D&D 5E Food weight consumption and weight of food/rations

pdzoch

Explorer
So I am about to run a campaign with an austere environment and I am refreshing my memory on the rules for food and water consumption, travel distance, weather impacts, and exhaustion.

However, I’ve come across a weird incongruity in the rules regarding feeding requirements.

According to the DM’s Guide, a medium creature requires a pound of food and a gallon of water per day.

However, the rations, which provide food for one day, weighs 2 lbs. (Player’s Handbook). I suppose I can assume that the extra pound is due to packaging (excessive apparently).

Then when I look at large creatures, like a horse, they require 4 pounds of food and 4 gallons of water per day. But the feed for animals weigh 10 lbs per day of feed. Granted, the feed in very generalized and does not account for the different types of animals.
The foraging rules work well with the food and water weight consumption requirements.

I think what I will do is reduce the weight of the rations to 1lb per day of food to match consumption rates.

And I will do the same for feed for the size of the animal the feed is for: 4 (instead of 10 lbs) pounds for large animals like horses and camels, but a huge animal like an elephant the feed would weight 16 lbs. I’m not sure if I will adjust the costs also, but it makes sense that I should.

Has anyone else noticed this incongruity?

How has anyone else managed food weight requirements (especially in an austere environment)?
 

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I make a good faith effort to avoid destroying/killing wagons and mounts. They are not completely immune to plot issues, but characters are far more likely to find an ogre stuffing his face at the wagon than having looted, killed the horses, and run away.

In an austere environment I will definitely keep track of "days of food and water", but I still don't keep track of the weight on the wagon beyond saying that it's really heavy. Kegs full of water. Stacked rations. Bandages and splints. Maybe a spare wheel and axle (just one each). Etc.
 

pdzoch

Explorer
I just thought of something regarding the weight disparity of rations per day and food requirements per day. Food spoils. Rations don't. So a pound of is all that is needed fresh, but it will spoil if not consumed within a day. Whereas the rations can keep for a long time, but weigh more. I wonder if the trade-off was intended in the rules when it was written.
 

Blackrat

He Who Lurks Beyond The Veil
I’m almost willing to argue that those weights are intentional. A human might need 1lb of food, but that’s the minimum to keep you from adverse effects in the long run. However, you might feel hungry most of the time. Rations of 2lb per day would give you enough to actually feel nourished, as opposed to just surviving. So, you can eat half a ration per day to keep going, but that doesn’t mean you ain’t miserable doing it...
 

ccs

41st lv DM
I just thought of something regarding the weight disparity of rations per day and food requirements per day. Food spoils. Rations don't. So a pound of is all that is needed fresh, but it will spoil if not consumed within a day. Whereas the rations can keep for a long time, but weigh more. I wonder if the trade-off was intended in the rules when it was written.

That argument might work for "people" food. Might.

But it becomes absurd when applied to animals. I can assure you that the animal feed - grain & hay - in my RL barn is not spoiling on a daily basis. If it were... $$$!:(
 


pdzoch

Explorer
That argument might work for "people" food. Might.

But it becomes absurd when applied to animals. I can assure you that the animal feed - grain & hay - in my RL barn is not spoiling on a daily basis. If it were... $$$!:(

Perhaps the "Feed" for animals is like the human rations then, which explains the excessive weight to need? It does not spoil, but it is also not fresh grazing grass.
 

jasper

Rotten DM
Unless it's hot and you are sweating a lot, a gallon is too much. Even the frequently reported value of 2 litres a day is an exaggeration (you have to read the entire paper), although I would expect rations to be lower in water (and then you might actually need the 2 litres)
A gallon includes cooking, a bathing. So Gallon of food, 1 pd of rations is close enough for government work and 5E.
 

GMMichael

Guide of Modos
Food spoils. Rations don't. So a pound of is all that is needed fresh, but it will spoil if not consumed within a day. Whereas the rations can keep for a long time, but weigh more. I wonder if the trade-off was intended in the rules when it was written.
Probably not intended. They had bigger issues to worry about, like "when is magic not magic" (still unresolved). I would expect rations to do more feeding than fresh food, not less. The fresh food might be healthier, but it's more water-weight. Rations should be more nutrient-dense. . . but maybe since "rations" feed a character for a day, that's supposed to include the necessary water?

Unless it's hot and you are sweating a lot, a gallon is too much. Even the frequently reported value of 2 litres a day is an exaggeration (you have to read the entire paper), although I would expect rations to be lower in water (and then you might actually need the 2 litres)
The water recommendation is for adventurers, not couch potatoes.
 


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