High Road. Paved surfaces with continuously maintained even surfaces of stone blocks or concrete. Offering a smooth, firm purchase and drainage. The wide and comfortable roadstead will easily accommodate two wagons at minimum, and sometimes up to three or four wagons. High roads will include toll bridges of stone construction across rivers up to 20 pts. Non-toll bridges will cross any river equal or less than 6 pts. Ferries will exist for rivers up to 24 pts. Transhipment will be available for any size of river.
Low Road. Paved surfaces with sporadic maintenance, generally made of smooth paving stones and mortar and some drainage. The roadstead nominally allows for two wagons to pass, though in places this space will be tight. Low roads will include toll bridges of half-timbered construction across rivers up to 15 pts. Non-toll bridges will cross any river equal or less than 4 pts. Ferries will exist for rivers up to 24 pts. Transhipment will be available for rivers up to 60 pts.
Cobbled Road. Uneven surfaces with sporadic maintenance made of rounded stone “cobbles” and mortar, with minimal drainage. A dirt shoulder, often muddy or lacking for hundreds of yards at a time, allows wagons to pass. Toll bridges of wooden or half-timbered construction will cross rivers up to 10 pts, being narrow enough for one vehicle at a time (no passing). All bridges will have a toll. Fords will cross rivers up to 12 pts. Ferries will exist for rivers up to 18 pts.
Cart Track. Little more than two ruts, often with a centre mound, with surrounding wilderness cut back to allow two carts to pass one another, with chance that one will become entangled in vegetation or risk slipping off the track’s grade. Wagons will not be able to navigate the track. Grass and scrub will cover the track up to one foot high and occasionally must be removed from cart axles. No bridges or ferries. Fords will cross rivers up to 4 pts.
Cart Path. Similar to cart track, but used so infrequently that vegetation has encroached upon the road, so that it must be physically held back or cut away. The centre mound scrape the axles and, occasionally, the cart will need to be levered over humps. No bridges, ferries or fords.
Trail. Animal-made route, variably surfaced and very uneven, with splits and breaks that must be jumped or crossed with make-shift methods, such as a log. Trails are one to two feet wide, and may quit at points and require searching to pick up the trail again, further on.
Less fabricated roads will inhibit ease of travel, primarily in the number of loops and curves per mile of actual progress. Paths and trails in particular will wind considerably and include many places where steep grades must be negotiated. However, even this will be better than travelling through pure wilderness.
Travel per Day
Better surfaces, drainage and route design makes walking or riding easier, so that travellers will prefer to walk on high and low roads than on tracks or paths. Distance travelled per hour is measured by the lowest number of action points among members of the travelling party, as determined by encumbrance. For the purpose of granularity, distance per hour is measured in furlongs, each being a length of 220 yards. There are eight furlongs to the mile.
The use of this measurement will seem unfamiliar and even distasteful at first, but we may benefit by having a clearer, more tactile notion of how far is travelled in a day or an hour. Common use during the campaign will overcome resistance to the measure’s use, while adding a medieval flavour to the game’s atmosphere.
The table shown indicates the distance that can be travelled either per day or per hour, per action point of the slowest member of the party. Travel can be done at four different paces: at an amble, at normal speed, in a hurry or in a rush. It is good to remember that a day of travel indicates ten hours of combined movement and rest.
An ambling pace allows many stops, opportunities to speak with other travellers and locals, and gives a good sense of the environment travelled through. This is called discovery, which enables learning by seeing and through communication with others. An ambling party will notice signs and features along the way that might otherwise be missed; and will be less likely to be surprised by an encounter. Furthermore, ambling helps the players to remember a route, and to enjoy themselves as they journey.
A normal pace indicates a good, steady walk of 4 mph. If on foot, eight out of ten hours will be spent walking and two resting and eating. If mounted, the party’s animals may be ridden for up to six hours, walked for two and rested for two. There may be a little time to speak with others moving in the same direction as the party, but little more than a greeting or a quick jibe is given to anyone else. The party will feel moderately footsore at the end of the day, and will have already forgotten the route a few days later.
If in a hurry, the party will reduce their time resting to one hour a day rather than two, using the additional hour to hasten forward. This pace will tire them, so that in the last two hours of the day’s travel they should count their strength reduced by 1 point. They will spend the day overtaking others and, often, appearing somewhat rude to strangers, who will not be noticed as the party moves ahead. Much of the route will not be seen at all.
Finally, moving in a rush cannot be done for more than two hours. This represents the players choosing to push on with all dispatch, in a last, desperate effort to reach a destination, lodging or an encampment before the day’s end. It may also be employed to take the best possible advantage of a day’s fading light. Whatever the length of the rush, the party must rest for twice as long, immediately after ~ this does not, however, compromise a party’s ability to set up camp.
Parties must choose the pace that works best for them, depending on how anxiously they are to arrive at their destination. It is sincerely hoped that the party might recognize that their day can be divided between one pace and another; it is for this reason that distances are given in hours as well as in days.
Forced Activity Checks