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Cold Weather Camping & Resting

The following optional rules outline the hindrances of various cold weather conditions when taking a long rest, given a player’s general preparedness. These rules have been presented in a manner that they can work alongside other cold weather rules, allowing you to run adventures that are truly representative of hardships faced in arctic environments when camping on the open tundra or the cliff-face of a mountain.

Resting in Cold Weather

The following section can be used if the party decides to rest outside in the arctic, demonstrating how the cold might impact their ability to make camp. Each table assumes the players are able to set up a basic campsite suitable for rest.

When resting in areas that are exposed to the elements, one save will be done for the entire 8-hour period to exemplify the conditions experienced throughout the rest in the specified location. Any damage taken is applied at the end of the rest, but the long rest is still considered successful.

Players may wish to explore other options than just warm clothing or campfires. GMs can use the scaling DCs found below to assign suitable difficulties depending on what the players come up with.

Open Tundra
Time of Day Preparedness Save Penalty
Day None DC 13 Constitution saving throw 1d6 cold damage per hour
Day Warm clothing DC 8 Constitution saving throw 1 cold damage per hour
Day Warm clothing & Campfire None None
Night None DC 18 Constitution saving throw 2d6 cold damage per hour
Night Warm clothing DC 12 Constitution saving throw 1d6 cold damage per hour
Night Warm clothing & Campfire None None

Additionally, a Weather Conditions table has been created to show Game Masters how to add some randomness to the local climate throughout the arctic, challenging players should they be ill prepared for resting in the wilds.

Weather Conditions
d20 Weather Conditions
01-07 Calm
08-14 Blowing Winds
15-18 Howling Winds
19-20 Blizzard

Weather Modifiers

  • Blowing Winds (+2 DC, additional 1d6 cold damage)
  • Howling Winds (+4 DC, additional 2d6 cold damage)
  • Blizzard (+6 DC, additional 4d6 cold damage, extinguishes campfires)
Mountainside
Time of Day Preparedness Save Penalty
Day None DC 18 Constitution saving throw 1d8 cold damage per hour
Day Warm clothing DC 10 Constitution saving throw 1 cold damage per hour
Day Warm clothing & Campfire None None
Night None DC 22 Constitution saving throw 2d8 cold damage per hour
Night Warm clothing DC 16 Constitution saving throw 1d8 cold damage per hour
Night Warm clothing & Campfire DC 8 Constitution saving throw 1 cold damage per hour

Weather Modifiers

  • Blowing Winds (+3 DC, additional 1d8 cold damage)
  • Howling Winds (+6 DC, additional 2d8 cold damage)
  • Blizzard (+9 DC, additional 2d8 cold damage, extinguishes campfires)
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