The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Iceland
    Gender
    Male

    Default Wilderness Travel as a series of Saves

    Your group has finished the adventure, gotten praise from the locals, and done all the downtime activities they can think of. The story now sends them to Oakhurst. But to get there, they have to travel through Weirdwood, a hounted forest full of fey Crossings, feral beasts, giant spiders and twig blights.

    You've prepared three random encounters, but your group is excited to arrive at the destination. How do you give the feel of dangerous travel, without spending a full session on meaningless encounters?

    Each player rolls a series of Saves, and a Survival Check. Each save tells how well they fended of the dangers of the forest, and fh survival check decides the CR of the random encounter.

    On the travels, these were the possible dangers:

    DC 15 Saving Throw of your choice
    A pack of dire wolves hunts you down. Each player who failed the Save has to spend half your spell slots of each level and half your hit dice just to survive.

    DC 15 Constitution
    You are forced to travel dangerously close to a desecrated area. You lose the ability to regain hit points for 24 hours.

    DC 15 Wisdom
    A sentient tree enchants you to trying one of its fruits. You are poisoned until the end of the next long rest.

    DC 15 Dexterity
    You fell into a cave belonging to fey spiders. Your hit point maximum is reduced by half until you get a long rest.

    Now they have a combat encounter based on their average survival roll. But instead of being fully rested, they are really worn out:
    * Can't be healed
    * Missing half their spell slots
    * Have the Poisoned condition

    Even though the hit dice part doesn't come into play, it really gives your players the feeling of being worn out.

    To get an easy encounter the Survival DC was 15, a normal encounter is 10, a hard encounter is 5.

    Edit: You could also use skills, or even contested rolls.
    This can be drawn out into a week of travel, if you state that 'When in hostile territory, a short rest requires 8 hours, and you can't take long rests until you've reached a safe place"

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    Flumph

    Join Date
    Nov 2017

    smile Re: Wilderness Travel as a series of Saves

    I agree, this can make travel much less cumbersome while still providing variety.
    I do similar with my group, but a mix of skill checks and saving throws.

    Frequent:
    Survival check to stay on course, avoid hazardous terrain, catch food, etc.

    Optional:
    Perception and/or Stealth (possible speed penalty) to spot creatures before they spot you
    Nature check for tidbits about local flora & fauna
    History check for tidbits about geography, rough map

    As Needed:
    Medicine check to heal or prevent lingering injuries (when travel saving throws fail)

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