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In a Savage Worlds setting, what skill is used to avoid getting lost? (I'm plotting a Deadlands end for my friends…Bwa, ha ha ha! but any setting should do…)

In the various flavors of D&D, this is an easy question. Survival is the skill used to avoid becoming lost. I would think the same in SW, but Survival in the Core book simply states finding food; tracking is about following things; something like boating or piloting could also be potential winners as well.

I could make a guess, but someone out there has got to know more than me! :-)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Make sure that this isn't a "save or die" roll and that you're okay with either outcome, whether they succeed and they know where they are, or they fail and they get lost. If you're not, don't bother having them roll. For instance, pretty early in the Deadlands module Return to Manitou Bluff, the posse winds up overboard, and the module doesn't even call for Swimming rolls because having everybody drown at the beginning sinks the campaign. \$\endgroup\$ – Thunderforge Jan 27 '18 at 5:45
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GM's Choice

Since there is nothing in the rulebook that says it is specifically used to avoid getting lost, it's the GM's choice as to what to use. Here are some suggestions, based on the circumstances of getting lost.

Common Knowledge

Which way is west? Can I read this map? Do I know the general vicinity of where I am?

Survival

Can I make it through this snowstorm without getting lost? Do I know how to travel through a desert and accurately judge how far I've gone?

Tracking

Are we going along the commonly traveled routes between these two towns? Have we been marking our way through this cave so that we can find our way back out (kind of a "reverse tracking")?

Spirit

Can I focus enough to walk in a straight line through pitch darkness?

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By RAW, the Savage Worlds Deluxe rules on Travel (p.97), under "Sailing Ships" have you get lost on a badly-failed Boating roll, then use Knowledge (Navigation) skill to regain your bearings. Based on this, if you wanted to make getting lost a more significant concern, Knowledge (Navigation) seems like the appropriate skill for it.

In practice, I've made Navigation its own skill in my settings where this is an issue. This is more-or-less equivalent to using Knowledge (Navigation), but also provides players with an additional signal that "this is important enough to have its own skill", which helps to remind them that they should take (or at least think about) it.

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