Overland distances?

Discuss our dark fantasy adventure tabletop roleplaying game based on BioWare's computer game, Dragon Age Origins.

Overland distances?

Postby discuit » Wed Dec 23, 2009 10:52 am

I have skimmed my pdf's again and again, and searched them a few times with different key words but i can't seem to find any reference to how fast people can travel overland. This isn't a biggy, but im sure i saw something on it on my original read throughs.

Was i imagining it? If i was anyone have a good outline of how far folks can travel a day? I don't have any of my old d&d books at my current abode. :(
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Postby Batgirl III » Wed Dec 23, 2009 11:36 am

Douglas Adams once described a vehicle moving as a certain function of speed R, which is the speed you need to be traveling to get there at the time you need to be there. This is exactly how fast heroes in Dragon Age travel overland, as far as I am concerned.

The Speed of Plot means that distance overland is largely irrelevant. If the heroes need to get from Ostagar to Redcliff to prevent the Evil Spooky Ritual, they will arrive at one of this possible times:

Before it happens, in which case they can try to prevent it, lay traps, steal the MacGuffin... whatever the GM thinks makes for a better story. (e.g., Aragorn and companions arrive at Helm's Deep before the armies of Mordor.)

As it happens, in which case the heroes arrive just in the nick of time and get to have a Big Damn Heroes® moment or an epic battle... whatever the GM thinks makes for a better story. (e.g., Malcolm Reynolds and Serenity arrive in town just before the angry mod torch River and Simon.)

After it happens, in which case the heroes have to deal with its aftermath, mop up the bloodstains, have a downer ending or cliffhanger... whatever the GM thinks makes for a better story. (e.g., the Warden and his party arriving at the Circle Tower in DA:O.)
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Postby discuit » Wed Dec 23, 2009 11:49 am

I am pretty loose with travel times and such too, but my players do tend to like a little bit more "realism" in their games. So the questions "how long will it take us to get too so and so" is very common in my games.

Also on occasion i like to have events under a time pressure, and knowing roughly how long travel from one place to another will take helps to create this. At my table anyhoo. :)
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Postby Batgirl III » Wed Dec 23, 2009 12:09 pm

The map of Ferelden included in Set 1 does have a scale; one inch to eighteen miles. Should be simple to adjust that to the world map... as for how fast the heroes can cover that distance, if you need to you can probably crib the info from the d20 system.
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Postby discuit » Wed Dec 23, 2009 12:25 pm

Cool thanks for that link.

So about 18 miles a day on foot and 36 miles mounted sounds good. Easy to use loose and easy with the map that way too. :green:
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Postby Jairain » Wed Dec 23, 2009 9:22 pm

discuit wrote:Cool thanks for that link.

So about 18 miles a day on foot and 36 miles mounted sounds good. Easy to use loose and easy with the map that way too. :green:


nice and succinct, thanks.
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Postby extrakun » Thu Dec 24, 2009 5:50 am

"Party travels at the speed of plot" :D
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Postby discuit » Thu Dec 24, 2009 6:00 am

extrakun wrote:"Party travels at the speed of plot" :D


I don't recall ever saying that other groups or gm's had to use these distances. ;)
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Postby Batgirl III » Thu Dec 24, 2009 6:21 am

Speed of plot is more about "events per day" than "miles per hour," when it comes to overland travel. We know from our map that it is fifty-odd miles from Castle Goodguy to Mount Evilstuff... thus we can say it will take the heroes three days of hard travel to get there.

But, the Ritual What Does Bad Things will happen to begin only just after the heroes arrive at Mount Evilstuff. Because heroes travel at the speed of plot, [b]and[/i] vice versa.
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Postby discuit » Thu Dec 24, 2009 6:27 am

That is exactly how i use travel and time.

I just use the distances so the world becomes internally consistant for my players. That is how my players like it so that is how i do it. I only use it for narrative purposes.

Really, do people think that i would write a whole cool scene for my players and then go, "oh sorry, you arrived a day late to experience it, so this session we'll just do a dancing scene in the tavern!". :wink: :lol:
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