Natural disasters and hazards

Now I know a lot of DMs skip over travel. Many just do a check or two and might have a hazard that wastes a few HP or a random encounter.

But the lack of conversation about tornadoes in D&D Next is very upsetting. Very Upsetting.

How will adventurers know the importance of snowboots if you don't drop 3d4 inches of snow on them and make them do checks to not lose toes? After I hand them a list of the shopkeepers wares, how will that understand the value of bug repellent herbs if they don't feat a check for resisting Necromalaria form random mosquitoes?

Here is a list of disasters I'd like to see in D&D Next.

Avalanches
Earthquakes
Volcanic eruptions
Floods
Landslides
Limnic eruptions
Thunderstorms
Metoer Showers
Tsunami
Blizzards
Cyclonic storms
Droughts
Meteor Showers
Hailstorms
Sandstorms
Heat waves
Tornadoes
Meteor Showers
Wildfires
Epidemics
Famine

Then there are magical disasters:

Magic plagues,
Ragnaroks and other Doomsdays
Raining Animals
Endless light or darkness
Planar rifts
Spontaneous Energy bursts

And of course there are some regular old environmental hazards. Quicksand, falling trees, strong winds, thick fogs, rockslides, diseased vermin,  forest fires, cold and heat exposure, cliffs, poisonous bushes, cave ins, molds and slimes, predatory beasts, random hostile tribes and raiders.

So which disasters and hazards do you wish to see?

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

There has yet to be an edition of D&D that I didn't inject natural disasters / inclimate weather / magical oopsies. If 5E does not incorporate them for some reason, I am more than happy to do so myself.
Personal opinion...

My favorite scenes in movies and thus something I try to incorporate in my campaigns are the natural or magical hazards that are a threat to both sides.

For example, the maelstrom in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End was a threat to both the Black Pearl and the Flying Dutchman and created problems for both sides.

They make for very dramatic climax scenes and end-boss battles so, like Hocus, I'd throw them in even if they aren't officially present in the rules.    

All around helpful simian

There has yet to be an edition of D&D that I didn't inject natural disasters / inclimate weather / magical oopsies. If 5E does not incorporate them for some reason, I am more than happy to do so myself.



Personal opinion...

My favorite scenes in movies and thus something I try to incorporate in my campaigns are the natural or magical hazards that are a threat to both sides.

For example, the maelstrom in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End was a threat to both the Black Pearl and the Flying Dutchman and created problems for both sides.

They make for very dramatic climax scenes and end-boss battles so, like Hocus, I'd throw them in even if they aren't officially present in the rules.    




Oh I have no problem creating my own disasters and hazards. I don't think there are rules for limnic eruptions in any edition.

But I'd prefer rules for them. It just feels more right when there are official.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

They are always at least discussed - but at the same time I think they are often underused.  Mostly due to DM habit and laziness.

Ok, I underuse them due to DM habit and laziness.  And since I rarely see them actually used, other DMs underuse them for their own reasons....

I would like to see a more detailed discussion of them and how to use them to add drama to scenes/ encounters.  If they can justify a whole chapter in the DMG I'd love it.  Otherwise it might be a good idea for a Dragon article or even series of articles.

Carl
D&D is a Fantasy Roleplaying Game, not a Realistic Life Simulator.
D&D is a Fantasy Roleplaying Game, not a Realistic Life Simulator.



So you're saying you've never fought on the side of an erupting volcano or been in a heated battle during a flash-flood? Hmm. Sounds fairly fantastical to me.
We do not need Random Disaster Dice, nor a chapter in the DMG covering the effects of fighting in a sandstorm.
If a DM wants a tornado, a tornado happens.
Was someone rallying for random disaster tables?
All I saw were folks who wouldn't mind seeing seeing some additional rules for adjudicating combat/adventuring/travel during inclimate weather and/or disastrous conditions. 
All I saw were folks who wouldn't mind seeing seeing some additional rules for adjudicating combat/adventuring/travel during inclimate weather and/or disastrous conditions. 

Then make those rules up, on the fly.  DMs are allowed to do that.
We do not need permission from a book to have a "disaster" happen in Ruralville.

All I saw were folks who wouldn't mind seeing seeing some additional rules for adjudicating combat/adventuring/travel during inclimate weather and/or disastrous conditions. 

Then make those rules up, on the fly.  DMs are allowed to do that.
We do not need permission from a book to have a "disaster" happen in Ruralville.




You are right.

We also don't need a section of the book on magic items.
We don't need  a section of the book on designing encounters.
We don't need a section of the book on crafting adventures.

Etc.

You don't technically need any of these.

But arguably using natural disasters to enhance an encounter or an adventure is something that can be done well or done badly and I think is under used.  Putting a section in the DMG to give the DMs some ideas and inspiration would likely help many DMs, especially newer DMs to craft more interesting and exciting games.

Carl
either you mistakenly listed meteor showers three times, or you REALLY want to see some meteor shower rules.


personally, i'm fine with things like this falling purely to DM ajudication. i can't see natural disasters showing up often enough for them to need design space in the the DMG. they're the sort of thing that's best left to the DM's sensibilities when it comes to how they should function in the world. 
The 1E Wilderness Survival Guide had good entries on how to adjudicate strong winds, blizzards, frostbite, sandstorms, tornadoes, typhoons, droughts, hailstorms, volcanos, quicksand, earthquakes, tidal waves, and much more. Fortunately, most of the info presented is edition-neutral, so it would be easy enough to port over into whatever edition you prefer.
All I saw were folks who wouldn't mind seeing seeing some additional rules for adjudicating combat/adventuring/travel during inclimate weather and/or disastrous conditions. 

Then make those rules up, on the fly.  DMs are allowed to do that.
We do not need permission from a book to have a "disaster" happen in Ruralville.





I don't need permission to do disasters.
My game has a divine human to can and will create natural disaster whenever he feels like, which is rather rare unless the PCs don't buy him a drink at the bar.

But a few core rules for thunderstorm bolt strikes and winds would free up brainpower for the swordfight happening under in. Especially when CS start rolling.

FUNNY: I lost my 1e and 2e books in a hurricane.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

But I'd prefer rules for them. It just feels more right when there are official.



The best rules supplement that never was:

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But I'd prefer rules for them. It just feels more right when there are official.



The best rules supplement that never was:




The most elaborate strawman that ever was.

And would the same argument for 'not needing permission' and the like not also apply to guidelines for creating encounter?  After all - you don't need permission to create any encounter you want to create - so there is no need for any guidelines to help DMs design encounters.

Heck - you don't even need permission to design a monster however you wish - so we don't need a monster manual/ bestiary either.  Just give the monsters the stats you think feel right.

And new DMs can just learn by doing when it comes to monsters and encounters (and natural disasters) - they don't need any guidelines either.
Carl
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />The most elaborate strawman that ever was.



You have been hanging around with Lokiare too much.  No one else talks like that in real life.

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..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />The most elaborate strawman that ever was.



You have been hanging around with Lokiare too much.



What can I say - when I see "There should be guidelines to help the DM do X better" turned into "Here are tables to tell you how to roleplay your character" I can't help but smell straw.

Carl
What can I say - when I see "There should be guidelines to help the DM do X better" turned into "Here are tables to tell you how to roleplay your character" I can't help but smell straw.

Carl



Maybe you should check your definition of "Strawman" because it does not seem to mean "April Fools joke".



Joke
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CarlT

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But the lack of conversation about tornadoes in D&D Next is very upsetting. Very Upsetting.

Not sure why but this made me chuckle.

D&D Next - Basic and Expert Editions

I firmly believe that there should be two editions of the game; the core rules released as a "Basic" set and a more complicated expanded rules edition released as an "Expert" set. These two editions would provide separate entry points to the game; one for new players or players that want a more classic D&D game and another entry point for experienced gamers that want more options and all the other things they have come to expect from previous editions.

Also, they must release several rules modules covering the main elements of the game (i.e., classes, races, combat, magic, monsters, etc.) upon launch to further expand the game for those that still need more complexity in a particular element of the game.


Here's a mockup of the Basic Set I created.



(CLICK HERE TO VIEW LARGER IMAGE)
  

Basic Set

This boxed set contains a simple, "bare bones" edition of the game; the core rules. It's for those that want a rules-light edition of the game that is extremely modifiable or for new players that get intimidated easily by too many rules and/or options. The Basic Set contains everything needed to play with all the "classic" D&D races (i.e., Human, Dwarf, Elf, and Halfling) and classes (i.e., Cleric, Fighter, Rogue, Wizard) all the way up to maximum level (i.e., 20th Level).

The Basic boxed set contains:

Quick Start Rules
A "choose your own way" adventure intended as an intro to RPGs and basic D&D terms.

Player's Handbook
(Softcover, 125 pages)
Features rules for playing the classic D&D races and classes all the way up to 20th level.

Dungeon Master's Guide

(Softcover, 125 pages)
Includes the basic rules for dungeon masters.

Monster Manual
(Softcover, 100 pages)
Includes all the classic iconic monsters from D&D. 

Introductory Adventure
(Keep on the Borderlands)
An introductory adventure for beginning players and DMs.

Also includes: 

Character Sheets
Reference Sheets
Set of Dice


Expert Set

A set of hardbound rules that contains the core rules plus expanded races and classes, more spells and a large selection of optional rules modules — that is, pretty much everything that experienced players have come to expect. Each expert edition manual may be purchased separately, or in a boxed set. The Expert set includes:

Expert PHB (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes core rules plus 10 playable races, 10 character classes, expanded selection of spells and rules modules for players.)
Expert DMG (Hardcover, 250 pages. $35 Includes core rules plus expanded rules modules for DMs.)
Expert MM (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes an expanded list of monsters and creatures to challenge characters)


Expansions

These expansion rules modules can be used with both the Basic and Expert sets. Each expansion covers one specific aspect of the game, such as character creation, combat, spells, monsters, etc.) 

Hall of Heroes (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes a vast selection of playable character races and classes, new and old all in one book)
Combat and Tactics (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes dozens of new and old optional rules for combat all in one book)
Creature Compendium (Hardcover, 350 pages.$35 Includes hundreds of monsters, new and old all in one book)
The Grimoire (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes hundreds of new and old spells all in one book)





A Million Hit Points of Light: Shedding Light on Damage

A Million Hit Points of Light: Shedding Light on Damage and Hit Points

In my personal campaigns, I use the following system for damage and dying. It's a slight modification of the long-standing principles etsablished by the D&D game, only with a new definition of what 0 or less hit points means. I've been using it for years because it works really well. However, I've made some adjustments to take advantage of the D&D Next rules. I've decided to present the first part in a Q&A format for better clarity. So let's begin...

What are hit points?
The premise is very simple, but often misunderstood; hit points are an abstraction that represent the character's ability to avoid serious damage, not necessarily their ability to take serious damage. This is a very important distinction. They represent a combination of skillful maneuvering, toughness, stamina and luck. Some targets have more hit points because they are physically tougher and are harder to injure...others have more because they are experienced combatants and have learned how to turn near fatal blows into mere scratches by skillful maneuvering...and then others are just plain lucky. Once a character runs out of hit points they become vulnerable to serious life-threatening injuries.

So what exactly does it mean to "hit" with a successful attack roll, then?
It means that through your own skill and ability you may have wounded your target if the target lacks the hit points to avoid the full brunt of the attack. That's an important thing to keep in mind; a successful "hit" does not necessarily mean you physically damaged your target. It just means that your attack was well placed and forced the target to exert themselves in such a way as to leave them vulnerable to further attacks. For example, instead of severing the target's arm, the attack merely grazes them leaving a minor cut.

But the attack did 25 points of damage! Why did it only "graze" the target?
Because the target has more than 25 hit points. Your attack forced them to exert a lot of energy to avoid the attack, but because of their combat skill, toughness, stamina and luck, they managed to avoid being seriously injured. However, because of this attack, they may not have the reserves to avoid your next attack. Perhaps you knocked them off balance or the attack left them so fatigued they lack the stamina to evade another attack. It's the DM's call on how they want to narrate the exact reason the blow didn't kill or wound the target.

Yeah, but what about "touch" attacks that rely on physical contact?
Making physical contact with a target is a lot different than striking them, so these types of attacks are the exception. If a touch attack succeeds, the attacker manages to make contact with their target.

If hit points and weapon damage don't always represent actual damage to the target, then what does it represent?
Think of the damage from an attack as more like a "threat level" rather than actual physical damage that transfers directly to the target's body. That is, the more damage an attack does, the harder it is to avoid serious injury. For example, an attack that causes 14 points of damage is more likely to wound the target than 3 points of damage (depending on how many hit points the target has left). The higher the damage, the greater the chance is that the target will become seriously injured. So, an attack that does 34 points of damage could be thought of as a "threat level of 34." If the target doesn't have the hit points to negate that threat, they become seriously injured.

Ok, but shouldn't armor reduce the amount of damage delivered from an attack?
It does reduce damage; by making it harder for an attack to cause serious injury. A successful hit against an armored target suggests that the attack may have circumvented the target's armor by striking in a vulnerable area.

What about poison and other types of non-combat damage?
Hit point loss from non-physical forms of damage represents the character spitting the poison out just in time before it takes full strength or perhaps the poison just wasn't strong enough to affect them drastically, but still weakens them. Again, it's the DMs call on how to narrate the reasons why the character avoids serious harm from the damage.

If hit points don't don't represent actual damage then how does that make sense with spells like Cure Serious Wounds and other forms of healing like healer kits with bandages?
Hit points do represent some physical damage, just not serious physical damage. Healing magic and other forms of healing still affect these minor wounds just as well as more serious wounds. For example, bandaging up minor cuts and abrasions helps the character rejuvenate and relieve the pain and/or fatigue of hit point loss. The key thing to remember is that it's an abstraction that allows the DM freedom to interpret and narrate it as they see fit.

What if my attack reduces the target to 0 or less hit points?
If a player is reduced to 0 or less hit points they are wounded. If a monster or NPC is reduce to 0 or less hit points they are killed.

Why are monsters killed immediately and not players?
Because unless the monsters are crucial to the story, it makes combat resolution much faster. It is assumed that players immediately execute a coup de grace on wounded monsters as a finishing move.

What if a character is wounded by poison or other types of non-physical damage?
If a character becomes wounded from non-combat damage they still receive the effects of being wounded, regardless if they show any physical signs of injury (i.e., internal injuries are still considered injuries).

Ok. I get it...but what happens once a character is wounded?
See below.
 

Damage and Dying

Once a character is reduced to 0 or less hit points, they start taking real damage. In other words, their reserves have run out and they can no longer avoid taking serious damage.

  1. Characters are fully operational as long as they have 1 hit point or more. They may have minor cuts, bruises, and superficial wounds, but they are are not impaired significantly. 
  2. Once they reach 0 or less hit points, they become Wounded (see below).That is, they have sustained a wound that impairs their ability to perform actions.
  3. If they reach a negative amount of hit points equal or greater than their Constitution score, they are Incapacitated. This means they are in critical condition and could possibly die.
  4. Characters will die if their hit points reach a negative amount greater than their Constitution score, plus their current level.

Unharmed: 1 hp or more
Wounded: 0 hp or less
Incapacitated: -(Constitution) to -(Constitution+Level)
Dead: Less than -(Constitution +Level)

Wounded
When the character reaches 0 or less hit points they become wounded. Wounded characters receive disadvantage on all attacks and saving throws until they heal back up to 1 hit point or more. This allows for a transitory stage between healthy and dying, without having to mess around with impairment rules while the character still has hit points left.

Incapacitated
Characters begin dying when they reach a negative amount of hit points equal to their Constitution score. At which point, they must make a DC 10 Constitution saving throw on each of their following turns (the disadvantage from being wounded does not apply for these saving throws).

If successful, the character remains dying, but their condition does not worsen.

If the saving throw fails, another DC 10 Constitution saving throw must be made. If that one fails, the character succumbs to their wounds and dies. If successful, the character stabilizes and is no longer dying.

Finally, if a dying character receives first aid or healing at any point, they immediately stabilize.

Dead
Characters will die if they reach a negative amount of hit points equal to their Constitution, plus their current level. Thus, if an 8th level character with a Constitution score of 12 is down to 4 hit points then takes 24 points of damage (reducing their hit points to -20) the attack kills them outright.

The dangers and menaces (traps, for example) that aren´t monster should have got a system about the right value of XPs. For example a PC who can fly or glide, or can use the spell (or a power like) feather fall (or spider climb)  should a lower value of XP reward (or nothing at all) by a pitfall trap because that trap is too easy to be avoided. 


Other times the zone become a menace, for example a forest fire caused by a dragon or a avalance for fight to frost giants (those #@$ fire balls!), or a sinking ghot ship full of undeads. 

Or zones where magic can´t be used (but psionic is allowed, or only ki techniques). If most of PCs are spellcasters or nobody, or classes with greater or lower use of magic, the challenge is different. 

Example: Dungeon with dead magic:

Group A: Hexblade + Wizard + Cleric + Spellthief (you can´t use magic, you are f..ed!!!)

Group B: Sohei (oriental adventures) + Truenamer (Tome of Magic) + Totemist (magic of incarnum) + ninja.   (can´t we use arcane magic, but what is it?)

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

@Luis Carlos

Makes sense. A powerful tornado is a encounter equal to 1+4*Fujita Scale.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

We don't need rules for anything.

Free Form Roleplaying can be an amazing experience. 

But let's notice what's missing in "Free Form Roleplaying"... "Game".  If fighting - which is bloated with rules - is part of the "roleplaying" as many gamers assert... then why can't other parts of "roleplaying" also have aspects of "game" inserted into them? This would require rules.

But D&D seems capable of managing only one "Mode of Conflict" well.

I fully endorse an entire suppliment for Man vs. Nature. 
But what is the right XPs reward for a monster PC who doesn´t need breathing and he has "survived" a trap of poisonous gas? We need some guide.

A natural disaster can be contagious sickness, and some ones are worse that others.

I think sickness, poisons, and some special injuries or supernatural curses should be like separated challenges, with a exclusive XP value or challenging rating, like the monster templates.

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

I'd much rather see "natural hazards" handled in such a way that they are a "threat" at whatever levels the DM wants them to be "a threat".

If they handled all of this stuff in a section on terrain and hazards, and talked about keeping it relevant, that's certainly be more than enough for me.
Feedback Disclaimer
Yes, I am expressing my opinions (even complaints - le gasp!) about the current iteration of the play-test that we actually have in front of us. No, I'm not going to wait for you to tell me when it's okay to start expressing my concerns (unless you are WotC). (And no, my comments on this forum are not of the same tone or quality as my actual survey feedback.)
A Psion for Next (Playable Draft) A Barbarian for Next (Brainstorming Still)
I quite often have my players roll for terrain effects, and not because I want them to lose toes to frostbite or catch a disease in a swamp, but to get them used to the rolls as not being special.

I noted a while back, a group go adventuring then I say suddenly, make a constitution save... the reaction was nearly always "oh no". The players take the cues and know that something special is probably coming, which GREATLY takes away the precious pearls of special. But when the group is so used to condition saves from the environment, me asking to roll a dexterity save then describing how half the party was sideswiped by a high bear charging through a sheet wall of ice comes as a shock and is far more enjoyable.

That being said, if there was a rule set to make travelling through harsh terrain a lot more interesting than roll checks every so often im definately all in. 

And to the people who say "we dont need permission to do this, we dont need rules", yea we dont. Doesnt mean I wouldnt like a set of optional rules to go through, it helps geatly if not just for consistency on my part for difficulty.
I do the same thing.

I make my players roll and on successes I describe random fauna and flora native to the area. "Roll Spot everyone.. you all notice the cutest little squirrel."

That way, they can't tell if they are spotting or hearing squirrels, dropped weapons and potions, tasty berries, angry bears, deadly quicksand, the howl of hurricane winds, or the sound of a kindling of a budding wildfire.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

A question....what if a natural disaster can be caused by a magic trap? For example a flood in a sacred  druid zone where there is a throusand-years-old tree. 

Or a avalanche to kill intruders because there are of temple of god of ice in the frozen mountains.  

 

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

Ideally, disasters and hazard would be in the trap section of the DMG. Disasters and hazards should have Levels, trigger DCs if traps, frequencies, and XP values like everything else.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

But XPs rewards should be different if PCs have got special adventages, for example a flooding isn´t so dangerous for a monster PC who can breath water or he doesn´t need breathing.

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

The DMG should of course give advice for adjusting XP to PCs.

The same as throwing animals against druids and rangers or undead at clerics and paladins.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

The DMG should of course give advice for adjusting XP to PCs. The same as throwing animals against druids and rangers or undead at clerics and paladins.



That is the idea. For example the warforged form Eberron settin is a living constructs, it can live without air, food or air, and go to explore desertic zones without those supplies.

Or the uldras, a PC race from "Frostburn", a soucerbook about cold zones. They endurace better the cold.. 

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

3.5 had a series of books that went into pretty great detail about the hazards of some more treacherous biomes (Frostburn for cold environs, Stormwrack for the sea, and, uh, the desert one whose name escapes me). While they did contain an unprecedented quantity of quantitative mechanics for various hazards, I find the more qualitative descriptions at least as useful, especially regarding the various magical and otherwise fantastic sort of terrain features that might be encountered in those environments in a magical world.
Dwarves invented beer so they could toast to their axes. Dwarves invented axes to kill people and take their beer. Swanmay Syndrome: Despite the percentages given in the Monster Manual, in reality 100% of groups of swans contain a Swanmay, because otherwise the DM would not have put any swans in the game.
One of my all time favorite books is the Wilderness Survival Guide by Kim Mohan.   That book could almost be published right now as a 5e book.  It's not that edition specific.  I'm sure there are some things of course but there is so much goodness in that book.  It's great for this kind of stuff.

I think though they could steal stuff from that book and elsewhere and make a campaign setting book called - custom or homebrew etc...  That would be pretty awesome. 
A wilderness survival guide, or even the random events table from oriental adventures that includes natural and man made events would be good, or use the link below if you are a dragon lance fan.

www.dlnexus.com/weather/

While I'm very much against a codified collection of rules for disasters and conditions, I do like that they are around and some discussion that lays out some conventions we can all use would be very useful. A chapter in the DMG, at least, a sourcebook for each environment at most. I really enjoyed the 3e approach.