Long Term Survival Challenges || D&D & Dael Kingsmill

This time on MonarchsFactory I took a question from Falconer on Twitter and through together some ideas for extended tests of management and how to keep them interesting for Dungeons and Dragons.

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  1. Vertex Draco on September 16, 2019 at 8:03 pm

    Make moar videos you god damn lazy Kenku

  2. TehFrederick on September 16, 2019 at 8:04 pm

    Highly enjoyable video and great as a source of inspiration. I am concerned though that a party presented with constant losing options might either end up frustrated or attempt to split the party constantly, and running two parallel half sessions for each side seems problematic and less fun for everyone.

  3. Geoffrey Chance on September 16, 2019 at 8:05 pm

    My current campaign is basically this. The PCs are in charge of founding a settlement on an island. I’m using the gritty realism rules to slow the game down and asking them what the settlement is doing each week. I also gave them the choice of where to settle and the spot they chose is great for food and water but it’s in the middle of some warring factions, so that’s gonna be interesting to play out.

  4. Mary Benson on September 16, 2019 at 8:07 pm

    Deal please send me a msg. Search mary benson. Fb. I’ve really great news for you

  5. Karl Lyons on September 16, 2019 at 8:08 pm

    Great ideas! I also like giving my players a renown score with the people and the more actively they try and help the more their renown growns which gives them more and more influence with the group of people

  6. Work Youtube on September 16, 2019 at 8:09 pm


  7. Vara Satoshi on September 16, 2019 at 8:11 pm

    I originally watched because Matthew Colville, and because you were cute and talking about D&D.

    Now I realize that you’re *really cute* and *really good at D&D.*

  8. Samuel Garcia on September 16, 2019 at 8:11 pm

    Reminds me of Dead of Winter goals almost. I mean, why not escort refugees through a zombie infested area in D&D? Or have a combat like the vignette from ballad of Buster Scruggs?

  9. Ethan Moore on September 16, 2019 at 8:11 pm

    I like the way you say Warg.

  10. role2forge on September 16, 2019 at 8:17 pm

    this is very "yes, but" "no, and" in writing, I lurve it

  11. MrMaxBoivin on September 16, 2019 at 8:17 pm

    If you want to make such a thing on multiple session, make sure to have some sessions where things go kind of right. You need some moment of hope or it’s gonna be a real drag for the players.

  12. Paledomain on September 16, 2019 at 8:18 pm

    spirit points could be measured with the priorities of the group’s needs: Maybe they start with more spirit points (say, 10), but staying without water hurts the morale faster than hunger does.

  13. Mercy van zyl on September 16, 2019 at 8:18 pm

    All that I am thinking is that my party (new DM and it’s the first time I said that and I got tingles)… is that they are going split up and try do both and I am going to spend most of the session trying to not kill everyone.

  14. Minakie on September 16, 2019 at 8:19 pm

    This is similar to the way the MouseGuard system RPG works, except in it you usually have two or more different paths that all lead to a common final goal.

  15. Martin Teply on September 16, 2019 at 8:19 pm

    Anybody mention Banner Saga? The whole first game had a system for traveling with refugees and side quests.

  16. Roy Boy on September 16, 2019 at 8:20 pm

    I caught myself staring at that unsolved rubik’s cube in the background. Someone needs to fix that and solve it.

  17. Günter Henning Wilde on September 16, 2019 at 8:21 pm


  18. Saturn554 on September 16, 2019 at 8:22 pm

    Got some great ideas there! Thanks for posting!

  19. The Woflpack on September 16, 2019 at 8:22 pm

    Tbh while u never split the party is find the boy while the others do the wolves in

  20. UlissesSigma on September 16, 2019 at 8:23 pm

    I’ve just started my first D&D campaign and your videos have inspired me so much to create a better experience 🙂 Thank you very much! you are awesome 🙂

  21. Malik Mahmood on September 16, 2019 at 8:24 pm

    Hi Dael, very intuitive and I love the translation into mechanics. I have a question for you regarding this. The system that you mentioned with the morale points, do you let your players know about that? Or is that just your way of keeping track of it?

  22. marques arthur on September 16, 2019 at 8:30 pm

    @MonarchsFactory have you ever played banner saga 2?

    There are so many nice challenges escorting a caravan there. I think it’s worth borrowing some of their ideas

  23. dan h on September 16, 2019 at 8:31 pm

    My group play long 8 hour sessions which might be too long for one week a week. But i could probably set a time limit of 3.30 hours each plus break time and if they fail to resolve a chosen task they fail both.

  24. Baron von Muffinbeard III on September 16, 2019 at 8:32 pm

    The party cleric and druid would unbalance this system. A few of the issues that happen with food and water spoiling or illness/injury would be cleared in moments. Unless you are dealing with a large enough contingent that their daily spells could not handle it, but at that scale you are likely able to get multiple teams to handle the different options.

    I like this system and think it works great but it has a scale limit and can be undermined by divine spellcasters.

  25. The Roaming Kilt on September 16, 2019 at 8:33 pm

    So if you don’t go after Wilhelm, do you find his body parts spread across a mile due to the wolves running off with the boy? Just an idea.

  26. Jameson Judy on September 16, 2019 at 8:34 pm

    I really like the idea of forcing the players to make decisions and have to suffer through the consequences. It definitely reenforces the fact that the PCs are leading this caravan and they must take responsibility for their actions whether good or bad. It seems that a mission like this could be used to give a little perspective and morality to a group that’s getting a little too murder-hobo-y.

  27. Daniel Rule on September 16, 2019 at 8:34 pm

    My fear is the second one of these choices is given to the players… they split the party.

  28. Nick Williams on September 16, 2019 at 8:36 pm

    The best tip for survival challenges in 5e D&D is _run them early in the campaign._

    Don’t wait until the party is 5th level, then complain that Create Food and Water is "breaking" your challenges and try to nerf the PCs’ abilities. From the players POV, that will feel like a screwjob. Because it’s a screwjob.

    Ultimately, basic "finding food and shelter" gets old really fast.

    But giving the PCs a bunch of NPCs to look after is a really creative idea. Sure, _the PCs_ are fine. But the NPCs under their care are more vulnerable. Be careful to not make then _too_ useless though (there’s a reason escort missions in video games can be annoying).

    About the only criticism I have is that you’re using the term "one shot" wrong. An adventure of the week in a continuing campaign is not a "one shot".

  29. faerae666 on September 16, 2019 at 8:40 pm

    Great vid as always Dael! The thought that came to mind once you started was a "Macro Skill Challenge". I LOVE this idea. My group really likes the few skill challenges I have put them through and this would be a great extension of that narrative mechanism mixed with actual adventuring time. Thanks for the inspiration!

  30. Tyler H on September 16, 2019 at 8:40 pm

    1:50 Red Dead Redemption 2 adds that Oregon Trail group survival element just not very well. Good for conceptualizing though. Incentive to keep alive too, having vendors, bonuses and quests relating to the camp members who all rely on the group as the Survival Authority whether they are in charge like Dutch Van Der Lind or just important members like Arthur Morgan.

  31. Ted Henkle on September 16, 2019 at 8:40 pm

    I loved your “Rats of Tobruk” reference!

  32. McPhunque * on September 16, 2019 at 8:43 pm

    My poor players … I gave them a choice to either go attack the boss at his weakest or to go save the villagers from his minions and attack the boss at his strongest. My players saved the villagers … and then completely forgot about the boss, going off to the next part of the main quest. Needless to say, bad things will happen they won’t find out about for a minute.

  33. Purple Jello on September 16, 2019 at 8:45 pm

    This is great! Thanks for the ideas. I have been trying to prep a campaign based on moving a people group to a new land and trying to start a new civilization there. This would work excellent as a first arch of "setting up the town" and the struggles they face in trying to start from scratch in a new place.

  34. milaho kelpling on September 16, 2019 at 8:47 pm

    I would use exhaustion mechanics instead of spirit points. I would combine physical exhaustion (with con saves) and mental exhaustion (with cha saves) and make them cumulative.

  35. RoCeb on September 16, 2019 at 8:49 pm

    I don’t see the big deal with all these hard choices, just split the party and do both

  36. Paledomain on September 16, 2019 at 8:51 pm

    Having a "bad circumstances table" with a 100 something items might make coming up with ideas on-the-go faster!

  37. Thedrunkenbull on September 16, 2019 at 8:52 pm

    Some great ideas here, pump up the numbers of refugees and have them be plagued by an advanced group of marauders from a following army.
    Now your heroes are trying the save the survivors of a fallen city as they flee to another.
    Can be a source of good material for even high level parties, they’ll not be able to be everywhere at once or keep everyone safe

  38. Sebastien Cormier on September 16, 2019 at 8:54 pm

    Instead of "spirit points" it could be simply shifts in the Attitude scale (the hostile/grumpy/neutral/friendly etc. chart) which affects any rolls done that requires the cooperation of the group.

  39. Mitchell on September 16, 2019 at 8:54 pm

    Stealing all of this! It’s perfect for the next stage of my campaign. Thanks Kingsmill!

  40. the Obscene Unicorn on September 16, 2019 at 8:55 pm

    Sounds like the event system in the board game dead of winter. Excellent idea compartmentalizing these as one shots

  41. Mathew on September 16, 2019 at 8:57 pm

    This made me think of the Fire Emblem maps where the goal is "Survive", which generally come down to defending a small area (maybe an abandoned fort you’re holding up in) or even just escaping or waiting for an allied army to show up and save the day. Now that I think about it, these sound more like encounters…

  42. Vaapad on September 16, 2019 at 8:59 pm

    I think with my group that if I put two time-sensitive problems in front of them at the same time they might just split the party. Which isn’t totally unreasonable since there are 6 of them, I just feel like it partially defeats the decision-making.

  43. Nym Alous on September 16, 2019 at 8:59 pm

    Funny you should mention my grandma… she and I (and a few other family members) recently had a real-life prolonged "survival" experience. It included overland travel, finding adequate shelter, securing food, and even safety concerns. At one point we were deluged with torrential rain, and later on with a surprise blizzard.
    We had disagreements within the group, exhaustion, a little bit of sickness, and some problems with our arrival (it was supposed to be secret and it was hard to keep it that way).
    Suffice it to say, there is no need to e-mail my grandma this one (she’s had just about enough of that kind of thing to last her a while).

  44. seraphonica on September 16, 2019 at 8:59 pm

    My instinct is to go worker placement with this. Devote three refugees to finding shelter? Great, roll three d6 (or d12 if they’re PCs, maybe?) and see if you hit the DC for that task.

    Could also build the morale system into that – make people go too hungry or too sick, or too de-Wilhelmed, and they drop from a d6 to a d4. Keep them happy, or train them maybe? And they might get to a d8.

  45. Djambo on September 16, 2019 at 8:59 pm

    I missed the notification for this when this came out, but it’s absolutely fantastic!

  46. Ed Chivers on September 16, 2019 at 9:00 pm

    Dael, I absolutely love this – this kind of multi-session struggle is something I think could work well in my Eberron game, should my players go wandering off the beaten track and get themselves into trouble (which is extremely likely).

  47. SirReffo on September 16, 2019 at 9:00 pm

    Sorry, I just need someone to verify something. Is the focus on the video slightly off, or is there something weird about youtube not wantind to stream the 720p?
    Great video ofc! Adressing something I’ve wanted to try to figure out before!

  48. Melissa Doucette on September 16, 2019 at 9:00 pm

    I have never found long term travel sound so exciting. Amazing stuff!

  49. Christopher Teale on September 16, 2019 at 9:02 pm

    Love it

  50. Rudewolfe on September 16, 2019 at 9:03 pm

    You’re just the coolest person. Neat ideas.

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