Exhaustion

Welcome to the random day of the weekend where I reflect, expand or digress on the content of the week. Now I touched on it Thursday and the encounter from last night would have had it occur, exhaustion.

Now it’s generally an uncommon status in many games that I have watched, listened to or ran and there is many reasons and excuses for it but exhaustion doesn’t have to be the forgotten step child of status conditions.

Firstly its gradual, its not a disease where you are instantly crippled but it builds over time without adequate rest. As a full time worker, dad and husband I understand how this feels, many of us would.

The effects in summary are:

  • Stage 1 Disadvantage on ability checks,
  • Stage 2 Speed halved,
  • Stage 3 Disadvantage on attack rolls and saving throws,
  • Stage 4 HP maximum reduced to half,
  • Stage 5 speed reduced to 0,
  • Stage 6 death.

Now stage 3+ is what generally scares players as it affects their combat prowess the most but stage 1 shouldn’t be uncommon. That rough night sleep on your kids floor, yup. Stage 1 exhaustion. Trying to work or function after one or two bad nights gets miserable. Those penalty to ability checks is big. No more diplomacy for you, you unfortunately said the wrong elven phrase and insulted the princess because you were so tired. Feeling sluggish after a hard week of work maybe thats stage 2. Feeling tired to the point of lethargy and it impacting how you move about isn’t just infuriating to you and comical to others it also means you now cant out halflings.. their little legs can now outpace you.

The next few additions or stages of exhaustion are pretty self explanatory but using them to add a element of danger or a challenge to an otherwise mundane adventure or session can give the players a change from mundane combat to something that is truly life threatening to their characters.

Its not just weather, lack of rest and certain activities such as barbarian rage or sleeping in your plate mail can exhaust your characters. Thinking of ways to normalise exhaustion could be the next step in adding that extra something to tour game table.

Well that’s it for tonight, a few thoughts as I look over the weeks content and plan for next week. Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for the end of week writeup and as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,

The Brazen Wolfe

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