The Hazards of Travelling Far Outside the Tablelands

Hello everyone:

Can you help me come up with a list of possible threats which could occur when a humanoid was visiting a faraway land (read: well outside the Tablelands and other inhabited areas)? Maybe relating to eating, drinking, walking through the grass on the Crimson Savannah, sleeping on the ground, or something else you could see being a problem.

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So not withstanding a fantasy setting, these are the ideas that came to mind off the cuff:

  • ENCUMBRANCE! (you can only carry so much as you travel)
  • Directions / Getting Lost
  • Extreme Heat
  • Extreme Cold
  • Dehydration
  • Starvation
  • Aggressive Fauna (large)
  • Invasive Fauna (small like natural scorpions)
  • Poisonous Flora
  • Impure Water Systems
  • Diseased/Tainted Food Supplies
  • Pirates/Raiders/Thieves
  • Translation Issues
  • Allergic to the flora! (as opposed to it naturally being poisonous!)
  • Sandstorms
  • Breathing in Toxic Fumes (Silent Hill vibes or volcanic ash!)
  • Quicksand
  • Mudslides
  • Disturbing another culture’s holy ground
  • Cultural miscommunications
  • Parasites

You could also take a look at these two online ressources:

Beside that, “elemental instability” as suggested in 4th Ed DS could be used in far away places, especially beyond the Ringing Mountains : active or solidified lava plains, fire rain, sudden bursts of flames, instable ground that can elevate or collapse in a few moments, huge stones rolling at random (or with their own will), tornadoes, forests of very sharp crystals, recurrent earthquakes, and so on.


Since kreen don’t sleep, you could make an interesting predator that would make life very hard for humanoid explorers. The idea would be some sort of giant burrowing animal that is active at night and senses the body temperature/breathing or whatever of creatures sleeping on the ground and absuhes them shallowing them up from below.

Getting lost in the infinite expanse of featureless grasslands is a huge barrier.

There is no where to seek shelter from the sun or while sleeping and low lying predators can easily sneak up on you in the tall grasses particularly when the wind masks their movements.

Higher air pressure messes with breathing, hearing, and possibly even balance (since the elevation is way lower than the tablelands).


Yes—the first section—the greatest danger of travel & obstacle to settlement in the Crimson Savannah is the Kreen.

They will 100% unite against the PCs & will attack in waves, one pack after another, never giving the Dra enough time for a long rest.

I’m thinking high air pressure might affect rest & spell recovery. At least for a week while you get used to it. Then you’re tired & out of breath when you get to the tablelands until you acclimate yourself.

I like the hearing & balance effects. Hearing might be something you never acclimate yourselves. If you’re not insecticide, disadvantage on all hearing checks. Insects are loud.

Balance—disadvantage to balance checks until you acclimate yourselves?

Let’s think… high air pressure—if you’re in combat for more than 5 rounds, you risk hyperventilating.

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Yes; I had a number of these in the Trembling Plains.

The crimson Savannah will have sinkholes.

Sinkholes are especially a threat to settlement. Any permenant buildings.


insect swarms may form on the PCs travel trail. Insects find the PC’s oils, secretions, urine & feces appetizing. Huge clouds not attacking the PC, but just waiting to taste what the PCs next secrete or excrete. Sniffing the very grass they walk on.

And those insect clouds draw other things.

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Encumbrance is big because mounts will die, & you want to carry food with you.

Boil your water to eliminate disease & parasites. (You can’t stop your mounts from licking the dew off of plants, so they are going to die very soon.)

About the effect of altitude, Tablelands inhabitants should rather be advantaged when going to lower grounds. When you are used to live on high grounds (2000 to 3000 meters above sea level), you have to compensate for the lack of oxygen (you get more red blood cells, and your red blood cells are more effective to capture oxygen from the air - high level athletes sometimes train for several weeks like this to have better performances when they come back at more “usual” altitudes), so if you have a more abundant oxygen supply like near the sea level, you are more effective.
As for the hearing, a denser air means better sound conduction, so it may be a bit difficult to get accustomed to it, but your hearing sense should also be better if you are going to lower grounds.
I don’t see why it would affect your balance, gravity will be about the same (there is a slight change in gravity with altitude, but it is negligible - less than 1 % body weight change at the top of the Everest).
All these effects suppose there is a really big difference in altitude between the Tablelands and the Crimson Savannah.