13 December 2018


Each of these conditions should be important to modeling issues of survival in harsh environments, but mechanics for them are usually much more complicated than I would ever enjoy as a player or as a referee.

Making conditions simply occupy inventory slots is a meaningful, appropriate mechanic, and you could really just stop there, but I added a bit more for some conditions.


Fatigue, Soaked, Cold, Overheated, Starvation, Famishment, and Thirst use 1 Inventory slot each.


Fatigue is gained as a result of exhausting activity. A character may have more than one Fatigue.
Fatigue applies a Bane to all rolls. (this effect does not stack.) A night's rest only removes one Fatigue.
Fatigue can be caused by:
  • getting fewer than 8 hours of sleep in a day.
  • traveling more than 12 hours in one day (+1 Fatigue per additional hour. A player character may check Constitution to resist gaining Fatigue from travel.)


Soaked is caused by being very wet. Soaked things are not on fire and may not be lit.


Cold is caused by exposure to a very cold environment.


Overheated is caused by exposure to a very hot environment.


Every 24 hours without food, gain one Famished and lose one Constitution point.


Lose 1D6 Con per day (or per 12 hours if overheated) without water. Assume there is a water source available nearby whenever characters are outdoors unless the environment would indicate otherwise.


  1. Riffing on your Universal Mechanic post, what if there were a universal system for handling this survival stuff? Previous works (Weird New World maybe? Could have been any "North" splatbook) have mentioned needing 3 things to handle the coldest cold, and 3 is a good round number.

    To survive the coldest cold, you need: Winter Clothing, Shelter, and Fire.
    To survive the hottest hot, you need: Water, Sun Protection and ...
    To survive fatigue, you need: Not be travelling, not be adventuring, and ...
    These would have some amount of flexibility (I don't have a tent, but I have a Tauntaun.)

    And for each one you don't meet, you accrue a standard penalty (1 fatigue, or 1 encumbrance, or 1 Constitution). This models the "regain more hp when resting" thing that a lot of OSR does, encourages mounts for travel (helps fatigue). Maybe fatigue requires luxuries and so encourages spending gold on better-than-subsistence living between adventures.

    And then you can just modify how many levels of each for environments. Frostbitten and Mutilated would be a lot of Cold-3, so if you don't have igloos, fire, and coats you start accruing penalties, while a normal environment (Caves of Chaos) might be Cold-0, Cold-1 if wet, meaning you don't even need a tent, just a fire to dry off, to hold off the cold.

    Dark Sun would have a lot of Hot-3. Travel at night, seek out oasis, etc.

    Just some ideas. Ever since seeing The Revenant I've wanted my LotFP to look like that but survival rules usually suck.

    1. That's certainly a way to add some procedure/crunch. It's not for me though. If you eat, you're not hungry. If you're not in the cold, you're not cold. I like to run a game closer to OD&D or Knave than to AD&D.


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