One of my players gave me a die that when you rolled showed a type of weather, wind, rain, and sun. After playing around with this die, I remembered some old weather rules I created for 3.5 and decided to modernize and simplify them for 5th edition.
Weather effects can be a fun way to bring your world to life with a sense of realism. They can be used to accent a mood, help with the story, or even contribute to the challenge. Just like in real life, weather can be advantageous to players trying to sneak around in a storm or hinder a quick getaway in a foot of snow.
I know not everyone will have a weather die; however, I have a few tables that you can use with a regular die. These charts have two different uses depending on if you want weather with a chance of sun or if you want a non-sunny day.
Random Weather (d6)
3-4 Precipitation (rain/ Snow)
Non-sunny Day (d4)
3-4 Precipitation (rain/ Snow)
Snow in the Desert
To simplify the die roll, I have combined snow and rain together as precipitation. The type of precipitation is your decision. I would suggest some rhyme or reason to make it believable, but ultimately it is up to you. That said, a blizzard in the desert would be an exciting story point for your players to explore.
Category 5 or a Slight Drizzle
So you rolled your die and got wind or precipitation. Now what? Is it a light rain or a hurricane? The choice of the kind of weather your get after the roll is entirely up to you. Keep in mind, while the choice of intensity is your decision, the rules on what happens because of the weather will be the same.
Note: If you want to increase, decrease, or modify the condition’s that the weather brings, feel free. These are what I chose based on the weather I have been affected by.
The Forecast Calls for Debuffs
While most weather can be said to be harmful or give a “debuff,” in reality, the weather could debuff only enemies making it a positive for your players. After all, Debuffs are only debuffs if they affect you.
The exception to this is sun. In this guide sunny days are regular days that do not confer any changes.
Rainy Days Ahead
Dark and stormy days with even darker nights can be great when trying to steal something but terrible when being stolen from.
Rain causes both of the following
Disadvantage to perception checks
Disadvantage to checks involving climbing in the rain
I always pictured heavy rain making it tough to hear and see what is going on around you. Also, wet materials can make it a pain to move or climb through. This is what I think of when I think of issues in the rain. You, however, can choose something else. You can have rain increase electrical damage or its attack area. Similarly, you can decrease fire spells the same way.
The Colder Form of Rain
Snow works a little differently than rain with a few similarities. This can make it challenging to cover your tracks, trying to escape but exceptional if you are hiding.
Snow causes the following
Advantage on survival checks to follow tracks
The maximum distance you can see is 80ft
The ability to track is pretty straight forward; however, the vision loss may seem different if you are not accustomed to snow. Unlike heavy rain, there is not much sound generated by snowfall, so there would be no disadvantage to perception. While rain and heavy snow do block vision to a certain distance, the snow seemed the better case for this condition. After all, they are similar weather patterns. If you want something different, you can have a disadvantage on reflex saves from your body being cold or snow restricting movement.
The Wind at Your Back
A gentle breeze can be great on a hot summer day. On the other hand, a tornado can put a damper on your day.
Wind causes the following
Movement reduced by 10
Half weapon range on all projectile attacks
The wind is a force to be reckoned with. Both of these effects have to deal with movement, of yourself and objects. Wind can also be used for an advantage on sent based checks as the wind carries the scent.
This is one I modified from my original rule set. The unmodified rules included wind direction. In combat, I would place an arrow of the direction wind is traveling. When you are moving toward the course, the wind is going your movement speed increases by 10, and if you are going against it, your speed decreases by 10. Likewise, it is easier to shoot with the wind than against. If you are shooting with the wind, you have your projectile weapon range doubled, whereas, against the wind, your range is halved.
The Forecast you Predict
These are the rules I have when weather conditions are in play. Keep in mind that while there are two effects, you do not have to use both if your weather is milder. In addition to severe weather, you can add additional effects of your own design. If you associate rain with something that I do not have suggested, then use that. You can also combine weather and their impact to enhance the experience.