D&D: Five Ways to Survive in Nature Without Really Trying
Exploration and survival can be difficult challenges in Dungeons & Dragons. Why not trivialize that with these handy tricks instead?
Deep in the wilderness lurk dangerous monsters. Hungry dragons. Deadly snakes. And just a surprising number of plants that want to kill you, specifically. Don’t even get me started on chickens.
But that’s life in Dungeons & Dragons. One of the three pillars of the game is Exploration. The other two, Social Interaction and Combat are pretty self-explanatory. But Exploration is vague. And it’s also the most underutilized crumbling pillar of the game. This is why you shouldn’t feel bad about using these tricks to straight up ignore most of the dangers of being lost in the woods.
One of the biggest problems with nature is that once you’re in it, it’s everywhere. You can’t really get away from it. You’re in the woods or out in the desert. And anything can find you if it wants. It’s one of the basic needs: food, water, clothing, and shelter.
But Tiny Hut just solves that problem. Cast this spell and create a magical dome. You and up to nine of your friends can all hang out together inside it. Once inside, the atmosphere is comfortable and dry. Creatures inside the dome can pass through it freely, but all other creatures and objects are barred from passing through it. Spells can’t be cast through it either. It’s total immunity for 8 hours (just long enough to take a long rest and be refreshed).
This first-level spell is one of the most useful spells you can pick up. Because, right from the jump you can create ten berries. Each berry not only restores one hit point—meaning you can use it to revive a downed colleague—it also provides enough nourishment to sustain a creature for one day.
This means you can feed up to ten people with one spell slot. That’s two of your basic needs taken care of already.
Speak With Animals
Are you lost in the woods? Looking for someone? Well with this spell, you can solve that. Speak with animals lets you talk to the animals nearby. But it does more than that. You can also convince them to perform small favors. Meaning, you can learn about your surroundings without having to risk it. Just ask that chipmunk what it’s seen, and what nearby monsters are around, and you’re set.
Create or Destroy Water
Finding fresh water is another one of the tricky challenges of survival in D&D. Unless you have access to Create or Destroy Water, that is.
Then, you can create up to ten gallons of clean water within range in an open container. And that’s at the first level. The spell only gets more powerful as you go up. But 10 gallons a day is more than enough to thrive on, even in the deepest desert.
With 1 hour of casting and 10 gold pieces, you can figure out where you are in the world. Because with Find Familiar, you can summon a flying hawk or owl or raven or the like. This might not seem the most useful a first, but, you can give it instructions and use an action to see through its eyes and hear through its ears. Meaning you can get a literal bird’s eye view of where you are in the world.
You’ll never be lost when you can find a landmark in the skies. Just as long as you have the gold to get your familiar in the first place.