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Thread: Chase rules

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    Chase rules

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    One thing I have always found missing from D&D and D20 was any sort of chase rules. So many adventure movies have great chase scenes. D&D simply has a races base speed. Assuming all characters of the same race run at exactly the same speed all the time and the faster race will move at 20 ft. per turn and will always catch the slower race or always get away from the slower race. Has anyone ever integrated any sort of chase or race system into a 3rd edition system, or found any supplement source that had such a system? If so how does it work?

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    We had a pretty epic chase in a game I was in once, but we didn't use any existing rules really, we just did what seemed logical. I was chasing something whose base speed was higher than mine, but he had to slow down to go around corners and I'd catch up a little, then I'd hit the corner and slow down too and he'd get a little ahead again.... eventually during one of the closer moments I chucked a dagger at him and crit. Apparently, even though your arms and legs tend to wave around a lot when running, your head stays pretty steady! Though that doesn't really hep you huh? I guess my advice would be to ad-hoc your own rules when the situation presents itself.


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    DM guide 2 has mechanics for a chase.

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    I do something like this:
    When base movement differs, the faster character should win, unless he gets tied up in an obstacle.

    When base movement is the same, make opposing DEX checks, and the difference can be the number of feet gained (lost) in a round. You should probably give the person in the lead a -2 penalty for having to blaze a trail.
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    the malhavoc press book the Book of Roguish Luck has a pretty good section on chasing somebody in a crowd.

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    I think that there should be some rules that allowed a character to push himself to run faster but I have difficulty seeing how such rules could work. Firstly, a human runs faster than a dwarf and no matter how much they both push themselves the dwarf will always have shorter legs and a stockier build though he may have better endurance. My real beef is with characters whose base speed is identical: if they start out with a 50 foot gap between them in theory that gap will remain at least until they have to start rolling for fatigue, though difficult ground etc. might interfere.

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    There is a recently published book for Pathfinder (although it is not an official Pathfinder book) called The Tome of Lost Secrets that has an entire chapter devoted to chases with some extensive and thorough rules for those who love chases.
    "Plan?...There ain't no plan!" - Pigkiller

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    One of my fondest D&D moments was when my Satyr barbarian reliased that he was coming out of his rage next round, the wizard was dead, invisible, and out of spells (no teleport out of the middle of the enemy's base camp), and the haflling rogue was hurt bad. The mission was accomplished the bad guy leader was dead. We had cut the head off the enemy - now we just had to survive the thrashing around!
    My character sheathed his sword, grabbed the rogue, and began walking out of the enemy armies encampment.
    Yes he is fatigued, but he is a satyr (base speed 40) barbarian (+10 speed) which means he can move at 50/round. Our enemies humans in full plate = 20 / round unless they charge = 40 / round or try to chase = triple move = 60 / round but cannot attack.
    Yes! We had ourselves a chase!
    Did the characters make it - no, the wizard was already dead but yes, the rogue and the satyr made it

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    First, Thank you for the replies. Sorry it took me a while to get back to this topic. I wanted to check into the suggestions of DMGII and Book of Roguish Luck.

    The DMGII doesn't really have 'mechanics' for chases. To me it just basically describes what a chase is. "If the pursuer and her quarry have the same speed, the pursuing character needs to gain speed advantages in the course of the pursuit to catch her opponent." But it doesn't explain any mechanic on how they would do that. And then it lists that if they are of different speeds, then the one who has the higher racial speed wins. Which is good for people who want to keep it quick and simple. However, I want to have it where even though it is unlikely the slower person has a chance to get away from or catch the faster person. Much like in combat the weaker character has a chance to win the battle, rather than just compairing their base attack and STR modifiers and declaring the person with the highest score the automatic winner.

    The Book of Roguish Luck did have a good system, but I need to adapt it a little more to my tastes (but I do that with pretty much everything). I figure I will make up an untrained Running skill. Rather than basing it on the DEX modifier as in Roguish Luck, I am thinking of making it an average of the characters Strength and Agility (I seperate the characters manual Dexterity and Agility in my game). Then Constitution modifier will come into play for longer chases. Does that sound reasonable?

    I will try to find Tomb of Lost Secrets, it may provide me with some more ideas. (Edit: It's actually the Tome of Secrets. I found the pdf online and am going to order it)

    Of course there will be other things I will need to add on like the effects of obstacles, and criticle fumbles, but that will be easy.
    Last edited by Xandros; 12-20-2009 at 01:51 PM.

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    I could see using a mod number of d4s that add to the base move. The one being chased can choose the obstacle difficulty they want to utilize in the terrain.

    • Maneuvers (zigzag, erratic patterns) = Dex Mod in d4s.
    • Sprint = Con Mod in d4s. (Will save DC15 or suffer temporary -1 Con)
    • Knock over objects to slow down pursuers = Str Mod in d4s subtract from pursuers move.
    • Jump over hurdles with Acrobatics check granting a +d4 for every 5 over the target DC.
    • Fake a direction (Bluff check) +d4 for every +5 over DC.

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    Yeah, you're right. It is The Tome of Secrets. Don't know where I got the 'Lost' part from.
    "Plan?...There ain't no plan!" - Pigkiller

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    Thanks for all the help and info. I've got the stuff I need. However I would like to know what people think of me basing a running skill for chases off of an average of STR and Agility. As I stated, in my game, I have seperated manual Dexterity and Agility (which involves body movement like dodging). I also use an average of 2 attributes on a few other skills that I don't feel are reflected entirely by a single attribute, so it wouldn't be odd. Does using those 2 attributes just seem reasonable to people?

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    I would think a skill for prolonged running/physical exertion would have to be tied to constitution and augmented by endurance feats, etc. Strength figures in naturally in the form of weight allowance etc. so I don't think you should mix that in there. You could use dexterity for dodging but in effect I would adapt tumbling for this purpose.
    Perhaps, rather than making up one or more skills, you should make up a series of obstacles which might be bypassed using existing skills such as jumping, balance and tumble, so that you know which skill rolls may be used to pass different obstacles.

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    I'm referring to just the running/chase part. I already pointed out that Constitution checks would be required for longer chases. I figured Strength not due to the weight allowance, but because it is a physical activity, much like climbing and swimming which both use the Strength modifier. Tumbling would come into effect, if they were doing anything similiar to Tumbling, but not when they are just running.

    Perhaps, rather than making up one or more skills, you should make up a series of obstacles which might be bypassed using existing skills such as jumping, balance and tumble


    Well again those other skills would come into effect during times that they are needed, but not when it is just involving the standard chase. If a chase just happened to break out in a dungeon, I really don't want to suddenly place a bunch of obstacles there for them to bypass using different skills.

    "Okay, you're going to chase the kobold that stole your gear? I didn't mention it before, but there is a set of parallel bars and a balance beam that you will need to get by to catch him."

    Obviously in a street chase or even in a cave, there might be natural obstacles and even things that characters can use, that would require seperate checks, but that is a different story.
    Last edited by Xandros; 12-25-2009 at 12:09 PM.

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    You might be on to something there. Sprinting needs strength, but you burn though CON when you push yourself. Use +5 Move for every +1 in STR used (up to character's max STR mod). Make a Fort Save 10+ (extra move times the number of rounds pushed) or fatigued or CON damage.

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