Dread (3.5e Condition)

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Author: Sulacu (talk)
Date Created: September 29, 2018
Status: Complete
Editing: Clarity edits only please
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Build up "fear" until you are struck by debilitating debuffs.

Dread is the condition of being exposed to extreme fear or stress. It is a quantification of unease typically associated with psychological trauma or resulting from extremely cruel forms of attack, and can accumulate in order to cause a devastating spiral of worsening fear effects as the dread grows thicker.

A creature struck by an attack or affected by a spell or effect that inflicts dread builds up "dread". When this dread value equals or exceeds the creature's dread tolerance (3 + their Wisdom modifier, with a minimum of 1), their dread increases by a stage and the dread buildup resets to 0.

A creature that has a bonus to saving throws against fear adds half that bonus to their dread tolerance. Creatures that are immune to fear have effectively infinite dread tolerance.

Stages of Dread[edit]

Normal creatures unaffected by any fear effects are considered as having Stage 0 dread. From there on in, Stage 1 is shaken, Stage 2 is frightened, Stage 3 is panicked and Stage 4 is insane. Once a creature achieves Stage 4 dread, it stops accumulating further dread until the insanity is cured.

Other sources of fear effects cannot cause dread build-up, but may be able to inflict specific conditions that are equivalent to a specific stage of dread. Whenever a creature incurs a fear-based condition, it automatically gains the associated stage of dread and also reduces its dread buildup to 0, unless the creature already suffers from a higher stage of dread. For example, a creature that became frightened due to a specific effect is treated as having stage 2 dread. A creature that becomes frightened (stage 2) due to an effect while already being panicked (stage 3) due to dread build-up will retain its stage 3 dread and not lose its current dread build-up.

Alleviating Dread[edit]

Unlike similarly working conditions such as bleed, dread does not recover naturally during battle. Built-up dread is recovered out of battle at a rate of 1 point per minute, though if one or more stages of dread have accumulated, one stage is recovered every hour spent out of battle. The exception is Stage 4 dread which, like the insanity spell, is permanent until cured. Fear effects with a specific duration (i.e. not caused by buildup of dread) still end normally when intended.

Other than the above, dread can only be removed in battle through conscious action, as follows:

  • A creature can attempt a DC 10 Wisdom check to aid an adjacent ally suffering from dread as a move-equivalent action. In so doing, the ally recovers 1 point of dread, plus an additional point of dread for every 5 points that the check result exceeds 10.
  • A creature can self-inflict injuries, such as stabbing themselves, biting their tongue or causing harm or pain in other ways in order to stave off dread. As a free action, a creature can instantly do up to twice its own HD worth of damage to itself in order to recover 1 point of dread for every 5 points of damage dealt.
  • Spells that counter fear also partially or fully counter dread. Remove fear suppresses up to 2 stages of dread, and its bonus against fear effects also increases the affected creature's dread tolerance. Greater restoration restores any number of stages of dread.

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AuthorSulacu +
Identifier3.5e Condition +
RatingUndiscussed +
SummaryBuild up "fear" until you are struck by debilitating debuffs. +
TitleDread +