Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Fear of Heights

©2015. Impulse Limited
Here's a short entry for today. While designing a flying city, I ran across an issue concerning fear of heights and its potential effects on characters. Here's an approach. What are your opinions on the matter, as referees or players?
Most RPG heroes aren’t initially designed to account for fear of heights. Rogues, career skyship crew, residents of places like flying cities, flying creatures, gods, most animals, and monsters in general are immune to it. Other beings, however, may be susceptible. Roll an initial Wisdom Check for each player character; the level of failure indicates whether a character is predisposed to fear of heights, and the severity of the condition. 

Predisposition to Fear of Heights (Wis Check)

Critical Success
Below Score
Check when more than 360’ high
Exact Score
Check when more than 180’ high
Above Score
Check when more than 90’ high
Critical Failure
Terrified of heights more than 30’

If a character is susceptible to fear of heights and faces a situation that could trigger its effects, such as approaching a cliff’s edge, looking over a skyship’s railing, climbing a mast, crossing a rope bridge or a gangplank (etc.), a Wisdom Check should be required. Characters terrified of heights receive a –2 penalty to these checks. Results remain in effect for the remainder of the encounter.

Fear of Heights Effects (Wis Check)

Above Score
Exact Score
–1 penalty to Strength and Charisma
Below Score
–2 penalty to Strength, Agility, Charisma, attack rolls, and Defense Checks
Critical Failure
Paralysis for 1d4 combat actions, otherwise as above plus –50% MV penalty

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