After a particularly intense Pathfinder session with my buddies, my character had to go through a trial by ordeal where he was bit by a venomous snake. He succeeded (for some definition of succeeding): he didn't die, and was cleared of all charges, but was left with a Constitution score of 2.

We play in a low-magic setting and we have house rules for recovering ability points. In the meantime, however, I would like to know what are the consequences of the lowered score.

The obvious part is that my max HP and Fortitude checks took a dramatic drop. Actions like running are now also basically impossible. We're good on the technical side, but how should my roleplay be affected? For instance, at a score of 2, I consider that my character is bedridden and barely able to hold a conversation. However, I'm having a difficult time deciding on the limits of this.

Provided that the score eventually goes up, at which point should I be able to walk again? Concentrate enough for a lengthy conversation? Are there guidelines on this?


You're likely sickly and tire easily

The SRD gives you the short version:

Constitution represents your character's health and stamina.

But nothing more specific. There's no table that says "at CON 2 you can't walk for more than 20 minutes." It's up to you what a score that low means.

Stamina is an easy one. While you can walk (that's Strength and Dexterity), a flight of stairs is going to wind you. Dragging things any distance would also be tiring. You're in a bit of a weird place where you mechanically have the Strength to do things that on a RP level you probably can't keep up for very long. You could look at it as your cardiovascular training, vs your strength training or balance (for Dexterity).

On the health side, you're not very healthy. That doesn't have to mean you're sick all the time. If you don't have any specific illness you could be alright, but you'd have a higher vulnerability to getting sick (think of someone with a weakened immune system, and you could go that way). So you're likely sick more often than everybody else.

How you RP this depends on how far you want to take it. You could play someone who is weak and responds to that by just laying in bed all day. Or you could play it as someone who is weak, but keeps pushing and trying to do things they used to be able to do anyway (and occasionally fails because it's now a feat of endurance that is beyond you).

Those are very different outcomes for the same thing, but they're both entirely valid ways to go about it. Personally I think the other players might not find a constantly bedridden character any fun to play with given how it limits them (unless they exclude you), so I'd probably prefer the other route. Someone struggling to overcome their new weakness would still try to do things with the group, and could create an interesting dynamic. It also allows you to at least go on adventures outside of your bedroom.


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