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I recently started running Storm Kings Thunder and I found an area that I think has been underdeveloped. River travel and trade. A few locations like Yartar are mentined as imprtant river trading posts but I have not been able to find any info on river encounters, speed of travel by different types of craft. I started doing some research and found some interesting historical details that provide some cool game options but I am alittle daunted by trying to invent the mechanics myself.

I am thinking about fishing as an encounter. Also current and weather and sand bars. Fog other travelers, river pirates. Monsters.

https://www.nps.gov/fous/learn/education/classrooms/1800s-river-transportation.htm this site gives some interesting details. For example keel boats could go both upstream and downstream but were very slow (15 miles a day) A mackinaw could only go downstream but could travel upt to 100 miles in a day.

There are a lot of locations connected by rivers and it seems like there is a lot of potential to create more variaty and speed up travel when desired. Does any body know about any resources that have started to define these kinds of mechanics?
71.38.106.83 19:17, June 13, 2018 (UTC)
There is "DMGR9 - Of Ships and Seas" an old 2e supplement to the Dungeon Master's Guide that has information about sea travel, both above and underwater. You also might be able to get some inspiration from some lore. There was a bit of talk about riverboats on the River Ashaba from the The Dalelands (sourcebook), page 27 or so. I know Golden Voyages and Corsairs of the Great Sea from Al-Qadim discusses nautical themes but haven't browsed them myself. Again, its 2e stuff, but might give you a place to start for homebrew
Ruf (talk) 05:17, June 14, 2018 (UTC)
I think Of Ships and the Sea, Golden Voyages and Corsairs of the Great Sea all focus on sea travel and trade, though of course some of this could be adapted. The 2nd edition Dungeon Mater's Guide itself, however, has a short but concise section on river travel in its "Time and Movement" section. (Basically travel speed on a river is boat speed + or - water flow speed. And a table of boats.) I am not sure at the moment if this also exists in later edition DMGs
Daranios (talk) 20:11, June 14, 2018 (UTC)


The Wilderness Survival Guide has a section on movement in waterborne vehicles (pp. 44–45). It lists the speeds and capacities of kayaks, small/large canoes, small/large rowboats, coracles, and small/large barges for both small (feet per round) and large (miles per half-day, or 8 hours) movements under normal/maximum sail and normal/maximum oar. There are also sections on capsizing and damage, and portaging. If you want some specifics, let me know and I'll give you the crunch.
Moviesign (talk) 17:19, June 16, 2018 (UTC)