I invented the pathcrawl yesterday, ten years after Daniel D. invented it, although I didn’t know that until this morning. Daniel’s is more complicated, which I don’t like, but captures some nuance which mine didn’t, which I do like. I’m gonna smush them together.
Our basic tension is informed decision making versus freedom of movement. So my rules were simple to facilitate communication. Daniel D. adds complexity in his pathcrawl which leans towards freedom of movement, but is also interesting enough to incorporate:
- Paths always lead places and always have interesting things on them.
- Interesting thing generator: 1. Ruin; 2. Lair 3. Settlement; 4.Wonder ; 5. Hazardous Landmark; 6. Fortuitous Landmark. This would be even better as a region-specific d36 in my opinion.
- Things are sometimes off the path! If they are, there is a branch that leads to it.
So, our new pathcrawl rules:
Paths always lead to pre-existing places and always have interesting things on them. Things are sometimes off the path! If they are, there is either a branch that leads to it, or it is perceptible from the path.
To identify what is along the path, roll 1d6: 1. Ruin; 2. Lair 3. Settlement; 4.Wonder ; 5. Hazardous Landmark; 6. Fortuitous Landmark. To identify whether a path continues, roll 1d6: 1-2. Detour to another path; 3-4. Shortcut to another path; 5-6. New path and new location.
There are four types of path:
Trails allow you to travel. Roads allow you to travel at speed. Conditions allow you to travel at speed but only with the right equipment. Rivers and scalable climbs are conditions. Directions allow you to travel at half speed, but only with the right skills. Maps and divine guidance are directions.
There are three types of terrain:
Impassable terrain cannot be travelled through. Mountains and rivers are impassable terrain. Lakes and oceans are impassable unless you have waterfaring skills and equipment. Obscuring terrain is unnavigable and dangerous. Forests and swamps are obscuring terrain. Deserts are obscuring without view of the sun or stars. Passable terrain allows you to travel freely. Hills and plains are passable terrain.
Travel is affected by these features:
Travel through passable terrain at half travel speed, trails at travel speed, and on roads at twice travel speed.
Conditions are impassable, except with their condition, or where they intersect with another path (for example at a ford). Unnavigable means roll 1d6 and exit via a random hex. Dangerous means random encounters are higher level and twice as frequent. Impassable means no individual can enter, without unique skills and equipment, or magical assistance.
My pathcrawl is taking shape. Clear, simple information, available to the PCs. Interesting endpoints and detours. Freedom of movement. This is fun!
30th June, 2022