinsic to the creature they are becoming.

However, their free will is at risk - and they are not far at all from becoming something far other than themselves.
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