What is Survivor Mode?
Survivor Mode is meant to make the games a bit friendlier and easier to play, without feeling feeling quite as condescending as the official easy mode variant, which severely pulls its punches. It also seeks to rebalance high speed weapons to be more viable, while keeping them flavorful and fitting to the game.
Survivor Mode has two major components: Debilitating Injuries and Monster Stamina.
If you would be killed* by a source other than bleeding tokens, instead you gain 2 bleeding tokens and must skip the next hunt.
*this does not apply to effects that cause a survivor to cease to exist, or effects that remove/exile a survivor from the settlement.
Fairly straightforward. This makes it so that characters have a bit more survivability when it comes to very "swingy" rolls. You are also far less likely to die during the hunt phase, but getting a "you are dead" effect is still a very serious situation. The survivors are quite a bit tougher, but are still very much mortal, and must still chose their actions wisely.
All monsters gain a new trait called "Stamina". The value of this trait is equal to twice the number of AI cards that level of that monster starts with in its deck. If a monster also has the life trait, it instead uses twice its Life value. For example, the Beast of Sorrow has "Stamina (32)", while the Mad Steed has "Stamina (40)".
Whenever a monster is hit by an attack, before revealing hit locations, lower its stamina by 1. If the monster has no stamina remaining, it takes a wound instead.
This gives speed weapons a new niche, as well as survivors who can't use high strength weapons. Speed weapons are still risky to use, and have a high chance of triggering traps, or flooding you with monster reactions, but allows characters with high speed to quickly wear down the monster, although the monster have a "buffer" that must be worked through first. This mechanic also helps keep turns from feeling wasted just because you didn't manage to pierce a monsters toughness, and helps end some of those early game scenarios where a battle can draw out with no wounds for multiple rounds, due to not having enough strength.
Note that the current value is just one I have found to work well generally, and may need tweaking for some specific monsters. Particularly monsters that interact with wounds, either through lots of regen (Antelope/Watcher), or through having a different system entirely (The Hand)
I am planning on building on these more with a custom expansion with a unique monster and campaign, especially building more on the stamina mechanic. However I figured these two variants should stand on their own, and with the current renewed interest in KD for many people due to the kickstarter, figured I would post them now.