|Systems and Tools|
Survivalism allows characters to make rations, which can be used to heal wounds or temporarily increase physical or mental abilities. Though the system was created with rangers and druids in mind, any class build can participate.
To practice survivalism, you need four things:
- Survival Kit: This contains the various tools (knives, etc.) you will need to properly cut and dress meat. You only need one Survival Kit. It can be purchased from merchants such as Kyramir in the Elysia Marketplace and Resh-Nar at the shrine to Keros in M'Chek.
- Mess Kit: this is used along with the Survival kit to convert meats and essences into rations. You only need one Mess Kit. It can also be purchased from merchants such as Kyramir, Resh-Nar, and others.
- Curing Kits: these contain the components needed to properly cure meats and essences into ration kits. One or more curing kits are used every time you try to cure meat or essence. They can be purchased, but can also be crafted by those proficient in Alchemy or Herbalism.
- Meat or Essence: when an animal, beast, or magical animal is slain, there is a chance that it will drop meat. Likewise, when an elemental, aberration, or ooze is slain, there is a chance that it will drop essence. While essences can only be cured into rations, meat has other uses (see below).
Before you do anything else, buy a Survival Kit and use it on your PC. This will let you know your Survivalism experience, your Survivalism level, and the maximum level in Survivalism you can currently reach. If you are just starting out and have ranger, barbarian, or druid levels, using the Survival Kit on yourself will give you some experience to help you start off; you will receive a number of Survivalism levels equal to your ranger and barbarian levels plus half your druid levels, up to a maximum of 5 levels.
- Rick is a 4th level ranger. He decides to start using the Survivalist tradeskill, and begins by using the Survivalist Kit on himself. This gives him 4 Survivalist levels.
- Buck Rowen is a 3/2 ranger/druid, who is also just starting off with Survivalism. He uses the Survival Kit on himself, and is given 3 + 2/2 = 4 Survivalist levels.
- Deider of Pelar is a 24th level druid who starts off by immediately curing some meats into rations, and getting some Survivalist XP in the process. He uses the Survivalist Kit on himself afterward, and it tells him that he’s a level 1 Survivalist with 69XP. However, if he had used the kit on himself before he started curing meats, he would have been given 5 Survivalist levels to start. Silly gnome!
Survivalism Experience and Progression
The Survivalist tradeskill does not grant any real XP. Like most of the other Avlis custom tradeskills, it grants its own tradeskill experience points, Survivalism XP, and has a level progression the same as character levels.
However, unlike most tradeskills, Survivalism has a level limit. This limit is based on your class build and levels, as follows:
- 1/2 levels: Ranger, Druid, Avenger, Barbarian, Annihilator
- 1/3 levels: Confounder, Champion, Blackguard of Maleki, Justicar
- 1/4 levels: Fighter, Cleric, Paladin, Equalizer, Dominator
- 1/5 levels: all other classes
Worshippers of Keros, the demigod of Survival, have double the standard level limit, up to a maximum of 25 levels.
- Rick is a 4th level ranger. His level limit is 4/2 = 2 Survivalism levels. Since he was allowed to start with 4 levels of Survivalism, he’ll have to wait until he becomes a 10th level ranger before he can start advancing towards his 5th Survivalist level.
- Deider of Pelar is a 24th level druid. His current level limit is 24/2 = 12 Survivalism levels.
- Grem Jellypants is a 20/10/10 monk/fighter/rogue. His level limit is 20/5 + 10/4 + 10/5 = 4 + 2 + 2 = 8 Survivalism levels.
- Resh-Nar, High Shaman of Keros, is a 40th level cleric who worships Keros. His level limit is 40/4*2 = 20 Survivalism levels.
- Rosh-Nir, Resh-Nar’s cousin, is a 40th level ranger who also worships Keros. His level limit is 25, the maximum that can be attained with Survivalism.
Meats and Essences
As mentioned above, some creatures may drop meat or essences when slain. Meat and essences have two properties, size and quality. There are four sizes for essences: Small, Average, Large, and Huge. Meats have the same size categories as well as a fifth, Gigantic. There are also four levels of quality: Average (formerly known as Rancid), Fine, Choice, and Prime. The size and quality of meat or essence that a creature drops is dependent upon the creature’s challenge rating (CR) and its hit dice (HD). If you are looking for larger and higher quality meats and essences, then you will need to slay larger, more dangerous creatures.
Meats and essences are both used to craft rations. Meat can be made into rations that have the same properties as a healing kit. Essences can be used to make rations that can give temporary boosts to your abilities.
Meat also has other uses:
- Anyone with experience in Survivalism can cook meat on a campfire and serve it to themselves and other characters nearby. To do this, use the meat on a campfire. The size of the meat determines how many characters nearby can be affected. The quality of the meat determines what skills are granted bonuses. The amount and duration of the skill bonuses is dependent upon your Survivalist level.
- Rangers and druids can feed meat to non-hostile animals, beasts, magical animals, and vermin. This is done by using the meat on the creature. If the PC passes an Animal Empathy check, the creature becomes friendlier to the PC, which will make it easier to tame with CTS. The larger and better quality the meat, the lower the DC of the skill check. The PC does not need to have any Survivalist experience to feed meat to animals, but Survivalist levels also lower the DC. Once a PC has fed a creature a piece of meat, whether or not you succeed or fail the check, it will no longer be interested in any meat from that same PC.
- Rangers and druids can feed meat to hostile animals, beasts, magical animals, and vermin. This is done by using the meat on the creature. If the PC passes an Animal Empathy check, the creature will become non-hostile, which will make it easier to tame with CTS. The larger and better quality the meat, the lower the DC of the skill check. The PC does not need to have any Survivalist experience to feed meat to animals, but Survivalist levels also lower the DC. Once a PC has fed a creature a piece of meat, whether or not you succeed or fail the check, it will no longer be interested in any meat from that same PC.
There are eight different curing kits. In level of increasing quality:
- Basic Salting Kit
- Basic Smoking Kit
- Basic Herbal Kit
- Basic Alchemical Kit
- Advanced Salting Kit
- Advanced Smoking Kit
- Advanced Herbal Kit
- Advanced Alchemical Kit
Curing kits affect both the chance of success of crafting a meat or essence into a ration as well as the final quality of the ration produced. For higher quality meats and essences, it is better to use the higher quality curing kits. Curing kits can be purchased, and they can also be crafted by those proficient in Alchemy or Herbalism.
To make rations, put meat or an essence into the Mess Kit, add some curing kits to the mess kit, and then use the Survival Kit on the Mess Kit. The chance of success of making rations depends on the size and quality of the meat or essence. A Small Piece of Average Meat is the easiest to make into a ration, while a Gigantic Piece of Prime Meat is the most difficult. The chance of success is also influenced by the quality of the curing kit used as well as the PC’s Survivalist level.
Similarly, the Survivalism XP gained for successfully making a ration depends on the size and quality of the meat or essence as well as the Survivalist level of the PC. Larger and higher quality meats and essences are more difficult to cure, but will grant more experience, while smaller and lower quality ones that are easier to cure will grant less experience.
There are a couple of differences between Survivalism and the other Avlis tradeskills. One is that you can combine more than one meat into a ration kit. You can combine up to three meats into a single curing attempt. Successfully curing multiple meats can create better rations. Another difference is that you can attempt to cure the same meat(s) or essences multiple times. The number of attempts allowed depends upon the size of the meat or essence; larger pieces will grant more attempts. Each attempt requires a curing kit, so it is a good idea to put many curing kits in the Mess Kit along with your meat or essence, to maximize the chances of successfully making rations. You can succeed more than once using the same piece of meat or essence, meaning that you can create more than one ration from a single piece.
Rations made from meats have the same properties as a healing kit. The strength of the ration depends of the quality of the meat; healing kit properties can range from +3 to +12. Rations made from essences grant a bonus to one of your abilities; this bonus will stack with ability bonuses from spells or potions. The amount and duration of the bonus depends on the quality of the essence and the quality of the cure kit used when making the ration.