Playtest (A5E) Level Up Playtest Document #17: Journeys

Welcome to the 17th Level Up playtest document. This playtest document contains an abbreviated expression of the game’s Journey rules, which form an important part of the exploration pillar of play.


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At least the travel distances look realistic, though I think a mounted warrior could go further in a day if they didn't ride the same horse again the next day....but that's only with a quick look on line. (you did better than WotC did in Rime, that's for sure!)

Overall, I really like the approach. A lot. I haven't looked enough at the details.

My biggest question / fear is the haven rule and its interaction with fatigue and strife....


I'm definitely looking forward to this!

I assume that the speeds when mounted are for horses and similar animals. If you're including fantastic ridable beasts in your bestiary (griffons and hippogriffs should count), you might want to make sure their entry specifies if they go different speeds, can travel for longer or shorter periods of time at full speed, need more or less than one Supply a day, etc. A riding smerp might be able to go double speed but require two Supply, for instance.

Now I really want to see a Tier 4 Country Shire. I imagine it's one where every citizen is a retired high-level adventurer who's lookin' for a good fight to alleviate the boredom.

You talk about planes such as The Dreaming. Does that mean you're planning on having a bit on the Outer Planes (or SRD-friendly versions of them) in these books as well? If so, neat!

Although I find it slightly strange that the Outer Planes are on par with places on the Prime. It feels like The Dreaming should be a higher tier than an ancient green dragon's lair. Of course, that's not hard to do--just up the DCs--but it's strange to me.


Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
So I'm going through this all... And here are my initial thoughts:

Making Supply into a tangible but not detailed resource is an excellent idea. As is giving players an explicit carry limit tied to their strength score.

Giving each of the journey activities explicit benefits is also good, especially the Cook. Making the regions apply -advantage- or -disadvantage- on them was a shocking, but entirely appropriate decision that I wish I'd predicted. Giving "Entertain" the function of stripping away fatigue is a bold move, even if it is on a crit. I approve!

I feel like this document is a little less complete than I was hoping, as I was hoping for a few pages of Discoveries and Hazards for sake of example and acid-testing.

But overall, I really like the Journey System as presented!


Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
Journey is, hands down, the most exciting part of LevelUp for me, so far.

I've been talking to my husband about this system since the Fighter went up, going over everything from Exploration Knacks to Combat Maneuvers and Renaming the Paladin... He's largely been bored with it.

Today I linked him the journey page and he sat in my office talking about it for about an hour and a half, and he's sending me Discord Messages during his WoW Heroic Raiding to tell me about how interesting and engaging Journeys are, for him. Specifically that it prompts the DM to provide side-quests based on gossip and the like. How much depth it gives to a world.

More than anything else, travel and overland journeys have been a pain in his side because he wants to do the big epic journey quest as a game, but 5e lends itself mostly to handwaving everything that isn't the next combat encounter.

With this? I might be able to convince him to run a game.

Thanks, LevelUp Team! You're the best!


As I wrote in the survey, I think the Regions should have a larger number of (sample) traits, with the caveat that you don't need to use all of them at a time.

For instance, the Feywoods currently has two, but other possibilities could be getting lost is easy (the trees are moving around!) so disad on rolls made to navigate, people have disad on saves against illusions, or little faeries like to play tricks on you so there's a chance you might lose a few Supply unless you properly supplicate them (which might require an Arcana roll to know how). Or the Blasted Badlands might cause Supply to go bad if they aren't stored properly, have lots of flies and gnats that can cause discomfort and possibly Fatigue or a disease, or the ground may be so pockmarked and unstable due to sinkholes or cracks that mounts risk injuring a leg if they go through it too quickly.

I also wrote in the survey that the size of each Region is such that it's kind of odd you can perform only one of the Journey Activities each time. I realize that's so you don't have PCs spamming the best options, but it might be more realistic to limit it to one Journey Activity per week, for really large Regions that take a long time to pass through.

I feel like there should be more than one underground region. Perhaps one for tunnels and one for caverns. Or maybe one for natural underground regions and one for dungeons (since in D&D land, there are going to be dungeons that are so old and large they're regions unto themselves). And while I know this won't be in the LU book (at least, not this one...), I'd love to see Regions done for the various planes, especially the weirder ones.


A suffusion of yellow
Has an example of an Encounter table or a Discoveries and Boons table been posted yet?

I’m really liking that the Exploration rules are being so well develoiped, the Regions are evocative too and I’d love to see an example of how an in game session would bring the elements together.

I experienced a Ryutama session for the first time at the end of last year, wherein vitually the entire game involved detailing the experience of the characters journey. It was fascinating and these rules seem to capture the same ideas.
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