Dungeons & Delvers: Condition Update

While re-working the monk class, specifically the Crane and Serpent styles, I started thinking about how some conditions don't really do all that much, especially prone and slowed.

If you're knocked prone you can basically stand up and still do something: move, cast a spell, use another talent, charge, or even just start making a bunch of attacks if there's an enemy already next to you.

Only time it sucks is when you get knocked prone and enemies attack you (since you're easier to hit), or you're also dazed so getting up is your entire turn.

Slowed I think is even worse, as in cramped dungeon environments chances are good that something you want to smash or stab is within 10-15 feet, and if not you can still charge or make a ranged attack.

I wanted to give them some more oomph, make them more useful, which will in turn hopefully make things like cold-based effects, the fighter's Trip Attack, and the rogue's Hamstring more attractive options.

Here's an explanation of all the conditions, in addition to some notes as to why.

You cannot see. You automatically fail any checks based on your sight, and suffer a -2 penalty to attack rolls, Reflex saving throws, and ability checks that benefit from sight but don't rely entirely on it. Creatures attacking you gain a +2 bonus to their attack and damage rolls.

(Designer's Note: Blind creatures used to suffer a -2 penalty to Armor Class, but changing it so other creatures gain a +2 bonus to hit makes it more likely that exploits will trigger. The damage bonus is because it would also be easier for an attacker to aim and hit a weak point.)

You're on fire, and take automatic damage at the start of your turn. At the end of your turn you can attempt a Reflex save to see if the flames go out. The damage inflicted and the save DC is mentioned in any ability or effect that can impose the burning condition. If you use your Standard Action to try and put yourself out, you roll twice and use the higher result.

Allies can attempt to put you out on their turn: they make a Dexterity check against the effect's DC. At the GM's discretion, some actions and abilities can allow you to make another saving throw, or even have the fire automatically go out, such as jumping in water. They can even prevent you from suffering from the burning condition at all.

(Designer's Note: This is a new condition. I talk more about it over here.)

You cannot normally act against or attempt to harm the creature that charmed you. In some cases, instead of acting of your own accord, you will need to obey who- or whatever charmed you.

At the start of its turn, an affected creature suffers automatic acid damage: the ability or effect will specify how much (such as 1d6 or 1d10). This damage ignores DR, but not acid resistance.

At the end of its turn, an affected creature can attempt a Fortitude save to end this condition (the DC will either be specified, or be the same as whatever attack or effect caused them to be corroding in the first place). If they fail the save, then the damage die is reduced by one step using this scale: 1d12 > 1d10 > 1d8 > 1d6 > 1d4. If the damage is 1d4 and would be reduced, then the effect ends automatically.

For example, if a creature is corroding (1d6), then at the start of their turn they suffer 1d6 acid damage. At the end of their turn they fail their saving throw: the corroding damage is reduced by 1d4, and at the start of the creature’s next turn they then suffer 1d4 acid damage. At that point it doesn’t matter if they succeed or fail: the condition ends anyway.

(Designer's Note: This is another new condition.)

You can either move up to your Speed or take an Action on your turn, not both. If you're maintaining a Concentration effect it immediately ends. You are -2 to attacks, checks, and saving throws. Attacks made against you gain a +1 bonus to the attack and damage rolls.

You cannot hear. You automatically fail any checks based on hearing, but you’re immune to effects that require you to hear.

You can’t move closer to the source of your fear, unless doing so is the only way you can get away from it, but even then you treat it as difficult terrain. Attacks and checks made against the source of your fear are made with a -2 penalty.

You are unable to move from where you’re standing. Your upper body can move more or less normally. You suffer a -2 penalty to Armor Class, as well as ability checks and saving throws that depend on movement. Attacks deal +1 damage to you.

An invisible creature cannot be seen without the aid of magic or special senses, though they can still be heard or detected through other means (such as stepping in mud or moving through water).

If a creature is unaware of an invisible creature, its attacks are either automatic hits or critical hits (depends on if the GM believes that the invisible creature can strike a vital location). If creatures are aware of invisible creatures (but cannot see them), then the invisible creature instead gains a +2 bonus to hit and damage rolls.

Invisible creatures are affected normally by abilities and effects that target an area. Against single target attacks and abilities it varies: if the GM believes that they cold be affected, the attacker is -2 to hit, and the invisible creature gains a +2 bonus on any applicable saving throws. If the GM determines that the target must be visible (such as with the Phantasmal Killer spell), then it has no effect.

(Designer's Note: Imposing a -2 penalty to attack rolls against invisible creatures makes it less likely that exploits will trigger.)

You cannot move at all, but you can still use abilities that only require thought. You automatically fail ability checks and saving throws that rely on movement. Ranged attacks gain a +2 bonus against you, but melee attacks score automatic critical hits (assume you roll a natural 20 for the purposes of triggering exploits), and at the GM's discretion ignore your Damage Reduction.

You are turned to stone, effectively dead. Generally petrification only affects your flesh (leaving your clothing and gear usable and at least lootable).

The effects of poison vary. Some reduce one or more ability scores, others inflict damage and reduce your maximum Wound and/or Vitality Points, and others can impose other conditions such as slow and paralysis.

If a poison does not specify a duration, then the following rules apply: at the end of a long rest, each ability score that was reduced is increased by 1, up to their original maximum. Wound and Vitality Points that had their maximum values reduced increase by your current Constitution and level, also up to their original maximum.

Unless otherwise stated the effects of poison is cumulative. If your Strength, Constitution, or Dexterity is reduced to -6 or less, or if your maximum Wound Points are reduced to 0 or less, you die. If your Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma are reduced to -6 or less, you're permanently disabled.

You’re lying on the ground. You can spend 10 feet of movement to stand up. While prone you suffer a -2 penalty to attack rolls and possibly physical skill checks (GM decides). Some weapons might not even be usable. Ranged attacks suffer a -2 penalty to hit you, but melee attacks made against you gain a +2 bonus to their hit and damage rolls.

You can wriggle and move your body a bit, but can’t move from your space. You have -2 to attacks and checks that require you to move, as well as your Armor Class and Reflex saves.

Your Speed is reduced by half, rounded down. You suffer a -1 penalty to Armor Class, as well as attack rolls, ability checks and saving throws that depend on movement. If your Speed is 5 feet before being slowed, then you can use your Standard Action to move 5 feet.

You drop what you are holding, cannot take any Actions at all (any Concentration effects immediately end), and lose any Dexterity bonus to Armor Class (if positive). Attacks made against you gain a +2 bonus to the attack and damage rolls.

So what do you think? Good? Bad? Too complicated? Not complicated enough? Any other conditions you think need to be included?

You can now get a physical copy of Dungeons & Delvers: Black Book in whatever format you want! We've also released the first big supplement for it, Appendix D, so pick that up if you want more of everything.

If you want more adventures, we just released Escape From the Flesh Catacombs: a bunch of 0-level characters need to escape from the catacomb-lair of a gorgon that was slain, causing everything she's petrified to revert to flesh and rise as undead.

Our latest Dungeon World class, The Ranger, is now available.

Dwarven Vault is our sixth 10+ Treasures volume. If you're interested in thirty dwarven magic items (including an eye that lets you shoot lasers) and nearly a dozen new bits of dungeon gear, check it out!

By fan demand, we've mashed all of our 10+ Treasure volumes into one big magic item book, making it cheaper and more convenient to buy in print (which you can now do).

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