In my home game/Stonetop, I’ve been toying with changing the Ranger’s Hunt and Track move to this:

In my home game/Stonetop, I’ve been toying with changing the Ranger’s Hunt and Track move to this:

In my home game/Stonetop, I’ve been toying with changing the Ranger’s Hunt and Track move to this:


When you spend a few moments to scan your surroundings, you can ask the GM “What tracks or other signs of passage are present here?” and get an honest answer.

When you Discern Realities by studying tracks or other signs of passage, take +1 and add “Where did they go?” to the list of questions you can ask.


By contrast, here’s the original move:


When you follow a trail of clues left behind by passing creatures, roll+WIS: on a 7+, you follow the creature’s trail until there’s a significant change in its direction or mode of travel; on a 10+, you also choose 1:

* Gain a useful bit of information about your quarry, the GM will tell you what

* Determine what caused the trail to end.



The original move is… okay. I like that it’s a move where 7-9 gives you a full success and a 10+ gives you something extra. The things I dislike about it, though, are:

1) It sorta implies that you need that move in order to follow a creature’s trail. But really, you could get basically the same info by closely studying a set of tracks, triggering Discerning Realities, and asking “What happened here recently?” “Well, there was a fight, and this guy got killed, and then the victor skulked off down this tunnel.”

2) Nothing about the Hunt & Track move makes you particularly better and noticing that there are tracks in the first place. I guess that the fact I have the move, as a player, makes me more likely to ask the GM “Are there any tracks here?” and the GM should then be a fan and think about it and be like “yeah, totally, tracks!”

But I’ve see too many players not do that, or just forget that they have the move until I as the GM offer an opportunity fitting a class’s abilities and then prod them a little.

3) It doesn’t really lend itself to that scene in The Two Towers, where Aragon’s like “A hobbit lay here…” and then recreates the events in his head based on the tracks. Yeah, that’s totally Discern Realities and not really “following a trail,” but that’s the kind of thing I wan the ranger with this move to be able to do. They should be able to Sherlock the place up.

4) In Stonetop, rangers don’t automatically start with the Hunt & Track move unless they pick the “Mighty Hunter” background. So it’s pretty important to me that the move be “worth” the choice and that it not imply you can’t track creatures without this move.

Anyhow… interested in opinions! How do you like the proposed revision vs. the original move? How heavily does Hunt & Track get used in your games? Have you had parties without rangers that followed tracks? How’d you resolve it?

6 thoughts on “In my home game/Stonetop, I’ve been toying with changing the Ranger’s Hunt and Track move to this:”

  1. Why not base it on the Savvyhead move “Things Speak” from Apocalypse World:

    Things speak: whenever you handle or examine something interesting, roll+weird. On

    a hit, you can ask the MC questions. On a 10+, ask 3. On a 7–9, ask 1:

    • Who handled this last before me?

    • Who made this?

    • What strong emotions have been most recently nearby this?

    • What words have been said most recently nearby this?

    • What has been done most recently with this, or to this?

    • What’s wrong with this, and how might I 􀃫x it?

    Treat a miss as though you’ve opened your brain to the world’s psychic maelstrom and missed the roll.

    Obviously, the specifics would be different, but essentially the idea is “a more specific and focused Discern Realities”. And it would kind of get at the Aragorn/Sherlock feel you mentioned.

  2. Thomas Berton yeah, I can see that working. You’d probably include questions like:

    * who or what left these tracks?

    * how many were there?

    * how long ago where they here?

    * what were they up to?

    * where did they go?

    But… I don’t know that those questions are really much better than what you can get with Discern Realities. They provide more specific detail, sure, but the that detail isn’t necessarily much better than the Discern Realities questions.

    Like, imagining the Aragorn scene with this…

    * Who or what left these tracks?

    “Uruk hai, definitely, and some orcs. And Rhohirrim. And, oh look! Hobbits!”

    * (looking at the Hobbit tracks) What did they get up to?

    “Well, the crawled… they cut their bonds, there was an attack, and then… they got away!”

    * Where did they go?

    “Across the field… into Fangorn Forest.”


    By contrast, with this move and Discern Realities…

    * What tracks or other signs of passage are present here? (for free)

    “There’s prints all over. Uruk-hai, orcs, Rhohirim, it’s a bloody mess!!”

    Discern Realities (with a +1), gets a 7-9, just asks:

    * What here isn’t what it appears to be?

    “A Hobbit lay here! Either Merry or Pippin for sure, and they crawled off that way…”

    * What happened here recently?

    “Well, the crawled… they cut their bonds, there was an attack, and then… they got away!”

    * Which way did they go?

    “Across the field… into Fangorn Forest!”


    So… I’m not really sure it’s worth it. And, again, I fear that it might imply that without this move, you can’t really read tracks.

    Does that make sense?

  3. Yeah, that totally makes sense. And for the record, I think your move was fine, I was just offering an alternative ( and an opportunity to bring up Things Speak is always welcome, because I think it’s a great move.) I do think that the two-player structure you’ve got laid out might get a little awkward though.

    Also, if you want to be clear that everybody has the ability to find tracks, that might be a good thing to put right into the premise of the game, so that it’s on the table from the jump

  4. Thomas Berton Things Speak is definitely great, no doubt. Psychometry is a cool power. I toyed around with something like it for the Seeker in Stonetop, but it 1) takes up too much room and 2) gives them a little too much insight into stuff that’s supposed to be super mysterious.

    Have you seen the Artificer (from Jacob Randolph)? It’s got a move called Let Me See That that’s kinda similar, except you always just get to ask 2 questions and it doesn’t have the “psychometry” aspect. I think it’s something like:

    When you first examine a work of artifice, you can ask the GM 2 of the following questions and get an honest answer:

    * Who made this?

    * What does it do?

    * How can I activate it?

    * How can I fix it or improve upon it?

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