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Running Overland Exploration and Travel Adventures

by Mike on 18 March 2024

This article is one in a series where we look at particular adventure types and examine

This series of articles includes:

Each article describes one angle on these adventure types. Your own approach may differ and that's totally fine. There are many right ways to enjoy this game.

Robin Laws's book Adventure Crucible – Building Stronger Scenarios for any RPG inspired my thoughts on this topic.


A quick note – the Lazy DM's Companion, my book of RPG tools, guidelines, and adventure generators, is on sale for 50% off the PDF and 20% off the softcover and PDF package!

The sale ends 21 March so pick it up today at:

https://shop.slyflourish.com/products/the-lazy-dms-companion


Understanding Travel Adventures

For the sake of this article, overland exploration and travel adventures follow the characters as they travel from one place to another, usually over significant distances across the surface of the world.

Sometimes the characters know clearly where they're headed. Other times they might only be following vague rumors. The paths they follow might be well known or something they discover as they go.

Travel adventures might be run as hex crawls, pointcrawls, or linear paths of connected locations. They could be a quick journey during a single game or run over several sessions.

Resources for Travel

Your chosen RPG might include material for running travel scenes. Two books offer excellent guidance and systems for running travel adventures for 5e games: Uncharted Journeys by Cubicle 7 and Trials and Treasure for Level Up Advanced 5e by EN World publishing. Uncharted Journeys offers a solid system for travel and a huge range of potential encounters. Trials and Treasure includes excellent random encounter tables, character roles, weather options for various climates, and more. If you choose only one book, start with Trials and Treasure.

Preparing Travel Adventures

Preparing for an overland exploration or travel adventure might include

Running Travel Adventures

Like dungeon crawls, travel adventures can follow a particular model of gameplay. This procedure includes

Pitfalls for Travel Adventures

Here are some common pitfalls for travel adventures:

Avoiding Travel Pitfalls

Here are some ways to keep travel on track.

A Bridge Between Other Adventures

Travel adventures are often a bridge between one part of the story and the next part. With careful planning and execution, travel can offer stories just as interesting as other types of adventures.

More Sly Flourish Stuff

Last week I posted YouTube videos with Thoughts on Obsidian for TTRPG Prep and the Lazy DM's Companion Sale.

Last Week's Lazy RPG Talk Show Topics

Each week I record an episode of the Lazy RPG Talk Show (also available as a podcast) in which I talk about all things in tabletop RPGs. Here are last week's topics with time stamped links to the YouTube video:

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RPG Tips

Each week I think about what I learned in my last RPG session and write them up as RPG tips. Here are this week's tips:

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