House Rules: Skills - Survival

< House Rules: Skills

You are skilled at surviving in the wild and at navigating in the wilderness. You also excel at following trails and tracks left by others.

Proficiency:

  • Skilled: You reduce all nonlethal damage you take from heat, cold, starvation, or thirst by 1 point for every 5 ranks you possess in Survival.
  • Expert: You can track creatures that leave no tracks, including flying and swimming creatures and creatures using trackless step or pass without trace, taking a –20 penalty on your Survival check.
  • Master: Once per day, you can spend 1 hour and attempt a DC 30 Survival check. Success grants you cold resistance or fire resistance 5 for 24 hours. You can share this with one ally for every 5 by which you exceeded the check.
  • Legendary: You take only a –10 penalty when tracking creatures that leave no tracks.

Uses


Avoid Getting Lost/Avoid Natural Hazards (Novice)

You can use the Survival skill to avoid getting lost or avoid natural hazards and you make a Survival check whenever the situation calls for one.

Retry? To avoid getting lost or avoid natural hazards, you make a Survival check whenever the situation calls for one. Retries to avoid getting lost in a specific situation or to avoid a specific natural hazard are not allowed. For finding tracks, you can retry a failed check after 1 hour (outdoors) or 10 minutes (indoors) of searching.

Follow Tracks (Novice)

To find tracks or to follow them for 1 mile requires a successful Survival check. You must make another Survival check every time the tracks become difficult to follow. If you are not trained in this skill, you can make untrained checks to find tracks, but you can follow them only if the DC for the task is 10 or lower. Alternatively, you can use the Perception skill to find a footprint or similar sign of a creature’s passage using the same DCs, but you can’t use Perception to follow tracks, even if someone else has already found them.

You move at half your normal speed while following tracks (or at your normal speed with a –5 penalty on the check, or at up to twice your normal speed with a –20 penalty on the check). The DC depends on the surface and the prevailing conditions, as given on table.

Action: A Survival check made to find tracks is at least a complex provoke action of 3 acts, and it may take even longer.

Retry? For finding tracks, you can retry a failed check after 1 hour (outdoors) or 10 minutes (indoors) of searching.

Tracking Modifiers:

  • Class—A ranger gains a bonus on Survival checks when using this skill to find or follow the tracks of a favored enemy.
  • Feats—If you have the Self-Sufficient feat, you get a +2 bonus on all Survival checks. If you have 10 or more ranks in Survival, the bonus increases to +4.
  • Size—and Number of Creatures being Tracked: See Table: Modifiers to Survival Checks when Tracking below.
  • Terrain:
    • Very Soft Ground: Any surface (fresh snow, thick dust, wet mud) that holds deep, clear impressions of footprints.
    • Soft Ground: Any surface soft enough to yield to pressure, but firmer than wet mud or fresh snow, in which a creature leaves frequent but shallow footprints.
    • Firm Ground: Most normal outdoor surfaces (such as lawns, fields, woods, and the like) or exceptionally soft or dirty indoor surfaces (thick rugs and very dirty or dusty floors). The creature might leave some traces (broken branches or tufts of hair), but it leaves only occasional or partial footprints.
    • Hard Ground: Any surface that doesn’t hold footprints at all, such as bare rock or an indoor floor. Most streambeds fall into this category, since any footprints left behind are obscured or washed away. The creature leaves only traces (scuff marks or displaced pebbles).

Table: Base Survival DC’s to Track by Ground Condition

Surface Survival DC
Very soft ground 5
Soft ground 10
Firm ground 15
Hard ground 20
Table: Modifiers to Survival Checks when Tracking
Condition Survival DC Modifier
Every three creatures in the group being tracked –1
Size of creature or creatures being tracked:1
Fine +8
Diminutive +4
Tiny +2
Small +1
Medium +0
Large –1
Huge –2
Gargantuan –4
Colossal –8
Every 24 hours since the trail was made +1
Every hour of rain since the trail was made +1
Fresh snow since the trail was made +10
Poor visibility:2
Overcast or moonless night +6
Moonlight +3
Fog or precipitation +3
Tracked party hides trail (and moves at half speed) +5
1For a group of mixed sizes, apply only the modifier for the largest size category.
2Apply only the largest modifier from this category.

Survive in the Wilderness (Novice)

You can keep yourself and others safe and fed in the wild. See Table: Survival DCs by Task for DCs for various tasks that require Survival checks.

Action: Varies. A single Survival check may represent activity over the course of hours or a full day.

Retry? For getting along in the wild or for gaining the Fortitude save bonus noted in Table: Survival DCs by Task, you make a Survival check once every 24 hours. The result of that check applies until the next check is made.

Table: Survival DC's by Task

Survival DC Task
10 Get along in the wild. Move up to half your overland speed while hunting and foraging (no food or water supplies needed). You can provide food and water for one other person for every 2 points by which your check result exceeds 10.
15 Gain a +2 bonus on all Fortitude saves against severe weather while moving up to half your overland speed, or gain a +4 bonus if you remain stationary. You may grant the same bonus to one other character for every 1 point by which your Survival check result exceeds 15.
15 Keep from getting lost or avoid natural hazards, such as quicksand.
15 Predict the weather up to 24 hours in advance. For every 5 points by which your Survival check result exceeds 15, you can predict the weather for one additional day in advance.

Modifiers


  • Class—A ranger gains a bonus on Survival checks when using this skill to find or follow the tracks of a favored enemy.
  • Feats—If you have the Self-Sufficient feat, you get a +2 bonus on all Survival checks. If you have 10 or more ranks in Survival, the bonus increases to +4.
  • Training—If you are trained in Survival, you can automatically determine where true north lies in relation to yourself.

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