Weather

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Weather might dramatically affect how far and how quickly a party can travel. It will certainly be more efficient to travel during periods of good weather than traveling in the middle of a heavy hailstorm or blizzard.

Weather Effects on Travel

Weather Description Travel Effects
Blizzard Intense snowfall with strong winds, severely impacting visibility and making travel perilous. Your pace cannot exceed 1 mile every 4 hours. Each hour, each PC makes a LUCK check. Any PC that rolls below a 10 gets completely lost. -20 on AWR checks.
Clear Sky A cloudless sky with bright sunshine Normal travel pace.
Fog (Heavy) Thick mist covering the surroundings, reducing visibility. Normal travel pace. -6 on AWR checks
Fog (Light) Slightly reduced visibility. Normal travel pace. -2 on AWR checks.
Hailstorm Pellets of ice falling from the sky, causing potential injury and damage. Your pace cannot exceed 1 mile an hour, and each hour, each PC makes a LUCK check. Any PC that rolls below a 10 suffers 2d4 blunt damage.
Heatwave Intense heat and scorching temperatures. Travel pace halved. END checks gain +2 to the Difficulty
Overcast Heavy cloud cover blocking most of the sunlight. Normal travel pace. Slightly reduced visibility
Partly Cloudy A mix of clouds and sun, providing intermittent shade. Normal travel pace.
Rain (Heavy) Intense rainfall, making travel difficult and visibility limited. Travel pace halved. -4 on AWR checks
Rain (Light) Gentle rain showers, creating a light drizzle and dampness. Normal travel pace. -2 on AWR checks
Snowfall Falling snowflakes, accumulating on the ground and potentially hindering travel. Travel pace halved
Thunderstorm Dark clouds, lightning flashes, and booming thunder. Strong winds and heavy rain accompany it. Your pace cannot exceed 1 mile an hour, and each hour, each PC makes a LUCK check. If the average is below 10, you run into flooding, falling debris, or conditions too difficult to travel in.

Some weather conditions, such as blizzards, also threaten to give adventurers Fatigue as they struggle to cope with extreme conditions. Cold, heat, elevation, and pressure are four extreme environments that heroes might encounter, particularly in arctic, desert, mountain, and aquatic environments, respectively

The Fatigued Condition

Whenever you suffer Fatigue, immediately gain 1 Death Point and become Fatigued. While Fatigued, you do not remove your Death Points when you Recoup or Take a Rest. Instead, when you Take a Rest, you remove the Fatigued condition if you eat and drink the minimum amount needed to sustain you.

Extreme Cold

When you are exposed to below-freezing temperatures for more than 1 hour without the appropriate clothing, you must make an END check. You must make this check once every 4 hours if you are wearing clothing suited to extremely cold weather. If you fail the check, you suffer Fatigue.

The DC begins at 6, and increases by 1 for every subsequent check that you make against extreme cold. The DC resets when you Take a Rest in an area sheltered from extreme cold.

If your clothes are not waterproof and are wet, you automatically fail this check.

Extreme Heat

When you are exposed to extremely hot temperatures for more than 2 hours, you must make an END check. Extremely hot temperatures are in excess of 100oF, or above 85oF with more than 75% humidity.

The DC begins at 10, and increases by 2 for every 5oF above 100o (or above 85o if humidity exceeds 75%).

If you drink at least 0.5 gallons of water in the span of those 2 hours, reduce the DC by 5.

Extreme Elevation

When you are more than 10,000ft above sea level, you gain the Shaken condition. When you are more than 20,000ft above sea level, you also gain the Sickened condition. For every 4 hours that you spend Sickened in this way, you must make a DC 12 END check, gaining Fatigue if you fail.

Prolonged training and ongoing exposure to such heights can mitigate these conditions.

Extreme Pressure

When you are deep below sea level in the ocean, the tremendous water pressure is enough to cause you serious damage. At 150ft below sea level, you gain the Shaken condition. At 400ft below sea level, you also gain the Sickened condition. For every hour you spend Sickened in this way, you must make a DC 16 END check, gaining Fatigue if you fail.

Note that some lineages might be naturally adapted to surviving in such depths, and prolonged training can mitigate the worst of these conditions even if you are not naturally adapted to such environments.

Random Encounters

When designing tracts of wilderness for exploration, you might prepare a couple encounters ahead of time and present them to your party. You might also think up several different possible encounters and leave it to a die roll to determine when such encounters occur.

Note that not all encounters must be combat encounters. Having to navigate a flooded river, negotiate with a trapper, surviving a blizzard, and using magic to communicate with curious forest critters could all be considered encounters.

When designing a random encounter table, consider how dangerous you want a stretch of wilderness to be. If the adventurers are in a relatively safe environment, you might use a weighted table or a bell curve table to make nonthreatening encounters more likely. If they are in an area rife with danger, you might use an unweighted table, or even reverse the likelihoods of dangerous and nonthreatening encounters on a weighted or bell curve table.

Here are some example random encounter tables using a handful of environments.

Peaceful Forest (Weighted)

1d20 Encounter
1-4 Uneventful travel.
5-8 A small herd of curious deer observe you for an hour or two.
9-12 A thunderstorm breaks overhead, drenching you and lasting for 1d4 hours.
13-15 A pack of hungry wolves see you as an easy meal, but they retreat once they are Bloodied.
16-17 You find ruins that are overgrown in ivy and seem to predate any civilization you know of.
18 An angry bear believes that you have wronged it and seeks revenge.
19 You are in an area of woodlands that has a lot of fae, and they magically cause you to lose your bearings.
20 A young wyvern finds you and believes you to be an easy meal.

Calm Grassland (Bell curve)

2d6 Encounter
2 A herd of large grazing animals begins to stampede and you get caught up in it.
3 A hailstorm breaks loose for half an hour.
4-5 In the distance, you see a herd of large grazing animals moving in some sort of migratory pattern.
6-8 Uneventful travel.
9-10 A roving band of thieves approach and try to shake you down.
11 Lions or similar plains hunters attack you.
12 A lightning strike starts a brush fire nearby.

Deadly Swamp (Unweighted)

1d8 Encounter
1 Some kind of horrible abomination, like a tothlalug, attacks you.
2 A mystical fae creature, such as a dryad, asks you for help.
3 Thick fog causes you to become lost.
4 A giant crocodile attacks you.
.5 A constrictor snake attacks you.
6 You come across a fisher whose boat is stuck and who asks for your help.
7 You or your wagon gets stuck in mud.
8 Uneventful travel.

Dangerous Desert (Weighted)

1d20 Encounter
1-4 A mystical desert beast, like a sphynx or shaitan, approaches you and either attacks you or seeks to make a steep deal with you.
5-8 Bandits try to rob you. After they are defeated, a pack of hyenas sees you as an easy target.
9-12 A massive sandstorm sweeps over you. There are dust devils inside it, which attack you.
13-15 Fire and earth elementals attack you.
16-17 Giant rattlesnakes attack you.
18 The temperature climbs well above 100oF.
19 Mirages cause you to become lost.
20 Uneventful travel

Savage Arctic (Bell Curve)

2d6 Encounter
2 Polar bear attcks you, but retreats once Bloodied
3 You are stuck on an open plain with no sign of shelter anywhere in sight. night approaches quickly
4-5 You must navigate a dangerous glacier while being attacked by air elementals
6-8 A blizzard scours the land.
9-10 Temperature drop to well below freezing
11 You come to a frozen lake, and must chance it or add hours to your travel time to walk around it.
12 Uneventful travel

Environmental Skill Difficulties

If your heroes are exploring a generic environment and you don’t know how to set the DCs for skill checks, you can use this table as an approximation. Adjust the DCs up or down based on your perception of the environment; mundane deserts, forests, and other habitats all vary wildly in terms of how survivable they are and the numbers provided are simply rough benchmarks.

Adventures often take place in “hybrid” environments. Mangrove forests, for example, are a blend of the coastal and swamp environment, and badlands would be a blend of the desert and mountains. When your heroes are in a hybrid environment, use the DCs for either base environment as you deem appropriate

Enviroment Tough Hiking Navigating Finding Food Finding Water Finding Shelter Tracking Creatures Noticing Danger Sneaking and Hiding
Awuatic 16 13 16 1 19 28 16 30
Costal 13 6 12 30 12 15 10 22
Desert 25 31 20 34 22 9 10 26
Forest 8 24 9 9 8 14 18 12
Grassland 13 16 16 10 20 10 13 17
Jungle 15 36 12 3 12 19 20 4
Mountain 21 20 19 12 9 10 22 7
Oceanic 35 30 30 45 40 40 17 24
Subterranean 19 18 25 16 2 31 27 3
Swamp 26 33 11 11 15 16 18 8
Volcanic 19 18 22 20 19 27 14 10