Do you go to the dungeon?

Wilderness

I traveled far and wide through many different times, what did you see there?

Looking for Food and Water

I was too lazy to look it up last Tuesday so I just used the "standard DC" (15) and ruled that you had to travel at a slow pace.

I looked up the real rules now and they differ from what I ran with in some ways, I made four mistakes. The first one isn't that big of a deal, but 2, 3 and 4 could've made a big difference.

  1. The DC can vary by type of terrain. For the jungles let's bring it down to 10. For deserts let's kick it up to 20.
  2. You can forage both at a normal and at a slow pace. (Slow pace is good vs ambushes, but, normal is OK enough for food&water searching.) ← This is probably the biggest mistake I made, but luckily the pace didn't make that much of a difference
  3. More than one person can look.
  4. You make one roll for both food&water combined. If you fail, you find 1d6+Wis pounds of food (every person needs to eat 1 pound of food per day) and a separate 1d6+Wis gallons of water (every person needs to drink 2 gallons of water per day).

So you really earned those XP you got for making it back home to Port. Congratulations. It's still going to be dangerous but the rules mistakes I was running with made it significantly more dangerous.

The water you find from foraging is risky to drink unless you boil it or magically purify it. Rainwater is safe to drink.

Jungle hunting & River fishing

Cool, but ultimately just a flavorful way to describe the same foraging rules listed above.

For example, you try to catch fish, you make a wisdom check DC 10 and if you make it, you catch 1d6+wis pounds of fish!

Outlander's special power

Pretty much auto-success on large quantities of foraging. Good for food but drink the water on your own risk.

(The outlander can choose between getting six disk of food, twelve of water (in hot climate. Six in normal. Or they can forgo use of this ability if they'd rather roll.)

Raincatcher

The raincatcher starts overflowing after 8 gallons. Which is OK, it's just wasted.

  • No rain (thanks Tanyl for this cruel house rule, 1): no rain, no water. Ah wretch! said they, the bird to slay
  • Light rain / mist (2-12): 5 hours per gallon (⅕ gallon per hour — ten hours for one person to drink)
  • Medium rain (13-16): 5 hours per two gallons (⅖ gallon per hour — five hours for one person to drink)
  • Heavy rain (17-19): 5 hours per three gallons (⅗ gallon per hour — two hours for one person to drink)
  • Storm (20): Don't leave your raincatcher out in the storm.

If you have several raincatchers and can leverage short and long rests it can help with water needs.

Purify Food & Water spell

Once you've found water, even river water or ocean water, this spell can purify four thousand gallons per slot!

Brewer's Supplies

Proficiency with Brewer's Supplies allows you to (without having to roll) purify 1 gallon per short rest and 6 gallons per long rest. You don't need the full Brewer's Supplies item (a big item, but, you don't need a fermentation chamber etc etc just for purifying water) if you can explain some other way of doing it with messkits or cookpots or flasks or w/e. You just need the proficiency.

Amateur Purification

Without proficiency any adventurer can spend the same time and amounts (1 hour for 1 gallon, 8 hours for 6 gallons) to improved water status from "risky" to "compromised". That means you still roll con saves when drinking it but whit advantage.

Cook's Utensils

You need proficiency with Cook's Utensils for both of these

Preparing a meal for eating right away

(This one comes from XGE p81)

Roll Con + Prof vs DC 10. On a success you and up to 5 pals gains 1 extra hit point per Hit Die spent during a short rest when eating. You can do this with scavenged food, rations, fine food, goblin meat, — in short, any eating. This does not interfere with your ability to rest.

Making your own rations

(This one is Sandra's own invented rule)

You spend one hour and roll Con + Prof.

You either try to turn 4 days worth of fresh perishable food into 2 rations (a solid dependable rate), or 2d4 days worth into 1d4 rations. (So if you're lucky 2 can become 4. If you're unlucky 8 can become 1.) [Spending one week of 8h days in a real, clean kitchen can turn 200 days worth of perishable food into 100 rations without a die roll. And 100/40 is 2.5 so 1d4 is a pretty good approximation of that.] If you are really careful and you have a lot of time you also might want to do 2:1 instead of 4:2 or 2d4:1d4.

If you get 20 or higher, you manage to make the rations & you also get the benefits of 1 hour of rest.

If you get between 12 and 19, choose one:

  • The ingredients are destroyed but you get the benefits of 1 hour of rest, or
  • The ingredients are considered fresh for one extra day (and you can try to make a ration of them tomorrow) but you don't get the benefit of rest

If you get 11 or lower, the ingredients are destroyed.

Either way you can spend multiple hours doing this if you have enough ingredients. (I.e. beyond any ingredients that you rolled that they have to be postponed until tomorrow, they still need one more day to get ready for a new try to make them rations.)

Real World Human Water Needs

For those who think that drinking 2 gallons per day sounds like a lot, and I don't, you can pretend that in the D&D language one gallon is less than in America. You drink less but you also can carry less and you also can find less. The same rules apply though.♥ 1 gallon per day back home, 2 gallons per day here in this hot humid green hellforest.

Starving

You need to eat one pound per day. Eating half a pound counts as half a day without food which can be a good way to stretch out your resources. A preserved ration counts as one pound of food even though it takes up more space in your bag than one pound of fresh food.

The first three+Con days without food, you are fine. Every day after that you gain one exhaustion level. There's no save.

Eating one pound neither resets or advances your starvation track. Eating three pounds, or eating at least one pound of humanoid meat (such as kobold, human or elf) resets it to zero.

Once you have any exhaustion levels caused by starvation, you gain one extra exhaustion level every time you pass up such an opportunity to reset. For example if your best friend breaks their leg and you don't eat them.

Clarifications

Some questions came up while discussing this.

Create Food and Water

It's obv not fair for me to put too harsh of a nerf on the one single spell that's between the current party and the (otherwise) most likely cause of a TPK. Between campaigns, maybe even between parties, sure, but I can't and won't do it now. Pulling the rug from underneath your feet like that is a violation of our social contract. Buuut… I can rule that the conjured, bland food can't reset your starvation days, only maintain it. Even with presti-spice!

Eating normal while starving

So in VotE, eating normal once you've started starving doesn't do jack shit, you need to eat triple to reset. Until you've eaten triple (or eaten humanoid) you rack up an exhaustion level per day.

In the PHB, the whole "triple" thing doesn't exist, you can reset by eating normal.

The rules above are a compromise between the mildness of PHB and the brutality of VotE. Eating normal can stave it off but doesn't reset.

So what happens in that compromise if you eat normal (but not triple) once you've entered the state of racking up exhaustion levels? I'm gonna rule that it acts as if it resets you, and you can start resting off those exhaustion levels, but then once you start starving again it picks up where you were.

Example

Jack S has a con of +3 so can have six starvation days without taking exhaustion levels. On day seven he picks up one exhaustion level and on day eight one more. He has eight starvation days & 2 exhaustion levels. Then he eats normally (1 pound, or 3 pounds of conjured food). He then counts as having no starvation days and can start resting off his exhaustion levels for as long as he is eating normally. If months later of eating normally, if he never eats triple, even if all exhaustion levels are gone, he happens to skip a day of food, that counts as his 9th starvation day so he picks up an exhaustion level right away. Eating triple (three pounds of non-conjured food, or 1 pound of humanoid) resets the starvation days for real down to zero and the next time he skips a day of food he'll have one starvation day.

Your amount of starvation days is not secret info and you won't unknowingly be walking around with a bunch of starvation days.

Thirsting

You need to drink two gallons per day (here in the heat. In normal climate it's one gallon per day). If you drink 2 gallons you are fine.

If you drink 0 gallons

There is no save. You gain one exhaustion level if you have 0 exhaustion levels. You gain 2 exhaustion levels if you have 1 or more exhaustion levels. Hello, death spiral.

If you drink 1 gallon

You can make a DC 15 constitution save. With disadvantage if you're wearing medium armor, heavy armor, or heavy clothing. With -5 if you are travelling at a fast (as opposed to normal or slow) pace. If you fail the save it's as if you had drunk 0 gallons and you will gain one or two exhaustion levels as per above. Hello, death spiral.

I also forgot that you get +5 to navigation when travelling slow (and +5 when travelling fast). This would've made a big difference. Good to learn it.

For navigation, only one person can roll — that is still correct. I guess that's where I got the misunderstanding that that also applied to foraging.

"You are lost 1d6 hours then you can roll again" from the DMG ← doesn't apply to ToA. ToA has a bigger scale with one day per hex instead of a few hours per hex, and simplified rules.

You were reluctant to roll, you just said "we don't go back into the forest helt enkelt" but the hexes are big patches of various terrain. The map just is representative of the most common terrain on the hex, which also sets the DC. 15 for rivers and jungles, 10 for lakes and coastal areas.

Hidden rolls for where you go when you're lost

It's a secret 1d6 roll. I could draw playing cards A,2,3,4,5,6 and reveal them once you find your way, or I could roll under cups and then lift the cups once you find your way. Let me know if this is what you want or if you are OK with me keep doing the hidden 1d6 roll. 1 is north, 2 is northeast, 4 is south etc. (You might accidentally end up where you want to go, too.)

How far can I see

1.22 x [ sqrt( your altitude over prevailing terrain ) + sqrt( target's altitude over prevailing terrain ) ] = miles

Horizon on flat terrain (such as ocean) = 3 miles

Canoes

OK if you get canoes the rate you can travel faster on the river (even upstream). 2 hexes per day instead of one. River and Flask misremembered it when you were asking them but I just double checked the rules.

Also I found them in the rules so we don't have to use rowboat any more! They cost 50GP but can hold six people that's some pretty big canoes.

Insect repellent

Incense 1 sp for 8 hours of 20-foot-radius.

Salve 1gp for 20 × 24 hours of one bugfree person.

Sleeping without a tent

Xanathar's has clearer guidelines for uncomfortable sleep:

You neither gain nor lose exhaustion levels and you only regain ¼ of spent hit dice.

And it repeats the rule for forgoing long rests completely:

  • DC 10 con save or suffer one exhaustion level.
  • The next day it's DC 15 con save. The next day it's DC20 and so on.
  • Resets to DC 10 after one long rest.

If you have neither tent or bedroll, that counts as forgoing sleep. If you have only one of them, it counts as uncomfortable sleep. Going without tent also has another disadvantage that will be revealed later. A blanket can replace a bedroll when it's not winter.

In XGE, light armor doesn't count as uncomfortable sleep but I tried it and it was just as uncomfortable as heavy armor so I'm gonna house rule that it does count as uncomfortable. It already has a significantly shorter donning time, and light-armor–builds already have a significantly easier time forgoing armor completely since they're dex based unlike heavy-armor–builds.

Winter Camping

On a normal or warm night (warm for winter), you need tent, bedroll and blanket in order to get uncomfortable sleep. You can't get comfortable sleep outdoors in the winter.

On a cold night, a windy night, or both (15% each so about a 28% chance of either, approximately), it counts as no sleep. The weather roll is made the morning after.

Cold

In the winter, you need serious winter clothes including gloves, coats etc, otherwise it's a DC 10 con save per hour or rack up exhaustion levels.

Sleeping tied up

Also counts as uncomfortable sleep.