I think I have something now, for roads and settlements, and it comes back to camps and the extended rest. Taking an extended rest (see: sleeping) should really be a bigger deal than most games make it out to be. When you get down to it, the closest you come to the importance of sleep in most mainstream games is when Diablo forces you to go back to town to offload your accumulated treasure.

And that doesn’t even involve sleeping. The passage of time is almost completely irrelevant. Characters rarely age, and their situations rarely change or improve (or worsen) simply based on the passage of time. The Sims is again an example of a difference, where relationships decay over time. It’s a hassle, but it’s something.

You could look at a dungeon crawl as an instance of micromanagement: the player exerts minute control over their character, choosing each action and reaction in the context of an evolving combat situation. As you get away from the dungeon, actions become more abstract, and may represent hours or days instead of mere seconds.

As I said, I don’t want players rolling to set up camp in a dungeon.

I’d like to make them roll to set up camp outside the dungeon, though, which is where this entry comes in. You have Catan hexes which are bordered by trade routes, roads, and settlements. You have the option of setting up camp in the dungeon, in the wild, along the road, or bargaining for a night at the local hospice or drinking hall.

Resting in a dungeon already carries with it a great deal of danger, so we’re going to look outside the dungeon. Setting up a camp (or staying in an inn) requires a basic challenge, which is less difficult, the closer you are to a settlement. Camping in the wild has a complexity of three, while camping along the road has a complexity of two.

Finding a safe inn or tavern has a complexity of one. The challenge scales to the level of the party because there are a combination of factors that make them more or less safe. Higher-level characters are more tempting targets for robbery or assassination. Just like an audience with a local ruler, there are stages to go through when finding, creating, and protecting your campsite.

Expect a variety of skills to come into play here.