Author Topic: "Are we there yet?" A Guide to Overland Travel Abilities & Nourishment En Route  (Read 264 times)

Offline Endarire

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Handy Links
-Survival Skill Survival Guide: Survival (WIS) Skill Uses and Optimization (daremetoidareyo)

-Travel Magic Guide: Comprehensive list of items, spells, and powers for overland/long-distance travel, nourishment, labor, lodging, and divination/information acquisition. (Samwise)

Intro
This is a guide I compiled for a Roll20 game I'm in (as of this writing) with lots of advice from this thread.  I made this guide with the intent of publishing it, but then I found Samwise's Travel Magic guide!  Samwise's guide has more abilities (spells, items, etc.) listed, but this guide focuses on spells and psionic powers - effectively class features - since GMs are not guaranteed to dispense the right items when someone wants them.  (I still chose to publish this as a separate guide since it's likely to be more visible and help more people.)

This post regards a group's ability to, indirectly or directly, get around the overworld and perhaps other places also at a speed notably faster than walking.  Only long-range abilities are included below. Normally, all party members must be affected for the party to benefit from that method.

I included certain select abilities available beyond that because they're likely useful to us eventually, but the 'available-by-level-12' was the focus.  (Most campaigns don't last past level 12 and if you do happen to have access to spell level 7+ abilities like gate, you probably don't need my advice on them here.)  I also purposely deemphasized abilities available to classes we lacked in this Roll20 campaign, such as a Wizard (as of this writing).

Remember, all [Good] characters in our group able to prepare and cast spells (meaning Clerics, Healers, Paladins, Archivists, and Wizards, and Druids of the appropriate alignment) can prepare and cast Sanctified spells.  Wizards can normally choose these spells at level up time (opposed schools aside), but Archivists normally need to find the spells before learning them.  (That's probably what the Archivist Scribe Scroll class feature was for, especially when used within your group.)  Sanctified spells inflict their sacrifice cost when the spell's duration ends (Book of Exalted Deeds 83), meaning careefully monitor durations as prudent.

Remember also that prepared divine casters know all spells on their spell lists, and [Good] Clerics can spontaneous convert their prepared Cleric spells into Sanctified spells in addition to their normal conversion.

Inspirations
Many suggestions were considered from this thread.  Thankee to all the helpful contributors!

Travel Abilities - How to get There and Answering, "Are we there yet?"
[CREATE LANTERN ARCHON (LEVEL 3 SANCTIFIED SPELL)]
*Source: Champions of Valor 154

=Description: In short, make a Lantern Archon loyal to you that will help you for a little while. Lantern Archons can, AT WILL, use Greater Teleport on themselves to transport themselves and up to 50 pounds of gear. Stuff people in a Bag of Holding or Portable Hole and we have a flying, glowing taxi!

!Notable Reads: Abusing Create Lantern Archon for World Domination, Sheltered Vitality (Spell Compendium 188), Restoration

-Cons: d2 CON drain per use! Requires a Restoration spell (after), a Sheltered Vitality (Spell Compendium 188) spell (before), or similar to negate CON drain. Requires a Bag of Holding, Portable Hole, or similar extradimensional storage for people to ride along. Lantern Archons are normally vulnerable creatures with 1d8 HP (though DR 10/Overcome by Magical Evil Weapons) and a bright glowing form, though with 60' fly (perfect maneuverability).  May also require a use of the Feathers (Masters of the Wild 88) spell or similar to fit a large party in a Heward's Handy Haversack or the like.

+Pros: Instant, error-free warping anywhere on our current plane! If we had magical containers, we could be doing this right now, just judiciously due to the CON drain.

[DRUIDIC ANIMAL COMPANION (DIRE EAGLE)]
*Source: Races of Stone 186

=Description: A Druid acquires a Dire Eagle (Races of Stone 186) animal companion, a Large creature with 60' fly speed that can take the feat Improved Maneuverability for (good) maneuverability to be able to hover.

-Cons: Requires a day. People may mourn the loss of the previous companion.

+Pros: This form can carry 399 pounds initially as a light load and more as her master levels. Dire Eagle form has comparable stats to an advanced Riding Dog form plus claw/claw/bite but without auto-trip attempts on hit.

[DRUIDIC WILD SHAPE (FLYING FORMS)]
*Source: Druid

=Description: A Druid shapeshifts into a flying form for 1 hour per level. He can become a Medium creature at level 5 and Large creature at level 8.

!Notable Reads: Alternate Form

-Cons: Only transports a small number of people at a time besides the user. A Medium form could transport 1 Small creature easily or 2 Small creatures if they squeezed. A Large form could transport 1 Medium or 2 small creatures easily or 2 Medium creatures if they squeezed.

+Pros: Doesn't require spell slots. Lasts most or all of the traveling period of a day. Can't be dispelled.

[ETHEREAL MOUNT (LEVEL 4 BARD AND WIZARD SPELL)]
*Source: Spell Compendium 85

=Description: Summons 1 Phantom Steed and 1 more per 2 caster levels. Each steed is super fast (20' move speed per caster level, max 240'), and, with a high enough caster level, can Water Walk, Air Walk, and fly (average maneuverability).

-Cons: 10 minute casting time. Each steed is fairly weak (18 AC and about 20 max HP).

+Pros: Each steed is frickin' FAST! A 240' speed means moving 380 miles per 8 hours or 47.5 miles per hour. We could cross the island of Nymm in a day or two with that, assuming we could manage top speed for most of each day. And a Shadowcraft Mage feels useful for using Shadowcraft Mage3's Shadow Illusion ability to get us these mounts.

[FEATHERS (LEVEL 4 DRUID SPELL)]
*Source: Masters of the Wild 88

=Description: Turn 1 willing creature per caster level into a feathered, winged Animal of Small or smaller size (usually an Eagle for 80' fly (average maneuverability) or a Hawk to fit more party members in a Bag of Holding or Heward's Handy Haversack).

-Cons: These forms are not meant for combat and are unclear on if they allow casting.

+Pros: Party-wide aerial travel form for an hour per caster level!  Alleluia!  Flight speed is increasable (if only with a Personal range) via Mass Snowshoes (Spell Compendium 194), Cloud Wings (Spell Compendium 49), Heart of Air (Complete Mage 106), Wind at Back (Spell Compendium 239), and others.  (If you intend to use Snowshoes, ask your GM if he allows that since it works by RAW but likely not by RAI.)

[GREATER PLANE SHIFT (LEVEL 7 CLERIC & LEVEL 8 WIZARD SPELL)]
*Source: Spell Compendium 159

=Description: Warp the group from our current planar position to another plane.  If the caster has been to the destination before, on-target arrival is guaranteed instead of landing 5d100 miles away.

-Cons: Very inaccurate unless the caster has been there before.

+Pros: Mostly useful for escaping the current plane to a place the caster has already visited.  Higher save DC to affect enemies.

[LESSER PLANAR ALLY (LEVEL 4 CLERIC SPELL)]
*Source: Lesser Planar Ally

=Description: Call a LG Outsider of 6 HD or less (most likely a Lantern Archon or Hound Archon) to serve us.

!Notable Reads: Archons

-Cons: 100 EXP cost per casting. Still requires a Bag of Holding or Portable Hole. Creatures called normally require a monetary payment or quest for services (a minimum of 100G per HD of the called creature for tasks requiring at most 1 minute per caster level), though the called creature may decide that stopping [Evil] and cultists by warping people around (including people who want to stop this [Evil] and may worship a rival of this [Evil] worthy of a discount or free services. Using Lantern Archons has the same cons as listed above in the Create Lantern Archon (Champions of Valor 54) spell. Using Hound Archons means we have better warriors (6 HD, 33 HP, and other abilities) and no obviously glowing light, but no inherent flight.

+Pros: Instant, error-free warping anywhere on our current plane! No CON drain.

[MASTER EARTH (LEVEL 7 DRUID SPELL)]
*Source: Spell Compendium 139

=Description: Warps the caster instantly between any 2 points on the ground on the Material Plane.

-Cons: Self-only.  Material Plane only.  The start and end points must touch the ground.

+Pros: Instant, errorless teleport-like ability that isn't blocked by dimensional lock and similar teleport blockers.  The caster can carry others in a Handy Haversack or such, especially with the feathers spell.

[PHANTOM STAG (LEVEL 5 DRUID SPELL)]
*Source: Spell Compendium 174

=Description: Summon a phantom deer (similar in effect to phantom steeds or ethereal mounts, above) for 1 hour per caster level with similar caster-level granted abilities to phantom steeds (Air Walk, flight, etc.), but at later caster levels; however, despite moving at 20' per caster level (max 300'), Phantom Stags have more HP than Phantom Steeds.

-Cons: Requires a level 5 Druid spell slot for one of these instead of a level 4 Wizard or Bard spell slot for more of these.  Gets its special abilities at later caster levels than Phantom Steeds.

+Pros: Druids get it automatically.  More HP than Phantom Steeds.  Higher max speed than phantom steeds (300' move instead of 240').

[PLANAR ALLY (LEVEL 6 CLERIC SPELL)]
*Source: Planar Ally

=Description: Call a LG Outsider of 12 HD or less, most likely a Trumpet Archon, to serve us.

-Cons: 250 EXP cost per casting. Still requires a Bag of Holding or Portable Hole. Creatures called normally require a monetary payment or quest for services (a minimum of 100G per HD of the called creature for tasks requiring at most 1 minute per caster level), though the called creature may decide that stopping [Evil] and cultists by warping people around (including people who want to stop this [Evil] and may worship a rival of this [Evil] worthy of a discount or free services. Using Trumpet Archons means they have 90' flight (good maneuverability), and notably better stats than Hound or Lantern Archons, but normally charge more in tribute.

+Pros: Instant, error-free warping anywhere on our current plane! No CON drain. A variety of blowing- and wind-related jokes.

[PLANE SHIFT (LEVEL 5 CLERIC & LEVEL 7 WIZARD SPELL)]
*Source: Plane Shift

=Description: Warp the group from our current planar position to another plane.

-Cons: Very inaccurate.

+Pros: Mostly useful for escaping the current plane (probably the Material Plane) and likely using another fast travel ability to get to our next destination.

[SHADOW WALK (LEVEL 5 BARD & LEVEL 6 BEGUILER AND WIZARD SPELL)]
*Source: Shadow Walk

=Description: For up to 1 hour per caster level, walk in the Plane of Shadow at speeds faster than the Material Plane (that is, 50 miles per hour).

-Cons: Somewhat inaccurate. We may be stuck going way out of our way. Available at level 12 at soonest for Beguilers.

+Pros: Works regardless of local terrain. Isn't a [Teleportation] spell. Can take along 1 creature per caster level so long as they hold hands.

[STORMWALK (LEVEL 6 DRUID AND WIZARD SPELL]
*Source: Stormwrack 122

=Description: Teleports the caster and 1 other creature per 2 caster levels to another spot on the same plane. Takes 10 minutes to warp the affected creatures. Seemingly only works outside or in a place large enough to hold a thunderstorm.

-Cons: 10 minute delay in arrival. Only works in large areas.  Ambiguous wording regarding what sort of storms are involved.  (Ask your GM before learning or using this spell!)

+Pros: Druidic Teleport! Can transport more creatures than Teleport.

[TELEPORT (LEVEL 5 WIZARD SPELL) AND PSIONIC TELEPORT (LEVEL 5 FREEDOM MANTLE & PSION (NOMAD) POWER]
*Source: Teleport (Spell), Teleport (Psionic)

=Description: Warp the group from point to another on the same plane within 100 miles per caster level.  It's the gold standard of fast, long-distance travel.

Available in item form via a Runestaff of Transporation (Magic Item Compendium 182), a Belt of Wide Earth (Magic Item Compendium 204), or similar.  Available in feat form as a 1/day spell-like ability via Fiendish Legacy (Complete Mage 43) and Greater Mark of Passage (Eberron Campaign Setting 65).  Available in template form via Phrenic at 15 hit dice.  Available in class form via Jaunter3 (Expedition to the Demonweb Pits 172).

-Cons: Sometimes inaccurate.  Can be blocked by Dimensional Lock, Dimensional Anchor, and certain Teleport blockers.  Only transports the caster and 1 additional Medium or littler creature per 3 caster/manifester levels. Keep Feather Fall handy just in case we have a mishap and warp into midair and possibly also Water Breathing should we find undesired ocean.

+Pros: Generally accurate enough. Instant warping of hundreds of miles at a time!

[TRANSPORT VIA PLANTS (LEVEL 6 DRUID SPELL)]
*Source: Transport via Plants

=Description: Warp the group from one plant (not a Plant creature) to another on the same plane.

-Cons: Some places have no plants. Only transports the caster and 1 additional Medium creature per 3 caster levels.

+Pros: Instant, error-free warping anywhere on our current plane that has plants!

[TREE STRIDE (LEVEL 5 DRUID & LEVEL 4 RANGER SPELL)]
*Source: Tree Stride

=Description: Warp the group from one tree (not a Plant creature) to another on the same plane over and over until time runs out or we reach our destination.

-Cons: Only works when trees are close enough together (between 500 and 3000 feet depending on tree type).  Only transports the caster unless we use a Bag of Holding, Portable, Hole, or similar extradimensional storage.  Other spells available by this point are probably much better.

+Pros: Incrementally hop between trees for spying and transport purposes.

[VALIANT STEED (LEVEL 6 SANCTIFIED SPELL)]
*Source: Book of Exalted Deeds 110

=Description: Call a Unicorn (or a Pegasus, but that won't work as well for long-distance instantaneous travel) to serve the caster loyally for a year.  A Unicorn can Teleport Errorlessly within its forest home.

-Cons: d3 CON drain.  (Use Sheltered Vitality from Spell Compendium 188 on the caster soon before this spell expires!)  Limited to 1 called creature from this spell at a time and 1 warp per Unicorn per day and only within a forested area.

+Pros: Doesn't require magical storage containers.  The Unicorn lasts for a year.

[WIND AT BACK (LEVEL 4 DRUID SPELL)]
*Source: Spell Compendium 219

=Description: Doubles the overland speed of 1 creature per caster level, including mounts and animals.

-Cons: Only works on dedicated travel times and only for whomever travels together.  Affects a maximum of 1 subject per caster level.

+Pros: It can normally affect the same number of subjects as Feathers (Masters of the Wild 88), and doubled speed is doubled speed!

[WIND WALK (LEVEL 6 CLERIC AND LEVEL 7 DRUID SPELL)]
*Source: Wind Walk

=Description: The caster and up to 1 additional touched subject per 3 caster levels turns into mist as per Gaseous Form (10' flight speed with perfect maneuverability) and can be carried along by air currents at 600' per round (60 miles per hour) with poor maneuverability.  Each spell subject can act independentlky.

!Notable Reads: Order of the Stick #647

-Cons: Poor maneuverability while going fast.  Small number of subjects affected compared to Feathers.  Normally at least a level 6 spell.

+Pros: It's a long-term multi-subject Gaseous Form for Clerics and Druids that can get the party into places Teleport can't.  Move speed stacks with Wind at Back.

#Credit for Mention: Mr Adventurer

[WORD OF RECALL (LEVEL 6 CLERIC & LEVEL 8 DRUID SPELL)]
*Source: Word of Recall

=Description: Warps the caster and 1 Medium or littler creature per 3 caster levels to the caster's 'sanctuary' where he prepared this spell.

-Cons: Very specific destination.

+Pros: Useful for warping home/to a safe place or to a certain other very familiar place should we need it.

Nourishing Abilities for Character's Bodies - Answering, "Daaaad!  We're hungry!"
[NOTE]
This list also emphasizes abilities gotten no later than level 12.

[ALL]
-Gather (especially berries for Goodberry)
-Hunt (if it's alive - not Undead - and meaty, it likely counts)

[BARD]
-[L0] Prestidigitation (clean and reflavor food)
-[L6] Heroes' Feast (makes a feast for 1 creature per caster level; requires 1 hour to consume; eaters get d8 temporary HP +1 per 2 caster levels (max +10) and are removed of sickness, disease, and nausea; eaters get poison immunity, fear immunity, and +1 morale accuracy & damage for 12 hours)

[CLERIC]
-[L0] Create Water (makes 2 gallons of clean water per caster level)
-[L0] Purify Food and Drink (makes 1 cubic foot per caster level of food and drink usable for typical adventuring parties; negates spoilage, poison, and rot on such things; doesn't work on magic potions nor unholy food and drink)
-[L3] Create Food & Water (10 minute cast time; makes enough food and water for 3 Medium creatures or 1 horse- ask your GM if this is total or per caster level)
**[L4] Lesser Planar Ally: MOVANIC DEVA (Create Food and Water AT WILL!; Fiend Folio 57)**
-[L6] Heroes' Feast (makes a feast for 1 creature per caster level; requires 1 hour to consume; eaters get d8 temporary HP +1 per 2 caster levels (max +10) and are removed of sickness, disease, and nausea; eaters get poison immunity, fear immunity, and +1 morale accuracy & damage for 12 hours)

[CRAFTING]
-[Craft] Everlasting Rations (each set provides ample food for 1 Medium creature each day; each set requires 1 day, 175G, and 14 EXP to craft; Magic Item Compendium 160)
**[Craft] Field Provisions Box (provides ample food and drink per day for 15 Medium creatures; each requires 2 days, 1000G, and 40 EXP to craft; Magic Item Compendium 160)**

[DRUID]
-[L0] Create Water (makes 2 gallons of clean water per caster level)
-[L0] Purify Food and Drink (makes 1 cubic foot per caster level of food and drink usable for typical adventuring parties; negates spoilage, poison, and rot on such things; doesn't work on magic potions nor unholy )
-[L1] Goodberry (requires freshly-picked berries; each casting makes 2d4 berries; each berry is 1 meal for a Medium creature)
-[L3] Camel's Tenacity (for 1 day per 3 caster levels, 1 subject per caster level need not eat nor drink, "Dragon" #331 page 71)
-[Survival] Druids get bonuses to these and, assuming no one put ranks in Survival, would likely be ones with the highest Survival skill.

[HEALER]
-[L0] Create Water (makes 2 gallons of clean water per caster level)
-[L0] Purify Food and Drink (makes 1 cubic foot per caster level of food and drink usable for typical adventuring parties; negates spoilage, poison, and rot on such things; doesn't work on magic potions nor unholy food and drink)
-[L1] Goodberry (requires freshly-picked berries; each casting makes 2d4 berries; each berry is 1 meal for a Medium creature)
-[L3] Create Food & Water (10 minute cast time; makes enough food and water for 3 Medium creatures or 1 horse- ask your GM if this is total or per caster level)
-[L5] Stone to Flesh (makes a 3' x 10' cylinder of stone into edible flesh)
-[L6] Heroes' Feast (makes a feast for 1 creature per caster level; requires 1 hour to consume; eaters get d8 temporary HP +1 per 2 caster levels (max +10) and are removed of sickness, disease, and nausea; eaters get poison immunity, fear immunity, and +1 morale accuracy & damage for 12 hours)

[PALADIN]
-[L1] Create Water (makes 2 gallons of clean water per caster level)

[SUMMONS & CALLED CREATURES]
-Fire Elemental (living campfire and cooker)
-Smoke Paraelemental (Manual of the Planes 184 & Official 3.5 Update: smokehouse and barbecue; suggested by Bullet06320)

[WIZARD]
-[L0] Prestidigitation (clean and reflavor food)
-[L6] Stone to Flesh (makes a 3' x 10' cylinder of stone into edible flesh)[/b]
« Last Edit: January 20, 2018, 06:28:37 PM by Endarire »

Offline Endarire

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[NOTABLE, RELEVANT CREATURES]
These are mostly for planar binding or planar ally spells.  (Thanks to Darrin AKA Shax and Bullet06320 for their suggestions.)

-Bar-Lgura (6HD, Fiendish Codex I 29): Greater teleport at will and can take along another Large creature or 2 other Medium or littler creatures.  It is CE and its warping ability is called Abduction (Su).  Consider yourself warned.

-Genies (7HD Djinn/10HD Noble Djinn, 6HD Janni): Major creation with permanent duration for vegetable matter; create food and water; create wine; plane shift to elemental/Astral/Material planes only.  Noble Djinn also get a 3-pack of wishes to grant to nongenies, but granting the last wish ends their servitude.

-Genies (10HD Efreet): Wish 3/day to nongenies only.  That more than covers your travel, food, and drink needs!  (Of course, plane shift to elemental/Astral/Material planes only in addition.)
« Last Edit: January 20, 2018, 06:28:59 PM by Endarire »