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Old 08-24-2018, 11:17 PM   #46
Join Date: Aug 2018
Default Re: The Woodsman Talent

Originally Posted by Steve Jackson View Post
I don't want to sound like I am splitting hairs, but if a multilevel Woodsman talent is not already justified, why write rules to justify it?

I don't see the need. I also tried drafting a Survival skill for multiple terrains, and then went back and looked at Woodsman, and found that I had only made it more fiddly. This may be time to repeat the "This is not GURPS" mantra.In GURPS I could create a whole party of "rangers" and make them all different. TFT is not that crunchy. (My goal for TFT is about a 2.5 on a ten-point scale of crunchiness, where GURPS is a solid 8+.)

I think ending Woodsman with the paragraph below does give some of what is being asked for, though.

"Normally, the knowledge of the Woodsman works automatically to protect the party. In very difficult situations, the GM can require a 3/IQ or harder roll from the Woodsman character, to see if they actually know what to do."
I'll take a shot at justifying Woodsman 2. It's not entirely clear what the difference is supposed to be between Naturalist and Woodsman or how they are supposed to complement each other or what the specific skills of a Woodsman really are. Is the Naturalist more of a biology teacher's knowledge and Woodsman more of military survival instructor/professional hunter type of skill? This fuzziness makes it hard to articulate what should be in Woodsman 2.

I agree that for TFT survival should not be broken into different environments.

I'll just list some missing wilderness skills and see if you think they should be plugged into Naturalist or Woodsman (2?).

Set Wilderness Traps: This is distinct from Mechanician. Mechanicians know how to put spring loaded darts in treasure chests. This is not the same as what Rambo did in First Blood. Mechanician is too high a level of trap building skill and covers too broad a range. But the ability to build a deadfall for rabbits or a swinging spike trap for pigs or men should be available somewhere.

Camoflage: The classic D&D "hide in shadows" thief ability, but in a wilderness setting. Indigenous people have been using this against invaders worldwide for centuries. Perhaps this is covered by Spying, but this should exist in a less costly form only employable in rural settings. This could also cover making a blind, covering a pit of spikes, or otherwise concealing something physical other than a person.

Wilderness Awareness: This is a broader version of the naturalist ability, but for all creatures in a rural area, not just slimes. For instance, prairie dogs have a different alarm call for dogs, coyotes, hawks and snakes. Knowledge of bird and animal calls would make you aware (potentially pretty specifically) of other creatures nearby.

Cross talent skills: Expert Horseman allows training riding animals as if he was an Animal Trainer and healing them as though he were a vet. Could Naturalist or Woodsman make a narrow set of nature based poisons or healing or antidotes as if they were a Chemist? What about Mimic, but only for animal calls? Alertness, but for only 1 point instead of 2 because it only works in rural areas, not town or dungeon (like Wilderness Awareness above).

Aside from the skills above, I can't think of any more missing wilderness skills. But if Naturalist, Mechanician, Thief, Armorer, Seamanship, and Priest all have 2 levels, why not Woodsman?

Right now the only way to become better at Woodsman skill is to bump your IQ. If Woodsman 2 reduced the number of dice or gave a roll bonus you could have people who are great in the woods without having to be geniuses.(especially if you added some of the skills I noted above).

I really think it's reasonable to build up Woodsman a bit.

Last edited by Tenex; 08-25-2018 at 12:27 AM.
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