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I'm running a Session where my players spend long times on their own in woods / planes (etc.) and need to feed themselves from their surroundings. So I wrote a hunting / gathering program that determinate what animals / plants etc. are in the region and how likely it is for the hunting party to find them in a given situation. I filter on the season, climate, terrain type, etc.

So, on my first shot I just guessed about the most common stuff I could think about. Then I read some hunting books (of recent date) and found out that I was completely wrong in about everything.

So now I'm looking for resources on how likely it is to meet defined animals / plants etc.

Anyone know some good resources for that? (I am totally willing to spend some time with the analysis and interpretation of the data. If you have resources that are 'near' what I search, please give them too.)

I would prefer online or other digital resources but I take anything else as well.

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It's worth noting that getting this kind of information is an excruciating amount of work, the sort that biologists and environmental scientists devote entire lifetime careers to discovering, possible for only one species. For a game, going with made-up data that "feels" right is likely a suitable amount of GM effort, given that players will likely never notice the difference. Also, real chances of meeting animals might (maybe?) actually not be very gameable chances, and made-up chances might make for a better-paced play experience. –  SevenSidedDie May 22 '12 at 17:51
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@SevenSidedDie Yeah, I know. In fact I'm surprised I didn't find the works of them people, at least a little. (But a lot of GMing is if taken serious a science. Think about names for people in a given culture. Or the hardware in any scifi game. Or even getting armor and weapons correct in any medieval / fantasy genre. So, thats not a downer to me :)) And just guessing it would be ... I don't know ... not my style. –  Angelo Neuschitzer May 22 '12 at 20:12
    
I'm certainly not going to say "don't do that" if that's what makes GMing fun for you. :D I just wanted to be sure you were going after this deliberately, not naïvely. Have fun! –  SevenSidedDie May 22 '12 at 20:38
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1 Answer

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Wilderness Survival.net, for basics of survival and techniques.

Surviving in the Wild: 19 Common Edible Plants, good for understanding the right and wrong types of flora

Population density estimates of some species of wild ungulates in Simanjiro plains, northern Tanzania
and
Wildlife Management: Estimating Wildlife Populations
are papers about population densities of animals and estimating a population of a species, which you should be able to work backwards.

This may help you research more fully.

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Thanks a lot, I'll look them up. –  Angelo Neuschitzer May 22 '12 at 20:13
    
We hope it helps. –  LordVreeg May 22 '12 at 21:46
    
Thanks a lot that were the data points I was looking for. I think I can continue my research now. –  Angelo Neuschitzer May 24 '12 at 7:21
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