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D30 Overland Travel Mishaps

Adventurers walking from one location to another with gear on their backs face several challenges. Whether backpacking in Traveller or Call of Cthulhu or journeying in Dungeons & Dragons or Ryuutama, here are d30 mishaps an explorer might encounter on the trail.


These mishaps use D&D 5E rules. For each journey decide on a number of Survival checks a group makes, every day or every two or three days. A failed check triggers a roll on the mishap table. On a natural 1 roll on the special mishap table. Alternatively, add these in as set encounters either picking a desired result or rolling randomly. If an event affects only one PC roll randomly to determine which one or choose the PC making the Survival check.

Mishap Survival Check Table (-2 DC on a trail, +2 DC for foul weather)

TerrainDifficulty Class
Grasslands7
Deserts and hills12
Forests, mountains, and swamps17

Roll a d30 to determine the mishap or a d6 for a special mishap. To simulate a d30 roll any die, odd roll 1d20 on the chart and even roll 1d10+20 on the chart. All saves on the mishap table are DC 13 and DC 15 on the special mishap table.

Mishap Table

D30 RollMishapEffect
1Lost, walking in circlesRoll d6 for hex side moved through; if hex side is the desired direction stay in current hex instead
2Venomous snakeSnake bite +5; Constitution save or 1d6 poison damage and poisoned for 1 hour
3Dangerous weatherBlizzard, lightning, tornado; 2d6 damage
4Monster disturbedRandom encounter
5Savage animalBear, boar, large cat, or large canine attacks
6Provision shortage or spoiled foodLose half your rations to miscalculation or rot
7Blocked terrainCannot move in desired direction due to debris, washed out trail, etc.
8Worn outGain a level of exhaustion
9Quicksand/mud/water/floodingFall results in being restrained; after 1d4 rounds begin suffocating or use DMG description for quicksand
10Sprained ankle or blistersSpeed is halved for 1d3 days, magic healing cures
11Torn clothes and gearUntil mended, suffer disadvantage on Charisma skill checks if appearance matters
12LandslideDexterity save or 2d6 damage and restrained and suffocating until Strength check to dig out
13Spider biteConstitution save versus poison or 1d6 poison damage and poisoned for 1 hour
14Distracting weatherFog, heavy rain, or hail; disadvantage on ranged attacks and Survival checks
15Wasp’s nestDexterity save or poisoned for 1 hour
16Mosquito swarmCarries the disease sewer plague
17Pestering animalAngry squirrel or mocking bird pesters you triggering a random encounter
18Poisonous plantsPoisoned until washed clean
19Black fliesIf not in shelter, disadvantage, lasts 24 hours
20TicksCarry cackle fever
21Lost gear or weapon1d6 on a 1 a weapon is lost otherwise a piece of gear
22Hunter’s trapDexterity save or restrained by net/snare or animal trap; 50% chance it is an animal trap that also inflicts 1d6 damage
23Sick or rabid animalSmall animal bite +5 for 1d4 damage and exposure to sewer plague
24Fall from cliff, into cave, sinkhole, or old wellDexterity save or fall 1d3x10 feet
25SkunkDexterity save or “poisoned” until washed off
26Dirty drinking waterEveryone’s drinking water tainted with sight rot
27FireA fire burns in your intended direction, turn away or Constitution save to dash through: succeed poisoned by smoke for 1 hour, fail as succeed and take 2d6 fire damage
28Lice“Poisoned” until treated
29Fire antsTake 1d6 poison damage, poisoned for 1 hour, and lose half your rations
30Broken gear1d6 on a 1 a weapon is broken otherwise a piece of gear

Special Mishap Table

D6 RollSpecial MishapResult
1RazorvinePer the DMG
2Acid rainFind shelter or take 2d6 acid damage, leaves behind acid puddles for 1d6 hours
3Ash stormBlocks the direction you want to travel, push on by making a Strength saving throw or gain a level of exhaustion
4Dust tornadoDexterity save or take 1d6 bludgeoning damage and Speed reduced by half for 1d6 hours
5Magnetic pulseIf wearing metal armor, Strength save or prone and restrained for 1d6 hours
6Weird energyIntelligence save or “poisoned” for 1d6 hours as strange visions warp your sight

Exploring the wilderness is a wonderful challenge but it also brings a host of possible mundane mishaps. In a magical or supernatural world there may be even stranger mishaps. Use these tables to spice up travel in your RPG of choice.
 
Charles Dunwoody

Comments

DMMike

Game Masticator
D33 RollMishapEffect
31Travel guide quits/diesWisdom checks required to reach correct destination
32Someone brings up "the issue"CHA saves or party stress level raises
33Bard joins partyCHA checks to keep him from singing the same annoying song...
 

Racegamer

Explorer
"To simulate a d30 roll any die, odd roll 1d20 on the chart and even roll 1d10+20 ..."
Unless my brain is not working today, using this method a quarter of your of your rolls will be from 1-10, half will be from 11-20, and a quarter will be from 21-30 - not an even distribution.
You would be better to roll one d6: 1-2 roll 1d10, 3-4 roll 1d10 +10, 5-6 roll 1d10 +20.
 

Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
D33 RollMishapEffect
31Travel guide quits/diesWisdom checks required to reach correct destination
32Someone brings up "the issue"CHA saves or party stress level raises
33Bard joins partyCHA checks to keep him from singing the same annoying song...
Hah 32 and 33 are gold.

To the OP @Charles Dunwoody it would be cool to also have a sub table for weather. One that's a bit more robust than what's in the DMG.
 


Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
Good idea. I'll see what I can come up with.
When I have my players roll for weather (yes, I like them to roll that one), I have them roll a 10 sider. If they roll a 1-7, the weather persists as it was yesterday, with the lower number meaning it "persists more". In other words if it was raining, a 1 means more rain, a 3 means same amount, a 7 means still raining but clearing up. 8-10 I say it's a change. But I make it up when it happens...
 

Weather is one of those things that is easy to gloss over in a game but really matters a lot in the real world when you are outside 24/7. I think there are some ideas to explore there.
 


mh972

Villager
"To simulate a d30 roll any die, odd roll 1d20 on the chart and even roll 1d10+20 ..."
Unless my brain is not working today, using this method a quarter of your of your rolls will be from 1-10, half will be from 11-20, and a quarter will be from 21-30 - not an even distribution.
You would be better to roll one d6: 1-2 roll 1d10, 3-4 roll 1d10 +10, 5-6 roll 1d10 +20.
I personally prefer your method, but the one they suggest gives an equal distribution also... It just looks awkward

Roll any die, odd use a 1d20 and even 1d10+20... so say we roll a d4 initially, on a 1 or 3 you get an equal chance of a 1-20... if the d4 was a 2 or 4, a 1d10 and add 20 still gives and equal chance of getting a 21-30... What makes it fair is you have a 50/50 chance of getting odd or even on the d4 (or d6, or d8, or whatever), no matter what there is only one way out of 30 to get each number from 1 to 30
 

Tonguez

Hero
D33 RollMishapEffect
34Witch Signs hanging in the treesWis save or become frieghtened
35Dysentery Strikes the Wagon TrainCon save to resist Nausea
36Trespassing on Sacred GroundHallow/Unhallowed Ground
37Migrating SwarmsYour path is blocked by a large swarm - you can attempt to cross it
38Pollen CloudsA thick cloud of pollen hangs in the air causing fatigue to those who breath it in
39Strange LightsWis save or become dazzled by the strange lights
40Short CutAutomatically overcome the next mishap
 

D33 RollMishapEffect
34Witch Signs hanging in the treesWis save or become frieghtened
35Dysentery Strikes the Wagon TrainCon save to resist Nausea
36Trespassing on Sacred GroundHallow/Unhallowed Ground
37Migrating SwarmsYour path is blocked by a large swarm - you can attempt to cross it
38Pollen CloudsA thick cloud of pollen hangs in the air causing fatigue to those who breath it in
39Strange LightsWis save or become dazzled by the strange lights
40Short CutAutomatically overcome the next mishap
I like the short cut.
 

Minigiant

Legend
BTW here is my own Wilderness Mishap table

d10 rollMishap or Obstacled10 Subtype rollEffect
1Navigation 1d10 hours lost
2Logistics1d8 times 10% pack equipment lost
3Natural terrainAbility check to continue
4WeatherAbility check to avoid 1 exhaustion
5Natural stormCheck DMG
6Plant of Fungus1-15 for poison, 15-17 exhaust 18+ RandEncDC to resist or Random encounter
7Animal1-10 indifferent, 15-17 hostile 18+ magical hostileRandom Encounter
8Humanoid1-10 indifferent, 15-17 hostile 18+ magical hostileRandom Encounter
9Outsider1-10 fey, 15-17 elemental 18 celestial, 19 fiend, 20 aberrationRandom Encounter
10Magical Stormone for each elementMWAHAHAHAHA!!!
 

BTW here is my own Wilderness Mishap table

d10 rollMishap or Obstacled10 Subtype rollEffect
1Navigation1d10 hours lost
2Logistics1d8 times 10% pack equipment lost
3Natural terrainAbility check to continue
4WeatherAbility check to avoid 1 exhaustion
5Natural stormCheck DMG
6Plant of Fungus1-15 for poison, 15-17 exhaust 18+ RandEncDC to resist or Random encounter
7Animal1-10 indifferent, 15-17 hostile 18+ magical hostileRandom Encounter
8Humanoid1-10 indifferent, 15-17 hostile 18+ magical hostileRandom Encounter
9Outsider1-10 fey, 15-17 elemental 18 celestial, 19 fiend, 20 aberrationRandom Encounter
10Magical Stormone for each elementMWAHAHAHAHA!!!
What does your magical storm do? Another table? The effect sounds great!
 

Minigiant

Legend
What does your magical storm do? Another table? The effect sounds great!
It's a complicated process.

First 1 roll a d10 for the element. Acid 1, cold 2, fire 3, force 4, lightning 5, poison 6, psychic 7, thunder 8. a 9 is a dual element storm and you roll again. 10 for spellstorm. Two 9s is a gatestorm.

A magical storm has either strong winds, heavy precipitation, or extreme temperature based of type. Fire and thunder has extreme heat. Cold and poison extreme cold. Acid has heavy percipatation. The rest have strong wind. You have to make a DC on save every turn to aviod taking 1d4 damage of the type. Dual element storm has 2 effects and the damage alternates. IN ADDITION, every 1d10 minutes 1d4 elementals of the appropriate element appear and are confused as if under the confusion spell. Undead sub for poison. Aberrations for psychic. Fey for force.

A spellstorm is a light wind storm. Roll 1d8 to choose a school. Every round, a random spell of 1st to 3rd level of that school is casted on an object or creature under every acre of the storm. Gatestorm is the same but just gate gate gate gate gate gate gate gate gate gate gate gate

Magical storms last 1 minute to an 1/2 hour unless controlled by control weather.
 
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We're headed on a long wagon train journey soon in our campaign. This will definitely help liven things up.
Wagon trains are slow, vulnerable, easy to spot, and don't maneuver well. Perfect for an RPG. Don't forget a savage animal could be a stampede.

Is this D&D or something else? "Cause in D&D you have to look out for the mimic wagon train. You know, looks like a friendly camp of fellow wagons but everything, maybe even the fire, is alive and wanting to eat everyone in your own wagon train.
 

Eltab

Hero
41. Small Child. "I gotta go potty" - lose a mile or so from distance travelled, due to unmentionable delays and hangups. May spark an encounter with a wild animal or plant.
42. Young Child. "Are we there yet?" - WIS Save to keep your temper. On a critical fail, roll initiative against each other.
 

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