trail that is easier to follow, not more difficult, and DMs should consider applying a bonus in such conditions. Nevertheless, the new roll must still be made.
Crossed trails mingle the physical signs of each, making tracking difficult. The DM determines if such a situation exists. If so, the ranger's efforts fail. (If the ranger wishes to continue tracking, as described below, he must decide which of the crossed trails to follow.)
An attack from a monster may interrupt the ranger's progress. Further, the ranger may intentionally choose to stop if he needs to rest, eat, or hold a discussion with his companions. Any of these interruptions qualifies as a distraction.
When any of these conditions occur, the ranger loses the trail. To continue tracking the quarry, he must spend at least an hour exploring the immediate area for new signs of the trail. A ter an hour of searching, he makes a new Tracking check, based on a Tracking score calculated from the new conditions (if the illumination has changed from daylight to twilight, he must now modify his Tracking score by -3). If other trackers assist the ranger, modify the tracking check by +1 per assistant; add the bonus to the Tracking score of the most adept tracker. This bonus is limited to +1 per 3 levels of the ranger (round up). If the check succeeds, the ranger may continue following the trail as before. If he fails the check, he has lost the trail for good.
By noticing details that other characters might overlook--the depth of a footprint, the thickness of a snapped branch, a hair caught in barbed bush--the ranger can deduce a sizeable amount of information about his quarry. The more skilled the ranger, the more information he deduces.
Whenever a ranger makes a successful Tracking check, he may then attempt an Identification check. The Identification check uses the same score and modifiers as the Tracking check; essentially, the Identification check is a second Tracking check.
If the Identification check is successful, the DM provides the ranger with some information about the quarry based on the guidelines in Table 19. The ranger's experience level determines the type of information he receives. The information is cumulative; that is, a 6th-level ranger who makes a successful Identification check receives all types of information available to rangers of level 6 and below.
The DM provides only general information, not exact details. At his discretion, the DM may give more precise or less specific information than suggested in Table 19. The information may be ambiguous ("The tracks resemble those of a large bird, though they could have been made by some sort of reptilian creature.") but the DM shouldn't intentionally mislead the ranger (for instance, by telling him the tracks were de initely made by a bird when in fact they were made by a reptile). The parenthetical comments in Table 19 indicate how a DM might respond to a ranger studying tracks that were made by a pair of juvenile red dragons, each with a human rider.