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. https://www.levelup5e.com/news/hvcd9rowryzi9xpnvtr35ykcl4dci7-f9cc9-kz2zt-jcpe6-c28en-lc7z4-mr9sl-clysb-j93ra When you are ready, please give us feedback by taking the playtest survey...

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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When you are ready, please give us feedback by taking the playtest survey!

 

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Stalker0

Legend
My next campaign may do a lot of exploring so I've been eager to see these rules. My quick and dirty.

  • The regions are pretty solid overall. I like the feel, the bonuses and penalties generally make sense to me, I'll note a few exception below but in general, I like it.
  • Most of the region activities are fine, but I think the "only person per activity" is going to break down in real gaming. As soon as the party is out of supplies, of course everyone is going to "hunt and gather" and would be pretty peeved if the DM is like....only one of you can gather. That just doesn't make sense. At the very least, include the help rule here, allow for one person to do the thing, another to give them advantage on the check. I can definitely see a lot of players who don't know exactly what to do would want to help another person. Better yet, just allow everyone to do it, and pile on expertise die for each person. Its technically less efficient than if everyone did different stuff, but hey if that's what people want to do, why not let them.
  • The section on "experienced travelers" threw me a bit, because it occurs before you explain the various activities. Ultimately it took me a few reads to understand it. I would greatly prefer if you just added a "veteran traveler" note (though how veteran are we talking here?) to the Busk and the Gather components areas. Also that Gather Component note is a BIG jump, we are going from 7 gold on average to 100, all for disadvantage (and there are a million ways players will come up to get advantage to counteract).
  • Underland Realm: I feel the cave in should be on a 1 (normally 20s are good!)
  • Open Road: I see this as more of a "layer" on top of a region rather than a region all to itself. Even a frozen waste can have an open road.
 

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Faolyn

(she/her)
Most of the region activities are fine, but I think the "only person per activity" is going to break down in real gaming. As soon as the party is out of supplies, of course everyone is going to "hunt and gather" and would be pretty peeved if the DM is like....only one of you can gather. That just doesn't make sense. At the very least, include the help rule here, allow for one person to do the thing, another to give them advantage on the check. I can definitely see a lot of players who don't know exactly what to do would want to help another person. Better yet, just allow everyone to do it, and pile on expertise die for each person. Its technically less efficient than if everyone did different stuff, but hey if that's what people want to do, why not let them.
Agreed--especially when combined with the idea that you can only do one activity per Region, no matter how big a region is. Help actions make a lot of sense. Although I'd limit it to a single advantage (or bonus expertise die) as per 05e rather than let lots of people help at once.

I imagine some of the limitation is so you don't have people spamming Chronicle or Pray in order to give people bonuses on the other rolls. What might be useful is giving a minimum time frame for each action. You should be able to Hunt & Gather, Harvest, Track, etc. at least every few days (perhaps roll a d4), depending on the region. But something like Chronicle, Entertain, or Pray might require a week between uses (you're gathering info during that week, coming up with a new tale or song, or engaging in normal prayers without expectation of personal attention). And things like Busk or Rob could be daily but depending on the population of the area--and how willing you are to attract the attention of the guards, patrol, or more powerful group of adventurers.

I think it would also be nice to have some guidelines as to how big a region actually is. If LU is expecting a region to be only require a few days of travel each, then yeah, OK, I can see limiting it to a single roll. But it's likely that a region would actually be weeks of travel, in which case the multiple rolls would be useful.

OTOH, it also looks like LU is expecting that you're bringing along your hirelings to do some of the tasks, leaving the PCs to do the more interesting ones.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I'd note that of all the playtest surveys, this is the most important one so far to fill out because the new exploration pillar is so fundamental to our game. It's really important that we get a good birds-eye-view of the general response to this. When you add in all the exploration challenges and other stuff, the exploration pillar really is an extra full third of the game that wasn't there before. If you only fill out one playtest survey, make it this one.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
I don't suppose you could consider my thoughts here on the thread as an addendum to the survey I filled out before?

In general, I really like these rules. They just need a few tweaks. And a couple of additional Regions.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
In general, I really like these rules. They just need a few tweaks. And a couple of additional Regions.
Regions are a design space. Expect hundreds of regions from us in future products and from third parties. It's so easy to make a region, and we have rules to do so. We'll provide 15 or so in the core book.
 


Faolyn

(she/her)
Regions are a design space. Expect hundreds of regions from us in future products and from third parties. It's so easy to make a region, and we have rules to do so. We'll provide 15 or so in the core book.
I'm seriously glad you're including rules for making new ones. One of my issues with o5e is that I had to reverse engineer a lot of stuff in order to figure out how to make new ones, which was just an unnecessary step.
 

Stalker0

Legend
I'd note that of all the playtest surveys, this is the most important one so far to fill out because the new exploration pillar is so fundamental to our game. It's really important that we get a good birds-eye-view of the general response to this. When you add in all the exploration challenges and other stuff, the exploration pillar really is an extra full third of the game that wasn't there before. If you only fill out one playtest survey, make it this one.
this is why I liked the idea of "Open Road" as a layer more than an actual region. That opens up an entire new design space if you have core regions, and then you have "features" that modify the regions. Open Road is the perfect example of such a feature.
 


Horwath

Legend
magic item idea:

Adventurers satchel, common magic item
weight 1lb.

this leather satchel can hold 10 supply in extradimensional space without adding any extra weight.
supplies within do not spoil and are protected from any elements. Unless those outside elements do not destroy the container first.
Any food/drink within can be cooled/warmed and seasoned as using prestidigitation spell.
 

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