Eliminating the Track feat
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    Eliminating the Track feat

    I house-ruled that characters can track with a Survival check without needing the Track feat to do so. It's been one of the better house rules I've seen in a long time. I wish more DM's would do it.

    IME, tracking is generally something required by the plot, making it something the DM wants the party to have more than the players do. If characters are low level and don't have a ranger in the party, they probably won't have the feat. Conversely, once they're high-level, they'll have access to magics that will make the feat unnecessary.

    And on top of that, although Survival has many other stated uses--avoiding getting lost, avoiding hazards, dealing with inclimate weather, hunting for food--they're largely ignored by a lot of DM's because many players view them as tedious, even discouraging ("look, do you want us to get to the damn dungeon or not???"). So, characters without the Track feat often find their ranks in Survival going to pot.
    Last edited by Felon; Wednesday, 30th August, 2006 at 03:30 AM.

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    This seems like an excellent house rule to me. I may yoink it.

    It strikes me that if you use the survival skill to hunt, that this should included tracking. Obviously, you'll need to be able to stalk the animal in question in order to hunt it.

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    I like that. I'd then give the ranger +4 to surivial skill to replace the track feat they gain.

  4. #4
    Check out Sean Reynolds article on avoiding absolutes. This is close to one of his suggestions..

    Survival: Characters without the Track feat can follow tracks with a DC of 11+, but they treat the DC as +10 higher than normal.

    Very good article....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crothian
    I like that. I'd then give the ranger +4 to surivial skill to replace the track feat they gain.
    Well, house-ruling away the Track feat made it easier for me to make ranger a prestige class, a la Unearthed Arcana.

    Having said that, rangers already get enough abilities at 1st level to match what, say, a fighter gets. I'm not sure they'd need compensation. But I can see where your players might not agree.

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    I don't think it is a bad idea [to get rid of track]. I am currently working on a new skill system (modeled after the one proposed by Spoony Bard) in which a character may have either proficiency or mastery in a skill. In this system, a character with Survival Proficiency knows how to track, so the track feat is no longer necessary. Since only three classes can attain proficiency in Survival, I don't think it steals much from the ranger.

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    I've actually been playing this way for a few months. No one has complained yet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crothian
    I like that. I'd then give the ranger +4 to surivial skill to replace the track feat they gain.
    I agree. If Survival can be used to track without the feat required, then the Track feat should add a +4 bonus to make it worth taking...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane
    I agree. If Survival can be used to track without the feat required, then the Track feat should add a +4 bonus to make it worth taking...
    You can simply delete the feat. A better tracker has Skill Focus (Survival) and / or Self Suficient (+2 to Heal and Survival).

    Giving a Ranger Skill Focus (Survival) for free at first level would seem to keep the current power balance, emphasize the class's wilderness abilities and remove the need for the Track feat from the game entirely.

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