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Chase Rules

Credit

The rules on this page are taken from the excellent blog "Geek Related" and the text can be found in its original entirety here.
Exciting chase scenes, the staple of action movies everywhere, are very hard by default because though every other part of the rules has variance built in – from stats to skills to damage – movement has always been completely static. “30 feet a round whether you need it or not!”

The Movement Check

A character’s Move check is +2 per 5′ of base speed.  For an unencumbered human that moves 30′, that’s +12.  In a self-powered race like a footrace, you can add your Str bonus to this in a given round but then have to make a DC 15 Fort save to not become fatigued from the exertion. Use this same formula for other movement types (riding, swimming) because it takes differing speeds into account well. As a bonus, this means you can have a chase where various participants are using different modes of movement.

The Chase Track

Rather than keeping up with specific distances, a chase has distance represented by an arbitrary condition track.  It’s defined relative to whoever’s in the lead, and has six levels -

  1. Close Contact – within melee range of leader.  Subject to all obstacles the leader has to deal with.
  2. Point Blank – close range (all those “within 30 feet” powers proc here).  Take leader’s obstacles or take an alternate path at DC 20.
  3. Short – Take leader’s obstacles or an alternate path at DC 15.  -2 on ranged attacks.
  4. Medium – From this far back, it’s usually easy to avoid obstacles.  -4 on ranged attacks.
  5. Long – -6 on ranged attacks.
  6. Lost – you done lost ‘em.   If you have allies still in the chase and you can still run (not fatigued or just giving up) you can run after them sufficiently to at least arrive on the scene once it’s all over, but you can’t get back into the actual chase.

For each 5 points by which you beat the leader’s movement check,  you close by one category on the track; similarly you slip back by one for each 5 points by which you miss their check.

Chase participants start at a chase level that makes sense – if they are right there with the leader and take off after them when they take off, they can start at point blank.  If they’re a round of movement away, or pause to shoot or take another action before they get going, start them at medium range.

Obstacles

In a chase, there’s a bunch of different kinds of obstacles and complications that can come up.  Here’s a sample but not comprehensive list.  In general the checks to pass these obstacles are DC 15.  If you fail the check, you drop back one level on the chase track; if you miss by 5 you take 1d6 nonlethal damage from a collision or similar mishap.  This is an urban specific list.  In a crowded urban environment, each round has a 1 in 3 chance of bringing a mandatory obstacle, or the leader can deliberately head towards obstacles as desired.  Roll 1d8 for what type, or choose one:

  1. Simple (Acrobatics, attack an object) – barrels, gate, street vendor’s blanket, etc.
  2. Barrier (Acrobatics) – fruit cart, unexpected turn
  3. Wall (Climb) – traditional “end of alley” wall, fence
  4. Gap (Acrobatics-jump) – ditch, open manhole, pit
  5. Traffic (Acrobatics/Overrun) – pedestrians, mule team, orc pirates
  6. Squeeze (Escape Artist) – crawlspace, hole in wall
  7. Water (Swim) – river, wharf, pool, fountain
  8. Terrain (Acrobatics) – gravel, mud bank, slick cobblestones

Chase participants farther back on the chase track can choose whether or not to hit the same obstacle.  Chasers in close contact have to negotiate the same obstacles as the leader.  Chasers in point blank can take the obstacle or make an alternate check at DC 20 to avoid it – for example, “I can’t swim, I’m going to run around the reflecting pool instead.”  Chasers at short range can take the obstacle or an alternate check at DC 15.  Chasers farther back can generally avoid routine obstacles, but the DM can require them if it’s logically necessary (the leader swam across the river, for example).

You’d choose different obstacles and skills for other kinds of chase – a horseback chase would use Ride instead of Acrobatics, and a chase in the country would have trees and hedges instead of crates and alleys.

Actions

Anyone in close contact with the leader can conduct melee attacks on them.  Whoever wins initiative gets to determine if attacks or Movement checks happen first.

A character can take a missile attack but automatically drops back one level on the chase track when they do.

If the chase goes a number of rounds equal to anyone’s Con score they have to make DC 20 Fort saves each round or become fatigued, and effectively drop out.

Chase Playtest

For playtest details please see the original site located here.