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Drowning in 13th Age

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Anyone make up drowning rules for 13th Age? It came up last session when the characters were fighting a bunch of water elementals in 8' diameter tubes partially full of water and filling.

My first instinct was to treat it as any other environmental hazard and do an attack vs. PD for damage based on their tier. Maybe with some miss damage becasue you will eventually run out of breath. But then I was thinking about the simplicity of ongoing damage with a "get head above the water" instead of a save. And if either way I wanted to block the Rally action while actively drowning (though magic could still let you spend a recovery).

How have you dealt with this?
 

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Y'know, I saw the title, and thought it was a reference to glut of awesome 13A product out there. ;)

I have not used drowning in 13A, but some random thoughts:

  • Combats rounds are pretty short, even being active, you might be able to hold your breath for a few rounds before anything starts to happen.
  • You could tie the effect to the escalation die. 13A is big on dramatic pacing, that way.
  • You could even open up a little player agency. Drowinging kicks in after a minute, but a player can declare their PC starts drowning earlier after taking a crit, using a daily, or some other trigger - advancing the Escalation die as his allies are motivated to end the fight before it's too late.
  • Water elementals may well be able to turn the water against you, active drowning, justifying an attack each round or ongoing damage.
  • You could require a character reach the surface and take a breath to Rally (or to get a roll to Rally after the first time).
 

Joshua Randall

Adventurer
I like Tony Vargas's ideas above.

A meaner version:
Increasingly difficulty Constitution checks. When you fail the Constitution check, you start making Last Gasp saves. You keep making LG saves until you fail 4 (and drown, you're dead) or until you get out of the drowning situation by some other means.
 

JeffB

Legend
I would probably do something like [MENTION=7737]Joshua Randall[/MENTION] said but that also involves burning a revovery for every missed save. That way there would be some lasting effect even if they got out of the mess.
 

mkill

Adventurer
My first instinct was to treat it as any other environmental hazard and do an attack vs. PD for damage based on their tier. Maybe with some miss damage becasue you will eventually run out of breath. But then I was thinking about the simplicity of ongoing damage with a "get head above the water" instead of a save. And if either way I wanted to block the Rally action while actively drowning (though magic could still let you spend a recovery).

I think your suggestion is fine. The save here represents that the PC somehow manages to get his head above water to catch a breath.

Apart from that, drowning shouldn't be too bad initially (while of course deadly in the long run). Trained apnoe divers can hold their breath for over a minute, that's several combat rounds. PCs should be able to pull off similar feats, at least at champion and epic tiers. The main challenge is to fight the initial panic. The last thing you want to do under water is trying to breathe in a panic.

Rallying while drowning is fine too - it represents that the PC calms down and acts rationally.
 

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