Questions regarding rations

On page 94 under Rations and Foraging it says characters must consume 1 stone’s worth of food/water per day (about 2 lbs. food and 8 lbs. water). However, according to page 48, 1 week’s rations counts as 1 item. Also, on the same page it says that a waterskin will hold 1 quart - only 1/4 of a character’s daily water consumption.

Through some searches I’ve discovered that some people houserule so that 1 day’s rations is 1 item, and only 4 lbs. (2 qts.) of water are needed per person per day. Much more reasonable, except that it makes it harder to use the templates, since those assume the book’s given weight for rations. The templates don’t actually include waterskins anyhow.

Anyway, is there an official reason for the discrepancies regarding rations/water and encumbrance, or was it just an oversight? In any case, how do you all rule on such matters? What about the templates?

The assumption is that the PCs have a source of fresh water; travelling overland in most terrains, this will be true, and a party would probably make sure to have access to water in a dungeon (at their camp outside the dungeon entrance, for instance). It’s more or less impossible to carry sufficient water for any long overland journey (much less enough for mounts), and it’s pretty much just assumed that during the 8 hours the party doesn’t spend sleeping or walking, one of the activities is finding and fetching water from streams, lakes, rivers, etc.

That’s how I figure it, anyway.

For travel over deserts, at sea, etc., water has to be carried (there’s a note on the water requirements for rowers, for instance). I made up some rules for foraging for water for my Crimson Sun campaign, based on the food foraging rules, which also dynamically create oases on the map (which the PCs cn then use to chart future wilderness trips).

Just to be clear, I use the ACKS core book weights, etc.; rations for one day by itself is 1 item (1/6 stone), rations + water for one day is 1 heavy item (1 stone). For now, in my campaign, I’m handwaving mounts as being somehow able to fend for themselves because I can’t be arsed complicating things more and anyway they were born and bred in the harsh, dry, hot wastelands. Some of the races in my setting also require more or less water.

Also, historic reference: Crusader armies in the Holy Land apparently could not carry enough water for more than one day, and absolutely had to reach an oasis each night; the Battle of the Horns of Hattin underlined this extremely well. They also progressed something like 6 miles a day, IIRC…

Rhynn said: I made up some rules for foraging for water for my Crimson Sun campaign, based on the food foraging rules, which also dynamically create oases on the map (which the PCs cn then use to chart future wilderness trips).

Oh! That sounds great! Please post them when you get a chance!

For our Dark Sun campaign, we decided that foraging and hunting gets you 1/4 as much water as it gets food, in terms of people.

I then played with dice options until I arrived at some that felt right to me and maintained the same average as 1/4 the average of hunting/foraging.

The result was that foraging gets you 1d4-2 gallons of water, and hunting gets you 2d4-4. Note that a result of 0 is entirely possible. (If I did the math right, a single person who is untrained in Survival, resourceful, good at managing his water, and a little bit lucky can just barely manage to scrounge out a living, which I feel is appropriate for the campaign.)

It’s also worth noting that it is possible to carry enough water for smaller groups for a relatively significant amount of time, if you load up a cart or wagon with almost entirely water. A gallon of water weighs 1.05 stone (barrel amortized, since you have a 1 stone barrel per 20 gallons of water) and lasts one person one day. Since ACKS has a constant rate of animals to haulage capacity (regardless of the vehicle it is hooked up to, a heavy horse can carry 80 stone at 60’ per turn; since haulage capacity does not double when halving speed, for purposes of maximum journey length when carrying your own water, you want to keep the fast speed).

If you have a single cart being pulled by a heavy horse, with a single driver, you consume 1 day of rations (0.2 stone) + 1 gallon of water (1.05 stone, driver) + 4 gallons of water (4.2 stone, horse - I’m basing the four gallons of water on a quick googling, I actually originally did this math with a kank that requires only 2 gallons of water per day) = 5.45 stone of provisions per day. With an 80 stone capacity that means you can load up with a maximum of 14.5 days of provisions (I rounded.)

What I find particularly interesting is that larger caravans don’t increase the maximum time available to you. You devote N% of carrying capacity to provisions, you always get Y days of travel. If you have 80 stone and devote 40 to provisions, you get the same range as if you have 800 and devote 400 to provisions. (Of course, the guy with 400 stone of non-provisions has a much more valuable caravan. I also note that guards will alter this, especially mounted guards who will ruin everything, which makes sense with the Crusades; you can carry enough water for a fair amount of people for a few days, but there’s no way you can carry enough water for horses who are not themselves carrying the water.)

I rambled on for a while, so sorry about that, but hopefully someone finds it interesting!

Done! While I was at it, I finally settled on the rules for mounts and pack animals - they’re a bother, but possibly worth it (for dividing up your gear and load enough to be able to outrun at least Movement 90’ enemies).

I actually got 4 gallons per horse per day from the description of the create water spell (50 gallons suffices for 12 men and their mounts for one day). It seems like a great number to use.

Awesome, thanks!

Thanks for the replies! I think I’m going to say 1 day’s rations is 1 item and 1 day’s water is 2 items (2 qts). So if you’re carrying all supplies, 1 stone is 2 days’ worth. I’ll handwave the gathering of water until they enter a region where it is scarce.