Contamination in Dungeons of Drakkenheim

Contamination is a new mechanic introduced in Dungeons of Drakkenheim.  Contamination reflects the effects of exposure to eldritch pollutants.  It works like the mechanic of exhaustion. Different effects increase a creature’s level of exhaustion. The exhausted creature suffers the effects of all the levels of exhaustion they have. Taking a long rest reduces exhaustion by one level, as long as the creature also gets food and water.  I’ve included the exhaustion table from the basic rules below.

Creature gain level of contamination by using magical items, being attacked by contaminated beings, or spending time in contaminated locations. Each level of contamination brings worse consequences.  The peak is reached at level 6, as the creature is transformed permanently into an aberration. That is not the only effect though, as creature gain levels of contamination, they also have the risk of suffering from mutations.  Negative mutations range from minor nuisances to painful disfigurement. 

1Disadvantage on ability checks
2Speed halved
3Disadvantage on attack rolls and saving throws
4Hit point maximum halved
5Speed reduced to 0

Useful mutations grant some cool abilities that you’ll be sad to lose when you contamination levels are reduced.  I think that’s a really nice way to balance out the effect of contamination.  Sadly, for the players, contamination is a lot harder to get rid of than exhaustion.  While a long rest will begin to reduce exhaustion, it’ll take some serious magic to remove that contamination.

Thumbs Up for Contamination in Dungeons of Drakkenheim

I really like this mechanic a lot.  We’ll be trying it out in the Dungeonsports Coliseum to see how it meshes with our game. I think the mutations will be quite popular with players.

I’ll be back to look at some more of the content from Drakkenheim soon! I’ve started pricing the items here.

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