Resting - GM Advice

So, I was reviewing the rules in ACKS and came across the resting rules on pg 92. When my players were exploring dwimmermount, we kept close watch on their supply of lamp oil and torches, but forgot about this rule. I like the rule, but don't want it to become boring, "okay, you rest for 10 minutes." Does anyone have advice for implementing this rule?

The rule is mostly intended to reflect the occasional disorganization that a party of explorers would endure. Your typical party stops more often than that after fighting, while searching, and so on. It does become more significant if some of the party members have permanent wounds from the Mortal Wounds table that require more resting than normal.

If you want, just mark off a torch/oil every 5 turns instead of 6, and check for wandering monsters one time more often. 


I can see how incorporating it into the record keeping would help prevent it from being boring. I really do like the rule. I was just wondering how people implemented it. If they had any advice on how to best utilize it. 

Personally, my implementation is that it doesn’t need to be straight resting, it just needs to not be super active.

So basically, combat and kicking down doors or barricading things and so on needs to be interrupted by searching for loot or traps or listening at doors or the like.

I've been absorbing it in to other activities, never really specifically calling it out. Hence, every 5 Turns of exploration consumes 6 Turns of time and resources (e.g., torches, oil, etc.). Players can make faster time by not resting, but suffer the penalties.

On the other hand, I'm playing in drpete's Dwimmermount Play-by-Post game, and he makes it an explicit rest Turn. This brings up interesting logisitical challenges, as finding a safe, defensible spot to rest becomes pretty important, and makes it an additional, active part of the game when dungeoneering.

Yeah, as bob says.  I ask them to choose to take a breather, get a drink of water and have a sit down every hour, or they start to feel tired.

I know that for most of my time in the hobby, that kind of stuff has usually been handwaved, so I am trying to push them forward to see how all of those pesky details change things.  Search turns, light sources, encumbrance, exhaustion.  It feels noticably different than one where none of those things are a consideration, and I am starting to see some cool adjustments by the players.

I treat the exploration rates as "strongly recommended", but let them hustle between areas they've explored, if they're willing to risk a suprise penalty on anything that wanders into the area they thought was clear.  So they've been doing little hour long trips out from a secure rest spot, then going back for a rest in an area they can lock.  They could just break out their waterskins and lean against the wall, but they don't want to be caught unprepared.

I have also been treating the length of the exploration day as equivalent to the length of the marching day.  If they go for more than 8 hours, including the trek to & from the adventure site, then I treat it as a forced march, so they have to keep an eye on the time as well as their resources.

Yup. It's been perfectly enjoyable thus far, and definitely changes the feel.

I treat exploration rate as "strongly recommended" as well.

As a funny aside: I never fully understood exploration rate until I went to a flea market with my mother. We would walk a few feet. Then she would stop and peer at something. We'd walk a few feet more. Then she'd see something else; we'd stop and she'd bend over to get a closer look. We'd back up to see how it compared to that earlier thing we'd looked at. We'd stop she could rummage in her purse and write down that there was a widget here for $4 so we didn't forget. We'd go forward to the next table which had more widgets. These widgets had to looked at carefully...  

We moved 120' per 10 minutes indeed.

I have to admit that I've always found the game's exploration rates ridiculously slow, and I've moved with a heavy load of gear over difficult terrain before. But, then again, it wasn't in the dark, underground, surrounded by imminent death. I also wasn't with Alex's mother.

The wife and I did a "Wild Cave Tour" (Cosmic Caverns, Berryville, Arkansas) a few years back.

That's where they take you back out where they don't take the normal tours - and it's a raw cave, with only the barest suggestion of safety concerns, you're not roped up or anything, no lights but on your helmet, etc. 

That was something like 400-500 feet, to the rear of the cave and back, including a part where we doubled back on an upper level,  in something like 4 hours, for two inexperienced adults, including time to stop and look at interesting formations, or to blame each other for our predicament :)

120 feet in 10 minutes seems extremely rapid in comparison to that, at least.


I've done a fair bit of spelunking, and this is somewhere I can see this movement rate making more sense. However, I can't say I've seen maps (or rules, for that matter) that are anything like representative of what that activity is really like. And most dungeons are built spaces with reasonably level floors. I just chalk it (i.e., slow movement) up to an overabundance of caution (the aforementioned imminent death), and assume navigation through previously explored areas is more rapid.

My assumption has always been that the standard movement rate for dungeon exploration includes time spent mapping, performing a cursory search for traps, pausing to listen every so often, making an effort to move silently, etc.  Once the PCs have traversed a certain area more than a few times I start boosting the movement rate.  The PCs can move faster through unexplored ares if desired, but it increases the chance that they're surprised by monsters, trigger traps, make more noise and are generally less aware of their surroundings.

THIS is what I'm looking for... I'm going to do this in my next ACKS campaign.