Tracking Skill

  • Narfell Tracker Tool
    Tracking checks are loosely based on the actual rules from D&D. We don't have a Wilderness Lore skill in NWN so this is a custom Narfell system. The exact mechanics are found here (clicky).

    Rangers are provided with a tracker tool which lets them track during combat. Other classes can track from the rest menu.

    The base DC for tracking in an area is 10. The following modifiers are applied:

    Dawn/Dusk +1
    Night time +3
    Rain +3
    Snow +10
    Interiors +10

    So, when it is snowing at night time, dc is 23.

    Making this dc lets you track things right next to you - you need to beat it to pick up things further away. With a high enough track result a ranger can identify signs indicating what’s all the way over on the other side of the map. Characters without ranger levels are limited to tracks of DC 10 or less.

    Bad Rolls
    Sometimes you’re just not on your game. You can search for tracks as often as you want, but within any game hour (4 minutes) all checks will be based on your first roll of the period. DCs may change if conditions change, ie it stops raining or you move closer to the creature.

    What you See
    The results themselves list in the server message window in order of distance. Brighter results at the bottom of the list are closest while the darker results at the top of the list are further away. Your tracking roll is given beneath the closest creature.

    Results will be something like:

    "Ahead, to your left, you see the the light signs of a tiny animal."

    Breaking that down:

    1.) Direction is relative to which way your character is facing.

    2.) The descriptive word ("light signs") is the same for all creatures of that type for your PC. If one goblin basher tracks to you as 'soft marks' of a small goblinoid, every goblin basher will.

    3.) The final section will give the body size/sex/race of the creature. If you roll high, you may also see the actual "name" of the creature. Instead of "light signs of a tiny animal" you would see "light signs of a badger." Experience will let you work out what creature is denoted by any set of tracks even when you don't beat the dc by enough to get the exact name.

    Starting from the bottom of the list you can see the following:

    Eluriel Triallan'ravan searched for tracks again: (3 + 25 = 28 vs. DC 13)
    The PC has a tracking modifier of +25. Searched for tracks "again" means that the PC has previously rolled that game hour and is using the 3 rolled in an earlier attempt.

    "To your right, you can see the slight imprints of an Adult Deer".
    The brightest result at the bottom of the list you can see the deer is right next to the PC. Going up the list you can see the next 3 closest results in the picture. Then there's a badger behind and a tree spider off to the left.

    The next result is,
    "To your left, you see the light signs of a tiny animal."
    If you look down the results closer to you, you can tell the tiny animal is a badger.

    "To your left, you see the dim footsteps of a White Stag"
    This creature is further away but you get the full name for it when you haven't got the name of some animals that are closer to you. When you see results like this it's might be due to one of the creatures being a sneak or to their being small. Both are harder to track and identify reliably.

    PCs and Tracking
    Each character who tracks will see a different description for the same creature. It might be useful to write yourself a list of what tracks indicate what creature, but giving the list to your friend won't help them any. If you rebuild your pc any previous list will be useless.

    Tracking PCs
    You will never get the actual name of a PC.

    Party Members
    Any PCs who are partied with you will not show up in your tracking results unless they are far away.

    Covering your Tracks
    Rangers are not only good at tracking, but can be good at covering tracks! A ranger can "cover" his tracks and those of his party if he is in stealth. Covering adds some portion of the ranger's hide skill to the DC for others to track the ranger and their party.

    A character with 3 or more druid levels will never show up on a tracking roll. This applies to PCs and NPCs. The ability not to leave tracks is supernatural and a druid can drop it at will. So if you're trying to find your druid buddy who you know's on the same map as you feel free to send them one tell asking whether you can track them at that time.

    Roleplaying Tracking
    Nightsblood had a wonderful post on this which is long gone now. In a nutshell - it's not all about seeing footprints in the ground. Use your imagination. Maybe you can see where a bugbear rested their axe, or there's a whip mark on a tree in hobgoblin lands. If your ranger has good spot or listen you can draw that in too. Wildlife acting oddly is a good clue that there's something odd around. Or you might smell burning, etc. Be creative.

    • thanks to Kall for this one