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Pathfinder Reference Document
Pathfinder Reference Document

Survival (Wis)

You know how to survive in the wild, navigate the wilderness, and tend wounds.

Functions: Determine true north, follow tracks, survive in the wild, tend wounds and ailments.

Core Skills: Heal, Survival.

Determine True North

If you are trained in Survival, you can automatically determine where true north lies in relation to yourself.

Action: None.

Follow Tracks

You must succeed at a Survival check to find or follow tracks for up to 1 mile. You must attempt an additional check each time the tracks become difficult to follow. While following tracks, you move at half your speed. You can move at your normal speed by taking a –5 penalty on the check, or twice your normal speed by taking a –20 penalty on the check. The DC to follow tracks depends on the surface and the prevailing conditions (see Surfaces).

Surface Survival DC
Very soft ground5
Soft ground10
Firm ground15
Hard ground20

Your Survival check might be modified based on any of the following conditions. Multiple conditions could affect the same roll, but apply only the size modifier for the largest creature in a group being tracked and apply only the most severe penalty for poor visibility.

Tracking Modifiers Survival DC Modifier
Multiple creatures in a group–1 per three creatures
Size of creatures being tracked 
Time since the tracks were made+1 per 24 hours
Rain since the tracks were made+1 per hour of rain
Fresh snow since the tracks were made+10
Poor visibility 
Fog or precipitation+3
Overcast or moonless night+6
Tracked party hides its trail and moves at half speed+5

Action: Full-round action or longer.

Try Again: You can retry a failed check after 1 hour (outdoors) or 10 minutes (indoors).

Untrained: You can follow tracks untrained, but only if the DC is 10 or lower.

Perception: Detecting a footprint or similar sign of a creature's passage with the Perception skill uses the same DCs as Survival checks to follow tracks, but you can't use Perception to follow tracks.


This gives examples of surfaces for the first table presented in Follow Tracks.

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).

Survive in the Wild

You can keep yourself and others fed and safe in the wilderness. Use the following DCs for certain tasks.

Task Survival DC
Get along in the wild10
Endure severe weather15
Avoid natural hazards, such as quicksand15
Keep from getting lost15
Predict the weather up to 24 hours in advance15

When you get along in the wild, you can move up to half your overland speed while hunting and foraging without needing food and water supplies. You can provide food and water for one other character for every 2 points by which your check exceeds 10.

When you endure severe weather, you gain a +2 bonus on Fortitude saves against severe weather while moving at up to half your overland speed, or a +4 bonus if you remain stationary. You can grant this bonus to one other character for every 1 point by which your check exceeds 15.

When you predict the weather, you can predict the weather for one additional day in advance for every 5 points by which your check exceeds 15.

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

Try Again: You can attempt a Survival check only once every 24 hours to get along in the wild or endure severe weather. You can attempt a check to avoid getting lost or avoid natural hazards for each situation that calls for one, but you can't retry a check to avoid getting lost in a specific situation or to avoid a specific natural hazard.

Tend Wounds and Ailments

This use of Survival functions as the Heal core skill.

Action: Providing first aid, treating a wound, or treating poison is a standard action. Treating a disease or tending to a creature that has been wounded by a spike growth or spike stones spell requires 10 minutes of work. Treating deadly wounds requires 1 hour of work. Providing long-term care requires 8 hours of light activity.

Try Again: Varies. Generally speaking, you can't try to tend wounds and ailments without witnessing proof of the original check's failure. You can always retry a check to provide first aid if the target is still alive.