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Weather in Campaigns

was

Explorer
I am interested in seeing how people deal with the weather in their campaigns. Do you closely keep track of seasonal weather? Do you roll randomly on a weather chart? or do you ignore the weather completely?
 

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Balesir

Adventurer
Depends on the campaign. For HârnMaster I use the (excellent) Hârnic weather system and generate weather watch-by-watch during "action-intense days". For D&D or 13th Age I just use weather that fits the scene.
 

steeldragons

Steeliest of the dragons
Epic
I keep track, in a general sense of seasonal variations. Occasionally, and completely at my own discretion/entertainment, there might be a serious heat/cold wave fora week here or there, a thunderstorm/blizzard/hurricane/tornado depending on terrain and season is generally a 1-3 per season thing (unless something funny/weird is going on), things like wildfires/droughts/long-term snow-ins/floods are rare..but happen. There's really no set mechanic for these but depend on story considerations or, as I said, my own amusement...and/or just to shake things up every once in a while and/or force the players to deal with their environment.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I've found that most of the time, weather doesn't add enough interest to make it worth tracking.

Basically, weather is usually, "Gee. It is raining. Huh. Okay, we go into the lair...."

If I'm working a set piece, for which particular weather is especially important for flavor or plot, I'll include it.

This is aided and abetted by the fact that these days, I generally use an "upkeep cost" mechanic instead of having the party do detailed shopping. If they pay their upkeep, they have food, shelter, clothing, and gear appropriate such that the details of day-to-day weather are not much of an issue. If and when the characters go somewhere they don't have access to supplies or suppliers, then it may become plot-relevant, and I'll choose some tracking method for the weather and the resources used to handle it.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Like Umbran said, weather is best used as a set-piece environmental effect in encounters, along with terrain.

This is the super-rainy encounter. This is the one in deep snow. This one has lava. This one is underwater. This one is on ice. This one has gale-force winds. This one is zero-g.

Tracking it? I tend to be more vague. If it's winter, then then it's winter for a bunch of sessions, and occasionally that might matter in individual encounters. Not all the time to the extent that players get bored and annoyed with penalties.
 

Celebrim

Legend
I am interested in seeing how people deal with the weather in their campaigns. Do you closely keep track of seasonal weather? Do you roll randomly on a weather chart? or do you ignore the weather completely?

I used to use random charts but now I have a tendency to just copy weather events from the appropriate time of year and geographic location from a weather almanac.
 

S'mon

Legend
I roll a d6, 1 is rainy/snowy, 6 is bright/clear, with gradient in between depending on the season. I wish I had a weather die but I have to make do with a d6. :)
 


Artifact

First Post
Unless the weather matters to the story, I just look out the window. If it's raining outside for instance, then it's raining during the encounter.

Just enough so weather isn't being outright ignored.
 

S

Sunseeker

Guest
Every area of the world has "mood weather". Swamps are dank and drizzly. Coasts are foggy, jungles are humid. I added some random effects for extremes of these conditions in place of random monster encounters.
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest
I've often used the Greyhawk tables. I pre-gen a lot of weather and jot them on my campaign calendar. Then, I can seamlessly handle weather-related issues as they come up. The PCs had to lead a bunch of escaped slaves/refugees out of the Drachensgrab Mountains in a multi-day downpour. Lightning strikes, mudslides, a fight against pursuers in bad weather - it was a good way to add texture to the situation.
 

haakon1

Adventurer
I think it adds "character" and "reality-seeming" to the setting. I roll 2d10's for each day. The first is cloud cover: 1 is infinitely blue, 10 is overcast.

The second is windiness: 1 is still, 10 is raging wind.

Combine the two dice with the season and terrain, and the result for the day before, and I get an idea of the weather. For example, in a Western Europe-type climate, 1-1 in summer is a very bright, very hot still day, while 10-10 is serious thunderstorms. In winter, 1-1 is cold and dry -- cloudlessly very cold at night, whereas 10-10 is a blizzard.
 

The weather is just sorta there. I don't typically roll for it every adventuring day. I'll point out things like "Hey, we're moving out of summer and starting to get into autumn".

If I want to play up the weather it's typically built into the encounter or adventure.

I haven considered playing up the weather more as I DM but mostly as a way to make the PCs paranoid. ;)
 

Legatus_Legionis

< BLAH HA Ha ha >
Only when it is directly related to the store/plot/setting.

"It was a dark and stormy night..." fits well when I do something with Ravenloft, as the weather helps create the mood.

In a desert, you might get the odd dust storm.
In a rain forest, you might get the odd torrential downpour.
etc.

But generally we don't have the weather directly effect our games.

Of course, if that particular story having an apposing wizard throwing weather systems at the group...
 

zipben

First Post
I use the following charts as part of my campaign tracking spreadsheet. I have found weather to be a highly underated tool. Consistant weather makes the world feel alive, and helps mark the passage of time in an interesting way. My players love hearing about how as they leave a dungeon they find that winter has broken and the snow is starting to melt.

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 3.05.57 PM.pngScreen Shot 2015-09-24 at 3.06.05 PM.pngScreen Shot 2015-09-24 at 3.06.18 PM.png
 

gamerprinter

First Post
Yeah, as someone pointed up thread, I used to use the Harn weather charts, but now consider it too much book keeping for such a trivial matter. That said, I do include "weather of the day" for mood whether that's drizzel, rain shower, a storm, or a foggy, though most of the time, its unmentioned, meaning its a clear day. I also like to use catastrophic weather usually as a one time event throughout an entire campaign, like a volcanic eruption, a major earthquake, tornados and hurricanes. I've even used a heavy hail storm to drive the party into a nearby cave providing a back entrance to a catacomb system.
 

Gilladian

Adventurer
Seasons are pretty clearly tracked and used, daily weather only when it interests me. I have a weather almanac, and I often check it for general trends when the pcs have a journey to take. They've been traveling recently for over a month, and the early spring weather has been pretty miserable. Fighting goblin monkeys in a downpour was fun!
 

I had a power gamer in my last group. Any combat encounter was trivial to him due to his build. What did him in? He wandered off into a snowstorm by himself. The party never did find his frozen body....
 

haakon1

Adventurer
I had a power gamer in my last group. Any combat encounter was trivial to him due to his build. What did him in? He wandered off into a snowstorm by himself. The party never did find his frozen body....

Once long ago, I was DMing a party that went through the Yatil Mountains of Greyhawk, with some of the members of the party not having tents and winter blankets. Another time they were trapped in a village that was running out of food. They survived both events, but they always have camping gear and a lot of rations along, and Leomund's Hut and Create Food and Water are considered "important" spells to gain.
 

gamerprinter

First Post
For the Kaidan setting of Japanese horror (PFRPG) there's the free one-shot module from Rite Publishing, Frozen Wind, which is a survivor horror adventure, combining real and supernatural cold weather conditions in a dire situation with undead frozen monks, ice oni, a yuki-onna and a paced timeline in a mountaintop monastery.
 
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