Survival

From Epic Path
Jump to: navigation, search
You cannot escape, for these woods are mine.

Description

Ability Score Used: Wisdom
Usable Untrained? Yes
Armor Check Penalty Applies? No


You are skilled at surviving in inclement conditions and settings. Massive storms in a dark forest, lava falls in the City of Brass, sandstorms scouring through cave systems, hard-living on the mean, muddy streets, whiteout conditions atop an iceberg, color storms in the Plane of Shadow, all these and many more are the sort of inclement conditions that Survival lets you deal with. This includes surviving in the wild, navigating in the wilderness with or without landmarks, and surviving in any hostile environments such as unforgiving cityscapes, cave complexes, vast sewer systems, ancient buried temples, vast universes of crates, other Planes, etc. You also excel at following trails and tracks left by others in any and all such environments.

Tracking

You can use survival to follow the tracks of one or more creatures through the wilderness. The DC of this check is the Maneuver Defense of the lowest CR creature in the group you are attempting to follow, among those creatures capable of leaving tracks (those CR 1 peasants being carried in sacks, which the trolls have slung over their backs, don't leave any footprints. You'll have to track the trolls instead). Higher level creatures are just better and scarier in general, and if you can't follow them, you probably don't want to catch them, either.

You must make a new Survival check every time something significantly changes the quality of the trail, such as a change of terrain (soft ground to stone, for example), or if the pursued group makes deliberate moves to throw you off (such as wading into a river for a mile or two).

If you have no ranks in survival, you can make untrained checks to follow tracks, but only if the DC for the task is 10 or lower.

You can use either survival or Perception to locate a creature's trail in the first place (with the same target DC as tracking the creature), but you can only follow the creature's trail using survival.

While tracking a creature, you move at half your normal speed. You may move at your normal speed (a double move) with a -5 penalty on the check, or at a Run with a -20 penalty on the check. Tracking DC's are heavily dependent on the surface and the prevailing conditions (see modifiers).

While tracking, your attention is fully occupied, leaving you unable to perform any other tasks, such as making Perception checks to avoid surprise, etc. This is also true for any character which is assisting you with tracking.

Action Required:

Varies. Typically several minutes to several hours, depending on how much of a lead your target has.

DC of Check:

Maneuver Defense of the lowest CR creature being tracked, that could conceivably leave tracks.

Modifiers to Check
  • Respective Speeds:
  • Track at Full Speed: If you are moving at full speed (double move) while tracking, the DC is increased by +5.
  • Track at a Run: If you are moving at a run while tracking, the DC is increased by +20.
  • Reckless Trail: If the tracked creature is callously storming through the countryside, or deliberately leaving a trail, the DC is reduced by -5.
  • Careful Trail: If the tracked creature is moving cautiously (half speed) to deliberately leave less of a trail, the DC is increased by +5.
  • Quality of Trail:
  • Very Soft Ground: If you are following a trail across a surface (fresh snow, thick dust, loose marrow, wet mud) that holds deep, clear impressions of footprints, the DC is reduced by -5.
  • Soft Ground: If you are following a trail across a surface soft enough to yield to pressure, but firmer than wet mud or fresh snow, in which a creature leaves frequent, but shallow, footprints, the DC is reduced by -2.
  • Firm Ground: If you are following a trail across a most normal outdoor surfaces (such as lawns, fields, woods, and the like) or exceptionally soft or dirty indoor surfaces (e.g., thick rugs, dirt floors, dusty floors), the creature might leave some traces (e.g., broken branches, tufts of hair), but it leaves only occasional or partial footprints, the DC is not modified.
  • Hard Ground: If you are following a trail across a surface that doesn't hold footprints at all (e.g., bare rock, indoor floor, a streambed, etc.), and the creature leaves only traces (e.g., scuff marks, displaced pebbles), the DC is increased by +5.
  • Cold Trail: For every 24 hours since the trail was made, the DC increases by +1.
  • Wet Trail: For every hour of rain or equivalent since the trail was made, the DC increases by +1.
  • Covered Trail: If fresh snow, a dust storm, or something else has covered up the trail since it was made, the DC is increased by +5.
  • Familiarity With Area:
  • Familiar Territory: If you know the area well, the DC is reduced by -5.
  • Your homeland: If you've lived in the area your whole life, and know it like the back of your hand, the DC is reduced by -10.
  • Unusual or Rare Terrain: If the tracked creature is moving through very peculiar terrain, where normal signs of passage may be wrong (e.g., atop a fresh lava flow, inside a titanic beast, the Unterwelt, etc.), the DC is increased by +5.
  • Conditions:
  • Poor Visibility: If it is a cloudy, moonless night, there is a light fog, or otherwise poor visibility, the DC is increased by +2.
  • Dense Territory: If the tracked creature is moving through a place with very poor sight lines (e.g., a city, a temperate forest, a verdant jungle, etc.), the DC is increased by +5.
  • Stormy Conditions: If rain, wind, lightning, and similar inclement conditions are happening while you follow the creature, the DC is increased by +5.
  • Violent Conditions: If you are tracking a creature through a tornado, a hurricane, a volcanic eruption, while riding an avalanche, etc., the DC is increased by +10.
  • Unable to Sense: If you are effectively Blind to a major sense (e.g. due to total darkness, whiteout, loud sound, overwhelming stench, etc.), the DC is increased by +5.
  • Nature of Quarry:
  • They Come In Packs: For each creature above one in the group being tracked, the DC is reduced by -1.
  • Size: The size of the creatures being tracked affects the DC. This modifier is only applied once, based on the largest creature present, regardless of how many creatures you are tracking. Fine creatures increase the DC by +8. Diminutive creatures increase the DC by +4. Tiny creatures increase the DC by +2. Small creatures increase the DC by +1. Medium creatures do not adjust the DC. Large creatures reduce the DC by -1. Huge creatures reduce the DC by -2. Gargantuan creatures reduce the DC by -4. Colossal creatures reduce the DC by -8. Titanic creatures reduce the DC by -12. The DC is further decreased by an additional -4 for each additional size category above titanic.
Take 10? / Take 20?

No

Allows Assists?

Yes (up to 5 allies).

Results of Success

You maintain firm contact with the trail of the creature(s) being followed, and may or may not close the distance upon them.

Consequences of Failure

If you fail by 4 or less, or if you roll a natural 1 on the die, if this is the first time you failed, you may immediately attempt to find the trail again, losing only a single round to search. If you have already retried due to an earlier failure, your must spend 10 minutes searching before you can try again. If you fail a second time, you must spend an hour searching before you can try again. If you fail a third time, you lose the trail of the creature(s) being followed. You no longer know where they went, and cannot continue to follow them.

If you fail by 5 or more, you have lost the trail, and will not pick it up again.

Retry Allowed?

If you fail by less than 4 all three times, or fail by 5 or more even once, you have lost the trail, and will not pick it up again.

Provokes AOO?

Yes.

Orienteering

You can use the survival skill to avoid getting lost or avoid natural hazards. This includes avoiding minor hazards ("don't touch those leaves!"), as well as scouting out a good trail. Orienteering can be attempted in any untamed area, regardless of terrain type. It even applies to orienteering on alternate planes of existence, though it can be significantly more difficult to avoid getting lost in such alien environments.

This check does not cover the avoidance of major hazards, such as dangerous storms, unstable ground, fire geysers, etc. These sorts of things are usually resolved as traps or encounters, rather than a simple survival check.

This skill check does not cover the foraging of food, or seeking out fresh water. See Forage for rules on gathering food and water in the wilderness.

Action Required:

1 day per check

DC of Check:

15

Modifiers to Check
  • Familiar Territory: -5 to the DC
  • Your homeland: -10 to the DC
  • Inside a city or otherwise heavily modified ground: +5 to the DC
  • Unusual or rare terrain: Atop a fresh lava flow, inside a titanic beast, the Unterwelt, etc. +10 to the DC
  • On a different but similar plane of existence: The Ether, the Plane of Shadow, The First World, etc. +15 to the DC
  • On a different but non-hostile plane of existence: The Plane of Air, Elysium, The Silver Fields, etc. +25 to the DC
  • On a wildly different plane of Existence: The Azure Sea, The Plane of Earth, the Plane of Water, etc. +35 to the DC
  • On a wildly different and hostile plane of existence: The Plane of Fire, the Nine Hells, the Abyss, etc +40 to the DC
  • Very Bad Places: The Sunward Reaches, The Infinite Well, Temperest, Hellcore, Lavarna, etc. +50 to the DC
  • The Edge of Reality: Apocolyptica, The Outer Dark, The Fount of Reality, The Nascent Seed, etc. +60 to the DC
Take 10? / Take 20?

You can take 10 (outside of combat), but you cannot take 20.

Allows Assists?

Yes (up to 5 allies).

Results of Success

You retain your bearings and know where you are and how to get to where you want to go. You also successfully avoid harmful and deleterious effects from your surroundings.

Consequences of Failure

You get lost and no longer know where you are or how to get to where you want to go.

Retry Allowed?

You can try to reorient yourself once every 24 hours.

Provokes AOO?

No

Avoid Encounters

You can use survival during overland movement to attempt to avoid random encounters. This does not prevent the party from coming upon encounters which are important to the GM's plot, but they do allow the party to (potentially) bypass the inevitable pack of dire wolves that seem to be in every forest these days.

You are assumed to be moving at a normal pace for overland movement while performing this action, and it is not necessary for the party to take extra precautions, such as moving stealthily at half speed, in order for this skill use to be successful. Exceptionally noisy parties can incur a penalty, however (see modifiers, below).

Action Required:

Part of overland movement

DC of Check:

10 + double the CR of the encounter, campaign level, or area

Modifiers to Check
  • Familiar Territory: If you are in territory familiar to you, the DC is decreased by -5.
  • Noisy: if you or your party are especially noisy (such as a bard playing songs the entire time, or the sorcerer blasting every squirrel she spots), the DC is increased by anywhere from +2 to +10, at GM's discretion. Normal noises for non-stealthed travel do not inflict this penalty.
Take 10? / Take 20?

No.

Allows Assists?

Yes (up to 5 allies).

Results of Success

You avoid one encounter during this interval of overland movement. You never see any creatures, and gain no knowledge about what the encounter might have been.

Consequences of Failure

If you fail the check by 4 or less, or roll a natural 1, you come upon the random encounter (if there was going to be one). Surprise is resolved normally, if the creatures are waiting in ambush.

If you fail the check by 5 or more, you stumble into the encounter with no warning at all. Surprise is resolved normally, if the creatures are waiting in ambush, but your whole party takes a -5 penalty to their Perception checks to avoid being surprised.

Retry Allowed?

No. A failed check results in an encounter you can't avoid. You may perform this skill use a number of times per day equal to the number of possible random encounters in the area.

Provokes AOO?

No.

Provoke Encounters

You can use survival during overland movement to make it easier for random encounters to find you, if your party is feeling particularly pugnacious. Such encounters are typically of the 'random encounter' sort, over and above the ones necessary to whatever plotline your party may be following.

You are assumed to be moving at a normal pace for overland movement while performing this action. During this time, your party is deliberately crashing through the wilderness with little regard for stealth or concern about leaving a trail. That's the whole point, in fact.

You may declare what CR you would like the encounter to be, though this must be within +/-2 of the area or campaign level you are in. However, depending on the success of your check, you may get more or less than you bargained for...

Action Required:

Part of overland movement

DC of Check:

10 + double the CR of the encounter, campaign level, or area

Modifiers to Check
  • Familiar Territory: If you are in territory familiar to you, the DC is decreased by -5.
Take 10? / Take 20?

No.

Allows Assists?

Yes (up to 5 allies).

Results of Success

You provoke an encounter. Surprise is resolved normally, if the creatures are waiting in ambush. Provoke encounters does not give you any advantages or mitigation against surprise.

Consequences of Failure

If you fail the roll by 4 or less, or roll a natural 1 on the die, you are simply unable to provoke an encounter.

If you fail the roll by 5 or more, you provoke an encounter of +1 CR to the one you were looking for, or maybe even higher. GM's are encouraged to be merciless, but fair.

Retry Allowed?

You may perform this skill use a number of times per day equal to the number of possible random encounters in the area.

Provokes AOO?

No.

Forage

You can keep yourself and others safe and fed in the wild, as described in the Roughing It lifestyle.

You must spend at least 6 hours hunting, tending to your campsite and generally carving out an existence for yourself, in order to attempt to rough it for a day.

Creatures above size large require four times as much food per size category above large (i.e. 4x at huge, 16x at gargantuan, 64x at colossal, etc.). Creatures below size small require 1/4th as much food per size category below small (e.g. 1/4th at tiny, 1/16th at diminutive, 1/64th at fine, etc.). Creatures of size small, medium, and large are presumed to require approximately the same amount of food.

Action Required:

6 hours

DC of Check:

Easy DC based on the CR of the area.

Modifiers to Check
  • Familiar Territory: If you are in territory familiar to you, the DC is decreased by -5.
  • Your homeland: If you've lived in the area your whole life, and know it like the back of your hand, the DC is reduced by -10.
  • Poor Visibility: If it is a cloudy, moonless night, there is a light fog, or otherwise poor visibility, the DC is increased by +2.
  • Stormy Conditions: If rain, wind, lightning, and similar inclement conditions are happening while forage, the DC is increased by +5.
  • On the Move: You can attempt to forage while you are engaging in overland movement, (essentially reducing the action required to "part of overland movement"), but doing so increases the DC by +20.
Take 10? / Take 20?

You may take 10, but you may not take 20.

Allows Assists?

Yes (up to 5 allies).

Results of Success

If you succeed, you feed, house, and sustain yourself within this environment, do not suffer any harm or conditions, and maintain your current state of well-being.

For every 5 by which you exceed the DC, you may either feed, house and sustain one additional friendly creature (within 1 size category of yourself), or stow away one day's worth of provisions for yourself.

Consequences of Failure

You go without food for the day and gain the Fatigued condition the following morning. This fatigued condition cannot be removed except by getting a good meal and a full day of rest, either from a successful hunt or by some other means.

If you fail your survival check three days in a row, you gain the Exhausted condition, which can only be removed by getting a good meal, at which point, it reverts to Fatigued.

If you fail three survival checks after becoming Exhausted, you die.

Retry Allowed?

No. You may only make a forage check once every 24 hours, and the result of that check applies until the next check is made.

Provokes AOO?

No

Trailblazer (Epic Use)

You intuitively know how to get to any non-unique destination you can specifically visualize. This can take you to the nearest spring, for example, but not to the villain's bedroom (since the spring is not unique). You can use trailblazer to find a hidden dungeon which has been lost to time by the world at large (since dungeon's are not unique), though you cannot use it to find a specific dungeon, or even a dungeon with specific characteristics (e.g. one that isn't too high a level for you).

Trailblazer allows you to intuit where things might logically be located. You don't know where the destination is in advance, so you can't write down how to find it until you have personally walked the path to get there. You can, of course, lead as many people along with you as you wish, assuming they can survive the journey.

Trailblazer does not provide you with the means of surviving any of the environments or locations you manage to find. You'll have to figure that out separately.

You cannot use trailblazer as a substitute for other skills or skill uses, such as seeking out the lair of a specific monster (which is the domain of Tracking), or finding a magic weapons shop in a metropolis (which is the domain of Knowledge (Local)).

While trailblazing, your attention is fully occupied, leaving you unable to perform any other tasks, such as making Perception checks to avoid surprise, etc. You'll want to have some friends along to keep watch for you.

This is an epic skill use, and requires at least 21 ranks in the skill before it may be attempted.

Action Required:

Part of overland movement

DC of Check:

15

Modifiers to Check
  • Very Familiar Destination: -10 to the DC.
  • Familiar Destination: -5 to the DC.
  • Never seen but carefully studied destination: +5 to the DC
  • Casually seen or somewhat known of destination: +10 to the DC
  • Seen once or scryed destination: +15 to DC
  • Only described to you destination: +20 to DC
  • Never seen, no available information, destination: +30 to DC
  • Unusual or rare terrain: Atop a fresh lava flow, inside a titanic beast, the Unterwelt, etc. +10 to the DC
  • On a different but similar plane of existence: The Ether, the Plane of Shadow, The First World, etc. +15 to the DC
  • On a different but non-hostile plane of existence: The Plane of Air, Elysium, The Silver Fields, etc. +25 to the DC
  • On a wildly different plane of Existence: The Azure Sea, The Plane of Earth, the Plane of Water, etc. +35 to the DC
  • On a wildly different and hostile plane of existence: The Plane of Fire, the Nine Hells, the Abyss, etc +40 to the DC
  • Very Bad Places: The Sunward Reaches, The Infinite Well, Temperest, Hellcore, Lavarna, etc. +50 to the DC
  • The Edge of Reality: Apocolyptica, The Outer Dark, The Fount of Reality, The Nascent Seed, etc. +60 to the DC
Take 10? / Take 20?

You can take 10, but you cannot take 20.

Allows Assists?

No

Results of Success

You find a way to the destination you wished. The path may be long and fraught with peril, but it does exist. Once found, you may map it out to record the path for others.

Consequences of Failure

You do not find your way to the place you wanted. Of course, you end up somewhere...

Retry Allowed?

No. If you cannot find the vanishing gates of Shangri-la when you go looking for them, then you will never be able to.

Provokes AOO?

Yes