I’m working on a homebrew class that receives benefits for holding one position. These benefits end if they move 5 feet or more, or if they’re knocked prone. Since so much of the class revolves around these, I wanted to make sure they had strong defenses against things that would force them to do so. But this becomes very tricky to word because there are a lot of possibilities to cover:
Both movement and being knocked prone need protection
You may be resisting with an ability check (e.g. Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) vs. a shove) or with a saving throw (e.g. Strength saving throw vs. gust of wind)—I want to protect against both
You may be pushed, or you may be compelled to move yourself—I want to protect against both
An effect may not immediately move you, but move you later (e.g. grappling, dominate person)—I don’t want to protect against all grappling or compulsion, but I do want to protect against it if it would cause you to move
The wording very rapidly becomes very cumbersome when trying to cover all of these possibilities. For example, my own attempts have gone through the following iterations:
You gain advantage on saving throws to resist effects that would move you or knock you prone.
You gain advantage on checks and saving throws to resist effects that would move you or knock you prone.
You gain advantage on checks and saving throws to resist effects that would move you or knock you prone, or compel you to move or drop prone.
Each time an effect would cause your
~to end, you may make a new check or saving throw against that effect.
~is the ability that grants benefits for not moving, and which establishes that it lasts as long as you maintain position and remain standing.)
You can see the dramatic revision in iteration 4, as trying to add yet more details to iteration 3, to cover “delayed” movement, became far too unwieldy. As it is, it’s not terribly long or convoluted, so that’s a big improvement. But now I’m not sure it covers everything—does this let you make a check where the effect originally allowed only a save? Does this let you make a save where the effect didn’t originally allow anything at all? What if a successful saving throw wouldn’t actually prevent the movement anyway—do you get to make another save? (Should you?) What about effects that do immediately move you—is it clear that you get the normal save against the effect, and then failing that, immediately get a second save? Do I need to spell out all of these things? I feel like I could write a full page of examples trying to cover them.
But fundamentally, I feel like what I’m actually going for is simple: before your
~ involuntarily ends because of forced or compelled movement or dropping to the floor, you get to save twice. It’s kind of like “delayed advantage” maybe. (In many cases, e.g. gust of wind, it’s not even delayed.) I just don’t know if there’s a clear way to explain it within the rules.
Various examples of how I want things to work:
Enemy attempts to shove you.
Two opportunities, back-to-back, to make a Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check to prevent being moved. Effectively identical to advantage.
Enemy attempts to grapple you.
No benefit against the initial grapple.
Enemy grappling you attempts to move with you.
Immediate new Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check to try to end the grapple and avoid being moved.
Start turn within gust of wind.
Two opportunities, back-to-back, to make a Strength saving throw to prevent being moved. Effectively identical to advantage.
Enemy casts dominate person on you.
No benefit on the initial saving throw.
Enemy that has dominated you commands you to drop prone.
Immediate new Wisdom saving throw to try and end dominate person and avoid dropping prone. Similar to dominate person’s own rule for when the target takes damage, except it happens before the movement does, and it has to be written from the perspective of an ability the target has, rather than a feature of the spell itself.
Enemy casts command on you with the “flee” command.
You get two Wisdom saving throws against this. Whether that’s one when the spell is first cast on you and another on your turn when you would be forced to actually do the fleeing, or just two immediately back-to-back when the spell is cast, wouldn’t matter to me, so a wording that achieves either result is fine with me on this point.
Enemy uses the Crusher feat to force you to move 5 feet.
No benefit, since Crusher doesn’t provide any opportunity to make a check or save to prevent the movement.
Enemy uses “something” (I’m not familiar with any effect like this) that allows a check or saving throw, and moves you, but succeeding on the check or saving throw doesn’t prevent the movement (maybe it reduces the movement, maybe it does something else).
I don’t honestly know what I want to happen in this case. I’d lean towards still getting to roll again even though it won’t help with
~ending, but this is a corner case that I’m happy to ignore, so whatever result we get from this situation isn’t going to make or break the wording.
These complications are enough to make me reconsider the ability, and have it not end on forced movement, but I like the idea of that being a potential vulnerability—I just don’t want it to be too serious a vulnerability. And it makes sense that a class that is all about holding a position would be good at holding a position even when the enemy tries to move them.