Food on the road

The place for discussion of Cubicle 7 and Sophisticated Games' "Adventures in Middle-earth" OGL setting.
mats77
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Food on the road

Post by mats77 » Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:10 pm

I would like a simple way to track food during a Journey. Not too in detail, but still something so that the players need to consider bringing enough food with them. I haven't found anything in the AiME rules about this (or missed it).

My thinking:

So perhaps after the last Journey event (i.e. almost at final destination), the LM asks the players to tick off a number of rations (or something else eatable that they brought with them) based on the days traveled so far (note: requires the optional time tracking rules). If they cannot pay enough rations/food, the Hunter must make a Survival check. If passed, it is assumed that enough food was gathered during the Journey to cover for what they could not bring. If failed, each PC takes some kind of penalty, e.g. one level of exhaustion (i.e. similar to the 5e rules but not as detailed in counting days).

Is it too fiddly? Or seems okay? Anyone doing anything similar?

HamsterofIthlien
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Re: Food on the road

Post by HamsterofIthlien » Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:45 pm

In most 5e games I run, I just let the players keep track... "honor system" as it were. Keeping track of things like food and exact weights for encumbrance has often felt too detailed and can slow down the game.

However.... in AiME, I think may be narrative reason to be fiddly, as you say. It fits the overall sense that journeys are perilous. Food on the road is not as plentiful as when you are in a settlement of some sort. However, some of the Embarkation rolls have reference to food along the way. Also, the Hunter role in the journey covers food gathering for the company on the road. I think the intention is to assume that, unless it gets covered by a specific embarkation or journey event, the food/foraging is happening behind the scenes as you fast forward through the Journey Phase.

The way I have been doing it just relying on these dice rolls. Then, when resolving the Journey, if the Embarkation was the "hungry/exhaustion" one or a Journey event alludes to the challenge of finding good food, I've asked players to reduce their rations (kind of arbitrarily) by either half or all to go along with the Exhaustion conditions they may have had.

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Majestic
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Re: Food on the road

Post by Majestic » Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:18 pm

One thing I really like about 5E is the doing away with the minute detail of things like food. Now if you like to keep track of such things, then by all means you should do so! But I very much enjoy it where the players don't have to track every arrow or rations.

It hasn't come up yet in our game, but I could see - especially in a harrowing journey into the darkest parts of Mirkwood - the party running out of food. I would just then do much like what you said, tell them that they all suffer from a Level of Exhaustion due to the lack of available food and water.
Adventure Summaries of our campaign, currently playing through The Darkening of Mirkwood

MrUkpyr
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Re: Food on the road

Post by MrUkpyr » Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:51 pm

One thing I do is ask my players how they are preparing for the journey.

One time, no one mentioned acquiring food for the trip, and then their embarkation roll matter that much more (wicked grin).

But if most of them mention making sure they have food with them, then I don't worry too much about it.
MrUkpyr
"If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world."

BookBarbarian
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Re: Food on the road

Post by BookBarbarian » Wed Mar 14, 2018 11:27 pm

Majestic wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:18 pm
One thing I really like about 5E is the doing away with the minute detail of things like food. Now if you like to keep track of such things, then by all means you should do so! But I very much enjoy it where the players don't have to track every arrow or rations.

It hasn't come up yet in our game, but I could see - especially in a harrowing journey into the darkest parts of Mirkwood - the party running out of food. I would just then do much like what you said, tell them that they all suffer from a Level of Exhaustion due to the lack of available food and water.
I also like not tracking food, but a challenge for a Hunter on a Journey to bring back food to the party makes total sense to me.

Otaku-sempai
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Re: Food on the road

Post by Otaku-sempai » Wed Mar 14, 2018 11:35 pm

Even if the heroes have purchased what should be enough supplies for the expected length of the Journey, Hazards can have a significant impact. Accidents happen, supplies can become contaminated, journeys can stretch out to be much longer than expected (as the company of Thorin Oakenshield learned on more than one occasion). The role of Hunter can become very important. And game can be very scarce.
"Far, far below the deepest delvings of the Dwarves, the world is gnawed by nameless things. Even Sauron knows them not. They are older than he."

Enevhar Aldarion
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Re: Food on the road

Post by Enevhar Aldarion » Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:34 am

Having to go off the road/trail/etc to hunt for game or forage for other food is a great opportunity to have the party find some forgotten ruins or a hidden brigand camp or a hidden orc raiding party, etc. So once in a while use the need to find water or food as a way to introduce elements of the adventure you have planned for them.

mats77
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Re: Food on the road

Post by mats77 » Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:21 pm

Thanks everyone for all your thoughts on this matter. Good input! :)

From the replies here (so far), it seems most LMs run their Journeys without putting too much (or zero) effort in tracking food.

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Robin Smallburrow
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Re: Food on the road

Post by Robin Smallburrow » Fri Mar 16, 2018 3:52 am

I'm sure the players guide mentions that the listed rations are for 1 week only- journeys that are longer than one week will require some hunting!

Robin S
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Otaku-sempai
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Re: Food on the road

Post by Otaku-sempai » Fri Mar 16, 2018 4:39 am

Robin Smallburrow wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 3:52 am
I'm sure the players guide mentions that the listed rations are for 1 week only- journeys that are longer than one week will require some hunting!

Robin S
I would also recommend treating the price for rations as representing a week's worth instead of one day's rations. Even adjusted down to 60c, the listed price is very inflated. AiMe treats 1 silver penny as being equivalent to 5 gold pieces in D&D 5e. 60c is equal to 5s, and therefore can be converted to 5 gp.

Of course, the conversion from D&D coinage to AiMe is not entirely consistent (especially when considering large and expensive items vs. more commonplace ones) and I am making some assumptions that might not entirely hold up to close scrutiny.
Last edited by Otaku-sempai on Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"Far, far below the deepest delvings of the Dwarves, the world is gnawed by nameless things. Even Sauron knows them not. They are older than he."

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