D&D 5E [Let's Read] Vault 5e: Uncharted Journeys

Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
To me, they are "mean animals" but also "weird fantasy animals". They are small ways to make your setting slightly different from the real world. It's a classic fantasy trope to have not-quite-horses, not-quite-cats, not-quite-hawks, etc, etc . . .

I haven't used them yet, but I probably wouldn't use them as beasts for the PCs to fight, but descriptive flavor as the PCs travel through the wilderness.
I hear you -- and I always nod approvingly when I see books of such monsters, but I don't buy them, myself -- but then I think of the black squirrels in the 1E Monster Manual II. If you don't remember them -- and they're not worth remembering -- they're evil squirrels. That's it.

Someone decided to take an off-hand reference in the Hobbit to evil black squirrels in Mirkwood and stat them up, because there was no synonym or version of a monster that did not get stats back then.

But they're just squirrels. They don't get swarm stats (there weren't swarm creatures in 1E). They don't have a special attack. They're just jerk squirrels.

Sometimes, IMO, you can just say "oh, and the wildlife here is weird, man. Deer antlers all appear to be made out of wood, and in the spring, their antlers flower." We don't then need a flowering deer write-up.

In any case, I apologize for the long digression off the topic of the thread. I promise to buy this book to make up for it.
 
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Dire Bare

Legend
I hear you -- and I always nod approvingly when I see books of such monsters, but I don't buy them, myself -- but then I think of the black squirrels in the 1E Monster Manual II. If you don't remember them -- and they're not worth remembering -- they're evil squirrels. That's it.

Someone decided to take an off-hand reference in the Hobbit to evil black squirrels in Mirkwood and stat them up, because there was no synonym or version of a monster that did not get stats back then.

But they're just squirrels. They don't get swarm stats (there weren't swarm creatures in 1E). They don't have a special attack. They're just jerk squirrels.

Sometimes, IMO, you can just say "oh, and the wildlife here is weird, man. Deer antlers all appear to be made out of wood, and in the spring, their antlers flower." We don't then need a flowering deer write-up.

In any case, I apologize for the long digression off the topic off the thread. I promise to buy this book to make up for it.
Now the black squirrels are unnecessary and redundant because, IRL, all squirrels are jerks. :)
 


Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
Man, Uncharted Journeys can't really be getting much traction when the first main thread about it drifts into discussion about the usefulness of blood hawks.
How much discussion do you want it to have? It made five times its asking price on Kickstarter, but neither the PDF nor the book are available to non-backers yet.

I'm not joking that I'm going to buy it when it comes out, but it's a 100% DM-facing book designed to solve a single problem. That limits the audience of people who will want to discuss it.
 

Libertad

Hero
I'm going to be the lone voice of dissent and say that I found this version to be somewhat disappointing. I liked the idea of AiME's journey system. While it was a bit wonky and required some work to disconnect it from Middle Earth, it was nevertheless fairly simple and easy to use once you got the hang of it. I feel like they've made the system unnecessarily more complicated with this generic version. I particularly dislike the spend Hit Dice to recover abilities mechanic.

I find the Arrival stage to be weird.

Firstly, why is it that the Sentry determines the circumstances of the party's arrival at their destination? That seems like an odd choice to me.

Secondly, why am I even determining the circumstances at the destination randomly? Wouldn't I, as the DM, already know / be planning for things like an ally's execution or a dangerous ambush or a volcanic eruption? I suppose if the PCs are going somewhere random or have ended their journey prematurely, I might want to determine the circumstances of their whereabouts randomly, but ordinarily I would have the "status quo" at the PCs' destination established beforehand.

I think I prefer the way AiME's journey rules work, in that the arrival roll is more to determine what state the party is in when they arrive rather than what state their destination is in.

I agree that the Arrival rules feels like it's a bit of clutter, although I'll agree to disagree on the rest of the criticisms. I like it more than AiME.

How much discussion do you want it to have? It made five times its asking price on Kickstarter, but neither the PDF nor the book are available to non-backers yet.

I'm not joking that I'm going to buy it when it comes out, but it's a 100% DM-facing book designed to solve a single problem. That limits the audience of people who will want to discuss it.


Actually it is available on Drive-Thru RPG. I linked the store page on the first post.

 


I'm going to be the lone voice of dissent and say that I found this version to be somewhat disappointing. I liked the idea of AiME's journey system. While it was a bit wonky and required some work to disconnect it from Middle Earth, it was nevertheless fairly simple and easy to use once you got the hang of it. I feel like they've made the system unnecessarily more complicated with this generic version. I particularly dislike the spend Hit Dice to recover abilities mechanic.
Using this system, journeys become the core of your game, not something else, so it makes sense to have a more in-depth system that provides robust play that can be discovered by players over a large span of levels.
 

pukunui

Legend
Using this system, journeys become the core of your game, not something else, so it makes sense to have a more in-depth system that provides robust play that can be discovered by players over a large span of levels.
Yeah, fair enough. Since making that comment you quoted, I've come around and embraced the newer system.
 

Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
My first Lord of the Rings-inspired game for coworkers went off great on Sunday. Torn between waiting on the C7d20 Gamemasters Guide for this rule set or grabbing Uncharted Journeys in the interim, as these sorts of rules will definitely help sell the LotR feel in future games.
 
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overgeeked

B/X Known World
Thank you for reviewing this. I’m reading it now and have a few questions.

This seems to assume you start in a safe place and move to a safe space. So what about the 95% of D&D-style travel that involves not safe spaces at either end of the journey? Journey to a dungeon. Journey from a dungeon. Journey from one dungeon to another dungeon.
 

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