So, I thought more about factors in the game that we can work with for effects in-game. I looked at the D&D combat sequence and even all the things on the character record sheet.
Here is an image, print it out and trace lines from one thing to another. These lines can represent relationships between the factors not just for monsters but magic items, curses, spells etc.
Some example ideas:
- a spell that allows a player to become stronger temporarily by stripping off all gear
- monsters that have a grudge and become more common on the encounter table each time players kill one
- a player cursed to only heal by eating gems
- a valuable creature that always appears at maximum encounter distance and then moves away (think questing beast)
- a creature of such saintly/devilish demeanor that attacks (or maybe just misses) by pcs of opposite alignment are always fumbles
- a pc disease-- any time you're hit in combat save or go unconscious
- each successful hit on a magical creature maps part of the dungeon on its hide (and it's a nice creature, and you really don't want to hurt it . . .)
- a magic ring (Bully's Bane) - the more foes you face the more likely they are to fumble
Also in the same vein is me thinking about how little we have to effect player characters in-game. I think I discovered some others because of the thinking I did for that post.