- 1 Life, Death, and You
- 2 Character Sheet
- 3 Equipment Screen
- 4 Inventory
- 5 HUD
- 6 Kith & Kin
- 7 Combat
- 8 Experience Points and Learning Points
- 9 Quality
- 10 Player Actions
- 11 Miscellaneous
Life, Death, and You
It is important to know when discussing the intricacies of Haven and Hearth, that nothing is permanent. Everything that is will eventually return to nothing, and that's okay.
Death is an important part of this game, and for some, the most important part of the game. Fear of death, or the excitement of taking life, are driving factors which affect every part of the game. Learning how to work with these factors is key to understanding the game.
All player-made characters are called Hearthlings. Hearthlings start out as Floating Orbs of Purple Energy, and must choose a form and a name before they are burned into the world. Hearthlings start with base attributes of 10, and abilities of 1. A hearthling, much like a human, must Eat, Learn, Rest, and Die. While progressing through the game, not only will your hearthling become more experienced, but you as a player will learn tricks and secrets throughout your time playing Haven and Hearth.
Due to the turbulent nature of this game, it is best to jump right in and start Discovering what this game has to offer.
Creating a Hearthling and spawning in the world is an important first step to play Haven and Hearth. Character creation is more complex in haven than in other games, however, and there might be a few important steps you might miss. Be sure to change your hair style and name your character. If one of your ancestors has passed away, you are able to inherit his skills and abilities, granted the proper steps have been followed.
Some quick steps:
- Travel north, following the path to the river
- Following the right path will make you male, Following the left path will make you female
- Visit the reflecting pool to choose your hair style and color (this is permanent)
- Talk to the wizard to name yourself
- Interact with the fire to burn yourself into the world
- Visit the graveyard to inherit your ancestor's skills
- Interact with the skull pole to choose Where to Spawn
So You've made someone, or something, angry. So angry in fact that They beat you senseless. Fret not! For you may yet escape this encounter with your life.
- Teleport to your Hearth Fire: This allows the player to escape the battle with their life, but if they have left anything important on the battlefield, such as a Horse, it will not come with you
- Log Out: This lets the character log out where he lays, hopefully to let whatever knocked you out to wander off.
- Get back up!: After a minute or so has passed, your character will regain consciousness with 1 SHP.
- during the minute you're unconscious, any attackers have the privilege of looting your body while you're down.
Dying is part of the game. Whether you Swim out too far, Get mauled by a bear, or get cut down by your fellow hearthling, it is best to be prepared for the sweet embrace of death. Death, however, is not the end. While you have lost that Hearthling forever, you can create another and receive a portion of the skills and experience of your deceased ancestor.
If your Hearthling dies, you have several options at your disposal to lament your long lost relative.
Bury your Ancestor
If you have your body, you may bury him to make his passing into the next life easier.
- Not performing any burial rites will net you 15% of your LP and FEP (Base)
- Burying your skull without your body will net your 25% of your LP and FEP (10% extra)
- Burying your body without your skull will net you 35% of your LP and FEP (20% extra)
- Burying your whole intact body will net you 45% of your LP and FEP (30% Extra)
Have your People Celebrate your Life
If you were popular amongst your citizens, maybe they will organize a state funeral for you.
- State funerals grant 45% of your LP and FEP without having to bury a body
- This, however, is an expensive option for the most powerful of warriors and diplomats
Honor your Ancestors
If you are diligent and pray often, perhaps your ancestors will forgive your misdeeds and grant you knowledge and wisdom.
- Lamenting the Departed is another substitute for proper burials of deceased ancestors.
- Every time you Lament your departed ancestor, until the maximum inheritance (60%) has been reached, you inherit a percentage (6%? per use) of his Attributes & Abilities.
- The Numen cost of lamenting increases by two every time you use this ability.
- Characters cannot be inherited until eight hours after his or her original birth.
- You may spawn on your ancestor's Hearth Fire in case it was not destroyed.
The Character Sheet is where you can learn the most about your character. Essentially, everything about your character is displayed in these menus. this includes stats, skills, quests, and combat moves
Attributes are the most basic stats in Haven, and are gained through eating food and receiving Food Event Points (FEP). Attributes can be both buffed and debuffed by various mechanics in the game, such as wounds, equipment, and certain Activities
The FEP bar displays the current amount of FEP you have for a specific attribute, as well as how many points are needed to gain another attribute point. Generally, the number of FEPs needed to gain a new attribute is equal to your highest attribute value. For instance, if your highest attribute is strength at 30, then you will have to consume 30 FEP to gain a new attribute point.
Food Satiations are simply the percent of FEP you will receive from the base food you consume. Every food item falls into a specific food category and has a chance to satiate a food category. As such, the more of a specific type of food you eat, the fewer FEP you will receive from that food.
- Satiations disappear in about two days and disappear faster the more satiated you are.
- Food Satiations can be relieved by drinking certain beverages.
- All drinks restore stamina much like water, but they also relieve particular food satiations.
- Each drink also adds a negative satiation against itself, thus reducing the effect of further consumption.
- drinks will count as half-quality if you drink them from a non-preffered vessel, i.e. drinking wine from anything but a wine glass.
- Stamina regeneration is not affected by vessel type
|Drink||Primary||Secondary||Tertiary||Preferred Vessel||Made From||Satiation Debuff|
|Beer||Sausage 1%||Game 0.5%||Offal 0.5%||Tankard||Barley Wort||Beer|
|Cider||Poultry 1%||Mushrooms 0.5%||Offal 0.5%||Tankard||Applejuice||Cider|
|Mead||Vegetables 1%||Game 0.5%||Nuts & Seeds 0.5%||Drinking Horn||Mead Must||Mead|
|Milk||Bread 1%||Forage 0.5%||Bucket||Aurochs, Cow, Goat and Sheep||Dairy|
|Perry||Mushrooms 1%||Meat 0.5%||Creepies & Crawlies 0.5%||Tankard||Pearjuice||Perry|
|Tea||Dairy 1%||Fruits 0.5%||Mug||Green and Black Tea Leaves||Tea|
|Weißbier||Fish 1%||Poultry 0.5%||Mushrooms 0.5%||Tankard||Wheat Wort||Beer|
|Wine||Cheese 1%||Meat 0.5%||Vegetables 0.5%||Wine Glass||Grapejuice||Wine|
- Tea receives a 20Q buff when piping hot.
- Burrower Bean instantly relieves 25% of one satiation at q10.
Each food has a hunger value that adds to your hunger level when eaten. Each hunger level has a lower "Food efficiency" bonuses, but takes less time to return to a lower hunger level. The hunger level of food is a flat rate unaffected by quality..
|Time to lose
|Time to lose
|Variety Bonus||Variety Example |
@15 max stat
|Ravenous||300%||2 hours||200 hours||1.097||28.3%|
|Famished||200%||1 hour||100 hours||0.894||23.1%|
|Hungry||100%||20 minutes||33.3 hours||0.632||16.3%|
|Content||90%||10 minutes||16.67 hours||0.602||15.5%|
|Full||50%||3 minutes||5 hours||0.447||11.5%|
|Stuffed||25%||46 seconds||1.25 hours||0.315||8.1%|
|Overstuffed||10%||7 seconds||0.19 hours|
Abilities are your Learned skills, and as such are bought using Learning Points. All abilities start at 1, and cost:
Learned skills are nonrefundable, so choose wisely. Like Attributes, Abilities can be buffed or debuffed by Wounds and Equipment
- Studying curiosities is a passive activity and will occur automatically as long as curiosities are in your mentory.
- Your Attention is equal to your intelligence, and determines how many curiosities you can study, determined by the curiosities' mental weight.
- You cannot have two of the same curiosities in your mentory at the same time.
- A Personal Claim Bond is kept in your mentory in order to upkeep its presence.
- Once an object is finished being studied, you will receive its learning points and the object will disappear.
For more information, see the Curiosity page
Lore & Skills
Skills are abilities you can purchase which enable you to perform specific actions, such as Boat Building and Mining. Skills cost Learning Points and are permanently in effect once purchased. Skills are hierarchical and as such must be learned in a specific order. Generally, the more advanced the skill, the more Learning Points it costs.
Credos can be described as professions, which completed provide passive buffs and bonuses. Credos cost Learning Points to initiate, and only one Credo can be pursued at a time. Each Credo has 5 abilities that can be activated in order by completing quests for that credo. Once the Credo is completed, their bonuses will be permanently in effect and you can begin pursuing another Credo. Similar to skills, certain credos require prerequisite credos to be completed before you may begin them.
Lores are events which occur by playing and exploring. Lores award the player Experience Points, which can then be spent on Curiosities to gain Learning Points. Lores are triggered randomly and it is encouraged to perform a variety of tasks through the day in attempt to trigger as many lores as possible.
Martial Arts & Combat Schools
Martial Arts & Combat Schools is where you build, save, and examine your combat cards. Combat cards can be discovered by defeating animals in combat, as well as learned from other players.
Things to know:
- Drag and drop cards into combat slots to equip them. each combat deck can hold up to 10 different cards.
- each card has a value of one point, and each deck may have up to 30 points worth of cards.
- You may stack up to 5 of the same card in one deck. Each stacked card adds extra power to the move.
- You may have up to 5 different combat decks saved, for quick switching between decks.
- cards 1-5 are activated with keys 1-5. cards 6-10 are activated with SHIFT+1-5
Health & Wounds
Wounds are semi permanent damage taken through various activies in the game, most notably combat.
The Wounds menu displays your current list of wounds, their effects, and how to heal them. Some wounds may heal on their own, while some might need special medicine or treatments to cure them. The number displayed next to each wound indicated the humber of Hard Hitpoint damage you have received from that wound. When your Hard Hitpoints reach 0, you die. Generally speaking, wounds will not heal unless you have 8000+ Energy
Your Quest Log displays your Current, Completed, and Failed Quests.
Clicking a quest will display quest objectives both in menu and on screen. Having an active quest will display an arrow to the quest givers.
The Equipment Screen is where players can equip their character with items that will help them flourish in the harsh world, or just look pretty. These items include weapons, armor, clothing, jewelry, tools, and healing items. There are 16 slots for equipment. Some items take up multiple slots, e.g. the Bear Cape that takes up both the headwear and cape slots, and the Pickaxe that takes up both hands. Equipment slots are unfortunately not labelled or indicated by any sort of picture in-game, making it confusing for new players to know what each slot is for. Players thus label the equipment slots using a code that combines which side of the equipment screen the slot is on and how far it is from the top, e.g. 5R is the fifth slot from the top on the right side.
Slots on the Equipment Screen
|4L||Left Hand||4R||Right Hand|
Your character's inventory is where all items are stored, this is different from the Equipment Screen in that items are not worn on the character.
Your character starts out with a 4x4 inventory grid which can be expanded upon by equipment, adding horizontal or vertical rows of inventory space. It is important to note that these equipment bonuses stack. For example, wearing a Birchbark Backpack and a Merchant's Robe would modify your inventory grid to 5x5. Thus by wearing a leather backpack, merchant's robe, and two traveler's sacks inventory space is 7x8
One essential task of any player is to increase the space available for use. This can be achieved in several ways:
- 1. Non-material.
- 2. Container-buildings.
- 3. Inventory expanders.
- 4. Wearable containers.'
Non-material means of increasing inventory space include:
- Account Verification (+1 vertical line permanently for that account)
- Account Subscription (+1 horizontal line for as long are your subscription is active)
- completing the 3rd level of the Nomad Credo (+1 vertical line)
- completing the 5th level of the Nomad Credo (+1 horizontal line)
Not all things in the game need to be with you constantly. The situation when the subject needs to be preserved for better times is quite ordinary. In this case, container-buildings come to the aid. There are a huge number of them in the game, ranging from the simplest branch baskets to the majestic chests or spacious cabinets. Like any other buildings in the game, they are subject to decay, so they are used as long-term storage facilities at the players' bases, or for short-term transportation of large volumes of cargo. They have their own inventory, which opens with a separate window when you right-click on an object. Many crafting recipes in the game allow you to use ingredients from open containers without removing them. There are also a number of movable objects (like Knarr or Wagon) that have both their own internal storage space and places for individual portable containers.
3. Inventory extenders.
It is good to store many things at home, but being able to take a lot of stuff on long journeys is vital too. For such purposes, so-called inventory extenders are great - items worn in equipment slots that increase the character's internal inventory (like non-material methods). These include:
- Birchbark Backpack (+1 vertical line)
- Leather Backpack (+2 vertical lines)
- Wanderer's Bindle add +1 vertical line (in the left hand) and +1 horizontal line (in the right hand). Can hold 2.
- Traveller's Sack add +1 vertical and +1 horizontal line for each one taken in hand. Can hold 2.
- Merchant's Robe increases the size of the inventory by 1 horizontal line.
4. Wearable containers.
There is also a separate category of things that can simplify the carrying of certain things. The peculiarity of such items is the presence of their own inventory (as with container buildings), the ability to hold them in equipment slots (like extenders) and narrow specialization in the type of wearable items. These include:
- Toolbelts - 3-25 slots, tools only.
- Hunter's Quiver - 30 slots, arrows only.
- Keyring - 9 slots, keys only.
- Wicker Picker - 20 slots, forage only.
- Leather Purse - 6 slots, coins only.
Separately, it is worth mentioning 2 special inventory extenders:
- Saddlebags are a craft item that can be put on a horse, which allows quick access to its internal storage in 16 slots.
- Packrack is a craft item that can be put on a cow (bull), which allows quick access to its internal storage of 25 slots (and an additional two cells for a liftable load)
Skillfully combining the listed opportunities, you can simplify the processes of storing and carrying important things as much as possible, which will allow you to devote more time to an exciting gameplay.
IMPORTANT: Pressing the spacebar on the default client will hide your HUD!
The Heads Up Display (HUD) provides important information about your character's current status.
Hitpoints are divided into three categories, indicated in the mouse-over as SHP/HHP/MHP.
- Soft Hitpoints. When this reaches 0, your character is temporarily knocked unconscious. If your energy is over 8000, SHP will recover over time, capped by your current HHP
- Hard Hitpoints. When this reaches 0, your character dies. You can see what is lowering your current HHP in the Health tab of the Character Sheet. Some wounds will heal over time, others may require direct intervention, and yet others may not have any current healing methods.
Indicates how tired your character is. This goes down as you perform various activities, eventually making your character move slower as it goes below certain levels. Over time, your stamina will recover by taking points from the energy bar. Naturally stamina regenerate 10% per 10% energy. It can also be recovered with more energy consumption by drinking beverages, such as: Water, Tea, Milk, Wine, Beer or Weißbier. Increasing your Constitution will reduce the drain to your stamina bar when using tools or swimming.
|< 50%||Cannot run at 4th speed.|
|< 29%||Cannot Dig.|
|< 25%||Cannot run at 3rd speed.|
|< 10%||Can only crawl.|
|< 5%||Cannot walk.|
Energy is a measure of how much work your character can do. The stamina and health bars are refilled by the energy bar. Energy is mainly consumed when you drink water to replenish the Stamina.You can get more energy by eating food.
- If your energy is 8000 or above, your energy is in "healing" state. This will regenerate your SHP.
- If your energy is 5000 or below, you are unable to do hard labor such as digging soil or mining.
- If your energy is 2000 or below, you will Starve, which will slowly drain your health.
- If your energy is 0, you will start rapidly losing HHP and die very quickly.
Speed is how fast your character moves. Generally, the faster you move, the more stamina you consume.
Certain Terrains limit the maximum speed a hearthling can travel on them (on foot). (creature speed is not [Verify] effected by this maximum)
From left to right:
|Crawl||1.5 tiles per second.|
|Walk||3.0 tiles per second.|
|Run||4.5 tiles per second.|
|Sprint||6.0 tiles per second.|
Kith & Kin
Kin Shortcut: CTRL + B
The Kin is the love-heart button. You can add new friends here, view your current ones and quickly see their online status.
In the Hearth Secret textbox, you can create a hearth secret. When you want to make friends with people at long-distance, give them this secret and they will then be your friend, or "kin". Likewise, if somebody gives you their secret, type it in the right text area next to the one you make your own secret in. Note that Hearth Secrets are tied to your hearthling, not to your account.
You can also right click a Hearthling, "Memorize" them, then right-click "Add Kin"
The candle next to their name on the list is their online status - a lit candle is online, whilst an unlit candle means offline. However, if somebody dies, their candle will disappear.
In the Kin Menu, you can:
- See the online status of kin signified by a lit or unlit candle.
- Invite online kin to a party.
- Privately message your kin.
- Set your own Hearth Secret.
- Add others via Hearth Secret
- Set a Kin's color (Default is white)
- Set a Kin's Display name (For your hearthling only)
Note: The search function is a custom client feature only and isn't available in the default client.
A party is a group of players that are able to communicate to each other through a private party chat where each party member is assigned a color.
You can invite a player to your party if you are not in a party or if you are the party leader, and this will make you the party leader. When you leave, another player in your party is assigned party leader, and you can also reassign party leader manually by right-clicking a party member. When the party is reduced to one member, the party chat closes.
Things to know:
- The amount of party members you can have is limited by your Charisma. [Verify]
- Party members have full access to each other's personal claims, so be careful who you add to your party.
- Colored arrows point towards the positions of party members
- Colored minimap markers give you their exact position
- You can see the portraits of party members on the left side of your screen
- Clicking a portrait will make your charcater move towards them
Combat in Haven and Hearth is built around the deck system, with players building a deck of attack, defense and ability cards which are then drawn and selected by the player.
See Unarmed Combat for a more detailed guide.
Unarmed combat is the first close-quarters style of fighting.
See Melee Combat for a more detailed guide
Melee combat is fighting with a sword and shield or axe.
See Ranged Combat for a more detailed guide
Experience Points and Learning Points
Experience Events are not limited, and can be randomly activated throughout your daily activities. The amount of Experience Points received is a good indicator of how often you can activate that event. For Example, Quenching Thirst can be activated very often, while Fragrance of Flowers may only activate every few days. In this fashion, it is recommended or encouraged to perform a number of varied activities or often go exploring to activate these events as often as possible.
- You can check which event you haven't done in Character Sheet under Lore & Skills by clicking on Lore.
- It's worth noting that by using Hearth Magic, you may end up with negative Experience Points when any Curiosities in your Study finish.
- Members of a Realm may be allowed to withdraw Experience points from the Realms bank to use as they will.
Disovering new objects
- For example: picking your first branch off a tree will give you some LP, digging soil, clay for the first time will award you LP. This is the main source of LP for a new character.
- Some actions that generate large sums of LP:
- Curiosities are items that can be crafted, foraged, caught, or created as a side effect of doing certain activities. They are studied over time in your Study Report, and will give you LP after completion. They will also consume some experience points.
- Hunting and killing animals in combat gives a small amount of LP, roughly equal to how much damage your character inflicted on the creature
- Do note that the amount of LP received will reduce if you continuously kill the same creature.
Learning Ability modifies the amount of Learning Points you gain from studying curiosities. Learning ability can be gained from realm buffs and equipment, such as ROB's. 10 points of learning ability equals to 1% of increased LP gain. [Verify]
See Quality for more detailed information
Almost all items, as well as many game-world objects, have a quality factor Q, which may range from 1 to ∞, with a standard default quality for most objects of 10 -- for example, all natural-growing trees are Q10.
In general, higher Q items are simply better: high Q weapons do more damage, high Q food provide more FEPs, high Q armor provides more protection.
The in-game effects vary from item to item, with some items like buckets and barrels not having any effect at all. Where quality matters, it usually takes the form of the quality multiplier QM:
This multiplier is 1x for Q10, 2x for Q40, 3x for Q90, 4x for Q160, and so on. It is a nonlinear increase, which means that it becomes harder and r multipliers. Since Q10 has a QM of 1x, in many places on this wiki you will just see stats given for Q10 objects. You should assume this unless the wiki page you're reading says otherwise.
Softcaps are put into effect when the quality of a product would be higher than the skill in question. The quality of said product will then be averaged with the softcapping skill level to get the products final quality. The softcapping skill may be a single attribute or skill value, or a combination of several. If the expected quality of the product will be lower than the softcapping skill, the quality will remain unchanged.
- If more than one stat softcaps a product, the stats combine with a geometric mean, not an arithmetic mean. For example, for two stats being factored: , for three , etc.
- Quality of built objects is solely determined by the quality of their parts. Softcaps do not apply.
- You are creating a Treeplanter's Pot with clay of average quality 36. However, the quality of a Treeplanter's pot is softcapped by Dexterity.
- If your Dexterity is greater than 36
- Resulting pot will be Q 36
- If you Dexterity is less than 36
- Resulting pot will be Q (36 + Dex) /2
Hardcaps take effect when the quality of a product would be higher than the hardcapping skill. The quality of said product will be limited to the hardcapping skill's level.
- You are searching for the best quality clay in the area. The clay you are digging up starts at q12 and slowly starts climbing up as you search around. The peak quality is actually 36, but you have a Masonry skill of 20. Eventually, you get up to q20, but it doesn't seem to go any higher than that. It could be the quality capped out at 20 for that area, but it is also possible that your Masonry skill prevents you from getting any better quality.
- If your Masonry is greater than 36
- All clay dug up will be its true quality
- If you Masonry is less than 36
- Resulting clay can at most be equal to your Masonry.
Player actions constitute the variety of tasks and abilities the player can do or act upon the world. The player will start with only a few actions and will gradually learn more actions as they progress and learn more skills.
- Adventure is the first menu 'tab' which holds many of the actions a player can act on the world, such as Destroy and Lift
- Haven & Hearth holds the abilities to Claim Land, Build a Heartfire, and Teleport to your Hearthfire
- Landsaping Holds all your Terraforming Actions, including Plowing Fields and creating Land Surveys
- Hand Plow Allows you to plow dirt manually for Farming before you have built a Wooden Plow or Metal Plow
- Lay Brick allows you to pave the ground with Bricks
- Lay Metal allows you to pave the ground with Metal
- Lay Stone allows you to pave the ground with Stones
- Plant Grass allows you to plant Grass Terrain with leftover Seeds
- Stomp to dirt allows you to turn terrain back into Dirt
- Survey Land allows you to create Surveys, which let the player raise, lower, and level terrain easily.
- Toggles are a set of permissions and abilities that you can either turn on or off
- Criminal Acts allows you to toggle on the ability to freely commit Crimes
- Party Permissions allows you to toggle whether or not your Glossary#Party has the same permissions as you on a claim
- Swimming toggles whether or not you will freely swim through water
- Tracking toggles whether you actively see Scents throughout the world.
- Allows you to build a fire
- Allows you to destroy objects and structures
- Allows you to dig the earth for Soil
- Allows you to Fish
- Allows you to inspect objects and structures to extra information
- Allows you to lift objects over your head and carry them.
- Allows you to craft a Firebrand to light fires
- Allows you to mine cave walls for Ore and Stone
- Allows you to repair Decayed objects and structures with materials
Maps and Tiles
Haven's basic unit of length measurement is a tile. Roads are paved in 1x1 tile sections, houses take up a certain area of tile, and maps are divided into tile sections.
The mapping tool on your default client works similar those found on custom clients, with the exception being you cannot export the default client's map.
Generally Speaking, your hearthling can load a total of two minimaps around them. They however can only physically see items/objects/creatures in an area slightly smaller than a minimap.
- Minimaps = 100x100
- Local maps = 500x500
- Regional maps = 2500x2500
- Supergrid = 5000x5000
Day and Night Cycle
The Day and Night cycle functions similar to the real world, except roughly 3 times faster ([Exactly 3.29 times faster]). This means every 24 Haven hours are equivalent to roughly 8 Real hours. Day, Night, and time in general serve important functions in Haven. The most notable effect is the absence or presence of Light. Day is four real-life hours, while night is the same. Sometimes at night there will be less light than usual, this is because the moon follows a Lunar Cycle. On a new moon there will be barely any light. When night falls a hearthling will be forced to light fires or any other Light Sources to be able to see.
Along with dynamic lighting, other features are dependant on time. These include:
- Certain items spawn at certain times, such as the Dewy Lady's Mantle
- Certain Experience events can only be activated at certain times.
- Certain Fish spawn at certain times.
- Many activites are behind time gates to ensure balance playing, such as:
- Curiosities, Silkfarming, Tree farming, Smelting ore, and more.
Decay is a system of deterioration of structures, commonly measured in Decay Hits (although the measure itself isn't very specific).
There are four main Decay patterns that can be observed:
- Resilient Structures: These items do not decay at all if placed on paved ground within Personal Claim or Village Claim with authority. This category includes all immobile structures and most containers (Cupboard being notable exception).
- Indoor Structures: These items are safe from decay only if placed inside buildings or caves/mines, wherein they will not take any decay hits. This category includes most moveable structures and some containers.
- Fields and Terrain: Sometimes referred to as decaying, these actually transform into different terrains. Specifically Tree radius (and so tree-cutting and planting) and field plowing enables such changes. It happens regardless of claim coverage.
- Carcasses: These always decay, there's no way to prevent it. All unprocessed or skinned carcasses are subject to it.
Decay hits are completely random. Currently there is no good way to measure when decay hits will happen.
Quote from Jorb:
Jorb November 7th, 2010: "Decay Is gone. For everything that stands on a claim, with the exception of things that need to stand on pavement (Immobile structures), which will still decay if they are placed on a non-paved tile. (A claimed kiln will decay if built on dirt for example). Portable stuff that should typically be placed indoors still decays while outdoors. For example: Anvil, Wardrobe, Cupboard, Spinning Wheel, Loom, Meat Grinder, Coinpress. That may or may not be all."
Soak is a value assigned to buildings that determines how resilient they are to attack. This value is subtracted from all incoming damage to the building in question. In order for an attack to have any effect at all, it must deal more damage than the soak value of the building being attacked. For example, aggressive boars and bears deal more than 25 damage per attack. Therefore, can damage and potentially destroy any building in their way with a soak value of less than 25.
Easy way to calculate minimal required strength to destroy an object with soak:
= required strength
See the Property:Soak page for all items with some soak data.
How many squares an object takes up. The first number refers to the x or horizontal direction, the second to the y or vertical direction. When talking about objects, size refers to how much inventory space it takes up, whereas when talking about structures it refers to the number of tiles it occupies.
Fuel comes in a variety of forms. Some items can only use certain types of fuel, others can use any form. Each type of fuel burns for different lengths of time, called a "tick" One tick has a length of approximately 4 minutes 50 seconds. The exception being the Steel Crucible, where one tick is 40 minutes long.
The forms of fuel with the number of ticks are:
Branch -- 1 tick Coal, Black coal -- 1 tick for Ore Smelters, Steel Crucibles and Finery Forge Coal, Black coal -- 2 ticks for all other workstations Block of Wood -- 5 ticks Tarsticks -- 20 ticks