Monday, January 30, 2012

Outdoor Survival - Giving it a Play Test

As you may know, the Avalon Hill board game "Outdoor Survival" is listed in Men & Magic as "Recommended Equipment" for D&D players.  And in Book 3 (The Underworld & Wilderness Adventures), there are a couple paragraphs on how to use Outdoor Survival in your outdoor D&D campaign.

Well, I have a copy of the game that I've never played and I figured it's time to bust it out and give it a play test.  My gaming buddies have agreed to use one of our precious weekly D&D Tuesday night slots to instead play OS.

I'll let you know how it goes!  In case you're interested, here is some text from U&WA regarding Outdoor Survival.  And in fact, there is more text later in the book.  But I'm just including the introductory portion:

The so-called Wilderness really consists of unexplored land, cities and castles, not to mention the area immediately surrounding the castle (ruined or otherwise)
which housed the dungeons. The referee must do several things in order to conduct wilderness adventure games. First, he must have a ground level map of his dungeons, a map of the terrain immediately surrounding this, and finally a map of the town or village closest to the dungeons (where adventruers will be most likely to base themselves).

"Blackmoor" is a village of small size (a one-horse town), while "Grayhawk" is a large city. Both have maps with streets and buildings indicated, and players can have town adventures roaming around the bazaars, inns, taverns, shops, temples, and so on. Venture into the Thieves' Quarter only at your own risk!

The terrain beyond the immediate surroundings of the dungeon area should be unknown to all but the referee. Off-hand adventures in the wilderness are made on the OUTDOOR SURVIVAL playing board (explained below). Exploratory journies, such as expeditions to find land suitable for a castle or in search of some legendary treasure are handled in an entirely different manner.

OUTDOOR SURVIVAL has a playing board perfect for general adventures.  Catch basins are castles, buildings are towns, and the balance of the terrain is as indicated.


  1. Outdoor Survival is a great game. But be warned: It should really be titled "No One Survives Outdoors." At least in the basic scenario.

  2. Thanks for the response. I was hoping somebody would chime in who's played it - and it sounds like you have. So I have a couple questions:
    1. If nobody has ever played it, is 3 hours enough for one full game for 3 players?
    2. Would you recommend we start with the basic scenario?

  3. This homebrew D&D system actually incorporates rules from Outdoor Survival. Pretty neat.

  4. Perdustin - that's a cool looking ruleset. I don't think I've run into this one yet. I love reading these kind of rulesets. It gives a lot of good ideas/inspiration. Thanks.

  5. I'll be interested to read your report George as I've had a copy for years but have never played it.