Level Up (A5E) Mass People "Journey Survival System" version 1.0

Stalker0

Legend
So I've been posting a lot about journey's lately, with the goal of creating a survival focused game around about 200 "refugees" that the party is having to support and protect. I've been trying to find the right balance of using the journey rules and math while accepting that the rules were made for a party of characters moving around, and not really meant to represent how hunter/gatherer groups would survive.

I think I've found a pretty solid balance, so here is version 1.0 of the system for review. Note for my game I will be using a spreadsheet to track these things, so I was fine with the more nuanced decimals. I recognize for people wanted to track this "simply" we would need another tier of abstraction and simplification, and I may look at that for the next version if the math still looks clean.

Base Assumptions and Definitions
  • Most Terrain is Tier 0 (aka DC 10 survival checks)
  • Commoners have a +0 to survival at base.
  • Stationary People gain +3 survival (this is the opposite of the "multitasking" penalty of -3 for doing multiple activities. Aka a person not traveling has more time to devote to food gathering)
  • Good Land = Land with Survival Roll Advantage (aka a nice forest or maybe a plain with a river)
  • Great Land = Good Land + Flowing River (I am assuming advantage AND an expertise die to survival for this land)
  • Regular Land = Normal survival check
  • Hard Land = +1 Tier (+2 to DC)
  • Winter = +1 Tier (+2 to DC). For harsher winters, just add additional tiers. The table assumes that people are still working during winter.
  • I am ignoring the critical failures for these tables, as they are generally too low to make a major difference. It assumes that people will have periodic bouts of 1 fatigue which they recover in a day.

This table shows the daily production (or consumption) of supply for 1 person, or a group of 200 people.
Stationary1 Person200 People
Great Land
0.075​
15​
Good Land
0.035​
7​
Regular Land
-0.25​
-50​
Hard Land
-0.35​
-70​
Stationary (Winter)
Great Land
0.05​
10​
Good Land
-0.025​
-5​
Regular Land
-0.35​
-70​
Hard Land
-0.45​
-90​
Migrating
Great Land
0.02​
4​
Good Land
-0.06​
-12​
Regular Land
-0.4​
-80​
Hard Land
-0.5​
-100​
Migrating (Winter)
Great Land
-0.04​
-8​
Good Land
-0.15​
-30​
Regular Land
-0.5​
-100​
Hard Land
-0.6​
-120​


So looking over the table, here are some general conclusions we can make:
  • In Great Land, you have got it made. There is so much available that an untrained person can not only survive but thrive, picking berries and various vegetables, maybe grabbing the occasional fish, etc. Even in winter time they are still able to keep food stocked if you keep up the effort. You could afford to have some people not do survival and perform other tasks.
  • Good Land represents your "standard survival area". Winters suck, but if you are smart and store the surplus from better days you should be able to survive pretty easily, even taking the "winter off" for many days to do other tasks. Such a group could provide a party of adventurers supplies to explore and some other tasks.
  • Regular Land is survivable, but you'll need help. You'll need fishing and hunting snares, some expert rangers to augment your supply, or just plain old magic.
  • Harsh Land is pretty harsh, you will be heavily reliant on snares or other means of supplies to survive, and winters are brutal.

So this feels like a pretty reasonable approximation of survival, and generally still fits the core probabilities that you would get just using the survival journey activity straight up. My only concern is that regular land may be a bit too harsh compared to good land, but then again this is assuming people that are relatively untrained in survival.
 
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