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For my work in Threshold Magazine, I adjusted the Movement system in D&D BECMI a bit, as presented in the Rules Cyclopedia. Allen Palmer from the Threshold team did help me in this. Due space limitations we agreed to place this whole section here on my Blog. Which is also a beneficial bonus as it reignites my blog.
Here is an expanded system for overland movement derived from the terrain movement tables on page 88 of the Rules Cyclopedia (RC) and the “Trail & Road Conditions” section of accessory TM1: “Western Countries Trail Map” to explain the characteristics of the different route types..
The generic “Trail/Road” terrain category in the RC table is redefined as 6 classifications of paths (taken from TM1), with the other terrain categories described as “Off-road". These classifications are described below using text from TM1, together with tables detailing movement rates, safe locations, military presence, traffic and mishaps that might be encountered.
Characteristics of travel routes
In autumn, a paved road may be locally covered in leaves which does not influence mishap or movement rates but makes the road blend in more with the adjacent terrain. A careless driver may travel off the road in such cases. This chance is equal to a mishap chance.
*(and if there is one, it is owned by local humans, humanoids or monsters expecting a toll—mostly some or all of your gold, sometimes a female companion, animal or you).
|A Typical Poor Trail|
|A Typical Fair Trail|
Refer to the Terrain Effects on Movement and the Traveling Rates by Terrain tables on page 88 of the Rules Cyclopedia. To simple calculate basic travel time as per Gazetteer 10 Darokin, divide the movement speed by 5; this is the distance in a single terrain you can cross in 8 hours. 90’/30’ would then be 18 miles, and thus 1 mile is crossed in 1Turn+8 minutes (18 minutes). Anything faster will increase mishap chance by 10%.
For each route type in column 1, the DM can see the movement rate in dry weather in column 2. When wet weather occurs as per column 3 that lasts for the period in column 4, the impact on the terrain, route width, patrol frequency and movement rate is as shown in column 5.
It is left to the DM to decide how to reduce the movement rate for a character’s PC travelling during the course of rainstorm or snowfall.
|A Typical Good Trail after bad weather|
* as a percentage of the clear/grassland terrain rate from RC pg 88. Ignore terrain modifiers. A road/Trail; passing through moor, mountain, forest, or else gives always movement as clear/grassland terrain.
DM may adjust duration of muddy conditions during warmer (50%) or colder seasons (200%).
On Fair or Good Trails, for the first two weeks after winter in colder regions, or after serious downpours, expect to find roadworks in various locations for maintenance. These will slow traffic to 80% normal movement rate. For Minor Roads, such roadworks will reduce normal movement rate to 100%, while on Major Highways the normal movement will reduce to 120%. If maintenance is not carried out, aroad’s benefits drop to one step lower for 10 years, and a trail’s benefits will do so after 2 years. A DM may decide that what is currently a trail (unpaved road) was previously a functioning paved road (like the Haven Trail most probably has been).
|A Typical Minor Road|
Where bad weather or general deterioration has damaged routes, the authorities will send repair crews to make good the trails/roads. Sections under repair will be of varying length dependent on terrain and the amount of damage caused. Consequently, a stretch of route may be subjected to multiple roadwork delays as the repair crews move from one area of damage to the next.
Repair crews are limited in number and are usually composed of workers local to the site. If the crews are sent by state authorities, the crews will live in wagons or tents near the works, if no local boarding is available. The state managed crews will sometimbe of indentured labourers (on Thyatian roads, such crews may also include slaves).
Repair material is mostly reused from the damaged road or is brought in from elsewhere. All these factors mean that in the two weeks or so after winter, a traveller can encounter a variety of road conditions – normal/repaired, damaged or under repair. As a result, smooth passage cannot be guaranteed.
|A Typical Major Highway|
Note: In rain/snow, mishap chance are increased - see Movement Rate table above
Minor mishaps are; Lost horseshoe, Hurt ankle of draft animals or guards, damaged wheel, toppled load, snapped reigns, snapped load ropes, etc. Minor mishaps can be resolved in a single hour by craft or simple treatments (including magic). Most wagons have the spare parts or repair items needed for 20 such happenings on each individual trip. These can be refilled at any settlement for 12 to 18 sp per happening used.
Major Mishaps might happen only if travelling outside the roads or trails (or if roads have been severely damaged; earthquakes, floods, fallen trees) to wagons and ridden/loaded animals. Depending on the area (DM use logic please) this is 25% every 16 miles (flat terrain) to 25% every 4 miles (Forest) to 25% every 2 miles (rocky). Or if there is an obstruction or damage to a road or trail the risk is only 10% in passing that single obstruction.
Major mishaps are; broken axle, broken wheel, wounded animal or any walker, lost load or wagon parts. Most major mishaps can be resolved only if the necessary equipment (spare axle, spare wheel, etc) or has the (magical) means to cure broken ankles, wounded animals etc. Major mishaps need a minimum of 1+1d4 hours to resolve non-magically when the tools, skills and equipment are available. It might be possible that a wagon becomes stuck due to a broken wheel or axle when these are unavailable. For prices of these see; http://pandius.com/What_can_be_Bought.pdf page 55. Magic correctly used might be able to resolve many of these issues, but this depends on the DM, the circumstances and if the PC’s (and hence Players) are clever to use their magic as such. A DM might reward these characters with; Total spell levels of magic used x10 as personal XP. This is the main reason good roads are created and used, as the better the road, the shorter the journey, with less mishaps.
|Typical example of a Major Mishap; a broken axle|