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Thursday, 24 October 2019

Overland Movement in Karameikos (and actually all over Mystara)

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




Travel route description
Path width
Off-road
In the Wilderlands of south eastern Karameikos, this classification covers the terrain types of clear, grassland, forest, hills, mountains, and swamp from RC , where no visible trails exist.
n/a
Bad Trails
These trails are barely visible; may branch off occasionally into dead ends; may have dangerous sections (cliffs, narrow passages, unstable terrain). There are rarely any bridges. These trails are often blocked by fallen trees, rockfalls and suchlike.

Examples: Sukiskyn, Segenyev, Sielo, Hokol, Ilyakana, Andreas, Skebos, Kallergan, and  Serkos Trails

Wide enough for one to two horses abreast at best
Poor Trails
These are more distinct than bad trails. However, for wagons or other wheeled transportation they should be treated as bad trails. 

Examples: Sections of Haven Trail marked purple on map, and local Haven Trails
average width is enough for two horses abreast
Fair Trails
These trails are more prominent than poor trails; there may be occasional bridges and safe river fords.

Examples: Vyalia and Callarii Trails
wide enough for four horses abreast
Good Trails
These trails are the best category of unpaved road. There may be water sources along the route

Example: Sections of Haven Trail marked black on map
wide enough for six horses abreast
Minor Roads
These are basic paved roads constructed with packed earth mixed with straw, stones and cement, and covered with stone slabs or cobblestone. Some minor drainage is incorporated to allow rain to run away from the path. As a result of their construction, they have good movement rates, ignoring terrain modifiers. Direction signs are usually found at junctions. Safe spots such as water sources, caravansaries, and small hamlets are easily found and reached from the road. Bridges will be available to cross rivers, etc.

Examples: Scalania Road and the Kelvin/Callarii minor road
These roads generally have a width of six horses abreast.
Major Highways
These major paved routes are constructed on a multi-layer foundation in the Thyatian style. Covered with stone slabs or cobblestone these roads are unaffected by rain and generally have the best movement rates, ignoring terrain modifiers. Drainage from the highway leads into the nearby fields or streams. Direction signs are usually found at junctions.  Safe spots such as water sources, caravansaries, and small hamlets are easily found and reached from the road. Bridges will be available to cross rivers, etc.

Example: Eastron Road (which runs south of The Barrel inn), connecting Specularum over the Fain Flinn Bridge with the Thyatis border and the Machetos Road continuing further to Thyatis City. 
The roads are generally eight horses abreast in width (or more), making movement in both directions easily, allowing travellers from both directions to pass.
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.


Safe Locations
Off-road
No advisable water sources, no caravansaries, no taverns, or no safe camping sites. No bridges*
Bad Trail
On route caravansaries, taverns, or safe camping sites close to trail; no advisable water sources.
Poor Trail
Bridges unsafe if any, very few water sources, some caravansaries, taverns, or safe camping sites might be available near trail.
Fair Trail
Some water sources, minor caravansaries. taverns. and camping sites available near trail;
Good Trail
Bridges common or easily fordable rivers. Minor caravansaries, taverns, and camping sites commonly found on a trail;
Minor Road
Water sources, caravansaries, small hamlets are easily found and reached from the road. Bridges always available on paved roads.
Major Highway
Water sources, caravansaries, small hamlets are easily found and reached from the road. Bridges always available on paved roads. Directions and road signals commonly found at intersections.

 *(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


Patrols/Military Presence
Off-road
Not patrolled. banditry and humanoid raids very likely
Bad Trail
Rarely patrolled or repaired if at all; banditry and humanoid raids likely.
Poor Trail
Patrolled once a week (10 men +1 leader).. banditry and humanoid raids possible.
Fair Trail
Patrolled once every other day (1d4 men). banditry and humanoid raids uncommon.
Good Trail
Patrolled once or twice a day (1d4 men). banditry and humanoid raids rare.
Minor Road
One or two patrols (1d4 men) day and night. banditry and humanoid raids very rare.
Major Highway
One or two patrols (10 men +1 leader) day and night. banditry and humanoid raids very unlikely.

A Typical Fair Trail


Traffic
Off-road
Locals, individual groups (mostly adventurers or bandits, and local humanoids).
Bad Trail
Locals, one large, heavily armed caravan of 3d4 small wagons every two to four weeks.
Poor Trail
Locals, one medium-sized armed caravan of 1d4+1 small and medium wagons, every one or two weeks.
Fair Trail
Small or medium-sized possibly armed caravans of 1d4+1 small and medium wagons, every week.
Good Trail
Small or medium-sized possibly armed caravans of 1d4 small and medium wagons, every three or four days.
Minor Road
Caravans of any kinds and sizes, armed or not, up to one or two a day, with common individual travellers.
Major Highway
Dozens of caravans of any sort and many individual travellers every day.


Movement rates

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


















Movement Rates and impacts of rain/snow
Route type
Movement Rate
in dry weather
Rain/Snow conditions that
affect progress
Duration of
rain/snow impact
Rain/snow impact on passage, patrols,  movement rate, and mishap chance
Off-road
Normal for the specific  terrain as per tables on RC page 88
Any rain or snowfall
3 days after light rain;
1d4+1 days after heavy rain;
Snow; 1d3 weeks after thaw sets in.
Ground turns muddy as result of rainfall; laying snow disrupts ease of movement;
Movement rate reduced to 50% normal
Mishap chance as Off-road at 25% chance per ½ mile.

Bad Trails
Normal for the specific terrain as per the tables on RC page 88
Any heavy rain or snowfall of 3 hours or more; or light rain of 6 hours or more;

7 days of clear weather until conditions normal
Ground turns muddy as result of rainfall; laying snow disrupts ease of movement;
No patrols;
Movement rate reduced to 60% normal
Mishap chance as Off-Road

Poor Trails
Normal 100%*
Any heavy rain or snowfall of 6 hours or more; or light rain of 12 hours or more;
6 days of clear weather needed to dry up
Snowfall or rain has turned the road into mud;
Width and Patrol frequency reduced to that of normal Bad Trail;
Movement rate reduced to 66% normal
Mishap Chance as Bad Trail
Fair Trails
Normal 110%*
Any heavy rain or snowfall of 12 hours or more;
4 days of clear weather to dry up
Snowfall. or rain has turned the road into mud;
Width and Patrol frequency reduced to that of Poor Trail;
Movement rate reduced to 66% normal
Mishap Chance as Poor Trail
Good Trails
Normal 120%*
Any heavy rain or snowfalls of 12 hours
3 days of clear weather to dry up
Snowfall, or rain has turned the road into mud;
Width and Patrol frequency reduced to that of Fair Trail;
Movement rate reduced to 66% normal
Mishap Chance as Fair Trail
Minor Road
Normal 130%*
Snow
1 day of clear weather above freezing per accumulated foot of snow is required to clear a road
Mostly unaffected by rain;
A foot or more of accumulated snow renders road benefits useless;
Width and Patrol frequency reduced to that of Good Trail;
Movement rate reduced to 66% normal
Mishap Chance as Fair Trail
Major Highways
Normal 150%*
Snow


1 day of clear weather above freezing per accumulated foot of snow is required to clear a road
Unaffected by rain;
A foot or more of accumulated snow renders road benefits useless;
Width unaffected, Patrol frequency reduced to that of Good Trail;
Movement rate reduced to 66% normal
Mishap Chance as Fair Trail
* 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

























Roadworks

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


Mishap Chances
Real or readjusted trail/road conditions
Chance of Mishap
Occurrence
Mishap Type if occurs
Minor
Major
Off-road
25% per 1 mile
0-55%
56-99%
Bad Trail
25% per 2 miles
0-65%
66-99%
Poor Trail
25% per 4 miles
0-70%
71-99%
Fair Trail
25% per 8 miles
0-75%
76-99%
Good Trail
25% per 16 miles
0-80%
81-99%
Minor Road
25% per 24 miles
0-85%
86-99%
Major Highway
25% per 32 miles
0-90%
91-99%
Note: In rain/snow, mishap chance are increased - see Movement Rate table above


Mishaps



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



























Other free explanatory images on Mystara (real world roman) roads can be found here; https://clipground.com/roman-road-clipart.html