D&D: 10 Ways To Make Survival Elements Fun


For a dungeon master looking to add survival elements to his Dungeons and Dragons campaign, it can be difficult to determine which rules will make the game more fun and which will make it a chore. These features need to be carefully considered for the impact they will have on gameplay.

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That said, with a little careful planning, it’s quite possible not only to make survival a worthwhile addition to the game, but to make it the focal point of a first campaign. Survival mechanics can force players to be creative when taking on challenges and introduce a level of engagement that most tabletop games never see.

ten Talk to the players about the rules



First and foremost, as with any well-prepared campaign, it is important that the dungeon master talks to players as a group about the type of game they want to play. While everyone agrees that a survival-focused story sounds fun, the next most important step is to set the rules. In the different books there are many options available to add these items to the game. However, not all of them will be equally interesting for all players. Evaluating what the group finds funny is the first step in creating an engaging campaign.

9 Make changes to class abilities before the first session



Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition is not a survival game. Many spells, abilities, and characteristics of different classes and origins can essentially negate any need for food, water, or shelter. It is important to make changes to character abilities before the start of the campaign and discuss them with players beforehand.

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For example, many of the Ranger’s class abilities can completely bypass most aspects of survival in a game, even at low levels. Instead of removing these powers altogether, discuss how these abilities can be incorporated in a more interesting way, such as adding checks for their success and failure. On the other hand, spells like Goodberry may need to be moved to higher levels or removed altogether.


8 Start at low levels and slowly increase the difficulty at first



The main fun and danger in a survival campaign will come at low levels when characters cannot simply rely on a large repertoire of spells and abilities to tone down these aspects of the game. Starting the campaign at the lower levels is encouraging. players get creative in problem solving, using the few resources they have to overcome challenges. Spending some time on these levels before moving on to mid-level gameplay and beyond can be a good idea, just make sure players understand so they can set their expectations properly.


seven Use common sense weight limits



D&D 5th Druid

Weight limits can be one of the most tedious features to add to a game. Unless your players all like math, figuring out how much each character can carry and the weight of each item in their bag will exhaust most. players.

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The best way to get around this problem while incorporating elements of realism into this aspect of the game is to simply use a certain level of common sense. Every once in a while, when players discover new loot, have them look at what’s in their inventory and judge for themselves if what they’re carrying makes sense, and if necessary, the Dungeon Master. and the group can arbitrate such matters, applying penalties. only if necessary.


6 Incorporate a health and injury system



In D&D, injuries and injuries are usually transient things, a temporary inconvenience for anything other than outright death. With magical healing available for most classes, even at a low level, injuries are easily overcome with enough rest. Adding a system that takes into account more permanent illnesses and injuries can go a long way in making this part of the game more interesting, and it can also give players with the Medicine skill or the Herbalism Kit skill a bit more. to do than they normally would. .


5 Add mounts and vehicles to the game



While giving players access to mounts early in the game can make some aspects of survival and travel much easier, it also adds a fun and interesting dynamic to the game. Keeping these creatures alive can provide some level of survival. challenge, and the beasts themselves often become full and beloved members of the group. Additionally, having access to vehicles can inspire players to go deeper, exploring new places with the extra mobility they have.


4 Put players in exciting and dangerous environments



Collapse Rope Bridge D&D Skill Challenge

Naturally, one of the best parts of any survival game is exploring different environments and overcoming the challenges they present. Whether it’s traversing a harsh and unforgiving desert, climbing a snow-swept mountain, or surviving on a remote island after a storm, the setting is integral to the conflict in these stories. Players will remember how they escaped the avalanche while crossing the mountain range, just as they will remember how they defeated the monster they encountered along the way.




3 Give an impact to the weather



Besides having interesting environments for players to explore, dynamic weather systems can really add another element of survival to the game. Rain, snow and heat can all create a more realistic setting and make the world more alive. .

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Having extreme weather conditions can also create some very unique challenges for the group to overcome. Flooded rivers that characters have to cross, severe blizzards that disorient them and cause constant cold damage over time, and massive storms at sea that threaten to send the party overboard can all be, too. exciting than any combat encounter.


2 Make interesting and dynamic encounters while traveling



A dark-haired elf woman scratches a lyre as she sits with her familiar albino frog.

As with everything Dungeons and Dragons campaign, most of the fun will come from the meetings the party has along the way. In a survival campaign this becomes even more important, as making the journeys exciting will be about keeping the players engaged. Having players stumble upon a dangerous beast while they hunt for food, or discovering a strange and mysterious colony after a long journey can add a lot to the fun of this type of story.


1 Be prepared to switch to different gameplay as players progress



In most campaigns, characters will eventually level up, and as they reach higher levels, the challenges of a survival campaign will naturally decrease as they gain access to new and improved abilities. Instead of looking for ways to keep forcing these types of challenges into the game, maybe it’s time to move on to other aspects. It can help keep things fresh and new for players and the dungeon master, and the experiences characters have had on their travels will always play a big part in their future development.

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