Proposed fixes to Chase Rules


Homebrew


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Anyone who has attempted to play the chase rules has run into some of its big problems. Here's what I'm thinking of using...

1) All characters roll initiative each round. On the Piloting phase, those pilots act in their proper order. Then on the combat phase, all the other characters are slotted in to their proper spaces in between.

2) The "Keep Pace" pilot action's DC is now 5 + vehicle's item level.

3) Failure to Keep Pace, results in not moving forward, but does not result in moving back.

4) All characters in vehicles in a chase, fire at other vehicles in a chase using the lower vehicle attack modifier. The Full Speed modifier is used only in grid combat against lower speed or stationary targets, or against other high speed vehicles when they are going in divergent directions. The Full Speed modifier is never used in chases, as their directions and speeds are more closely relative.

5) There will be kept an overall "map speed" in increments of 5 mph. Typical chases begin at 40 mph, but GM may alter.

6) Every time a pilot in the chase successfully conducts a Speed Up maneuver, the map speed is increased by 5 mph. Every time a Slow Down maneuver is conducted, the map speed is reduced by 5 mph.

7) No vehicle may take part in a Speed Up action if it would bring the map speed to greater than twice its overland movement. Example: The Exploration Buggy has an overland movement of 40mph. It may not perform a Speed Up action if it would bring the map speed to greater than 80 mph (exactly 80 is fine).

8) If the map speed ever drops to 15 mph, the GM may choose to transition back to grid combat.

9) Very high Map Speeds makes piloting more difficult. For every 5 mph over 80 the Map Speed reaches, all piloting and attack checks receive a -1 penalty. For example: 85 mpg -1, 90 mph -2, 95 mph -3, 100 mph -4, and so on. Any piloting roll that received such a penalty, and fails by 10 or more, results in the vehicle crashing. It automatically strikes (is hit by) a damaging hazard (Table 8-4, p.285) with a CR equal to the level of the vehicle, plus the penalty. In addition, the vehicle comes to a stop and is out of the chase.

10) Fall damage for a character falling to the ground off a vehicle is increased for high map speeds. Follow the rule given in "Boarding" page 285, but apply an additional 1d6 at 50 mph, plus another 1d6 for each 20 mph thereafter.

Input appreciated. Also, if you've found problems with the chase rules I'd be interested to know, thanks :)


Tiberius1701 wrote:


Anyone who has attempted to play the chase rules has run into some of its big problems.

I haven't run very many chase scenes, but I have done one or two. I am not aware of any big problems. Can you mention what problems you are seeing.

Tiberius1701 wrote:
3) Failure to Keep Pace, results in not moving forward, but does not result in moving back.

I'm not sure I understand this. If everyone else in the chase moves forward and you don't, how is that different than everyone else stays in place and you move back?

Also, I don't remember anything in the chase rules about moving backwards if you don't successfully do an action that moves you forwards. It is just that everyone else moves forward and you don't.

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I'm personally not a fan of the map speed concept. It is more stuff to track, and it interacts with a lot of things. Stuff will have to be recalculated constantly.

Are you taking out the concept of zones? Or are those still there? How does the map speed interact with the zones? How do people escape the chase or get left behind?


Thanks for the response! :)

breithauptclan wrote:


I haven't run very many chase scenes, but I have done one or two. I am not aware of any big problems. Can you mention what problems you are seeing.

Here's a few:

- There's no reason to ever "keep pace". It has the same difficulty as Evade.
- A car with a top speed 100 has as much chance to get away or catch up to a car with a top speed 60.
- One player reported they just kept speeding up and up until they were gone, without any limit.
- If your initiative is less than another player's, there will never be a time you can engage the vehicle and then board, before they can do a collision on you. If you win initiative, there will never be a time they can collide with you before you can board.

breithauptclan wrote:
Tiberius1701 wrote:
3) Failure to Keep Pace, results in not moving forward, but does not result in moving back.
I'm not sure I understand this. If everyone else in the chase moves forward and you don't, how is that different than everyone else stays in place and you move back?

p.284 says, "If a vechicle's pilot deliberately slowed down or she failed all the piloting checks attempted, her vehicle doesn't move forward. If a pilot attempted to keep pace and failed, her vehicle instead moves back one zone."

So it is better to not even try to keep pace than try and fail, because it will mean you (instead of actually remaining in place) move back one zone - a result not even intentionally slowing down get you. This is so out of wack that it must be a mistake.

breithauptclan wrote:


Also, I don't remember anything in the chase rules about moving backwards if you don't successfully do an action that moves you forwards. It is just that everyone else moves forward and you don't.

Yeah that's how it normally works, except for that one wacko sentence.

breithauptclan wrote:


I'm personally not a fan of the map speed concept. It is more stuff to track, and it interacts with a lot of things. Stuff will have to be recalculated constantly.

Fair enough :) - but your further question make me wonder if you are imagining it to be something worse than I mean...

breithauptclan wrote:


Are you taking out the concept of zones? Or are those still there? How does the map speed interact with the zones? How do people escape the chase or get left behind?

No there are still zones, you do everything else the same. The only difference is that there is a piece of paper off to the side with the number "40" on it. If anyone does a 'speed up' you change it to "45". If they do a slow down, you change it to "35". That's it. There's nothing to calculate.

BUT, if the speed goes over 80 everyone will start taking Piloting penalties, and the stakes with damage get more and more. Further, you will actually be able to outrun other cars than can't go as fast as you eventually.

Part of the thrill of chases is that you are both playing chicken with one another - how fast are you willing to go, and can you keep from crashing if you can't be as daring as me? As the temperature (speed) ratchets up, things get more and more dangerous.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I will say that, having run an adventure which involved a bunch of vehicle combat, I do agree, the Full Movement attack penalty should *only* be applied to targets that are on "foot" or otherwise not moving at vehicular chase speed. It otherwise results in fights where nobody can ever hit anybody else. Logical as a balance factor to prevent an excess of drive-by shootings versus helpless infantry. Counterproductive and illogical when you have two cars driving next to each other and trying to attack each other.


I hope I am not coming across as overly critical. I like houserules in general and this one is looking fairly good.

That said...

A couple things. One is whether we need an overhaul of the vehicle chase rules, or just minor fixes and tweaks.

The other is how this particular overhaul is shaping up.

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Tiberius1701 wrote:


- There's no reason to ever "keep pace". It has the same difficulty as Evade.
- A car with a top speed 100 has as much chance to get away or catch up to a car with a top speed 60.
- One player reported they just kept speeding up and up until they were gone, without any limit.
- If your initiative is less than another player's, there will never be a time you can engage the vehicle and then board, before they can do a collision on you. If you win initiative, there will never be a time they can collide with you before you can board.

Yes, Keep Pace is horribly broken. I hadn't noticed that before. But I think that can be fixed fairly easily without needing to do drastic changes to the other rules.

One remove the 'move backwards on fail' rule. That feels like a holdover from an unpublished early revision of the vehicle chase rules where vehicles would move forward or backward depending on their skill checks rather than only moving forward.

Two, change the DC of the action. Either lower the DC so that it is actually lower than the other actions that move you forward in the chase progression, or increase the DC of Evade to match that of Trick (since they do seem to be mirrors of each other in other regards).

Vehicles with different speeds competing in a chase can be handled in one of two ways. Either the faster vehicle is at an insurmountable advantage and will automatically win the chase, or there are some terrain or circumstances in play that prevent the vehicles from exceeding the top speed of the slower vehicle. (This also is a good argument for using the lower attack penalties of the vehicle during a vehicle chase)

Yes, using the Speed Up action to try and escape the chase quickly is a valid strategy. If the pursuers want to continue the chase, they should also be using the Speed Up action in order to keep pace. (It would probably be reasonable to require the higher attack penalties of the vehicles if both parties are using Speed Up each round.)

I'm not sure what you are meaning with the item about winning initiative and using boarding or collision. Maybe an example of a couple rounds of combat in both scenarios to illustrate the problem?

So I don't think we actually need an overhaul houserule for this. That doesn't mean that it isn't worth having or working on.

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OK. So for the houserules themselves:

Tiberius1701 wrote:

9) Very high Map Speeds makes piloting more difficult. For every 5 mph over 80 the Map Speed reaches, all piloting and attack checks receive a -1 penalty. For example: 85 mpg -1, 90 mph -2, 95 mph -3, 100 mph -4, and so on. Any piloting roll that received such a penalty, and fails by 10 or more, results in the vehicle crashing. It automatically strikes (is hit by) a damaging hazard (Table 8-4, p.285) with a CR equal to the level of the vehicle, plus the penalty. In addition, the vehicle comes to a stop and is out of the chase.

10) Fall damage for a character falling to the ground off a vehicle is increased for high map speeds. Follow the rule given in "Boarding" page 285, but apply an additional 1d6 at 50 mph, plus another 1d6 for each 20 mph thereafter.

There are some things that have to be recalculated every time the map speed changes once the speeds become high enough. Not the worst thing in the world, but it is there.

The bigger sticking point that I have is how the map speed interacts with the zones. Can you use the speed up action to move to a farther zone in addition to increasing the map speed? How do you move to a farther zone and eventually escape the chase?

Also, for places where the rules are abusable: If the NPCs that we are chasing jump into a suped-up hotrod and take off and all we can hotwire is a slow pile of junk, it seems like the hotrod would be able to escape the chase fairly easily - but they just can't seem to go over about 45 MPH because every time they speed up, I simply use the slow down action to keep their speed in check. Thus making sure that the map speed doesn't ever exceed the 60 MPH maximum chase speed that our 30 MPH top speed vehicle has.

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