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D&D 5E Rewarding Overland Travel

R_Chance

Adventurer
How many players think to actually go forth and buy such things? Does everyone in your game load themselves down with stuff like that? Because even the most crazy-prepared people in my game rarely carry that many duplicates of any one item.
Mine do. Of course the "new" players started in 2E...
 

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Hussar

Legend
How many players think to actually go forth and buy such things? Does everyone in your game load themselves down with stuff like that? Because even the most crazy-prepared people in my game rarely carry that many duplicates of any one item.
Every player who plays with DM's who thinks that they're going to challenge them by not having enough waterskins. You might get away with that once, but, after that? Not going to happen. I mean, carrying half a dozen extra waterskins when preparing for extended overland travel is something your players never do? Never minding the mind blowing expenditure that is a horse or pack mule. Wow, I know right? That's just totally mind blowing that players might do that. :erm: Of course, every pack animal will automatically be killed fifteen feet from the town gates, so, I can see why players don't buy them.

Like I said, the presumption that the players are actively stupid seems so far beyond the realm of reasonable. The other thread about exploration is just chock a block with this. It's the standard response as soon as any discussion of any negative element of 5e comes up. We're going to keep bringing up examples where the players are complete gaming newbies with a sense of self preservation akin to small flying insects hovering over trout ponds. It's so completely self serving and frankly it's really difficult to think that the arguments are being made in good faith.
 

mrpopstar

Sparkly Dude
Every player who plays with DM's who thinks that they're going to challenge them by not having enough waterskins. You might get away with that once, but, after that? Not going to happen. I mean, carrying half a dozen extra waterskins when preparing for extended overland travel is something your players never do? Never minding the mind blowing expenditure that is a horse or pack mule. Wow, I know right? That's just totally mind blowing that players might do that. :erm: Of course, every pack animal will automatically be killed fifteen feet from the town gates, so, I can see why players don't buy them.

Like I said, the presumption that the players are actively stupid seems so far beyond the realm of reasonable. The other thread about exploration is just chock a block with this. It's the standard response as soon as any discussion of any negative element of 5e comes up. We're going to keep bringing up examples where the players are complete gaming newbies with a sense of self preservation akin to small flying insects hovering over trout ponds. It's so completely self serving and frankly it's really difficult to think that the arguments are being made in good faith.
You have contributed nothing to this thread beyond telling other people what they think and what they feel, picking apart proposed solutions without offering any of your own.

I don't expect that you embrace my ideas, but I offer myself up with integrity. Your low blows about good faith do not paint you as the bigger man.

@BookTenTiger has made a clear ask that we be constructive here or take the conversation elsewhere. Let's do that.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
The other thread about exploration is just chock a block with this.

Mod Note:
There's been a polite request to keep things constructive. If all you've got to add is, in effect, "NO." "WRONG!" "STUPID!" you aren't being constructive.
 

J.Quondam

CR 1/8
So... this waterskin kerfuffle has inspired me! I think this might be a fun exploration Reward:

An amulet of keg-donkey control, which controls a Wooden Donkey (CR 1/8, from Dungeon of the Mad Mage). This construct is made from a small barrel with a wooden horse-head on one end, a broom tail on the other, and four peg legs to walk. The keg-donkey can be filled with 20 gallons of water (approx 165lbs), sports a spigot for easy access, and can also carry a load like a real donkey.
 

mrpopstar

Sparkly Dude
So... this waterskin kerfuffle has inspired me! I think this might be a fun exploration Reward:

An amulet of keg-donkey control, which controls a Wooden Donkey (CR 1/8, from Dungeon of the Mad Mage). This construct is made from a small barrel with a wooden horse-head on one end, a broom tail on the other, and four peg legs to walk. The keg-donkey can be filled with 20 gallons of water (approx 165lbs), sports a spigot for easy access, and can also carry a load like a real donkey.
This is awesome.
🙌
 




BookTenTiger

He / Him
This system could also give a DM ideas for specialty shops in town. Characters could purchase things like maps or trail guides that make it more likely to find shelter or treasure.
 

R_Chance

Adventurer
This system could also give a DM ideas for specialty shops in town. Characters could purchase things like maps or trail guides that make it more likely to find shelter or treasure.
In my game those are known as "outfitters". They carry all the gear needed for expeditions, including hiring out guides, maps, etc. Also useful spots to sell off miscellaneous supplies and gear you pick up. They are essentially "middle men" who buy various items from different craftsmen and sell it (at a mark up) in one location. Some make good fences for goods of questionable legality too :D
 

Faolyn

Hero
Every player who plays with DM's who thinks that they're going to challenge them by not having enough waterskins. You might get away with that once, but, after that? Not going to happen. I mean, carrying half a dozen extra waterskins when preparing for extended overland travel is something your players never do?
Not really, for several reasons, the most important of which is that resource management isn’t the end-all and be-all of exploration. It’s one aspect of it, yes, but for my group, and where they are now, it’s not important or hugely fun. Maybe when they get to a different part of the world it’ll be important.

Like I said, the presumption that the players are actively stupid seems so far beyond the realm of reasonable.
My players, in one of my games, have a boat. They still don’t feel the need to carry an entire store around with them.

The other thread about exploration is just chock a block with this. It's the standard response as soon as any discussion of any negative element of 5e comes up. We're going to keep bringing up examples where the players are complete gaming newbies with a sense of self preservation akin to small flying insects hovering over trout ponds. It's so completely self serving and frankly it's really difficult to think that the arguments are being made in good faith.
Maybe it’s just that your game isn’t like other people’s games. I’ve never been in a game where we set off traps from afar, for instance, whereas you say you have. We clearly play different sorts of games. You have the type of games where setting off a trap while 30 feet away and carrying a dozen waterskins is important. In the games I’ve run or played in, it’s usually more important to disarm the trap because setting it off would cause more problems, and one waterskin per person suffices.
 

Not really, for several reasons, the most important of which is that resource management isn’t the end-all and be-all of exploration. It’s one aspect of it, yes, but for my group, and where they are now, it’s not important or hugely fun. Maybe when they get to a different part of the world it’ll be important.


My players, in one of my games, have a boat. They still don’t feel the need to carry an entire store around with them.


Maybe it’s just that your game isn’t like other people’s games. I’ve never been in a game where we set off traps from afar, for instance, whereas you say you have. We clearly play different sorts of games. You have the type of games where setting off a trap while 30 feet away and carrying a dozen waterskins is important. In the games I’ve run or played in, it’s usually more important to disarm the trap because setting it off would cause more problems, and one waterskin per person suffices.
Exploration allows new pressures to be applied to the players in order to change priorities & impose limitations bot normally present. 5e's design has multiple aspects already covered (such as the ones leading to you asking why players would do that) to trivially dismiss those pressures. It's not about the resource management, it's what limited resources causes.
 

Faolyn

Hero
Exploration allows new pressures to be applied to the players in order to change priorities & impose limitations bot normally present. 5e's design has multiple aspects already covered (such as the ones leading to you asking why players would do that) to trivially dismiss those pressures. It's not about the resource management, it's what limited resources causes.
That’s one aspect f it, yes. It’s not one we necessarily care about at my table.
 

pemerton

Legend
I think the less that the system cares about gear, the harder it is to make exploration and travel interesting in an intricate way.

That's a conjecture, not a mathematical theorem, so I'm interested to hear counter-examples. I'm just reflecting on my own experience of various systems.

If gear (and I'm including vehicles here) doesn't matter, then I think exploration and travel tends to depend on endurance/travel checks to work out how tired the PCs are when they get to wherever it is they're going. That's fine, and is how I resolve plenty of travel scenarios, but it doesn't make the travel interesting or intricate in itself.
 

Yora

Legend
If you want an exploration campaign, play an exploration game. If you want a combat campaign, play a combat game. And if you want to play an investigation campaign, play an investigation game.
D&D 5th edition presents itself as being everything, but it is not.
 

Hussar

Legend
I think the less that the system cares about gear, the harder it is to make exploration and travel interesting in an intricate way.

That's a conjecture, not a mathematical theorem, so I'm interested to hear counter-examples. I'm just reflecting on my own experience of various systems.

If gear (and I'm including vehicles here) doesn't matter, then I think exploration and travel tends to depend on endurance/travel checks to work out how tired the PCs are when they get to wherever it is they're going. That's fine, and is how I resolve plenty of travel scenarios, but it doesn't make the travel interesting or intricate in itself.
A point that was made in this thread, or maybe the other one, I'm not sure now, @Chaosmancer made it, was that the base problem with Exploration as a pillar is that Exploration is almost never the actual goal. It's what you do on the way to the stuff that is actually the goal. So, right out of the gate, the stakes in Exploration is never really all that high. After all, if the DM is running you through the Deep Dungeon Of Dastardly Deeds, he's not likely going to kill your party on the way there. And, since the DM wants you to get to the Deep Dungeon of Dastardly Deeds, any challenge he throws in the way is likely pretty low stakes stuff that is largely throw away. Thus the whole Random Encounters tradition in D&D.

I have to admit though, the system in the OP intrigues me since it actually sets a goal and stakes right in the random encounter. There's actually a reason for engaging with that random encounter, instead of trying to either bypass it or get through it as fast as possible.
 

pemerton

Legend
A point that was made in this thread, or maybe the other one, I'm not sure now, @Chaosmancer made it, was that the base problem with Exploration as a pillar is that Exploration is almost never the actual goal. It's what you do on the way to the stuff that is actually the goal. So, right out of the gate, the stakes in Exploration is never really all that high. After all, if the DM is running you through the Deep Dungeon Of Dastardly Deeds, he's not likely going to kill your party on the way there. And, since the DM wants you to get to the Deep Dungeon of Dastardly Deeds, any challenge he throws in the way is likely pretty low stakes stuff that is largely throw away. Thus the whole Random Encounters tradition in D&D.

I have to admit though, the system in the OP intrigues me since it actually sets a goal and stakes right in the random encounter. There's actually a reason for engaging with that random encounter, instead of trying to either bypass it or get through it as fast as possible.
I think the OP system is a fun way of generating some random situations, but I don't quite see what these add to any other interesting scenario. Maybe that doesn't quite make sense - what I mean is, if these are fun things for play, then I'm not sure why they're treated as secondary/"throwaway".

They rest on a premise similar to your post about the DoDD - ie that the GM has an adventure that is going to played come what may, but that - for reasons I'm not quite sure about - we're going to interpose some other mini-scenario that will be played come what may. (Maybe the reason is for verisimilitude? Like I said, I don't really know.)

I think exploration and travel becomes interesting when it is closer to an end in itself, because there's something the players, playing their PCs, want to know or want to discover. Then gear, for instance, becomes part of the means to achieving that.
 

Bolares

Hero
It was possible to make the water found in the rivers or on the ground safe to drink by boiling it, but a pot weights 10 lb. (which is 1/3 the capacity of a backpack) and you can only boil 1 gallon at a time.
Don't forget that outlanders focused on foraging are not focusing on noticing threats.
they've bought a rain catcher and have a goliath. As I've said before, they've got two outlanders, so one can forage while the other notices threats.
 

Hussar

Legend
I think exploration and travel becomes interesting when it is closer to an end in itself, because there's something the players, playing their PCs, want to know or want to discover. Then gear, for instance, becomes part of the means to achieving that
To be honest, that's kinda the heart of the problem. Exploration is never really a goal in and of itself.
 

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