There's a storm coming, a possible blizzard and some are even whispering of a nor'easter. Honestly, the mountains protect us from most bad things, however, with all the talk and all the fear going on at work (I work for a courier business this is the busy time of year) it got me thinking, how can weather and blizzards especially effect a game … or more specifically how can it affect encounters.
Here is the scene: The party is breaking hard for the north, something of importance lay in the depths of an ancient ice cavern thought scared by the local tribe of Yeti-Men. Unfortunately, the Eldritch Queen has her glowing green eyes on the same damn thing.
While it has been snowing the whole time the wind and speed and cold come to a head around the second round once this happens three things occur.
Weather Effects – Blizzard:
1. Visibility drops seventy-five percent. What does this mean? It means the players can only see a quarter of their move rate in front of them, it also means that everyone, enemy and ally is flat foot.
2. All melee to-hit rolls take a -1 modifier due to the storm and decreased visibility. All ranged take a -2 per 25% outside of the character's visibility range.
3. All Spell-casting has an increased failure chance (between 2 and 4) due to the blizzard both playing havoc with gathering arcane energies and interfering with the magic-user's ability to concentrate on his or her spell-casting abilities.
4. After two rounds the first the players and creatures movement is treated as being in difficult terrain and takes the appropriate negative modifiers.
Now these are only ideas, haven't been play-tested at all and are very rough in form and function. I looked back at my Mentzer Expert rules (thank you flea markets!) as well as the 3rd and 4th printing of Swords & Wizardry just to make sure I wasn't diving into well used waters. It doesn't seem that I am … I think that later rule-sets, including a 3e title called Frostburn may have actual rules for blizzard condition combat.
The scene as well is not meant to be something that is played, however, if it gives a Referee a good idea … run with it!
And yes, I am now tempted to stat up a Yeti-men race/class and creature block. Maybe if work gets canceled today.