More skill stuff: "Survival"

while making up a GMC, I noticed there was no appropreate skill
describing the ability to find tracks, swim, climb, make fire, find food
and shelter... There isn't a skill for keen senses either.

Of ocurse there are intersections with existing skills
(climb -> intrusion; make fire -> Fix It, Sabotage ...)
and so on, but there doesn't seem to be a general skill
for nature types (Think of Tarzan, Aragorn, Hawkeye ...)

I know, the idea of Feng Shui is, to keep the rules as simple
as possible, but a new skill "Survival" might be a good addition.

What do you think about that ? And what attribute to base it on. Dex ?
Perception ? Something different ? It shouldn't be an Info skill, because
there are physical actions involved in it.

I noticed the same thing a while back and wrote it up. Below is my take.

Base Attribute: Perception

Physical Ability

You can apply principles of wilderness survival. You can forage and hunt well enough to take care of yourself and others. You can set traps of various sorts. You can move unseen and unheard. Even by those with keen senses. By taking advantage of wind direction, you can even avoid the notice of dogs and other creatures with keen olfactory capabilities. You can find or create shelter in even the most inhospitable of environments. You are able to take the bite out of the elements by dressing appropriately and traveling in such a way as to minimize their effect. You can track people and animals over long distances even when the trail is cold. You are able to accurately predict the weather in the short term. You are able to navigate by many means including map and compass and astronomy.


You can identify animals, plants, and fungi. You have a working knowledge of animal behavior. You can plan for expeditions, taking into account various contingency plans.


You know others in your circle (frontiersman, explorers, game wardens, guides, etc.) As well as those who might hire them. If applicable you know journalists who write for specialist publications dealing with your field.


Thanks Dan,
I think I would add climb and swim for movement through difficult terrain to the physical abilities, but otherwise this looks pretty good to me.

Finding tracks would generally fall under the Detective or Police skill.

Movement-related checks, such as swim or climb, would most likely fall under an attribute check, such as Move, Agility, possibly Constitution for swimming.

Finding food/shelter would probably be a Fortune check, or an Info/Survival skill. Actually, the first place you go for any skill the game doesn't cover is usually Info/Whatever.

For "keen senses", that's Detective or Police again, and there are a couple Perception buffs out there, such as Hair Trigger Neckhairs and... okay, the only other one I can recall is a Transformed Mantis ability.

From my brief flirtation with the Boy Scouts, survival has exceedingly little to do with physical ability and is pretty much entirely all about planning ahead and thinking smart. I think Info/Survival would work pretty well for what you're trying to do.

And yes, I see where you're going... and I've actually experimented with converting D&D classes over to Feng Shui rules. I've also seen other folks do something similar... I seem to recall they created a new skill for rangers that was either called "Survival" or "Ranger Stuff".

Some other off-the-cuff conversions:

Barbarian = Viking (in Gorilla Warfare)
Bard = Slightly reworked Scrappy Kid w/ Influence + Divination
Cleric = Magic Cop (Heal + Summoning + something non-Blast)
Fighter = Killer or Ex-Special Forces
Monk = Martial Artist or one of the monks from BotV
Rogue = Thief/Ninja/Smuggler/Spy
Sorcerer/Wizard = Duh (although it's amusing to watch the shock sink in when a player realize his mage has unlimited spellcasting)

The tough ones are:

Paladin = Medic or maybe a tweaked Magic Cop? Trade some of the sorcery for Fu/Weapon schticks?

Ranger = Ex-Special Forces? Monster Hunter w/o arcanowave, maybe? Possibly Masked Avenger w/o the mask. Bounty Hunter might work, as well as the Archer from BotV. There are a lot of different concepts/directions a ranger could go.

Druid = I reworked the Magic cop, gave them Fertility, Animalism from TotL, and "Nature", which is everything in the Weather Schtick + "Druid Stuff". Can't recall if they got Summoning or if conjuring animals was part of Animalism. They also got +1 sorcery AV to any Nature-related schtick, and -1 to any other non-nature schtick.

That's all I can remember off the top of my head.

At most if it really mattered, I'd have just gone with an Info/Survival skill.