Topic: A guide for the aspiring hunter  (Read 3248 times)

Bert Preast

« on: November 27, 2022, 12:41:20 AM »
Guide written for version 3.72b

Welcome to iron age Finland, welcome to the Unreal World!

Here you can be many things.  How about being a subsistence farmer, the raw excitement of watching plants grow?  No?

Okay, how about being a fisherman?  You get to haul out nets then haul them in again.  You eat a lot of fish.  No?

Well then, what about the trapper's life?  You can set traps, then spend your days checking them!  No?

Alright, then how about being a hunter?  Chasing big game though the forests and marshes, tiring the beast then bringing it down with spear or bow?  HELL YEAH!

Then this guide is written for you.  I'll take your brain to another dimension.  Pay close attention.

Forging a Finn:

First thing to do is create a character.  Choose the "Custom - too easy" option, then for culture there are two sensible options:  Kaumolainen or Owl-Tribe. Kaumo is bigger and stronger, Owl is smaller but more agile.  For bow hunting an Owl is best, for spear hunting go with the Kaumo.  Either works well though.  Then choose your sex, which as far as I know makes no difference, then type in your name.  I suggest typing it in capitals to make it stand out better on in game text messages.  Choose a portrait, then choose a season.  Spring works best, as you have some time to hunt while the weather is still cold enough to dry the meat from your prey.

Next up are your stats or attributes.  All of these matter; but the ones that matter most are Speed, Agility and Eyesight.  Reroll until you get excellent results in these, as well as above average results for Dexterity, Strength and Endurance.  Being a heavyweight also helps, as this will let you carry more dead animals.

Don't worry for now about the spells and rituals screen, hit [ESC] and go to the skills.  I have graded each skill as Essential, Useful, or Crap.  Crap skills should be degraded as far as possible.  Essential skills should be improved as far as possible, apart from tracking (see below).  Useful skills can be improved or degraded as you see fit:

Lore and Craft Skills:

Agriculture - Crap (Plants are for pussies)
Building - Crap (You can still build without it, you just build slower)
Cookery - Useful (Better cooking = better nutrition as well as better trade value)
Herblore - Useful (Herbs can help cure injuries.  You will be getting injured)
Fishing - Crap  (Fishing is for fairies)
Hideworking - Essential (Hides will be your high value items, make sure they're good)
Timbercraft - Crap (Making quality lumber is good but not that good)
Physician - Useful (You're going to get hurt.  This stops you getting more hurt when you try and heal yourself)
Trapping - Useful (You will want to put some traps around your home, best if they work)
Tracking - Essential (Makes animal tracks easier to find and follow.  Keep it below 80% or lose the free 20% bonus from the game course!)
Weatherlore - Essential (Just joking, it's most definitely CRAP)
Textilecraft - Useful (Better tying equipment means better equipment)
Carpentry - Essential (Handy for lots of things and difficult to raise in-game)

Physical Skills:

Skiing - Crap (You can raise it easily in game by skiing)
Stealth - Useful (Good skill, grind it or consider it Essential if you can't be bothered to grind)
Climbing - Crap (Easy to grind and almost no use in-game)
Swimming - Crap (Good skill, grind it or consider it Useful if you can't be bothered to grind)

Combat Skills:

Dodge - Essential (You can't raise or lower this, but if you followed the character creation advice this should be 75%+)
Shield - Crap (Protects you from missiles as you charge in.  If you are charging into missiles, you have already made big mistakes)
Knife - Crap (If you are fighting with a knife, you have already made big mistakes)
Sword - Crap (Swords are an inefficient way to chop bits off things compared with a battleaxe)
Club - Crap (Good for chucking rocks at things but not much else)
Axe - Useful (Battleaxe is a great melee weapon, and you will often be carrying an axe)
Flail - Crap (I mean, why?)
Spear - Essential (Lob javelins and poke things.  Outstanding)
Bow - Essential (Long range attack)
Crossbow - Crap (One shot wonder)
Unarmed - Crap (Why would you fight unarmed?)

You are now presented with a map of the world.  Press [c] to see the cultures, and in the south-west you should see the Driik territory in light blue.  East of this, and north west of this are rivers, these rivers are the best place to start your hunting career.  The Driik villages are wealthy and will have good stuff to barter for your furs and food.  The rivers usually have some rapids, which do not freeze over in winter and so are an excellent place for a camp.  Look for a dark green colour on the map, this denotes open marshes where the hunting will be easier.  Keep hitting [r] until you get the location you want.  Zoom in and screenshot/take a really good look at the map, it is the best view of the world you are going to get until you have actually footslogged around it.

Next up is the starting scenario, choose "Unfortunate Hunting Trip".  When asked to select a game course, go with "Living in the Wild".  You will now enter the game, and close by will be the body of your dearly beloved father.  Loot him for everything he has, then if you feel up for a fight then press [w] to equip weapons, and [W] to put on your dead dad's clothes.  Cast about to try and track what killed him.  It will usually be a bear, wolf or lynx, so you may prefer to improve your equipment before taking on such a challenge.  In this case, press [Enter] to zoom out.  If the game tells you you can't zoom out due to local activity, press [h] to hide and snurgle your way out of there.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2022, 01:08:51 PM by Bert Preast »

Bert Preast

« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2022, 12:41:41 AM »
Beginning your travels:

Now it's time to find a home, whether for just a few days or for the longer term.  If you haven't already, press [w] to wield a weapon and [W] to wear the extra clothes you are probably carrying.  Zoom out and have a look at the nearby terrain.  Look for a mountain, cliff, hill or lichenous pine forest tile (Press [F3] to examine tiles in view), then walk there and your view should improve greatly.  Note that pressing [1] or [3] on your numpad turns you quickly through 180 degrees.  Press [F6] to get the world map and give you a sense of where you are.  If you followed the instructions, there should be a river somewhere nearby to the east or west, so head towards it.  The river will look like a long strip of ice, with hopefully a few blue rapids tiles dotted along it.

There will be snow on the ground, which slows and tires you as you walk.  You can see this on screen, just left of your portrait where it says Fatigue, and just below it where it tells you your Speed.  You can lower fatigue by waiting [.], or doing easy tasks such as cutting branches from trees.  Skis will make moving on snow much easier and faster, but as it's spring and the snows will be melting soon it is best to leave skiing for next winter.  Head for a rapids tile then zoom in and walk to the water.  [q] to drink and complete the first task of the game course.  Do not walk into the water as it is freezing!  Follow the instructions and complete the other tasks as quickly as you can.  Make a fire using three branches or twigs.  For Timberwork, fell a young tree as you will need the slender trunks.  For Do It Yourself; make a staff, it's found under the Lumber menu.  The staff can be converted into a javelin later.

For the Fishing task, you are unlikely to catch anything as you don't want to waste your meagre supply of food by using it as bait.  Just complete the task, then look for a good spot for a shelter.  It is possible (though very rare) to be attacked while sleeping, so best choose a site next to the water to reduce possible angles of attack.  I usually select somewhere where I can (later) build a cellar on an adjacent tile, also next to the water.  You are probably pretty peckish by now, check the Hunger bar on your screen and if there is anything in it, it's time to eat.  If you have roast cuts of meat, eat those first.  If not, tuck into the roast pike the game gave you.  Dried and smoked cuts last far longer, so save those for emergencies.

Build your shelter, then move your stuff into it.  If you have spruce twigs left over, drop them in the shelter.  Six or more will make it a little warmer to sleep in.  Furs have a similar but greater effect.  For the Spell task, you probably have some bread on you, press [F4] and General Sacrifice it.  Bread lasts a little longer than roast meat or fish, but is not as nutritious so you can afford to lose it.  You should now get a 20% boost to your Tracking skill, and your task is to find some tracks.  Check the time of day, it's probably a little late to set off hunting today, so leave it for the morning.  You may wish to make some javelins (three is the magic number), and if you have time to spare then cut down some saplings.  Make these into withes (under Tying Equipment), which can be used to dry the meat from your kills.  Hopefully, you will be needing a lot of these, at least 30 to begin with.

You may get messages telling you a part of your body is cold, usually hands or feet.  This is a warning that you might get frostbite, so take heed of which bits are cold and plan to make some clothes to warm them.  When evening comes, or when your Vigour shows you are weary, extremely tired or ready to drop, it's time for sleepy-byes.  Go to your shelter and [Z] to enjoy some well-earned rest.  In the morning it's time to take stock.  To be ready to hunt, you want at least three javelins or a bow with several arrows.  Press [A] to see your clothes, then [w] to see which bits of you might get cold.  Make use of this screen, testing taking off clothes and putting them on and paying attention to the effects on your armour and resistance to cold.  Where your warmth is green, you can maybe remove some clothes to lighten your load.  Travel light, move fast!
« Last Edit: December 11, 2022, 01:19:10 AM by Bert Preast »

Bert Preast

« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2022, 12:43:44 AM »
Becoming a hunter:

Breakfast on pike or whatever roast cuts of meat you have left; then [w] wield two javelins or your bow and an arrow, and head out with murder on your mind.  Look for open areas, mires, where the prey cannot hide in thick woodland.  Ignore birds or small mammals for now, you probably need a big kill for a good amount of fur and meat.  Elk, reindeer or pig are your targets.  Should you spot one, close in and watch their movements carefully.  When you are sure you see a tile they have moved over, go there and use your tracking skill to look for tracks.  If that doesn't work you can zoom in for a closer look, exploring the tile to find the sign.  Any tracks will complete the task, but if we are lucky we find the tracks of the animal we saw when zoomed out.   

With snow on the ground, following the tracks should be easy enough.  If you spot the prey, a tiny arrow next to it should show you which way it's facing.  If it's facing away, you may be able to sneak up on it.  You may get close enough to take a shot - about 12 tiles is maximum for a javelin or up to 20 tiles with a bow.  The closer you get, the better your chance.  [t] is how to throw a wielded weapon or loose a nocked arrow.  If the animal spots you it will likely flee, which makes it a much harder target to hit.  Hold your fire and follow it, wear it down.  Sometimes it's better to zoom out, then hopefully you can see the prey.  Move to it and zoom in again, and you might find it close by. 

This is when javelins come into their own, if the animal is in range you can throw one from each hand and maybe get a hit or even two!  Animals are slowed by wounds; you can examine them using [F3] to see what kind of wounds they have, and if the wounds have made them lame, crippled or unable to walk.  They may also be bleeding, which makes them simple to track and over time will kill them - though most often the bleeding will stop before that happens.  If your javelin or arrow stays stuck into the prey, the weight will also help to slow it down.  Javelins weigh more than arrows, but then an arrow gives a much better chance of a hit at longer ranges.  If you have had no success by the afternoon, it maybe a good idea to head home and try again tomorrow - getting a kill late in the day often means you will not have the time to skin and butcher it before night sets in and you need to sleep.

Once you have made a kill, go next to the body and retrieve any weapons from it.  Rest until your fatigue is 0%, then press the skill menu, [h] for hideworking then skin the hide.  Drop the hide then press b to butcher the remains.  Pick up all you can, making sure you remember to keep the spirits happy by General Sacrificing [F4] a cut of the meat.  The fat is the most vital bit, as you will need it to tan the skin.  Leave bones and antlers etc if you cannot carry them.  Head home to process your booty. 

Cleaning the skin is the priority, then tan it with the fat from your kill.  While it is tanning, make a fire and roast at least 40 cuts of meat.  Try and make sure you can complete these tasks from your shelter, it helps to prevent you freezing to death!  Next to your shelter, you should now start drying the remaining meat.  This is where we use the withes you made earlier, grab some withes and dry all you can.  Six withes will dry 48 cuts.  The meat will take three or four weeks to dry, which is why we roasted some earlier.  Light a fire next to you to warm you as you work if needed. 

Sleep when you need to, keeping an eye on the tanning skin and keeping drying meat cuts.  When the skin is tanned, rinse it then keep working on the meat until you can finish the tanning process.  Use the fur to make gloves or footwear or whatever you need to keep yourself warm and frostbite free.  You will need thin cord, you can get some by peeling bark from a birch tree then working it into birch cord.

Often, the first animal you track will not count towards the game course when you kill and skin it.  The next one should, so as soon as the meat is drying and the hide is tanned you need to be going out hunting again.  The next part of the course is trapping, and the easiest is a loop snare or light lever trap.  Zoom out, move one tile from your camp, zoom in again then make the trap somewhere you will be able to find it again.  Zoom out and Set A Trap should complete, then go do something else for a day or two.  You don't have to catch anything in the trap, just go back and check it to complete the task.

Your next job is to visit a  settlement, but this is a good time to pause doing the game course and hunt for a while.  This is because one of the upcoming tasks of the course is agriculture, and you can't complete that while there is snow on the ground.  As the task following The Settlement is to trade something; if you wait a few weeks and hunt, by the time you go to a village you should have a few furs to trade with, and also some of your dried meat.  You can trade lots of things with villages, but timber will usually be too heavy to carry there to trade for anything worth the effort.  Foods, furs and hides, excess weapons, clothes and tools are good items for trade.  Save your cordage as you will likely need it. 

When hunting in spring, pay attention to your Speed and the snow.  If there is a good crust on the snow you can walk on top of it, but be aware that the crust can melt away on a sunny day, leaving you floundering through thigh deep snow.  On days with no crust, you can pass the time productively by making weapons or clothes or peeling bark from alder and birch trees.  If there are any plants poking through the snow, you can train your Herblore by trying to identify them.  As the snow thaws, make a wooden shovel from a block of wood and build a cellar to store food for longer.

When you think you have some good stuff to trade, strike out for the nearest Driik village.  You may want to make a shelter half way if you can't make the trip in one day.  Don't trade with them for any animals yet, as that is a later task in the game course.  Likewise, don't get any companions.  Look for good weapons, armour and axes - a good bow or spear, an iron spectacle helm, or a quality handaxe are excellent choices.  A handaxe works well for all tasks, other axes are specialised to their task and great to have but at this stage a fine or masterwork handaxe will help you a lot.  The holy grail is a masterwork broad knife, for hideworking.  Use a bit of common sense when trading - nobody is likely to want your splendid collection of feathers or elk bones.

Now you must put into the water in some sort of craft.  You can use a punt if you traded for one in the previous task, if not then make a raft and a paddle.  You need three tree trunks for a raft, and a board for the paddle.  The next task is to fish for something, use the rod you got earlier and a cut of meat as bait, and head into the rapids.  It may take a few tries but you will catch something in the end.  Now you have to build something, which is a good time to think about a cabin.  Build it near the water, and make sure you can build a cellar next to it, and that there is also room to tan hides.  The minimum useful size for a cabin is two interior tiles, one for the fireplace and the other to sleep.  You will be a lot more comfortable though, if you build at least four internal tiles.  Only one wall or corner need to be built for now, to move on with the game course.

Agriculture is the next task, by now the snow should be gone so decide how many tiles you want to plant and place four branches on each of them.  DO NOT put them next to anything flammable such as trees, walls etc.. Set them alight, noting how two adjacent fires can spread to other tiles with flammable material on them, and also how it is much easier to light a fire if there is already a fire next to it.  Now leave the soil to cool for a day or two, and then use your agriculture skill to sow your seeds.

The last two tasks of the game course are to buy an animal and hire a companion.  Load up what remains of your trade goods for an animal - a dog or cow is best - and also take along food and a few javelins to hire a companion.  Leash the animal with the rope you are given, then head home.  Tie the animal to a tree until you have made fences to pen it in, and put the companion to work felling trees.  Use the level-up to improve your stats/attributes, not your skills or spells.  As the water gets warmer, a good use of your free time is to grind swimming.  Be very very careful doing this, staying close to shallow water so you can wade back to shore when you get too tired or cold.  Grind climbing if you want to by building a fence around your vegetable patch, and climbing along it.  Grind stealth by pressing hiding while you do stuff - it seems to work best when there is an animal in visual range, birds in traps are good for this.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2023, 05:47:11 PM by Bert Preast »

Bert Preast

« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2022, 12:52:11 AM »
Now choose the second game course, Advanced Adventures.  You should be getting the hang of things by now, so I will just offer a few notes on some of the tasks:

Sauna:  You need to visit a village with a sauna, or build a closed cabin with a sauna stove yourself.  Burn at least 40 firewood and quite a few branches in the sauna stove.  Make sure you have a container of some sort with water in it, and make a vasta from birch twigs.  Go back to the stove after at least four hours, remove all your clothes, and chuck some water on the stones.  If the steam rises, beat seven bells out of yourself with the vasta.  Why?  Because you are a Finn, that's why.

Buried into the bog:  If you don't fancy losing one of your precious weapons, a stone knife works as a sacrifice and is very easy to make. 

Archery:  Your bow skill is probably pretty high, so to avoid RSI while trying to raise it you can get a crossbow and shoot with that instead.  Low level skills raise far quicker than high ones.

The spirit world:  Just save and reload the game to move on.

Kaumo furs:  Kaumo territory is full of rivers and lakes, so do this in winter when the ice is thick or take a punt along.

Weapons of the north:  Trade for a northern bow, as a northern knife is no better than the knives you already have.

Big elk:  Hunt elk, bull elk and reindeer.  Any that doesn't have the tag "small" has a chance of completing the task.

Warfare:  This one is the daddy.  Njerps do patrol in ones and twos but are very hard to spot, so you will probably need to take out a Njerp war camp or village.  Go with a good missile weapon and pink the Njerps who have bows as your priority.  When they are coming for you, back away and loose lots of arrows.  It's good to have a pre-planned area to retreat to, somewhere you can defend.  Take as many dogs as you can lay hands on, they will distract the enemy.  Don't expect to be taking your dogs home with you, should you make it out alive.  Best is to find a camp or village on a river, and pick them off with a bow from deep water.  Good luck, you will need it!

General hunting tips:

Wolves are sometimes solitary but often found in packs.  A wolfpack is deadly, some wolves will distract you while others circle behind and attack.  If you find yourself facing a wolfpack, DO NOT attack them.  Back away and get out of there while you still have your genitals.

[F3] to see the condition of your prey.  It tells you wounds, bleeding, and most importantly fatigue.  This goes:

A little fatigued
Slightly fatigued
Very fatigued

When you see the animal is fatigued or worse, don't give up!  The kill is close now.  Keep following, it will quickly become breathless.  Breathless animals will be very slow, and if they attack at all you will easily be able to dodge.  Use a blunt attack, and go for the head to avoid damage to the hide.  When it falls unconcious, give the coup de grace with point or edge to the skull.  If it is bleeding and not a bear, you can probably wait for it to bleed out.  With a bear, best keep stabbing it in case it gets up again.

Some animals such as wolves, foxes, dogs and gluttons have better stamina than you do.  This means that unless you have wounded them, you are unlikely to wear them down even if you chase them all day.  This is what traps are for.

Be aware that pack animals such as wolves, reindeer and pigs might attack you as you flay and dismember their fallen comrade.  For this reason, it's best if there is a tree or something nearby to drag the carcass near it so you can sit with your back against it while you work, to avoid being gored from behind.

Pack animals also try to rejoin their friends, so if you drive one away from the herd it will try and circle back.  Knowing this makes it easier to head them off.  If you wound an animal in a pack, try to ignore the rest and concentrate on the one you have weakened.  Besides, it's cruel to leave a wounded animal to a slow death in the wilderness.

Summer is for building and trading, winter is for hunting.  Animals have winter coats which are worth more, and they are easier to track and tire in the snow.  Most importantly, in winter you can dry the meat.  Smoking meat requires daily attention, drying is much less time consuming.

Peeling bark from alder trees in the spring and early summer will allow you to use it in place of fat for tanning.  This means you can save the fat and roast or dry it for use as a ration pack while out hunting.  Fat is far more nutritious than any other food for its weight.

When you get hurt, the only injuries that require urgent attention are bleeding ones.  Unless you have a high physician skill, patience is usually the best way to treat a serious wound.  Poor treatment can start a wound bleeding again; and if you already have bloodloss or don't have a bandage handy, this can kill you.  Best just leave it to heal naturally and use the time for some crafting or fishing or whatever lights your candle.

Hunting birds and small animals is mostly not worth the effort, and you will often destroy their hide in killing them.  Set some loop snares or light lever traps around your camp instead.  An exception is squirrels, who will climb trees to escape you.  Get some rocks then lob them at the squirrel to knock it out of the tree.  Be aware that there have been reports of particularly savage squirrels coming down from their tree and rending Finns limb from limb.  Such reports are not corroborated, but then of course there are never any survivors to corroborate them.

Going forward:  Install the BAC mod.  Seriously.  It opens up the game, allowing you to craft many more items and giving many more options.  Forge metals to make weapons and tools, weave wool to make clothes, boatbuilding, delicious recipes and more!

If anyone else has any tips, tricks or corrections, I would love to hear them!
« Last Edit: February 05, 2023, 09:23:46 PM by Bert Preast »