Faster! They’re Getting Away!

Work continues on our first for-sale product, a one-shot convention-style adventure featuring the heroic Anklebiter League. I’ll be running the first public playtests this weekend at Con-Jour in Clear Lake, Texas. I’m corresponding with a fantastic artist to do the cover (and maybe some of the interior).

Part of the adventure will feature a chase scene. I hunted around the Internet for d20-style chase rules and cobbled these together from what I found:

Chase Rules
A chase scene is a type of combat. All combatants are in motion, whether they be running, riding, flying, et cetera. A chase takes place round to round in initiative order, but the special conditions of the chase require a few special rules.

Actions During the Chase
Here’s where the normal rules must give way to fun. During the chase, everyone is moving all-out all the time, which would normally mean you don’t get to do anything else that round. How dull. Actions during a chase work differently. In addition to moving all-out, you get to perform a single standard or move action each round.

Terrain Checks
At the beginning of your turn, you must make a Terrain Check. This is a straight 1d20 roll against the chase terrain’s DC. There are three categories of terrain: open (DC 3), close (DC 6), and tight (DC 9). If you fail your Terrain Check, you must draw a card from the Chase Deck*. This will probably dictate what you must do for your action during the round.

Close terrains impose a -2 penalty on Notice checks but a +2 bonus on anything to do with tricky maneuvering or hiding. Tight terrains impose a -4 penalty on Notice checks but provide a +4 bonus on anything to do with tricky maneuvering or hiding.

The basic action in a chase is to Chase. This is a Strength check against a Difficulty of 15. If you succeed, you gain on your opponent by one chase increment. You receive a +2 on this check if you have the Run feat. If your faster than your opponent, you get another +2 bonus. If you opponent has the Run feat, you receive a -2 penalty on the check. If he’s faster, you get a -2 penalty as well. In place of a Strength check, you can attempt a stunt using any of your skills that you can convince the DM is reasonable.

You can forgo your Chase action in order to take a standard or move action of another sort, to include attacking your opponent. These other actions automatically cause you to lose one chase increment (unless, of course, you manage to stop your opponent).

Chase Increments
It doesn’t make sense to try to count squares, draw on battlemats, et cetera, during a chase. Instead, each chaser has a distance from the pursued expressed as one of five chase increments: Point-Blank, Short, Medium, Long, and Extreme.

The DM determine the range for each pursuer when the chase begins. Characters at Point-Blank can use melee attacks against each other. Characters at Medium range suffer a -2 penalty on ranged attacks, and characters at Long range suffer a -4 penalty. For purposes of spells, if the chase increment exceeds the spell’s range category, then the opponent is too far away to target. Characters at Extreme range cannot target their opponent.

* The Chase Deck is a small deck of 20 or so cards, each one with a specific, exciting chase-related event to thrill and challenge the players.

January 27th, 2010  in RPG 2 Comments »

2 Responses to “Faster! They’re Getting Away!”

  • Phoenix says:

    Looks OK but I had a question. So if I understand correctly if my opponent moves at a 10, and I move at a 90, I get +2 on my check and get one ‘chase increment’ closer?

    Wouldn’t a +1 per 10ft of speed difference be oh so much more realistic?

  • admin says:

    More realistic? Sure, but that’s not the goal. The goal is speed, playability, and ignoring cases wherein the chase rules would be unnecessary, such as a 80 ft. per move difference in speed.

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