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Coalbeach

Hunting Creatures

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Hi, one of my PC's is a hunter, and he hunts big game and also wrangles animals in the hopes to tame them/ ride them. I really want the hunting experience for him to be good, so does anyone have any suggestions on how i might run a hunt, that would be exciting, realistic and challenging. Ive looked through the rules and seen creatures in the rules but nothing on how to run a good hunt. maybe i'm overlooking something. We tried a little test run but I don't think it was very fun/ interesting. all comments appreciated. :) 

Edited by Coalbeach

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It might be easier to answer these questions if there was a purpose for the hunt.  Ideally there should be a motive, and probably a clock, like:  "we need the anal gland from a male silverback Nexu-Monkey because it's the base for the antidote for the poisoned (insert mentor, other PC, NPC we care about, etc).  If we can't get back in time, or the gland isn't fresh and dripping, the poisoned person will (die, turn into a werewolf, etc)."

Once you have a purpose, the rest gets a lot easier.  But at a minimum they need to find one (Survival) and track it.  Does it roam, or does it have a lair?  A creature that roams can figure out it's being hunted and turn the tables with ambushes; while a creature with a lair might have traps (either set up if it's clever, or just as a natural consequence).

Every skill test should have a consequence and you have to be careful about bottlenecking...if they can't find one in the first place, there's kind of no point to the exercise, so be sure to "fail forward".  But I guess at a minimum you could have specific tests for:

  • Survival:  tracking, behaviour prediction
  • Endurance:  can they keep up if the creature is speedy or steady?
  • Xenology:  maybe Nexu-Monkey anal glands are notoriously difficult to harvest without spoiling it or losing all the juice
  • Vigilance:  if the target turns the tables and ambushes
  • Stealth:  obvious
  • Deception:  setting a trap of your own
  • Cool:  waiting for the precise moment to ambush the target

I don't ask for constant checks.  Ideally I'd start with a Survival check to establish how long it will take to get a bead on a suitable target.  If they do poorly, I might suggest that the tracks are old, so if they work hard they might catch up...this would be Endurance, and poor results here will cause Strain and even Wounds (careless barging through the forest).  And either of these with poor results could alert the target to being followed, but the main point is that failure doesn't put a stop to their progress.  If Survival suggests they are getting close, Stealth can maybe get them to Extreme range.  At that point I might switch over to structured time.  Note that if the target is aware, being at Extreme range doesn't mean the PCs see the target, only that they are sure the target is somewhere near.  The target might be planning something of their own, and it can become a game of cat and mouse.

The initiative rules are kind of lame in this game, so don't be afraid to allow free initial maneuvers or even actions if the target or the PC do particularly well.

Lastly, if the encounter is too short, don't be afraid to have the target flee, even if they are "winning".  Most animals don't stick around to suffer injury unless they are protecting their young.  Tracking an injured animal can extend the encounter as needed, and add more danger if the PCs are having an easy time of it.

 

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Adding to the previous responses.

Where is the target the PC wants to hunt found? A private game reserve where non-members are never allowed. A protected wildlife habitat where no hunting is allowed. A dangerous and unforgiving environment that could kill a PC quickly if they error somehow. The local a prey target resides can make for a colorful and exciting hunt, as can other species who might also hunt in the region the prey is found, whether that species hunts that prey or something else. 

If the target is protected by law, tradition or another form restriction, a PC may have a difficult time just getting around or through those. Say a target is protected on planet X by a local primitive tribe, they don't speak galactic common so to communicate the PC will need to find a protocol droid that won't scare the tribe and can communicate with the tribe. Next, after establishing communication, somehow convince the tribe to let them hunt, to do so requires passing a number of tribal warrior tests. Thirdly, completing that, the PC must hunt in the traditional way, constructing the sacred hunting lance on their own. Lastly, they can hunt, using only their hands and the lance they've made. 

That's a hunt.

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On 4/7/2019 at 12:24 AM, whafrog said:

Deception:  setting a trap of your own

I can't seem to find a good page in my books right now to back it up but I'm pretty sure that setting up traps should be skulduggery, maybe mechanics or even survival. But not deception which is a skill for social interactions (I may stand corrected if I'm wrong here).

Other obvious contenders for the list would be perception, maybe resilience in hostile hunting grounds, discipline for fear or suffering from hunger/thirst if things dont go well. coordination/athletics for a chase in difficult terrain.

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1 hour ago, Shizuya said:

I can't seem to find a good page in my books right now to back it up but I'm pretty sure that setting up traps should be skulduggery, maybe mechanics or even survival.

Good point, for some reason I blanked on skulduggery.

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