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Chapter 3: Subsystems / Chases

Running a Chase

Source Gamemastery Guide pg. 158
When running a chase, narrate the scene and give vivid descriptions of the obstacles the PCs face, rather than just reading off a list of skills and immediately having the players start rolling dice and making checks. A chase is a framework for roleplaying, not just a dice game. Encourage the PCs to describe what they’re doing, and how they’re helping their comrades overcome each obstacle.

Typically, it’s best to tell the players the DCs of the default options, so they can make informed decisions. At the least, you should indicate the relative difficulty of the clear paths. The PCs are adventurers, so they’re experienced at assessing which path is going to be easier or harder.

Try to make it feel like the PCs are really part of a chase scene, like in a movie. As each side makes progress, describe how they pull ahead or close the gap. PCs far from their foes might hear shouts in the distance. As they get closer, they catch glimpses, and then finally see their quarry in full view once they’re on the enemies’ heels. Think about how the events of the chase affect the environment, as well. For instance, if a kaiju is chasing after the PCs, after the PCs overcome an obstacle consisting of a thick copse of trees, you could describe how the kaiju flattens the trees beneath its feet as it stomps after them.

Visual Aids

Source Gamemastery Guide pg. 158
It can help your players visualize the chase to use a series of cards or a rough map (such as a large-scale city map rather than a 5-foot grid) to show locations. Use one miniature or token to represent each side of the chase. You might place cards with obstacle names on them face down, revealing them as PCs reach them, and letting a PC peek at an upcoming card if they scout it from a distance.

If the PCs get Stuck

Source Gamemastery Guide pg. 158
Sometimes despite their best efforts, an obstacle will stymie the PCs over and over again. In most cases, after 3 rounds of the PCs struggling with an obstacle that requires the standard number of Chase Points, it’s a good idea to just say they found another way around it. If the obstacle requires more or fewer Chase Points, you can change the number of rounds before letting them get past it. If presenting another way around the obstacle just doesn’t make sense, such as if a spherical barrier completely blocks the PCs, you might introduce an NPC or other outside force that can help them bypass it, but at a high cost.