# 5e Fast Forage

This is a much faster system for D&D 5e for finding food and water in the wilderness that’s designed to give similar results as the original system.

The first day is a little bit slower and more fiddly, but then each additional day is super fast, until the party composition changes or if the terrain changes (which changes the DC).

Go around the table and ask everyone for their Wisdom (Survival) check modifier and also ask for the just plain wis mod component of that. (Generally you need the former to find out whether they find anything, and the latter to find out how much they find.)

Then for each person, find the number from the tables below.

For “Modified DC”, take the DC of the terrain, and substract the character’s check modifier except the wis part

For example someone has wis +2, prof +3, and expertise so their check is +8 and she is in a DC 15 area? 15–6 is 9 so that means that you should cross reference 9 and 2 on these tables, and find a 4.

If they are consistently using Guidance, Bardic Inspiration and similar, subtract the average of those rolls. Round down if there’s just one die. I.e. a d4 is 2, a d8 is 4, but both is 7.

For advantage and for (PHB-style) Favored Terrain there are separate tables.

Different characters are going look at different rows and maybe even different tables.

## Normal edition

Modified DC↓ wis mod -5 -4 -3 -2 -1 ±0 +1 +2 +3 +4 +5
1 0 0 0 1 2 4 4 6 6 8 8
2 0 0 0 1 2 3 4 6 6 8 8
3 0 0 0 1 2 3 4 6 6 8 8
4 0 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 8 8
5 0 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 8 8
6 0 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
7 0 0 0 1 2 2 3 4 6 7 8
8 0 0 0 1 2 2 3 4 5 6 8
9 0 0 0 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
10 0 0 0 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
11 0 0 0 1 1 2 2 3 4 5 6
12 0 0 0 1 1 2 2 3 4 5 6
13 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 3 4 4 6
14 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 2 3 4 5
15 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 2 3 4 5
16 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 3 3 4
17 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 2 3 4
18 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 2 3 3
19 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 2 3
20 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 3
21 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 2
22 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 2
23 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1
24 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

Modified DC↓ wis mod -5 -4 -3 -2 -1 ±0 +1 +2 +3 +4 +5
1 0 0 0 1 2 4 4 6 6 8 8
2 0 0 0 1 2 3 4 6 6 8 8
3 0 0 0 1 2 3 4 6 6 8 8
4 0 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 8 8
5 0 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 8 8
6 0 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
7 0 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
8 0 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 0 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
10 0 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
11 0 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
12 0 0 0 1 2 2 3 4 5 7 8
13 0 0 0 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
14 0 0 0 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
15 0 0 0 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
16 0 0 0 0 1 2 2 3 4 5 6
17 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 3 4 5 6
18 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 2 3 4 5
19 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 3 4 5
20 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 2 3 4
21 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 3 4
22 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 3
23 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 2
24 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2
25 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

## Favored terrain edition

Modified DC↓ wis mod -5 -4 -3 -2 -1 ±0 +1 +2 +3 +4 +5
1 0 0 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17
2 0 0 1 3 4 7 9 11 13 15 17
3 0 0 1 2 4 6 9 11 13 15 17
4 0 0 1 2 4 6 8 10 13 15 17
5 0 0 1 2 4 6 8 10 12 15 17
6 0 0 1 2 4 5 7 9 12 14 17
7 0 0 1 2 3 5 7 9 11 14 16
8 0 0 0 2 3 5 6 8 10 13 15
9 0 0 0 2 3 4 6 8 10 12 14
10 0 0 0 1 2 4 5 7 9 11 14
11 0 0 0 1 2 4 5 7 8 10 13
12 0 0 0 1 2 3 4 6 8 10 12
13 0 0 0 1 2 3 4 6 7 9 11
14 0 0 0 1 2 2 4 5 6 8 10
15 0 0 0 1 1 2 3 4 6 8 9
16 0 0 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 7 8
17 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 3 5 6 8
18 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 7
19 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 3 4 6
20 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 3 4 5
21 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 3 4
22 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 3
23 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 3
24 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2
25 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

## Both advantage and favored terrain

Modified DC↓ wis mod -5 -4 -3 -2 -1 ±0 +1 +2 +3 +4 +5
1 0 0 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17
2 0 0 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17
3 0 0 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17
4 0 0 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17
5 0 0 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17
6 0 0 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17
7 0 0 1 3 4 6 8 11 13 15 17
8 0 0 1 2 4 6 8 10 12 15 17
9 0 0 1 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 17
10 0 0 1 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16
11 0 0 1 2 3 5 7 9 11 14 16
12 0 0 1 2 3 5 7 9 11 13 15
13 0 0 0 2 3 4 6 8 10 13 15
14 0 0 0 1 3 4 6 8 10 12 14
15 0 0 0 1 2 4 5 7 9 11 14
16 0 0 0 1 2 3 5 6 8 10 13
17 0 0 0 1 1 3 4 6 8 10 12
18 0 0 0 0 1 2 3 5 7 9 11
19 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 4 6 8 10
20 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 3 5 7 9
21 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 4 5 7
22 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 4 6
23 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 5
24 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 3
25 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2

## What to do with those numbers

So in the previous step you shoulda looked up one number per party member. Add them together and look up a dice expression in the following table.

Total Expression
0 1d4–3
1 1d4–2
2 1d4–1
3 2d4–2
4 2d6–3
5 3d6–5
6 3d6–4
7 4d6–7
8 4d6–6
9 5d6–8
10 5d6–7
11 6d6–10
12 6d6–9
13 7d6–11
14 7d6–10
15 8d6–13
16 8d6–12
17 9d6–14
18 9d6–13
19 10d6–16
20 10d6–15
21 11d6–17
22 11d6–16
23 12d6–19
24 12d6–18
25 13d6–20
26 13d6–19
27 14d6–22
28 14d6–21
29 15d6–23
30 15d6–22

So if they end up with a total of 10, instead of everyone making forage checks, just have one of them skip the d20 and just roll 5d6–7, that’s how much food they find. A separate roll for water. It’s always possible to find zero.

“But what if something weird happens so that one character is temporarily sick and can’t forage” — well, yes, that’s when then whip out the normal rules for that day.

The idea is that while establishing a routine is interesting, executing that routine day after day is boring and we want to get it over with with as few rolls as possible (and instead shine a spotlight on the interactions between the party), but interruptions to that routine make it interesting again.

One of the more tedious parts of running wilderness in D&D 5e is when everyone in the party wants to contribute to finding food and water and DMing that is like trying to heard cats.

What could’ve been a quick “OK it’s nine days away, make a couple of rolls, OK nothing happened, you’re there”, or, “OK it’s nine days away, make a couple of rolls, holy Toledo it’s a complete mess, you got ambushed, your cleric died, you don’t have any food, whaddayado?” instead becomes… trying to get everyone around the table to make a forage check, and then to roll 1d6+wis for food, and then do it again for water. And then go through that whole thing nine more times, each time interpunctuated by encounter checks and such.

These rules use math to match the results and outcomes of the original rules for the module pretty closely while being much faster—the explicit design goal is that the same things would happen, pretty close to the same amounts of food and water will be found etc.

Obviously designing a game from scratch without having to cling to the “approximate the same results” design parameter could make way cleaner foraging rules without any cumbersome tables. For example in Fate you could use a Time Ladder for the journey to find out the difficulty; that the DM could modify with aspects like “Grueling infinite white salt plain” or even use those for compels. Or in a more simple OSR style game you could bake foraging&eating into the general encounter table, sort of like how weather is baked into the hazard table in Ghosts of Saltmarsh.

For math & sources, `git clone https://idiomdrottning.org/fast-forage`