Survival (Wis)

Get along in the wild
Brave inclement weather
Keep from getting lost or avoid natural hazards, such as quicksand.
Predict the weather

You are skilled at surviving in the wild and at navigating in the wilderness. You also excel at following trails and tracks left by others.


You can keep yourself and others safe and fed in the wild. The table gives the DCs for various tasks that require Survival checks.

Get Along in the Wild

Move up to one-half your overland speed while hunting and foraging (no food or water supplies needed). You can provide food and water for one other person for every 2 points by which your check result exceeds 10.

Brave Inclement Weather

Gain a +2 bonus on all Fortitude saves against severe weather while moving up to one-half your overland speed, or gain a +4 bonus if you remain stationary. You may grant the same bonus to one other character for every 1 point by which your Survival check result exceeds 15.

Predict the Weather

Predict the weather up to 24 hours in advance. For every 5 points by which your Survival check result exceeds 15, you can predict the weather for one additional day in advance.

Follow Tracks

To find tracks or to follow them for 1 mile requires a successful Survival check. You must make another Survival check every time the tracks become difficult to follow. If you are not trained in this skill, you can make untrained checks to find tracks, but you can follow them only if the DC for the task is 10 or lower. Alternatively, you can use the Perception skill to find a footprint or similar sign of a creature's passage using the same DCs, but you can't use Perception to follow tracks, even if someone else has already found them.

You move at half your normal speed while following tracks (or at your normal speed with a –5 penalty on the check, or at up to twice your normal speed with a –20 penalty on the check). The DC depends on the surface and the prevailing conditions, as given on the table.

SurfaceSurvival DC
Very soft ground
Soft ground
Firm ground
Hard ground
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).

Every three creatures in the group being tracked
Size of creature or creatures being tracked:1
Every 24 hours since the trail was made
Every hour of rain since the trail was made
Fresh snow since the trail was made
Poor visibility:2
Overcast or moonless night
Fog or precipitation
Tracked party hides trail (and moves at half speed)
1 For a group of mixed sizes, apply only the modifier for the largest size category.
2 Apply only the largest modifier from this category.

Several modifiers may apply to the Survival check, as given on the table above.


Varies. A single Survival check may represent activity over the course of hours or a full day. A Survival check made to find tracks is at least a full-round action, and it may take even longer.

Try Again

Varies. For getting along in the wild or for gaining the Fortitude save bonus noted in the first table above, you make a Survival check once every 24 hours. The result of that check applies until the next check is made. To avoid getting lost or avoid natural hazards, you make a Survival check whenever the situation calls for one. Retries to avoid getting lost in a specific situation or to avoid a specific natural hazard are not allowed. For finding tracks, you can retry a failed check after 1 hour (outdoors) or 10 minutes (indoors) of searching.


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

A ranger gains a bonus on Survival checks when using this skill to find or follow the tracks of a favored enemy.

If you have the Self-Sufficient feat, you get a bonus on Survival checks.

Survival Skill Unlocks

Pathfinder Unchained
With the Signature Skill feat and sufficient ranks in Survival, you earn the following.

5 Ranks: You reduce all nonlethal damage you take from heat, cold, starvation, or thirst by 1 point for every 5 ranks you possess in Survival.

10 Ranks: You can track creatures that leave no tracks, including flying and swimming creatures and creatures using trackless step or pass without trace, taking a -20 penalty on your Survival check.

15 Ranks: Once per day, you can spend 1 hour and attempt a DC 30 Survival check. Success grants you cold resistance or fire resistance 5 for 24 hours. You can share this with one ally for every 5 by which you exceeded the check.

20 Ranks: You take only a -10 penalty when tracking creatures that leave no tracks.

Dowsing (Occult Skill Unlock)

Occult Adventures
You channel mysterious forces in the nearby environment to locate hidden resources.


Characters capable of casting psychic spells or who have the Psychic Sensitivity feat gain access to this skill unlock. A character must be trained in the appropriate skill to use that skill’s unlock, even if the skill can normally be used untrained. It’s impossible to take 10 for an occult skill unlock. Occult skill unlocks require intense concentration and strenuous effort, so the amount a character can use each skill unlock is limited to once per day or per week. This limit is for all uses of the skill unlock. 

Dowsing Target DC

Once per day, you can follow a dowsing rod's movements to locate a particular type of location. Each attempt requires 10 minutes of intense concentration, after which you attempt the Survival check with the DC listed on the table below. The maximum range at which you can detect anything using dowsing is 400 feet + 40 feet per rank in Survival you possess. The rod's directions persist for up to 10 minutes. You choose a particular target each time you dowse, and get the following information on a successful check.

Find Water

The dowsing rod points toward the largest source of fresh water within range, including aquifers, lakes, ponds, and springs.

Grave Dowsing

The dowsing rod points in the direction of the largest burial site, cairn, or tomb within range.

Locate Metal and Gems

You concentrate on a specific metal or mineral. On a successful check, the dowsing rod points to the largest quantity of the selected mineral within range.


Dowsing attempts take 10 minutes to initiate. The results of the check persist for 10 minutes afterward.

Try Again

Yes. You can try to dowse from the same location more than once, but still only once per day.

Read Tide (Occult Skill Unlock)

Heroes of the Darklands
Munavri characters capable of casting psychic spells or who have the Psychic Sensitivity feat gains access to the following ability while in the Darklands, though characters from other races can also unlock these powers with the GM's approval. You can read the subtle ebb and flow of Darklands waters the way surface navigators read the stars and winds.


Once per day, you can interpret the movement and psychic resonance of your surroundings to predict what you will encounter when traveling along a specific heading. This effort requires 10 minutes of intense concentration while on a body of water at least 10 feet deep, after which you attempt a DC 20 Survival check. If successful, you gain information about what you will encounter while traveling in that direction as though you had cast augury. This information refers to the first consequence of following the chosen heading for up to 1 hour per rank you have in Survival. The chance of successfully producing a meaningful result is 60% plus 5% for every 1 by which your check result exceeds the DC (to a maximum of 90%). The GM rolls the check and the d% roll secretly so that you can't tell whether the messages are accurate. If your check result exceeds 30, you receive a one-word description of the most likely outcome you will face, instead of a "weal" or "woe" answer.

Additionally, you can use the dowsing occult skill unlock (Occult Adventures 195) to locate nearby islands. The maximum range at which you can detect land using dowsing is 1 mile + 1 mile per rank you have in Survival. The rod's directions persist for up to 1 hour. Daily attempts to dowse for land and interpret radiation are tracked separately.