13th Age has a short list of status effects, and I consider that a big plus for a tabletop RPG. One of my big pet peeves is when a game uses multiple different "flavors" of what is essentially the same effect (i.e. D&D 3rd Edition's Shaken, Frightened, Cowering, and Panicked; Fatigued and Exhausted; Dazed and Dazzled; Sickened and Nauseated; Paralyzed and Stunned; etc.). I much prefer a minimum amount of rules which serve to represent a general concept. The 13th Age "Dazed" condition does a good job of this, as it can stand in for any situation where you'd have trouble attacking (but aren't prevented from doing so altogether).
However, the list of Conditions is
missing some functional concepts that many D&D players are used to.
Up until EE6 there wasn't a single form of mobility denial, but
thankfully "Stuck" made it into the game. Having anything in between
"can't move at all" (Stuck) and "can move fully" is difficult in a
system where movement is handled in abstract range bands, especially
when granularity is so low that we have only "nearby" and "far away."
That's not to say I don't like the simplicity of the range bands,
because I do. It just means that we need to get creative to represent
things like "slow," "difficult terrain," or "prone."
streamlined combats and combats where you can take tactical advantage
of the terrain are not mutually exclusive. Sure, 13th Age advises a
"don't sweat the modifiers" approach but it can be really difficult for
some players to describe their character's action if they don't have any
mechanical incentives to work with. Why try to put difficult terrain
between you and an enemy if it has no effect in-game? More importantly,
this is a case of the game rules not supporting the game fiction.
following houserules can be incorporated as new Conditions, or simply
as guidelines that a GM can use as rulings in case players decide to get
Whether an enemy is
hobbled by a weapon strike to the leg, slowed down by a spell (perhaps
as a result of Vance's Polysyllabic Verbalizations), or is forced to
move through terrain affected by another creature (i.e. an enemy
triggers a rock slide, or a spellcaster magically animates the
vegetation) this quick and dirty condition can be used.
the slowed creature attempts to move it must roll a save. On a
failure, it fails to reach its destination. Usually this is a normal
save (11+), but depending on what is slowing the creature and how far
they're attempting to move, the GM may rule that it's an Easy (6+) or a
Hard (16+) save.
This is a variation of the "Slowed" Condition.
it makes more narrative sense to allow a Slowed creature to make a
skill check instead of a save. Generally this will be the case when the
terrain is not being affected by another creature. This check will
usually use DEX (icy terrain, rubble), STR (dense vegetation that needs
to be muscled through), or WIS (if a good path can be found), though
whatever ability makes most sense given the type of terrain or the
player's approach to the problem should be used. The DC is determined
by the Environment, as with other skill checks. On a failure, the
slowed creature fails to reach its destination.
Quick, duck behind that barrel!
If you use a move action to get behind an item that grants a substantial amount of cover, ranged attacks are made against you as if the attacker were Dazed.
Characters can drop prone to
avoid ranged fire, though it's not as effective as taking cover, or they
may be knocked prone by powerful attacks.
drop prone as a quick action. Standing up can be done as part of a move
action, but if you wants to move anywhere else you must succeed at a
Normal Save (11+). While prone you are Vulnerable to melee attacks, but
ranged attacks made against you take a -2 penalty.
GMs should be careful about introducing reliable ways for players to
gain bonuses like this. For some, part of the fun of ranged combat is
trying to find cover and eliminate the enemy's cover. However, it does
have the potential to slow the game down. After all, the intent of the
"don't sweat the modifiers" rule is to ensure that things run quickly
and smoothly. Keep in mind that if the players can take advantage of
the environment, then the monsters should too. Make sure that combats
don't devolve into both sides hiding behind cover, hoping to get lucky
with their debuffed attacks before the enemies do.
Originally posted by me on 13th Age Homebrews.