I’ve been thinking about Hankerin’s key mechanic video on the 3 Ds - Damage, Disruption, and Duration. It’s got me thinking especially about disruption. I’m trying to think of more ways to spice up encounters as far as disruption goes. I’m trying to think of disruptions that don’t increase damage to players, but make their fight harder.

Effects can be caused by the enemy or monster themself, the environment or terrain, or objects.

A high disruption encounter will likely mix multiple types of disruption. Even a single disruption can be very effective.

Key Disruptors:

Line of sight - Darkness magical or regular, smoke, Walls of stone, wood, earth, fire, wind, ice.

Crowd Control - Sleep, Stun, Fear, Petrification, Confusion.

Nullification - Anti magic or anti healing zones, fields, or cones. Spell absorption.

Movement inhibitors - Difficult terrain, Elevation, snaring, slowing, roots, freezing in place, time slowing fields.

Forced movement - Quakes, Slick or icy floor, listing ship deck, magnetism and reversing polarity to throw iron clad, wind, moving floor or ground.

Terrain Danger - Cliffsides, Drowning, Freezing water, Lava. Anything in the environment that can kill you but doesn’t deal damage outright. Mixed with forced movement is especially deadly.

Party Split - Teleporting out or separating a party member or portion of the party. Hank’s idea where “a pc is teleported to another place and has to kill a totem alone to get back go the main fight”. Anything that splits the party.

Initiative Disruption - bumping turn orders, rerolling initiative, legendary actions (monsters imposing more actions in the round off turn) @James_Horn came up with this one

Communication Disruption - Anything that will prevent a party’s ability to discuss tactics or communicate. DC will increase, or an enemies senses will be heightened. Must rely on hand gestures or psi.
@Lon came up with this one

Increasing DC - The DC increases every round, or the DC is very high causing most tasks to be difficult.
@James_Horn came up with this one

Attribute Disruption - Any disruption to rolls and modifiers. Lowering or scrambling a characters Attributes. Make successes failures and make failures successes.
@James_Horn came up with this one

Target Disruption - Disrupting the ability for a party to focus down a single enemy. Make damage redirected to a different enemy or even an ally. Spirit links and empathy. Make damage split and be shared by all enemies with shared health.
@James_Horn came up with this one

Identity Disruption - Effects that make characters turn on each other, Charm, Mind Control.
@Paxx came up with this one

Loot / Gear Disruption - Disarming players, destroying weapons, armor, and supplies. Rust monsters, Armor rending, shattered swords, thieving creatures who steal your stuff.
@Andreas @Paxx came up with this one

Immunities and Resistances - Giving monsters immunities and resistances. Passive buffs enemies have or objects nearby that must be destroyed first. Protective wards, totems, Barriers and shields.
@Andreas came up with this one

Activate-able Disruption - Neutral elements of the setting that can become problems if the players interact the wrong way. Innocent bystanders in the fray. Waking a sleeping or docile enemy.
@bleaquehaus came up with this one

Anything to add?

Happy disrupting.

Disruption Worksheet

One of my go-tos is choking fog. I love the thought of an ancient area with malevolent or semi-sentient mist or fog that snarls players are they try to make headway.


That’s a really good list. Also do not forget terrain that re-arranges. Hank has done a couple of these, and they are tough rooms!


Moving terrain is good, kind of falls into a mix of forced movement, line of sight, and movement inhibitor. Added difficult terrain to list.


I’m thinking for designing encounters you could choose one or two of these types of disruption and flavor them to the monster or environment. Looking for any ideas to add to the list of the more broad types of disruption instead of less specific that fall under these categories. Although, hearing everyone’s specific ideas is fun too. :slightly_smiling_face:


Yeah. I think your categories are good.

Any other broad categories to add as opposed to anything to add. You have to be specific with us. Lol.


What does “CC” stand for?


CC stands for CROWD CONTROL so there is less action economy going on. Putting creatures to sleep and stuff like that.


Crowd control. Anything that would incapacitate a character basically.


Maybe an interactive object like a cannon, crane, switch, that is a neutral tool for all both enemies and players.


Good idea. A threat and a treat at the same time. An interactive object that causes disruption would divert players from the main threat as well.


Initiative disruption?

Each round Initiative has to be rerolled again.


This is a great idea. I will add this to the list. Any disruption that effects turn order.


Communication Disruption… which allows for some fun meta-crossover:

GM ::ticks Timer to zero:: the Macguffin Sensor Array sweeps over your area this round. You know from past experience how sensitive these things are, so If anyone tries to communicate or coordinate anything during this round besides NEAR LOS hand gestures And psi, the Target difficulty will go up each time, at least until the array is destroyed. You have been warned…


This is awesome. Disruption of the ability to communicate. Brilliant.


To bounce off Lon’s comment

Disruption in a growing room target number.

Starts at 12, then goes up to 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 . . . .


Increasing DC is good. It seems maybe to fall more into duration rather than disruption? Duration is the hard concept for me to grasp of the 3.


Simply having a high room DC is a disruption IMO

Hankerin had a video on runehammer of a room DC of 20 and even walking around required a check to not go slipping and sliding. This could fall under environmental i suppose, but the room dc being 20 would sure make things difficult



on that vein

How about a room mechanic that reversed success and failure.

In order to succeed doing something you have to roll under the room target. Your best stats now become your worst and vise versa


I picture a Mario brothers on/off switch that will make high rolls bad and low rolls good and suddenly the fighter is better any INT and the wizard is better at STR. Lol