Hike&DnD – ingenious or stupid idea?

TLDR: Locations and travel is real, everything else is imaginary.
TLDR2: No I don’t mean LARP

As hiking season was approaching an idea struck me: can I go hiking and play DnD in the same time?

Indeed, there are tons of great locations near Vienna perfectly suited for a DnD encounter: ruined watch towers, caves, forest paths, castles and much more. Each of those can be a beautiful place to explore, fight the dragon or meet a special NPC.

Naturally one can imagine multiple ways to bring RPG into real life. One of the most obvious is LARP. However, LARP takes way too much time and money to prep or run. What I had in mind is much simpler:

  1. Find a hike featuring some DnD-ish locations (e.g. ruined tower in a forest).
  2. Prep couple of encounters along the route (NPC meets the party and gives a quest, a monster jumps out of a cave etc.).
  3. Go on the hike (normal hike, no costumes or anything ‘LARP’-like) and bring along your character.
  4. Once in a while DM will stop the hike and do a DnD encounter at given location (I can see that a player can call for that too).
  5. During the encounter no actual movement is required from the players (again, this is not LARP). When acting, player needs to point at location at describe the action taken by the character (e.g. ‘I run towards the orc near that wall (pointing to the actual wall), karate-jump off the wall, do a backflip and hit the orc in the face with my foot’).
  6. Once the encounter is over we continue with the hike.

This hike&play format has multiple advantages over, say, LARP:

  • No props needed (except gear for the hike itself if any)
  • No actual fights IRL (at least not planned by the DM :sweat_smile:)
  • Can be run with other people around without rising much of attention (we just sit and chat, occasionally pointing at things)

Of course it has challenges, some of which are:

  • How do you dice?
  • How do you bring your notes (e.g. character sheet or DM notes, what if it rains?)?
  • How and where do you make and keep notes during the game?
  • How do you keep track of what is going on during encounter?

I am sure some of you had tried or even successfully run such DnD hike in one or another version. Feel free to give your opinion and experiences below. Really excited about this topic and would love to hear your thoughts.

P.S. I am eager to try this idea in the field as soon as weather allows. Please indicate below if you want to participate (or run the game). I will make a separate thread to arrange a game.

I advise using SHERPA
that a ruleslight indie rpg made for playing while hiking

have fun :+1:

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Interesting system. Do you have a link to proper description? Googled around but find only bits there and there, is there an official website?

Also I am more inclined to have system compatible with VALUE charachters. Would really love to take my charachter out for a spin :slight_smile:

Few ideas I had regarding adoptation of the play to outdoors is:

  1. Reduce rolls (not completely though as I love to rool, personally): e.g. use average damage. this way we only need d20.
  2. Roll on the phone or have a transparent enclosure to shake dice in (my daughter pacifier boxes seems very useful).
  3. Keep notes to mininum (HP) and have rest in water-sealed puch (e.g. hiking map cases).

We must have played Sherpa at the table a dozen times before finally taking it on a hike. Ah, the siren song of the Great Indoors!

Totally worth it when we finally did play it while hiking. Good times.

Great game. Author seems very nice, too. Recommended.

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:point_right: SHERPA RPG Intro
:point_right: SHERPA RPG Webversion

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Not all LARPs using boffer weapons, many use other systems such as rock-paper-scissors or drawing cards from a small deck. These are sometimes called parlor LARPs.

I have done this using parlor LARP systems such as those in the World of Darkness. If you really want to use DnD, go ahead, but there are tons of other games out there to explore.

For dice, a set of cards to shuffle and draw from would be the same probability but not require a flat surface.