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Old 01-27-2021, 12:38 AM   #1
FeiLin
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Default Chase limits

In Action 2 there’s some rules for chases. What’s there to limit a chase from dragging out too long? “Ok, round 27, the quarry is at medium range and Moves again; what do you do this time?”

I want to say it costs FP each round (as if a combat had passed) or that instead of requiring a margin of 5+ it doesn’t handle bands but instead directly ties into the speed/range table (so the distance changes by margin of victory / 2, and converting that to bands for effects). The last one might not speed up the chase, but at least adds some more “action”.
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Old 01-27-2021, 08:13 AM   #2
Taneli
 
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Default Re: Chase limits

We already have rules for exhaustion regarding many forms of movement, I think it would be advisable to at least refer to those first.

And also, there are many chases in fiction that take over an extended period of time. The prime one that happened to pop into my mind right now is the one from The Blues Brothers where they drive from the final show to Chicago.

I have to ask, is this a real thing that happened, or something you were just wondering based on reading the rules?
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Old 01-27-2021, 08:44 AM   #3
Kromm
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Default Re: Chase limits

In actual play, somebody usually wipes out due to a bad roll before long . . . or is taken out by being shot, forced, or rammed . . . or gets caught or escapes due to clever choices of maneuvers or good dice rolling (usually enhanced by Luck). If someone is always hovering just out of reach but never quite getting away or getting caught – and nobody decides to try something violent or cool that produces one of the above outcomes – that's a sign that the GM isn't including "suitable scenery," or that the players aren't invoking Serendipity or spending character points for a "Lucky Break."

Remember that this is a cinematic chase system conceived for Action campaigns. It assumes that every hero has Luck and/or Serendipity. It assumes that the players have the right to spend character points to buy outcomes. It assumes clever encounter design with exciting scenery on the GM's part. And it assumes audacity rather than caution on the players' part.

If you want something else, you'll have to adjust the system. For that, you have many options: driver FP, vehicle fuel, or just running out of road. The latter is sort of a generalization of not running combat on infinite featureless plains where people can step and retreat forever without hitting an obstacle. You could easily abstract that just by saying "if the pursuer fails to catch the quarry after x rounds, the quarry gets away" or "if the quarry fails to escape the pursuer after x rounds, they're caught." The former works well for wide-open spaces and transcontinental highways; the latter, for bounded areas. Also don't ignore the possibility of realistic "suitable scenery" in the form of, say, roadblocks because the cops get tired of idiots speeding around in cars . . . or the road ending in the Atlantic Ocean.
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Old 01-27-2021, 09:46 AM   #4
Taneli
 
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Default Re: Chase limits

Oh, right.

"You can't outrun the radio"
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Old 01-27-2021, 11:03 AM   #5
ericthered
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Default Re: Chase limits

I ran a set of simulations to test this out. I attempted to set up the dullest race conditions possible, optimized for a long chase: two equal skill contestants who only ever take move. The average length of chase is 23 rounds, if you start exactly in the middle and don't do anything risky, with a median of 18 rounds.



Changing those parameters changes things fairly quickly. a difference of 1 in skill lowers the average length to 18 and the median to 14, as well as changing the odds from 1:1 to 1:5. Starting somewhere other than the center drops the average to 21 and the median to 16.



If you add stunts, the chase length goes way down. With skill 16 contestants, the average length drops to 13, and the median to 10.


I've often made my chases "go somewhere". The fleeing enemies will often run to a bigger group of enemies, or new kind of terrain where they might have the advantage, either in hiding, running, or in combat. Perhaps they move into the shadier part of town they know better. Perhaps they move into a crowded area with civilians you don't want to shoot around. They can call in allies. PC's in the midst of a chase are often more vulnerable than normal, and its good place for the enemy to attack. If it goes on long enough, start charging FP, require HT rolls to keep going, or check which side started with more fuel.
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Old 01-29-2021, 10:55 PM   #6
FeiLin
 
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Default Re: Chase limits

Yeah, that’s very true, Lucky Breaks are crucial. Come to think of it, perhaps it’s even a good thing the “boring chase” drags out a bit, since that incentivises players to adapt/respond. Even wiping due to a bad roll might be a fun opportunity for storytelling.

I’m used to tracking pesky details like FP or fuel, so I kinda started thinking in that end (“how long could the chase go on?”).

Having a fix goal is a good bit of advice, though. It could even be more conditional (“after X rounds, {# in quarry group} - {# in pursuer group} escape”, etc).

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
I ran a set of simulations to test this out. [...]
Great, thanks for the stats!
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