Weather or Not

rain splashing upon the hard road travelled

The rain continued to sting my face and burn my eyes, the Steal helmet I wore offered no decent protection, the icy chill of the wind made the rain feel ten times colder.
My thick woollen cloak hung around my neck like weekday washing pegged out to dry and swung heavily, with every move I made. Water had permeated through every layer of clothing I had on down to my boots.
My boots, felt held by a sodden grip of the muddy ground making my progress slow and arduous.
I pressed on. I had to make town before nightfall.
Muscles now ached and my travellers pack weighed heavy as the leather soaked up every drop of water.

Was that movement? I stopped, placed my slippery wet hand on the pommel of my father’s sword and strained my eyes through the sheet rain. Standing perfectly still, I took in my surroundings. The leafless trees clawed and bent against the dark heavily clouded sky. The wind hung in the branches trying to break its onward race across the land. Rainwater dripped from my cold nose and ran in rivulets from my finger tips.
I took a stance. This stance had been taught to me years earlier, I knew it wasn’t the best position to take, but I may need to fight in these terrible conditions.
I felt the uneasy sense of being watched.

 

Does weather have a major impact on your game. D&D or any RPG ? Or is it just a descriptive effect/ Or do you just ignore it completely?  You can actually get a lot of game play out of the weather IF you decide to use it.
I for one have tried at every game to add weather.  Its description and the effect it has on the players Characters. The only downfall I have found is a constant need to remind players what the weather is doing and how it affects them in-game terms..

How would and do you handle weather, be it Sunny Summer days to Harsh Snow strewn mountain tops.

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4 Comments

  1. We keep a pretty accurate calendar in my campaigns.
    (Mainly for my benefit, I like to attribute major occurrences ahead of time so it feels like the world moves even without the players direct intervention, it’s always fun seeing their faces when they walk into town and find out a high noble from the city they just left has been killed, and they’re wondering “is that our fault”? when it was planned before they even decided to go there.)
    But anyway when I make up next month’s calendar, i usually add weather to each day so I don’t have to make it up on the spot. If you google historical weather, you can find several sites that can give you the weather for any season last year, so you just have to fill that out.
    At the game table, (almost) everyone writes the date and the weather at the top of their journals each day.
    I’m free with giving bonuses if they creatively use weather (or terrain for that matter). Such as giving a +1 to attack if the player mentions there is strong wind behind the guy they are hitting, or easier tracking in the snow. This way it’s to the player’s advantage to keep track (If I forget, they usually remind me).

  2. I use weather quite a bit, almost like terrain effects in 4e D&D. Particularly weather such as fog (either natural or unnatural) that can bring further tactics like concealment and stealth into play.
    Weather can also help shape your adventure, and push characters toward abandoned houses or mines or barrows to seek shelter where they stumble upon encounters or treasures.

    Nice blog, Symatt. Some really good ideas.

  3. I also keep an accurate calendar for my campaign but the weather is more of a descriptive aside unless it’s relevant to the adventure – for example, the PCs are trying to cross a mountain pass in winter or make their way through the desert.

    If it’s raining while walking through town or en route to the dungeon that lies at the end of the Old Road, it’s just a passing mention.

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