Thursday, June 24, 2010

Wilderness Travel is dangerous

One rule I am liking the effects of is my healing rules, they are definitely having the desired effect.

Luck points (day to day hitpoints that represent narrowly dodging damage) heal at the standard 1 per day..UNLESS you are in either spartan or uncomfortable conditions (1 per week) or if you are luxuriating and wasting money and/or time (be it drunk in a bar or communing with nature) in which case its 2 per day.

This means that as most PC's MIGHT take a bedroll and start a fire (when was the last time you saw a tent in a PC's inventory) and probably eat rations to be on the cheap..they will only heal in the wilderness very slowly. Wilderness travel will be a grueling ordeal if they have to engage in combat.

Body points represent real physical injuries, they cause penalties to rolls if they accrue. They normally only accrue after you run out of luck points, and allow a health check to heal 1 per week, with an epic failure costing you an extra health point and an epic success healing 2. This means you can worsen and die. Being in the wilderness requires a healing check once per week even if you are unharmed. This means if you tromp through the woods you could get a painful and crippling injury (slipping on a ravine, getting sick, getting an infected cut) and potentially have it worsen. This is the one easy case where you can take body point damage while still having a full stock of luck points.

This means the PC's tend to plan better for their wilderness trips, taking a few luxuries with them. It also means that they will see a three week trek through the mountains as different than a 6 week trip around them on road network staying at inns. This means the players now have choices and decisions to make about their trip beyond time.

Most importantly the PC's understand that when winter comes, that's their down season..unless they find a way to book a trip somewhere warm and disease ridden instead that is..

Personally I am very happy with its ability to achieve the desired results.


  1. Looks good. If I understand it, then having a bedroll, campfire, etc means the standard healing, while a damp, exposed, cold party counts as spartan and uncomfortable...

    I use Dragon Warriors as my system of choice, and this works in well with the glacial healing of damage (if you're not resting in bed, it starts on the 4th day...).

    Only question is - what does a health check look like in whatever system you're using? What attribute do you test against?

  2. For ability checks its d20 + attribute score needs to be greater than or equal to 20.

    So in D&D speak consider it like rolling against con each week.

  3. "Strangely enough, traveling in the wilderness can actually be more dangerous for a low-level party than venturing into the first levels of a dungeon." Expert Rules, page X56, January, 1981. :) Cook (& Marsh?) And they're talking about getting lost and the monsters one might actually encounter, not the wilderness' effects.

    Having camped and played D&D in caves recently, your post here makes a lot of sense. You don't get as much sleep, you can get poison oak/ivy, you can easily twist an ankle hiking, etc... That bedroll should (and does) make a difference.