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Old 04-26-2016, 08:08 AM
Melrak Melrak is offline
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Chase scenes - how do YOU run them? [Pathfinder]

Hello everyone!

I'm pretty new here, but this thread marks the start of my quest to graduate from the "New Member" to the "Member" status!, onto the actual point.

How do you - as DM - run Chase Scenes?

I'm usually playing Pathfinder, and they have Rules for running chases.

However, I've found homebrewed Chase rules (If you look at the original source of these rules, he has expanded upon them to cover a chased group splitting up, and using chase rules to escape combat) that seem much more interesting.

Unfortunately, I haven't had the chance to test either of the two rulesets for myself, so I'm asking you - who hopefully has more experience in this matter - how you run Chase Scenes or Chase/Fight Scenes.

Bonus points if you describe how you run Vehicle Chases. (Or Vehicle Chase Fights!)
Old 04-26-2016, 02:32 PM
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Savage Worlds in this case has a brilliant Chase rules system. The only downside is that for rules-as-written, it does require a deck of cards, so that limits its use as-is for forum play. But it handles foot chases, vehicle chases, spacecraft chases, and even (with 1 tweak) can be used to emulate combat between mobile combatants (such as fighter jet dogfights or spacecraft battles).

The system is basically:
  • everyone rolls the relevant trait (agility, riding, piloting, etc) each round
  • everyone gets to draw some cards (depending on how well they rolled) and pick one
  • characters can only attack characters with an equal or lower card that round to represent maneuvering

There's a little more to it than that, but that's the basics. Set a number of rounds for the chase to take (5 or 10 usually) and that's how long one side has to stop the other from escaping. To turn it into a mobile combat emulator, just remove the duration.

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Old 04-26-2016, 07:31 PM
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Gumshoe also has cool chase rules that you could adapt to D20 of any flavor.

Originally Posted by FreeTrailofCthulhuCondensedRules
A contest is used when one character tries to thwart the actions of another character which pitches the ability of one against the other. Examples are a car chase testing Driving ability or a foot chase testing Athletics/Fleeing abilities. The Keeper determines which ability is being tested for each character and the difficulty level of each character’s test.

The order of testing is then determined:

-Fleers test before pursuers or, if not a pursuit contest:

-The character with the lowest rating in their tested ability goes first.

-If tied, an NPC tests before a player character.

-If player characters tie, the player who arrived last to the game session goes first.

Each character attempts a test roll (and can choose to spend any available pool points in their tested ability to add to the die roll before rolling). The process is repeated until one of the test rolls is failed. The first character to fail loses the overall contest.

Example Pursuit as a Contest:
A Deep One pursues an investigator through the sewers.

The investigator has to test Fleeing or Athletics ability at difficulty level 4.

The Deep One handles sewers better than a human so the difficulty level for its test is 3. It tests against Athletics.

The investigator is the fleer so tests first, then the Deep One tests, and they continue in that way.

If the investigator fails first, they are caught. If the Deep One fails first, the investigator escapes.
Old 05-04-2016, 07:45 AM
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For simplicity's sake, divide movement speed by 5 (for a +6 with normal medium characters) and add Dexterity for short sprints, and Constitution for long pursuits.

3 opposed checks: Better 2 out of 3 results in the chase ending.
The characters may make other opposed checks to up the ante, and if the other party can't beat the DC, they are counted as if they lost one of the opposed checks.
Old 05-04-2016, 08:22 AM
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That is actually a good way of D&Diifying the GUMSHOE method I posted above.

If you wanted to crunch it up a bit with the best out of three, you could base the first roll on Reflex save (quickest to respond), base the second roll on move + Dex (for initial burst of speed), and base the third roll on move + Con (for a bit of endurance). Best two out of three wins, reroll ties. Then you could narrate the scene after interpreting the rolls.
Old 11-28-2018, 08:21 AM
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I actually just use a set of about 20 lamented cards that I drew that have different hazards that I flavor to the specific environment.

for example one is a T-intersection with some obstacles in the straight away that can be either rocks in a canyon or barrels in an alley and i have the DCs for any checks written on the back with modifiers for level.

Before a chase I'll shuffle the deck and pull them one at a time. The cards are square as well so they can come out in different rotations.

My players love it.
Old 12-03-2018, 02:21 PM
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I have another idea for chase scenes than everything mentioned above.

The idea of rolling Reflex saves, and constant checks seems much too weird too me for actual real play. Especially if it requires a deck of cards, calculating movement speed, etc.

Instead, I use a version of Skill Challenges advocated by Matt Colville. It makes chase scenes tense, exciting and an opportunity for the whole group to act together!
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Last edited by JKTrickster; 12-23-2019 at 02:55 AM. Reason: phrasing. Specifically, you were implying that all the other ways of doing things were bad.
Old 04-03-2020, 01:58 PM
jefobe jefobe is offline
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The Pathfinder chase deck is rather useful here. I find that you have to edit it to tailor it to the chase. I tend to use in conjunction with a few checks to add and interesting element to the process.
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