Recently, in our humble play-by-post group, which I’ve informally labeled Two Dwarves and an Elf, my colleagues and I got to talking about field rations.
It all started when I saw this post on Twitter:
Fifth edition Dungeons and Dragons invested a fair amount of design into the concept of traveling from point A to point B (hence some of the Ranger class skills, presumably), and in theory you’re supposed to be tracking field rations, water, food and such, but especially in Adventurer’s League, this gets frequently forgotten. It’s something you get allocated when you make your character and, along with arrows, are something people don’t always track.
One of my comrades shared this great link with me:
The link breaks down each character race, what their typical field rations might look like with photographs and recipes. The recipes might be a little fancier than the potatoes and lembas bread that Samwise Gamgee brought on their way to Mordor, so unless you’re just leaving home, I don’t know how realistic those recipes would be, but the style of food definitely makes sense. Plus the photos look gorgeous.
In any case, I really got to thinking with my PBP comrades: since our characters are different player races, what would their rations look like? Mechanically, the rations would be the same for each character, but in terms of flavor, each character would choose rations to suit their personal tastes and cultural background.
For my high elf forge cleric, Fenmaer Wasanthi, I have been somewhat conflicted about what his rations would look like.
For some reason, I tend to imagine that Elves are vegetarian, so I picture Fenmaer’s rations to mostly comprise of dried fruits, lentils and some kind of lembas bread. On the other hand, since Elves are often depicted as being more sensitive to nature, and living off the land, especially Wood Elves, they would probably engage in hunting and fishing too. Imagine a scene of Wood Elves in particular feasting on a boar roasted over a spit. On the other hand, I suppose that High Elves such as Fenmaer would have different dietary preferences than Wood Elves, being the more “refined” elf sub-culture of the two.
Anyhow, rations are one of those things that kind of gets neglected, especially in organized play, due to time constraints, but you can express a lot about your character by what they eat on the road. Sometimes the “flavor” of your character can speak volumes.