View Full Version : Penalty for a bonus (3.5)

2010-07-30, 04:13 AM
There is this guy in our group who almost died twice (went into negatives and came back with no healing, just stabilisation checks) and I as a DM deciced to give him some bonus/penalty, based on this events. The point is, he is able to get in touch with the dead and I was thinking the best thing to present this is Spirit Sense from HoH. Still, I would like a decent penalty with this also. I was thinking a Will save 10+HD at the beggining of every battle, or he flees for say, 1d4 rounds. He almost died twice by the sword, he can commune with the dead, but is mortally afraid of dying. Player agrees with this, but I would like a second opinion.

Do you think there is a better-fitted penalty for such a bonus?

2010-07-30, 06:14 AM
Fleeing for 1d4 rounds may be too harsh, since most of the action in a combat happens exactly in those rounds. I'd suggest a Will save or be Shaken for the whole encounter.

2010-07-30, 06:22 AM
Combine the two. Will save or be shaken for 1d4 rounds. Gives him hope of getting back into it at full strength if the combat lasts a while(ie, when they really need it).

2010-07-30, 06:26 AM
He could just take a HUGE minus on checks against fear and intimidation.

2010-07-30, 06:31 AM
Also appropriate, as it effectively represents his increased fear of things that are, well, scary. Probably better than my solution, and mechanically, it's not disabling.

Also, it's much less likely to become a joke this way. No running away from the single goblin that attacks you, yknow?

2010-07-30, 06:44 AM
He should be Paranoid...I mean look how many times his party let him almost bleed out. Maybe third time will be the charm. Are you sure the party even likes this guy? And you want to give him a further penalty in combat by possibly running away or as another poster suggest be shaken. I would say this character is not long for this world. you think the party hates him now...lets make him worthless in combat.

But really, getting injured is a part of being an adventurer. I would not give him asome kind of benefit for almost dying. I have had many character die outright multiple times during the character lifespan.

2010-07-30, 07:06 AM
Well, if the player agrees with his character taking a turn to fear, it can be whatever you want. Disabling him on the early rounds is too much, so the Shaken for (1d4 rounds|encounter) bit is fine. It could also be a -2 to initiative or something like that.

Don't make a practice of creating longlasting side effects to near deaths, though. Adventurers are such exactly because they are mentally broken enough to enjoy the thrill of battle, to act over the scorn from their homes yadda yadda...
Summing up: don't impose a mechanic on fear of death if it's not interesting for the character development. Adventurers aren't normal people and as such aren't subject to normal traumas.

2010-07-30, 07:30 AM
Combine the two. Will save or be shaken for 1d4 rounds. Gives him hope of getting back into it at full strength if the combat lasts a while(ie, when they really need it).

Yeah, this works too.

2010-07-30, 07:57 AM
Rest of party does not hate this guy. Rest of party is dead due to two near-TPK events.
Also, I think this guy may actually benefir from this ability. His unquestionable loyalty (or Evil DM in you ask players) got him into this mess. Twice. :smallbiggrin:

2010-07-30, 07:59 AM
Being terrified for 1d4 rounds (Or roughly the same as being terrified, anyway) on a fairly high will save will make him useless in the vast majority of situations. Shaken would be better.