My Dungeon World party is now two weeks out from civilized lands. They've had the usual amount of foul luck, and lost more rations than they planned due to bad rolls. Mostly due to picking up some extra allies who were in need, and prioritizing rations really low whenever I put it on a hard choice. They now have enough food for the next three days, but are a week away from where they were going. When I pointed this out to them, they thought about it and asked what happens when they don't have food and how long they can last.
And I have no idea.
The rulebook mentions rations as being important, and the fiction says they should be very important- running out of food without a way to get more seems like it should end badly somehow, or at least complicate their lives considerably. I know you mark off rations when you Undertake a Perilous Journey and Make Camp, but it doesn't say what happens if you can't. I fully plan on offering them some way to get more food (Goblin warcamp, merchant caravan who'll overcharge them, whatnot) but it seems they should be aware of what the consequences of passing these opportunities up is.
My first guess would be to follow the fiction- A human can go for a week without food without being in any danger of starving no problem, so they aren't going to die before they get there. (It takes a little over 30 days to starve a human.) That said, if they run into a fight after five days of hiking, it seems that should at least be distracting. It makes a kind of sense that they aren't going to be naturally healing (after all, they can't quite trigger the Make Camp move) but I don't imagine a human body just stops healing after 24 hours without food. Plus, that's only interesting if I harass them with a few random encounter style problems. Which I was going to do anyway I suppose. My other thought would be to offer them either healing and a debility or neither for ever X days they went without food, as fitting with the distracting level of hunger they're in. Or I could just make things narrationally more difficult.
What are the consequences of going without food in DW?