I love Conditions. They’re a great way to standardize any system (since their beginning, which I believe was with the D&D 3rd Keyword system). Like many things in D&D 5E, I believe Conditions are underdeveloped (like Hit Dice, Death Saves and Exhaustion). RPGs have been doing awesome things with conditions, like Savage Worlds’ Stunned or The Dark Eye’s amazing conditions for clerics casting spells. Lets toy a little with ideas for new conditions (just for fun and because I’m bored).
So, here are a few crazy Condition proposals that I would love to use in my games. Not all are exactly new (check Intoxicated), but I assure you that NONE are playtested. I left those that I consider more problematic to end.
OK, I’m in the minority that loved this Conditions back in D&D Next (actually, I’m in another minority that thinks that D&D Next was more interesting than D&D 5E, but lets leave rants aside).
Intoxicated is what you get when your characters drinks too much, is hit by pixie arrows or is the target of a faerie dragon’s breath weapon.
Rules: you have Disadvantage on Attack Rolls and Ability Checks, but you suffer 1d6 less points of damage (2d6 if you have 10+ Hit Dice). Once during your Intoxicated Condition, you can offer your DM a chance to roll for a random target (during combat) or to suffer a fumble (out of combat). If your DM agrees you gain 1 Inspiration (or, if you group uses that rule, 1 Plot Point).
This is usually a result of a curse, a fumble at dispel magic or just playing with forces that you don’t know about.
Rules: you can’t gain any benefit from magic (including magic items). This condition usually lasts until you take a short rest, but a beneficent DM can allow you Charisma Saving Throw at the end of your next turn (if the Condition is the result a spell in combat, for example). This is also a good Condition to inflict on Warlocks that don’t behave before their Patrons.
A typical effect of poisons, mind blasts, fey charms, sanity-shattering battles and even vermin attacks (or just a result of carousing and debauchery).
Rules: you don’t have access to your current hit points total. When you gain this Condition, your DM start to track your hit points in secret. She can tell that you’re fine (usually with half or more of you hit point total) or injured (close to 0 hit points), but nothing more.
A strike to the head, a sonic attack or maybe been mauled by a giant creature.
Rules: you go last in the round. If you’ve already acted, you go last in the next round. If you’re already the last in Initiative order, you suffer Disadvantage on all Attack Rolls, Ability Checks and Saving Throws until the end of your next turn (and if you try to cast a spell you must succeed at a Concentration check DC 10 or lose the spell).
Tides of Chaos
Because magic should always be CHAOS!
This Condition is usually inflicted when an arcane spellcaster uses magic in dangerous places, toys with forces best left undisturbed or fumbles a Concentration roll.
Rules: at the moment of your DM’s choice, your suffer a Wild Magic Surge. This is a good catch-all Condition for players that like to negotiate with their DMs for more magic power (or for recovering “just that one 1st-level slot”). If your character falls in the last group, the DM is encouraged to roll twice and pick the most “interesting” result (or rolling just rolling twice and inflict BOTH results). This is another good option to “persuade” Warlocks to pay more attention to their Patron’s “reasonable” demands.
I’m totally stealing this one from one of my favorites d20s - 13th Age.
A debilitating wound, a painful strike, a curse or poison.
Rules: until the end of your next turn or until you succeed at a Constitution Saving Throw (DM’s call), all your damage rolls are halved.
OK, this is requires a little more explanation, because it is a self-inflicted Condition. Why would I want a Wounded Condition?! To keep fighting! Basically, this works like a Consequence from FATE.
You suffer a lingering injury.
Rules: when you suffer damage, you can reduce the amount by your Constitution Ability Score and gain the Wounded Condition. Roll on the Lingering Injuries table, page 272 of the Dungeon Master’s Guide, to determine the nature of your wound (the DM call change it if it doesn’t fit with narrative). You can only be Wounded once.
NEW (GAME-CHANGING) CONDITIONS
D&D 5E follows the “Boring School” of divine magic (i.e. you can’t remove class features if a cleric doesn’t follow his deity ethos). But sometimes divine spellcasters forget that their mojo come from a Higher Power. When that happens, or when you want to flavor/complicate an encounter, please use this Condition (inspired by the Dark Eye). It still needs to be tested (a lot) because I’m not sure I got what I wanted. Maybe a Exhaustion-like track, per type of character, would be better (but also require a lot of time, which I don’t have right now).
Divine spellcasters can suffer this Condition for breaking their ethos, fumbling a Concentration check, casting spells in the inner altar room of an enemy deity or in similar situations.
Rules: while Ecstatic you are consumed by your deity or source of power, finding difficult to act in a different manner. If you act in accordance with your deity’s ethos, you have Advantage on Attack Rolls, Ability Checks and Damage/Healing Rolls. Otherwise, you have Disadvantage on the same checks and must always succeed at a Concentration (usually DC 10) to cast a divine spell. Here are a few examples of Ecstatic-drive behavior:
- Cleric of Knowledge - protect and avoid the destruction of anything written in your sight (including scrolls).
- Cleric of Life - heal or protect a living creature, DON’T kill/hurt anything besides undead and fiends (but don’t seek combat unless cornered and facing those creatures).
- Cleric of Light - destroy the undead, banish darkness and keep light sources (in THAT order).
- Cleric of Nature - heal or protect animals/plants, DON’T kill animals/plants, kill ONLY aberrations and undead.
- Cleric of Tempest - destroy everything on sight. Collateral Damage is your god.
- Cleric of Trickery - always stunt, feint or perform an action different from a straight attack. Sow chaos and confusion. You can’t dispel illusions, reveal invisibles creatures and speak truths. You’re Loki from the MCU, have fun!
- Cleric of War - engage as many enemies as possible in melee attack, ALWAYS. Don’t leave any enemy alive, NEVER. Don’t heal anything besides yourself (so that you can kill more). Sail a road of blood and slaughter!
- Druids - heal or protect animals/plants, DON’T kill animals/plants, seek aberrations and undead to kill, and destroy as many artificial structures and urban terrain as possible.
- Paladin of Devotion - If there are aberration, fiend or undead around, destroy them first and forget the rest. Otherwise, fight fair and only one-to-one, never feint or deceive, be merciful (leave all enemies alive).
- Paladin of the Ancients - If there are aberration, fiend or undead, destroy them first and forget the rest. Otherwise, your top priority is protecting and healing elemental, fey, animals and plants.
- Paladin of Vengeance - If there are aberration, fiend or undead, destroy them first and forget the rest. Otherwise, target the most powerful enemy in sight and kill him, never retreat and don’t stop for “ignoble” deads like healing allies.
Ecstasy ir hard on mortals. While under this Condition, every other round, you succeed at a Charisma Saving Throw at the end of your turn or gain 1 level of Exhaustion. If you reach Exhaustion 6 while Ecstatic you are consumed by divine energy and dies. After suffering Exhaustion 1-5 from this Condition you shut yourself to your divine source. This removes Ecstatic but also all your divine powers until you get a short rest.
I hate both whiff factor or just hearing “roll an Attack Roll” round after round. This Condition hopefully may change that a little. It can really change the pace of a combat, se be aware. I’m aiming for RPGs like 2d20, Chronicles of Ramlar and Warhammer 1st and 4th.
You attack swiftly, keep your enemies against the wall or otherwise has dominance in battle.
Rules: you can gain Momentum usually accomplishing a Trigger (there a list below). Only one side of the battle can have Momentum at any time (or none can have it): your side or the monsters’ (if there are more factions, then only one of them can have Momentum). That means that if the enemy gets Momentum, you lose it instantly (and vice-versa).
Here are the most common Triggers, to be adjusted or changed to suit the DM style and the campaign flavor:
- You’re the first to act in the round and you hit your target.
- You’re flanking and hit your target (only if your side is in greater number).
- You roll a Critical Hit.
- Your perform a stunt that change the tactical aspect of the battle (DM’s call).
There is one “Anti-Trigger”. If you have Momentum and roll a natural 1 or falls unconscious, the other side automatically gains it.
You can spend Momentum at any time (it’s not an action) to do one of the following:
- Grant Advantage to an ally (Attack Roll, Ability Check, Saving Throw or Damage Roll).
- Inflict Disadvantage to an enemy (Attack Roll, Ability Check, Saving Throw or Damage Roll).
- Force an enemy spellcaster to roll Concentration (DC 10) to cast or maintain a spell.
- Make an ally go next in the initiative order (only this round).