How would you suggest running an ‘aura of hopelessness’ on a monster?

How would you suggest running an ‘aura of hopelessness’ on a monster?

How would you suggest running an ‘aura of hopelessness’ on a monster? I have a good idea of what I’m going to do when it comes up, but I am interested in seeing how other people would approach it.

6 thoughts on “How would you suggest running an ‘aura of hopelessness’ on a monster?”

  1. I ran a similar thing with a “curse of insanity” blanketing a forest. When a PC failed a roll their vision or other senses would lapse temporarily, showing them the world the curse wanted to see, but quickly snap back to normal. Subsequent failed rolls would make the illusion last longer, to the point a DD with wis was necessary. Similarly you could build up the fictional effects of the aura as PCS fail rolls within it, or go straight to requiring a DD +Stat to act in its presence with the danger being giving in, similar to using a dangerous item/weapon

  2. This is my gut reaction:

    The monster has a move like:

    – behold me and despair! (or some such)

    When a character fails in its presence, you make this move and do one of two things:

    Tell them they are frozen with fear. Maybe even force them to tell you about their character’s worst fear or something horrible from their character’s past? (Basically they are living out fears in their head and you want them to describe these, for the fictional value and to waste their character’s time a little and make them less effective.)

    Have them Defy Danger Wisdom (you might make an argument for Cha or Con) to return to the attack.

  3. When you first encounter the , describe your greatest doubt about yourself and roll +CHA. On a 10+, you shake it off your ennui in a few moments, in time to react to outside threats.  On a 7-9, you plunge into a funk until you take damage or someone shakes you out of it; even then, take -1 forward. On a miss, same as a 7-9 but you take -1 ongoing until you do something desperately reckless or hedonistic.

  4. I wrote this a while back. It’s for horror, but easily tweaked to cover a despair move:

    Your Steel stat is equal to the higher of your WIS or CON.

    When you steel yourself against extreme pain, stress or horror, roll+Steel. *On a 10+, you hold it together, and may act as you please. *On a 7-9, choose a reaction from the list. *On a 6-, the GM chooses a reaction from the list. 

    • Run screaming in terror until the threat is out of your sight.

    • Drop whatever it is you’re holding, and freeze in shock until someone or something snaps you out of it.

    • Fly into an uncontrolled rage until the threat is gone. Expect collateral damage. 

    • Indulge in a self-destructive vice at the next opportunity, regardless of convenience or consequence. (For example, the next time you’re supposed to be on watch.)

    Regardless of the result, you can choose ignore the reaction. If you do, don’t mark XP from a 6- result, and you acquire a permanent phobia, obsession, compulsion, or addiction after the conflict is over. 

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