RPGBOT.Podcast S2E52 banner - Status Conditions 1

Status Conditions, Part 1: How to Restrain Your Dragon – RPGBOT.Podcast S2E52

Show Notes

In this episode of the RPGBOT.Podcast, we discuss status conditions in DnD and Pathfinder. We examine the evolution of status conditions since DnD 3.0, what status conditions tell us about the games, and how those status conditions can inform your tactics both as a player and as a DM.

Image by -MayaQ- from Pixabay.

Materials Referenced in this Episode


Randall  00:23

You know, there’s something I’ve been grappling with. This this fear I’m prone to. I find it poisons my thoughts. It blinds me it flat, flat, flat foots? Okay. I don’t think this is going to work.

Ash  00:37

I was loving it. You were on a roll there for a second!

Randall  00:46

Flat-foot totally got me. Yeah, that’s fair. Tyler Kamstra!

Tyler  00:51

Hi, everybody.

Randall  00:54

Ash Ely.

Ash  00:55

Hey guys.

Randall  00:57

All right. Hey, Tyler, what, uh, what’s happening?

Tyler  01:00

Well, today we’re going to talk about status conditions across tabletop RPGs. So we’re going to focus primarily on D&D and Pathfinder here today, because of all the games I’ve played, those were the ones who where statush conditions feature the most heavily.

Randall  01:16

Shtatush conditions?

Tyler  01:17

Shtatush conditions! Sorry about that. So we’re going to dig into what the different conditions do, how they work, how they compare across games, and kind of how they’ve evolved since like, 3.0, which is, in a lot of ways, the beginning of the modern RPG design era. So we will compare those cross editions, we’ll talk about how you can use them to your advantage or like, how they’ll be used against you and what you can do about it. We’ll, you know, try and make this informative and interesting.

Randall  01:49

That’s right. And just to call it out. Now we are we are going to do this across two episodes. So this week, we’ve got some cool stuff to talk about. Next week, we also have some cool stuff to talk about, but it’s gonna be status conditions again.

Ash  02:01

Turns out there’s a lot of those.

Randall  02:02

Yeah. There’s a lot to say about them. Although I think you know, not to not to… is it jump to the lead? What would you jump the conclusion? What am I jumping to

Tyler  02:02

Sure are. Skip to the conclusion?

Randall  02:12

Skip to the inclusion, bottom line up front?

Tyler  02:15

Spoil the ending.

Ash  02:17

Weird and complicated.

Randall  02:19

There’s so many phrases, I don’t want to deal with them all. That’s a problem for another day. Some of the status conditions suck.

Ash  02:26

Yes, they do. Bury the lead! Bury the lead.

Randall  02:30

Bury the lead. Nailed it. But we’re actually really excited about some of these. So in fact, I think the first group that we want to talk about are… and we’re gonna kind of put these in a box. The grabbed, grappled, prone, restrained. Tyler very famously wrote an article How to Restrain Your Dragon.

Tyler  02:50

You know, I… the Practical Guide to Grappling, I titled the announcement post, “how to restrain your dragon” because I was really hoping people would pick up on the How To Train Your Dragon pun there and not one. Not one person said anything. So if you’re out there and you had a heart chuckle…

Randall  03:07

Oh I totally get it.

Ash  03:08

Yeah, I got it right away. That’s the first time I’m hearing it. And yeah, great. Choice. Choice pun.

Randall  03:14

If you’re home and you like that, please reach out to Tyler@RPGBOT.net.

Tyler  03:19

Tell me that I’m funny so I can show it to my wife and say, “See?”

Randall  03:26

You’re gonna be getting tweets in like, 2025 about this, and I’m looking forward to it.

Tyler  03:30

You know, I’ll enjoy that. If you’re out there in 2025: I’m still here.

Randall  03:36

We’ll be on how to you know how to restrain your dragon six. Because, you know…

Ash  03:41

So you think

Randall  03:43

If it’s still printing money. Alright, so, Tyler, you talked about kind of starting with the idea of like, the 3.x days. So what did what did these look like in 3.x? Before we stepped into 5e and Pathfinder 2.

Tyler  03:54

Yeah, so if you’re familiar with fifth edition or Pathfinder first edition, it was basically the same thing. They just had slightly different effects that fit the rules of the day. So your your character might have like one of a set of named status conditions based on what was going on with them. So you might be paralyzed, petrified, prone. If all three of those things happen to you, I’m very sorry. But all those things can be slapped on to a creature in some combination. They would come from various effects like spells or monster special abilities. But the important part was each condition had a different defined effect. So depending on what created those effects, it would affect you differently. You’d have to deal with it in different ways. Figuring out how to counter a lot of those effects was pretty central to surviving third edition, and that has and hasn’t changed in some ways. But comparing the effects, sometimes effects that have the same names despite like years and years of distance and multiple rule sets in between still have very different effects that feel kind of similar. So looking at the comparisons… looking similarities and differences between the two can be super informative. And it’s kind of a fun way to observe the evolution between editions.

Randall  05:15

So yeah, let’s hop into it at that point. So 3.x had the idea of prone and grappled, but not restrained, right?

Tyler  05:22

Yeah, that was a weird one. Going back and researching for this episode, like I’m looking at the descriptions of the the conditions on various SRD’s. Yeah. 3.x does not have the restrained condition. So that applies to 3.0, 3.5, Pathfinder first edition. You do still have prone and grappled, but there’s no defined condition for like, I have been tied up with rope or I am encased in goo or something like that. And considering that exists in a lot of other games, 5e, Pathfinder second edition, it feels like kind of a weird omission. Because there were there were certainly some things in 3.5 which could restrain you. So looking at looking at the three conditions. They do feel super similar to 5e. Like, prone. You don’t want to be prone in Melee. It sucks. It’s not a lot of fun. People will have people will have better luck hitting you. You’ll have trouble hitting everything else. It’s hard to hit you at range because you’re like, you know, close to the ground and stuff. Grappled gives me PTSD flashbacks. Ash, you’re playing PF1 right now. Have you been subjected to the grapple rules?

Ash  06:39

Not… Well, I think I was once. Um…

Randall  06:43

You’d know it.

Ash  06:44

Yeah, no, I’m pretty sure… I think I’m pretty sure I was but I didn’t have to really do anything. My my DM like, basically said like… there’s like a grapple DC that you have. And I was just like, “I don’t know what that is.” They showed me another show me on my character. Like, there’s so many different like AC’s. Touch AC. Oh, CMD, CMDB, right?

Tyler  07:09

Yeah, that’s combat maneuver defense, combat maneuver bonus. Yeah.

Ash  07:12

Oh, my God. Yeah, I hated it. Like I did not… coming from 5e and going back to Pathfinder, I did not like the grapple. Like it was really brutal on someone who is like, you know, a witch, because I play a witch and not exactly has the highest CMD… B or whatever it is. And prone is also pretty brutal in comparison to 5e because even just standing up, I believe is like, I believe is a full round action to stand up.

Tyler  07:47

A move action, but it does provoke attacks of opportunity, which sucks.

Ash  07:50

Yeah. It provokes attacks of opportunity, which is the worst.

Randall  07:56

They could have made it worse though. Like if they successfully hit you get knocked back prone.

Ash  08:00

Yeah, that was the thing was that like I was facing against a creature that if they hit me, I would just immediately go prone so I’m just like, I guess I’m just stuck here now.

Randall  08:09

I’m here. I’m gonna stab at your foot with my fork.

Ash  08:13

That was essentially what happened?

Randall  08:15

Beat you the foot with my broom that I should fly with, but I can’t because you’ll hit me.

Ash  08:20


Randall  08:20

So on the grappled side, and… Alright, to jump ahead. We’re gonna talk about for grapple… you. Oh, no, that’s not true. I was about to say the wrong thing. Okay. What were the impacts on combat for being grappled? Did you have like a minus modifier to hit?

Tyler  08:38

Okay. So in terms of the effects of just the condition, basically just you and whoever you’re grappling, can’t move. Except if you take the grapple action to move the grapple. So if you’re using Pathfinder, first edition, d20PFSRD.com has two very nice flowcharts that nicely summarize all of the grapple rules. They’re huge pain in the butt. It’s seriously like to full printer paper size spreadsheets, just to explain like all the things you can and can’t do while grappling and look at that, and think this is awful. And remember that 3.0 and 3.5, it was considerably worse. So the status condition you get for when someone is grappled is everyone at the table leaves. That’s your status condition. Like someone pulls out the grapple rules like okay, I’m going home,

Ash  09:32

I believe. Yeah, and I believe my biggest complaint about the grapple is that like, if a person’s CMB is high enough, you essentially can’t break the grapple. Because I believe you have to use your CMD to like break the grapple right? Is that right? You can’t it’s not like… or escape artist. You can use escape artist.

Tyler  09:54

Yeah, you can use Escape Artist or you can use your combat maneuver bonus against their combat maneuver defense. But it’s usually gonna be like, Oh, look, this massive giant is grappling my tiny eighth strength witch.

Ash  10:06

Yeah, so I’m… Yeah, so um, and that was the problem was like, once I was grappled I was essentially just permanently grappled. And any… and you can be grappled multiple times from multiple different sources. So you have to break each grapple individually. I’m just like “this… This sucks. I hate this.”

Tyler  10:29

And that is why teleportation is important.

Ash  10:31

Yes, yes, it is.

Randall  10:35

Yeah, and so now we come to 5e.

Tyler  10:38

We come to 5e, where things are sensible and tolerable, and still a little abusable. But like not… not to the point where it’s going to make everyone want to get up from the table and go home. So yeah, being prone, people have advantage to hit you and melee and disadvantage that you would range. So one of my favorite tricks that I advocate: tactical cowardice. If you’re fighting at range, and so are your opponents, lay down.

Randall  11:03

Especially, especially if you’re using things that have saving throws anyway, because it is still technically an attack. You, if you had a spell attack, and you’re prone, you would still take disadvantage on it, right?

Tyler  11:13

Yes, correct.

Randall  11:14

Okay. But if it’s a saving throw, there’s literally no disadvantage to you. Lay down. Cast your spells. let time pass.

Tyler  11:24


Ash  11:25

Do you get disadvantage on Ranger tax when you’re prone?

Tyler  11:27


Ash  11:29

That seems interesting.  I mean, if you’re like if you it makes sense for like bows and stuff, but for crossbows and guns, I feel like it shouldn’t. I feel like being prone is a tactical decision when you’re using those weapons. But…

Tyler  11:30

Yeah. Yeah, I agree. I believe there was a feat in 3.5 called crossbow sniper that removed the penalties for firing a crossbow while prone among other benefits that I think it gave you. But I might be misremembering. So somebody on the internet, tell me I’m wrong.

Randall  12:03

Although, I will say on your turn, if it was really important to you, and you didn’t really plan on moving anyway, you could spend half your movement to stand, take your attack action with the bow, and then going prone, I believe in 5e is free, right?

Tyler  12:16


Randall  12:16

You don’t even have your movement back. So if if your DM is like “oh, no, you have to take that disadvantage.” If it wouldn’t hurt you in any way, you might as well just stand up, shoot off your attack and then lay back down. But if you’re lazy and you’re saving throws, I think just go for the saving throws. Like, why even why bother?

Tyler  12:35

This fireball doesn’t care if I’m laying down.

Ash  12:40

I’m just having a picture in my head of a Wizard just on his back like, “Fireball! I’m reading my magazine. Can you guys go somewhere else?”

Tyler  12:50

I’ve won fights like that. It works.

Randall  12:55

I have one more question. If I didn’t have anything great to do with my reaction, could I say that… Yeah. Can I hold movement? I don’t think that’s the right word. I can ready an action, but can I already movement?

Tyler  13:08

You can ready the dash action.

Randall  13:11

So I would have to burn my action for it. Okay, well, I don’t want to do that. I don’t care then. Obviously, one better would be like if it if any enemy comes within 10 feet of me, just gonna stand up and run away with my remaining movement. But alas, it’s not gonna work.

Ash  13:26

As far as grappling goes in 5e, what are you guys thoughts? Because I think that like it’s a both a blessing and a curse what they did with grappling in 5e because while I think it definitely sucks less, it is still, it’s still like more favorable for… it’s now more favorable for enemies to grapple you rather than the player to grapple a creature. Because a lot of enemies have just automatic grapples after they attack, which players don’t ever really get access to. Like in Pathfinder, yes, being grappled sucked, but it also really sucked for an enemy when you can successfully grapple them. Now it almost doesn’t really seem worth it to grapple as a player. I don’t know if you guys agree or not.

Randall  14:16

Okay, so I’m gonna push back. I play as a Sorcerer in my current game. I play as a Sorcerer in a party with Tyler’s Barbarian, Bugbear Grylls.

Ash  14:26

Right. Yeah.

Randall  14:27

Where half of what he does is show people prone and grapple them, and it’s awesome.

Ash  14:31

That is true. Like you guys have told me about that before. And I do think that is awesome. And in a build centered around that. Yeah, that’s true. But I feel like you have to kind of, you have to build your character around that.

Randall  14:42

And I think to some extent, Tyler did. And Tyler, like, I want you to talk about it in a second. The other thing I want to say though, is this though, is from a party composition it’s also really awesome. So we have a Monk who is more likely to land attacks in that situation. And so the benefit that the party gets from from Bugbear Grylls holding people still so we can beat them up is amazing. And I do think there’s a lot of opportunity for that, including, like when you grapple something, right, you’re in your five foot square there and they’re five foot square. And so as a Sorcerer, like I can just say like, Okay, I’m gonna make sure that I’m kind of, you know, I’m gonna stop the spell right there. It’s gonna be great. You’re gonna feel a little warmth. It’s not gonna hurt you any. Nevermind the hair one your arms wehre you’re holding them, it’s gonna be great.

Tyler  15:24

The grapple shove strategy has absolutely worked for us. And Ash, you’re right, you do have to build your character around it a little bit to make it effective. Proficiency in athletics will get you pretty far and then Barbarian, Barbarian to get advantage on strength checks if you’re raging.

Ash  15:42

For sure.

Tyler  15:43

I just get angry and push people grapple. And it’s fine. Like, there have been a few creatures which have successfully broken out of my grapples. But the problem is breaking a grapple is an action.

Ash  15:57


Tyler  15:57

So even if they break the grapple and stand up, it’s cost me my turn. It has cost them their turn. I have three buddies. So I’m still winning.

Ash  16:09

That’s true.

Tyler  16:10


Randall  16:11

It’s huge, like, in the action economy. It’s literally devastating. You can see the DM be like, “Okay, this is what we’re doing.”

Tyler  16:19

Every time.

Ash  16:21

Okay, you guys have convinced me a bit. I am curious, though. So do you got… So if you’re grappling him while he’s prone? Aren’t you also prone? Or are you not?

Tyler  16:32


Ash  16:33


Tyler  16:34


Ash  16:34

So it’s sort of like you’re staying up and just holding them down? Yeah.

Tyler  16:38

The 5e rules also don’t specify that you need to like commit a hand or anything to the grapple.

Ash  16:46


Tyler  16:46

So you’re free to grapple as many things as you want. So like, as people run up to you just like grapple them, put them on the ground, and… I don’t know, maybe you’re standing on them? Unclear. Imagine it how you will.

Ash  16:59

Yeah, that seems odd. Like I always thought it was weird that grappling someone didn’t affect your attack at all. Cuz like, don’t you need… kind of need both hands in order to grapple someone? And the other thing that always kind of bothered me a bit about grappling in 5e is it doesn’t really affect spellcasting. Like, obviously, if they’re going to do like a ranged attack, they would have disadvantage because they’re in melee with you anyway. But if someone say, if you’re trying to prevent someone from teleporting, and they have to use somatic components, there’s nothing in the rules that allows you to grapple them in such a way that they can’t do that. So they can just Misty Step out of it. So yeah, whereas like, in Pathfinder, I believe you had to make a concentration check in order to cast a spell, and it had to like beat their CMD or something. It was it was insane. Brutal for spellcaster.

Tyler  17:57


Ash  17:58

But definitely made sense. And was a way you could shut down as spellcaster. If like, if you’re capturing a spellcaster there’s no real way to shut them down, even if you kind of bind them up.

Tyler  18:11

Well, let’s see. So you have to prevent verbal components and somatic components. So you put a sock in their mouth and stick their arms in a bag full of barbecue sauce.

Ash  18:20


Tyler  18:23

I can’t remember which episode we told that story on. But it happened.

Ash  18:28

I need to hear this story.

Randall  18:30

To great effect. No, I mean, he just told it. So what it was, they had just acquired a condo that had a dumbwaiter with built-in room service. And when in need of making sure that they could not use somatic components. Yeah, the answer obviously was, well, let’s get two sacks of barbecue sauce and make this thing happen.

Ash  18:53

It’s very clever. It’s very clever. Yeah, cuz… So you guys remember James, right? I believe he was on this podcast at one point.

Tyler  19:03

I think so.

Ash  19:04

Was he? Or, did I… I remember you guys were talking to him

Randall  19:07

We had Colby.

Tyler  19:08

Yeah, we haven’t had James on yet.

Ash  19:10

Okay. Well, James is kind of our punching bag. But James is running the game. And he’s gonna love that I called him out on this. Where he had this big bad evil sorceress who had subtle… we knew had subtle spell. And we had no way to like shut her… She was unconscious, and we’re like, we want to interrogate her but she has subtle spell. We have no way to prevent that. Like, even if we grapple and bind her she still can just teleport away. So instead of like, you know, engaging with that plot hook or plot device we’re like “we’re just gonna kill her. That’s the best way to shut her down.”

Tyler  19:52

Speal With Dead works.

Ash  19:55

There you go. There you go. Too bad we didn’t have any clerics.

Tyler  20:00

Pro tip for the future: a lot of spells require line of sight, including a lot of teleportation spells. So if you blindfold her…

Ash  20:07

That is true. So we had talked about that. But I think James had ruled it that he could… that I think the wording I Misty Step is you don’t necessarily have to see where you’re going. You can just know where you want to go. Or Dimension Door. That’s what it was. Dimension Door.

Tyler  20:23

Ah. Dimension Door doesn’t require a line of sight.

Randall  20:26

It’s one of these things where we have to make eye contact with the DM and be like “you have made this to our only option is murder.”

Ash  20:31

Yeah, that was essentially what we said to him. And he’s like, “I don’t think that’s true.” I’m like, “Yes, James, it is true.”

Randall  20:38

How about this after we murder her, you could say well, you had mind. This is where we think prone, grappled, and restrained.

Tyler  20:47

Prone, grappled, restrained. Yeah.

Randall  20:50

Yeah, so we talked about grappled. We said that 3.x did not have an idea of restrained, so let’s call out the differences in fight. So both grappled and restrained, zero speed, no speed bonus. For restrained in addition to that, attack rolls against the creature have advantage. The creature’s attack rolls have disadvantage. Disadvantage on dexterity saving throws. So if I said grappled and restrained, which of these things are you when I tie your hands behind your back? What would you tell me?

Ash  21:20

I’d say restrained.

Tyler  21:22

Yeah, I definitely say restrained. The the part that I can’t reconcile with restrained is no matter how restrained you are, you can still attack.

Randall  21:30

Yeah. But you have disadvantage. So like, I’ve got the knife behind me. And I’m like, jumping backwards towards you.

Ash  21:37

It’s like that scene and I think it was the Avengers were Black Widow’s in a chair. And she’s just like… still, she hits it knocks the guy unconscious with their hair.

Randall  21:47

No, no, actually, this makes perfect sense. Okay, good. I’m glad Black Widow was able to rescue this. And the other thing worth mentioning, which actually, I’ve never quite understood, and so I’m looking forward to the two of you explaining it to me. For grappled, grappling… grappling ends if the grappler is incapacitated. Makes perfect sense. I’ve seen people pass out in fights, they stopped fighting it’s great. Or if the grappled creatures moved out of reach. So I think the example they give is like if Thunder Wave is an example of something that would move the creature out of reach, and therefore the grapple ends. So strategically like, how do you take advantage of that? How do you get your ally out of a situation where they’re being grappled by just, I’m going to do this thing that somehow moves them but doesn’t move the bad guy.

Tyler  22:34

I feel like we made this joke super recently, but… I’m gonna push him.

Randall  22:47

Walk up to him….

Ash  22:48

I’ma push him. Yeah, I think I don’t know if pushing, er, just like straight up pushing a person would break the grapple. Maybe it would. But I think what you got to do is like Thunder Wave and hope your buddy succeeds on the save. Although, I guess if they both fail, wouldn’t they trave together? See, like those edge cases, it’s really hard to kind of figure out.

Tyler  23:14

Yeah, so the… one of the ways you can break a grapple is by moving the grappler and grapplee?  Yeah. Grappler and graplee. By moving them out of the grappler’s reach.

Ash  23:23


Randall  23:28

Grappler and grappled?

Tyler  23:30

Yeah, that’s, that’s probably better. You just have to shove one of them away from the other. A lot of times, if you’re fighting a creature that’s relying on grappling, they’re going to be pretty hard to shove. Your allies might not be. Like your party’s eighth strength, not proficient in athletics Wizard: very easily shoved.

Randall  23:53

And so you can just shove them out of the grab, you shove them out of the grapple by moving them five feet and out of reach.

Tyler  23:58

Exactly. And if you call them a nerd, you get advantage.

Ash  24:02

So the solution to this is, as always, Fus Roh Dah.

Randall  24:10

Perfect. Okay, so I want to hop in a little bit, and I want to talk about like, as a player, how can we leverage these things, and we talked a little bit already, but it’s like, just have a Barbarian who’s awesome at this. Rage gives you advantage. It’s gonna be great. I think we can do even better as a party. So I want to offer this to you. Let’s say I’ve got a Sorcerer. Is everybody familiar with the spell Enlarge/Reduce?

Ash  24:36


Randall  24:37

Have you ever noticed how it is the same spell? There’s not a spell called enlarge and a spell car called reduce. It is Enlarge/Reduce. So I can cast that I believe it third level.

Tyler  24:49

I think it’s a second level spell, base.

Ash  24:51

Yeah, I believe it is.

Randall  24:53

Okay. Good. Which means, yeah, at… Okay, good, good, good. So it’s a second level spell, which means I get access to it at third level.

Tyler  25:00


Randall  25:00

Okay. I can twin spell this. I can make my medium ally large. I can make the gargantuan enemy huge. It’s a constitution saving throw. The likelihood of it hitting, pretty low, especially if you’re fighting against gargantuan creatures. Let’s be honest with folks. But there’s a chance! There’s a chance. We’re gonna get some bardic inspiration here it’s gonna be… no, that’s not gonna work that’s not going to help. We’ll figure it out. It’s gonna be great.

Tyler  25:27

Mind Sliver.

Randall  25:28

Brilliant. Done.

Ash  25:29

Or Silvery Barbs.

Randall  25:31

100%, actually, that’s perfect. Okay, so we’re gonna silvery barb our gargantuan creature. We’re gonna have some lucky dice, we’re going to move that to large. So now… excuse me, to huge. So, now originally I had medium versus gargantuan and the medium’s like “let me at them.” Twin spenn Enalrge/Reduce. Now, I have a large creature against a huge creature so they can grapple. And… our large friend has advantage on strength saving throws, er, strength ability checks. The hargantuan creature has disadvantage on those strength checks, strength saving throws. Now, shove prone and grapple.

Tyler  25:31

Silvery Barbs!

Randall  25:32

And, uh, that is when you suplex the Tarrasque.

Ash  26:18

Hell yes.

Tyler  26:22

Yeah, the difficulty is just that con save and yeah, con saves are hard but quicken Mind Sliver before you do it and then use Silvery Barbs as a reaction. Yeah, you could make that work.

Randall  26:33

And I’ll say there’s a lot of like, most of the time, the most thing that you’ll have to do is at least enlarge you peer, which is still gonna be giving them advantage. If they’re a barbarian, maybe they didn’t need that advantage. But let’s kind of push that off to the side for a second. And that’s gonna get you through most combat. When you have that gargantuan creature that you’re fighting. Like, that’s kind of a special situation. The other thing you could do is actually the book bear is a large creature, isn’t it?

Tyler  26:57

No. Well, they’re…

Randall  26:59

Are there large playable races?

Tyler  27:01

No. None official at least.

Randall  27:04

I’ve never… I guess I’ve never put that in my head. But yeah, okay, well, breaks this.

Ash  27:08

I’ve talked about this. Let me play large races. I don’t care if it breaks things.

Randall  27:13

That’s gonna be awesome. But most of the time, you don’t even need the twin spell. But imagine how awesome that would be, right? Like the Dragon comes out and you’re like, “Ah, I’m gonna restrain you.”

Ash  27:23

Alternatively, you could polymorph it.

Tyler  27:27

Eh, it’s a higher-level spell, but yeah. Polymorph it into something small.

Ash  27:31

Like a little rabbit.

Tyler  27:33

I’d go for something slow, like a box turtle. There you go.

Ash  27:37

Oh, perfect.

Tyler  27:38

Small, portable, doesn’t get around very quickly on land.

Ash  27:41

Yeah, don’t make the mistake that Caleb made in Critical Role where he turned one creature into a snapping turtle and it caused him so many issues.

Randall  27:53

One more question I’m grappling. With grappling, if the creature is smaller than you, you can actually move it freely, right?

Tyler  28:00

I think it has to be two sizes smaller than you and then you can move the grapple without moving at half speed.

Randall  28:06


Tyler  28:07

At that point, there’s so much smaller than you. It’s like a medium character like a human picking up a small, er, a tiny creature like a housecat. Like, I can carry a housecat and run at full speed. And I do that every night before we record.

Randall  28:23

I’ve seen it. Is there any restriction to how large, like, if it’s one size larger and you successfully grappled it, you can still move at half speen then.

Tyler  28:30


Randall  28:31

Okay, cool. So bringing the thing that you’re grappling, hovering them over danger and then letting them go. So you’re at the edge of the cliff, you’re at the edge of a lava bank, you somehow attached concrete feet and you’re at the edge of a lake or a river. I’ll make the, you know, you could argue with your DM “Hey, does it have a swim speed in the book? If not, sorry, bud. It’s gone.” There’s also an interesting like, if it is actually a river, like if it moves downstream with the water, maybe you can just get out of there. I guess I’m making the argument. There’s a lot of things that you can do in manipulation when you grapple and if they’re that much smaller than you especially if you use this twin spell. You can even get the your full movement to bring them to the danger zone.

Ash  29:13

Well, one of the things that I think the reason why people hate aarakocras so much is really easy to abuse this is you just specialize in the grapple. Like maybe you’re a Barbarian and you’re really good at grappling people you just grapple someone, fly up real high, and drop ’em.

Randall  29:28

What was the creature we were talking about in the Discord channel?

Tyler  29:31

The Honkulese.  Honkulese, yes! We were talking about my collection of pictures of birds. I am not a huge fan of birds, but I do enjoy art of birds. So every year for Christmas, my wife gets me a picture of a bird. It’s nice. We were talking about how awful geese are. And there was a parallel conversation about grappling and the possibility of aarakocra grappling people up into the air came up, and everyone kind of simultaneously had thought “that feels like something that awful geese would do.” So, we, like the the group think correctively… collectively formed the idea of the Honculese, a bipedal anthropomorphized goose that haunts the sides of lakes and hunts by picking people up and flying them off into the air. Honkulese.

Ash  30:30

I love it.

Tyler  30:31

We’ll post the stats in the show notes.

Ash  30:33

It’s great. It’s perfect and I love it. That’s my child.

Randall  30:38

It was perfect and awesome and terrifying. I made the argument, I believe that across the US, we should replace the canada goose with chickens. Based on the experience that I had a Key West. There’s an article about that on AmateurJack and go find it if you want. Yeah, geese are terrible. I think we can all agree. So there’s one more thing that I want to drive at here. So we talked about how cool it is to be a player next to lava, and then pick up the baddie and carry them over and drop them in. Or like if you, you know, if you have a fly speed, like fly really high and then just drop them. That’s great. Let’s talk about being a DM.

Tyler  31:12

Let’s not.

Randall  31:12

There are… no, no, it’s gonna be great. There are a lot of creatures that have built-in capabilities like if this attack hits, make one more check, and boom, they’re grappled, they’re restrained.

Ash  31:24

Or it’s an automatic restrained, automatic grapple, sometimes that just happens.

Randall  31:29

Yeah. And I think that this is an underutilized feature of these creatures, and can add a dynamic like if you feel like your combat is getting a little bit boring. This is a fantastic thing, it’s like okay, this just got real spicy because we’re not worried about dying in combat. But, you know, this shambling mound just easily landed two hits on my soft witch, engulfed them, and is now dragging them to the edge of the water.

Tyler  31:29

Yeah. Yeah, it’s the classic crocodile thing like pop out of the water. grapple it dragon into the water where you’ve got a fighting advantage.

Ash  32:03

Oh, you mean like what you tried to do to me, buddy? Exactly what you try to do to me?

Randall  32:12

Stay tuned, folks. It’s gonna be great. Yeah, no, absolutely. Like it’s, it’s a wonderful thing and it, you know, okay, how many turns are they away from the water? This is a real scary condition. I want to give a couple examples and let’s maybe talk about in general doing it. Two CR five creatures, great examples: shambling mound, giant crocodile. Shambling mound, you’re blinded, restrained, unable to breathe. So I don’t technically even have to bring you to the water. Because you’re blinded, we just talked about a second ago, a lot of the spells you would use to otherwise get out of a grapple or being restrained are unavailable to you.

Tyler  32:50


Randall  32:50

Okay. Unable to breathe. How long can an adventure hold their breath for?

Tyler  32:55

A stupidly long time.

Ash  32:57

Well, so the thing about it is, you have to be able to know that you’re about to be put in the water. Like you have to know that that’s going to happen in order to prepare yourself. If you don’t prepare yourself, I believe the rule is like, your constitution modifier in rounds. Otherwise, if you have a chance to like, like, you just need to be able to know. You can like see and are able to use your reaction, you can hold your breath for a minute, plus your constitution modifier in minutes. Minimum of 30 seconds.

Tyler  33:30

So there’s your, uh, there’s your tactical tip. At the beginning of combat, hold your breath. Combat that will be over before it matters.

Ash  33:36

That’s true.

Randall  33:37

But you know, in the in the case of the mountain slipping into the water or the crocodile. Like if, if combat turns to a chase, those rounds are gonna go by pretty quickly. And I think if you’ve been thinking about adding a chase dynamic, because the shambling mound has engulfed like your favorite character and is running away with them. A wonderful reason to chase them. You’re probably not going to give that one up. Giant crocodile you’re grappled and strained with, with the bite attack. Another fun one. So the young Kraken is a CR 14 creature. Grappled and restrained with a tentacle attack. So if we look up and down the tier, we can find creatures and I’ll give a tip for it. If you go to D&D Beyond, if you’re buying your source books through through D&D Beyond, if you search for grapple you will get monsters, period. Some of those monsters will be hidden behind source books but that’s a quick way of at least finding creatures that have grapple. And then yeah, go buy the books or you know, find those monsters, whatever. Either way, it’s gonna be great. But now you can find monsters that can take the grappling effect or can can put the grappling effect on your players and you can impose great horrors.

Tyler  34:38

A giant frog is a threat to a Wizard at basically any level.

Ash  34:42


Tyler  34:44

So let’s let’s hit on Pathfinder second edition really quick because there’s a ton of similarities between PF2 and 5e. Both like tactical implications and mechanics. So if you are… they don’t call it grappled in PF2. They call it grabbed because instead of grappling you grab things it’s very similar to fight the US and athletics check cetera. So if you if you are grabbed you’re flat-footed and immobilized now flat-footed is everywhere in PF2. It’s just -2 penalty to your AC and like a bunch of things like sneak attack can affect you. Immobilizez means you can’t take move actions, which is like one of the tags that they put on things. So move actions include stride, step, jump a couple other things. So effectively, you are unable to move just as in 5e. You can’t do things that you couldn’t do in 5e, like you can’t stand up from prone, you can’t mount a horse, you can’t run away, any of those things. And so a lot of the tactical implications are very similar in PF2. Like, grabbing someone gets you most of the benefits that you get from the grapple shove combo and FFIV. But you can still shove them prone, and it’ll cost them an action both to break the grapple, and then to stand back up. And like if you’re trying to get an action economy advantage, that’s pretty great. Prone is also a little bit weird. I’m not 100% certain that this is how it’s intended to work. But if you’re prone, you can use the take cover action to get greater cover. Greater cover qualifies you to hide. So unless there’s an FAQ somewhere that I don’t know about, you can lay on the ground and cover your head to hide.

Ash  36:33

Interesting. It sounds wrong but I’ll have to check it out.

Tyler  36:37

It sure does! I’m really hoping I’m wrong here. I’m pretty certain that I am because that is clearly nonsensical, but raw that, like, rules is written that is… that appears to be how it works. They do specifically also call out that you can’t be prone while swimming, which is another weird thing in 5e. You can be prone while swimming, burrowing flying, like… I don’t exactly know how you become like… I guess if you’re upside down while swimming, does that count as prone? I don’t know. I don’t go outside.

Ash  37:09

Yeah, no. I don’t get it. I mean, I remember reading this recently, and maybe I’m wrong. And people can yell at me on Twitter. But I do think that you can only take cover if you’re near something that can provide you cover.

Tyler  37:27

Normally, yes, the prone conditions specifically says that you can use the tape cover action to gain greater cover against ranged attacks.

Ash  37:36

Okay. Weird.

Tyler  37:37

It’s a weird exception.

Ash  37:38

Yeah, that is weird.

Randall  37:40

Yeah, I think you nailed it, the plan exactly was you’re just going to cover your eyes and then you’re going to woralk towards the enemy. It’s like “you can’t see me.”

Tyler  37:51

So grappled also has one more thing I forgot to call out. There’s a 20% failure chance on manipulate actions. So manipulate actions are generally anything involving an item. So if you’re trying to draw a weapon, or use a magic wand or something like that, there’s a 20% chance that those will fail. I’m forgetting off the top of my head, but that might also apply to casting spells. So it does give you some chance to, you know, hinder spellcasters that are giving you trouble. More likely, you want to try to restrain them in some way because that gives you, like, that severely limits the actions you’re allowed to take. You’re basically only allowed to use mental actions and escape. And mental actions are things like recall knowledge and regret.

Ash  38:38

I’m so glad that they choose to call that out.

Randall  38:43

So the next group we want to at least mention just to identify them, as we talked about status conditions are the idea of being surprised flat-footed. I’ll say we did an entire episode on surprise, we’ll have a link in the show notes if you want to go back and listen to it. But at a high level, you know, Tyler, do you want to run through just to remind folks what these things do?

Tyler  38:59

Yeah. So in 3.x, there wasn’t a surprised condition, there was a surprise round quote unquote. If you’re playing 5e or PF2, stop using the phrase surprise round, it doesn’t exist. You could also be flat-footed if you were surprised or if you had certain other conditions and that took away your dexterity bonus and dodge bonuses to AC so it was easier to hit you with things. So being surprised, being flat-footed, not fun. But you want to do it to other people because it makes it easier to hurt them. So, you know, surprise is always very good. In 5e there’s the surprised condition which is I think we got this a little bit wrong in the surprise episode. But basically, if you go into combat and an enemy is completely unaware of any threat whatsoever, they are surprised and they basically spend their entire first term looking shocked and amazed. Yeah, just like that. For six seconds straight. It’s amazing.

Ash  39:59

While you stab them in the gut.

Randall  40:01

Yeah, so somehow they knew to take their breath.

Tyler  40:03

Yaah, like, like I said, tackle your tactical advice for tonight: take a deep breath at the beginning of combat combat will be over before it matters. PF2, there’s, there’s no… there are no surprise mechanics, it’s literally just not a thing. The only appearance of surprise that I could find in the rules text is the section in the gamemastery guide about surprising players while they’re resting. And the advice is just don’t do this too often. It’s kind of a dick move. The flat-footed condition like 3.x you could you primarily got it by being surprised. In PF2 you get flat footed from everything. And it’s a very important condition. Like you can impose it by flanking enemies, by pushing them prone, by grabbing them, by paralyzing them, by putting like… half the conditions in the book to say the creature is flat footed, and also.

Ash  40:59

Yeah, I think if you attack someone and they don’t know you’re there, they’re flat-footed, right?

Tyler  41:05

Correct, yeah. Call back to our stealth episode.

Ash  41:08

It’s just, I mean, it is an elegant way to approach things. It’s just like, just one system for a variety of situations, which I can appreciate that.

Tyler  41:18

Yeah. So let’s talk about something that we haven’t talked about on the podcast before: being blind and deaf. I don’t know if you’ve ever been blind and deaf at the same time before.

Ash  41:28


Tyler  41:28

Not a lot of fun.

Randall  41:29

Yeah, my hearing is getting worse, I think from wearing headphones all day, every day for everything. And so for folks that don’t already know this about me, I am absolutely blind. I can, without anything corrective, I can see like three inches in front of my face in large font and that’s basically the only hope I have.

Ash  41:49

Do you work contacts?

Randall  41:50

I do. They’re less contacts and more like do you know the film that you pull out of the top of a bottle cap? That’s what we’re working with.

Ash  42:01

I relate buddy. I do. My eyes are terrible, too. So…

Randall  42:06

So I know something about blind. Continue, sir.

Tyler  42:10

So let’s go back to 3.x because 5e and Pathfinder kind of deviated from each other here. Like in… for some of the status conditions, they stayed kind of in lockstep like the prone, grappled, all those stayed kind of similar, but they moved in different directions for blind and deafened. So in 3.x, you have this condition called dazzled which was just minus one to attacks and basically anything visual. I don’t know why they bothered writing it down. It is so pointless and like two things in the game caused it. I don’t understand. The blinded condition’s obviously more important. You take a penalty to AC and your flat-footed, which further penalizes your AC, and you move at half speed, and you take penalties to a whole bunch of skills, and you have a 50% miss chance on all of your attacks because you’re you’re effectively guessing where someone is in their square.

Ash  43:05

That’s brutal.

Tyler  43:06

Super brutal. Yeah. Blindness deafness was a very powerful save or suck spell in 3.x. If I remember right, it also targeted will saves instead of fortitude save, so like way better in 3.x than it is in 5e.

Ash  43:20


Tyler  43:21

And then yeah, being being deafened. You took a penalty to initiative for some reason, like…

Randall  43:29

Can’t hear the announcement the to roll initiative.

Tyler  43:32

There you go. Yep.

Ash  43:33

It’s ready to roll initiative!

Randall  43:36

What? What’d you say?

Tyler  43:41

There’s also a chance you fail to cast any spells with a verbal component. Randall, you’re a musician. I feel like you’ve talked about this with me before. But like, the ability to hear as you’re making sounds is super important for musicians.

Randall  43:55

Oh, yeah. Like having having feedback. Having some kind of monitoring, especially if you’re trying to sing is like super, super awesome. I’ll be blunt, like, I don’t understand how folks do these kinds of things without monitors.

Tyler  44:06

Yeah, so they kind of implemented that. So there’s like a 20% chance of failure. It’s annoying.

Randall  44:13

It’s not good.

Tyler  44:14

So 5e is a little less brutal and there’s like less things you have to keep track of. If you’re blind, you can’t see obviously so you just fail anything involving sight. You can’t target with spells. Most spells. Huge pain. Disadvantage on all of your attacks and advantage on all attacks against you. And honestly, that is enough for this to be huge problem.

Randall  44:36

Although you can cast your saving throw spells.

Tyler  44:39

If you can target.

Randall  44:41

Ah, that’s… okay. That’s fair.

Tyler  44:43

Now some spells you can fire blind. Like, I believe fireball is a good example. So yeah, that’s exactly what you want is your your Wizard firing blind into combat.

Ash  44:55


Randall  44:55

I mean, the Wizard doesn’t want to die. So at least you’re going with them. That’s all I’m saying.

Ash  45:01

I will say that like blinded doesn’t specifically, I’d have to read the verbiage on it, but it doesn’t specifically say that you don’t know where enemies are. So all it says is you just have disadvantage. Which I guess they wanted to simplify it, but it does feel like not enough to me. Like being blind in combat is really bad. But for the sake of simplicity, I think it makes sense.

Tyler  45:31


Randall  45:33

If it’s in a physical sense like a creature you can see a target, you can see a point you can see. It’s so many spells say exactly that. I mean, you can’t see. But yeah, like to take fireball, for instance, the language of fireball is a point you choose.

Ash  45:46


Randall  45:46

So if you can presumably identify the point that you choose. Luckily, you’re looking at a map. You’re like, yeah, no, that’s the point. I see it. Er, you know, whatever. Right there.

Tyler  45:55

50 feet due north: fire.

Ash  45:57

Yeah, and then deafened is just so lame in 5e. So lame.

Tyler  46:03

You can’t hear. Great.

Ash  46:05

Cool. Thanks, 5e.

Tyler  46:10

Yeah, there, there’s no penalties to anything verbal. You can still speak perfectly fine. You can still play musical instruments. Like, yeah, it’s literally just you fail to do anything that requires hearing,

Randall  46:25

But if creatures would have been running towards you in the water, you’re not gonna know they’re coming. And that I think is very important. It’s the main reason that I think everybody should carry a spell that, you know, allows you to cast deafened. Absolutely.

Ash  46:38

I think I think it’s useful for stealth. So like this would be… It can’t… I don’t know, can arcane tricksters take blind blindness/deafness, or can they not?

Tyler  46:49

I don’t think so. But don’t quote me on it.

Ash  46:52

That seems like an oversight. I feel like that’s something they should have. Because it seems really useful for stealth.

Tyler  46:58

Now that’s what Invisibility is for.

Ash  47:00

True. But if you can be invisible, and also deafen someone, you take out the disadvantages of invisibility.

Tyler  47:10

That was a… that was a classic thing and 3.x caster supremacy. So concentration worked very, very differently in 3.x. Instead of like, I can concentrate on one thing there were a very small handful of spells where you had to spend your standard action every term to concentrate and maintain the spell but everything else just ran for the duration. So a Wizard could cast invisibility and make them impossible to see and silence to make them impossible to hear. And congratulations you’ve now out-rogued every Rogue. You can cast knock and pick every lock without any issues. Like one spell you can out damage a Fighter. Like, casters, man.

Ash  47:53

Yeah, I do think this is a whole other topic. But I do think that… I think 5e was a little overzealous with the concentration stuff. Just let us do multiple things because there’s some spells that you would never cast because they require concentration. And there’s just better spells like blindness and deafness. No one ever uses that spell because it requires concentration and there are just better spells that do kind of the same thing.

Tyler  48:16

Yeah, concentration and it’s a con save? Like, why? Why bother?

Ash  48:20

Yeah, no, it’s a useless spell.

Randall  48:24

Like I was gonna cast this but actually just, just skip my turn.

Tyler  48:30

So PF2, like I said, we deviated a little bit when, you know, 3.x, Pathfinder one, and then PF2 went one direction, 5e went another. PF2 kept that dazzled condition from 3.x which, like, when I was first reading the core rulebook I’m like “Paizo why? Why have you done this?” But actually made it really meaningful! Like, dazzled gives creatures a 20% miss chance. Let’s see… so it makes all creatures concealed to you which imposes a 20% miss chance on attacks and targeting and stuff. So like if I if I go to cast a cantrip at somebody even if it requires a saving throw, like there’s a 20% miss chance, which is like pretty significant.

Randall  49:15


Tyler  49:15

Yeah, exactly. So like there’s a there’s a handful of things that cause dazzle. Like they’re not as good as things that are right blind you but there’s enough of them that it’s like… it is a meaningful thing and you can get it from a lot of places. I’m working on the Magus class handbook for PF2 right now. Spoilers, it should be out very soon. And like there’s a there’s a shield option you can get where somebody hits you with an attack and as a reaction, you emit a blinding flash of light and a cone from your shield and everything in the cone is dazzled for a round. So like everything has a 20% miss chance for a round like that. That’s really good for martial character.

Ash  49:55

It’s also helpful for rogues because you don’t need cover to hide from that person.

Tyler  50:00

Exactly, yes. Yeah, you just… scrooch down. It’s like, ah!, they’ve got spots in their eyes. I’ll hide in one of those spots.

Ash  50:08

Yeah, that’s cool. I like it.

Tyler  50:10

Yeah!.So blinded feels very, very similar to 3.x, but there’s less math. Obviously, you can’t see. All terrain is difficult terrain, which means you move at half speed, and you can’t, importantly, you can’t step, which means you have to stride. So like you can’t step out of reach to avoid opportunity attacks and stuff. So all terrain is difficult, there’s probably going to be a penalty on your perception checks, it’s kind of conditional, so check the wording there. And this isn’t called out in 3.x or 5e: you’re immune to visual effects. So in 5e things that affect you based on vision rules as written, frequently being blinded doesn’t protect you from them. So like if if someone casts hypnotic pattern on you and you’re blinded, I’m pretty sure you can still be affected in 5e. Double-check the wording on the specific spells because it may say like creatures that can see. But it’s just weird that they didn’t just put that right in the condition.

Ash  51:13


Tyler  51:14

Oh, you’re…

Randall  51:15

Sctually, so hypnotic pattern. Each creature in the area who sees the pattern must make a wisdom saving throw.

Ash  51:22

Yeah, so the way 5e did it is that it calls it out in the specific spell effects rather than the condition, which seems like more work.

Randall  51:33

And then, like they forget it the one time and you’re staring at it like “Wait, was this intentional? Did they… is this what they meant?” Alright, the last group that we want to talk about today: fatigue and exhaustion.

Tyler  51:44

I’m tired already.

Randall  51:45

Yeah. It’s gonna be great. Let’s do this. I’m actually.. okay, I… Yeah, I’m going to jump ahead to 5e and then let’s come back. Let’s talk 3.x a little bit like… Okay, I really love the 5e exhaustion ladder.

Ash  52:00

Me too.

Randall  52:01

I think it’s really cool. I think it makes a lot of sense. As a DM imparting this onto your victims. Your, I’m sorry, your players, makes a lot of sense. As a player if you can find a way to put this on creatures, I think it’s a fun gimmick from time to time. I think it would get old if like that was your entire shtick. And yeah, I think you know, hopping the second, but I think these are really cool. I guess that’s what I wanted to lead off with.

Tyler  52:21

I agree. The exhaustion mechanic and fivey is really neat. It’s what’s occasionally referred to as a “death spiral.” Basically, once you start down the spiral, it’s really hard to get off. I would like to get off of Mr. Bone’s Wild Ride now, please. Like you, once you hit three levels of exhaustion, you have disadvantage on saving throws, which makes it really hard to stop getting more levels of exhaustion. Yeah, things go from bad to worse, like in a linear, progressively more terrible fashion.

Randall  52:59

So let’s take… Let’s take a step back. Let’s talk about 3.x. So you had the idea of being fatigued and then being exhausted?

Tyler  53:05

Yeah. So it was essentially a two step thing. Like there wasn’t stage six where you die, you stopped at exhausted. Fatigue was a very mild inconvenience. You took a minus two penalty to strengthen dexterity. Not to checks, like, to the ability scores, you had to go recalculate your character sheet. So that was the most annoying part. You also couldn’t run or charge which, boy, if you are a martial character, sucks to be you. If you’re Wizard you’re like, I literally have never done either of those things.

Randall  53:37

I don’t even know what I’ve lost.

Tyler  53:39

Yes, exactly. And then if you if you were hit with another effect that would make you fatigued you would become exhausted. Exhausted, halved your speed and you took a -6 penalty to strength and dexterity. So again, go recalculate your character sheet. Way to go 3.x. And yeah, it slowed you down a little bit. But again, casters are like, I mean, I’m on this… I’m on this magic broom that has its own fly speed. And I mean, sure, okay, my strength is now two and that’s mildly inconvenient. Don’t really care.

Randall  54:13

If we were counting on my strength or anything, we were already do it.

Tyler  54:16

Yes. Oh, no, I can’t carry my I can’t carry my bag of holding. I’ll have to sit down for a minute.

Randall  54:24

Just now drop it. I’ll pick it up in the in the combat.

Tyler  54:26

There you go.

Randall  54:27

Okay, for 5e, what I’d like to do are quick, I’m gonna run through and just say the six levels of exhaustion, and then we’ll pick our heads up. We’ll talk about it. Sounds good?

Ash  54:36

Sounds good.

Randall  54:37

Awesome. Okay. First level of exhaustion, disadvantage on ability checks. Second, speed halved. Third, disadvantage on attack rolls and saving throws. And I feel like this is the first real spicy one we’re like, Haha, got you! Four, hit point max halved. Five, speed reduced to 0. 6: death.

Tyler  55:00

Yeah! So getting exhausted, it sucks.

Ash  55:04

Yeah. Especially if you have monsters that impose an xhausted status effect. That can spiral really quickly.

Randall  55:13

So I think this is another one that’s actually fun to talk about. So as a player, how can you put exhaustion on a creature? And is it worth it? I’ll call out the only way that I’m familiar with, which I have used… So Tyler brought this up at one point, and like, I want to do this very badly. So I did. Sickening Radiance. All right, a shimmering shine of suck, cast over the area, all creatures who start their turn in it make a constitution saving throw or suffer a level of exhaustion. Imagine going into an enclosed space, casting it into a room full of enemies, and then shutting the door. Or what we did recently, like we entered a room and the DM described it as having like a 10-foot hallway where we just said, “Cool! Two martial characters, please stand up front and don’t let anybody leave. I’ve got a spell the cast.”

Tyler  56:15

It works so well.

Randall  56:16

And so it’s super situational when you can actually get away with it. Because let’s face it, like if you’re in a big open space, you cast it, you get one level of exhaustion, disadvantage on ability checks, who cares? Right? It doesn’t matter. If you have something where like, you can stun them, you can get them to skip the turn and have to spend two turns in the effect, speed halved, I would still argue really, who cares. But if you can get into three disadvantage on attack rolls and saving throws, I think it can be really powerful.

Ash  56:43

Yeah, I think I really, really, really like exhaustion mechanics of 5e. I think it’s one of the conditions that they absolutely nailed. Because like, it not only is just… it’s like a death spiral sort of thing, but it also allows certain things that were hard to get across in other conditions like environmental effects, like you know, traveling for a long time in the desert, or pushing yourself past your limits, or particularly brutal monsters. Like, like there are several sessions that I’ve run where players had to choose between getting to a place on time and being exhausted, or resting and impossibly missing their chance. And that is a super fun choice. And it’s really dramatic. And I like that. Where if it was just like minus two penalty or whatever people would be like, yeah, we’re just gonna go. But I will say that, so monsters that impose exhaustiion can…. the exhausted conditions in 5e are kind of rare. But one group that does like to use this a lot is Kobold Press. Tome of beasts has a lot of monsters that impose the exhausted condition, which is cool. I like that. Like there’s a one creature that basically drains moisture from you. And instead of just doing like, necrotic damage, which is kind of boring. It’s like, no, you’re getting exhausted from this. Which I think makes sense. It’s like you’re being put through a harsh desert conditions in an instant.

Tyler  58:16

Yeah, but the scariest thing about exhaustion for players is you remove one level of exhaustion per long rest.

Ash  58:24


Tyler  58:25

So like, one of the players handbook subclasses for the Barbarian is the Berzerker. You can Berserk in addition to raging, which gets you an extra attack as a bonus action. But when you’re done raging, you take a level of exhaustion. So immediately upon publication, that subclass was basically unplayable and it’s pretty much there to trap uninformed players because you’re gonna go in, you’re gonna rage, you’re gonna berserk, you’re gonna have a lot of fun for like two rounds, combat is going to end, and then you’re going to be tired. And then you’re gonna be like… “Oh. I can only feasibly do this once per day, or I’m gonna die. I can literally rage myself to death.” Yeah, it’s…

Randall  59:14

What an ending that would he really be, you’ve been standing in the same place for a day trying to rest and then creatures keep approaching. Because you can’t move because you’ve got five levels of exhaustion. And then the last enemy finally approaches and you’re like, you know what, it’s time. You berserk knowing that as soon as it’s done, you’re gonna die.

Ash  59:35

What? That is a really cool way to get like a final stand where you’re just killing a bunch of people. And finally, you’ve given your friends enough chance to run away and you embrace death.

Randall  59:45

I’m going to block this five foot hallway because I don’t need to move move anyway. I’m just getting… I am the choke point. As you say as you’re literally, like, choking a creature to death. They report to the BBEG. It’s like “what was he saying is he died?” “I’m a choke point!”

Tyler  1:00:04

He died I see lived: furious. So super, super fast touch on PF2. Exhausted has gone away, there is now fatigued. PF2, fatigued, it’s a Boolean, you take a minus one penalty to your defenses. So it’s your AC, your saving throws. And then you can’t use exploration activities while traveling. So like if you’re, if you’re riding a horse from town to town, you can’t be like I take the scout action, er, activity to you know, help my party watch for danger. You can’t do those things. It has absolutely no impact on your ability to attack things. There’s nothing stopping you from like, Oh, yes, I can… I’m fatigued, but I’m still going to lift this boulder. But yeah, it’s a very strange condition. It doesn’t do a whole lot. It’s mostly a mild inconvenience.

Ash  1:01:03


Randall  1:01:04

All right. Well, we have a question of the week this week. Question week this week comes to us from @Dzzynuts from Twitter.

Ash  1:01:10

Great name.

Randall  1:01:13

Why is lesser restoration written as “conditions can be” instead of “conditions are”? And for folks at home, I’m going to read the spell just so sorry. There’s some context to this. You touch a creature and can end either one disease or one condition afflicting it. The condition can be blinded, deafened, paralyzed, or poison.

Tyler  1:01:33

I think it’s purely a grammatical choice here. Because you’re only adding one condition, it’s “the condition can be” and you can pick one of those conditions and end it. But you couldn’t say like, I’m going to end conditions on it, and the conditions that are ended are x, y, and z.

Ash  1:01:50

I think the implication that Dzzynuts is going for, and they can correct me if I’m wrong, is that if they’re saying it can be these, but it could also be something else that’s not listed here. I don’t think that was what they were going for. I appreciate you reading through the lines on that. I think as as they would say, Jeremy Crawford would say, it’s not in the spirit of the rule, but technically it is correct. So I think what they were trying to say, yeah, I think Tyler’s right, it’s a grammatical choice that you can choose one of these. Not necessarily that these are just some of the conditions you can remove, but you can also remove others.

Tyler  1:02:34

There are also some specific effects outside of the spell that can be removed by lesser restoration or restoration. I’m struggling to think of examples but they will appear sometimes in Monster stats.

Randall  1:02:48

Alright, nailed it. All hail Leisure Illuminati. I’m Randall James you’ll find me amateurjack.com and on Twitter and Instagram @JackAmateur.

Tyler  1:02:55

I’m Tyler Kamstra. You’ll find me at RPGBOT.net. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at RPGBOTDOTNET and Patreon and Reddit RPGBOT.

Ash  1:03:06

I’m Ash Ely. You can follow me on Twitter @gravenashes.

Randall  1:03:09

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Tyler  1:03:50

I think we forgot to do the Welcome to the RPGBOT.Podcast. I’m Randall James, your something something. wool socks. There you go, wool socks with the shorts and flip flops.