I was once motivated to walk home. About 12 miles.

It was summer I think, in Salt Lake City. I had some water but I finished it in the first hour. It took me about four hours to complete the trek. I’ve never really been “out of shape,” but I’ve definitely been healthier before.

And I have never really liked how D&D handles overland movement.

I think I understand where the “30 miles per day” comes from now though — it’s one of the more consistent numbers across editions — likely owing itself to some of the legendary marches of the Roman legions.

Er, someone with more reading than me could look that one up.

However. I know that I traveled about twelve miles in about four hours. Under what could be considered somewhat “ideal” conditions in D&D terms — I was never lost. I followed the roads and always knew about where I was.

Salt Lake City is pretty flat. I was traveling about three miles per hour.

And when I did finally get home, I was sunburned, exhausted, and a little dehydrated. I made no stops on the way, though I did change up my pace a couple times to help keep myself from getting perilously bored.

I traveled four hours and was wiped out for the next day or two.

Imagine fighting for your life after that!

Sure, sure. D&D characters are heroes, right? Well, okay. I’ll imagine a hero for a minute. Traveling that same distance and then fighting for his life. He wouldn’t have been as tired as I was. He probably would have been better supplied.

He probably would have worn a hat.

But he also would have carried more. I had like, a water bottle. Some good shoes. My clothes. Imagine carrying your weapons and armor. No wonder Conan marches around in a loincloth. Now imagine marching twice that distance.

Because D&D says a party can march 24 miles in eight hours.

See, the fighters will probably be better off. But the thieves and the wizards and the priests? Not so much. I don’t imagine the wizard being in better shape than me. I have a sedentary job and I still managed three miles per hour.

But only for four hours.

Actually, what I want to propose is fairly simple. I nice alternative to trying to justify some vague numbers in the book with something that will affect the entire adventuring party. Your Constitution score in miles per day.

That’s how far you can go before it becomes a “forced march.”

I think this is being generous, actually. I mean, I wasn’t carrying anything and I was wiped out. I didn’t fully recover for a day or two. In pretty good shape.

So the implication here is that a character could cover this amount of ground in a day and still be able to fight and sling spells with the best of them. Better yet, you can apply this unilaterally — all characters, including NPCs, could travel this far and be “pretty okay” for the rest of the day.

I think the main difference that mounts would apply, is simply allowing the character to travel twice as far before beginning to tire. Riding is exhausting work — the difference is that you’ve outsourced the walking to a mount.

I think this rule, more than others — will help set the “speed of the party” to its “slowest member.” Want to march the wizard to death? I think he might raise an objection to that. The thief, too. And probably the priest.

This however, has the effect of limiting daily travel to 10 miles — which is between one-half and one-third what players will be used to. Now, I’m sure you can imagine what would happen if you applied terrain and trail modifiers…

It becomes more feasible to actually keep a campaign within one six-mile hex (which is one of my new mechanical interests). Well, within a few hexes.