Saturday, January 25, 2014

About daily travel distances

I got this idea yesterday while walking the countryside.
In RPGs there are these travel distance tables and they more or less all claim that a person can walk 24 miles/8hrs(day). I think that these numbers are exaggerated. For normal men, I think, 10 miles a day is enough to feel it next day. So, let's try a different and cruel approach to daily travel distance covered.
Basically, a character can move up to his Constitution in miles per day without problems. Anymore than this, he makes endurance checks or suffer Constitution damage. So one lazy and/or sickly character could move as far as 3 miles per day max and an athletic character type would move as far as 18 miles per day normally.
I would say +-33% for roads, mountains, weather etc.

I don't know why, but - Source.

PC/NPC adventurer can normally travel as much as her/his/it's/their CON in miles before they must stop and rest for that day or push forward. If you push forward, you make a lucky roll below, but allow to burn STR to avoid the check.
 Round distances to 5 if you like.
Make another check in half the normal distance.

You press on and ...
0 - This journey starts to wear on your nerves.
1 - Your nagging causes your wizard to save vs. your roll or lose a random spell for that day.
2 - You stumble and easy DEX check or Unlucky bruise: -1 to all rolls for one day.
3 - Trip-a-friend - same as above, with an obvious difference.
4 - You step but your ankle does not agree to cooperate. Lucky check or sprain the sucker: -1d (or-4) on combat and movement die due to poor footwork.
5 -  Your backpack or belt-pouch becomes lose and you lost the marbles. Spend 10 minutes packing back.
6 - Your eyes are heavy and in you drift for a moment. In your vision, your patron appears and gives you a quest to distant land which you must uphold or suffer their disapproval.7 - Gremlins infest your footwear: Lucky roll or it smells so bad that you immediately attract a troll to bug your party.
8 - You lost half of your consumables somehow (potions included).
9 - Traveling fever - gain a random disease from the area.
10 - Double vision - make a save or lose it on next perilous crossing.
11 - This is bat country - bats swarm you and you must fight them off or suffer -2d (or -6) on all checks until rested.
12 - Break a leg - this is bad. Hard check or your limb becomes useless and needs 12 HP in healing to function again.
13 - Foot of lead - your feet become heavy and you sink into matter to some extent, you leave obvious tracks and every distance counts double.

Start with 1d4 + Luck then go to 1d6, 1d8, and 1d10.

Horses double the CON value in mileage, fast horses triple it.
Beasts travel up to their HD before losing interest in chase.
Humanoids add 10 to their HD.

Carts & caravels coming soon.

Copy of this post is at


  1. I was in the military, and it's a little extreme, but we walked 25 miles in full modern gear (lots of weight). So for an ordinary person, you'll feel 10-15 miles, but it's doable.

  2. Cool idea -- Seems like a neat and easy way to estimate that. Maybe figure in a CON bonus for things like: pack animals, carts, "traveling light" etc. It would also make random encounters a little more interesting if say, a character had his full plate off and packed up on a mule when the goblins showed up...

  3. I'd think the flat constitution might be too harsh - and how would you account for small creatures like gollums and goblins or large creatures like ogres and oliphaunts? Perhaps a base daily rate modified by con would work well enough, or some other formula system. ... admittedly, it does return to the problem of complexity.

  4. @Ben: Thank you. However, I think that this is best left as it is - an idea and nothing more and stick to traditional OD&D movement rates (15 miles on foot).
    @Luka: Hja, jeba. I think that their HD would not reflect that in a proper way. Well, maybe CON dictates how many hours of the day the creature can spend moving? :)

    However, the above approach is not good. It's best to stick to classic movement rates - 15 miles/day. Maybe +-CON bonus for a man, 20 for a troll.