30
Aug
11

Weird Tables: Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

Winter is nature’s way of saying, “Up yours.”
—Robert Byrne

Your humble reporter lives in New York City. This past weekend, while making real-world preparations for the arrival of Hurricane Irene, I was also making preparations for imaginary bad weather—the coming of winter in my Glantri game.

While the PCs were exploring Quasqueton at the end of January, the winter snows began in earnest. This typically shuts down all travel in the region until the spring thaw. Not wanting to spend the winter in a tiny border keep, some of the PCs decided that they’d set off through the deepening snows in hopes of reaching the capital before travel became impossible.

In order to resolve this dangerous choice, I created the

WINTER TRAVEL TABLE

Roll 1d6 and apply your Constitution modifier, along with any other modifiers the DM deems appropriate.

Roll Result
0 or less DEATH: You die of exposure.
1 FALL: Your character slips on the ice and suffers a broken bone(s) or some other structural injury. Roll again with a cumulative -1 on all further rolls on this table. If you survive, you spend the rest of the winter recuperating from your injury.
2 WOLVES!: You are pursued by a pack of wolves. Roll (level + hit die size + prime requisite modifier) or less on a d20. If successful, you survive their onslaught; roll again. If you fail, you are devoured.
3 TAUNTAUN: Lost and without shelter, you are forced to take shelter for the winter inside the corpse of a large animal, such as a bear or elk. Save vs. spells or permanently lose one point of Wisdom due to body horror. Alternately, you may push on, getting a reroll at -2.
4 CAVE: You are forced to hole up in a cave for the rest of the winter. Save vs. poison or permanently lose one point of Constitution due to starvation. Alternately, you may push on, getting a reroll at -2.
5 HUT: You take shelter in an isolated farmstead. Pay the owner 50-100gp (or provide an equivalent amount of equipment) in exchange for sharing their limited winter stores of food. Alternately, you may push on, getting a reroll.
6 or more CITY: You successfully reach your destination.

Whereas many tables are solely for the use of the DM, this is one of those tables which players should view before rolling. Perhaps they’ll make the sensible decision and stay indoors!


11 Responses to “Weird Tables: Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!”


  1. August 30, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    By “bantha” you of course mean “tauntaun”.

  2. August 30, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    You are correct, of course. I am embarrassed!

    In my defense, “bantha” is a much funnier-sounding word.

  3. 3 Charlatan
    August 30, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    It’s a desert winter, and we need room for the whole party.

  4. August 30, 2011 at 11:16 pm

    Whose Constitution? Or do you get to pick the best Con in the party? :)

  5. August 30, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    Roll for each member? That could be interesting…

  6. 6 Doctor Checkmate
    August 31, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    I would, as a player, take one look at this table and say, “Should I roll up my new character now, or after I roll on this table, because, I am going to roll on this table.”

    There is so much of what I find fun about our hobby squeezed into that little d6 table that it would be irresistible to me. And let’s face it, sometimes a memorable ignominious death is better than living until the glory fades.

  7. August 31, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    I think you should have the option of fighting the wolves using the combat mechanics.

    Also: this is a cruel, cruel table. I like it. But man, so cruel.

  8. August 31, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    @James: Using the combat mechanics is also viable.

    @Dr.Checkmate: Thanks!

    @C’nor: You know, since the PCs in my game all wanted to go to different places, I didn’t even think about them traveling as a group! Silly me. So, to add even more baroque complexity, here’s the multi-player rules for the table:

    1) The party picks a leader for the journey. (As cr0m suggests, this is likely the PC with the highest Con.)
    2) Everyone rolls separately on the table. The leader takes a penalty equal to the highest injury penalty (from a ‘FALL’ result) in the group, as helping the badly injured PC slows the party down.
    3) If the leader’s modified result is 2 or higher, that result applies to the entire party. However, only one PC can take advantage of a ‘TAUNTAUN’ result, as there’s only so much leg room inside a moose.
    3a) On a ‘WOLVES!’ result, each player gets a number of rerolls equal to the number of other PCs. Only if all rolls are failed does that player’s character die. (Alternatively, you can use the combat mechanics as James suggests.)
    4) If any player’s modified result is 1 or lower, that result applies to that player’s character.

  9. 9 Doctor Checkmate
    August 31, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    Or make the wolf entry a random encounter with any number of hungry things appropriate to the campaign.

  10. 10 Scott LeMien
    September 1, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    a pack of hungry, cuddly wolf cubs, I believe, is what Eric meant. An understandable typo, since wolf cubs are always hungry.

  11. 11 1d30
    September 1, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    Babies need meat!


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