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Instead of having the range of the local list act as a constant value, have it be a range (with a universal set minimum for humans) that can be modified by specialized pets (hunting or guard dogs), enchants, items, artifacts, skills (Forest Lore, passive Tracking unlocked at a level), actions, etc. In addition, there can be various ways of hindering a target's senses or blocking one's smell. Hunters using deer urine as a RL example (alchemy on a butchered bladder). Let the range be based on some formula using characteristics such as the five senses: smell, taste, hearing, vision, and touch. This can also include animals being listed nearby within your range of "senses". A player's actions would also impact their showing up in "local" from further away, whether it range from noisily moving through brush to hammering metal. Weather can even play a role, by smells drifting further downwind (get some soap in this game though, one could smell the more flowery soaps). Extreme heat evaporating scent molecules faster. For that matter, taking a Deep Breath could let one find a nearby bush or plant within season. Changes to the general ambiance of an area the player is familiar with... the sounds of birds and critters suddenly vanish, major red flag. In many ways this is related to Tracking and possible overhauls therein.