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Question on Curse Of Strahd’s toxic fog/mist

Content of the article: "Question on Curse Of Strahd’s toxic fog/mist"

So, we started to play Curse Of Strahd. And we encountered the Mist of Ravenloft which raised quite a few red flags between PC's on how it was intended to function. The DM has shared the part of the mist mechanic:

A deadly fog surrounds the land of Barovia and engulfs any creature that tries to leave. Even flying creatures are subject to the fog's effects, which are as follows:

A creature that starts its turn in the fog must succeed on a DC 20 Constitution saving throw or gain one level of exhaustion (see appendix A in the Player's Handbook). This exhaustion can't be removed while the creature is in the fog.

No matter how far a creature travels in the fog, or in which direction it goes, it gets turned around so that it eventually finds itself back in Barovia.

The area within the fog is heavily obscured (see "Vision and Light" in chapter 8 of the Player's Handbook).

We are quite bamboozled, does the fog exists literally everywhere outdoors? DM interpreted that if you are not indoors and are in combat situation you roll for saves. Which sounds quite ludicrous DC20 save for PC's that are 1-3 lvl's. With such high DC party by design is suppose to fail saves. And most of the campaign is all about exploring the outdoors. That just seems like bad design or am I missing something? I mean exhaustion is like one of the harshest and hard to get rid of conditions in the game especially when it stacks. After we were given the description about it, us PC's were hung up on the wording "engulfs any creature that tries to leave" and as PC's interpreted the toxic part happens only on the outskirts of Barovia, when you know, you try to escape it. Or as a DM tool to keep us out of certain places. But as of now I ask this community, how it functioned in your games? Is it the correct intention of the writers, that the deadly fog exhausts everyone outside?

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Pls halp.

Source: reddit.com

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