28 thoughts on “Quick question: what happens when you run out of rations to eat?”

  1. You aren’t able to trigger any moves that require rations, Make Camp and Perilous Journey being the most important in that situation. That’s pretty much it mechanically speaking, how it is resolved in the fiction is up to you and your players.

  2. What does the story say happens? If you need to travel, probably means you’re going to be hunting for food, which means you’ll be going slower and attracting more attention in the wilds. If you press on without rations, you’re probably hungry, maybe you’ll have to take a -1ongoing while you’re still without food. 

  3. Well there are tons of “real” penalities. They are just mostly fiction based and not stat based. Hard to move in plate without food. Hard to keep track of this 4th Bandit when the only thing you can think of is food. 

    Traditional RPGs have trained us to only care about a thing if it is matched with a mechanical thing. In DW you can impact things just by the things you say. Get used to this idea and the game opens up. 

  4. “Individuals experiencing starvation lose substantial fat (adipose) and muscle mass as the body breaks down these tissues for energy. Catabolysis is the process of a body breaking down its own muscles and other tissues in order to keep vital systems such as the nervous system and heart muscle (myocardium) functioning. Vitamin deficiency is a common result of starvation, often leading to anemia, beriberi, pellagra, and scurvy. These diseases collectively can also cause diarrhea, skin rashes, edema, and heart failure. Individuals are often irritable and lethargic as a result.

    Early symptoms include impulsivity, irritability, hyperactivity, and other symptoms. Atrophy (wasting away) of the stomach weakens the perception of hunger, since the perception is controlled by the percentage of the stomach that is empty. Victims of starvation are often too weak to sense thirst, and therefore become dehydrated.

    All movements become painful due to muscle atrophy and dry, cracked skin that is caused by severe dehydration. With a weakened body, diseases are commonplace. Fungi, for example, often grow under the esophagus, making swallowing unbearably painful.

    The energy deficiency inherent in starvation causes fatigue and renders the victim more apathetic over time. As the starving person becomes too weak to move or even eat, their interaction with the surrounding world diminishes.

    There is also an inability to fight diseases, and in females, irregular menstruation can occur.

  5. When you are starving there are lots of moves you can’t even trigger if there isn’t food involved. The GM can just say no, you can’t do that, to weak or distracted. Starving is also a golden opportunity. Straight up do damage and ask “what do you do?”

  6. I’d stay away from “real == moves.” Many of the best things the players can do in DW are ways to avoid moves. Killing an ogre by collapsing it’s cave means not making hack and slash etc. in combat because they took advantage of the environment.

    That said, Make Camp specifically says you don’t get HP back if you don’t eat, so that’s first.

    Then, as a GM, I look at the fiction. Humans can go something like a week without food, if I recall from some random factoid. Seems reasonable they get weaker along the way. Shaky, disoriented, confused, emaciated, etc. To make it easy to remember I’d give them a debility each day. And, to keep it interesting, I’d probably give them to different characters in different orders: some people get shakey first, others get weak, etc.

  7. When you go hungry, you may only ask the following when you discern realities:

    -What here can I eat?

    -Who here has eaten recently?

    -Who controls the food here?

    -Where can I go to find food?

    -How long until I’m too weak to go act?

  8. Adrian Brooks I didn’t even bother googling it! 

    So maybe for each day without food the GM chooses:

    – Gain a debility of the GM’s choice (if you have them all, congrats, the GM can’t choose this)

    – Your max HP decreases by 1

    When you have a max HP of 0 you’re dead. Probably really dead.

    For most classes that gives you at least half a month, maybe more like a full month for the hardy fighter.

    Regardless, long term starvation isn’t something we really care about. If your characters are in such a position that they can’t even find something to eat they should be taking action on that, and it’ll usually play out pretty quickly.

  9. Yeah, I did some reading. The minimum in the system I listed is 18 days for the wizard, so that seems reasonably in line.

    But really, the wizard couldn’t magic missile a chipmunk sometime in those 8 days?

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