D&D 5E Proposed House Rules for Supplies

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
If it has a price tag attached to it, it's not supplies (but I know what you're talking about, story below). Supplies will cover rations, water, normal ammunition, and non-costly spell components only.
OK.
You do have a point about containers, but D&D has historically been pretty bad about the exact capacity of a given container (and even in cases where they do give numbers, some quick math can result in raised eyebrows).
I'm more thinking of the presence or absence of containers, and how many. I've had some players specifically list empty vials or extra waterskins in their gear, in case such are needed.
I'm not worried about it too much, this system is intended to be abstract. If there's ever an instance where the party can acquire, as in your example, magical liquid, I'll burn that bridge when I get there (likely just by deciding in advance how much I want them to have, and have the excess lose it's potency or something, lol).
I once ran an adventure that had a fountain full of healing water. Wasn't much healing - 1d10 hit points per vial and you could only benefit from it once per day, if memory serves - but once they realized it held its enchantment when removed from the fountain the number and types of containers they had on hand suddenly became very important. :)

They scooped a fair amount of that water. The campaign went on for some years after that, and every now and then a veteran character would bust out one of these "waters". Good times.
STORY TIME!

Back in my 2e days, a player of mine didn't want to go through the tedium of buying equipment and asked me if he could just set aside funds for "survival stuff", loosely defined as "everything I need to survive". I figured this was fair, he had ample carry capacity for most things, and I'd just deduct whatever he pulled out of there (this was before D&D had prebuilt gear kits, something I don't think I ever saw in a game before Earthdawn).

Lord knows I'd spent quite some time going over the PHB equipment list purchasing cloak pins for my cloaks and deciding if I wanted soft boots or high hard boots!

Things went fairly well for the first adventure. The second adventure, he produced a potion of healing which I didn't recall him having, but it was 2e- any pre-written adventure I used was usually brimming with swords +1 and potions of healing. I think it was the third adventure where he suddenly had a +1 dagger that I definitely knew he didn't have. I called him out on this and he said "it's in m survival stuff! It's everything I need to survive, and right now I need a magic dagger!"

I can laugh now, but at the time I wasn't amused at all!
And thus ended that experiment, I assume? :)
 

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James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Supporter
And thus ended that experiment, I assume? :)
Pretty much, yeah. That particular individual was a true Munchkin, I realized, since he grew up around gaming (his Dad was a gamer and even owned a FLGS), so the idea of seizing every advantage he could was just ingrained in him, I think.

I kept wanting to create starting gear kits for 2e, but a couple years later the D&D scene completely dried up in my area. I've also noticed that equipment lists have become sparser and sparser in D&D over the editions, which is sad.

Then again, Pathfinder 1e doubled down on equipment and my experience with that was learning to expect people to suddenly produce mithril waffle irons and collapsible bathtubs and any of a hundred little widgets that could be used to add situational modifiers "I'm going to eat my Halfling Trail Rations today reduce the penalty for the shaken condition from –2 to –1" in a game already chock full of situational modifiers, so maybe simpler is better after all.
 

If it has a price tag attached to it, it's not supplies (but I know what you're talking about, story below). Supplies will cover rations, water, normal ammunition, and non-costly spell components only.

You do have a point about containers, but D&D has historically been pretty bad about the exact capacity of a given container (and even in cases where they do give numbers, some quick math can result in raised eyebrows).

I'm not worried about it too much, this system is intended to be abstract. If there's ever an instance where the party can acquire, as in your example, magical liquid, I'll burn that bridge when I get there (likely just by deciding in advance how much I want them to have, and have the excess lose it's potency or something, lol).

STORY TIME!

Back in my 2e days, a player of mine didn't want to go through the tedium of buying equipment and asked me if he could just set aside funds for "survival stuff", loosely defined as "everything I need to survive". I figured this was fair, he had ample carry capacity for most things, and I'd just deduct whatever he pulled out of there (this was before D&D had prebuilt gear kits, something I don't think I ever saw in a game before Earthdawn).

Lord knows I'd spent quite some time going over the PHB equipment list purchasing cloak pins for my cloaks and deciding if I wanted soft boots or high hard boots!

Things went fairly well for the first adventure. The second adventure, he produced a potion of healing which I didn't recall him having, but it was 2e- any pre-written adventure I used was usually brimming with swords +1 and potions of healing. I think it was the third adventure where he suddenly had a +1 dagger that I definitely knew he didn't have. I called him out on this and he said "it's in m survival stuff! It's everything I need to survive, and right now I need a magic dagger!"

I can laugh now, but at the time I wasn't amused at all!
Here is a screenshot of my full rules. I actually discuss inventory slots in them too, as @Lanefan suggested.
 

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James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Supporter
Here is a screenshot of my full rules. I actually discuss inventory slots in them too, as @Lanefan suggested.
Thanks for sharing, I'll take a look!

EDIT: huh, using supplies as bargaining chips. That's a really neat idea, coming up with ways the party could use their Supplies as a resource for other things. Sort of makes them into trade goods (remember when you could buy trade goods), or what my characters used to do to get around carrying tons of gold, snagging all the jewels, jewelry, and portable art objects for my share of the loot.

(Back when Appraise was a skill, I'd ask my DM's if I could become a licensed appraiser in whatever area we happened to be in, so I could just hand people notes with my stamp on them along with "and this is a 50 gp carnelian" in lieu of cash.)
 
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Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Pretty much, yeah. That particular individual was a true Munchkin, I realized, since he grew up around gaming (his Dad was a gamer and even owned a FLGS), so the idea of seizing every advantage he could was just ingrained in him, I think.

I kept wanting to create starting gear kits for 2e, but a couple years later the D&D scene completely dried up in my area. I've also noticed that equipment lists have become sparser and sparser in D&D over the editions, which is sad.
Indeed.

The list for our game is here; any ideas to add to it are always welcome. :)


Then again, Pathfinder 1e doubled down on equipment and my experience with that was learning to expect people to suddenly produce mithril waffle irons and collapsible bathtubs and any of a hundred little widgets that could be used to add situational modifiers "I'm going to eat my Halfling Trail Rations today reduce the penalty for the shaken condition from –2 to –1" in a game already chock full of situational modifiers, so maybe simpler is better after all.
Was it PF1 for which that Ultimate Equipment Guide was published? That thing rocks!
 

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Supporter
Indeed.

The list for our game is here; any ideas to add to it are always welcome. :)



Was it PF1 for which that Ultimate Equipment Guide was published? That thing rocks!
Thanks for the list! And yes, Ultimate Equipment adds a lot of stuff to the game. It's funny, because at first blush, I really enjoyed there being mechanics for what all the little things you could buy actually do, as opposed to having to make rulings about what the difference between a canteen and a waterskin is, or why someone needs a whetstone anyways in a game where gear doesn't degrade. But eventually being buried under a ton of small modifiers "wait, I got +1 damage because I trained with my waster today!", on top of Paizo's apparent love for situational modifiers in all other aspects of the game, started to make my eye twitch, lol.
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So I realized I could probably make my rules better by removing supply grades and instead saying "to short rest requires 1 supply, to long rest requires 2 supply". So if you forage for 1 hour and get 1 supply, you've effectively taken a short rest, you just get to use the benefits at a later time. Talking about "half units" and making the amount of short rests you can take dependent on rations you haven't fully consumed yet is just going to confuse people, lol.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Thanks for the list! And yes, Ultimate Equipment adds a lot of stuff to the game. It's funny, because at first blush, I really enjoyed there being mechanics for what all the little things you could buy actually do, as opposed to having to make rulings about what the difference between a canteen and a waterskin is, or why someone needs a whetstone anyways in a game where gear doesn't degrade. But eventually being buried under a ton of small modifiers "wait, I got +1 damage because I trained with my waster today!", on top of Paizo's apparent love for situational modifiers in all other aspects of the game, started to make my eye twitch, lol.
Indeed. I have the UEG but don't use any of those mechanics.
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So I realized I could probably make my rules better by removing supply grades and instead saying "to short rest requires 1 supply, to long rest requires 2 supply". So if you forage for 1 hour and get 1 supply, you've effectively taken a short rest, you just get to use the benefits at a later time. Talking about "half units" and making the amount of short rests you can take dependent on rations you haven't fully consumed yet is just going to confuse people, lol.
You could also vary the number of supplies required based on the prevailing conditions, to simulate environmental challenges. For example, ovbiously a rest in any settlement probably doesn't use any supplies, while a long rest in a harsh environment might use three or even four unless they scrimp.
 

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Supporter
You could also vary the number of supplies required based on the prevailing conditions, to simulate environmental challenges. For example, ovbiously a rest in any settlement probably doesn't use any supplies, while a long rest in a harsh environment might use three or even four unless they scrimp.
I was thinking in these cases to just impose disadvantage on gathering checks. Sure, there are environments where you can't find any food (or what forms that food takes can be...unique), but I'll burn that bridge when I get there. Supplies being more than just food/water has to be taken into account as well- you might not find anything edible, but you might find something!
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Second Revision!

Supplies

Instead of tracking things like inexpensive material components, ammunition, or rations, this campaign will use the following rules.

Short Rest: characters need to have one unit of Supplies to take a Short Rest. The idea is that you're maybe having a quick meal or snack while you rest. A Short Rest takes 10 minutes to complete. While taking a Short Rest, characters can Use Objects, Hide, Search, or possibly use some Class Features. Other Actions may be taken with DM approval. A character can take only 2 Short Rests per day.

Long Rest: characters must consume two units of Supplies to take a Long Rest. During a Long Rest, you can take most Actions, but are unable to cast leveled Spells.

Interruptions: being interrupted does not necessarily make you unable to complete a Rest. Normally, if you are forced to take Action or damage that would prevent a Rest, the time needed to complete that Rest is simply increased by 5 minutes for a Short Rest or 1 hour for a Long Rest. If, however, the interruption is longer than 10 minutes (Short Rest) or 2 hours (Long Rest), you must start the Rest all over again.



Gathering Supplies. Supplies can be scrounged from the environment with a Wisdom (Survival) check; success grants the character one unit of Supplies. This requires 1 hour of time per check. The base DC is 10, though the player may have advantage or disadvantage depending on how plentiful the area. The DC goes up by 1 for each roll made in the same area.

Note: the Outlander Background allows you to find an additional unit of Supplies, even if you fail a roll, but no more than 5 bonus Supplies can be found each day. The spell, Create or Destroy Water, does not create a unit of Supplies, but does provide advantage on checks to forage for up to 10 checks.

Note: the spell, Goodberry, in addition to it's healing benefits, counts as 1 unit of Supplies when consumed. Create Food and Water, creates 30 units of Supplies.

There is a base 1 in 6 chance that gathering Supplies in an area might uncover something special, be it rare herbs, gourmet mushrooms, feathers that can be made into special fletching, or exotic spell components. Check once the first time Supplies are gathered in an area; no matter how many checks are made, no new finds can be discovered at this time.

Other ability checks may need to be made to harvest special materials, at the DM's discretion (Arcana, proficiency in an Herbalist or Poisoner's Kit, and so on).

Some areas have a higher chance of locating special materials, or have greater quantities of them available!

Note: the Natural Explorer ability of the Ranger increases the base chance to make a discovery by 1 in 6.


Purchasing Supplies: a unit of Supplies costs 5 sp and weighs 2 pounds. Exceptional Supplies can be purchased as well. These cost 5 gp. A unit of Exceptional Supplies grants the character a +1 bonus on weapon and spell attack rolls until they take their next Long or Short Rest. When taking a Long Rest using Exceptional Supplies, the character gains the ability to take a third Short Rest on the following day.

Mixing Supplies: a Long Rest taken using a unit of Exceptional Supplies and standard Supplies can grant the attack bonus or the bonus Short Rest, not both (the character can choose).

Special Supplies: Dwarven Mine Rations, Elven Waybread, Halfling Sling Stones, Firebat Guano, and the like, all exist, which can grant additional properties, but cannot be purchased just anywhere.

Cooking: while Supplies consist of more than just food and drink, most species can benefit from properly prepared meals. An Intelligence check can be made before using a unit of Supplies- if the character has proficiency in Cooking Utensils, they can add their proficiency bonus to this check. With a check of less than 5, the Supplies are ruined and cannot be consumed. With a check result of 10, the first healing surge spent during this Rest adds d4 to their result. If this check is exceeded by 5, for every 5 points, add another d4 (thus a DC 30 check would provide a meal with miraculous healing benefits, adding 5d4 to the first healing surge spent!).



Note on Species

Some species require less food or drink, or don't eat or drink at all. They still require Supplies for things such as ammo or non-costly spell components, but obviously, encounter much less hassle when acquiring them.

If you require reduced water, add 1d4 to rolls made to forage for Supplies. If you require no water, gain advantage on rolls made to forage for such.

If you require reduced food, you further only need one unit of Supplies to take a Long Rest. If you require no food, there is a 50% chance when you take a Long Rest that you gain the benefits but retain the Supplies.


Running Out Of Supplies-

In the course of events, characters may find themselves with no Supplies. If this occurs, they cannot take Rests. Characters cannot regain healing surges or recover from Exhaustion, and each day spent without a Long Rest gives them another level of Exhaustion.

Penalties

In addition, going days without consuming any Supplies begins to erode character's ability to function in other ways. Each day, the party is subject to a Strife level.

Strife level 1: Ammunition and reserves of spell components begin to run dry. The first day this occurs imposes a -1 penalty on weapon and spell attack rolls.

Strife level 2: characters suffer Disadvantage when attempting to use weapons with the Ammunition property (replacing the -1 penalty), and attempts to cast spells with a non-costly Material component have a 1 in 4 chance of failure.

Strife level 3: weapons with the Ammunition property cannot be used at all, and attempts to cast spells with a non-costly Material component have a 50% failure chance.

Strife level 4: attacks with melee weapons are made with disadvantage (replacing the -1 penalty) and spells with non-costly Material components cannot be cast at all.


Recovering from Strife

A Short Rest recovers one level of Strife. A Long Rest recovers up to 2 levels of Strife.
 
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ezo

I cast invisibility
@James Gasik

Forgive me for asking this, but what exactly is the point?

Reading through your first revision, all of this really seems more complex than the relatively simple (albeit perhaps tedious) process of tracking supplies normally.

While I understand the desire for certain features (such as Natural Explorer) to have more impact, I can't help but think there should be a better way to accomplish those goals.
 

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Supporter
@James Gasik

Forgive me for asking this, but what exactly is the point?

Reading through your first revision, all of this really seems more complex than the relatively simple (albeit perhaps tedious) process of tracking supplies normally.

While I understand the desire for certain features (such as Natural Explorer) to have more impact, I can't help but think there should be a better way to accomplish those goals.
The simplest answer is, because the way things work now is boring. The costs for these things, if not trivial, eventually become trivial. The game doesn't require you to do anything to have a stocked Spell Component Pouch. Rations cost 5 sp per day. You can make food and water with magic. You can take a Search action to recover some spent ammo, or you could trivially buy a ton of the stuff.

The question quickly shifts from "can we afford to travel" to "how do we carry this stuff". My first adventure will require exploration (the second one as well). The first area map covers about 60 miles:

SturnheimMap.jpg

Now, since I want the party to travel about, taxing them for doing so is pretty bad form. That's like saying "the theme park is free, but you got to pay for parking", lol. So quibbling about petty cash and weight allowments doesn't interest me. But neither does simply waiving it entirely.

In my fondest dreams, the players will engage with the system when it comes up and even if they bypass it or game around it eventually, if I can make it interesting for even a moment, it'll be worth it. More likely, they'll hate it, but at least I tried.

The main reason for making supplies into a cohesive unit is, when game begins, I'll put a pile of tokens or beads on the table to represent their total supplies. Then when they go to rest, it's easy to just remove counters, letting them easily visualize what's going on. And these rules give them a way to potentially do something about it as opposed to sighing and running back to town to resupply.

I'm really hoping I get that moment where a player looks at the supply, does some math, and says "uh...guys...I can't short rest today", and everyone goes into panic mode. That would make all of this worth it to me.

And the potential for memorable moments like stealing rations from bandits, trading supplies with duergar, and finding special supplies in the field or as rewards from NPC's could be a lot more interesting.

And if it all falls flat on it's face, well, that's fine. We can go back to largely ignoring this stuff if it's not making the game better by it's existence.
 

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