Ran across a short post today that asked about the impact of weather. That most fantasy fiction tends to not get into weather. And as a result it doesn’t come up in games very much.
This is an example of one of the things I do hope to do more with in the upcoming boys campaign. I do want to have weather make an impact. It can be as simple as, ‘oh you are walking in full plate mail, well it is 90 degrees and hot, you are going to need to make Constitution rolls every hour.’ It could be as complex as, ‘there is clearly a storm coming over the mountains, it is already cold, and you are no where close to shelter, what do you do?’
I want to make it interesting and challenging, but also fun. These are real concerns, even to those in many fantasy books. Some of the best writings are about weather. Who can forget the Fellowship being forced to turn back and go through the Mines of Moria because of weather?
While I probably won’t get too granular, like how much are they eating at each stop, or how many gallons of water do they carry, I do want them to think a little about stuff. Stuff like, supplies, food, water, ropes, torches. I plan to more rigorously enforce the idea of they can only use what it written on their character sheet, supplies like rope or hammers do not just appear out of thin air.
And the adventures will have more call for that sort of thing anyway. I will get away from the dial a monster, murder hobo style of gaming. There will be dangers aside from monsters. Like how to climb a cliff, or cross a chasm, cross a river, open a locked door. Because a lot of that is what makes an adventure.
And there will be times when hiding, and figuring out how to hide are better options (Frodo and company did not try to just fight the Ringwraiths.) So there will be monsters that they group is not able to fight the first time they encounter them.
And getting them to account for all of this, and think about it will be a part of role playing. The little gnome cannot carry as much as the big Ranger. But that Ranger cannot see in the dark. And does the Rogue whose alignment is questionable really try and do his share of the work. Or do the Good characters trust that Rogue to carry some of the gold they ‘liberate’.
By making them think more about the little things, and challenges other than what monster they are fighting I hope to bring a little more out of them. Make them think a little bit more about their characters beyond what weapons they are carrying and what spells can they cast. Because once you get to that point, once you start using everything at your disposal to solve a problem that is when role playing stops being just roll playing.