This set of optional travel rules is designed to raise the importance of making decisions and using skills for characters who must travel overland. It introduces several “roles” for characters to take that play to often underutilized skills. It also makes overland travel less about random combat encounters, while simultaneously making those encounters riskier. Finally, it introduces both benefit and penalty for the travel, encouraging the party to focus on wise choices while on the road.
- The party assigns Roles.
- The party Guide determines the Route and Rate of Travel.
- The DM determines the Terrain Difficulty Check (TDC), the Duration of the Trip and the Required Successes.
- Easy Terrain (including terrain well known by the Guide) adds a -3 modifier to the TDC
- Difficult Terrain (swamps, boulder-strewn landscapes, Underdark, thick Forest) adds a +3 modifier to the TDC.
- Treacherous Terrain (Ravines, active volcanoes, war zones) adds a +5 modifier to the TDC.
- The Guide rolls a survival check against the TDC for each day.
- For each failure, roll on the Encounters Table. For each Critical Failure, roll directly on the Combat Encounters Table.
- For every combat encounter (except for one from a critical failure) the scout rolls a stealth (DC 15) and perception (DC 15) check. If both succeed, skip the encounter. If 1 succeeds, the party gains a Surprise Round in the combat. If both fail, the party is Surprised on the first round of combat.
- If insufficient rations are brought along, the Foragers roll Nature or Survival checks. Each Forager can gather enough food and water for 1 person. If they are proficient with the Survival skill, they can increase that by 1. An appropriate Background can increase that number by 1. Foraging checks are made against the TDC.
- For each 2 days unfed, each character gains a level of Exhaustion.
- The foraging check is done at the end of the trip.
- If the number of success roll on the Trip Outcomes table, adding 1 for each success over the Required Successes and subtracting 1 for each success under the Required Successes. For any Critical Success, add 2 to the roll instead of 1. For any Critical Failure, subtract 2 from the roll instead of 1.
- Rest during travel is considered Short Rest only, unless an event explicitly grants “Long Rest”
- No more than 2 Combat Encounters can occur during a travel that lasts 10 days or less.
- No more than 3 Combat Encounters can occur during any travel that lasts 15 days or less.
- No more than 4 Combat Encounters can occur during and travel that lasts 16 days or more.
Guide – Each trip can only have 1 Guide. The guide is responsible for choosing the route and guiding the party. The guide should have a high Survival skill, as this is the primary skill for the role.
Scout – Each trip can have 1 Scout. The Scout is responsible for detecting Encounters and avoiding harmful encounters. The scout should have high Perception and Stealth, as these are used to detect and avoid any harmful encounters.
Foragers – Any number of characters. Responsible for feeding the party. Uses Nature and Survival checks. Each untrained character can forage for 2 people. Appropriate Backgrounds and Skills can increase the number of people fed. Unfed characters gain a level of exhaustion after 1 full day of not eating.
Rate of Travel
|Speed||Mounted Distance (ground/fly)||Unmounted Distance|
- If travelling at “Fast”, Scouts roll at Perception and Stealth checks with Disadvantage.
- If travelling at “Slow” and mounted, Scouts roll Perception and Stealth with Advantage.
- If travelling at “Slow” and unmounted, the Party can use Stealth and the Scouts roll Perception and Stealth with Advantage.