Considering Conversion of D&D 3.5 Weather System

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Isamu NEET-a
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Considering Conversion of D&D 3.5 Weather System

#1 Postby Isamu NEET-a » Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:17 am

The title says the basic premise. I liked the card-based weather system detailed in Shark Bytes, but felt I'd like more detail to make the weather's presence more pervasive, so players ought to keep it in mind. I also liked the environmental effects unique to Only Fools Trust the Weather, like "Hustle & bustle", "The wildlife are out & about", and "A day that makes you glad to be alive!" I plan on adding those to the system I'm making and thinking up a few more.
While I said I liked the Shark Bytes system's card-based mechanic, I don't think it'll work for what I've got in mind. d100 as used in d20 seems like it'll give me the kind of distribution I want, with less extreme weather being more common and more extreme weather less so.
There are two possible problems with the system I'm planning. It would be a more detailed system and would likely take more time to determine weather conditions, but I think a GM could plan stretches of weather ahead of time to keep the sessions FFF.
The other possible problem doesn't seem like much of one as I think that what I plan to do, while unconventional, does fall under the Open Game License, as the full weather rules are included in the d20 SRD. If anyone fluent in legalese sees an issue, though, please let me know.
I'll appreciate any advice. The following links are relevant references.
Weather Rules from the Hypertext d20 SRD
Open Game License from the Hypertext d20 SRD
d20 Difficulty Class Conversion Guidelines
The Shark Bytes Issue with the Card-Based Weather Rules

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Re: Considering Conversion of D&D 3.5 Weather System

#2 Postby robert4818 » Thu Sep 20, 2012 11:33 am

Isamu NEET-a wrote:The title says the basic premise. I liked the card-based weather system detailed in Shark Bytes, but felt I'd like more detail to make the weather's presence more pervasive, so players ought to keep it in mind. I also liked the environmental effects unique to Only Fools Trust the Weather, like "Hustle & bustle", "The wildlife are out & about", and "A day that makes you glad to be alive!" I plan on adding those to the system I'm making and thinking up a few more.
While I said I liked the Shark Bytes system's card-based mechanic, I don't think it'll work for what I've got in mind. d100 as used in d20 seems like it'll give me the kind of distribution I want, with less extreme weather being more common and more extreme weather less so.
There are two possible problems with the system I'm planning. It would be a more detailed system and would likely take more time to determine weather conditions, but I think a GM could plan stretches of weather ahead of time to keep the sessions FFF.
The other possible problem doesn't seem like much of one as I think that what I plan to do, while unconventional, does fall under the Open Game License, as the full weather rules are included in the d20 SRD. If anyone fluent in legalese sees an issue, though, please let me know.
I'll appreciate any advice. The following links are relevant references.
Weather Rules from the Hypertext d20 SRD
Open Game License from the Hypertext d20 SRD
d20 Difficulty Class Conversion Guidelines
The Shark Bytes Issue with the Card-Based Weather Rules


I might suggest making your own card system, similar to the adventure deck.

Each card has the weather on it, along with any potential rules effects written on the cards.

This unique deck would allow you to fine tune the weather odds to your liking, and allow you to put rules for what you want on each one.
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Re: Considering Conversion of D&D 3.5 Weather System

#3 Postby kronovan » Thu Sep 20, 2012 1:03 pm

Isamu NEET-a wrote:There are two possible problems with the system I'm planning. It would be a more detailed system and would likely take more time to determine weather conditions, but I think a GM could plan stretches of weather ahead of time to keep the sessions FFF.


I don't think it's really a concern - the GM's in control of it and if things are done a bit proactively it has minimal impact on game flow. I remember even enhancing the weather in D&D 1e to a 3 map scale system for Greyhawks' Flanaess continent, and using it was the least of my worries in terms of slowing things done. I even used the system in the Wilderness Survival guide without much detriment to game flow. I used to just make multiple rolls at the beginning of a games session and then bank them.

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Lord Inar
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#4 Postby Lord Inar » Thu Sep 20, 2012 2:15 pm

Thanks for enjoying and considering the Shark Bytes weather table!

The GM vs. player draw was designed to give you the "weather doesn't matter much of the time" mechanic, essentially 50% of draws. You could add that this "no weather" also lasts for 1d4 days as well.

Also it was designed for "on the fly" gaming, which is what I primarily do. I think if the party has a long trek planned, a more detailed weather system where you can predetermine effects a while in advance would be appropriate.

Mine also doesn't take into account regional differences, although deserts could always use the Summer table and Mountains could use Winter most of the time or some such thing.

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#5 Postby Maine » Thu Sep 20, 2012 3:27 pm

Having "been there, done that" with making weather a prominent feature of a game (running Hellfrost), where the group ended up having to micro-managing long travels including planning food for themselves and their horses, dealing with weather, foraging and hunting along the way, etc.

After one grueling session of cross country travel we completely threw it out. The players hated it.

It's taken a lot of gaming and some experimentation, but I've learned that Savage Worlds is about getting to the good parts of the story, with cinematic and interesting moments. Pacing needs to be more like a movie, and it doesn't play well when played in the style of classic D&D hack-and-slash dungeon crawler or 'hex by hex' exploratory movement with random encounters.

What we switched to, at my players' request: whenever they needed to stock up, I'd tell them to spend X gold to buy necessary supplies for where they were going. We assumed anyone who could hunt would produce an average result. Weather was fluff in the description, and at my whim was an encounter if it mattered.

This worked out very well and my players loved it. Now, your players may prefer something deeper, but I would suggest consulting with them first - you might find that the desire for depth is yours alone as GM, and your players prefer to get to the meat of the story.

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#6 Postby Cryonic » Thu Sep 20, 2012 9:07 pm

Yeah. Best to just figure out what the weather is like during certain key things (like the old Trope of "It was a dark and stormy night...") and not worry about the day-to-day weather during travel (which can be glossed over or just be a narrative element in the buildup to the weather at the key moments).

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Lysander
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#7 Postby Lysander » Fri Sep 21, 2012 5:37 pm

...or pretend to use the system, but just plan out the 'random encounter' in advance and just draw a card, pretend to consult a table and then run your pre-planned encounter.

You do it well enough, your group will think you just pulled out a neat scenario out of thin (or thick?) air! Your reputation will grow by leaps and bounds, etc. etc. Remember, a good GM never reveals his secrets, except on this forum apparently...
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#8 Postby jasales » Mon Sep 24, 2012 12:18 pm

Here is one I created. Should be simple to tweak it to what you need.

http://explodingdice.com/?p=303

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Isamu NEET-a
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#9 Postby Isamu NEET-a » Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:00 pm

You all make good points. I think all I might need are the effects of the weather. I should just use weather that sets the mood or is appropriate to the biome, and only when I need to.


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