“Survival at the End” was something I’d conceived pretty much on the fly. I had a tight deadline and I knew I’d need to use at least half the time I’d been allotted to let my revisors chew on it. Luckily, one of the the things I’m knowledgeable in is various hunting and survival techniques. I didn’t just go and research the material from this article – I’ve done just about most of it at one time or another. Now, I did go back and make sure that the various descriptions and information were as academic as possible, the penalties fro performing given tasks were suitable with verified difficulty, etc. I’ve quite a background with various survival and primitive living tasks. Part of that is how I was raised (my grandfather was a sort of “be prepared regardless” sort of guy and later on in life I was forced to be imaginative just to survive. (I actually gardened and fished for almost 50% of my food source for the last couple of years, though not so much this year. I’ve been lucky.) I tried to make “Survival at the End” useful for After the End campaigns, but also for any campaign that featured survival in the wilderness.
Most of the information I presented is as useable in a TL0 campaign as it is in a TL12 campaign. The raison d’etre of the article is simply “Making do with what you got.” I am confidant that I accomplished that. There was some things that I was forced to leave out for space concerns (a shelter building mini game, more perks, notes on advantages, etc.) or because it was appropriate to After the End (more detailed rules about what Reduced Consumption does when you have to buy your food or calculating Time Use). I would have also liked to put out more information on farming in general as well as more rules for gathering plants (including mushrooms). Some info on medicinal uses of various plants would also have been welcome I think. I’ve quite a bit of knowledge in that area as well (handed down from Nana and Papa). I was also considering a section on booby traps (like a burning tire filled with air and covered with glass and nails makes one helluva an IED. I thought about adding rules on how to create raw materials from trash (e.g., reforging car parts into steel ingots). Overall, I was pretty happy with how it turned out and hope that my fellow gamers can get some use out of it.
It took me about 14.5 hours to write, 29 hours to edit, 12 hours worth of research, and 56 hours of revision. (The shelter building rules will be coming out this Saturday on my Patreon page for those interested.)
One outtake (I ran a VERY slim on my overflow) from the Wasteland Perks section:
You’re used to drinking water out of hoof prints and eating spoiled food. This perk comes in levels. Each level gives a +1 to rolls to resist ingested poisons, disease, sickness, etc. and gives the benefits of Reduced Consumption (p. B80). It is effectively Reduced Consumption (Cast Iron Stomach, -50%).
How relevant is your article to survival in non-AtE games?
Relevant. If you use survival in your games it can be used. Most of the techniques and information are somewhere between TL0 and TL2, but scale up.