PDA

View Full Version : Food and Calories (3.5 PEACH)

cheezewizz2000
2010-05-09, 04:59 AM
First, this is largely irrelevant after level 5 when create food and drink becomes freely available and easily castable. Second, this requires more book-keeping than is strictly necessary. Nonetheless, I enjoy trying to straddle the line between versimilitude and gameplay mechanics and creating ways to model things like this is something I enjoy. The utility of this, then, is limited to low level games where the GM wants food availability to be a limiting factor and wants a way to keep track of how little food he is feeding his PCs. With that out the way, I present:

Food and Calories (spoilered to keep things from becoming walls of text)

To keep things simple, 1000kCal is the basic unit of "food" that will be presented here. According to this economics thread (http://forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=10821) is equivalent to about two cups of rice or a 12oz steak. For the sake of simplicity, 1000kCal of generic food is equivalent to 1lb, though trail rations (salted nuts, dried fruit, salt beef and dry biscuits) contain 2000kCal/lb.

In order to survive and to take no penalty from starvation (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/environment.htm#starvationAndThirst) a medium character must take in 1000kCal worth of food per day. Exerting yourself more than doing nothing will require more calories than this:

Table 1 - Calorific requirments
Doing Nothing|1000
4 encounters at CR<level|+1000
2 encounters at CR=level|+1000
1 encounter at CR>level|+1000
Walking 10 Miles|+1000
Hustling 5 miles|+1000
Riding 10 miles|+1000
8 hours of crafting|+1000
Carrying a medium or greater load|+1000
8 hours heavy manual labour (digging, ploughing, building)|+2000[/table]

In addition to this, medium creatures require 1 gallon of fresh water per day. Decreasing the size catagory by 1 halves the calorific and water requirement, increasing size catagory by 1 doubles it. Creatures that fly require double the calorific intake. Long creatures (horses etc) require 1.5x the calorific intake. Under a hot climate, the water requirments double.

Spoiled Food
Generic food lasts for 7 days before it spoils. Once spoiled is food is eaten, a character must make a DC15 fortitude save or become nauseated (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/conditionSummary.htm#nauseated) for 24 hours. For each day that the food has been spoiled, increase the DC by 1. A character nauseated in this way may not eat anything for as long as he is nauseated. Other foods last for different lenghts of time:

Table 2 - Shelf-life
Generic food|7 days
Trail rations|1 month
Salted foods|1 month
Food kept cool|1 month
Food kept frozen|3 months
Opened preserves (pickles, jams, tinned foods|3 months
Dry food stored in barells|6 months
Unopened preserves (pickles, jams, tinned foods)|2 years[/table]

Any food that has only been spoiled for 3 days may be cooked. After that time it counts as generic food and will last for 3 more days before spoiling. Food may not be cooked twice. Food spoiled for more than 3 days is beyond saving. Pickles and jams may be made by any character with 4 ranks in survival and a sealable jar or tin. The calorific content and weight of the food doubles to account for the oils or sugars used in preservation and the weight of the sealed container.

Spells and Calories
Spells that create food and drink work as normal with the following addendum/rule of thumb: Any spell that creates food creates 1000kCal/spell level/caster level. Create food and drink (a level 3 spell) therefore creates 3000kCal per level - enough for the mere survival of 3 people or 1 horse. Heroes' Feast creates 6000kCal per level - a feast by any stretch of the imagination. Magnificent Mansion creates 7000kCal per level, which certainly seems like an excelent 9-course banquet, though not for 12 people/level. It's not a perfect rule of thumb, but it seems to suffice.

This handily brings me on to the next section:

Too much/not enough
For simplicity's sake, consistantly eating at least 1000kCal more food than is required (500kCal for small creatures, 2000kCal for large) or at least 1000kCal (or 500 for small, 2000 for large) less food than is required counts as eating too much or not enough food, respectively. Both effects are treated in the same way: If a character has consistantly eaten too much or not enough food for at least 15 days out of a month, change their physical stats as if their age catagory had advanced by one for each month of innapropriate eating. In addition, change the character's body wieght by a third in the appropriate direction.

At the third month of over or under eating, reduce the base speed of the character by half. In addition to this treat a character that has under-eaten as being one size catagory smaller for the sake of moving through confined spaces. Similarly, treat a character that has over-eaten as being one size catagory larger for the same purposes.

A character that has spent time over or under eating may move back to their normal weight by over-eating if they have been under-eating and vice-versa. This can be done by changing the amount that the character eats, or by changing the amount that the character does (see table 1).

Edit: response to rules that over-eating should result in more encumberance - this is already PARTIALLY modelled by losing strength as you become more obese. It's not perfect, and a way to include this is to include any weight the characters gain (typically 1/3 of their body weight per month) in their carried load. I would not do anything similar for people losing weight beyond their normal body weight, however. Granted they are lighter, but they are are also weaker, and that would help to mitigate the penalty gained from that.

Starvation
As written in the SRD, however for every week the character goes without food, they add +1d6 to the amount of non-lethal damage they take, so on week one they take 1d6/day, on week two they take 2d6/day, on week three they take 3d6/day and so on. With water, the same rules apply, however the damage goes up by 1d6 per day, rather than per week.

Ashtagon
2010-05-09, 05:09 AM
Interesting idea.

Not something I'd choose to implement though. The main issues are:

1 - It is utterly unheroic to be counting calories.
2 - Good nutrition isn't just about the calories. Vitamin/mineral/protein content is at least as important as basic calorie count.

cheezewizz2000
2010-05-09, 05:58 AM
Interesting idea.

Not something I'd choose to implement though. The main issues are:

1 - It is utterly unheroic to be counting calories.
2 - Good nutrition isn't just about the calories. Vitamin/mineral/protein content is at least as important as basic calorie count.

1 - Agreed. I enjoyed thinking about this though and about how it could be done and I wanted to share it with the playground once I'd done it. If you want gritty, rather than heroic, fantasy then this offers a way for the GM to keep tabs on just HOW starving the band of low-level pirate PCs in the game he's running are.

2 - Again, agreed. I couldn't really think of a way to model nutrition in D&D though, so I just decided that any "generic food" the PCs ate was also coincidentally a ballanced meal with meat, some carbs and 2 poritions of fresh veg. Given the broadly medieval setting of most D&D campaigns, that's not THAT unlikely.

superslacker
2010-05-09, 02:13 PM
This is, however, PERFECT for D20 Apocalypse; not just to see if the PCs are starving but also for background calculations for the productivity and health of a settlement.

erikun
2010-05-09, 02:51 PM
I feel compelled to point out that your average adventurer is assumed to be travelling most of the day (10+ miles) and fighting 4 CR equilivant encounters (CR=level twice). This totals up to 4000 "Calories", or what is apparently four times what the normal person eats: That is, twelve full meals each day.

I'm assuming that the 1000 Calories you mention is the amount of food a person would go through in a day, seeing as how that is what a "doing nothing" person goes through. Note that the human body tends to go through 2000 actual Calories a day, even at rest.

Altair_the_Vexed
2010-05-09, 03:09 PM
Good work, and very handy for a gritty game - but rather than deal in kCal, it might be better to just comment that you're using that as a base for calculation, and then to stick to "units".

Oh, and...

... a ballanced meal with meat, some carbs and 2 poritions of fresh veg. Given the broadly medieval setting of most D&D campaigns, that's not THAT unlikely...

There are some common fantasy settings in which it would be normal to not eat meat - those based on Asian mythology and tropes, for one.

Grey Watcher
2010-05-09, 03:19 PM
I feel compelled to point out that your average adventurer is assumed to be travelling most of the day (10+ miles) and fighting 4 CR equilivant encounters (CR=level twice). This totals up to 4000 "Calories", or what is apparently four times what the normal person eats: That is, twelve full meals each day.

I'm assuming that the 1000 Calories you mention is the amount of food a person would go through in a day, seeing as how that is what a "doing nothing" person goes through. Note that the human body tends to go through 2000 actual Calories a day, even at rest.

By the looks of it, he's aiming for the standard to be 2000 calories per day (ie consistent with what most American nutrition labels say you should be aiming for). Now, your average middle or upper middle class adult in a first-world country is probably doing something the work-equivalent of 8 hours of crafting (ie sitting at a desk/workbench for 8 hours, fiddling with tools, with only occaisional bits of walking around to run other errands). So, he made the numbers such that that level of activity works out to 2000 Calories (1000 base + 1000 for 8 hours of crafting). To me, it seems perfectly acceptable that adventurers, with all their running around, fighting, climbing, and other physically active activities should burn much more than that, roughly equivalent to a professional athlete (I recall a "news" story on Yahoo, marveling at the number of calories Michael Phelps eats per day). So to me, the model seems fair. Encounter-heavy days are going to be more calorically demanding than encounter-light days.

I will say that I think that the numbers for calories per encounter seem a LITTLE high, given the length of a typical third edition encounter. Even if you're going at it for 30 rounds, which might take over a hour of time at the table, at 6 seconds per round, that's only 3 minutes. Granted, your poor characters are pushing themselves harder than any of us probably ever will in our entire lives, but burning a 1000 calories in under five minutes seems rather steep.

Also, I'm not quite sold on your proposed penalties for over- and under-eating. You do get points for keeping it simple by using an existing system, but, at least for over-eating, I always thought it made more sense to use the encumbrance, rather than aging, rules (ie an overweight person is always at least lightly-encumbered, a severely obese person heavily encumbered, etc.) Mostly because, having yo-yoed in weight a bit myself, I can personally attest that being physically active while overweight isn't quite as devastating as your system would imply (but then I've always felt 3E aging rules were rather harsh to begin with).

cheezewizz2000
2010-05-09, 03:26 PM
I feel compelled to point out that your average adventurer is assumed to be travelling most of the day (10+ miles) and fighting 4 CR equilivant encounters (CR=level twice). This totals up to 4000 "Calories", or what is apparently four times what the normal person eats: That is, twelve full meals each day.

I'm assuming that the 1000 Calories you mention is the amount of food a person would go through in a day, seeing as how that is what a "doing nothing" person goes through. Note that the human body tends to go through 2000 actual Calories a day, even at rest.

Well, it's based on me wanting to simplify nutrition to an easy to book-keep by drunk/hyper gamers level and vague approximations of what people eat. Doing more work results in higher calorific requirments and 4000/5000 calories for a person that spends his day hiking long distance and fighting for his life just felt "right". If anyone can direct my attention to a source for more accurate information, or can claim to be a nutritionist convincingly, I'll glady update the figures. Just bare in mind that I was trying to keep it to multiples of 1000 for simplicity's sake.

Ashtagon
2010-05-09, 03:37 PM
terminology note: a "calorie" is a unit used in physics. The "Calorie" (nb. upper case C) is 1000 times greater, and is the unit used by nutritionists. I'm going to refer exclusively to the nutritional calorie, and not be a stickler for case sensitivity here.

If I were to do something similar, I'd make the basic accounting unit the "meal", and note that a typical adventuring lifestyle requires 3 full meals a day. Whether that's 3 sittings spread as breakfast, lunch, and dinner, or 2 sittings as water for breakfast and 1.5 "meals" at each of lunch and dinner doesn't matter. I'd go on to note that a sedentary lifestyle typical of craftsmen requires 2 meals (as can an adventurer on a "non-adventuring / downtime" day), and children can get by comfortably with one.

As for over/under eating...

http://www.weightlossresources.co.uk/slimming/calories_fat.htm says 3500 Calories is the equivalent of 1 lb of body fat. Eating 1000 calories too much over a month results in 30,000 extra calories, or 8.5 lb of extra body fat. It's probably simple to assume that each month of over-eating results in that much encumbrance. And if you are fat enough to drop an encumbrance level, you slow down.

I'm not sure, but I believe under-eating is covered by a subset of the fatigue rules in the DMG.

Grey Watcher
2010-05-09, 10:05 PM
terminology note: a "calorie" is a unit used in physics. The "Calorie" (nb. upper case C) is 1000 times greater, and is the unit used by nutritionists. I'm going to refer exclusively to the nutritional calorie, and not be a stickler for case sensitivity here.

Ah, nuts, I meant to geek out and do it properly in my post, but that's what I get for posting from a bus.

If I were to do something similar, I'd make the basic accounting unit the "meal", and note that a typical adventuring lifestyle requires 3 full meals a day. Whether that's 3 sittings spread as breakfast, lunch, and dinner, or 2 sittings as water for breakfast and 1.5 "meals" at each of lunch and dinner doesn't matter. I'd go on to note that a sedentary lifestyle typical of craftsmen requires 2 meals (as can an adventurer on a "non-adventuring / downtime" day), and children can get by comfortably with one.

While splitting it up into meals is good because it uses smaller, less intimidating numbers, but it looks like it'd make the math more complicated for dealing with non-medium creatures. There's got to be a good compromise, but I'm at a loss for what it is.

As for over/under eating...

http://www.weightlossresources.co.uk/slimming/calories_fat.htm says 3500 Calories is the equivalent of 1 lb of body fat. Eating 1000 calories too much over a month results in 30,000 extra calories, or 8.5 lb of extra body fat. It's probably simple to assume that each month of over-eating results in that much encumbrance. And if you are fat enough to drop an encumbrance level, you slow down.

I'm not sure, but I believe under-eating is covered by a subset of the fatigue rules in the DMG.

So would that work like the rules for exposure to extreme heat or cold (fatigue that cannot be cured until you correct the problem)? I like the idea.

cheezewizz2000
2010-05-09, 11:46 PM
Ah, nuts, I meant to geek out and do it properly in my post, but that's what I get for posting from a bus.

While splitting it up into meals is good because it uses smaller, less intimidating numbers, but it looks like it'd make the math more complicated for dealing with non-medium creatures. There's got to be a good compromise, but I'm at a loss for what it is.

So would that work like the rules for exposure to extreme heat or cold (fatigue that cannot be cured until you correct the problem)? I like the idea.

1- I'm shocked that I have made that mistake in later posts, even though I was careful to only refer to kCal in my first post.

2- "Calories" is a word that everybody is familiar with. Given players are used to dealing with hundreds of thousands of GP and ExP, I doubt 5000 kCal/day is too much of a challenge.

3- this evening, I will go through those rules to find something better to adapt for over/under eating. The attraction of the aging rules is that they are long-term and nicely model gradual, then rapidly declining health, which is something I wanted to include, so I think they will still play a strong role in my 1.1 re-write. Edit - The "fatigued until you eat" rule applies to not eating, rather than not eating enough, and will eventually result in PC death over a shorter time scale than 30 days, though granted at high levels that won't be much shorter than 30 days (1d6 non-lethal damage/day if they fail an easy fort-save). To be honest, I feel that not eating needs to be a more serious danger at all levels, so I may have to make that much more serious. Say 1d6, +1d6 per day without food (2d6 on day 2, 3d6 on day 3 etc).