Content of the article: "Overland Travel Rules – Feedback & Critique appreciated"
I’ve recently made some travel rules for my campaigns and I’m looking for so review/critiques:
- The Party must make a group check (everyone makes a roll with a different skill to beat a DC).
- The DC is set by the length/difficulty of travel with different options providing different difficulties
- Everyone must tell the DM what they are rolling before the roll and then roll at the same time (or straight after each other). – This allows me to weave a narrative of what happened.
- The DM spends some time explaining what the group went through and how each of the skills was used, they can also add in interesting details and location, they players are allowed stop the narration and interact with any areas they find interesting.
- The DC for traveling to all subsequent locations decreased by 5 to a minimum of 10
Example table of DC:
|The Black Lake of the Hollow||Residing at the bottom of an city sized cavern the pitch black waters of this lake apply named||Rumours abound about the prophetic visions people see around the lake, as far as you can tell these visions are more often misleading than prophetic||10|
|The Ember Reserve in The Umbra Halls||Cavern bursting with Ember Moss which warms and lights the cavern||The comfort of the cavern makes it a popular resting stop for denizens of the underdark||15|
|The Old Salt Mines||Disused Salt Mine that used to belong to the Duergar||You know were little of the area but it may be defensible and have supplies||20|
|Sarcov -The Marrow Farm||Deep Gnome Village nestled in the bones of an gigantic purple worm corpse||You should be able to get food and supplies but the Deep Gnomes may not accept you||25|
|Ranchers Tunnel||Duergar use these tunnels to farm their Rothe cattle||The duergar protect outskirts of these lands with their lives, if you can sneak past them the tunnels with offer you safety||35|
|Shrine of Empty Prayers||Abandoned (and subsequently looted) shrine to unknown god||Holy sites often harbour divine magic even after the prayers have stopped||40|
- I want every player to be involved – Rather than make it a single check making it a group check means every player gets to be involved and bring their skills to the challenge even if they wouldn’t traditionally in overland travel (e.g. rolling ‘Animal Handling’ to look after the animals or ‘Persuasion’ to keep the parties spirit up whilst they travel).
- I want it to function like a game with a game (like combat, skill challenges, chases etc.) – the option to choose your location and difficulty allow player to decide of their path putting the agency in their hands and allowing them to gamble on a risk/reward scale.
- I want to keep the feel of travel and distance put skip the boring tracking and resources – As noted above this system put the agency back on players, it allow them to pick what they find interesting but also provides a sense of distance.
I don’t know have to punish failure in a way that feel meaningful as draining resources doesn’t work when characters regain everything on a long rest.
My current solution is to say: ‘Given the constant exertion and constant need to be vigilant you don’t gain the benefits of a long rest whilst travelling’. This allows me to give levels of exhaustion, reduce hit dice, remove spell slot etc. and it still be meaningful when they arrive at a location, it may also make player stop more regularly (or stop before heading to their final location to make sure they arrive at full power)
- Dungeon Master Test. Your party is exploring a volcanic cavern…
- Are these rules for travel and the consequences/rewards of PC actions decent?
- Travel (and how you can run it)
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