The DMG lays out rules for foraging, and lists the DCs as such:

\begin{array}{ll} \textbf{DC} & \textbf{Food and Water Availability}\\ 10 & \text{Abundant food and water sources}\\ 15 & \text{Limited food and water sources}\\ 20 & \text{Very little food and water sources}\\ \end{array}

In the Tomb of Annihilation adventure, It is stated that drinkable water is only available by harvesting rain water. All other water is deemed unfit to drink unless it is boiled first.

So, how do I handle foraging for food and water in this case? It seems like water is abundant, but undrinkable. However, can the character forage during the day and boil the water in camp at night? Is there any official ruling on foraging in Tomb of Annihilation?

Barring any official ruling, has anyone run this adventure with foraging? If so, how did you incorporate the foraging system given in the DMG?

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    \$\begingroup\$ when you say "official ruling," are you asking about Adventurers League, or WotC? \$\endgroup\$ – nitsua60 Sep 30 '17 at 16:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ @nitsua60 I guess anything from WotC, although it might be useful for others to know what AL allows \$\endgroup\$ – Destruktor Sep 30 '17 at 16:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ How is it undrinkable when you can boil it to make it drinkable? I am confused. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Oct 1 '17 at 2:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast the raw water is non-potable. After processing, it is made drinkable. \$\endgroup\$ – Mindwin Oct 1 '17 at 2:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ On a successful check, roll 1d6 + the character's Wisdom modifier to determine how much food (in pounds) the character finds. Small and medium creatures need 1 pound a day. \$\endgroup\$ – Guillaume F. Aug 6 '20 at 7:39

The rules as published work fine - there's no hard rule on determining which DC to use. That's why it's in the DMG, you're supposed to make a judgement call.

That said, the biggest issue with foraging in Chult is a potential lack of equipment to get potable water.

  • If the characters are properly equipped, primarily rain catchers, they will have no problem getting what they need. The DC should be relatively low, possibly low enough that it's not even worth rolling.
  • Cooking gear might help boil water, but getting dry wood to start a fire is tough. The availability of water isn't what drives the difficulty, the ease of getting potable water is. If they don't have a rain catcher and need to boil it, then the DC should be higher even though water itself is abundant, the materials to make it boil are not.
  • No rain catcher? No cooking gear? Good luck... This is a guy bending leaves on trees to collect trickles of rain water, or finding something sufficiently clear to make a solar still. This is MacGuyver level of ingenuity, and shouldn't work every single time because then it becomes boring.

Of course, spells like Create or Destroy Water, Purify Food and Drink, and Create Food and Water can eliminate the issue entirely, but keeping them prepared and casting them daily are resources that could be otherwise allocated. (They're also only available to certain classes.) Other spells may help you make a fire to boil water, at least taking a bit of the edge off.

Tomb of Annihilation really hinges on the resource management part of old-school style gaming - Who's carrying how much of what? That said, between the set piece encounters and the random encounters, there are plenty of opportunities to separate the party from their survival gear.

...and that's when things get interesting. It's part of the challenge of the adventure. Trying to get around it isn't meant to be a matter of die rolls, it's meant to be an exercise for the players' minds.

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    \$\begingroup\$ So, are you saying that it is impossible to get potable water without a rain catcher? Or, are you saying that lighting a fire is difficult? Does that translate to a higher DC for foraging water? I guess I'm confused because my question is about the foraging system, not about the fluff surrounding it. Your comment about "it isn't meant to be a matter of die rolls" indicates to me that you have misunderstood the question. The die rolls are exactly what I am interested in. \$\endgroup\$ – Destruktor Oct 3 '17 at 20:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Destruktor I didn't say that at all... didn't even use the word "unlikely", let alone anything as absolute as "impossible". I've added a bit of guidance on the DC, but I'm loathe to use specific numbers. It's your game. You have to decide how difficult you want it to be. \$\endgroup\$ – T.J.L. Oct 4 '17 at 12:50

I don't know about official rulings, but foraging refers to your ability to find food and water. This would make it easy to find food and water making the DC a 10, but with the players would have to boil the water first before drinking it. If they don't have the supplies to cook the stuff, then they'd have how many days it takes for food to spoil to cook it, and the time it takes to boil the water free of bad stuff would increase by some everyday.

  • \$\begingroup\$ This is a simple system to use , but I would say it trivializes the risk of dehydration. Say the character has 50% chance of succeeding on the Survival check, then they get on average 1.75 gallons of water per day. (Assuming Wis +0). \$\endgroup\$ – Destruktor Oct 2 '17 at 15:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Destruktor Considering the availability of rain catchers and the number of days per tenday it rains in Chult (ten... the answer is ten...), dehydration is already trivial. \$\endgroup\$ – T.J.L. Oct 3 '17 at 19:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ @T.J.L. However, rain catchers can be stolen otherwise lost. Foolish adventurers will fail to purchase them. Setting up your rain catcher in a monsoon would likely destroy it. \$\endgroup\$ – Destruktor Oct 3 '17 at 19:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Destruktor Open mouth. Look up. Problem solved. \$\endgroup\$ – Please stop being evil Oct 4 '17 at 2:03

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