3.5E Effects

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See the Effects topic for basic effects information.

Using Effect Features in Your Game

Effects in the 3.5E ruleset can be very complex, once you decide to take advantage of all of the functionality available. Many features provided in this section can be handled manually by calculations done by the players and GM, just like sitting around the gaming table. It is recommended that you slowly add effect capabilities to your game until the comfort level of you and your players has been reached.

While effects can be entered manually, the effects system was also designed to pull the effect information directly from the ability or spell description text by parsing the words. Just provide the description text from the rulebooks directly into an ability or spell entry on the Actions tab of the character sheet, or drop the abilities and spells from your own data modules.

The effect system was built to handle 80-90% of the rules available in the game system (including automatic parsing of effects from ability and spell description text). 3.5E can be a very complex game, as it is built using exception-based game design principles. The primary focus of the effects system is to support the abilities and spells in the core rulebooks. There will be some powers and effects that will not be able to be represented in the current version of the ruleset.

Campaign Effects

In addition to the effect text field and visibility fields, the 3.5E ruleset adds an effect expenditure toggle button and duration fields. The effect text field can contain one or more modifiers or conditions that adjust rolls made by that CT actor.

  • Expenditure: By default, an effect is applied to all future rolls until the duration expires. The expenditure button can be toggled to Action, Roll or Singles as well. If set to Action, the effect will be applied to the next relevant action (set of rolls)(i.e. area of effect attack rolls as a set). If set to Roll, the effect will be applied to the next relevant single roll. If set to Singles, each component of the effect will be applied once when relevant, then removed. (See below for effect label components.)
  • Duration: The duration consists of two fields indicating a numerical value and a unit period (round, minute, hour, day). If the numerical duration is zero (or empty), then the effect does not expire.

Combat Tracker

When an effect is applied to an actor in the combat tracker, in addition to the fields added in Campaign Effects, a few additional fields have been added.

  • Active State: By default, an effect is set to always be active (i.e. On). The active state can be toggled to Skip or Off. If set to Skip, the next application of the effect will be skipped, and then the effect will be set to On again. If set to Off, the effect will no longer be applied to rolls, but will remain in the CT.
  • Duration: When the main duration field is set to Start/End Turn values, an additional field will be shown to track the initiative number when the duration should start/end.
  • Applied By: The active actor will be used as the source actor of an effect, and shown in the lower right of the effect entry. If no actor is active, then this field is hidden. To set the source actor of an effect, drag the name field of a CT actor onto the label field of a CT effect entry. The source is usually just informational, but may occasionally be used to support advanced effects (such as Marked). Click on the Applied By field to clear the source actor.
  • Targets: By default, effects are applied to relevant rolls for all targets. However, some effect components can be targeted (such as attack and damage modifiers). A targeting button is shown next to each effect entry, and can be dragged onto a CT entry or CT-linked token to specify that the effect is targeted to a specific actor or set of actors. Additional options to target all allies or enemies are available by right-clicking on the targeting button. The Targets field is hidden unless targets are defined. Click on the Targets field to clear the targets.

Effect Text Field Features

In the 3.5E ruleset, conditions and modifiers can be embedded into the effect text field in order to modify rolls made by the actor.

Each description, condition or modifier needs to be separated by a semi-colon within the effect text field, and these are called effect components. Effect components that do not start with a modifier tag or a condition tag are treated as descriptive text only.

Conditions

  • Not case-sensitive.
  • Do not stack.
Condition Modifiers Applied Notes
Actions
Climbing GRANTCA
Kneeling AC: -2 melee; AC: 2 ranged
Running GRANTCA
Sitting AC: -2 melee; AC: 2 ranged
Squeezing GRANTCA; ATK:-5
Combat Advantage
CA (T), When attacking, actor treats defender as flat-footed.
GRANTCA (T), Actor is considered flat-footed when attacked.
Status
Blinded AC:-2; GRANTCA; SKILL:-2 strength dexterity; SKILL:-4 search perception Attacks treat defenders as if they have Total Concealment
Cowering AC:-2
Dazed
Dazzled ATK:-1; SKILL:-1 spot search perception
Deafened
Entangled ATK:-2; DEX:-4
Exhausted DEX:-6; STR:-6
Fascinated SKILL:-4 spot listen perception
Fatigued DEX:-2; STR:-2
Frightened ATK:-2; SAVE:-2; SKILL:-2; ABIL:-2
Grappled GRANTCA Combat advantage is only applied to actors who are not the source actor for the Grappled effect.
Helpless AC:-4 melee Treated as having zero Dex for AC calculation
Invisible ATK:2; CA; TCONC (T)
Incorporeal Corporeal attacks against actor have 50% miss chance.
Nauseated
Panicked ATK:-2; SAVE:-2; SKILL:-2; ABIL:-2
Paralyzed AC:-4 melee Treated as having zero Dex for AC calculation
Petrified AC:-4 melee Treated as having zero Dex for AC calculation
Pinned GRANTCA, AC:-4 In 3.5E, AC penalty excludes source actor. In PFRPG, applies to all.
Prone ATK:-4 melee; AC:-4 melee; AC:4 ranged
Rebuked AC:-2
Shaken ATK:-2; SAVE:-2; SKILL:-2; ABIL:-2
Sickened ATK:-2; DMG:-2; SAVE:-2; SKILL:-2; ABIL:-2
Slowed ATK:-1; AC:-1; REF:-1
Stunned AC:-2; GRANTCA
Turned AC:-2
Unconscious AC:-4 melee Treated as having zero Dex for AC calculation, Prone effect should be applied separately

(T) = Effects can be targeted to only apply to conditions against certain opponents

Modifiers

  • Format: [tag]: [dice/number] [descriptors]
  • Case-sensitive
  • If colon missing, assume no dice, numerical modifier or descriptors.
  • Modifiers stack as long as their bonus type is blank or unique. If two modifiers have the same bonus type, only the larger value will be used.
  • When applying effects from PC sheet powers, bracketed ability tags ([STR],[DEX],...) can be added to the modifier dice and numerical portion to adjust by current PC attribute modifiers. The ability tags can be set to negative ([-INT]), half ([HWIS]) or double ([2CHA]).
Modifier Value Descriptors Notes
Combat
INIT (D) [bonus] Initiative checks
ATK (D) [bonus], [range], opportunity (T), Attack rolls
CC (N) [bonus] Critical confirmation rolls
AC (N) [bonus], [range], opportunity (T), Armor class defense
CMB (D) [bonus], opportunity (T), Combat maneuver rolls
CMD (N) [bonus], opportunity (T), Combat maneuver defense
DMG (D) [bonus], [range], [damage type]* (T), Damage rolls
HEAL (D) - Healing rolls
SAVE (N) [bonus], [save] Saving throws
CLC (N) Caster level checks
Abilities
ABIL (D) [bonus], [ability] Ability checks
STR (N) [bonus] Strength modifier
DEX (N) [bonus] Dexterity modifier
CON (N) [bonus] Constitution modifier
INT (N) [bonus] Intelligence modifier
WIS (N) [bonus] Wisdom modifier
CHA (N) [bonus] Charisma modifier
Damage
DMGTYPE (-) [damage type] Adds damage type to all damage rolls.
DMGO (D) [damage type]* Damage (Ongoing)
FHEAL (D) - Fast Healing
REGEN (D) [special] Regeneration. Use and/or clause to specify damage types which can overcome regeneration.
DR (N) [special], all (T), Damage resistance. Use and/or clause to specify damage types which can overcome DR.
IMMUNE (-) [damage type], all (T), Immune to damage type.
Assumes all if no [damage type] descriptor.
RESIST (N) [damage type], all (T), Resistance to damage type.
Assumes all if no [damage type] descriptor.
VULN (N) [damage type], all (T), Vulnerability to damage type.
Assumes all if no [damage type] descriptor.
Situational
CONC (-) [range]* (T), Concealment
(Attacks have 20% miss chance.)
TCONC (-) [range]* (T), Concealment (Total)
(Attacks have 50% miss chance.)
PCOVER (-) [range]* (T), Cover (Partial)
(ATK: -2)
COVER (-) [range]* (T), Cover
(ATK: -4)
SCOVER (-) [range]* (T), Cover (Superior)
(ATK: -8)
Traits
Construct traits (-) IMMUNE: nonlethal Construct creature type.
Swarm traits (-) - Swarm creature type. Informational only.
Undead traits (-) IMMUNE: nonlethal Undead creature type.
Misc
NLVL (N) - Negative levels.
For each negative level, the following modifiers are applied (ATK:-1; SAVE:-1; SKILL:-1; ABIL:-1; CMD:-1).
SKILL (D) [bonus], [skill], [ability] Skill checks
SPEED (N) [bonus] Speed. Informational only.

(D) = Dice and numbers supported for value attribute
(N) = Only numbers supported for value attribute
(-) = Neither number nor dice supported for value attribute
(T) = Effects can be targeted to only apply to modifiers against certain opponents

[bonus] = alchemical, armor, circumstance, competence, deflection, dodge, enhancement, insight, luck, morale, natural, profane, racial, resistance, sacred, shield, size
[range] = melee, ranged
[damage type] = acid, cold, electricity, fire, sonic, force, negative, positive, adamantine, bludgeoning, cold iron, epic, magic, piercing, silver, slashing, chaotic, evil, good, lawful, nonlethal, spell
[ability name] = strength, constitution, dexterity, intelligence, wisdom, charisma
[skill name] = any skill name
* = Multiple entries of this descriptor type allowed.

Special Components

  • Examples: FAIL, AURA, ...
  • Unique format for each tag
  • Case-sensitive
Special Tag Notes
IF: [condition OR conditional operator] Ignores the remainder of the effect components within the effect label, unless the source actor has the specified condition.
IFT: [condition OR conditional operator] Ignores the remainder of the effect components within the effect label, unless the opposing actor has the specified condition.

Conditional Operators

  • Not case-sensitive
Operator Notes
ALIGN ([alignment]) If the creature indicated by the conditional effect has the given alignment, then this operator returns true.
Neutral is assumed for creatures where not specified.
True neutral checking is not supported due to necessary assumptions to make this feature work for majority of cases automatically.
SIZE ([size])
SIZE ([>= OR <= OR > OR < OR =][size])
If the conditional effect target is of the correct size or larger/smaller based on the size greater/less than operation, then this operator returns true.
Medium size is assumed for creatures where not specified.
TYPE ([creature type]*) If the creature indicated by the conditional effect has the given creature type, then this operator returns true.
The humanoid creature type is assumed for creatures where not specified, and for PCs.
Wounded If the conditional effect target has any wounds, then this operator returns true.
Bloodied If the conditional effect target has wounds greater than or equal to half its hit points, then this operator returns true.

[alignment] = LG, LN, LE, NG, NE, CG, CN, CE, lawful, lawful good, lawful neutral, lawful evil, neutral good, neutral evil, chaotic, chaotic good, chaotic neutral, chaotic evil, good, evil
[size] = F, D, T, S, M, L, H, G, C, fine, diminutive, tiny, small, medium, large, huge, gargantuan, colossal
[creature type] = aberration, animal, construct, dragon, fey, giant, humanoid, magical beast, monstrous humanoid, ooze, outsider, plant, undead, vermin, air, angel, aquatic, archon, augmented, chaotic, cold, demon, devil, earth, evil, extraplanar, fire, good, incorporeal, lawful, living construct, native, psionic, shapechanger, swarm, water, dwarf, elf, gnoll, gnome, goblinoid, halfling, human, orc, reptilian
* = Multiple entries of this descriptor type allowed.

PC Specific Notes

When applying effects from the Actions tab of the PC sheet, special tags can be inserted to provide numerical bonuses based on the PC's current attributes.

PC tag Notes
STR PC Strength bonus
DEX PC Dexterity bonus
CON PC Constitution bonus
INT PC Intelligence bonus
WIS PC Wisdom bonus
CHA PC Charisma bonus
H[other tag] Half of the other tag bonus
2[other tag] Double the other tag bonus
-[other tag] Negative the other tag bonus (including half and double)

Examples

Good

  • ATK: 2 sacred
  • SAVE: 1
  • DMGO: 2d6
  • DMG: 1d6 cold
  • RESIST: 5 fire; RESIST: 5 cold

Bad

  • RESIST: 5 fire,cold

PC Sheet

  • RESIST: 2 [WIS]
  • ATK: [-DEX]
  • DMG: 2d6+1 [CON]

More

Power Text Effect Label Other Effect Fields
+1 to next d20 roll ATK:1, DMG:1, SKILL:1, ABIL:1, SAVE:1 (Duration: 1)(Expend on Roll)
+2 to your next attack and damage roll ATK:2, DMG:2 (Duration: 1)(Expend on Single Usage)