Dire Survival Rules (5e Variant Rule)

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Dire Survival Rules[edit]

This is a set of new rules and changes to the rules to make survival more dire!

Rest and Sleep[edit]

Short Rest[edit]

A short rest is now 8 hours of sleep and a long rest is a whole week of relaxing.

During the 8 hours of sleep for the short rest the player character must be 100% asleep. While sleeping they don't get to make any Perception checks unless a very loud sound is made with in 100 feet of them or if someone tries to sneak up within 5 feet of them. But in both cases they have disadvantage on the check. If they have a skill, power, or feat, that would normally give them notice about anything that would sneak up on them advantage instead only taking away the disadvantage same goes for any power that would make them not have to roll per at all.

If they are woken up during the sleep they can stay awake for 10 turns before the time is resets and they must start their sleep over. These rounds stack if they wake up for 2 combats both of which last for 5 rounds then 5+5=10 and rest must restart. NOTE the short rest does not give them any hit dice or powers back until after its finished.

NOTE: if the player characters go a full 24 hours without a short rest they take a level of exhaustion, then another the next 24 hours they go without and so on. After the 3rd level have them make a DC 15 will save if they pass they can stay awake but they will have to make the save every day after that with the DC going up by 2 each day. (Note this save takes place before the new effect of exhaustion.) If they fail they pass out for 2d12+8 hours only if they take damage can they roll con DC 18 to awake up. But at least this sleep will count as a short rest and it will remove these levels of exhaustion.

Long Rest[edit]

During a long rest the player characters must relax. Ideally they want to be in a safe place like a town. The player characters must relax for a week but they can do down time stuff, build things talk all they like but any time above 10 rounds lost in combat or other straining activity must be gotten back by resting long, spend a total of 2 days worth of strain activity's then you must add 2 days to the rest. NOTE most travel counts as a straining activity unless they are riding a carriage, cart, boat or other wise not having to hike for hours on end.

If they do wish to travel on foot they must do so at half the normal speed. (they can train and exercise during the week tho) Note each 8 hour sleep during the long rest counts as a short rest but they do not gain the effects of a long rest until the week is over. (optional, if a week is just to long for you think about making it a day. I would also justest using a lot of time skips to keep game flow.)


Each day a player character fails to eat at least a ration of food and water they take a level of exhaustion. Regardless of how many level of exhaustion are gained in this way all of them go away after the player character both eats 2 rations of food and water at once then takes a short rest. (NOTE Optional make it so magic cannot cure this effect)

Also keep the quality of food in mind Constitution rolls for bad or rotten food which may cause food poisoning. Stale food would be Constitution saving throws 9 bad food (as in its just gone bad) is 11 rotten is 14 and infested is 16. If they fail either give them the poisoned effect or a level of exhaustion. This effect lasts 2 days after which point it goes away UNLESS the player character eats more bad/rotten/or infested food between when they were first food poisoned and when the 2 days would be up.

At which point they make the Constitution saving throws again with disadvantage. If they pass the effect is cured. If they fail the old effect stacks with the new one. if the effect isn't stack-able temporarily lower there con by a d4 each time this happens until it's cured.


Cold, Rain, and Snow[edit]

In light rainfall or snow it's colder raise the any DC against catching sicknesses like the cold by 1. Make torches go out after 3 rounds and note the player character's are likely wet. In heavy rain or snowfall raise the sickness DC by 2 make torches go out in 1 round and put everything under the lightly obscured effect.

For extreme rain the sickness DC increases by 4 for blizzard it increases by 6 count movement in the area as difficult terrain even if the player character is flying count the area as heavily obscured and cause the wind to mimic the effects of the gust of wind spell that goes off on the ground every 1d4 turns and in the air for those who are flying or high up every turn or every other turn. make the DC between 8-13. (unless they are up there for hours then think about just having those gusts once in a while when you think the time is right)

During a blizzard when they are hit with gust of wind have them also make a Constitution save DC same as the wind's Strength saving throw if they fail have them take a 1d4 cold damage.

During extreme rain have any spell or spell like effect that would use the element of fire require a concentration DC 15 check less the spell fail. And have the damage of fire effects always be cut in half and if they are meant to last more than one turn then they only last 1 turn.


Having resistance to fire damage gives one advantage against the effects of heat and being immune to fire makes them immune to these effects.

If it's "hot" (like a hot summer's day hot) check what the player character's are wearing if they are in hot clothing or medium armor and they stay in this heat for either 10 rounds of combat. (or any activity with is very straining like training or mountain climbing) Or (if they are just walking or hiking) then once a day have them make a DC 6 Constitution saving throw or else they take on one level of exhaustion. Then the next (24 hours for hiking/10 rounds for extreme activity) have them make the save again with the DC raised by 1. If the player character is able get cooled off and stay cool for 2 hours and drink 2 water rations for each level of exhaustion gained in this way then the levels of exhaustion caused by heat will go away.

If they are in heavy or fur armor the DC increases by 2.

During exposure to very hot areas, such as a desert, the DC increases by 2. Player characters with no armor still have to make these checks now but they have advantage.

During extreme heat (such as inside a volcano or overheating boiler room) The DC goes off every 5 rounds of combat or straining activity and every hour of normal activity. And the DC's go up by 4. (not stacking with very hot) And player characters with no armor have to make these checks without advantage but the ones in medium or heavy or fur armor get disadvantage.

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