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[ToA] Heat & Heavy (armor)

CapnZapp

Adventurer
Just to be clear: prestidigitation has the option You chill, warm, or flavor up to 1 cubic foot of nonliving material for 1 hour. I'm quoting it because I didn't realize it lasted a full hour.

There is no logical reason it would not work. In theory you might have to sleep without your armor, but jungles can actually be downright chilly at night (50s at night are not uncommon at night in many jungles). I've backpacked/camped in the Amazon and we had to have sleeping bags.

Of course this does nothing to punish people wearing heavy armor, it makes it far too easy to circumvent so it probably isn't acceptable. I could always create a new, harder, challenge later on...
Thank you for your reply.

I'm sure it's acceptable to some, just not to me.

If I were to run the game for a bunch of newbies, and perhaps start the adventure at level 1, I would most definitely reward such inventive thinking, mentally scratching off heat as one of the jungle challenges.

But with veteran gamers 'porting into Chult at level 5, I can already from the beginning see that spending all those words on water-collecting and exhaustion saves are a total waste, and something much more difficult is necessary for the players to actually engage with the environment.

This is after all our collective goal, I imagine. To bring Chult to life, the jungle needs to meaningfully affect the mechanics of the game.

To newbies, drinking 2 gallons of water is just that. To you and me, probably not.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Thank you for your reply.

I'm sure it's acceptable to some, just not to me.

If I were to run the game for a bunch of newbies, and perhaps start the adventure at level 1, I would most definitely reward such inventive thinking, mentally scratching off heat as one of the jungle challenges.

But with veteran gamers 'porting into Chult at level 5, I can already from the beginning see that spending all those words on water-collecting and exhaustion saves are a total waste, and something much more difficult is necessary for the players to actually engage with the environment.

This is after all our collective goal, I imagine. To bring Chult to life, the jungle needs to meaningfully affect the mechanics of the game.

To newbies, drinking 2 gallons of water is just that. To you and me, probably not.
Just be prepared for the legitimate question "Why does prestidigitation to cool armor not work?" Because there is no reason it should not work.

On a related note, there will always be times that players bypass or circumvent something you thought would be or should be a challenge with the clever use of a spell or proper planning. You can either accept that or implement a ban hammer because your players aren't playing the way you want them to play.

You are conflating a goal - bringing Chult to life - and one particular implementation of the effects of the environment. You've jumped to a conclusion so you are asking the wrong question. The question you should be asking is "how do you bring the jungles of Chult to life".
 

Flexor the Mighty!

18/100 Strength!
One reason I'd skip this is I would have a hard time not thinking its ridiculous to have guys in plate or even chain mail, plus padding under that walking around a hot and humid jungle like its nothing if they get a little more water. Do the inhabitants of the jungle walk around half naked due to the heat or are they loaded down with plate as well since it not that big of a deal? Iron and steel rust pretty quick in humid environments. Not only those, all kinds of things just disintegrate in the jungles from reading accounts of soldiers fighting in the Pacific in WW2. Paper, clothes, etc. It all comes down to how much realism do you want and I'm already butting heads with core 5e stuff like healing so better not to aggravate my situation.

I should probably read the thread before commenting though...
 

Flexor the Mighty!

18/100 Strength!
Thank you for your reply.

I'm sure it's acceptable to some, just not to me.

If I were to run the game for a bunch of newbies, and perhaps start the adventure at level 1, I would most definitely reward such inventive thinking, mentally scratching off heat as one of the jungle challenges.

But with veteran gamers 'porting into Chult at level 5, I can already from the beginning see that spending all those words on water-collecting and exhaustion saves are a total waste, and something much more difficult is necessary for the players to actually engage with the environment.

This is after all our collective goal, I imagine. To bring Chult to life, the jungle needs to meaningfully affect the mechanics of the game.

To newbies, drinking 2 gallons of water is just that. To you and me, probably not.
Yeah I'd run it where maybe their biggest foe is the jungle itself. Its a unfeeling ravenous consumer of all the things the PC bring with them. Rusting metal, decaying everything else. Soon the party is fully native, loin clothes and spears...
 

Mull Ponders

Explorer
Just be prepared for the legitimate question "Why does prestidigitation to cool armor not work?" Because there is no reason it should not work.

On a related note, there will always be times that players bypass or circumvent something you thought would be or should be a challenge with the clever use of a spell or proper planning. You can either accept that or implement a ban hammer because your players aren't playing the way you want them to play.

You are conflating a goal - bringing Chult to life - and one particular implementation of the effects of the environment. You've jumped to a conclusion so you are asking the wrong question. The question you should be asking is "how do you bring the jungles of Chult to life".
I could think of lots of reasons why Prestidigitation may not be that useful. Non-living, 1 cubic foot. It doesn't work on things bigger than 1x1x1 foot. So maybe your helmet, gloves or boots. A breastplate? Nope, also no plate mail, splint, etc. Chain shirt? If you take it off once an hour and scrunch it into the box, sure, I can see a chain shirt collapsing into a 1x1x1 box. Leather armor isn't very flexible either.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
Just be prepared for the legitimate question "Why does prestidigitation to cool armor not work?" Because there is no reason it should not work.

On a related note, there will always be times that players bypass or circumvent something you thought would be or should be a challenge with the clever use of a spell or proper planning. You can either accept that or implement a ban hammer because your players aren't playing the way you want them to play.

You are conflating a goal - bringing Chult to life - and one particular implementation of the effects of the environment. You've jumped to a conclusion so you are asking the wrong question. The question you should be asking is "how do you bring the jungles of Chult to life".
Sorry what?

If I want to talk about making the jungle environment challenging for D&D heroes, I'm bloody well not satisfied by concluding a cantrip neutering the challenge.

I don't understand you. Perhaps what you're saying is you don't believe the jungle environment *should* challenge level 5 heroes, in which case I kindly ask you to talk about that somewhere else, since that's exactly what I'm talking about!

Sent from my C6603 using EN World mobile app
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I could think of lots of reasons why Prestidigitation may not be that useful. Non-living, 1 cubic foot. It doesn't work on things bigger than 1x1x1 foot. So maybe your helmet, gloves or boots. A breastplate? Nope, also no plate mail, splint, etc. Chain shirt? If you take it off once an hour and scrunch it into the box, sure, I can see a chain shirt collapsing into a 1x1x1 box. Leather armor isn't very flexible either.
There's a gizmo you can buy for backpacking that is basically a mini AC unit. There are a couple of variations - one that goes around your neck, another that you slide under your clothes. According to reviews they work rather well.

So cool the helmet, cool something that you can slide under your armor and it should become reasonably comfortable. Not perfect, but enough to keep your core temp from getting out of control.

Yes you have to "recharge" the magical AC unit once per hour but that's a small price to pay.
 

Tony Vargas

Adventurer
Not sure what your actual suggestion is here.
That the simplest way to circumvent any rule punishing a heavy-armor-dependent character is not to play such a character.

That's really the point, to steer players into setting-appropriate choices by introducing a mechanical 'imbalance' that disfavors inappropriate ones.

I'm thinking you and I have very different outlooks.

I'm not interested in realistic rules one bit. D&D is a game, and I want it to be a challenging game.

Being told you need to drink 2 gallons a day is not a challenging task for my players, so I'm not interested in spending time on it.
So don't. Unless something in-game makes water critically hard to acquire, assume it, like air and bathroom breaks and everything else. Skip to the fun/challenging bits.

You are conflating a goal - bringing Chult to life - and one particular implementation of the effects of the environment. You've jumped to a conclusion so you are asking the wrong question. The question you should be asking is "how do you bring the jungles of Chult to life".
Evocative descriptions could help.
Also having a clear idea of what sort of jungle you want to bring to life. The 'deepest darkest Africa' mis-conception of a prior century, with furnace heat, chopping through every yard of jungle choked with vines & under-growth, facing giant snakes, and deadly spiders - or the 80-degree, comparatively open under the canopy and away from the river, RL Amazon jungle of nature documentaries?

I could think of lots of reasons why Prestidigitation may not be that useful. Non-living, 1 cubic foot. It doesn't work on things bigger than 1x1x1 foot.
Nod, it's another ruling: does 1 cu ft mean a cubic foot of material, regardless of how it's spread out, or does it mean an exact 1x1x1 cube AE? Par for the Empowered DM course.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Sorry what?

If I want to talk about making the jungle environment challenging for D&D heroes, I'm bloody well not satisfied by concluding a cantrip neutering the challenge.

I don't understand you. Perhaps what you're saying is you don't believe the jungle environment *should* challenge level 5 heroes, in which case I kindly ask you to talk about that somewhere else, since that's exactly what I'm talking about!

Sent from my C6603 using EN World mobile app
So basically you don't like the obvious, simple solution so you ban it or just say it doesn't work.

There are plenty of ways to implement the feel and character of the jungle. The group may come up with ways to overcome obstacles posed by the environment that you do not anticipate. People come up with solutions to overcome obstacles all the time, it's part of the game.

You can either let them overcome obstacles in ways you didn't anticipate or dictate that the only way to overcome an obstacle is the option you've given them. That's your prerogative, but I wouldn't play in a game run that way.

You asked for how to deal with armor in the jungle. You've been given the DMG answer, [MENTION=6785802]guachi[/MENTION] came up with a solution, etc.
 

Cap'n Kobold

Explorer
Just to be clear: prestidigitation has the option You chill, warm, or flavor up to 1 cubic foot of nonliving material for 1 hour. I'm quoting it because I didn't realize it lasted a full hour.

There is no logical reason it would not work. In theory you might have to sleep without your armor, but jungles can actually be downright chilly at night (50s at night are not uncommon at night in many jungles). I've backpacked/camped in the Amazon and we had to have sleeping bags.

Of course this does nothing to punish people wearing heavy armor, it makes it far too easy to circumvent so it probably isn't acceptable.
Bear in mind its probably not the metal armour that you'd want to cool: its the suit of padded armour worn underneath. Its the padding that prevents heat from escaping and soaks up the sweat instead of letting it evaporate.

I doubt that this will present much of a difference in the effectiveness of the cantrip however. Even a couple of patches of cool areas will take away a lot of the problems that people wearing armour will be suffering if the entire piece of armour doesn't fit into the dimensions.

I'm pretty sure that people will have to take off their armour to sleep anyway. As you say, it gets rather cold, and anyone trying to sleep in the sweat-sodden clothing that they were wearing during the day is just asking to catch a chill.
 

Cap'n Kobold

Explorer
Sorry what?

If I want to talk about making the jungle environment challenging for D&D heroes, I'm bloody well not satisfied by concluding a cantrip neutering the challenge.

I don't understand you. Perhaps what you're saying is you don't believe the jungle environment *should* challenge level 5 heroes, in which case I kindly ask you to talk about that somewhere else, since that's exactly what I'm talking about!

Sent from my C6603 using EN World mobile app
So don't bother tracking how much water the party is carrying. - Just assume that they can use the water collectors to get enough to keep going - until something goes wrong.
They wake up to find their water collector is full of tree-frog spawn or monkey poo and have to track down an alternate water source for example.

Their clothes and armour start growing mould and rotting away.

They start suffering severe social penalties towards most other races due to their stink due to wearing the same clothes for days.

The cleric starts suffering a crisis of faith because he's pretty sure the lice in his hauberk have developed civilisation and started worshipping him. They have declared a crusade against the ticks in his hose over occupation of the crotch region.

The wizard flunks a Survival check during a latrine stop and wipes with what turns out to be the local equivalent of the suicide bush.

Now I'm sure that a party of sufficient level will be able to mitigate a lot of those things using spells - which is not a problem. Burning a Create Food and Water spell to avoid some jungle complications or using a fly spell to cross a churning river is more resources than some combat encounters will use up. Every spell slot spent to mitigate the dangers and inconveniences of the area is weakening the party as much as if it was used to heal HP dealt in combat.
 

Flexor the Mighty!

18/100 Strength!
I'm pretty sure that people will have to take off their armour to sleep anyway. As you say, it gets rather cold, and anyone trying to sleep in the sweat-sodden clothing that they were wearing during the day is just asking to catch a chill.
If the rules don't have a penalty for it I doubt they will take it off to sleep. My players would have their PC wear full plate to dinner, they put it on before they leave their rooms in the morning even if they are going shopping. If I try to tell them that a person would not wear heavy uncomfortable armor 24/7 they immediately think I'm setting the up for an ambush. 30 years of D&D will do that to some.
 

ddaley

Explorer
I like these ideas. I just started running ToA for my group. Luckily, no character has armor beyond light armor in this group. But, even at that, I am having them purchase "Chultian" versions of the armor... as you mentioned, armor made from fish scales (check out arapaima) or or dinosaur bones/scales or in such a way that they provide protection while still being breathable.


I might expect some items to combat wearing armor. A potion applied to the armor to keep it cool or a ring of warmth changed to protect from heat. Armor with 'air conditioning' quality. Even new armor types like plant fiber armor, or shell armor that helps protect you.

Depending on how many encounters there are PCs may wear the armor just before they go into a dungeon or cave instead of all day walking through the jungle. If you are expecting trouble, you suit up otherwise you leave your pro-mask at home with no NBC threat.
 

ddaley

Explorer
That's one reason they wore surcoats.... blocks the sun from metal armor.

Metal absorbs the heat of the sun way more than leather does. Also, the book states Chult is in the mid 90s (so hotter than the Amazon). With humidity, the heat index is way over 100.
 

Nebulous

Explorer
If the rules don't have a penalty for it I doubt they will take it off to sleep. My players would have their PC wear full plate to dinner, they put it on before they leave their rooms in the morning even if they are going shopping. If I try to tell them that a person would not wear heavy uncomfortable armor 24/7 they immediately think I'm setting the up for an ambush. 30 years of D&D will do that to some.
Maybe I'm mistaken, but I thought there was a rule somewhere if you wear medium or heavy armor to bed you don't get a full night's rest? Was that from a past edition? My run of ToA didn't really convey the misery of the jungle as much as I wanted it to, even though I did manage to get them not to wear heavy armor because of the exhaustion penalties.
 

ddaley

Explorer
My group is just starting out in this adventure. They just arrived in the port. Any advice people have for what worked and what didn't when they ran this would be appreciated.

Also, I plan to reduce the deadly-ness of the adventure somewhat... especially from traps. I am not a fan of traps and Camp Righteous could easily be a TPK right off the bat. I would like to penalize them for failing, but not wipe out the party based on a saving throw/skill check.

Maybe I'm mistaken, but I thought there was a rule somewhere if you wear medium or heavy armor to bed you don't get a full night's rest? Was that from a past edition? My run of ToA didn't really convey the misery of the jungle as much as I wanted it to, even though I did manage to get them not to wear heavy armor because of the exhaustion penalties.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Maybe I'm mistaken, but I thought there was a rule somewhere if you wear medium or heavy armor to bed you don't get a full night's rest? Was that from a past edition? My run of ToA didn't really convey the misery of the jungle as much as I wanted it to, even though I did manage to get them not to wear heavy armor because of the exhaustion penalties.
There's an optional rule in Xanathar's Guide to Everything
"When you finish a long rest during which you slept in medium or heavy armor, you regain only one quarter of your spent Hit Dice (minimum of one die). If you have any levels of exhaustion, the rest doesn’t reduce your exhaustion level."

Personally I ignore the rule because I have no clue how much more uncomfortable it would be to sleep in medium or heavy armor vs say studded leather. All I know is that when I've been backpacking sleeping on rock didn't stop me from getting a good night's sleep and other than a minute or so of stretching in the morning it was fine. I think a lot of penalties go back to outdated notions like having to have a crane lift you onto horseback if wearing plate.



 

ddaley

Explorer
I kinda like this rule actually. I would probably penalize people who wear light armor as well... maybe not as much... recover half their spent hit dice? In practice though, I may not use this rule... too much to keep track of as it is. We'll see.

There's an optional rule in Xanathar's Guide to Everything
"When you finish a long rest during which you slept in medium or heavy armor, you regain only one quarter of your spent Hit Dice (minimum of one die). If you have any levels of exhaustion, the rest doesn’t reduce your exhaustion level."

Personally I ignore the rule because I have no clue how much more uncomfortable it would be to sleep in medium or heavy armor vs say studded leather. All I know is that when I've been backpacking sleeping on rock didn't stop me from getting a good night's sleep and other than a minute or so of stretching in the morning it was fine. I think a lot of penalties go back to outdated notions like having to have a crane lift you onto horseback if wearing plate.



 

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