Weather and Hazards
Weather on the Steppes has three seasons, High, Shoulder, and Low. Each season lasts approximately four months.
High season is summer. Hot, dry, and dusty, the Steppes become brown and burned by the fierce sun. Water is scarce, and the plants are tough to prevent water loss.
Shoulder season is the monsoon rains. These intermittent torrential downpours soak the land, causing the Steppes to transform into a plant paradise. Many bright and poisonous things grow. The monsoon tarns are filled, the valleys flood, the Landsharks feed,, mate, and lay eggs, and Holy Mountain Beasts graze on the softer and rapidly growing plants, while Saberclaws come to dig eggs and hunt.
Low season is cold and dry. The land freezes to iron-hard tundra. Hunting is scarcer, although animals are more easily stalked with food as bait.
Current season: Shoulder. (1/4)
Monsoon Travel Hazards
(roll for any result other than 1-55, adding +1 to the result for each category above normal)
|36-40:||Mud slog: -10 movement, and Caravan is -1 speed.|
|41-45:||Bogged to the axles: -20 movement, and Caravan is -2 speed.|
|46-55:||Lightning strike: Herd stampedes, Handle Animal Check at DC 13 or lose a day chasing ’beasts.|
|56-60:||How Nature Says Don’t Touch: Herdbeasts get into fruited Cursed Khort, and are sick unless DC 13 Herbalism save.|
|61-65:||Choking Briars: Attack roll DC 17 to cut through without losing one day.|
|66-68:||The herdbeasts get into a patch of crazybean. DC 13 Herbalism, 15 Medicine, or 20 Survival to prevent loss of 1d4 herdbeasts.|
|69-71:||Mad as a wet cackle: DC 15 Survival check or lose 1 member of caravan to wet cackles.|
|72-74:||Blight: Blight seeds bear fruit. Make Attack roll DC 15, modified by militia, or lose 1d6 members of the Caravan|
|75-77:||Quicksand: Perception 15 check or lose 1d6 members of Caravan or 1d4 herdbeasts.|
|78-80:||Food stores spoiled: lose 1d6 days rations.|
|81-83:||Hail: Lose 2d6 days rations.|
|84-86:||Thunderbird Raid: Stealth check, DC 17, or lose 1d2 herdbeasts.|
|87-88:||Empty Circle Raiders use weather for cover: Make stealth or deception check, DC 17, or lose 1d6 members of the Caravan.|
|89-90:||Rabid Saberclaw: Make attack roll DC 17, modified by militia, or lose 1d8 members of the Caravan.|
|91-92:||Herdsman’s Bane: The herdbeasts eat the Bane, mistaking it for parsnips. DC 15 Herbalism, 17 Medicine, or 22 Survival to prevent loss of 1d6 herdbeasts.|
|93-94:||Holy Mountain Beast Stampede: DC 20 Handle Animal or Survival check|
|00:||Landshark swarm: Caravan has camped on a Monsoon tarn by mistake, which explodes with hatching landshark eggs. Attack roll DC 20, modified by militia, or DC 20 Survival check or lose 1d10 members of the caravan and 1d10 herdbeasts.|
Desert Travel Checklist: (Source: A Magical Society: Silk Road)
This is the ideal list. Animals and travelers can stretch on food and water to different degrees, and animal handlers can be assigned to more animals, although that is not the optimal situation.
• Stop every 25 miles (40 km) with water for horses and mules.
• 3 gallons of water per person per day
• Normal food requirements for characters (depending on size)
• Camels–Food: graze 8 hours a day with 6-8 hours to chew cud or 22 lb of grass (or hay and straw), 9 lb. of grains, 2 pounds of seedcakes per camel per day.
Water: see description.
Salt: 2 pounds a week can be attained through proper grazing
• Horses–Food: 4.4 pounds (2 kg) of concentrate feed in addition to 10 pounds (4.5 kg) hay, with heavily worked horses requiring 8.8 pounds (4 kg) of concentrate feed.
Water: 15 gallons of clean water per day. Salt: 2-4 ounces a day, not from brackish water
or saline plants.
• Mules– Food: 2.2 pounds (1 kg) of concentrate feed in addition to 10 pounds (4.5 kg) hay. Water: 10 gallons of clear, clean water per day; see entry for dehydration toleration. Salt: 2-4 ounces a day, not from brackish water or saline plants.
• Animal handlers: 1 per every 3 animals