This proficiency must be applied to a specific environment - i.e., a specific type of terrain and weather factors. Typical Tyr region environments include sandy wastes, stony barrens, rocky badlands, salt flats, mountains, forests, and scrub plains. Terrain types from other parts of Athas include mud flats, swamps, and grasslands. The character has basic survival knowlege for that terrain type. Additional proficiency slots can be used to add more types of terrain.

A character skilled in survival has a basic knowledge of the hazards he might face in that land. He understands the effects of the weather and knows the proper steps to lessen the risk of exposure. The survival proficiency gives a character a chance to locate food and water in a particular terrain, but only in minuscule amounts. A successful check allows a character to find enough water to avoid losing any Constitution points from dehydration. The character won’t rehydrate, and he will continue to dehydrate on subsequent days that he doesn’t receive water. The same check allows a character to find enough food to sustain him for a day. Furthermore, a character with survival skill can instruct and aid others in the same situation. When using the proficiency to find food or water, the character must roll a proficiency check. If the check is failed, no more attempts can be made that day.

The survival proficiency also helps a character avoid poisons. A successful check informs the character whether a plant or animal is poisonous, provided the food source is native to the proficiency’s terrain type.

The survival skill in no way releases the player characters from the hardship and horrors of being lost in the wilderness. At best it alleviates a small portion of the suffering. The food found is barely adequate, and water is, discovered in miniscule amounts. It is still quite possible for a character with survival knowledge to die in the wilderness. Indeed, the little knowledge the character has may lead to overconfidence and doom!

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