ED4 Chase scenes

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Dougansf
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ED4 Chase scenes

Post by Dougansf » Thu Dec 22, 2016 1:31 pm

I was curious if others had good options for how to manage non-combat time chase scenes. Namely on foot, but other travel methods might also apply.

Which Talents/Skills play a factor? Do you take Movement rate into account, or go a little more abstract?

Lys
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Re: ED4 Chase scenes

Post by Lys » Thu Dec 22, 2016 6:18 pm

Using movement rate in this situation can render the chase scene dull and predictable, since greatest movement rate wins. What you should do is take into account that in a chase scene when you're moving through, over, and around obstacles so there's more in play than just raw speed, and also speed varies between individuals. The best way to do this is probably to halve the character's movement rate (they're all even numbers in ED4) and then add it as a bonus to a Dexterity roll to determine who is pulling ahead or catching up. You can also use Strength rolls instead in situations where it makes sense, such as jumps or muscling through a crowd. As for Talents, well Spring adds to your movement rate, and both Great Leap and Gliding Stride give you additional movement options. So if one character Gliding Strides over a pond, and the other character has no means to get over it, then they'll have to go around, possibly losing their quarry. Same deal for a character Great Leaping a big vertical height, if the other character can't match that it becomes necessary to climb the normal way. This an apply both ways, while the quarry can use such talents to get away, the chaser can also use said talents to take a short-cut and cut off their prey.

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etherial
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Re: ED4 Chase scenes

Post by etherial » Thu Dec 22, 2016 6:35 pm

Dougansf wrote:I was curious if others had good options for how to manage non-combat time chase scenes. Namely on foot, but other travel methods might also apply.

Which Talents/Skills play a factor? Do you take Movement rate into account, or go a little more abstract?
I find such things highly scene-dependent. Can you give us more details? Is this more like James Bond chasing a dude through a construction site or "They're taking the Hobbits to Isengard"?

Dougansf
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Re: ED4 Chase scenes

Post by Dougansf » Thu Dec 22, 2016 6:52 pm

etherial wrote: I find such things highly scene-dependent. Can you give us more details? Is this more like James Bond chasing the Russian Spy with the microfilm through the marketplace or "They're taking the Hobbits to Isengard"?
I was looking for any and all options/opinions to get some brainstorming going.

Here's what happened in my last session:
PC's are on the hunt for a Thief in a large town. After they make some Awareness rolls and such to locate him, they give chase.

I had them roll their choice of a few options (Astral Sight (via Sense spell), Awareness, Tracking, Dexterity (there are not a lot of movement based Talents in the party yet)) to give chase vs. the targets Silent Stride test result. Once they hit 5 Successes, they cornered the Thief in an alleyway.

This is what I came up with on the fly, but I was curious if there was some obscure rule, or if others have used some other method.

Tattered Rags
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Re: ED4 Chase scenes

Post by Tattered Rags » Thu Dec 22, 2016 8:47 pm

When trying to help with airship stuff over on the old forums, I put down some (lengthy) ideas for chase rules. The first part is definitions, chasing, then racing. There were some ideas for long distance pursuit, but I cut them for this discussion.

Stats related to moving and speed.
Movement: Vehicles, whether pulled by animals or fly from True Air and the collective will of it's crew, have a Movement stat. This represents their motion inside combat and directly relates to the same stat on creatures and Namegivers. The Movement for an average airship is 0 (Flying 18). Compare that to a horse at 16 and a Common Great Dragon has 16 (Flying 24).
Cruising Speed: Only Vehicles have this stat, which are anything that requires something other than an animal (e.g.: crewed ships, such as T'Skrang riverboats, airships, and seagoing vessels, but not normal wagon or a horse-drawn boat). This stat represents the ability of some vehicles to travel at a constant speed so long as things are going well and everyone makes their rolls. It directly translates into the Overland Speed of a vehicle and is 3 times the Movement, so an airship has a Cruising Speed of 54 (yards per 6-second round). This translates to 294 miles in a 16 hour trip. Close enough to match the Travel Rate Table of 300 miles.
Chase Speed: This is 4 times the movement and is the extra effort of trying to pursue someone. An average airship has a Chase Speed of 72 while a Human can go 48 and a Common Great Dragon is at 64 (Flying 96). This is used in all of the Chase and Pursuit rules.
Overland Speed: Since I mentioned this earlier, I'll fill in the details. This is the average speed of overland travel as calculated from the Travel Rate Table on page 126 of the GMG. I'm not going to bother doing the math here, but realize that it's not always the Cruising Speed from above due to animals needing to rest more than a crew taking shifts. For example, a Namegiver on foot can go 30 miles in 8 hours. That's a movement of 9.2 yards per round.

Tracking, Shadowing, Pursuit & Chase Rules
Tracking

Tracking using the rules for Tracking as given for the Talent description on page 175 of the PG, or some similar skill or Talent as appropriate. Probably should default to Perception. I would think the Tracking Talent might even allow people to track boats on the water or ships in the air. I'll let better people figure that out, especially since it's not directly relevant. I just bring it up to spark ideas. Regardless, I mention Tracking because sometimes you have to find someone before you can follow them. Basic Perception test to spot a ship off the starboard bow, or wherever (note: horizon is about 2.9 miles away for someone on the ground and 12.2 miles away if 100 feet up, such as in a crow's nest; telescopes don't change the horizon, but do make identifying the thing easier).

Shadowing
This would be a Stealthy Stride test with the followed person rolling Perception tests to notice the Adept. See the rules on page 170 in the PG. Remember that your movement rate is halved for this. I, personally, would allow you to use the Chase rules for this, but your Chase Speed would be halved, you would have penalties, and the chased person would get bonuses to spot you. While it may be odd for someone to run from "nothing", it's always possible. For example, the shadow may only be one of the pursuers.

Chase Rules
Chases are all on the scale of six-second rounds, just like normal combat. This includes Vehicles. Make Chase Tests every round and Endurance Tests every 3 rounds.
Chase Tests: Make appropriate piloting skill roll, whether that is Air Sailing, Pilot Boat, Swimming, Running (new skill, discussed below), or something else. Default is likely Dexterity. This is against a base difficulty of X (I think the base difficulty might change depending on the activity, but I'd start with a 4 for running and swimming, as that's what Swimming in Calm Water has, and maybe 10 for ships and boats, because that sounds hard to me). This number is then modified based on weather, terrain, etc. That requires too much balancing for me to bother with at this time.
Endurance Tests: Toughness (7) instead of against a 10. However, failure nets a -1 all the same. Recovery is 1 per minute of rest. Vehicle crews do not make Endurance tests!
Success and Failure: The fastest participant is trying to get 3 successes while every other slower participant wants to get 3 + 1/5 the difference in their Chase Speeds (round up). First to their goal wins, either catching up or getting away. (edit: I defined chase speed as 4x movement earlier. Probably a better way to do this.)
Possible actions: Chase Tests are considered sustained actions. However, they can be treated as a simple action for 1 round if the participant takes a +5 difficulty to the Chase Test. This means they could cast a spell or some other action (Crunch Climb or Icy Surface might come in handy).
Distance Covered: If distance covered matters, assume everyone moves at the highest Chase Speed.
Distance between participants: I'm not sure how to make this simple. I'd determine the difference in remaining successes (much like with the Race position rules below) and then multiply that by the lowest Movement (if pursuer is faster) or highest movement (if pursued is faster). Not fully thought out, I'll admit.
Running skill: Rank + TOU step; this is training to do extended running.
Groups: if rolling for a group, use the best piloting skill and the slowest Chase Speed for figuring everything. Endurance rolls can be abstracted in this way, too, using the highest Toughness and increasing the difficulty by 1 for each participant on their side.

Racing
Racing rules are an adaptation of the Chase Rules. Instead of 3 successes, the goal is to get some higher number, depending on the length of the race. The participants all start at the same place, but position can be determined by how many successes they still need to get to win. Whichever hads the fewest successes left is winning. If two or more have the same number of successes remaining, then they are tied and probably within melee range.

Example
Two Chariots are in a race together. Chariot A is faster at a Chase Speed of 56. Chariot B is not much slower with a Chase Speed of 52. The difference is 4. Chariot A needs to get 10 successes to finish the race while Chariot B needs 11 (10 + 4/5, rounded up). After the first round, both chariots have 2 successes. This means that Chariot A has pulled slightly ahead (10 - 2 = 8) of Chariot B (11 - 2 = 9). 8 is less than 9, so Chariot A is winning.
Later in the race, Chariot A has 8 success while Chariot B has 9. They are now neck and neck, both needing only 2 successes to win. (10 - 8 = 2 vs 11 - 9 = 2). At this point, Chariot A decides to take a +5 increase to the difficulty on their Chase Test by making it a Simple Action. They use their Standard Action to stab a spear at the other Chariot. They hit, but unfortunately they do not take out the other driver, and this close to the finish this proved a bad idea.
The very next round Chariot B gets 2 successes while Chariot A gets only 1. Chariot B wins! Yay!
Last edited by Tattered Rags on Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Tattered Rags
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Re: ED4 Chase scenes

Post by Tattered Rags » Thu Dec 22, 2016 8:59 pm

Rereading the above for the umpteenth time, I'm not sure why I thought of the whole chase speed thing. Wherever I say 1/5 chase speed difference, perhaps use just 1/3 difference in movements.

I don't know. I just really like how it adapts to racing.
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The Undying
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Re: ED4 Chase scenes

Post by The Undying » Fri Dec 23, 2016 2:25 am

Since we're in the GM forum :evil:

Two big questions I'd tackle with the idea of a chase scene: do you actually want them to catch the NPC, and what kind of drama are you trying to build by adding a chase scene. I'd generally take the opinion that movement rate is pretty irrelevant: you either want them to catch the NPC or you don't. If you don't want them to catch the NPC, then there should either be a couple of "oooohhhh, so close, just a little further" before losing ground or there should be a final "NPC squeezes through a closing blast door at the last second and our heroes can't pursue" situation (which will likely make the PCs feel a bit robbed). But, if you want one of the two outcomes, movement rolls become irrelevant (though some people like rolling dice, so encourage it if they do): the NPC will stumble a few times if the PCs are rolling poorly if the NPC is to be caught, or unexpected obstacles will jump in front of PCs doing well if the NPC is to escape.

So, if you agree with this baseline, then the question ultimate becomes: how can the chase be made interesting?
- Running through a dense city? Prepare a fairly robust random encounter chart, have them roll on that until they have X number of "no significant time lost" encounters. Lots of fun but entirely brief, combat-unnecessary (unless desired) things can happen when you're bolting through alleys.
- Airship chase? There are sudden/desperate maneuvers that can be made (with poor rolling NPCs being NEARLY thrown from the vessel but catching on railing or rope), traps that can be thrown, etc.
- Foot chase? Again, depending on terrain, lots of opportunity to trip, turn, briars to scurry through, etc.

I'd really say that the core element of a chase scene is urgency. Don't let the players overly discuss things, don't let them take a huge amount of time thinking and deciding. Talk a bit quickly, maybe gesticulate a bit, when a sudden obstacle appears, introduce it suddenly ("OH ^*#@, A LOG!"). Presentation can make the experience feel very much more than "roll until X successes," even if that's really all they're doing.

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Re: ED4 Chase scenes

Post by Tattered Rags » Fri Dec 23, 2016 2:34 am

I have to agree with everything The Undying wrote, except that sometimes you should have contingencies for either capture or escape.
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The Undying
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Re: ED4 Chase scenes

Post by The Undying » Fri Dec 23, 2016 3:56 am

Too true. Nothing says "wow, that was weak" then a GM miraculously saving an NPC because they didn't account for some predictable exceptions. Had this happen in a D&D game (which, to be fair to the GM, was just a poorly written encounter for the Wizards-published adventure). Half-orc pretty much unexpectedly punched a red mage through the floor, he hit him so hard, and that mage was OUT. Moments later, said mage "uses the party's distraction" to jump out a window and Fly away. Group response? "... That's f-ed up, dude."

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Re: ED4 Chase scenes

Post by Slimcreeper » Fri Dec 23, 2016 2:38 pm

I've never thought deeply about this, but for my purposes it would need to be a rule that I can fit in about 2 sentences, and then wing the rest of it. Generally I would let the dice decide the results of a chase, just like I would for a combat. Were I to house rule something on the fly, it would be something like the slowest pursuer would make Initiative tests against the lowest Initiative step of the pursued. 3 successes in a row catches that pokemon, 3 fails in a row and the pokemon gets away. Things that others have suggested that I like: adding half the move rate (although if you're adding it to both sides, there's not really a need to half them), adding an Endurance test for all involved every 3 rounds, and using other talents as appropriate.

So, it's more than 2 sentences, but ... The GM decides what tests are required. Usually this is an Initiative test, made by one of the pursuers with the lowest movement rate against the initiative Step of the slowest of the pursed. Three successes in a row means they have caught up. Set up combat with the pursuers within combat move of the slowest pursued; roll initiative. Three fails in a row means the pursued escaped. Every 3 rounds, all of the characters make a Toughness test against the number of rounds the pursuit has gone on (so 3, then 6, then 9 ...) Pursuers that fail are out of the chase. Pursued that fail get caught; set up combat with them. Some or all of the pursuers can ignore them and keep running. Players can say things like, "I use Great Leap to hurdle a grocer's cart as a short cut," and then use Great Leap in place of Initiative. The GM can also decide that another type of test is appropriate - the first test is initiative, the second climbing as they scale a fence, the third swimming as they cross a river. Either way, on that 3rd round, everyone also makes an Endurance test to see who is still in the running.

You can use contested rolls if you like, or if the PCs are the pursued, they can make the rolls. Since the average result = step, I usually just use that as the DN and let the players roll.

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