I am writing a campaign in which the party will likely be traveling through a savanna over a distance that will take them a week. The characters in the party are each at level 1, and the only equipment they have is anything they may have been given at a farming village where they started. They start with no money.
(One of the puzzles early on is how to fight the boss at the end of this journey with very limited resources. Once they do and take the boss’s treasure, they will be able to afford “starting” equipment and then some when they get to a big city at the beginning of the next adventure.)
I’m wondering what kind of downtime activities to allow the players to participate in while they are on this week-long journey. I’ve read about downtime activities in the PHB and DMG, but it seems that they all require money, time (more than a week), a city to set up shop in, or resources to gather, and the adventurers won’t have access to any of these on this journey. I don’t want the players to get bored during that week, but I don’t want to skip it because I’m going to roll random events, including battles, during most of the 7 days.
I’ve never actually DM’d before, so is there a better way to go about this? I’m ultimately trying to set up a journey that will have a few events here and there but will mostly be just walking for 7 days. If downtime isn’t a good way to accomplish this, what is? Do I just fast-forward the story to the next battle or night?
- What kind of downtime activities can adventurers perform while traveling without crafting materials, money, or more than a week of time?
- How can a DM keep things interesting when the adventurers are on long journeys? How does he/she maintain the flow of the story while skipping over hours of time?