Conditions were a significant part of Pathfinder First Edition, giving a set package of rules to effects like being blinded or fatigued. You might be wondering what kind of condition our conditions are in!
For the playtest, we've expanded conditions to cover a little more ground in two different directions. In one direction, now any long-lasting effect can impose a condition on a character. These conditions might be defined by a specific spell or ability, and often include a specific type of bonus or penalty called a conditional bonus or conditional penalty. This broadens our definitions so that more rules can now speak to conditions as ongoing effects. In the other direction, we've expanded on the conditions from First Edition to create a solid set of basic conditions for the playtest. Some of these conditions cover common benefits, allowing us to clarify how multiple effects combine. For example, the accelerated condition increases your speed by a certain value, and the hampered condition decreases your speed by a certain value. You use only the highest accelerated value you have—it's not cumulative. So if one effect made you accelerated 5 and another made you accelerated 10, your speed would increase by 10 feet, not 15. Many other conditions are quite similar to those you're familiar with, such as blinded or paralyzed (plus some rules tweaks, of course).
Some of our other conditions speak directly to the new action system for the game. The two big ones here are quick and slowed, which increase and decrease your number of actions. When you're quick, you gain one extra action per turn that you can use in one or more ways, according to the effect that made you quick! For instance, a 20th-level monk with Enduring Quickness is permanently quick, and can use the extra action to Stride, to Leap, or as part of a High Jump or Long Jump. The haste spell makes its target quick, and lets them use the extra action to Stride or Strike. So, if our 20th-level monk benefited from haste, he would add Strike to his list of options for the extra action from the quick condition as long as the haste spell was in effect. Conversely, slowed removes actions and prevents the creature from readying actions. This, like accelerated above, is an example of a condition that comes with a condition value to indicate how severe the condition is. So, a creature that becomes slowed 1 loses 1 action per turn, a slowed 2 creature loses 2, and so on. These aren't cumulative, so if your barbarian gets slowed 2 by one creature and slowed 1 by another, she loses only 2 actions.
Let's look at some other conditions that have condition values! The frightened condition has a higher value the more scared you are, and this value is also the conditional penalty you take to your checks and saving throws. So if you're frightened 2, you take a –2 penalty to checks and saves. There's some good news, though, because fear tends to pass after the initial shock. Frightened's condition value decreases by 1 at the end of each of your turns, until it reaches 0 and goes away. This condition covers all types of fear, so there's no more shaken or panicked. Frightened doesn't automatically make you run away, but some effects give you the fleeing condition as well, potentially for as long as you remain frightened! The sick condition is similar to frightened in that it gives you a penalty to the same rolls, but it's more severe for two reasons. First off, you're too sick to drink anything—including potions! Moreover, it doesn't go away on its own. Instead, you have to spend an action retching in an attempt to recover, which lets you attempt a new save to end the sickness.
Some conditions reflect the relationship between one character and another—for instance, when you're concealed or flat-footed. In the office, we call these relative conditions (as opposed to absolute conditions, like stunned or deafened, that don't involve others). The two examples I gave are pretty straightforward. The flat-footed condition gives a –2 circumstance penalty to AC. Some things make you flat-footed to everyone, but usually you're flat-footed to a creature that's flanking you or that otherwise has the drop on you. With the new critical rules, that 2 points of AC can make a big difference. Plus, rogues can sneak attack flat-footed targets! The concealed condition works much like concealment used to—an attacker has to succeed at a DC 5 flat check to hit you. In the playtest, flat checks have replaced miss chances and other things that might fail or succeed regardless of skill. Attempting a flat check is like any other d20 roll against a DC, except that no modifiers alter your result, so you need to roll a 5 or higher on the die or you just miss.
Some effects that used to deal ability damage now impose new conditions instead. Enfeebled imposes a conditional penalty on attack rolls, damage rolls, and Strength-based checks equal to the enfeebled condition's value. Sluggish is similar, but for Dexterity-based values: AC, attack rolls, Dexterity-based checks, and Reflex saves. The stupefied condition covers mental effects, imposing a conditional penalty on spell DCs as well as on Intelligence-, Wisdom-, and Charisma-based checks. It also requires you to attempt a special roll each time you cast a spell or else your spell is disrupted (meaning you lose the spell!). Because the penalty from stupefied also applies to this roll, the worse the stupefied condition's value, the harder it gets to cast spells!
Finally, let's look at one of the conditions used frequently by the barbarian, as shown in Monday's blog. When you're fatigued, you're hampered 5 (the opposite of accelerated, so your speed is decreased), and you take a –1 conditional penalty to your AC and saving throws. Furthermore, your fatigue means everything takes more effort to do, so when you're fatigued, each action you use on your turn worsens this conditional penalty by 1 until the start of your next turn. So if you use all three actions on your turn when you're fatigued, your defenses are at a –4 penalty! In the barbarian's case, the fatigue from a rage goes away pretty quickly, but if you get fatigued from another source, it typically takes a night's rest to recover.
Are you looking forward to playing with these conditions? What do you think about the change to flat-footed? What conditions do you dread the most?