Class Preview: the Survivalist

art by Emilie Kelly.

A W’uther man faces off against a roiling creature of murky black smoke, a plasma pistol in each hand. He flips the safety off, raises both guns, and fires.

Emerging from the bowels of a massive warship on a pulse cycle, a Wireborn casts a bolt of flame at the encroaching soldiers. They pilot their bike flawlessly and draw a sword from their back.

A Luonn Tua, camouflaged to blend in with an asteroid, gives a quiet command to the tiny psuedowyrm on her shoulder. The wyrm flits off into the asteroids caverns to scout ahead.

Survivalists are individuals who have studied particular areas of the galaxy and trained strenuously to survive, and even thrive, in them. Resourceful and robust, survivalists can endure even the most dangerous situations. Like rangers, they use both weapons and magic to impact the world around them.

Observe Surroundings

No matter where they were trained or what environments they focused on, every survivalist has learned the importance of observing their locale. In learning everything they can from their current environment, a survivalist becomes better equipped to outlast any dangers that may find them. Adapting to new environments comes just as easily to the survivalist as they independently navigate the hazards and conflicts that exist everywhere in the galaxy.

Hardy and Versatile

Every survivalist has a variety of tools at their disposal, from weaponry to spells to their own resilience. Depending on what areas of the galaxy a survivalist studies, they might be a masterful hacker, a persistent bounty hunter, an ingenious mechanic, or any number of other professions.

Despite the wide range of talents a survivalist may embody, there is a commonality to them: their hardiness. Survivalists are strong in health and body, enduring all manner of things that might kill the average citizen. Their unflagging vitality is so great that they possess the ability to cast divine spells by drawing on their vigor. A survivalist’s spells are typically those that enable them to better attack, be stealthy, and survive in inhospitable environments.

Creating a Survivalist

When you create a survivalist, consider where they got their skills. Were they self-taught, or did they go through a training program via one of the galactic governments? Did they have private tutelage from a mentor, or was their knowledge garnered over years of surviving alone? Think about the area of the galaxy they are most acquainted with. Did they learn about that area outside of it, or through years lived there? Whatever the background of your survivalist, their knowledge of survival is tantamount to their skills.

Quick Build

You can make a survivalist quickly by following these suggestions. First, make Dexterity or Strength your highest ability score, followed by Constitution. Second, choose the Bounty Hunter background. Last, take a carbon fiber vacsuit, a pistol, and a heavy pistol.

Archetypes: Survivalist Disciplines & Regional Specialties

At 2nd level you choose a region in which to specialize. This choice grants you additional proficiencies, affects the time required for your Lay of the Land class feature, and informs on one or more features granted by your Survivalist Discipline (which is selected at 3rd level).

You make this choice between Core, Frontier, and Outer Reaches. This coming week, we’ll discuss some of the distinctions between these choices.

At 3rd level, you choose a survivalist discipline to further define your expertise and skill set. There are three disciplines to choose from, detailed at the end of the survivalist section: Hotshot, Hellion, and Keeper. Your discipline grants you features at 3rd, 7th, 11th, and 15th levels. Most 5th edition ranger archetypes work as survivalist disciplines with little to no adjustments, but you should discuss that choice with your GM before you begin play.

The full Survivalist can be found in the upcoming Galactic Primer on Natural Environments, one of the rewards of the Spaceships & Starwyrms Kickstarter launching on April 25.

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