Phoenix's Last Rise Travel Rules
When traveling, the group will have to determine each day how many hours they are devoting to certain tasks:
- Rest—Allows characters to recover long term endurance (LTE). This may not necessarily be a single block of time. It may also represent short breaks throughout the day. A minimum of 8 hours of rest is required to recover any LTE. Extra time spent resting will increase LTE recovered.
- Travel—Travel uses LTE. Rough terrain may increase LTE costs; roads may reduce it. Successful navigation checks may also reduce LTE costs from travel, while failed checks may increase LTE costs.
- Scrounging—old bits of civilization are all over the place. Some more concentrated than others. Time devoted to scrounging is time spent looking through ruins or sifting through whatever junk you may find on your path.
- Foraging—This is the time characters spend trying to gather enough food and water to prevent them from starving.
- Maintenance—Time spent trying to fix equipment that is constantly threatening to break down.
Except for travel, individual members of the group may allocate differing hours to different tasks. A merchant may spend more time scavenging, while an outdoorsy type may pass on scrounging and spend more time foraging. You do not have to allocate time to all of the above tasks. If you have plenty of food or the trip is short, you could split all your time between travel and rest, or even attempt a rapid march and spend all day traveling.
People need to eat, and in the wasteland, there are no grocery stores. You may find the occasional merchant with food items for sale, though these sources are hardly reliable. This will require characters to constantly forage for food and potable water. Without these necessities, your character will slowly starve. Extreme starvation will eventually lead to death.
Skills checks are used to find food. Food will be listed as generic “units” that are equal to one meal’s worth of nutrition (for purposes of weight, assume each unit is approximately 2 pounds. Characters normally require 3 meals per day. When basic food needs are not met and you start running behind on meals, several stats will be negatively affected.
The following are some of the more common skills that may be used while foraging on your travels:
- Survival—Basic catch-all skill for finding, preparing and preserving food in the wild.
- PS: Hunter—Knowledge of how to hunt small and large game, set traps, skin & gut animals and how to efficiently preserve meat.
- PS: Fisherman—Knowledge of how to catch fish with rod and reel, flies, and nets. Also, how to clean your catch with as little waste as possible, and how to preserve the meat.
- PS: Chef—Knowledge of how to maximize nutritional value of available food and make meals as appetizing as possible.
- PS: Herbalist—Knowledge of a wider variety of edible plants, and means to make seemingly inedible plants a source of nutrition
- PS: Farmer—Knowledge of how and when to plant crops such that you can have a reliable source of food for a large part of the year. Requires some kind of a “base of operations” (i.e., a suitable location for a farm or planters that will not get picked at by wildlife).
While traveling, the basic skill used to find food is the survival skill. This generally represents a character picking berries and fruit that they happen to find, collecting edible plants or even insects. Food gathered solely from this skill cannot normally be saved; it will go bad too rapidly, or it will be rendered inedible in short order without proper packaging or preservation. Try stuffing your pockets with blackberries and then take a 12-hour hike, or leave raw meat out overnight and see how edible it is the next day! Basic foraging will only allow a person to feed themselves for the day. Any excess food that is not immediately consumed or shared with others will be lost. Every 2 hours of foraging uses 1 point of LTE. Listed below are 3 ways to apply the survival skill. Each has its own advantages.
- Skill Method #1: Auto-fire survival—-Foraging takes a minimum of 2 hours. Increasing the time spent foraging by 2/4/8 hours adds a bonus of +1/2/3 to the skill roll. Environment will incur a bonus/penalty to the roll. A successful skill check will yield 1 unit of food. For every 2 points the skill roll is beaten by is an additional unit of food. Thus, with a skill roll of 13-, you would get 1 unit by rolling a 13 or 12; 2 units by rolling 11 or 10 and 3 units by rolling a 9 or 8, etc. Use this method when rolling on the windfall table. This method is more likely to yield food, but the amount gathered will depend upon character skill, time spent and luck of the dice.
- Skill Method #2: Feast or famine survival--Foraging takes a minimum of 2 hours. Environment will incur a bonus/penalty to the roll. A successful skill check will yield 1 unit of food. For every 2 additional hours dedicated to foraging, an additional unit of food will be collected. With this method, extra time spent will not increase the likelihood of finding food (only skill and environment determine that), but if you devote extra time, you will collect more food when you do find it.
- Skill Method #3: Windfall method--Foraging takes 2 hours. Increasing the time spent foraging by 2/4/8 hours adds a bonus of +1/2/3 to the skill roll. The environment will incur a bonus/penalty to the roll. A successful skill check yields only 1 unit of food. If the skill check succeeds by 3, you have found enough food to feed yourself for the day (3 food units). If the skill check succeeds by 5 or more, roll on the windfall table to see what special find you may have come across. Windfalls may yield a lot of food, but may require the group to halt its travels for one or more days to take advantage of the find. Alternately, a player may choose that the windfall comes in the form of enough food to feed himself that is very easy to gather and nutritious enough that he is able to instantly recover his REC in LTE.
|4||Natural Spring/Artesian Well|
|5||Small Game Animal|
|6||Large Game Animal|
Coming across a windfall may require additional time spent at the location (halting future travel) to get the full benefits. If you choose not to spend the extra time, you can still extract 3 units of food and move on. If you do spend extra time, but fail to extract extra food, each character cultivating the windfall can still gather 3 food units (enough to feed them for the day). Some windfall events require that you make an additional skill roll to determine the units of food gathered.
- Game Trail—You have found a spot where small game is likely to be found. If you spend the next day here, you can use PS: Hunter or survival to hunt/trap game. The game trail adds +2 to the current environment bonus with use of PS: Hunter if the next day is spent hunting here. Only one member of a group may hunt the game trail. Other members of the group can still forage for food as normal, but add 2 hours to the minimum time to get far enough away from camp to keep from interfering with the game trail. For each unit of food the hunter would normally gather, roll 1d6. This is the total units of food gathered. This food must either be consumed that day or another day must be spent preserving the meat. Using only the survival skill will allow you to preserve half of the leftover food. PS: Hunter will allow you to preserve all of it. After one day, the game trail is played out; the presence of the hunters will drive the animals off.
- Stream/Pond—You have found a water source populated with fish, amphibians, reptiles, crustaceans or waterfowl. If you spend the next day here, you can use PS: Fisherman or survival to catch/net fish and other animals. The stream/pond adds +2 to the current environment bonus with use of PS: Fisherman if the next day is spent hunting here. All members of the group may attempt to fish. For each unit of food they would normally gather, roll 1/2d6. This is the total units of food gathered. This food must either be consumed that day or another day must be spent preserving the meat. Using only the survival skill will allow you to preserve half of the leftover food. PS: Fisherman will allow you to preserve all of it. After one day, the area is fished out.
- Concentration of farmable food—You have found farm-style plants growing in the wild. With use of PS: Farmer, you can gather a sizable amount of food. If you spend the next day collecting plants, add +2 to the current environment bonus. Only one member of the group may make their skill check, but others may help gather food. Extra time spent farming does not increase the bonus to the skill roll. If gathering food, no other activities may take place; you are basically working from sun up to sun down (like a farmer!) For each unit of food they would normally gather, roll 1d6 (with each person helping adding +1d6). Even if the skill roll fails, every participant will gather 3 units of food (enough to feed them for one day) This is a small plot of arable land, and may be visited up to 4 times a year to gather food, or it may make a good site for a real farm or even a small settlement.
- Natural Spring/Artesian well—You have found a naturally occurring source of clean, fresh water. Any hunting/survival checks here gain a +2 environment bonus, and you can easily collect as much water as you can carry (increase survival checks by +1 for the remainder of the current trip). This windfall becomes a permanent fixture of the map, and can be visited again later (though the +1 survival bonus only applies when it is first discovered), and may be known by other travelers.
- Small game animal—You have managed to hunt a game animal up to the size of a deer, worth 40 units of food. Preserving this food will require the group to stop traveling for a day to properly clean the carcass, carve it up and preserve the meat. This may require consumables such as preservatives (salt), a way to make fire (wood/fuel) and packaging (containers or wrappers). Just using survival will allow the players to preserve up to half the remaining units of food. PS: Hunter or Chef will allow the players to preserve all of it. Finding a small game animal may take care of almost all of a small group’s food needs for a short journey, or provide enough extra meat for trade or to supplement future journeys; this preserved meat will keep for a fair amount of time. Also, the hides of small game animals may be kept for use or trade. PS: Hunter may yield lower quality pelts (or have a skill roll penalty, TBD), while a more specific PS such as tanner or taxidermist may yield higher quality pelts.
- Large game animal—You have managed to hunt a large animal such as an elk, bear, mountain lion, or wild boar. It will provide 1d6 (using PS: Hunter) or ½d6 (survival) x 50 units of food. Preserving this food will require the group to stop traveling for one day per 50 units of food to properly clean the carcass, carve it up and preserve the meat. This may require consumables such as preservatives (salt), a way to make fire (wood/fuel) and packaging (containers or wrappers). Finding a large game animal may take care of almost all of a small group’s food needs for a long journey (or a large group’s for a shorter trip), or provide a small settlement with food for a short time. There will likely be plenty enough for valuable trade, and this preserved meat will keep for a fair amount of time. The hides of small game animals may be kept for use or trade. PS: Hunter may yield lower quality pelts (or have a skill roll penalty, TBD), while a more specific PS such as tanner or taxidermist may yield higher quality pelts.
As groups travel across the land, they often want to investigate the areas they pass through for Beforetimes artifacts. Some travelers venture into urban ruins for the specific purpose of finding items of great value. Scrounging is not just a matter of finding something useful; sometimes an item is not useful in its current state, and is easily overlooked. A successful scrounger can sometimes breathe a bit of life into something that seems like junk and make some use out of it for a while.
The custom skill Scrounging is used to determine one’s success at finding salvage in the wasteland. A successful scrounging check will yield a roll on the master scrounging table (or a result from a prepared list, GM’s discretion). Additionally, the Scrounging skill has two forms: the standard form and the advanced version. The standard version is a binary succeed/fail system. The advanced version uses autofire rules; every 2 points rolled below the skill number yields an extra result. This may take the form of an extra roll on the master table, finding an increased quantity of an item (for items that come in quantities or batches), or a higher quality item of the type indicated. Generally, the nature of the bonus should be at the player's discretion.
Like with foraging, environmental factors will influence the success of any scrounging rolls. One is more likely to find salvage in the ruins of an old farmhouse or a city than in the middle of the forest or mountains.
Scrounging takes time. Not only is time spent scouring an area, but also tinkering with items you come across to see if they might have some use or if they are worthless junk not even worth carrying around. More time spent while traveling means that you are casting your search area wider, spending more time investigating anything interesting you come across or working harder to jigger with what you do find. Scrounging will take a minimum of 2 hours to be effective. If the player spends and additional 2/4/8 hours scrounging, it will add a +1/2/3 bonus to the skill roll. The scrounging roll may be partially hidden (the player rolls 2d6 and the GM rolling 1d6).
If scrounging in ruins or urban areas, one may make special (but not necessarily beneficial!) finds. If 2 of the 3 dice rolled come up ones, the GM may introduce a special encounter, such as running into other wastelanders whose intent may not be known.
As with foraging, every 2 hours of scrounging uses 1 LTE.
Long-Term Endurance (LTE) is a reflection of a character’s overall fatigue levels. While normal END is more a measure of a character’s moment-to-moment endurance, LTE is affected by long periods of physical activity and lack of rest. A character may have a phenomenal END stat, enough to run a marathon or climb a mountain in a day, but after they have done that, they are going to be quite drained. They can’t simply take a minute or two for their REC to refill their END and then run another marathon or climb another mountain!
LTE is recovered by rest. For purposes of travelling, it is depleted by marching across the countryside, foraging for food and scrounging. Each character’s LTE is equal to their END stat. As LTE is depleted, it creates a cap for the character’s END. If a character has END 20, his LTE is 20, as well. If he depletes his LTE to 10, his END would be temporarily reduced to 10. If he goes into combat time, regardless of his REC, he will not recover higher to more than 10 END. If a character reaches 0 LTE, he is completely exhausted, and must rest (or be carried by other party members) before moving on. Every 2 hours spent travelling uses 1 LTE For a character to regain LTE, he must be allowed at least 8 hours of rest during the day. This will allow him to regain his REC in LTE. For every additional hour of rest, he may regain 1 more LTE.
Adverse terrain increases LTE depletion by slowing a person down, thus making them spend more time covering the same distance. The average person, travelling at a leisurely pace, will be able to cover 4 km/h on good terrain such as a road or trail (about 2.5 mph). If you want to pick up the pace and sustain more of a forced march, you can increase your travel speed, but this dramatically increases the loss of LTE. For each increment of speed, the LTE cost is increased by 1 LTE/2 hours. Alternatively, you can halve your pace for the terrain and travel at a cost of 1 LTE/4 hours.
Note that the following travel speed assumes an average movement characteristic of 24" of non-combat movement. Measure actual rate based on the slowest member of the group. For every +/-6" (25%), adjust the following values accordingly. Thus, a group with a character that had only 18" of non-combat movement would have a standard rate of 3 km/h on a road or trail, while a speedy group whose slowest member had 36" of non-combat movement would truck along at 6 km/h on the same terrain.
|Terrain Type||Normal Speed||Speed Increment|
|Road/Trail||4 km/h||+2 km/h|
|Open/Flat||2 km/h||+1 km/h|
|Rough||1 km/h||+1/2 km/h|
*As Rough, but double LTE costs for travel
- Road/Trail: This type of terrain could be old roads or clear paths or even trails through the forest.
- Open/Flat: This type of terrain is relatively easy to cover, but vegetation or ground cover will slow travelers down a bit. This is often represented by prairies, fields or sand/snow
- Rough: This type of terrain slows a traveler down with its sheer density of vegetation, or the nature of the ground itself. Often a path must be cut through it, or carefully found by poking around through the thin spots. Examples of rough terrain would include dense forest with undergrowth, a swamp or a mountain.
- Broken/Steep: This type of terrain is often treacherous to cross at any speed. Not only is travel very slow, but care must be taken (represented by additional LTE costs) to travel safely. IF the terrain is particularly dangerous, every 2 hours of travel may require a Dex roll (Acrobatics, climbing or breakfall skills may be used instead as appropriate). Failing this roll will incur 1d6 normal damage (Treat this as NND; armor will not prevent it). Examples of this type of terrain might include a treacherous mountainside, the rubble of a bombed-out city or just a steep, winding mountain path.
If the group chooses, they may use the Navigation (land) skill while traveling to try and find a more efficient path. A successful check will reduce travel LTE costs by 25%. Failing the roll will cause you to lose 1d3 hours of distance covered as you wander around lost or bogged down. Only one person in the group may make a navigation skill roll.
Adverse weather and other conditions may increase LTE depletion.
|Darkness||+1 LTE lost if any travel happens during hours of darkness|
|Rain||+1 LTE/4 hours of travel|
|Snow/Cold||+1 LTE/4 hours of travel; speed reduced by 1 km/h or by half (whichever is less)|
|Heat||Minimum rest required to recover LTE increased to 12 hours|
When characters do not get enough to eat, they will begin to feel the effects almost immediately. At first, these effects are mild, but if a character goes hungry long enough, they may be severely hampered for a significant time. The effects of starvation do not go away quickly; depending on the severity, the character may require days or weeks of recuperation and proper diet until he has a chance to recover fully. Travelling overland on foot in the wasteland can be grueling work. Anyone doing so is going to be burning lots of calories, and missed meals will stack up.
While traveling, you should keep track of any missed meals; remember, you need 3 per day! At first, missing meals will only result in loss of LTE. The first 3 meals missed will result in the loss of 1 point of LTE each. After 3 meals, starvation will begin to kick in. Each missed meal will drain one point from one of the following characteristics (roll a d6 to determine which one is affected):
|Die Result||Characteristic Drained|
Characteristic drain from starvation is applied at the end of the day’s travel. The drain effect will not reduce a characteristic below one. Instead, if that characteristic is reduced again, lose a point of Body, instead. Power Defense will not prevent this type of drain. Regeneration will not heal or prevent BODY drain from starvation; body lost from starvation must be regained at the normal REC rate. Starvation drain will not recover while the character is malnourished. To recover these points, the character must get enough food and water. If the character is allowed to eat properly, these points will gradually return. Points lost due to starvation heal at the same rate as BODY (REC every 30 days):
|REC Stat||Days/Point Recovered|
The assistance of a character with the skills PS: Chef or Herbalist can increase REC from starvation by 1, PS: Nurse increases it by 2 while being overseen by a doctor will double the recovery rate for starvation. Recovery of starvation drain is independent (in addition to) normal recovery of BODY from injuries.
Both LTE and food gathering rules are generally only used when the players wander away from friendly “civilized” locations (when they are “on the road”). While starvation effects and LTE fatigue may linger while characters are at a settlement or their “home base,” they will not normally have to forage for food or keep track of their LTE except while travelling.
This section is mostly TBD, yet. Here are some basics:
- Technical skills will be penalized if the character doesn’t have the appropriate tools
- Tools will be useful for different types of skills/applications (a hammer might be useful for carpentry or mechanics, but probably not electronics; a wood saw would likely only be useful in carpentry tasks; wire cutters would usually only be helpful for electronics, etc.)
- The more tools a character has that applies to a particular task helps reduce the penalties (you can’t complete all carpentry tasks with a hammer; but with a hammer and a saw and some nails, you’ve got the basics covered)
- Maintenance doesn’t use LTE