Thursday, 27 December 2012

Overland Movement: A Small Useful Table

I've recently started running a wilderness exploration based sandbox campaign (the Dreamlands). It's actually the first time I've been dealing with overland travel as a regular part of a campaign since I was a kid and didn't care about such things as movement rates and terrain types.

Nowadays I do care about such things, and have found myself fumbling around in the Labyrinth Lord rule book, trying to work out how many miles per day a party can travel through various types of terrain. It's not that complicated, I know, but somehow it's non-trivial enough that I have to spend time each session recalculating it. So I thought I'd try to come up with an easier system. All I've done is pre-calculated all the fractions and formatted it all into a table (see above) so that only a single look-up is required. Simply cross-reference the party's movement rate (i.e. the movement rate of the slowest character in the group) with the terrain they're travelling through, and you get the number of miles they can move in one day. The percentage chance of getting lost is also listed, for convenience.

I hope someone else finds it helpful too!

7 comments:

  1. Very handy, Gavin. The one thing that jumps out to me is that it assumes the party is on foot. By the time they are doing much wilderness exploration (in my experience anyway) there are usually horses, mules, or wagons involved.

    Any chance of expanding this out to higher movement rates to account for mounted travel? Not that it's rocket science to do so, but you've put together such a nice table... :-)

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    1. Ah of course, excellent point, thanks! At the moment the PCs in my game are on foot, but you're right of course, it's only a matter of time until mounts are involved.

      I'll see what I can do.

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    2. So it looks like the only additional column needed would be 24 -- the movement rate of a riding horse. Do you think that's right?

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    3. Without my books in front of me, I'd hazard a guess that it's all you'd need. Mules and wagons should be slower. Maybe continue in increments of 3 to be safe?
      Add 15, 18, 21, 24 and call it done.

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  2. This WILL be handy and will be added to the next incarnation of my DM screen. The addition of mules, wagons & horses will top it off nicely.

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  3. I think those numbers are kind of high, unless you are a marathon runner, you can't keep up walking for several hours. 15-16 miles a day seems to be the most for walking, 25 for a forced march by people in very good shape (Roman Legions)

    And horses can only go about 20-25 miles without tiring out

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    1. Well, yeah that's a different question -- whether the numbers are *realistic*. I just calculated them straight from the Labyrinth Lord rules.

      I'm inclined to agree with your analysis, though :)

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