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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 types of adventures and examine

These articles include:

Your own adventure types and how you run them may differ from mine. 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.

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.

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