Catching the Taint

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Catching the Taint

Postby Neith » Wed Sep 26, 2012 9:26 pm

Does anyone know if there's a rule mentioned in any of the sets that deals with PCs catching the taint from darkspawn? I don't mean like the Joining ritual...I'm talking about like, because the characters are in so many bloody battles with darkspawn, is there a chance they can become infected?
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Re: Catching the Taint

Postby Andferne » Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:31 pm

So far there have not been any stated rules. Though a few of us have made house rules. I've given players a taint score and if that number is reached they become tainted. It's equal to 2+Con score (Added Taint focus can give you extra two points of leeway).
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Re: Catching the Taint

Postby shonuff » Thu Sep 27, 2012 2:45 am

I would say it's more of a story device. If they get the Taint, it's because the GM says so. IIRC, lore says that a wound inflicted by a darkspawn inflicts the Taint, so I've always assumed the lack of Taint is based on the video game origin.
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Re: Catching the Taint

Postby MacGrein » Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:44 am

I recall someone suggesting a bag full of [same color] tokens. The Player gets one random token. If it's normal color, nothing happens. If it's other color, the caracter gets the Taint.
The GM says there are 25% Tainted tokens in the bag, but there's none.

It adds to the Drama and Tension!
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Re: Catching the Taint

Postby Zapp » Sat Sep 29, 2012 12:38 am

MacGrein wrote:I recall someone suggesting a bag full of [same color] tokens. The Player gets one random token. If it's normal color, nothing happens. If it's other color, the caracter gets the Taint.
The GM says there are 25% Tainted tokens in the bag, but there's none.

It adds to the Drama and Tension!

This really nails everything I would want to say about Taint.

The threat of Taint is incredibly cool.

Actually surrendering the decision of tainting a player character to mere chance is, however, way uncool.
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Re: Catching the Taint

Postby Zapp » Sat Sep 29, 2012 12:53 am

Andferne wrote:Though a few of us have made house rules. I've given players a taint score and if that number is reached they become tainted.

If you do introduce a Taint score (perhaps as per Andferne's suggestion), remember that (like Legend of Five Rings RPG) you must also introduce ways for players to manage taint.

That is, while Taint might in the world be described as wildly unpredictable, uncurable and generally extremely random, to make for a satisfying game, I'd recommend:
1) That the threat of Taint is predictable. As in knowing approximately how much taint you risk getting from a certain foe.
2) That you can abort your current proceedings before taint gets out of hand. If you're only one or three successful blows away from being unredeemably tainted, the system is too random.
3) Adding either preventive measurements, or that if there are none, that taint can actually be cured (and isn't a one-way street)

I highly recommend a study of how you can bring along pieces of jade acting as a "taint buffer" in L5R: The way taint blackens the jade before it corrupts the PC means
1) As long as you aren't out of jade, you are in control of the risks
2) When you're running out of jade, you can take the informed decision to pull out (aborting your mission)

The way Taint is described in Dragon Age works for a story where all the dice are fudged by the author. It is ill suited to a direct conversion into a rpg mechanism, and you should consider "re-interpreting" the threat of Taint to work within the framework of a game.
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Re: Catching the Taint

Postby Andferne » Sat Sep 29, 2012 3:17 pm

Zapp wrote:If you do introduce a Taint score (perhaps as per Andferne's suggestion), remember that (like Legend of Five Rings RPG) you must also introduce ways for players to manage taint.

We've set it up to where each nights rest one of the taint points fades away.
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Re: Catching the Taint

Postby MacGrein » Mon Oct 01, 2012 5:21 am

I still prefers the non-random method...
But this Taint Score has potential:

Starts in 0
Every minute around Darkspawn increases 1 point.
Starting a Turn around a Darkspawn increases 1 point.
The Stunt "Taint Poison" doubles the Score.
Touch the blood of Darkspawn increases 3 points.

Taint Score = CONS x Level
Grey Wardens are immune.

Getting Tainted is possible. The Joining Ritual is secure (for PCs, but put a NPC death for drama).

Ex.: Ark is fighting some Darkspawn. His Taint Score (TS) is 0. His brother, Birk, is a bloodsucking Reaver (TS=0).
One round equals a few seconds, so no minute-Taint increase. But on second round, a Darkspawn gets closer. On third round, Ark is next to a Genlock, so he gets 1 TS. Birk, however, uses his blood power on another, so he gets 3 TS. Now, we say 1 minute has passed. Ark and Birk increases to 2 TS and 4 TS, respectively.
Next round, a darkspawn attacks Ark and uses his Stunt (Taint Poison) - Ark's 2 TS are doubled to 4 TS. Then an alpha attacks Birk and uses the Stunt too. His TS goes to 8 TS.
Say Ark has CONS 3 and Birk CONS 4, both of 7th level.
Ark's TS max = 21 | Birk's TS max = 28

We'd say that battle ended in another minute and no more Stunts, Ark would have about 6-8 TS; and Birk about 10-13 TS.
If they'd fight two more Darkspawn groups that day without care, they would get Tainted. Birk even faster...

This seems interesting!
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Re: Catching the Taint

Postby Elfie » Mon Oct 01, 2012 5:47 am

This is the house rule we use. It's based off the Werewolf rules, but toned down to make it less likely to occur since darkspawn are far more frequently encountered (in our game) than werewolves.

The Taint – A darkspawn that makes a successful melee attack may perform a special Infect stunt for 6 SP. Both the darkspawn and the victim must have already taken damage during the current encounter (not including this attack). The victim must immediately make a TN 11 Constitution (Stamina) test. A failed test means the victim is tainted. A tainted character suffers a cumulative -1 penalty to all ability tests for each day they remain infected, including the first (so a character that has been tainted for 50 hours would suffer a -3 penalty). The character makes a new TN 11 Constitution (Stamina) test every 24 hours after the initial infection. Taking into account the penalty on ability tests for being tainted, this test becomes progressively more difficult for each day the victim is infected. If, after 72 hours, none of these tests have succeeded, the victim becomes a ghoul 24 hours after the final test and must be retired as a Player Character.

It's only come into play two or three times, one of which resulted in the character becoming infected, and ultimately recovering two days later. It was very tense for everyone.
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Re: Catching the Taint

Postby Leo_legion » Fri Dec 07, 2012 7:07 pm

Elfie wrote:This is the house rule we use. It's based off the Werewolf rules, but toned down to make it less likely to occur since darkspawn are far more frequently encountered (in our game) than werewolves.

The Taint – A darkspawn that makes a successful melee attack may perform a special Infect stunt for 6 SP. Both the darkspawn and the victim must have already taken damage during the current encounter (not including this attack). The victim must immediately make a TN 11 Constitution (Stamina) test. A failed test means the victim is tainted. A tainted character suffers a cumulative -1 penalty to all ability tests for each day they remain infected, including the first (so a character that has been tainted for 50 hours would suffer a -3 penalty). The character makes a new TN 11 Constitution (Stamina) test every 24 hours after the initial infection. Taking into account the penalty on ability tests for being tainted, this test becomes progressively more difficult for each day the victim is infected. If, after 72 hours, none of these tests have succeeded, the victim becomes a ghoul 24 hours after the final test and must be retired as a Player Character.

It's only come into play two or three times, one of which resulted in the character becoming infected, and ultimately recovering two days later. It was very tense for everyone.

The problem with that approach is that someone surviving the taint would essentially make them a grey warden.
If a player managed to overcome the taint then logically they'd develop an immunity to it.
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Re: Catching the Taint

Postby MacGrein » Sat Dec 08, 2012 8:36 pm

After reading that, I'd came with another idea:

Every time you face Darkspawn:
+1 Taint Point ...... Normal Fighting
+3 Taint Points ..... "Bloodbath" Fight
+5 Taint Points ..... Defeat

Every 2 Taint Point equals +1 on the "Resist Taint" check Target Number; which is rolled after each 6 hours (4 checks per day).
You loses 1 Point after 1 day of recovering.
The Check starts as Constitution TN 10.

Lose the Check --- You die.
Win the Check --- You avoid Death for a few more hours.

Make the "Joining", roll a normal "Resist Taint" check and get Immunity to the taint.
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