View Full Version : Tracking someone, how to DM?

2009-02-23, 03:36 AM
So, I'll soon-ish (in two weeks or so if all goes well) be DMing part where players (5th level rogue/fighter and 2 NPCs - Sorcerer and cleric) will be told to track down someone.

They will know that the person they are tracking is a red wizard (transmuter) who is heading west. Said wizard will try to keep quite low profile and has a headstart of at least a few days. I was thinking of making conjuration and illusion the wizard's banned schools so he is a bit easier to track and can't teleport.

I was wondering how to DM the track. I have no idea what they will do or what can happen. What extra information should they receive to have a starting point? I considered some magic item that lets them ask a direction once in a few days or so but that might be a bit too streamlined...

Something I thought would be that they would find out that wizard took some shortcut (underground tunnel or such) and left something transmuter specific to guard against anyone tracking him (acid pools, animated objects)...

The end result I hope is that they all end up in Aglarond's capital (that is where the wizard is heading), perhaps having had one encounter with the wizard on the way and some misc encounters. If they happen to catch or beat the wizard before he gets there, that is fine too.

I just am not sure where and how to start with the whole thing. It seems that either it is very streamlined ("start there, there you find out he went that way, next village tells you he took that underground tunnel...") or they won't have anything to start with.

Perhaps, entirely instead of tracking, they should be told that he is known to have spent time in some area for some reason and there will find out that he fell in love with a woman who lives in the capital...? Or given choice to either do that or start tracking...

Any tips on how to deal with the whole general situation?

2009-02-23, 10:58 AM
track, gather information (if commoners/etc. have seen him), locate creature, scry, prying eyes, spot, search, discern location

And good 'ol investigating if the wizard is doing any damage along the way.

Prolonged chases aren't common at higher levels, since there are a lot of skills (since the DCs don't go up but modifiers do) and spells that will cause auto-success/failure at that point. It's more a game of rock paper scissors. Not to mention all the travel spells. Even without conjuration and illusion, you got overland fight as a transmutation. Something like this is more interesting to play at low levels.

Also check out the rules on long distance travel.