Dnd 5e fear

Dnd 5e fear DEFAULT

As per this fear spell 5e you do project a phantasmal image of one creature’s worst fears. Of course each and every creature within a 30-foot cone should be succeeded on a wisdom saving throw or else drop whatever it has been holding and also become frightened for a specific duration.

Read more: web dnd 5e spell

Whenever while frightened by this dnd 5e Fear Spell, a creature should make the dash action and also move away from you by a safest route which is one of the currently available routes on each of its turns, unless there was no chance to move anywhere. But if the creature ends its tun in a specific location wherever it does not have line of sight to you of course the creature can also make a wisdom saving throw. On a successful save, the spell will automatically end for that specific creature.

Attributes Of Fear Spell D&D 5E

Casting Time1 action
ClassesBard, Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard
ComponentsV S M
ConcentrationYes
DurationUp to 1 minute
Level3
MaterialA white feather or the heart of a hen
NameFear
RangeSelf (30-foot radius)
SchoolIllusion
TargetEach creature in a 30-foot cone
Sours: https://dndtopics.com/spells/fear/

D&D 5E Fear spell and the Dash action

[h=5]Hello all,
I have a question about how far a creature has to move when affected by the Fear spell.
Assume a medium creature with a 30' move and an unobstructed view of the caster that cast the spell.

Does the affected creature have to move 60' (30' for the Dash action and 30' movement)?
Or just 30' (using the 30' extra movement granted by Dash and 0' movement)
Can it move less? Somewhere between 5' and 25' (using just part of the extra movement granted by Dash action and 0' movement)?
Or some other number using part of its extra movement and part of its regular move?




The Fear spell says:
While frightened by this spell, a creature must take the Dash action and move away from you by the safest available route on each of its turns, unless there is nowhere to move, If the creature ends its turn in a location where it doesn't have line of sight to you, the creature can make a Wisdom saving throw. On a successful save, the spell ends for that creature.

This is from the combat chapter:[/h][h=5]Your Turn
On your turn, you can move a distance up to your speed and take one action. You decide whether to move first or take your action first. Your speed—sometimes called your walking speed—is noted on your character sheet. The most common actions you can take are described in the “Actions in Combat” section later in this chapter. Many class features and other abilities provide additional options for your action.The “Movement and Position” section later in this chapter gives the rules for your move. You can forgo moving, taking an action, or doing anything at all on your turn. If you can’t decide what to do on your turn, consider taking the Dodge or Ready action, as described in “Actions in Combat.”

This is from the actions in combat section:
Dash
When you take the Dash action, you gain extra movement for the current turn. The increase equals your speed, after applying any modifiers. With a speed of 30 feet, for example, you can move up to 60 feet on your turn if you dash. Any increase or decrease to your speed changes this additional movement by the same amount. If your speed of 30 feet is reduced to 15 feet, for instance, you can move up to 30 feet this turn if you dash.[/h]

 

Sours: https://www.enworld.org/threads/fear-spell-and-the-dash-action.477548/
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How to Use the Frightened Condition Strategically: D&D 5e Analysis

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One of the least-understood game mechanics, in my opinion, is the Frightened condition. Players and DM’s are typically uncertain of what it means for a creature to be Frightened, looking up the rule in the moment to find out how fear will affect the game. Beyond mechanics, fear is not roleplayed very well, if at all. If a player isn’t scared, I don’t typically see them empathizing with their Frightened characters. Players just want to get their characters to snap out of it so they can fight optimally. I think this is an unfortunate paradigm regarding in-game fear; a player that truly gets into a character’s head can experience the game emotionally, feeling genuine dread on behalf of their characters. DM’s dream of genuinely frightening players, but they’ll settle for a session roleplayed well.

Since fright can be expressed and mechanized with greater potency in 95% (ish) of D&D games, I’ve decided to write about it. As you read, consider how you can roleplay fright and strategically use it. This also applies to instilling dread that isn’t mechanical, not a condition. DM’s aren’t exempt from this message because they need to learn how to make their NPC’s scared sometimes instead of always expressing smugness towards the players even while at death’s door.

Mechanics

The Frightened condition mechanically causes the following to happen:

  1. A Frightened creature has disadvantage on Ability Checks and Attack rolls while the source of its fear is within line of sight.
    1. Flutes speaking: This does not mean you can avoid disadvantage by turning your eyes away from the source of your fear. Line of sight is a game mechanic that really means a clear path.
  2. The creature can’t willingly move closer to the source of its fear.

Additionally, the Frightened condition is similar to the Charmed condition in that spells and effects that cause it often have added effects while the creature is Frightened. One example is the Fear spell which causes its targets to drop what they’re holding, plus the Frightened condition’s roll-disadvantage and movement-hindrance effects.

Now that we’ve reviewed the mechanics, I’m temporarily setting mechanics aside to muse about roleplaying fear in tabletop roleplaying games.

Roleplaying Dread

First of all, a disclaimer: you may have personal experiences that you don’t want to emotionally summon while you’re playing a frivolous game of D&D with friends. I’m not recommending that you dig up personal ghosts if it will cause you mental anguish. Roleplaying should be fun, and it shouldn’t require you to have literally experienced the kind of fear your character feels. With that in mind, I’ll proceed with my thoughts for getting creative.

How do you roleplay a character that feels fear when you, the player, are not afraid? This will obviously require creativity. Famous psychologist Carl Jung once said, “It all depends on how we look at things, and not how they are in themselves.” Fear is based on perceptions of the mind, not the concept being feared. The Frightened condition can be a genuine experience of dread, or an illusory idea placed in someone’s head. Roleplaying fear involves an understanding or assumption of whether a character is experiencing genuine fear or forced dread (such as from a spell). Certain monsters have abilities that cause characters to become Frightened, and I like to think of these effects as genuine rather than magically imposed.

Presenting genuine dread involves an understanding of a character’s flaws, hopes, loves, and failures. These are concepts you may reference to portray a character in a state of fear. Fear of loss can cause fearful behavior like bargaining, self-preservation, aggression, and more. I’d be careful with choices you make with this portrayal concept because you don’t want to get the party killed (other players won’t admire your devotion to roleplaying if it ruins the game for them). Nobody will feel better if their character died because you were “just doing what my character would do.”

Instead of making dumb decisions, your character could actually become uncharacteristically hyper-focused. Fear can be portrayed through heightened senses, greater feelings of responsibility, and general growth. There was a Halloween episode of The Office that was based on fear as the characters celebrated Halloween. One by one, characters realized what mattered most to them because of what they feared, followed by them making decisions that would help them take care of those they held dear. The episode ended with this insightful quote from Robert California: “Fear plays an interesting role in our lives. How dare we let it motivate us? How dare we let it into our decision making, into our livelihoods, into our relationships? It’s funny isn’t it we take a day a year to dress up in costume and celebrate fear.” It’s ok to not let fear force your character to their knees. Use fear as an opportunity to show your group a side of your character that they’ve never seen before.

I’ll alternatively assume that you’ll occasionally want to have your character lose it when they’re Frightened. Please don’t scream at the table. You might think you’re part of a group that will embrace your screaming, but I bet you’re wrong. Swearing also feels like a cop out unless you pick curses that don’t already come out of your mouth once every ten minutes. Try picking out interesting, entertaining, or even funny phrases that your character can say in moments of fear and peril. Instead of screaming, you can portray your character’s fright by beginning to speak quickly while breathing more rapidly (don’t overdo it or you’ll get dizzy, seriously). Implore other characters to listen to you as you put strain into your voice to let them know the character is trying not to cry.

Apart from what you say and how you say it, describe other sensations that we’re all familiar with: clammy hands struggling to grip your sword, shaky knees failing to allow you prideful posture, eyes tensing up as tear ducts pulse with tears, sensing things as if in slow motion as adrenaline circulates your body, feeling your heartbeat in your neck, failing to keep up with a conversation as your thoughts dwell elsewhere, fidgeting with your knife or a ring on your finger, or becoming suddenly aware of smells in the room as you begin to breathe twice as fast. These are sensory descriptions that everyone at your gaming table can relate to, and it might make their hair stand on end as they imagine what your character feels (on that note, goosebumps and hair standing stiff are additional go-to sensory descriptions).

While in a state of dread, describe a character’s reactions to success and failure. When they fail to strike a foe, narrate their eyes going wide as they return to a defensive stance in a panicked clumsy shuffle. Inversely, landing an attack could cause them to exclaim under their breath with a stifled laugh of relief. This goes for your allies too. Your character’s reactions can vary widely depending on how well your allies are helping you fight against whatever is causing you fear.

Now that we’ve talked about rational fear, I’ll point out that magically enhanced fear could feel like a drug induced nightmare. I call your attention to the visions of fear that the Scarecrow’s drugs would induce in the movie Batman Begins. This is fear that causes people to harm themselves and others, and it should be dealt with quickly if your party is subjected to this magical dread. This is not the kind of fear that can make you think quickly and act with deftness; this fear will make you drop your weapons, run away, or even harm yourself as you approach madness. Portray this however you like. The other players can’t fault you for doing what a harmful spell tells you to do. Play it up!

Racial Traits Involving Fright

Shifting focus now to mechanical applications and analyses of the Frightened condition. Several races have traits that interact with fear:

  • Halflings have advantage on saving throws against being Frightened thanks to their Brave feature.
  • Dragonborn characters can choose a feat called Dragon Fear to switch out their breath weapon to frighten opponents instead of dealing elemental damage.
  • Fallen Aasimar cause fear with their Necrotic Shroud ability.

Class Features Involving Fright

Many class features and abilities are designed to cause or combat fear:

  • Berserker Barbarians have Mindless Rage that renders the Frightened condition suspended until the Rage ends. 
  • Berserker Barbarians have a relatively weak ability called Intimidating Presence that causes fright.
  • Bards’ Countercharm works against the Frightened condition as well as charms.
  • Bards from the College of Whispers can use Words of Terror to frighten enemies.
  • Druids of Circle of the Land become immune to the Frightened condition when it comes from elementals and fey creatures.
  • Battle Master Fighters can use Menacing Attack maneuvers that involve the Frightened condition.
  • Monks have Stillness of Mind to end any Frightened conditions affecting them.
  • Paladins’ Aura of Courage prevents nearby allies from becoming Frightened.
  • Paladins who swear the Oath of Vengeance can use Channel Divinity: Abjure Enemy to Frighten foes.
  • Vengeance Paladins possess a level-twenty transformation ability, Avenging Angel, that imposes fear on enemies.
  • The Paladin of Conquest’s abilities and Oath Spells are designed to utilize the Frightened condition, which is a unique focus for a subclass; I wrote an article dedicated to talking about this subclass and its use of fear. It’s so cool, it’s scary!
  • Hunter Rangers may choose Defensive Tactics, including Steel Will that grants them advantage on saving throws against the Frightened condition.
  • Draconic Presence is a feature of Draconic Ancestry Sorcerers that instills awe and fear in enemies.
  • The Archfey will grant Warlocks the Fey Presence ability to potentially frighten enemies, followed by Dark Delirium which also uses fear.
  • If a Warlock chooses Pact of the Chain, the Warlock can use a Quasit as a familiar, and the Quasit possesses a fear ability.

Spells That Elicit Fright

  • Antipathy/Sympathy (8th-level enchantment) – Additionally forces movement.
  • Cause Fear (1st-level necromancy)
  • Eyebite (6th-level necromancy) – Additionally forces the Dash action.
  • Fear (3rd-level illusion) – Additionally forces dropped items and Dash action.
  • Hallow (5th-level evocation)
  • Illusory Dragon (8th-level illusion)
  • Phantasmal Killer (4th-level illusion) – Additionally inflicts psychic damage.
  • Summon Shadowspawn (3rd-level conjuration) – The summoned Shadow Spirit has an ability that causes fear.
  • Symbol (7th-level abjuration) – Additionally forces dropped items and movement.
  • Weird (9th-level illusion) – Additionally inflicts psychic damage.
  • Wrathful Smite (1st-level evocation)

Spells That Counteract Fright

Frightful Combat Tactics

Spells that inflict fright have an advantage over charm effects; fear effects don’t usually grant additional saving throw attempts when victims take damage. Typical Frightened conditions are predicated on proximity to the source of fear, so once Frightened creatures are far enough away or out of sight, the Frightened condition ends. This might sound like fear is easily overcome, but let’s think about this a moment.

  1. A creature becomes Frightened.
  2. On its turn, a creature can’t move closer to the source of fear, and some effects will force movement away from the source of fear. This movement can result in opportunity attacks. If the creature has the choice to stay and fight, it does so with disadvantage on attacks and skill checks. Creatures that Dash may make it far enough away to end the fear, but then they’re far away. Dealing with the Fear spell will be more difficult as distance alone is not enough to end the spell, requiring a Wisdom saving throw once line of sight is broken.
  3. Being far away means the creatures must decide whether to attack from range, or Dash back to the heat of melee combat. This means the creature effectively lost two turns trying to end the Frightened condition and the spell causing it, and it may have taken damage from attacks of opportunity.

With this three-step timeline in mind, it’s best to get close to your targets when inflicting fright. This will force your targets to take pains to put distance between them and you. Doing this will increase your opponents’ turns and actions wasted while opening them up attacks of opportunity.

Paladins who swear the Oath of Conquest have the potential to make enemies dead in the water since their Aura of Conquest reduces Frightened opponents’ speed to zero. As I previously stated, Frightened conditions are often relieved with distancing rather than repeating saving throws (excluding the Conquering Presence Channel Divinity), so this aura’s movement speed reduction is killer. Don’t forget the Aura of Conquest will also deal psychic damage during this proximity. Equip your reach weapon and work your frightening magic to come off conqueror.

Plan your fear-inducing characters out with knowledge that your frightening spells will require concentration. Avoid learning or preparing too many spells that require concentration. Instead consider non-concentration buffs like Longstrider that will allow you to chase down enemies that are Frightened of you.

There is potential to force or trick Frightened enemies into moving through hazardous areas. A Spike Growth spell from your ally will cause enemies to choose between distancing themselves from you to end their Frightened conditions, or pass through hazardous terrain. Other hazards could include Cloudkill, Sickening Radiance, Sleet Storm, and many more options that your party is creative enough to use! Aside from spells, you could set up other hazards like trip wires and hidden spike traps.

The main selling point for the Frightened condition itself (ignoring added effects from spells and abilities) is the disadvantage it causes on attack rolls, but there is utility for the disadvantage on ability checks too. Skill checks that will suffer include rolls for Dispel Magic or Counterspell. Investigation checks will be weakened for identifying illusions. In an area with steep terrain, Athletics checks will be done with disadvantage.

Strength-based characters can grapple Frightened creatures with increased rates of success, which combos especially well since scared creatures want to move away. Rogues can hide behind obscuring terrain with increased success while Frightened creatures have disadvantage on Perception rolls to perceive the Rogues; this fits the theme of fear as Frightened creatures will have their enemies popping out from unexpected locations like haunting poltergeists.

Lastly, watch out for monsters that may be immune to the Frightened condition. Mindless monsters are likely to possess immunity to fear. Undead and constructs are likely immune to the Frightened condition, but many more are out there.

Conclusion

That’s about all I came up with regarding the Frightened condition, but it’s much more than I anticipated I’d find to speak of. Remember to use distance and positioning effectively when using fear effects so you can get full value out of your frightening resources.

Do you think fear is mechanically underused and thematically down played? Did you learn anything that ‘wowed’ you about fear in D&D 5e? I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences on the subject.

May your adventuring be full of dread and bravery!

Sours: https://www.flutesloot.com/the-frightened-condition/

D&D 5th Edition

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You project a phantasmal image of a creature's worst fears. Each creature in a 30-foot cone must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or drop whatever it is holding and become Frightened for the Duration.

While Frightened by this spell, a creature must take the Dash action and move away from you by the safest available route on each of its turns, unless there is nowhere to move. If the creature ends its turn in a Location where it doesn't have Line of Sight to you, the creature can make a Wisdom saving throw. On a successful save, the spell ends for that creature.

Show Attribute List

Classes

Bard, Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard

Material

A white feather or the heart of a hen

Range

Target

Each creature in a 30-foot cone

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Sours: https://roll20.net/compendium/dnd5e/Fear

5e fear dnd

Is the Fear spell out of line compared to other spells of the same level?

Maybe. Probably.

I went through the player's handbook and compared all wizard spells of 1st to 5th level that had, "save or suck", like effects that could be used in combat. To understand if Fear's effects are unusual let's go through them level by level and look at how saving works. Spells for each level will be listed with more detailed information after. If I don't list more detailed info for a spell it's just your run of the mill save or suck.

Special Note: Concentration

Nearly all of the these spells use up a wizards concentration. The four exceptions are Color Spray (which only lasts one round), Grease, Sleep, and Blindness/Deafness. Since concentration is near-universal to save or suck I won't be mentioning it again in the comparison unless it's an unusually long case.

Level 1: Charm Person, Color Spray, Grease, Sleep, and Tasha's Hideous Laughter

Sleep and Colorspray are unique among all of the save or sucks in that they allow no save but are based off of the target's hitpoints. Since HP scales up so quickly with CR these are unlikely to be useful early in a mid level encounter so I'm going to ignore them for now.

Grease and Tasha's Hideous laughter both allow a save each turn to escape and failing that save is going to make it difficult to function in combat. These are prototypical 5e save or suck spells and this type is still common at higher levels.

Charm Person is the odd man out at this level. It is very limited; the creature must be a humanoid and they have advantage if you're already in combat with them. That said if they fail the save you have up to an hour to do anything except attack them.

Level 2: Blindness/Deafness, Crown of Madness, Hold Person, Phantasmal Killer, Ray of Enfeeblement, Suggestion, and Web

Most of these are standard save or suck, but Suggestion stands out. One wisdom save and then they are off for a nice picnic for 8 hours (assuming concentration). Limited because the monster has to understand you and your suggestion must be reasonable, also you can't attack so it'll likely still be around.

All the others are standard save or suck fare.

Level 3: Bestow Curse, Fear, Hypnotic Pattern, Major Image, Sleet Storm, Slow, Stinking Cloud

Bestow Curse is notable in that while they save every turn the effect doesn't end on a failure.

Hypnotic Pattern is an example of a common type of spell I'm going to call, "Save or Wait". You make a save and if you fail it you... wait around until the spell is over. This is a better than usual example in that the party can still interact with you however any attacks will give you another save. We'll see more of these later.

Fear stands out at this level as, assuming the target has somewhere to run and the wizard can follow, the creature may only get the one save. This has some significant downsides like the creature will be dashing away making it hard to keep up, positioning has to be right, and in combat with many creatures pursuing is likely to be difficult. However Fear still stands out as it is the only spell at this level that can only allow one save, disable a creature, and let the party continue attacking it directly.

Level 4: Banishment, Confusion, Control Water, Evard's Black Tentacles, Otiluke's Resilent Sphere, Phantasmal Killer, Polymorph

So many save or waits! Banishment, Resilent Sphere, and Polymorph all fit this category. Banishment can do worse if the creature is planar, and Polymorph can do worse depending on creativity and how your DM handles it.

The rest are just save or suck.

Level 5: Dominate Person, Hold Monster, Modify Memory, Telekinesis, Wall of Force, Wall of Stone

Modify Memory is much like Charm Person but with more horrifying implications. The same restrictions apply (advantage in combat, can't attack), but depending on what you can do with an altered memory this could be a, "Save or Ally".

Wall of Force is special in that it's the first, "No Save Just Wait". Like a DMV for monsters and you're the teller going to lunch. But it's nothing compared to....

Wall of Stone is something very special, the first save or die. It's conditional in that they need to be located somewhere you can trap them or it's just going to be a save or wait. If you can trap them though... dex save or be locked behind 6 inches of stone for all time, assuming the wizard keeps concentration for 10 minutes.

Conclusion: Fear is... actually unique

Looking through this list we see that Fear is the only spell (in levels 1 to 5) that only allows one save and lets you still wail away on the target. It's versatile in that it allows no extra advantage if used in combat, and it's not limited to any class of creature. It is situational though, if they can't run then they can resort to ranged attacks and still function. And if they can run you need a way to keep up with them. All that said, and looking at the other spells around at the mid levels, I'm convinced Fear's single save option is out of line with other spells at this level.

Edit: Followup

I discussed Fear with my DM and, after seeing this comparison, he agreed that its single-save possibilities were out of line with other spells at the midlevel. Going forward we're going to house-rule Fear to also allow a save when the target takes damage.

\$\endgroup\$Sours: https://rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/71136/is-the-fear-spell-out-of-line-compared-to-other-spells-of-the-same-level
1ST LEVEL SPELL #12: Cause Fear (5E)

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Sours: http://dnd5e.wikidot.com/spell:cause-fear

Now discussing:

When adventuring, your party will likely come across a variety of creepy and terrifying monsters. Certain monsters could even leave them running in fear, unable to cope with what they are seeing. This condition is called “frightened” and it can add an incredible level of role-playing to your campaign!

What is the “fear” or “frightened” condition in Dungeons & Dragons 5e?

“Frightened” is a condition caused by either a creature’s ability or a spell. The target of the ability or spell must make a wisdom saving throw (the DC depends on the creature using the ability or casting the spell). On a failed save, the target suffers the following disadvantages:

  • Disadvantage on ability checks and saving rolls while in line of sight of the creature it is afraid of
  • Cannot willing move closer to its source of fear

While, most often, monsters will be the source of fear, the “frightened” condition can be used by DMs or make the game more realistic and interesting. By using fear in more creative ways, player characters become more rounded and opportunities for role-playing are greatly increased.

How to Use Fear in Combat

If you are using a creature which has an ability, such as the Mummy and Mummy Lord’s “Dreadful Gaze” (page 228 of the Monster Manuel), then you have the option to frighten your players.

The ability works like this:

Dreadful Glare. The mummy targets one creature it can see within 60 ft. of it. If the target can see the mummy, it must succeed on a DC 11 Wisdom saving throw against this magic or become frightened until the end of the mummy’s next turn. If the target fails the saving throw by 5 or more, it is also paralyzed for the same duration. A target that succeeds on the saving throw is immune to the Dreadful Glare of all mummies (but not mummy lords) for the next 24 hours.

Roll20 Compendium

This is typical of nearly all monsters with the option to “frighten.” Notice the DC for this monster is relatively low, while a Mummy Lord’s DC is much higher (DC 16).

DCs will vary depending on how powerful and, therefore, threatening the monster is. Below are DCs for all the monsters in the Monster Manuel that contain a “Frighten” ability. You can use this chart to help you calculate fear DCs for your own homebrewed monsters.

Monsters that Use Fear

MonsterChallenge RatingDC
Scarecrow (p. 268 Monster Manuel)1 (200 XP)11
Sea Hag (p. 179 Monster Manuel)2 (450 XP)11
Spectator (p. 30 Monster Manuel)3 (700 XP)13
Banshee (p. 23 Monster Manuel)4 (1,100 XP)13
Beholder (p. 28 Monster Manuel)13 (10,000 XP)16
Nalfeshnee (p. 62 Monster Manuel)13 (10,000 XP)15
Lich (p. 202 Monster Manuel)21 (33,000 XP)18
Pit Fiend (p. 77 Monster Manuel)20 (25,000 XP)21
Ancient Dragons
Black (p. 87 Monster Manuel)21 (33,000 XP)19
Blue (p. 90 Monster Manuel)23 (50,000 XP)20
Green (p. 93 Monster Manuel)22 (41,000 XP)19
Red (p. 97 Monster Manuel)24 (62,000 XP)21
White (p. 100 Monster Manuel)20 (25,000 XP)16
Brass (p. 104 Monster Manuel)20 (25,000 XP)18
Bronze (p. 107 Monster Manuel)22 (41,000 XP)20
Copper (p. 110 Monster Manuel)21 (33,000 XP)21
Gold (p. 113 Monster Manuel)24 (62,000 XP)24

For all the monsters I have used and researched, the DC is always against the player’s Wisdom modifier. (If you find a time when this isn’t true, be sure to let me know! Cast Sending to shoot me a message!)

This makes monsters with fear abilities especially effective against parties with low Wisdom stats. Beefy players who rely on their ridiculously over-powered melee attacks won’t be able to get near a monster with fear. This makes fear-based monsters a great option for balancing encounters with such groups.

What do Your Players Fear?

Encounters and monsters don’t have to be the only times your players are frightened.

To make characters more realistic and fun to role-play, I like to have my players come up with a short “fears” list. This doesn’t have too extensive, but too often flaws and fears are left out of character building. If you know me, you know I am all about making whole characters.

As your players are making their characters, ask them to include 3-5 things of which their character is afraid and are linked to the character’s backstory. Below are some options if they can’t think of any:

  • I almost drowned as a child and am now deathly afraid of rivers, lakes, and oceans.
  • I have had nightmares ever since I was a child about an old woman with long fingers reaching out to grab me. Because of this, I am afraid to sleep alone, just in case it isn’t a dream…
  • Spiders. I just HATE spiders.
  • My brother dared me to go into an abandoned mine shaft once. When I went in, he locked the door and left me there all night. I can’t stand the feeling of being “locked-in” or being underground.
  • I went for a walk at night once and ended going by a cemetery. Everyone says I am crazy, but I know what I saw that night and I will never go near one again.
  • My mother used to tell me stories about the monsters that would eat people who wandered into the woods at night. I know they are just stories…Really! I do! …

Once you know what each of your players fears, you can use that fear to develop their character even outside of combat!

How to Use Fear Outside of Combat

Fear can be a great way to motivate or grow your players. Once you know what your players fear, you can use it (sparingly!) to create epic moments of tension or humor!

When heroes are forced to face their fears, it is always impactful. Whether it is the intrepid explorer Indiana Jones (Snakes! Why does it always have to be snakes?!) or the adorably cautious Ron Weasely (Why does it have to be “follow the spiders“? Why couldn’t it be “follow the butterflies”?!) fear is impactful.

While your adventurers are out saving the world, they should be growing as individuals. Part of this includes facing their fears. Your main storyline should include opportunities for each of your players to face their fears for the greater good. This is the stuff character development is made of!

For example, if a player is afraid of going underground, have an important clue located in an abandoned mine and hint that only that player can uncover it.

You will also want to include several smaller quests that lead up to a big leap in character development so that the moment feels like it has been earned and not just dumped on the player.

In these situations, you can have the player roll a Wisdom check to determine if their character would go or not (if they can’t make up their minds) OR you can let the rest of the party convince them.

Using Fear for Role-Playing

While using fear to make combat more interesting is good, using it to encourage role-play, character development AND bonding between party members is a far superior method.

When a player encounters something they are afraid of, you better believe the rest of the party is going to notice and ask why. This leads to characters sharing their backstories and bonding. Something every DM desperately wants.

Once the player shares why they are afraid, the party will likely try to find a way to help them overcome their fear. This will generate great moments, most of which will be hilarious!

Try It Out!

Yes, fear is a condition that can affect combat, but it is so much more than that. In the hands of a great DM, fear becomes a tool for character development, role-play, tension, humor, and plot.

Try using a healthy dose of fear in your next game and see the difference it can make!

Until next time,

May your game have advantage, my friends!

-Halfling Hannah

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