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  • Travel and Exploration rules:

    So, I'm working on some travel and exploration rules for the game.

    How do these look?

    Travel & Exploration

    Base Travel Speed = Pace * 4 miles per day
    (This assumes Base/1.5 to get MPH and then 6 hours active traveling time.)

    Base cost: Meals $5/person/day for inn meals
    Rations: $1/Person/Day, Uses 1 lb of storage per $1

    Travel System Concepts:
    The basic system of travel contains 2 primary axis that need to be tracked: Distance/Time and Provisions. In addition, when play slows down, we will track for events and discoveries as well.



    Travel Modes of Play

    Narrative/Fast Travel
    Interlude, quick encounter, or narrarate over it. After wards GM declares how long trip took. (If you want variation of travel time, Roll 1d4-2 * 10% of travel time. (-10%:+20% time). Discoveries do not happen during narrative/Fast Travel

    Travel/Exploration
    Use these rules for traveling, with no particular emphasis for exploration.
    You will be tracking Distance, Time, and Provisions (beads are handy for this):
    • Choose your interval (Daily, weekly, monthly) the choice doesn't particularly matter, use it to keep the pace of the game at the level you want.
    • Lay out a row of beads equal to your provisions/people/interval. (So, if you have enough provisions for 1 week
    • Lay out a set of beads for tracking distance. Each bead represents 1 average day's worth of movement.
      • If you are tracking a known distance, you could lay the beads out in a row to represent distance left to travel.
    • Lay out a set of beads for tracking time. Each bead represents 2 Time intervals (2 days, 2 weeks, 2 months, etc)

    Each round, each player chooses a category: Progress, Provisions, Exploration, support and rolls the appropriate skill (Navigation, Suvival, Notice, players choice*) Only one player can take the lead for each roll.
    • Progress:
      • On a failure, or if no one attempts navigation, no progress is made.
      • On a success, 1 bead is added for distance traveled.
      • On a raise 1 additional bead is added (Max 2 raises).
      • A critical failure causes you to lose 1 progress as you have to backtrack.
      • If tracking a known distance, you can count down instead of adding beads
    • Provisions:
      • On a failure, or if no one attempts navigation, you lose 1 provision bead.
      • On a success, you maintain your provision supply.
      • For each raise, you may add 1 provision level to the pile.
      • A critical failure means that you gathered bad provisions, and everyone suffers 1 level of fatigue, and you lose 1 provision bead.
    • Exploration:
      • You may attempt to search for discoveries in your area.
      • Your area may not have a discovery.
      • You successfully find a discovery if your total on the roll exceeds the TN of the discovery.
      • Exploration may also be used for scouting ahead

    Players can support any roll using cooperative roll rules.

    At the end of the round, add 1 time token to the tracker.

    Cards
    Each round before dice are rolled, draw 1 card from the action deck. This determines random events that may happen during the trip. The suit determines the category that is impacted, the value determines whether it is positive or negative.
    • Clubs: Progression
    • Hearts: Provisions
    • Diamonds: Exploration
    • Spades: GM Choice
    • Values:
      • Lower Cards & Jokers are Better.
        • The GM sets a threshold of 3-10, with 3 being very difficult and 10 being very easy.
          • If the card is below the threshold, add +2 to the respective main roll.
          • If the card is above the threshold, add -2 to the respective main roll.
          • An Ace represents a -4 penalty, a Joker represents a +4 bonus.
      • Face Cards represent an encounter or event that the players come across.
    Last edited by Robert4818; 06-27-2019, 02:32 PM.

  • #2
    So lemme see if I got this right...

    1) you make three rows of beads/markers: one for distance intervals, one for provisions/supplies, and one for travel time.

    2) the GM sets some arbitrary threshold between 3 and 10 and draws a card, which imposes a penalty or bonus to one of the task skills based on suit and value.

    3) the players choose a skill from Navigation (??), Survival (hunting/foraging), Notice (scouting), or Supporting one of these three.

    4) each success and raise either adds or subtracts a bead. (??)

    5) at the conclusion of each round, add a Time Token (is this a separate tracker from the travel time beads?)
    ___________

    There's a lot going on here for a part of the game that most GMs just handwave away. I'm trying to see the benefits of using this method, and I'm sorry to say that I really can't. It adds new niche rules for players to remember (and I must admit, I'm genuinely confused by some of them), and it doesn't really add anything that can't already be done by existing rules.

    Random Encounters via card draw have been a part of the game for a long time. It's unclear from your rules whether a Face Card still behaves the same; since your mechanic focuses on just the numbered cards, I assume it does, but I don't know how that would work. Is there a penalty to the skill roll AND a Combat Scene?

    Which brings me to the topic of traveling in general. Quick Encounters can already handle that without the need to count beads.
    1) The GM simply abstracts the travel time by round (i.e., one round equals one day's travel... or one week, one month, etc).

    2) Players make their rolls: Survival to either navigate or hunt, Notice/Stealth to scout, Fighting/Shooting to fend off attackers, etc.

    3) Each round the GM draws a card for a random Encounter (SWADE, p144), which gets folded directly into the Quick Encounter. For example, Enemies would turn the round into a Dangerous Encounter; Strangers might open the opportunity for a Persuasion roll or Repair roll (to see supplies or fix a broken wagon, respectively). Obstacles would also open new skill options, but it would be things the characters need to overcome (see Hazards).

    4) The characters arrive at their destination if they successfully navigate on each of the rounds. Rather than having players "repeat" a round, the GM can simply add an extra day/week/etc to the final travel time and move on.
    ...For example, let's say the heroes are on a three-day journey (i.e., three-round Quick Encounter), but the navigator fails on the third day. Rather than adding another round to QE, just have them arrive on the fourth day.
    ___________

    If the heroes are racing a clock, the journey can be conducted as a multi-person Dramatic Task. All the same rolls could be made (Survival for hunting, Notice for scouting, etc), but the GM should probably only keep track of Tokens that track progress. Failure means they arrive late, and the worst possible result occurs.

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    • #3
      This is for games where travel and exploration is more important. This is not intended to be a for every game system. (For example, a west marches style campaign)

      I apologize for adding confusion on distance beads. They are soley for tracking distance. I put it the way i did, as sometimes you may want to track distance left to go instead of distance travelled. Thats the only difference in adding or subtracting beads.

      Theres only one time row. At the beginning all you did was break out a pile for supply.

      The gm sets a threshold based on the level of difficulty of the region.

      As for face-cards I apparently left them off by accident. Those are intended to be narrative encounters that could be handled through quick encounters, combat, social challenges, etc.
      Last edited by Robert4818; 06-27-2019, 01:32 PM.

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      • #4
        Another interesting take on travel rules is Manuel Sambs' "Distant Journeys" on DriveThru. It's a nifty way to make travel interesting and relevant for those of us who don't want to get too crunchy.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Robert4818 View Post
          This is for games where travel and exploration is more important. This is not intended to be a for every game system. (For example, a west marches style campaign)
          Oh, I understand that. I don't think I implied you shouldn't try to make travel more interesting. In fact, I demonstrated how you can use Quick Encounters to essentially achieve the same effect you proposed (I even made sure to mention the same skills you used).

          I apologize for adding confusion on distance beads. They are soley for tracking distance. I put it the way i did, as sometimes you may want to track distance left to go instead of distance travelled. Thats the only difference in adding or subtracting beads.

          Theres only one time row. At the beginning all you did was break out a pile for supply.
          Thanks for clearing that up. I thought about the adding/subtracting thing later and realized it had to be something along those lines... but at the time I wasn't sure what you meant.

          That one is partly on me.

          The gm sets a threshold based on the level of difficulty of the region.
          For the card draw, right?
          I figured as much.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Deskepticon View Post

            Oh, I understand that. I don't think I implied you shouldn't try to make travel more interesting. In fact, I demonstrated how you can use Quick Encounters to essentially achieve the same effect you proposed (I even made sure to mention the same skills you used).



            Thanks for clearing that up. I thought about the adding/subtracting thing later and realized it had to be something along those lines... but at the time I wasn't sure what you meant.

            That one is partly on me.



            For the card draw, right?
            I figured as much.
            What I'm aiming for is some way go a little more FFF with a hex-crawl campaign. Part of a hex crawl is balancing supplies, travel, and exploration. I thought about just using a variation of Dramatic tasks or Quick Encounters, but I didn't find a way to use it to track more than 1 or 2 of the axis at the same time. So, I could handle distance, but not provisions, for example. I felt like I was asking too much of the mechanic to handle it, without essentially, running multiple tasks/encounters at the same time. So, in a way, I looked instead towards mass battles for inspiration.

            What I'm trying to do is have a system that can form the backbone of a campaign, yet still be a bit more abstract than tracking hexes on a map and doing a daily slog. This system allows for different "zoom levels", while still maintaining the management of choices at all levels.

            (And obviously, the beads are entirely un-necessary, this can easily be tracked on paper without beads.)

            I also recognize that QE's are a way to "speed up" travel. Which is why I included that as the narrative/fast travel option. It just didn't work when I wanted to zoom in.
            Last edited by Robert4818; 06-27-2019, 02:20 PM.

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            • Deskepticon
              Deskepticon commented
              Editing a comment
              Ahh, that makes more sense then.

          • #7
            I've also cleaned up the main post. Is that much more readable and understandable now?

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