I’ve been thinking about Managing Provisions lately, and rations in general

I’ve been thinking about Managing Provisions lately, and rations in general

I’ve been thinking about Managing Provisions lately, and rations in general

I’m increasingly persuaded that rations should not be a “one per player” deal, but rather a “one per party” deal, so that there is a shared pool of rations and the whole party eats once a day.

Why is this? Well mostly it’s because when somebody inevitably has more food than someone else, they just give the excess to the famished teammate. If you have a group that thrives on petty interpersonal conflict then by all means keep personal ration-tracking in, but what effectively happened in my games was that we had a shared pool of communal food that was broken up and tracked across four-five player sheets. If we reached a point where one person was hungry, it probably meant everyone was hungry, or soon would be. Streamlining this process – having them share that burden, eating and running out of food as a group rather than individuals – increases its dramatic tension and presents hunger as another team obstacle that drives forward the evening’s play.

I’ve decided I want to try out something else – treating rations as another ammo like in Volley. You don’t use up a ration every time you eat – you use it up whenever you get a 7-9 or a GM move or whatever.

This also solves the related issue I’ve had of Manage Provisions having the option of “you use less rations than usual”, which always left the nitty-gritty down to the GM in a way that wasn’t especially interesting. Letting them use less rations than required never mustered more than a “huh, neat”, because food management wasn’t really something they thought of. They just ate when they were told, and gave extra to those without.

Here’s what I’ve thought of so far: Dungeon Rations become an ammo (5) item. The players can describe whether the food is shared among all their packs, or nominate someone to carry it. The weight isn’t really important.

Manage Provisions

When you prepare and distribute food for the party, roll +WIS:

on a 10+, everyone eats well

on a 7-9, everyone eats well after choosing 1 from the list below.

Mark off 1 ration/ammo

The smell of food attracts unwanted attention

(something else)

3 thoughts on “I’ve been thinking about Managing Provisions lately, and rations in general”

  1. I played around with something like the “supplies as Ammo” before, letseee… here it is. Untested (by me at least), but I think it’s mechanically sound.

    docs.google.com – Gear, Make Camp, Succor

    As for “rations as a party-level resource,” in most games (i.e. those without serious intraparty conflict or shenanigans) it already is an party-level resource. Same thing with bandages, even healing potions or ammo.

    But! Someone is still carrying that crap. And decisions like, say, having the Fighter carry all the gear cuz they’ve got the biggest Load… well, those decisions become super interesting when the otyugh then pulls the Fighter into the filth-pit. Good-bye all of the party’s rations!

    If you aren’t tracking who has what resources, then it’s harder to use up their resources, because it hasn’t been establish who’s actually carrying that stuff. You could get around it, sure, and just be like “oh! Fighter’s in the filter, mark up X % of your rations.” But it’s less visceral, I think.

  2. And on a 6? If a ration spoils, the whole party is affected, leading to some REALLY dicey situations, if their stuck in the wild (which may not be such a bad thing). This isn’t a bad idea, though it makes 1 entire meal for a party=1 wght. I do think each provision needs to have a cap on it, though. 1 Provision feeds X #, with special provisions feeding more. This approach also allows for special items like “Lembas Bread (3 WGHT, 10 uses, each use feeds up to 10. Never spoils.)” Anyway, I like your idea, on the whole, and may try it. We’re running a funnel next week.

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