Lord of the Rings (5E)
Fear and Tainted Lands
Dread is a measure of lingering fear, darkness, sorrow, and other staining effects on the soul. You can acquire Dread through any of the measures listed below. If you accumulate a Dread Score that is equal to or higher than your Wisdom Score, you are considered lost to sorrow. For most characters, this indicates being so terrified or heartbroken that you have simply lost the will to continue. This effectively removes you as a playable character, unless the DM feels an appropriate quest or other redeeming method by your allies can somehow bring you back from the abyss. For Elves this posses an even greater threat, for those Eldar who abandon the will to live abandon their own immortality, and many perish soon thereafter.
There are three primary methods of acquiring Dread:
- Dying. When you are reduced to 0 HP, even if revived, you acquire 1 Dread Point.
- Tainted Lands. Some lands of extreme evil or darkness – such as Mordor, the Great Barrows or similar areas – are considered innately tainted. As such, simply being exposed to the area, you automatically acquire Dread Points at set intervals until you leave. These intervals can either be 1 Dread Point per day or 1 Dread Point per hour, depending on the strength of the evil to be found there.
- Dark Creatures. A few corrupted and terrifying creatures – such as the Nazgul or Balrog – evoke an aura of terror by their mere existence. At the DM’s discretion, being within 60 feet of such a creature (or 120 feet if it is Huge or larger) causes you to make a Wisdom save every round. On a failure you suffer 1 Dread Point. Note: Elves are immune to the Dread of any creature of the Undead creature type.
As with gaining Dread, there are several methods of removing it:
- Rest. If you take a long rest, and have not acquired a Dread Point since your last long rest, you remove 1 Dread Point.
- Rally. You can inspire hope in others. Doing so is an action, and anyone that can see, hear, and understand you is affected. Rallying removes a number of Dread Points equal to your Charisma modifier. A creature can only remove Dread Points through Rallying once per long rest.
- Lands of Hope. Some lands of light and extreme beauty – such as Rivendell, Lothlorien, or similar areas – are considered innately pure. As such, simply being exposed to the area, you automatically remove Dread Points at set intervals until you leave or acquire Dread Points. These intervals can either be 1 Dread Point per day or 1 Dread Point per hour, depending on the strength of the light to be found there.