Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Weathering the Weather

Over on Roles, Rules, and Rolls, Roger blogged about 'My Take on Damage from Travel.' I have seen, and used, many rules that pertain to environmental challenges. Some worked, some didn't. I thought about the ones I liked and bounced it of his 'requirements':

  • Players traveling in less than ideal conditions should risk daily damage to Hit Points.
  • The damage must be real Hit Points and heal in the standard manner - no extra bookkeeping. 
  • The damage should scale, so that high level characters do not outlast low level ones to a ridiculous degree.
  • Easy to remember.
and decided for me the easiest approach to cover these areas and 'get-the-job-done' would simply take what is already there and use it: Elementals. Make it combat against the Elements, which it is in a sense. Cold? Through some Water and Air Elementals at them. Just describe it as a cold wind that cuts through their clothing and slices to the bone. Rain and mud slogging conditions? Water and Earth Elementals. "Attacks' would be building a fire, finding shelter, layering/removing clothes, etc. Give them a chance to hit with a d6 damage every time they take proper precautions or actions to circumvent the effects.

Base the AC of the 'Elementals' on how well the party is prepared for the condition. HPs based on how 'strong' the conditions are to over come.

Well, just a tip from your 'Uncle Larry',
TB

3 comments:

  1. Cool idea, but ... it doesn't spread damage across the whole party, and having 2nd or 3rd level characters getting socked by an elemental would be kind of brutal.

    But if elementals have a kind of pre-manifestation in hostile environments (rough terrain, forest fire, wind and rain) ... so they spread out damage first, and then if things get really bad you meet one in the person ... that certainly makes the outdoors a terrifying place to be, and elemental encounters more interesting as well!

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  2. Agree... if you use Elementals like they are typically displayed in most Monster Manuals. My Ukarea: Humanity's Reign and Ruin setting will be influenced heavily by actual Elementals, but I am thinking if I use this, I would have 4 to 5 level (hd) of what I would think of as 'Elemental Projections' (or some such - name pending) that would be formless, incorporeal if you will and they would have a special area of effect attacks. They only way to 'hit' them would NOT be magic weapons, but with preparedness!

    The party is attacked by a pair of minor Elemental Projections: An early spring rain encounter.

    Elemental Projection (Wind)
    Armor Class: 7 [12]
    Hit Dice: 2
    Attacks: Gust +2 TH / 1d6-1 Damage
    Saving Throw: 16
    Special: Area Attack (One attack hourly vs modified armor (see Special: The Chills), any players 'hit' split the damage (1d6+1) as evenly as possible between them.)
    Special: The Chills (Attacks are against an inverted armor scale. ie: Platemail -2 [+2] through Leather -6 [+6]
    Move: 9
    Challenge Level/XP: 2HD 4/120

    Elemental Projection (Rain)
    Armor Class: 6 [13]
    Hit Dice: 3
    Attacks: Gust +3 TH / 1d6+1 Damage
    Saving Throw: 15
    Special: Area Attack (One attack half hour vs modified armor (see Special: The Chills), any players 'hit' split the damage (1d6+1) as evenly as possible between them.)
    Special: The Chills (Attacks are against an inverted armor scale. ie: Platemail -2 [+2] through Leather -6 [+6]
    Move: 9
    Challenge Level/XP: 3HD 5/240

    Monsters follow party until outrun, beaten, or until their projection fades (number of six hour durations per HD - 12hr (wind) 18hr (rain)

    Or, something like this. I have thought of something else while typing this, but will leave that for a future post.

    Thanks for stopping by,
    TB

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  3. Alibi, I would give them a +1 to hit/damage for each preparation they took for the trip. ie: layering, water proofing packs and clothes with animal fat, etc. Perhaps some preparations add to their AC?

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