Role-Playing Temperatures

I'm melting over here... the heat wave has finally caught up with Atlantic Canada after a billion feet of snow fell on our region. It's a country of extremes.

But what does that have to do with role-playing games?

Oh you know, brain's sizzling away, and random thoughts pop into your head. Perhaps they're synapses giving up the ghost. In any case, I started thinking, does temperature really matter in RPGs? Obviously, Iceman's ice blasts and Elminster's fireball are going to cause damage, but if we stick to environmental temperatures... Do PCs really "feel the heat"?

You can certainly give characters penalties to represent exertion in the heat, or frozen fingers, or whatever, but PCs are only slightly "dumber" when penalties have to represent a frozen or over-heated brain. So let's be Method about it. Going through a desert? Have the session in the kitchen and turn on the oven. Let 'em sweat and see if they can keep their cool. I bet players start getting impatient, aggressive and more than a little confused as the heat goes up. It's harder to produce cold (trust me on this, or else I wouln't be considering moving into a hotel room for the rest of the summer), but if you have it, use it. That ice castle adventure should be played in the snowbank out front. If players can't keep hold of pencils and dice, that's your cue to making them drop their swords from the cold. Too much?

Maybe I just want others to suffer like I have...



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