Hypothermia in Dungeons and Dragons


In Hymns of a Vagabond Game 20, Orin "Cutter" Broil met an unfortunate end. While travelling in late November, we were forced to cross a freezing cold river without a bridge. While most of us got across without any issue, unfortunately Aren, who was carrying Cutter at the time, slipped and fell in the river plunging both of them into the ice cold water.

So the way Hypothermia works in AD&D's Dungeoneer's Survival Guide is that you have to be in cold water for an hour. Since we were hours from anywhere and having trouble getting a fire going the first condition was met. Both parties passed their Constitution checks and staved off the first bout of Hypothermia.

A further problem arouse when we didn't have any dry clothes for them to wear forcing them to endure another hour of exposure. Aren passed his roll, but Cutter was not so fortunate. He failed, and being a 1evel 1 multi-Classed Thief/Magic User he only had 4 HP.

The DM rolled the 1d6 Damage assigned for failing the rol1 out in the open. He rolled a 6, and in AD&D 0HP or less is dead. no ifs, ands, or buts. This was absolutely crazy in game and was the first JADE character to be killed by the elements.

So if you want to add Hypothermia into your game, simply have your players make a CON check for each hour of exposure. Each time they fail, deal 1d6 damage to them. This damage goes away after 1 hour of warming up. DM's be wary, our 1st Ed AD&D Campaign  Hymns of a Vagabond is a largely survival based game. We all knew this was a possibility while playing this game despite how harsh it may sound. So make sure your players know what they are getting into before you spring death-by-weather on them.

Next time we go out we will bring warmer clothes, and dry clothing we can change into. More blankets are also a must, as well as better planning and prepartions to cross cold bodies of water without a boat or bridge. For us it was a learning experience and a mistake that we will not repeat again. Kinda suck that it cost us a player character to learn it though!

RIP Cutter

Written by: Andrew Gregory
Hypothermia in Dungeons and Dragons Hypothermia in Dungeons and Dragons Reviewed by Jade GamingNews on 11/07/2017 02:05:00 pm Rating: 5

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