D&D 5E Brainstorming ideas for a Stress system


Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Level 6: character soils armor.

What about a die to roll that acts as a penalty to all rolls that aren't fight or flight? Gain a level, use the next higher die type.
Nice, simple solution. I’ll probably stick with the more Exhaustion-like effects, but this would be a great alternative if you want something a bit more streamlined.

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It has to be something fast and simple. I imagine something like a 1-20 points. Some points of stress may help because you are stronger by the adrelanine and your level of alert is higher, but you can fail a "panic check" and then suffering some effect, and usually your concentration is worse..


Jewel of the North
I wonder if there are other spell effects we could mine for other levels.
Well...there's Psychic Scream...but having your head explode might be a little much :p

Other fun spell effects:
  • Confusion
  • Eyebite
  • Compulsion (by the DM)
  • 24-hours long Contact Other Plane :p (save after each hour)
  • Dream (by the DM)
  • Synaptic static
EDIT: Sympathy/Antipathy
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Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
What do y’all think of this table:

1Character suffers the Frightened condition regarding their Fears.
2-5 to all saving throw DCs, unable to maintain concentration.
3Attack rolls against the character have advantage.
4Automatically fail Wisdom and Charisma saving throws.
5Unable to take actions or reactions other than dash, disengage, dodge, or hide.
6Unable to understand language or communicate in any meaningful way. Permanently gain a new Fear.

As mentioned earlier, players would be able to choose to gain Inspiration and make a roll to resist gaining a level of Stress whenever they encounter one of their Fears, in addition to the triggers suggested in Van Richten’s Guide.
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