Home > Rules > Core Rulebook > Chapter 4: Skills > Survival


You are adept at living in the wilderness, foraging for food and building shelter, and with training you discover the secrets of tracking and hiding your trail. Even if you’re untrained, you can still use Survival to Subsist in the wild by foraging for food and building shelter.



You try to provide food and shelter for yourself, and possibly others as well, with a standard of living described on page 294. The GM determines the DC based on the Nature of the place where you're trying to Subsist. You might need a minimum proficiency rank to Subsist in particularly strange environments. Unlike most downtime activities, you can Subsist after 8 hours or less of exploration, but if you do, you take a -5 penalty.

Critical Success You either provide a subsistence living for yourself and one additional creature, or you improve your own food and shelter, granting yourself a comfortable living.
Success You find enough food and shelter with basic protection from the elements to provide you a subsistence living.
Failure You're exposed to the elements and don't get enough food, becoming Fatigued until you attain sufficient food and shelter.
Critical Failure You attract trouble, eat something you shouldn't, or otherwise worsen your situation. You take a -2 circumstance penalty to checks to Subsist for 1 week. You don't find any food at all; if you don't have any stored up, you're in danger of starving or Dying of thirst if you continue failing.

Sample Subsist Tasks

Untrained lush forest with calm weather or large city with plentiful resources
Trained typical hillside or village
Expert typical mountains or insular hamlet
Master typical desert or city under siege
Legendary barren wasteland or city of undead

Source Core Rulebook pg. 240

Sense Direction

Exploration Secret

Using the stars, the position of the sun, traits of the geography or flora, or the behavior of fauna, you can stay oriented in the wild. Typically, you attempt a Survival check only once per day, but some environments or changes might necessitate rolling more often. The GM determines the DC and how long this activity takes (usually just a minute or so). More unusual locales or those you're unfamiliar with might require you to have a minimum proficiency rank to Sense Direction. Without a compass, you take a -2 item penalty to checks to Sense Direction.

Critical Success You get an excellent sense of where you are. If you are in an environment with cardinal directions, you know them exactly.
Success You gain enough orientation to avoid becoming hopelessly lost. If you are in an environment with cardinal directions, you have a sense of those directions.

Sample Sense Direction Tasks

Untrained determine a cardinal direction using the sun
Trained find an overgrown path in a forest
Expert navigate a hedge maze
Master navigate a byzantine labyrinth or relatively featureless desert
Legendary navigate an ever-changing dream realm

Source Core Rulebook pg. 252

Cover Tracks

Concentrate Exploration Move

You cover your tracks, moving up to half your travel speed. You don't need to attempt a Survival check to cover your tracks, but anyone tracking you must succeed at a Survival check against your Survival DC if it is higher than the normal DC to Track.

In some cases, you might Cover Tracks in an encounter. In this case, Cover Tracks is a single action and doesn't have the exploration trait.

Source Core Rulebook pg. 252


Concentrate Exploration Move

You follow tracks, moving at up to half your travel speed. After a successful check to Track, you can continue following the tracks at half your Speed without attempting additional checks for up to 1 hour. In some cases, you might Track in an encounter. In this case, Track is a single action and doesn't have the exploration trait, but you might need to roll more often because you're in a tense situation. The GM determines how often you must attempt this check.

You attempt your Survival check when you start Tracking, once every hour you continue tracking, and any time something significant changes in the trail. The GM determines the DCs for such checks, depending on the freshness of the trail, the weather, and the type of ground.

Critical Success None
Success You find the trail or continue to follow the one you're already following.
Failure You lose the trail but can try again after a 1-hour delay.
Critical Failure You lose the trail and can't try again for 24 hours.

Sample Track Tasks

Untrained the path of a large army following a road
Trained relatively fresh tracks of a rampaging bear through the plains
Expert a nimble panther's tracks through a jungle, tracks after the rain
Master tracks after a winter snow, tracks of a mouse or smaller creature, tracks left on surfaces that can't hold prints like bare rock
Legendary old tracks through a windy desert's sands, tracks after a major blizzard or hurricane

Source Core Rulebook pg. 252