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RPG Museum

A condition is a temporary label (i.e. generally non-numerical) trait that describes a status of a character, and may apply certain mechanical rules to them. Conditions are often negative, used as negative consequences to things like attacks or magic spells (and therefore an alternative to outright damage), but they may also be positive (often called buffs).

Many games have set lists of conditions that apply in certain circumstances and which have their own rules. Examples include:

  • In Dungeons & Dragons, conditions include prone (indicating a character is lying face down on the ground), flat-footed (indicating a character is caught in a disadvantageous state or position), invisible (a benefit that means the character can't be seen), frightened, fatigued, and more.
  • In Torg, a character can be Vulnerable, Very Vulnerable, Stymied, Very Stymied, or Disconnected.

Other games use freeform conditions that players write themselves based on what happens in the fiction, such as Fate Core's consequences.

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