Weather Effects

The Effects of Weather in the Shining South

In the Shining South, it’s not only the beasts and bandits that can do you in. Very often, it’s the very land itself that is your most dangerous opponent. When dealing with heat you must be concerned about three things: Heat Dangers, Dehydration, and Sun Dangers.

Heat Dangers

Temperature in D&D falls into ten bands. Extreme bands require more preparation to surive.

Temperature RangeBand Name
-51°F or lower Unearthly Cold
-50°F to -21°F Extreme Cold
-20°F to 0°F Severe Cold
1°F to 40°F Cold
41°F to 60°F Moderate
61°F to 90°F Warm
91°F to 110°F Hot
111°F to 140°F Severe Heat
141°F to 180°F Extreme Heat
181°F to 210°F Unearthly Heat
211°F or Higher Burning Heat

Heat Protection
Hot: Protection level (1) is needed (see below). Otherwise a character must make a fortitude save each hour (DC 15, +1 for each previous check) or take 1d4 nonlethal damage. -4 for anyone wearing heavy clothing or ANY kind of armor at all!
Severe: Protection level (2) is needed (see below). Otherwise a character must make a fortitude save every 10 minutes (DC 15, +1 for each previous check) or take 1d4 nonlethal damage. -4 for anyone wearing heavy clothing or ANY kind of armor at all!

If a character takes any non-lethal damage from heat, he is considered to have heatstroke and is considered fatigued. If the character becomes unconscious due to heatstroke, the non-lethal damage becomes lethal. In order to recover, a character must be cooled off, i.e… reaching shade, surviving until nightfall, getting doused by water, endure elements, or something else. Once cooled, he or she may begin recovering normally.

Beating the Heat
Protection from the heat is measured in levels from 1 to 5. There are various things you can do to raise your protection from heat level. First of all the spell Endure Elements can raise your base heat protection to 3. Also, the following precautions can further raise your score:

0No special protection
+ 1Armorbright
+ 1Desert Outfit
+ 1Keepcool Salve
+ 2Hydration Suit
+ 3Improvised Shelter

  1. Armorbright: The substance is rubbed over armor to provide +2 to fortitude saves to avoid heat effects. This lasts for 24 hours. It also provides a +1 to heat protection. Costs 50gp per application and weighs 1 lbs.
  2. Desert Outfit: Loose billowing clothing to keep the wearer cool. Provides +1 heat protection. Costs 6gp and weighs 3 lbs.
  3. Parasol: The simplest form of portable shade, a parasol can range from an animal hide draped over a crude framework to a collapsible construction of textile and metal. A parasol offers immunity to sun glare and +1 to heat protection. It also grants a +1 bonus on Fortitude saves against dehydration. Costs 3gp and weighs 2 lbs.
  4. Keepcool Salve: This small clay pot contains several ounces of a pearly ointment, enough to cover one Medium creature. Applying the ointment to your skin provides +1 heat protection. The salve also grants a +1 circumstance bonus on Fortitude saves to resist damage from hot environments. Costs 50gp and weighs 1/2 lbs.
  5. Endure Elements Spell/Potion/Wand/Scroll: The spell Endure Elements is castable by most spellcasters and is available in number of different ways. A potion will cost 50gp. A scroll will cost 25gp. A wand with 50 charges will cost 750gp.
  6. Survival Skill: Gain a +2 bonus on all Fortitude saves against severe weather while moving up to half your overland speed, or gain a +4 bonus if you remain stationary. You may grant the same bonus to one other character for every 1 point by which your Survival check result exceeds 15.
  7. Improvised Shelter: Provides +3 to heat protection. This bonus applies to characters who are not attempting to travel, but who stop and seek shelter by digging into the sand, erecting a tent or windbreak, tapping water from desert vegetation, or the like. Tents range in price from 10 to 30 gp and can hold 1-4 people.


A creature can only go without water for so long. The hotter it is, the more water they need and the less time they can without it. If you go for too long, you’ll have to make a constitution check to avoid taking non-lethal damage.

Temperature (Band)Time before Con ChecksWater Per Day
90 degrees of less (warm or cooler)24 + Con hours 1 gallon
91 – 110 (Hot) 12 + Con hours 2 gallons
111 – 140 (Severe Heat) 6 + Con hours 3 gallons
141 – 180 (Extreme Heat) 3 + Con hours 4 gallons

Constitution check for dehydration
If a character goes without water for the time specified above, he or she must start making constitution checks to avoid becoming dehydrated. Every hour make a DC 10 + 1 for each previous check. If failed, 1d6 of nonlethal is taken and character is dehydrated. If a character falls unconscious from dehydration, damage taken becomes lethal. Also, while dehydrated, any non-lethal damage taken from heat danger becomes lethal.

Treatment of Dehydration
Long-term care per the heal skill. Requires (24) hours plus double the normal amount of water. If lethal damage has been taken then add (5) to the DC of the heal skill check and double the time to (48) hours for long-term care.

Beating Dehydration

  1. Waterskins: One waterskin can carry 1/2 a gallon of water and weighs four pounds when full.
  2. Distillation Kit: 20 lb. and 50gp. It uses the power of the sun to covert waste water into drinkable water. It’s only capable of producing 1 gallon a day so you might need multiples.
  3. Deep Draught: A mixture of salt and herbs, provides a +5 to heal check for dehydration.
  4. Hydration Suit: Reclaims your bodies moisture and completely removes checks for dehydration. Costs 1000gp and weights 10 lb. Probably can’t wear armor with it. Provides +2 heat protection.
  5. Helpful Spells/Scrolls: Create Water (Cleric 0, Druid 0, Paladin 1), Create Food and Drink (Cleric 3), Locate Water (Cleric 1, Druid 1, Wizard 1), Hydrate (Bard 2, Cleric 2, Druid 2), Protection from Dessication (Druid 2)
  6. Replenishing Skin: A magic waterskin that refills at a rate of 1d4 hours. So, over a 24 hour period of time, you can generate 3-12 gallons of water, but average about 7.5 gallons. Costs 1000 gp.
  7. Portable Fountain: A small fountain that magically expands once per day and generates 10 gallons of water. Costs 1800gp.

Sun Dangers

Become dazzled unless precautions are taken to prevent it. Glare induced blindness lasts for 1d4 hours or (1) hour if going indoors out of direct light. You can prevent sunglare by using a parasol, sun lenses (10gp), or blackeye (lasts 4 hours and costs 1 gp).


  • (3) hours in light unprotected or (6) if the person is dark, tanned, or otherwise “immune” to sun effects.
  • After (3) hours of such exposure, the character is mildly sunburned and takes (1) point of nonlethal damage
  • When (3) more hours go by, the character develops a severe sunburn and immediately takes 2d6 points of nonlethal damage and a -2 penalty on Fort saves to avoid damage or fatigue from heat dangers until the nonlethal damage is healed
  • Double all times for burning for those characters that have naturally dark (tanned) skin pigmentation as they are naturally resistant to sunburn.
  • Sunburns can be easily avoided by wearing a desert outfit or using a parasol. Sunshade lotion is available but very expensive at 20gp a dose!

Cold Effects

Deserts can become very cold at night. Sand loses its heat very quickly and there are rarely clouds to hold the heat in.

  1. If unprotected from cold at 40 deg or below, every hour a Fort DC15 1 per previous check is required or take 1d6 nonlethal damage; DC 15 survival nets a +2/4 for severe weather.
  2. Below 0 deg requires the same as above every 10 minutes.
  3. If unconscious lethal damage from the cold starts to accumulate.
  4. Frostbite or hypothermia occurs once nonlethal has been taken and is treated as fatigue.

Weather Effects

A Troubled Economy Gremdel