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Crisis21
2018-07-05, 08:13 PM
So I was thinking about medical/psychological conditions that an adventurer might have beyond the typical (i.e. anything due to injuries) that might make it rather rough to be an adventurer. A few samples that I tossed around:

Blind: Permanent Blindness condition.

Deaf :Permanent Deafness condition.

Mute: Cannot speak, must communicate in gestures, incapable of casting spells with a verbal component.

Phobias: There are several ways to protect against magical fear, but not even being the most fearless of paladins will help you to not scream in terror at the sight of a giant spider if you suffer from arachnophobia.

Allergies: Ever try to swing a sword or cast a spell with your head congested to high heaven?

Insomnia: Rest is such an important part of adventuring, so what happens when an adventurer is really bad at getting rest? Brush up on the Exhaustion rules for this one.

Hemophilia: Possibly one of the worst things you could have as an adventurer, while still potentially being able to be one, is an inability to stop bleeding. Stay stocked up on potions, stick to the party healer like glue (or better yet, be the party healer), and keep a few Healer's Kits around for emergencies.


Anyone have more they'd like to introduce me to?

Saintheart
2018-07-05, 10:53 PM
Why not just a plain old allergy to magic, be it magic items or magic effects full stop? Pretty tricky to get along in the world when the wizard casting True Strike on you makes you start sneezing uncontrollably.

Crisis21
2018-07-05, 11:58 PM
Why not just a plain old allergy to magic, be it magic items or magic effects full stop? Pretty tricky to get along in the world when the wizard casting True Strike on you makes you start sneezing uncontrollably.
Except that essentially cuts off no less than seven of the twelve core classes (yes, I'm using 5e for my examples) for the character (Wizard, Sorcerer, Warlock, Cleric, Druid, Ranger, and Paladin) and several archetypes for the rest (like Arcane Trickster).

I would personally prefer things that don't bar more than one core class from a character, and only for good reason (for example, illiteracy would be troublesome for many characters, but it would make being a Wizard absolutely impossible - and something that reduces movement speed by 5 or ten feet would be problematic for many classes, but would be effectively obviated by a Monk).

You could still be an effective Paladin with a phobia after all, as it only bypasses the anti-fear feature in some circumstances (it's just that those circumstances aren't any fun for your paladin).

You could be a hemophiliac Barbarian to, but you'd probably want to buy your healing potions in bulk.

So, yeah, no magic allergies please. The idea is to make adventuring difficult in general, not cut off half the options for a character to be even remotely effective.

ChaoticHarmony
2018-07-06, 05:47 AM
How about stress eating? The character picks a situation that particularly stresses him out(e.g. battle, social situations, being in the dark or in a place he doesn't know) and he compensates by eating. Between the inordinate amount of rations they would have to carry, as well as the difficulty to eat while doing something, that could effectively handicap an adventurer

nickl_2000
2018-07-06, 07:14 AM
Pretty much any sort of disability would be make the life of an adventurer difficult, whether it's mental or physical. A character that is clinically depressed wouldn't have the motivation to get up in the morning and endure the rigors of life as adventurer, someone with a motor impairment wouldn't be able to cast spells with somatic components well (or swing a weapon).

The main problem with playing a character with a disability is that it becomes insensitive and a caricature of the condition very quickly. So, you have to be very careful when allowing it in a game.

Crisis21
2018-07-06, 08:02 AM
Pretty much any sort of disability would be make the life of an adventurer difficult, whether it's mental or physical. A character that is clinically depressed wouldn't have the motivation to get up in the morning and endure the rigors of life as adventurer, someone with a motor impairment wouldn't be able to cast spells with somatic components well (or swing a weapon).

The main problem with playing a character with a disability is that it becomes insensitive and a caricature of the condition very quickly. So, you have to be very careful when allowing it in a game.

No, yeah, I'm aware that anything along these lines that gets homebrewed will be a caricature by necessity, because the rules of d&d simply aren't complex enough (thank god) to represent them that accurately.

What I'd like from these are things that a) don't require a great deal of roleplaying to pull off (roleplaying of course enhances all things, but it shouldn't be a requirement here) and b) can be represented in game mechanics with as few moving parts as possible (like, say, four bullet points or less).

Digitalfruitz
2018-07-06, 11:26 AM
Im gonna throw in one of the most interesting physical disabilities (in my opinion)

Physical anhedonia: an inability to feel tactile pleasures such as eating, touching, or sex.
A character with Physical anhedonia is immune to all pain based effects (Power word pain, Pain, liquid pain, ETC)
A player whos character has Physical anhedonia is not allowed to track their hitpoints, the GM records them behind the screen.

Crisis21
2018-07-06, 10:40 PM
Hmm... I like having a name for it if nothing else. I'm thinking I'd make the DM tracking of hit points optional. After all they already keep track of so much that some might not want the extra burden. Kind of a 'for maximum effect, you should do this, but you don't have to if you don't want to' thing.

Additional effects could include auto-failing anything requiring touch (no feeling around for the item you dropped in the dark), taking damage from overstressing your body (such as failing athletics or acrobatics checks), taking extra damage when below half health if you do anything other than normal movement (due to aggravating your wounds), and not noticing you've been injured (like in a surprise attack).

The Magister
2018-07-07, 02:44 PM
My primary PC has a split personality to suit his gestalt wizard/ranger class and is trying to 'merge' both personalities but is ultimately stuck with them forever. When one personality is active, some class features, skills and other things related to the class of the inactive personality suffer a penalty. Makes things pretty interesting.


How about stress eating? The character picks a situation that particularly stresses him out(e.g. battle, social situations, being in the dark or in a place he doesn't know) and he compensates by eating. Between the inordinate amount of rations they would have to carry, as well as the difficulty to eat while doing something, that could effectively handicap an adventurer

That's a good one. Look up a freak of nature called "Tarrare" and try to picture him as an adventurer.

Crisis21
2018-07-07, 04:28 PM
Multiple personalities sounds tricky and possibly possessing a lot of moving parts, especially if class features can change between them. How might it be simplified a bit? What saving throw to keep from switching? Would mental stats (INT, WIS, CHA) possibly swap? Would Skill proficiencies change? Languages known? What is to stop a player from using this as a power-up rather than a hinderance?


Stress eating would need to have some penalty beyond just having to eat more (often). Especially after how many groups I've been in that don't bother to track rations.


I'm thinking an addiction might be pretty rough for an adventurer too, with it giving cumulative penalties similar to exhaustion the longer you go without it. Not sure that it would be completely 'kosher' though.

ChaoticHarmony
2018-07-07, 05:10 PM
So I don't know 5e mechanics well, so bear with me

For stress eating, have them required to eat every minute while in their particular stressful situation(requires at least one free hand) or become either nauseated or frightened(whichever you think would be more relevant). Consuming something(including potions) becomes either a free action or a bonus action(I think free is better than bonus, but again, not that familiar with 5e mechanics) and he gains resistance to poison. If he eats every round instead of every minute, give him a +2 bonus to the relevant attack or skill checks

Pathfinder also has insanity rules you could convert(including MPD) I can list what the PF statistics for them are if you'd like

Crisis21
2018-07-07, 05:23 PM
That's sounding way more like a buff than a hinderance to be honest, CH. Far too many benefits, not enough detriments.

As for nausea, that might be something like the Poisoned condition (in 5e, it's disadvantage on all rolls above what the specific poison does until cured).

Hmm... maybe instead of making it specifically 'stress eating', make it a more general nervousness (nerves? nervous?) that pops up in stressful situations requiring a (Charisma?) saving throw to avoid the detriment. Maybe choose a 'comfort action' that the character can do as an action (not a bonus action) to calm themselves. That way it can be any type of nervous stress condition and the player can fill in the details.

The Magister
2018-07-07, 05:24 PM
Multiple personalities sounds tricky and possibly possessing a lot of moving parts, especially if class features can change between them. How might it be simplified a bit? What saving throw to keep from switching? Would mental stats (INT, WIS, CHA) possibly swap? Would Skill proficiencies change? Languages known? What is to stop a player from using this as a power-up rather than a hinderance?

I wouldn't recommend that it be used by others in the same way that I do; it was designed to fit the way the campaign is set up. The entire thing would almost certainly have to be rebuilt from the ground up. Otherwise, it's fairly easy to work with, overall.

First of all, there is no saving throw - they just switch every five days. It can be prevented with magic, but only once per month, so I have to make it count. As for abilities, I settled on giving penalties on certain INT and WIS-based checks instead of actual ability changes, with the exception of Charisma, which is 16 for the wizard and 12 for the ranger. Other abilities are unchanged with no penalties or bonuses. Class skills for the inactive personality get -2 penalties if trained and -3 if untrained (unless they're also part of the other class' skill list) while active-personality skills are unaffected. I never bothered much with languages due to needing those skill points elsewhere as a result of this build, but they do change with the personality, regardless. With the exception of class-specific bonus feats or ones that cannot be used to due to skill, Charisma and class changes (of which I currently have none), they are unchanged.

As for preventing one from exploiting it, I couldn't say. As mentioned previously, it was tailor-made for this campaign. Part of the reason for this is that nobody wanted to be the ranger and we have enough crap littering the table without one of us having two character sheets. If you want it to remain as a means of explaining or flavouring gestalting, then I suppose you could add a requirement for the classes to be similar, such as a mage/psion, fighter/barbarian mix. Like I said, though, a complete overhaul is likely your best bet.

Crisis21
2018-07-07, 05:53 PM
I wouldn't recommend that it be used by others in the same way that I do; it was designed to fit the way the campaign is set up. The entire thing would almost certainly have to be rebuilt from the ground up. Otherwise, it's fairly easy to work with, overall.

First of all, there is no saving throw - they just switch every five days. It can be prevented with magic, but only once per month, so I have to make it count. As for abilities, I settled on giving penalties on certain INT and WIS-based checks instead of actual ability changes, with the exception of Charisma, which is 16 for the wizard and 12 for the ranger. Other abilities are unchanged with no penalties or bonuses. Class skills for the inactive personality get -2 penalties if trained and -3 if untrained (unless they're also part of the other class' skill list) while active-personality skills are unaffected. I never bothered much with languages due to needing those skill points elsewhere as a result of this build, but they do change with the personality, regardless. With the exception of class-specific bonus feats or ones that cannot be used to due skill, Charisma and class changes (of which I currently have none), they are unchanged.

As for preventing one from exploiting it, I couldn't say. As mentioned previously, it was tailor-made for this campaign. Part of the reason for this is that nobody wanted to be the ranger and we have enough crap littering the table without one of us having two character sheets. If you want it to remain as a means of explaining or flavouring gestalting, then I suppose you could add a requirement for the classes to be similar, such as a mage/psion, fighter/barbarian mix. Like I said, though, a complete overhaul is likely your best bet.
Fair enough. Honestly, I may just make the standard version a split personality that the DM controls (unless the player is up for playing a personality whose goals are opposed to his normal character's) with a saving throw to avoid with a note on possible more complex versions needing DM approval/discussion.

ChaoticHarmony
2018-07-07, 05:55 PM
That's sounding way more like a buff than a hinderance to be honest, CH. Far too many benefits, not enough detriments.

As for nausea, that might be something like the Poisoned condition (in 5e, it's disadvantage on all rolls above what the specific poison does until cured).

Hmm... maybe instead of making it specifically 'stress eating', make it a more general nervousness (nerves? nervous?) that pops up in stressful situations requiring a (Charisma?) saving throw to avoid the detriment. Maybe choose a 'comfort action' that the character can do as an action (not a bonus action) to calm themselves. That way it can be any type of nervous stress condition and the player can fill in the details.

The nervousness is a good idea and should work well.
The way I made it sound, it definitely seemed like more of a benefit. I added those things cause I didn't know if it SHOULD have any benefits. As for the consequent piece, it adds varying DC to different situations. In combat, you only get to work with one hand, so no two handed weapons, dual wielding, or sword and magic unless you invest in specific feats that would allow you to do so. Various skill checks become a lot harder to do with 1 hand, like Athletics, Craft, Swim, or Disable device. Social skill checks can become more difficult as well, unless you are trying to disgust someone. I don't know about you, but if someone is trying to convince me to do something, I'm not really gonna take them seriously if they're chomping on a turkey leg. I just don't have an idea of what could be a standard penalty for that, or what kind of penalty could be considered worse if they didnt do that.

Crisis21
2018-07-09, 10:31 PM
Honestly, the generalities are the best place to start.

I'd like to thank everyone for helping me so far. I think I've got plenty to work with now. :)


Though, if you want, do feel free to continue sharing. I wouldn't say no to more inspiration.