Dungeon Exploration

Time in the dungeon is measured in exploration turns (referred to simply as turns) and combat rounds (rounds).

A turn is approximately ten minutes. This is enough time to search and map a single room or corridor, take a short rest, perform an attribute check, or the like.

The GM checks for wandering encounters after every third turn by rolling 1d6. On a 1, an encounter occurs. This frequency may vary depending on how populated or dangerous the area of the dungeon is, rising to every other turn for busy spaces and or becoming less less frequent for emptier, safer spaces.

Combat is measured in rounds. Each round is approximately one minute in game time. This represents not just the immediate act of striking but of jostling for position and all the feints and strikes that don’t result in direct, potentially-damaging contact.

In a round characters have enough time to traverse a normal-sized room1 and take an action - ready a weapon, retrieve something from a pack, make an attack, make an attribute check, etc.

For the rules that govern combat, see the Violence section.

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Overland Travel

Overland exploration takes place on a hex map of the area prepared by the GM ahead of play. Hexes are assumed to be 6 miles across.

The day is divided into four watches of roughly six hours each. Under normal conditions a character can spend two of these watches marching, including reasonable stops for rest and meals. One watch each day is usually reserved for making camp and resting overnight. Fully exploring a hex takes a watch.

Method of Travel Speed - #Hexes per Watch
On Foot 1
Mounted 2
Pushing Your Mount 3

Pushing your mount carries a risk of lameness, exhaustion, and death. Mounts pushed in this way have a 2-in-6 chance of dying, increasing by +1 for each consecutive day of being pushed.

Characters can force march, allowing them to spend a third watch travelling. When mounted this has the same effect as pushing your mount. In all cases, whether mounted or on foot, use the following procedure when force marching:

  • Exert 1d3 Brawn at the beginning of the third watch spent travelling in a single day. This rises by +1d for each consecutive day spent forcing march (i.e. 2d3 after the second day, 3d3 after the third, and so on).
  • Characters who force march only restore health equal to their recovery die when resting overnight.

Poor terrain (swamp lands, mountains, dense forest) halves movement. Round fractions down.

Travel along well-maintained roads doubles movement.

Characters who are encumbered move at half their movement speed and must Exert 1d3 Brawn for each watch spent travelling.

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Wagons and Carts

Wagons and carts aid in the amount that can be carried while travelling.

Mounts can carry items equal to their twice their HD. Wagons and carts can be loaded with items equal to triple the total HD of mounts hitched to them.

Carts are small two-wheeled affairs that can be pulled by one or two animals. Wagons are four-wheeled and can be pulled by anywhere from two to twelve animals.

The movement rate of mounts hitched to carts and wagons is halved (round fractions down). Additional animals do not increase the speed.

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Getting Lost

Characters may see into adjacent hexes from a vantage point where their view is not obstructed. Mountains are visible from 4 hexes away. Weather conditions may impact visibility.

When attempting to navigate the wilderness without the aid of a map or visible landmark (e.g. mountains, hills, settlements), the character nominated as the navigator must attempt a Cunning saving throw once per watch to avoid becoming lost. If a hex has already been thoroughly explored, a character would reasonably have knowledge of the local area, or their Occupation indicates that they possess some skill as a navigator, they may make this saving throw with advantage. The GM may choose to impose disadvantage in particularly treacherous or dense terrain.

Characters who fail the navigation saving throw become lost and veer away from their intended direction of travel. Roll 1d20, with the following results:

1d20 Result
1-9 Veer to the left of intended course
10-11 Continue on the correct course
12-20 Veer to the right of intended course

While travelling through dense forest, Varda attempts to guide the group out of the trees. They roll 1d20 against their Cunning of 12, with a result of 13 - a failure. Because this is a saving throw Varda can’t exert themselves to convert the failure into a success.

The GM rolls 1d20 and gains a result of 5. The group originally entered the hex via the north-west face and were travelling to the south-east. Veering to the left of their intended direction means that they will exit the hex one face to the left, emerging into the adjoining hex to the north-east.

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As part of making camp each day, characters who do not possess tents or other means of creating shelter for themselves may spend time seeking natural shelter. The terrain and time of year are the major factors that determine whether shelter can be found or constructed out of natural materials.

Winter Spring Summer Autumn
Forest 18-in-20 Always Always Always
Hills 8-in-20 12-in-20 14-in-20 12-in-20
Mountains 8-in-20 8-in-20 8-in-20 8-in-20
Grasslands 6-in-20 8-in-20 8-in-20 6-in-20
Swamp 8-in-20 10-in-20 10-in-20 8-in-20

Characters who pass the night without any shelter only recover health equal to their recovery die and must Exert 1d3 in any attribute at the start of the next day.

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The GM should prepare encounter tables for each area as appropriate. Check for encounters once per watch. The standard chance for encounters is 2-in-6. This may increase or decrease depending on how dangerous or densely populated an area is.

In the case of an encounters, make use of the normal rules governing encounter distance and reactions.

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  1. Many games give characters explicit movement speeds on the dungeon scale. This is not one of them. Use your best judgement for what constitutes normal-sized’, but most of the time you don’t need to be concerned with exactly how far a character can move.↩︎