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I'm running Curse of Strahd for about 5 players. The party is currently level 4 and has managed to travel all the way to Krezk from Barovia after finishing death house, at the behest of Ismark and Ireena.

I estimated travel time based on the map of Barovia provided in the module very roughly. Each hex is supposed to be 1/4 mile, and pg 28 of the module says:

Dangers abound in the land of Barovia. Check for a random encounter after every 30 minutes that the adventurers spend on the roads or in the wilderness. (Don't check if they have already had two random encounters outdoors in the past 12 hours).

I counted roughly 70 hexes along the road from Barovia to Vallaki. This comes out to 17.5 miles, which could be covered in about 5.8 hours on foot assuming a Normal travel pace of 3 mph. At a fast pace (e.g. you were in a hurry to get the hell out of town because you stole a girl from a vampire) you'd get there in around 4.4 hours.

I went with that for the players, and they had a pretty quiet walk to Vallaki. They ran into

a skeletal rider and some mountain men so-called "berserkers" who are described as keeping their distance in the module,

neither of which slowed them down since both encounters were non-combat. Per the book, I didn't check for any additional encounters.

Anyways, by the time they got around to leaving Vallaki for Krezk the next day, I wasn't sure if they should have been making such swift progress. I could have had Strahd or some other force arbitrarily waylay them, but I was still getting used to my big boy GM boots and didn't want to do that. They ended up making it to Krezk that following day, where some fun stuff happened with the Abbott.

I was a little unprepared for them to make such swift progress in a single session and skip over all the hooks in Barovia and Vallaki. I did my best to keep the game going anyways, but I wasn't sure if I was missing something either implied or outright stated in the module that should make it more difficult to walk across Strahd's domain. I understand that Strahd himself might have made things more difficult (especially concerning Ireena), but should the overland travel itself be more arduous/take more time, given a party who sticks to traveling during the day?

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    \$\begingroup\$ The question title seems to be different to what you're actually asking at the end, or am I confused? \$\endgroup\$ – Wibbs Oct 20 '16 at 17:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Wibbs It could take longer to travel overland if I got the distances wrong, or if there's other hardships I should account for like hiking in the mountains being more strenous, weather, etc \$\endgroup\$ – Eidolon108 Oct 20 '16 at 18:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ So that's why I said "arduous" and not "longer" before the edit \$\endgroup\$ – Eidolon108 Oct 20 '16 at 18:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ I have this feeling that there ought to be more spoiler tags in both the Question and possibly some of the Answers.... \$\endgroup\$ – Javelin Oct 20 '16 at 18:51
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It is 100 Hexes taking the Road and 99 taking the "shortcut" by the Lake, or 25 miles

Normal Pace: (24 miles/Day)(3 miles/Hour) 8.3 Hours
[16 total random encounter checks Up TO 2 encounters]
Fast Pace: (30 miles/Day)(4 miles/Hour) 6.25 Hours
[12 total random encounter checks UP TO 2 encounters] with -5 penalty on Passive wisdom checks

The distance traveled is possible, barring none of those encounters causes the party to slow down or break for recovery

If your overland travel is still too fast for your liking, consider adding thunderstorms, flash floods, or mudslides en route.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Hi BoonDaddy-reproducing the enture (copyrighted) map struck me as unnecessary to make your point about travel times: if anyone objects to your count of hexes they can just check on their own copy of the map. But if I'm wrong and seeing the paths you describe is really important to understanding your answer you can "roll back" my change: click on the "edited X TIME ago" link and you'll see a "rollback" link. \$\endgroup\$ – nitsua60 Oct 20 '16 at 17:44
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One of the main things you should also take in note in Barovia is the food: rations are expensive everywhere, and there are a few NPC that will trust them.

Also, they should not have entered Krezk. It explicitly says that the Burgomaster would not just let PC enter if they don't do something. (Bring wine from the Wizardy, as an example.)

Plus, something "should" have happened in Vallaki or Barovia. ¿Did they see what the Baron was doing? ¿Did you present them to the Markitovs or to Rictavio?

You should also present a "few" of the Spies from Strahd. Not Strahd himself, but maybe some Visanti "taking notes" of the party, small things, and maybe in one night, have him "interfere" with them. Eye charm, enter between them, take a few things, etc.

Walking between Barovian land is not itself dangerous, at level 5-6 there are really few encounters that can give the party some trouble. Locations in Barovia are dangerous: imagine if they went into the windmill instead of avoiding it. 3 night hags, the amber temple, Castle Ravenloft itself...Those are the great dangers.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ They managed to get into vallaki by lying to the burgomaster and saying a party member was to be the new Abbess. They also did see Rictavio and the Martikovs, but were set on Krezk since Ismark thought that'd be the safest place. \$\endgroup\$ – Eidolon108 Oct 20 '16 at 18:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ see? thats exactly why they are "plumming trought". You (as Ismark) Urged them to go further, ignoring Vallaki entirely. Vallaki had pretty cool and somewhat dificult encounters (Infiltrating in the baron house, figthingh his bodyguard, seeking the bones of St Andral) And even a deadly encounter (5 vampire spawns). \$\endgroup\$ – Bruno Gutierrez Oct 25 '16 at 16:27

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