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View Full Version : D&D 4e, Rules for extreme Heat/Cold exposure?



Sipex
2010-12-09, 12:11 PM
Hello playgrounders.

I'm running a 4e game right now on a private forum and my players are entering a building which is on fire. My current ruling is they have to roll an endurance check each turn at DC 8 + turn number (so increasing by 1 each turn).

If they fail, they lose a healing surge, if they have none left, they take 5 damage.

This is all pulled out of the blue though, are there formal rules for this sort of situation?

Mark Hall
2010-12-09, 12:18 PM
I'm not aware of any formal rules, though I imagine Dark Sun would be the place to look for heat exposure rules.

Depending on the level, however, I think 8+turn number is too low for "burning building" level heat. I'd be more inclined to 10+half party level+turn number as a base, with some places up to 15 or more. I'd also allow the DC to be lowered by any fire or heat resistance the party possesses (so a tiefling is looking at much lower TNs than the rest of the party).

kyoryu
2010-12-09, 12:48 PM
I'd probably make the endurance check cause the Dazed condition (or similar) on failure, and, if you're using a map, have several fire zones (inconveniently placed, of course) that do some amount of damage per turn.

If you're not using a map, I might try endurance rolls to avoid Dazed, and Athletics rolls to avoid fiery areas.

I figure Dazed since I imagine the heat would be disorienting more than anything. It's usually not the heat that kills in a fire, but smoke inhalation. If you combine that with the fire getting progressively worse throughout the encounter, it could make a fun scenario.

In addition to Dazed, you could also use Slowed/Immobilized or another condition - if no fighting is going on, Dazed is pretty weak.

Sipex
2010-12-09, 12:55 PM
Nah, this is just a "Save some people from the building" skill challenge, although I like the battle idea, I'll keep that tucked away for another time.

I started the checks low because I wasn't sure how high I could go with these players. There are a few more flaming buildings so I'll up the check for those (with the excuse that these buildings are less ventallated and fully engulfed in flames).

kyoryu
2010-12-09, 01:22 PM
Nah, this is just a "Save some people from the building" skill challenge, although I like the battle idea, I'll keep that tucked away for another time.

I started the checks low because I wasn't sure how high I could go with these players. There are a few more flaming buildings so I'll up the check for those (with the excuse that these buildings are less ventallated and fully engulfed in flames).

Well, you know what your party's skills are, roll some dice and see if it turns out to be too hard or too easy. But, as with all skill challenges, remember to plan for the party's failure as well.

You could still do a fun "rescue people from the building" on a map, even without a battle - have the fire get worse every turn, creating more fire zones, and have other random effects happen throughout the scenario - beams falling, backdrafts, etc.

Sipex
2010-12-09, 01:24 PM
Oh, it's a PbP game and my players have no interest in the grid (and I don't have time to constantly update a digital grid).

That said, you might ask "Why are you playing 4e then? Why not use something which works better without a grid?" and the simple answer is, my best known system is 4th edition and I'm setting out to proove that 4e isn't the horrible abomination of combat over combat that the players attending thought it was.

Oracle_Hunter
2010-12-09, 04:32 PM
I'm not aware of any formal rules, though I imagine Dark Sun would be the place to look for heat exposure rules.

Depending on the level, however, I think 8+turn number is too low for "burning building" level heat. I'd be more inclined to 10+half party level+turn number as a base, with some places up to 15 or more. I'd also allow the DC to be lowered by any fire or heat resistance the party possesses (so a tiefling is looking at much lower TNs than the rest of the party).
Actually, why not model it after the Acrobatics "Resist Falling Damage" mechanic?

(1) The first "turn" you are inside the Burning Building, you take 1d10 Fire Damage. If you are trained in Endurance, make a check and reduce the damage taken by 1/2 your check result (round down, minimum 0).

(2) Each "phase" of the Burning Building Scenario, increase the damage by +1d10.

This allows people with Fire Resist or Trained Endurance to benefit from their resistances while making the fire damage risky.

You could also tie this to a "stop the fire" Skill Challenge and each failure increases the amount of Burn Damage to increase by one stage.

hamishspence
2010-12-09, 05:00 PM
Draconomicon I has rules for heat- the characters go inside a volcano- and even the air is dangerously hot.

Characters unprotected from it lose one healing surge per minute, on the upper ledge- and take 5 fire damage per round.

On the lower ledge, they take 5 fire damage per round, and must make a saving throw at the end of each of their turns or lose a healing surge.

Might be a place to start.

Fuzzie Fuzz
2010-12-09, 07:16 PM
I would suggest using a Skill Challenge. Sap a Healing Surge for each failed check, maybe? You can incorporate that into the Skill Challenge you're already running. The DMG does suggest one for long-term element exposure.

WitchSlayer
2010-12-09, 07:24 PM
The healing surges and taking 5 damage is a really good idea.