Thursday, October 4, 2018

Dark Sun Terrain: Stony Barrens

Goblin Valley, Utah, USA
Of all the different types of terrain, stony barrens are the most common type in the Tablelands. Stony barrens appear as large sheets of exposed bedrock, usually orange-red sandstone. The bedrock is weathered away by strong, dry winds, so the barrens are littered with stones. The stones themselves can be tiny pebbles or large boulders. Dust and red sand are blown about the barrens by high winds.
Stony barrens are not without life. Between the large boulders and small stones, life emerges. The minuscule amount of rainfall that falls in the barrens can run between the stones and be protected from the suns harsh rays. This tiny amount of water allows life to struggle to survive. Thorny bushes and cacti are the most common type of plants to be found.

Red Rock Desert, Nevada, USA

Of course, with plants come animals. Most of the animals are small and feed on the thorny plants that grow in this dry wasteland and the larger animals feed on the smaller ones. Some of the boulders are so large they provide shelter for animals during the hottest parts of the day, or the coldest times of the night. Creatures that frequent the stony barrens include wild kanks and erdlus, b'rohgs, baazrags, kes'trekel, cha'thrang, flailers, and id fiends.
Mojave Desert, Nevada, USA
When it comes to the terrain types, stony barrens are not too terrible. Although monsters abound, finding water, food, and shelter should be easier than in the some of the Tableland's more harsh terrain types. However, the footing can be treacherous and taking any sized wagon is nearly impossible.

Official rules: All demihumans can only move at half speed when crossing stony barrens. Animals move at full speed, but cannot be forced to go faster.

House rules: Every hour traveling over this terrain type forces players to make a Dexterity/Balance check. Failure indicates characters take 1d4 damage from slipping and falling, or simply twisting an ankle. Domestic animals roll a save vs breath weapon with a +1 bonus, failure indicates it has taken 1d4 damage from slipping and falling. A critical failure for either demihumans or domestic animals on these tests indicate the subject has broken a leg or ankle. Reduce the targets movement to half and take 2d4 damage.
If the target is going faster than the official rules advise, increase these checks every ten minutes per movement speed higher than advised.

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