I have a few questions about camp now that I’m getting into things with my players a little more (and it’s one of the shortest chapters in the book :p)
How limiting should I be about where players can set up camp? Is it just whether there’s a pressure on them? If they haven’t created or discovered a secure location is it just that I roll for a dangerous camp?
What amenities are assumed to come with camp?
2a) Is there only water if they find it or setup camp near an obvious water source?
2b) What about a fire? Can they set up a camp in the mud in a cave with no obvious source of firewood? Should I ask them to either come up with a good idea for how they are starting a fire or just do without?
2c) Can they camp in the dark just to recover?
Scenario: The second turn of a torch just ended. They want to setup camp instead of lighting a new torch with the old one. There’s no pressure currently to stop them from setting up camp. Is it okay to setup camp as their torch is dying? Or do they need to light an entire new torch, completely waste it taking no turns, just so that they can setup camp?
I’m picturing some tents, a fireplace, you know, camping stuff.
2a) No there isn’t, that’s why is a factor in a Survival test.
2b) Yes, I guess that firewood, tents, etc are in the Survival skill gear.
2c) Sure!.. it’s Dangerous
they can’t test in the dark, so yes, they should waste another torch.
Of course this is how I’d run the game and not something straight out of the book.
I don’t see adventurers schlepping along a bunch of firewood on top of all their gear and their invisible 40 pounds of junk. Also, depending on the fiction it might not be possible to get a fire going, as you point out. I think both questions are a case of “up to the GM.” In my opinion, if players want a fire, there needs to be at least a plausible source of fuel.
Camping in the dark would, of course, count as a factor for recovery tests.
Up to the GM, I guess. However, lighting a new torch before making camp would not waste that torch. Making camp does not use up any turns (unless you want to test survivalist first), and time does not pass in camp, so the torch would be like new when they go back to the adventure phase. I would require a source of light for setting up camp properly if there’s no pile of wood conveniently lying around, waiting to be fired, but that’s mostly a matter of the fiction.
It’s also a good idea to have light in case a camp disaster comes up.
Oh, and regarding the availability of water – you can find water in the fiction, by making a Survivalist roll, or by getting lucky on the Camp tables. Otherwise, you only have the water you bring along.
Well, the rules generally assume there is a fire (see “Camp Light”, p. 61), so if it doesn’t break the fiction for you, I’d just say yes. (Having an open fire in an underground location or a closed room is mostly not a very good idea, if you think about it, so you’ll have to decide how strict you are anyway.) For me it breaks the fiction if there is no conceivable source of fuel whatsoever, or nor place to get a fire going (your mud cave or a flooded tunnel), or if the location is a small, enclosed room with no ventilation.
Ah ha! That’s what I was missing, Camp Light. I thought I remembered something like that, but couldn’t find it in the Camp section. Okay, so I suppose it’s safe to assume that their 40 pounds of extra gear includes one or two logs or something to at least have a little light when they camp. I think I’m okay with that.
By the way, I just reread the procedures chapter and noticed that “inclement conditions” are explicitly called out as a danger preventing camp (p. 183). So, if you can’t pitch tent in nasty wet weather, there’s no reason why you should be able to do so in a rock tube full of mud. (Hey, common sense, really.)