Dungeons & Dragons Online

60 New and Re-Imagined Status Effects

Myself and u/DougTheDragonborn have two big problems with status effects used in combat.

· They’re boring

· They often don’t (or shouldn’t) stack

Making a player miss a turn isn’t fun, and it’s even less fun if you’re the player missing their turn. Having a stack of generic penalties isn’t fun, and neither is capping penalties because they can’t stack.

However, giving someone a penalty to specific actions inspires creativity without removing their agency. Having multiple types of penalties can ratchet tension without giving a character so many penalties they’ll fail unless they critically succeed.

Solving both of those problems is what we decided to do with this book.

This allows GMs to use re-imagined classic penalties (blinded, charmed, grappled, prone, sickened, and so on) and get a whole new host of status effects (dulled nerves, divine intervention, martyr complex, prosopagnosia, time displacement, and so on).

They are divided into four categories:

· Physical – Affects your body

· Behavioral – Affects your behavior

· Mental – Affects your mind

· Other – Affects you in unexplainable ways

The effects can stack, allowing for increasingly difficult situations.

The fancy PDF is available on my itch.io page, and it includes a table to make each section rollable if you want a random effect, or roll all of them together if you want to get extra wild with what could happen.

If you want just the raw text, here it is.


Physical

Allergy: Your body becomes sensitive to a specific thing, giving you a penalty to physical actions when you encounter it.

Darkness: Something obscures your vision, giving you a penalty to any action that relies on your sense of sight.

Dilated Pupils: Your pupils dilate, taking in so much light it hurts your eyes, causing a small amount of damage whenever your eyes are open in anything more than dim light.

Disoriented: Your feet don’t follow where you want to go, possibly making you stumble in a random direction at half your normal speed.

Dulled Nerves: Your body goes partially numb to feeling, giving you a penalty on all information gathered through using your sense of touch.

Exhausted: Your body used every bit of energy it has, giving you a penalty to all actions if you’re not using both legs and one of your arms to support you.

Fatigue: Your body is on the brink of exhaustion, giving you a penalty to all actions next turn if you take more than one action this turn.

Grappled: Something restrains you, giving you a penalty to actions that do not involve untangling yourself from it.

Joint Pain: Even simple movements like standing causes pain, giving you a penalty if you move during your action.

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Muscle Spasm: Your body experiences sudden, uncontrollable spasms, giving you a penalty when trying to hold onto anything.

Petrified: Your body is stiff and unresponsive, giving you a penalty to any action that involves physical movement.

Poisoned: Your body and immune system are compromised, giving you a penalty avoiding other ailments that would affect you.

Prone: You are laying on the ground, giving you a penalty to actions that require you to reach up more than a foot.

Sickened: You feel a wave of nausea wash over you, giving you a penalty to all actions for the rest of your turn if you don’t start your turn doing something that alleviates some of your discomfort.

Sluggish Reaction: Your body is slow to react, giving you a penalty to any action reacting to external events.

Sticky: A sticky resin covers a part of your body, giving you a penalty when trying to remove something from it (this could be releasing an item if it makes your hands sticky, moving away if it made your feet sticky, etc.)

Stiff Fingers: Your knuckles struggle to bend, giving you a penalty when using your hands.

Stunned: Your body seizes from something that intensely shocks you, giving you a penalty to all actions until you directly address what it is that caused such a shock in you.

Preternatural Weakness: You become sensitive to a specific thing with abnormal elements (such as cold iron, silver, garlic, etc.), increasing damage taken when exposed to them.

Tinnitus: A constant, loud ringing in your ears makes all other sounds more difficult to decipher, giving you a penalty to understanding anything requiring hearing.

Thin Blood: Your blood thins and will quickly leak from any broken skin, making you take additional damage whenever you bleed.

Unbalanced: Your body sways despite your best efforts, giving you a penalty to any action that requires keeping your balance.

Vertigo: The world spins around you if you don’t hold mostly still, giving you a penalty whenever you make sudden movements.

Wounded: You suffer from a deep cut, a vital organ being hit, or a lingering infection, making healing less effective for you.


Behavioral

Charmed: You feel deep infatuation with a person, giving you a penalty if you do anything that goes against their direct orders.

Duelist: You feel an indescribable need to engage with a particular thing, giving you a penalty if you engage with anything besides the thing that holds your attention.

Face Your Fears: The need to face what scares you overtakes your judgement, giving you a penalty if you do not interact with that which frightens you.

Flawed Instincts: You feel your first reaction is always deeply flawed, giving you a penalty to any action that is similar to the first thing you thought of.

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Frightened: You’re on edge, worried about what might happen next, giving you a penalty against overcoming fear effects.

Helpful: A sense of empathy overwhelms you, giving you a penalty if your actions do not directly aid someone else.

Impulsive: The feeling to act upon your first reaction is strong, giving you a penalty to any action that isn’t the first one you thought of.

Intoxicated: A haze clouds your judgement and understanding, giving you a penalty to actions that don’t involve you performing an enjoyable activity.

Martyr Complex: You feel the need to protect others at the cost of your own safety, giving you a penalty if you do not put yourself in harm's way.

Passive: You lose the drive to fight, giving you a penalty when dealing directly with conflict.

Protection Impulse: You are overwhelmed with a feeling of needing to protect someone or something, giving you a penalty when you do something that doesn’t protect them.

Scared: A deep, engrossing fear grips your body, giving you a penalty whenever you do not move away from whatever scares you.

Selfish: Your sense of self-preservation and personal needs overwhelms you, giving you a penalty to any action that doesn’t directly benefit you.

Vanity: You are obsessed with looking awesome, giving you a penalty to actions that don’t show you in the best way possible.


Mental

Brain Fog: Something clouds even your clearest memories, giving you a penalty on things involving memories.

Distracted: A thousand disconnected thoughts rush through your mind, giving you a penalty to anything that requires concentration.

Doubting Others: You are convinced you know better than others, giving you a penalty if you do what someone says without “improving” it in some significant way.

Glossachaménos: For a moment, you forget the meaning of certain words, giving you a penalty when attempting to follow instructions.

Gullible: You are inclined to believe what you hear, giving you a penalty when disagreeing with others.

Psychic Influence: Someone else's thoughts intrude your own, giving you a penalty if you don’t do what they suggest.

Prosopagnosia: You cannot recall the faces of those you’ve seen, giving you a penalty on telling people apart.

Self-Doubt: You are unsure of your own opinions and actions, giving you a penalty when you do something that isn’t an order from someone else.

Shocked: Shock and awe grip your mind, giving you a penalty whenever you do not move away from whatever frightens you.

Silence: You lose the ability to formulate spoken words, giving you a penalty when attempting to communicate verbally using language.

Truth Serum: Something stunts your ability to lie, giving you a penalty whenever you don’t tell the truth.

Unexpected Synesthesia: Colors and sounds have unexpected sensory information attached to them, giving you a penalty when dealing with anything that has a lot of colors or makes a lot of noise.

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Other

Blunder Magic Catalyst: Something within you causes magic near you to malfunction, giving a penalty to things casting magic within 100 ft. of you (including yourself, magic items, etc.).

Divine Intervention: A powerful deity uses their influence with the fabric of reality to affect you, giving you a penalty whenever you do something that is against their personal desire.

Drawn: A magnetic-like force pulls you closer, giving you a penalty whenever you do not move closer to what draws you.

Empathetic Overbleed: The emotions of someone close to you overwhelm your own, giving you a penalty if you do not act in a way that reflects the action and reasoning of the person closest to you.

Existential Dread: Everything somehow relates to your faith or belief and is offering reasons to doubt it, giving you a penalty to actions that align with your nature.

False Prognosis: A rogue ailment or curse exists solely to throw off healers or surgeons when they diagnose you, requiring multiple attempts to remove what ails you.

Limb Roulette: Your arms and legs are temporarily rearranged on your body, giving you a penalty on any action that requires coordination between two or more limbs.

Magic Sickness: The feeling of magic makes you feel sick, giving you a penalty to actions on your next turn if something casts as spell within 100 ft. of you.

Mirrored: All of your senses are flipped, making you sense it is the opposite than it truly is, giving you a penalty to knowing where something is coming from.

Third-Person Vision: You see yourself through the eyes of another, giving you a penalty on actions requiring spatial awareness.

Timeslip Syndrome: You find yourself a few moments in the future or the past, unsure exactly where you are, giving you a penalty until you’re sure of your new surroundings.

Enjoy.

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