I have a halfling who can jump far. Let's say he is invisible at the moment, and running away from a bad guy with a large sword riding a reindeer who has scent.

So in between hustling away from the mounted bad guy, let's say he alternates between moving and jumping. He has a +10 to his jumping (acrobatics) modifier.

How does this effect the reindeer's ability to track and use scent to locate my halfling?

  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm not sure why it would change. Wouldn't the reindeer still smell him, so long as he is within the scent range? \$\endgroup\$ – B. S. Morganstein Jul 10 '17 at 18:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ (Just to make sure, is the halfling so awesome at jumping that he's got an Acrobatics skill modifier of +10 when jumping in spite of his base speed of 20 ft. giving him a –4 penalty on such checks? I only bring it up because I tend to forget that sneaky modifier.) \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Jul 10 '17 at 18:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ @B.S.Morganstein well in theory he might have a thirty foot jump. The tracks would disappear and he would be thirty feet away. \$\endgroup\$ – FrancisJohn Jul 10 '17 at 18:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan Actually, I just picked an arbitrary number. My actual modifier uses the Dance Versatile Performance at +15. But I am guessing he still gets the -4 for when jumping due to his lowered base speed. So I guess it should be +11. \$\endgroup\$ – FrancisJohn Jul 10 '17 at 18:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ As a note, creatures who jump to get around have more pronounced footprints. Scent may not even be necessary. \$\endgroup\$ – tuskiomi Jul 11 '17 at 14:12

The animal can still smell your tracks for up to 1 mile before actually losing you. From Survival:

To find tracks or to follow them for 1 mile requires a successful Survival check.

There is no condition on how far your tracks have to be from one another, and as such, it doesn't matter. Which is why you can follow gargantuan creatures, even if their steps are 20 feet away from each other.

When tracking, the tracks you leave behind show, to those following you, what direction you are going and they simply follow that direction to find more tracks and keep following you.

Unless you change terrain types to make it harder to follow your tracks:

You must make another Survival check every time the tracks become difficult to follow.

Going into harder ground (DC 20), like mountains, should force the creature to make another Survival check (which they have no reason to not take-10) to find your new tracks.

Hard Ground: Any surface that doesn’t hold footprints at all, such as bare rock or an indoor floor. Most streambeds fall into this category, since any footprints left behind are obscured or washed away. The creature leaves only traces (scuff marks or displaced pebbles).

Even better would be to skip using the ground at all, and for that, rivers are your friends (if you can swim).

Do note that creatures using Scent to follow tracks ignore the surface conditions and poor visibility, so going into harder ground will not help you escape. But elks normally are bad climbers.

Scent-concealing Effects

Usually, prevent being tracked by scent is something you have to prepare yourself for, as there are items, feats and spells to prevent scent to being used against you, such as:

Start a fire

If you can, attempt to start a forest fire behind you (the local druids will not like it). The smoke created should count as a diversion and should make it much harder to follow your scent and even walk around due to the risk of hurting themselves.

Even with all the smoke, you should consider fleeing with the wind, never against it.

Exhaust the pursuers

You can attempt to outrun your pursuers, especially if you have healing spells and they do not, by simply passing on constitution checks (and hoping they fail).

A fatigued creature cannot run. While an exhausted creature moves at half speed. Anything that would cause a fatigued creature to become fatigued again, would now cause them to be exhausted instead.

A character can hustle (more twice as fast) for one hour between sleep circles without problem, and for each additional hour, they take 1 point of nonlethal damage and become fatigued.

Walking more than 8 hours per day counts as a forced march:

Forced March: In a day of normal walking, a character walks for 8 hours. The rest of the daylight time is spent making and breaking camp, resting, and eating.

A character can walk for more than 8 hours in a day by making a forced march. For each hour of marching beyond 8 hours, a Constitution check (DC 10, +2 per extra hour) is required. If the check fails, the character takes 1d6 points of nonlethal damage. A character who takes any nonlethal damage from a forced march becomes fatigued. Eliminating the nonlethal damage also eliminates the fatigue. It’s possible for a character to march into unconsciousness by pushing himself too hard.

They can also make a forced march, but for the creature being mounted, this damage is lethal and they automatically fail their constitution checks:

Mounted Movement: A mount bearing a rider can move at a hustle. The damage it takes when doing so, however, is lethal damage, not nonlethal damage. The creature can also be ridden in a forced march, but its Constitution checks automatically fail, and the damage it takes is lethal damage. Mounts also become fatigued when they take any damage from hustling or forced marches.

That said, if you have any means of healing yourself, you can remove the fatigued condition from marching or hustling.

Wilderness Pursuit

The GM may consider to set up a Pursuit (from Ultimate Intrigue), which allows one character to chase another for long distances and creates challenges for both the quarry and the pursuer.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Good answer, but rivers are not my halfling's friend at a -1 swim modifier. \$\endgroup\$ – FrancisJohn Jul 10 '17 at 18:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ I would look for a boat. \$\endgroup\$ – ShadowKras Jul 10 '17 at 18:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ Is this suggesting swimming, or wading? If wading, perhaps this should say "stream" — "river" is generally reserved for wide and deep flows. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Jul 10 '17 at 18:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie i am not sure how a low stream would affect scent. There is still a surface after all. \$\endgroup\$ – ShadowKras Jul 10 '17 at 19:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ Actually I am by the coast of the sea. GM said swimming was a DC 13. I was exploring other options. \$\endgroup\$ – FrancisJohn Jul 10 '17 at 19:06

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