The Overland Round
The reality of random encounters (and ways to avoid them) is a central theme in this campaign. The list that is provided below includes options for finding camouflage, making bonfires, finding sheltered campsites and fortifying many of them. The choices may only be useful in certain situations. For example, making a bright bonfire will scare off common animals, but the fire might also attract more intelligent creatures. The PCs will have to make their own decisions based on the information they are able to gather about their environments.
The Overland Round is designed to give a better idea of what can and cannot be achieved during a single day. This house rule adopts a round-based model for the adventuring day. Basically, one day = one Overland Round, consisting of any number of Free Overland Actions, 1 Swift Overland Action, 1 Move Equivalent Overland Action and 1 Standard Overland Action.
Just like the combat round, a Standard Overland Action may be exchanged for an additional Move Equivalent Overland Action and the group may select to perform a Full-Day Action if they forfeit their Move Equivalent Overland and Standard Overland Actions. If the group does not move during their Overland Round, they may make their 1-mile step.
The Overland Round assumes that the group performs a multitude of trivial tasks and rest for a total period of at least 12 hours (including preparation time for meals, camp, fire, taking turns for watch etc). Groups that are free of those chores (staying at the town’s inn for example) can “haste” their day and may perform 1 extra Move Equivalent Overland Action. Overland Actions are broken-down as follow:
Free Overland Actions
- Cast a spell with a casting time of 10 minutes or less.
- Groom animals.
- Prepare meals.
- Prepare daily spells.
- Set camp / Set out for travel.
- Travel 1 mile (equivalent to the 5-foot step).
- Any other mundane task requiring less than 1 hour or that can easily be performed while doing something else.
Swift Overland Actions
- Gather wood for a bonfire.
- Cast a spell with a casting time of 1 hour.
- Find protected shelter / camp site.
- Any other task requiring about 1 hour to complete.
Move Equivalent Overland Actions
- Check snares / traps.
- Dig grave / trench (up to 5 ft. deep, 10 ft. long).
- Erase traces of camp / activity.
- Gather Information (urban action).
- Perform in front of an audience (urban action).
- Protect against severe weather (as per Survival skill description; +2 if moving, +4 if stationary).
- Taking 20 on a Search check over an area of 50’ x 50’.
- Traveling (up to half the daily overland distance indicated in PHB. Remember that this distance is reestablished if the group performs a double move).
- Any other task requiring steady work but low concentration.
Standard Overland Actions (8 hours)
- Attempt a Craft skill check.
- Camouflage or fortify camp or shelter.
- Forage for food (as Survival skill description).
- Hunt for herbs.
- Rest for 8 hours.
- Set snares and traps.
- Study a new spell.
- Taking 20 on a Search check over an area of 75’ x 75’.
- Any other task requiring steady work and high concentration.
Full Day Actions (12 hours or more)
- Attempt a Move or Standard Overland Action with a +2 circumstance bonus.
- Attempt a Profession skill check.
- Cast a spell requiring more than 8 hours of uninterrupted activity.
- Forced march (attempting to travel more than a double overland move, with appropriate fortitude saves).
- Full day’s rest.
- Record a spell in spellbook.
- Scribe a scroll.
- Taking 20 on a Search check over an area of 100’ x 100’.
Note: The list is by no mean exhaustive, but it covered 95% of your activities.