Questions about the Barrier Boon's various properties

I wanted to ask some questions about Barrier because these came up in a session I had ran a little while back.

That is regarding the properties a Barrier can have.

Barriers when invoked, have properties that activate when something willingly enters the specified area or ends their turn there.

It’s a really cool boon, my favorite.

I understand the description of the barrier boon was meant to be vague so that it can be open to interpretation and have plenty of possibilities.

However sometimes the vagueness can get in the way and slow down the game.

So my question is regarding 1 of the properties that a barrier can have. Baneful.
Or maybe properties in general.

Can a barrier have multiple instances of the same property in them?
Like 2 banefuls, with each instance being a different bane?

If so, does that mean you can have multiple instances of every property???
Like multiple Damaging, multiple Mobile, etc.?

I ask this because in a previous session, 1 of my players decided that they wanted to invoke Barrier in a way that was… Different…

Their character was a type of magician who specializes in manipulating fungi.

So… They said, “I want my barrier to have Baneful Death, Fatigue, Sickness, AND Persistent Damage!”
Originally they wanted the barrier to invoke banes of differing attributes but changed when I said that they could only have the barrier invoke banes that they could cast using the attribute they invoked it with: Entropy which I guess is another question I wanna ask since that was another vague thing about the boon: Does the bane being inflicted need to be of the same attribute as the one used to invoke the barrier? Anyway…
I asked “Which one???”
And he answered “All of it!”

They were clearly doing this to power game, so I did the only thing I thought would be best to do, and that is asking them to describe how this barrier contained all these properties!

And then they replied “IDK, there’s probably a mushroom that spreads a fungal infection that does these things right?”

I was unhappy with the response but they already rolled and succeeded at the invocation exceptionally. So I took a brief pause and after some thinking, I ruled that yes, you can have multiple instances of the baneful property and then let it play out as I describe the scenario play out…

So how would you have done this if you were the GM?
And also yeah… Would you allow having multiple instances of the same property for a barrier?


So, I have a few questions.

  1. Are they choosing the area of the Barrier first before rolling and making sure to apply the current amount of disadvantage to the roll (a lot of people miss this, and just roll and think about declaring the size after, however the size determines how much disadvantage the roll will have)

  2. Are they level 9?

Yes, that is a weak description and I would have simply said “No, you clearly are just trying to power game here, and it doesn’t make sense for your character, especially with the description. Instead …”. However, without knowing their level (and thus the PL they can achieve with the Barrier Boon) it is a little harder to say overall how I’d rule it as a GM.

Typically, no, you don’t pick multiple of a type, you just pick 1 type. As the GM, you could choose to allow them multiple, however it probably isn’t too powerful to allow multiple, just note that if they do choose the baneful property multiple times, they only get to inflict 1 of the banes a round vs a target, so they have to choose. Perhaps if they had Multi-Bane Specialist I’d allow 2. The only one that would benefit from multiple picks of the same property would maybe be mobile, but since you have to spend a move action, it’s pointless, b/c you could already move it twice by using your move action and then a major as a move anyways. I suppose you could allow it to move 60 feet with a move action if they make it have the property twice. All the rest just don’t benefit from picking more than once.

A creature can only be subject to one such bane attack from this barrier per round.

Yes, the attribute they invoke it with has to have access to the bane. Always think about what makes sense, so you were right on that one.

If they got exceptional success (and I mean 20+ for a boon typically) then I might have allowed some additional special things, but again, you didn’t provide what their level was, what their Attribute Score was, nor what their actual roll was, so hard to provide feedback.

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I’ll answer the second question first, I thought it was obvious so I didn’t tell the players’ level since I already said that they were inflicting Death, my bad… Anyway, my party was at level 7, during this time, At level 7, your score caps out at 8, but that player had the extraordinary focus feat which gave them access to PL 9 banes and boons at that level. With Entropy being their focus attribute.

The first question I’ll ask with a question, YOU GET DISADVANTAGE BASED ON THE AREA OF YOUR BARRIER!?!?!? WHAT!?!? We’ve been ruling it as whatever shape and size you wanted since the description for barrier never outright stated you roll with disadvantage based on the chosen area. We thought it was already a sort of double edged sword anyway since too big or too small an area might be bad.
Anyways though, yes, they did state the area of the barrier before invoking.
And as I stated above, it didn’t matter the size, they rolled with their usual dice amount.
After the successful roll, I ruled it as them having to inflict every bane individually, one bane at a time on a creature once a creature entered the area or ended their turn inside.
The players were captured and was in intense watch by guards to prevent escape, and this was the solution the fungi necromancer player came up with, they had to make the barrier big enough to affect the guard but small enough to not affect them either.

Having multiple of the Damaging property could be powerful wouldn’t it? Especially if it was ruled as simply inflicting damage multiple times.
And moving a barrier requires a major action, not a move. According to the online rules anyway.

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This is incorrect. Extraordinary (and Martial) focus only increases your dice size. It does not give you access to higher level boons or banes. They are still capped at a max PL of 8 along with their score, simply they have the dice of PL 9.

The focus heightens your power and for the purposes of determining your attribute dice for action rolls, you treat the chosen attribute as if it was one greater. For all purposes outside of attribute dice, your ability score remains unchanged (feats, banes, boons, etc.).

First part of the Barrier Boon:

When you invoke this boon, you must use multi-targeting to create a specific area of effect to define the space of your barrier.

Must use Multi-targeting, it doesn’t say anywhere that you don’t suffer the disadvantage associated with multi-targeting. A lot of people forget this and roll then realize they needed disadvantage b/c that’s how area targeting works. Being able to just do any size of course would be too powerful, and hardly a double edged sword and very ripe for abuse. This is why they were rolling so high.

And, again, you can choose to allow it this way, however default, they can only be affected by a bane from the barrier once, as the baneful property states.

Damaging property has the same statement that a target is only affected by it once per round like baneful.

Yes, this is correct, though it doesn’t really change what I was saying about it overall. Been sick this past week so not running on all cylinders!


Blargh crackers!!!

Well, this pretty much answers every question I had.

It seems like my problems were caused by us not reading the rules properly and allowing for munchkin like habits to my players.

I’m gonna have to clarify things to my players next time and probably re-read the entire rules again so things like this never happen again.

Thanks for answering the questions!


no worries, it’s easy to get confused about things, especially in a rush or not used as much. And as mentioned, you can always house rule that you can pick multiple of one of the properties if you’d like. the idea of doubling up on the mobile part is actually interesting to me, just a question of if too powerful and makes sense for the game.

Important thing is everyone is having fun. Often when mistakes like this happen, I always recommend to explain how it was suppose to work and to just say “going forward we will do it this way…” and never worry about retconning stuff. That was just a different alternate universe, and we are back focused on this one!

Also, encourage you to drop in to the discord sometime. Especially if you have just a real quick question. Usually someone is always on and can help answer any questions there as well nearly right away!

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When something like this happens and a player has been relying on it, consider offering the players to redo their characters at the same Level. That way, nobody is cheated.