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Skill Training Guide One of the things I've been working on more lately is more consistent skill training, so I thought I'd write up a bit about how to train up skills and how difficult they are.  The general rule is that you can gain at most three percentage points every day, and the day rolls over at about 8:00 AM.  Skills with more stars next to them will be easier to train up, depending on your stats and the stats that help with that skill.

Craft & Lore skills

Agriculture - Train up through planting seeds.  Affects the yields of grown plants.  Difficult to deliberately skill train.
Building - Train up through building things.  Affects the speed of building.  Difficult to deliberately skill train.
Cookery - Train through cooking more difficult recipes.  Roasting meat won't do much, more complex recipes are more likely to train.  Somewhat useful; will affect the trade value of cooked food.
Herblore - Keep unknown plants, mushrooms, and berries in your inventory and use herblore on them every hour or so.  Trains pretty rapidly with a few items to train with.  Useful for identifying edible and medicinal plants.
Fishing - Train through fishing with a tool, pole, or nets.  Difficult to deliberately skill train, but net fishing is probably most effective.
Hideworking - Training with small game is most effective, since they tan faster and each hide gives you the same number of possible skill ups regardless of side.  Very useful for getting higher quality clothing and cords.
Timbercraft - Training with board making is most effective.  Not hugely useful, but affects the speed of timberwork and quality of boards.
Physician - Train by treating minor injuries.  Climbing trees is a reasonable way to get minor but not threatening injuries.  Frostbites from running naked in the winter work OK too.  Can now treat animals and companions as well, which might be a less dangerous way to train it.
Trapping - Can be trained by resetting traps repeatedly.  Very useful for those who want to trap; increases the chance of game entering the trap.
Tracking - Train by following a game trail and repeatedly using the tracking skill to check the direction of the tracks.  Quite useful for active hunting.
Weatherlore - I have literally never seen this skill increase, and I use it every morning.
Carpentry - Train by making crafted goods like shortbows or paddles.  Difficult to train, but quite useful for higher quality items.

Physical skills
Skiing - Just ski.  During the winter I ski around checking trap lines to train this.  Quite useful for winter travel.
Stealth - Walk around in stealth mode.  Seems to train faster when there are animals nearby.  Useful for active hunting and combat.
Climbing - Climbing fences or small cliffs trains this safely and quickly.  Useful at very high skills for climbing trees safely for better views.
Swimming - Swim along the shoreline in the summer.  Trains fairly quickly.  Not commonly used, but can save your life in some situations.

Combat skills
Difficult to train up safely.  Throwing or shooting weapons will train, but often takes hundreds of throws to get a skillup.  Dodge, unarmed, and shield are very difficult to train.

Any other suggestions?  I generally spend time on actively training herblore, skiing, stealth, climbing, club, trapping, and tracking. 

March 31, 2018, 09:34:29 PM
Cath the lost This is a story about a game I played while trying to follow the "lost" challenge:  completely random character, random start location, hurt helpless and afraid start in winter, and all possessions get destroyed as soon as you load.  You're also restricted to only using and traveling on the zoomed in map, except for viewing (not traveling) from mountain peaks to get a look at the lay of the land.  I have my sufficiency mod installed but aren't using it for the first winter.

Set upon by robbers while traveling alone in the wild, Cath was left badly beaten, with no possessions and nothing but her skills to keep her alive.  Luckily her wounds, while painful, were not too serious and didn't prevent her from walking or using her hands. She awakened completely lost and with no idea where she is - the first thing to do was to make a fire, for November this far North would surely freeze her within a day unclothed and without a fire.

May 17, 2018, 06:11:35 AM
Re: Cath the lost She has been left in a spruce mire to die and sets about looking for small rocks and loose branches - she can use the branches to light an old dead log on fire, and make a crude knife to feed it while she gets her bearings.  In her searching, she stumbles upon a thicket of cloudberries.  Immensely grateful for the food, she picks the closest bush and immediately sacrifices it to the spirits in appreciation, then gobbles down the other half.

Vowing to come back for the berries, she gathers the last of the sticks she needs and sets a log on fire, huddling next to it for warmth.  She carefully knaps one rock with another for hours to make a crude blade.  By the time she finishes, the fire has warmed her up thoroughly, but the snow has started, reminding her that winter has just begun and it will only get colder.

May 17, 2018, 06:12:51 AM
Re: Cath the lost Knowing that she cannot afford to be without a fire for long, she gathers branches from the trees nearby her fire and bundles them together to make torches.  She can carry a fire with her, stopping to light a log to warm herself up when she needs.  With five torches she should be able to travel a day or so --- though which way, she doesn't know.  But it's late afternoon and traveling in the dark is a foolish idea.  Her log fire will last until morning - she gathers berries to settle her stomach and sate her thirst, then settles in for a cold night's sleep.

In the middle of the night, the snowfall wakes her and keeps her from sleep.  It quickly turns into a hard rain that chills her to the bone.  She wakes up in the morning cold and ready to travel.  With no better ideas, she decides to walk northeast.  If nothing else, she can get out of this mire where the farthest to see is a few dozen feet.  After an hour or so of walking, she finally comes out into an open part of the mire, with much better visibility.  And not much to see, unfortunately.

She decides to follow the lay of the land, along the border to the spruce mire to the south.  Perhaps she can find some high ground to get a broader view and at least get out of this swamp.  After a bit of walking, she finds a pool in the mire, frozen but clear.  She drags a log over to warm herself while she breaks the ice with her stone knife, then drinks deeply and washes her wounds.  As she washes, a capercaille flies by!

May 17, 2018, 06:14:56 AM
Re: Cath the lost Hungry, she aims a rock at it, hoping for roast bird for breakfast.  The first three miss, and it flies over the ridge out of sight.  Depressed, she decides to go pick berries for breakfast instead.  She finds the bird eating cloudberries from the bushes, and throws another rock.  This time the spirits bless her throw, the rock hits perfectly and the bird goes down.  Meat for breakfast, feathers for something better than rocks, and a bit of hide for a cord.  And as she begins to tan the hide while the meat roasts, she finds her hip and elbow no longer sore and swollen.  (32% injury) What a wonderful morning!  As she eats her meal, she thinks for a moment, then tears off a leg and offers it to the spirits.  Surely they sent the bird by for her.  The least she can do is return some of it in thanks.

May 17, 2018, 06:17:07 AM
Re: Cath the lost She decides to stay here for a few days.  The spirits here are friendly - she can gather berries and try to catch a few more birds, while letting her injuries heal.  After a bit more than a week, she is fully healed and the spirits have blessed her with many catches and an abundance of berries.  She set up a dozen simple traps and baited them with berries, catching nearly a dozen birds, tanning the hides for leather.  The leather let her make a simple stone axe, with which she crafted a javelin to help her hunt and a rough bowl for carrying water on her journey.  She also is no longer unclothed - a simple belt holds her axe and a cap covers her ears. 

The time spent catching birds has been useful in other ways as well - she has learned much about how to set traps to be sensitive when a bird comes by for the bait, and how to tan bird leather without damaging the skin. And she has learned a bit about how to aim rocks at birds as well.

Before she moves on, she gathers the bait out of her traps and disables them, not wanting to anger the spirits that have been so kind.  She makes an offering of berries, asking for guidance to a village, then heads off eastward.

May 17, 2018, 06:20:57 AM
Re: Cath the lost After a day or so of travel, she moves from a spruce mire into a coniferous forest with good solid ground.  She decides to head north along the boundary to try and find more open ground, maybe even some high ground where she can get a good view.  Early next morning, she comes out into open heathland. Following the open ground, she comes to the shore of a large lake, and resolves to set up a new camp here, fishing, hunting, and gathering berries while exploring the lake to look for a village.

May 17, 2018, 06:21:54 AM
Re: Cath the lost Exploring along the lake, she runs into a bull elk along the shoreline!  If she can kill it, that will be a great boon - the fur can be made into a warm cloak, and the meat will feed her for weeks.  But she is very slow and her javelin was lost - she will have to chase it as best she can.

Chasing the elk along the shoreline, it exhausts itself trying to escape from her, and the ice of the lake is too thin to run away on.  Eventually she catches up to it, and downs it with a blow of her stone axe to the head.  It is noon - before she cuts up the elk, she decides to set up a shelter and camp here while she dries the meat and tans the hide.

May 17, 2018, 06:22:51 AM
Re: Cath the lost It takes the better part of the day to set up a shelter nearby, then she starts to skin the beast and cut up the meat.  As much meat as possible is dried using the left-over hides of the birds, but much of the meat spoils before it can be dried.  She uses it to bait traps along the shoreline, hoping for some foxes.

The hide itself is tanned over the next few days, producing a rough but very warm hide, which she turns into crude clothing:  a warm cloak, mittens, footwear, and a hood.  Finally she is warm for the first time since getting lost out in the woods!

She will have to stay along the lake shore for a few weeks at least, waiting for her elk meat to dry. What to do while she waits before she can keep searching for other people? Maybe gather berries, or trap birds and tan hides.

May 17, 2018, 06:25:57 AM
Re: Cath the lost She resolves to travel around the lake, along the southern shore.  Perhaps there is a river she can follow, the better to find a village. If nothing else, she can gather berries along the shore while she waits for her meat to dry.  As she starts her journey around the lake, it is late November, only 8 weeks before midwinter (the 5th day).  The heathland continues for a few miles, and she sees that the yellowcoat mushrooms and the lingonberries are beginning to wither. A few still stand, but most are gone for the winter. Grouse call from the distance as she walks.

After a day of travel, the shoreline she has followed south has finally started to bend.  This must be an enormous lake.  She sets up camp in a spruce mire, lighting an old log as she eats mushrooms and berries for her supper.  She prays to the spirits as she curls up to sleep, hoping to find a river tomorrow.

The next day as she travels along the shoreline, she comes across fresh reindeer tracks.  Hoping for some hide to make a proper shirt and leggings, she follows them away from the lake and east into the heathland.

Following the tracks, the reindeer circles first east, then south, then west back towards the frozen lake.  When she finally catches up to it, it is wounded and out on the ice.  As she watches from the shore, it steps on a patch of thin ice, falling into the water.  After a few minutes its struggles get weaker, and it drowns trying to climb back onto land, only a few feet away from her.  She drops most of her gear and lights a nearby log on fire, so that she can warm herself quickly if she falls in the lake.  Then she carefully, carefully crawls out on the thin ice, grabbing the leg of the doe and pulling it back onto land safely.  She skins the deer and butchers it, sacrificing the choicest cut to the spirits in thanks for offering this animal so graciously to her.

May 27, 2018, 12:03:05 AM