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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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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey


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Faolyn

Hero
Fatigue. It’s abstract, like hit points and Supply.
That's pretty close to how I'd do it if I were creating travel-based diseases. No need to go too in-depth, considering that most of these sort of diseases cause things like diarrhea or vomiting.
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
That's pretty close to how I'd do it if I were creating travel-based diseases. No need to go too in-depth, considering that most of these sort of diseases cause things like diarrhea or vomiting.
I want rules for explosive expulsion of acidic dung and always thought the Digester should be rewritten as a Bonansus. Maybe do a Harry Potter type spell called Expelianus

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Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
Supporter
Fatigue is definitely a nice generic physical debilitation to represent illness.

I still might drop in a few -specific- ones so Cure Disease is still useful.
 



Horwath

Hero
Having bad food/water cause strive and/or fatigue is probably a good way of handling it too
ofc. And especially good mean could remove a level of strife and maybe fatigue.

I.E: hunting some deer and someone with cooking utensils make a DC20 great meal to boost spirits of the party.
 


Faolyn

Hero
It's early to say yet, but so far this is the highest scoring playtest document yet!
And no wonder! It fills a much-needed niche with remarkable aplomb, and honestly needs at most a few tweaks to be perfect. I can't imagine you're getting calls for any major revisions.

...And I'm working on some more regions as well.
 

MirrorSpock

Villager
You're not wrong! That's why I use Overland Difficult Terrain a little differently than what is used in combat. Instead of 100% or 50% I use a 25% breakpoint system!

Open Roads/Shirelands travel is 100%. Forest/Hills is down to 75%. Traveling through a Desert or Marsh reduces your movement to 50%. And then Mountainous regions or otherwise very difficult to pass terrain knocks you down to 25%.

Is there Inclement Weather strong enough to impact travel? That's another 25% off.

Big groups or lots of people who need help? 25% off.

Certain things can offset the speed loss. Magic items to alter the weather or something similar? You ignore that 25%. Your army well trained to march in formation? 25% big group penalty is also gone.

It's not -perfect-. But it does a decent job of approximating harshness of terrain or climate and the difficulty in organizing large groups.
I would also include jungle in “otherwise very difficult terrain to pass”.
 

Composer99

Explorer
Apropos of the debate that last appeared on page 3, it seems to me that the level of abstraction expected from the Journey system neither supports PCs doing things such as filling waterskins as a way of adding Supply, nor does it require adjudicating activity down to the granular level of rolling for individual instances of filling a waterskin.

Instead, I expect the risk of filling your waterskin at a patch of fouled water is a possible hazard that has a chance of cropping up every so often - depending on the region and the DM.
 

Blackwarder

Adventurer
I really like it.

ive been going through the original Dragonlance modules and it struck me how much cooler it would have made DL3 where they are running away from the dragonarmies to have all this knacks and abilities instead of detailed descriptio on chances in each encounter.

the only thing missing is defining an exploration game turn, is it 1 hour? 8? A day?

I‘m leaning towards the 1 hour mark with each exploration action taking between 1-12 hours to complete.

it need further though but it’s worth it to avoid confusion. One of the worst things 3e did was getting rid of exploration turns.
 


Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Speaking of knacks and running speeds, In 4e there was a martial practice called long distance running it actually has some fair mythic heritage from Aragorn to Gilgamesh, I am not sure about the ability in a multihero group unless you are going to teach it to the entire party (Aragorn/Legolas/Gimli?) and you lack mounts though humans can actually do better on foot for truly long distance. The epic of Gilgamesh had him running flat out for several days (I only read the translation) but based on that and real world marathon runner speeds one could have speeds for a level 4 character going 6 miles an hour. Then add one per each level higher and presumably Gilgamesh would be without any rest... There might be some sort of resource being spent? or fatigue incurred but not by the time you reach Gilgamesh.
 
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Cadence

Legend
Supporter
With Havens being so important, it feels like they could use a few more sentences.

Is it the danger, or the setting up watch that's the problem? We have parties set up watch in inns because who knows if it will be like a night at Rivendell or turn into a night at the Prancing Pony in Bree -- so it feels like we must set up watch there too. If we're in a farmers field near a settled town, and set up watch because we always do, is that any different than staying in the inn? What about if we're staying with a large group of travelers at a waypoint and only a portion of them need to set one up? Is a group without a wilderness based class (that can presumably set up a haven) doomed to exhaustion and strife on a long wilderness trek? Do traveling armies grind to a halt from strife and fatigue because they're never in inns, or is that why they build a camp with trenches and shelters and recover even without a class with the nice feature?

Would it be too complex to add a small "threat/security score" table with a few more examples of different types of inns and camp areas? Maybe for some allow automatic recovery, some no recovery, and some a chance?

---

Does somewhere else in the rules have different general speed levels for open roads, off road but nice, and rough terrain or is it only by each terrain? A unified table might be nice. Open road is only 1 mile per hour faster than what? Are woods grasslands and forests all the same travel? With paths or without? Does the mountain travel "count as twice as much" or actually take twice as much?
 
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Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Embracing the mechanics presented so far for fatigue and travelling farther and longer and extrapolating a bit.

A real marathon is approximately 4 hours at six miles an hour it is between the Gallop and Fast it is basically a full days normal Journey in half a day. Assuming at minimum the same "fatigue" as a full day so each hour beyond 4 you make checks for fatigue.

Perhaps someone trained in Long Distance Running can both increase the speed and apply there proficiency to con checks for fatigue caused by running
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Is a group without a wilderness based class (that can presumably set up a haven) doomed to exhaustion and strife on a long wilderness trek? Do traveling armies grind to a halt from strife and fatigue because they're never in inns
If they don’t have any Supply they’re in trouble, yes. Lack of food and water will do that. If they have enough Supply they won’t be gaining fatigue during long rests.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
If they don’t have any Supply they’re in trouble, yes. Lack of food and water will do that. If they have enough Supply they won’t be gaining fatigue during long rests.

It's not gaining it in long rests I'm worried about, it's the never getting rid of what they've accrued while marching/fighting.

Even a supplied army will have a lot of people gaining it for each hour of forced march, right? Does fatigue or strife accrue from other things a traveling army or party might do?

Going across country, the party force marches to make it over a river before nightfall. Is the ranger-less party stuck with the fatigue until they get to any old inn? (Safe seeming inn? Farmers field? Can they spend a day fortifying a camp in the wilderness?)

Do they need a ranger or barbarian or druid to make a haven, or can Boromir or Legolas try and make a survival roll (or what not) to set one up? Or do they need a bard to get a critical success? (I haven't read all of the other playtests to see if it was hiding somewhere else, but this one makes it sound like setting up havens only goes with certain classes.)

...

All in all, I really like the Haven mechanic idea. It just feels like its too much of an on/off lever at the moment without quite enough detail about when the lever switches. I think I'd feel better with an extra sentence describing what makes something count as a haven, a sentence describing what would disqualify something from counting as a haven, and then something fairly brief about what could be done for times that were in that fuzzy area in the middle. (Can two days in a semi-protected camp do it? Should they refer to the section on the survival skill if there class doesn't give that feature? Can someone with survival guide a party in spending extra time setting up a haven by building trenches and shelters?)
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
It's not gaining it in long rests I'm worried about, it's the never getting rid of what they've accrued while marching/fighting.

Even a supplied army will have a lot of people gaining it for each hour of forced march, right? Does fatigue or strife accrue from other things a traveling army or party might do?

Going across country, the party force marches to make it over a river before nightfall. Is the ranger-less party stuck with the fatigue until they get to any old inn? (Safe seeming inn? Farmers field? Can they spend a day fortifying a camp in the wilderness?)

Do they need a ranger or barbarian or druid to make a haven, or can Boromir or Legolas try and make a survival roll (or what not) to set one up? Or do they need a bard to get a critical success? (I haven't read all of the other playtests to see if it was hiding somewhere else, but this one makes it sound like setting up havens only goes with certain classes.)

...

All in all, I really like the Haven mechanic idea. It just feels like its too much of an on/off lever at the moment without quite enough detail about when the lever switches. I think I'd feel better with an extra sentence describing what makes something count as a haven, a sentence describing what would disqualify something from counting as a haven, and then something fairly brief about what could be done for times that were in that fuzzy area in the middle. (Can two days in a semi-protected camp do it? Should they refer to the section on the survival skill if there class doesn't give that feature? Can someone with survival guide a party in spending extra time setting up a haven by building trenches and shelters?)
The fine-tuning like that is pretty much what we're playtesting. In play, does it have that effect, or not? Is it clear or not? Do characters get too much fatigue? What we're very much interested in is how it actually plays.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
The fine-tuning like that is pretty much what we're playtesting. In play, does it have that effect, or not? Is it clear or not? Do characters get too much fatigue? What we're very much interested in is how it actually plays.
Can't wait to get my own copy of the final product! What's your guess on when the KS will launch?
 

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