D&D Food & Water Needs
D&D Core Info

Food & Water Needs


A character needs one pound of food per day and can make food last longer by subsisting on half rations. Eating half a pound of food in a day counts as half a day without food.

A character can go without food for a number of days equal to 3 + his or her Constitution modifier (minimum 1). At the end of each day beyond that limit, a character automatically suffers one level of exhaustion. A normal day of eating resets the count of days without food to zero.


A character needs one gallon of water per day (two waterskins worth of water). If the weather is hot, the amount of water needed is doubled. A character who drinks only half that much water must succeed on a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or suffer one level of exhaustion at the end of the day. A character with access to even less water automatically suffers one level of exhaustion at the end of the day. If the character already has one or more levels of exhaustion, the character takes two levels in either case.

Creature Size Food per Day
Tiny Food per Day:  1/4 pound
Small Food per Day:  1 pound*
Medium Food per Day:  1 pound*
Large Food per Day:  4 pounds
Huge Food per Day:  16 pounds
Gargantuan Food per Day:  64 pounds

* 1 days worth of rations weighs 2 lbs., but a player needs only 1 lb. of food per day. The key word in this case is need and is very different from should. A character, at a bare minimum, need to be consuming one pound of food per day, but very rarely will anyone want to get by on the bare minimum amount of food unless it's a survival scenario and resources are scarce. It stands to reason that a ration is two pounds because consuming a whole ration would be enough food to comfortably satisfy a day's requirement of food, and therefore, what a character should consume per day.

Optional rule: If a character attempts to live off of 1lb a food per day (the minimum), then after 3 days they will recieve a penalty for being hungry and unsatisfied. The character gets a -2 to perception roles and their movement is reduced by 5. Note: As exhaustion is the results of not eating the bare minimum, the penalty for just eating the bare minimum would have to be less than that.

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