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The Purifiers

September 05, 2015

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September 05, 2015

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Tainted O.C.C.

Optional Class


Supernatural beings and creatures of magic possess powerful auras. Some classes, such as the Psychic Sensitive (and Dog Boys in Rifts), are naturally attuned to these energies. They live their lives in the presence of these forces, even learn to sense and track their energies. Not all are so fortunate though. When two forces meet, the stronger force prevails. For the average person, the power and intense sensation of these auras can be overwhelming. In most cases, this results in a Horror Factor (or Awe Factor) that freezes most people where they stand. When the presence leaves, this suppressing feeling goes with them. Then there are the tainted.

The tainted are ordinary men and women who've had a traumatic experience involving these strange and powerful forces. After an encounter with such a powerful force and their auras overwhelmed for so long, even after the supernatural being (or creature of magic) leaves the victim doesn't fully recover. The stronger aura overpowers the weaker one. To avoid becoming forever broken, the victim's aura submits to this force and allows the more powerful aura to seep into it. Even after the supernatural being (or creature of magic) leaves, a piece of that aura remains on the victim, a taint of their aura.

This taint is most common among children, during their early years before they've directed their interest into one area and spent most of their P.P.E. Though rare, this taint has been known to manifest itself in people who have spent their whole lives hunting and dealing with the supernatural that the evil they've fought for so long becomes a part of them. In the latter case the taint is rarely noticed and doesn't truly manifest itself until the character tries to settle down to live a peaceful life. Once they try to settle down they find the taint surfacing and making it difficult to ever relax.

Tainted have a strong connection to the supernatural, a byproduct of the aberration in their aura (registers as an "unusual aberration" for those with See Aura). Whenever there's a supernatural (or creature of magic) presence in the area, especially when that presence is up to no good, the tainted pick up on this on an intuitive level. Bad dreams plague the tainted until the danger passes. These nightmares often include glimpses of what the presence is up to currently or a flash of things to come, Even if they'd rather live in peace, the tainted are spurred into action by these visions.


The Path: Good and Evil

Good characters (and even some selfish) find themselves driven to try and stop this horror. While ignorance may be easier, these individuals don't have the option to turn a blind eye. Their connection to the supernatural makes this impossible. Even selfish people have trouble ignoring a situation when there is no room for doubt that people will be hurt and die if they fail to act. These are ordinary men and women without any special training, forced to become reluctant heroes. Most tainted fall into this category.

Tragic and far rarer, the second type of tainted are those who have become corrupted by this aberration. Constant dreams of the horror and death these beings wreak tortures their psyche until their minds snap! While the character may appear normal most of the time, when a supernatural presence is in the area these nightmares awaken a terrible darkness within the person's soul. When they sleep and these visions take over their dreams, the person arises from bed a psychotic killer who needs to enact the horrors seen in his/her mind. This is effectively a second personality that forces the person to sleep walk.

Most supernatural beings (and creatures of magic) act on natural instinct, and during these nights so too does the tainted. By day this character is a normal human, but at night this person is closer to a demonic serial killer. The next morning these individuals don't remember a thing about their nightly exploits, but they may find their hands and clothes soaked in blood.  Some tainted may suspect the work of the lycanthrope curse, but the attacks don't bear any resemblance to an animal attack, often don't coincide with a full moon, and the ability to remove curse can never remove their taint.


Tainted & Armor

These are not men of arms trained to fight and wear heavy armor, but ordinary men and women. Metal doesn't hamper any of their abilities like practitioner of magic, but suffer the full penalties of non-men of arms restrictions. The tainted will find heavy armor awkward and restrictive.


Special Abilities of the Tainted

1. Link to the Supernatural: Whenever a supernatural monster (or powerful creature of magic such as a dragon) is in the area, the tainted will begin to have troubling dreams.

Evil Intent: Most supernatural beings (and some creatures of magic) are evil by their very nature. When such a being is in the area, a tainted will begin to have nightmares. Within those nightmares there are snippets of the being's current actions, and possibly future plans. This ability is similar to Clairvoyance and Psychometry (Object Read), but a natural ability that activates by the presence of a powerful and evil aura. The ability is automatic, and cannot be stopped no matter how badly the tainted wishes to turn off these images. These random flashes aren't much, but all that the character has to go on to figure out the monster's location, plans, and true form. Range: One mile (1.6 km) per level of experience. Any supernatural beings (or creatures of magic) that are evil and/or intend harm will set off this ability.

Good aligned: If the supernatural being (or creature of magic) is of a good alignment or just happens to be in the area with no evil intent or plans, the tainted will just have trouble sleeping. While he/she may suspect something isn't right and there's something in the area, it won't be anything more than a feeling. The character is likely to be on edge and paranoid until the presence leaves the area. Range: One quarter mile/0.4 km (1320 feet/402 m) per level of experience.

2. Unusual Aberration: Even though they're human, the aura of the tainted has changed. Psychics and practitioners of magic who can See Aura will notice an unusual aberration in this character's aura, but they won't know the cause. No matter how they live their lives, this "taint" will remain with them for the rest of their lives.

3. Arch Nemesis (optional): Tainted become what they are due to a traumatic experience with a particular supernatural being (or creature of magic). Even though that presence left the character alive, the two are forever linked. Regardless of distance the tainted will often have nightmares regarding that beings actions and plans. As long as that force lives they will be haunted by that being's actions. This causes many tainted to attempt to hunt down this presence and put an end to it, if for no other reason than to have some level of peace.

This connection works both ways though. While the tainted can sense the supernatural being (or creature of magic) that being can also sense the tainted. Unless the tainted hurries, the being will sense that the tainted is near and have time to prepare or flee. Worse, many supernatural beings (or creatures of magic) will despise the thought of being connected to a mortal. Not only are mortals lesser beings, but a mortal that can sense their location and plans is a threat.  A connected mortal may be ignored for a time, but when launching a delicate and important plan, or if the mortal proves a threat, the tainted will be hunted down and eliminated.


Tainted O.C.C.

Alignment: Any, but 90% are good or selfish as a result of their visions driving them to do the right thing.

Attribute Requirements: None, but few have an exceptional M.E. attribute. In fact, many have a lower than average M.E. attribute. This weaker than average strength of will is quite possibly what resulted in their becoming tainted in the first place.

O.C.C. Skills:

Cook (+5%)

Languages: Native Tongue at 98% plus two of choice (+10%)

Lore: Demons & Monsters (+20%)

Streetwise (+6%)

W.P. Two of choice

Hand to Hand: Basic

Hand to hand: basic can be changed to hand to hand: expert for the cost of two O.C.C. Related Skills or martial arts for the cost of three O.C.C. Related Skills.

O.C.C. Related Skills: Select two skills from the domestic or wilderness categories (+10% on these two only) and five other skills at level one, plus select two additional skills at levels three, six, nine, and twelve.

Communications: None.

Domestic: Any (+10%).

Espionage: Escape Artist only (+5%).

Horsemanship: General or Exotic only.

Medical: Any.

Military: Interrogation or Surveillance only.

Physical: Any; except Acrobatics, Boxing, Gymnastics, and Wrestling.

Rogue: Any (+4%).

Science: Mathematics only.

Scholar/Technical: Any (+10%).

Weapon Proficiencies: Any.

Wilderness: Any.

Secondary Skills: The character also gets to select four secondary skills from the previous list at level one, and two additional skills at levels four, eight, and twelve.

Starting Equipment: Two sets of clothing, boots, belt, bedroll, backpack, one large sack, 1D4 small sacks, water skin, a wooden cross, and a tinder box.

Armor: Starts off with a suit of hard leather (A.R. 11, S.D.C. 30).

Weapons: Starts with a dagger, a small hand axe, and two additional weapons of choice. All are basic S.D.C. weapons of fair to good quality. Magic weapons and other equipment must be acquired later.

Money: The character starts with 140 in gold, which can be used immediately to purchase more equipment or saved. Additional money will come from payment for jobs and/or booty.


Experience Point Table: Same as the Druid & Cobbler.


Designer Note: These characters are not super powered heroes with a bunch of cool abilities. They are ordinary men and women who've been cursed with this taint. Their situation compels them to do what they can against forces bigger than them, and they need to learn fast if they want to live. The tainted may never have fame or fortune and their names may never be heard in some bar song about epic heroes, but these are the unsung champions of the world.


Tainted O.C.C.

Template Class


While the typical tainted is an ordinary man or woman who's been forced into action, this is not the case of all. Some victims have simply had so much contact with the supernatural that part of that supernatural aura has become a part of them. This is most common in classes that make a living from fighting supernatural, such as Palladins. Typically these individuals can carry on with their normal activities without ever noticing, not until they try to settle down and live a life of peace. When they do they find that they've fought evil for so long that it's seeped into their very being and they cannot escape it.


Special Abilities of the Tainted

1. Link to the Supernatural: See the Tainted O.C.C. abilities above.

2. Unusual Aberration: See the Tainted O.C.C. abilities above.

3. Arch Nemesis (optional): See the Tainted O.C.C. abilities above.

4. Select O.C.C.: The tainted template is an add-on to another O.C.C. That means this character gets to select a traditional O.C.C. as normal (racial and class restrictions still apply). This grants all the skills, abilities, and other bonuses of that O.C.C., then add the abilities of the Tainted template on top of that.


Experience Point Table: Use the normal experience point table for the second O.C.C. selected. The Tainted Template increases the experience points required to level by 10%.

Example: Tainted Palladin

1: 0,000 – 2,400 (+10%[240] = 2,640)

2: 2,401 – 4,800 (+10%[480] = 5,280)

3: 4,801 – 9,600 (+10%[960] = 10,560)


Designer Note: As an individual I like the idea of the powerless hero being drawn into things bigger than him. He sees things he can't ignore and needs to act, whether he wants to or not. However, I feel it's important to provide options. For those that like the Tainted concept but want a bit more power and options, there is the template option. Increasing the experience needed to level by 10% is a simple math (i.e. just remove the last 0 of the number), and creates a price to pay for the added potential.

While this price is small at early levels, as the character advances it becomes more costly. This helps encourage the weaker classes (with a small experience point table), while not forcing it. Example: A Tainted Peasant will still level faster than a normal Palladin (or most other O.C.C.). Meanwhile a Palladin starts off advancing slower than any other classes, and will advance even slower with this add-on. Both still remain options.