Seeds of Freedom
- Speed and distance is relative. Sometimes you will want to track actual distances (like the height of a cliff), and sometimes it truly doesn’t matter.
- Participating in the chase or combat takes focus and effort. At least a move action’s worth. This limits all characters to one standard action, appropriate actions are covered by the Maneuvers.
- Every chase has a leader. This position can change during the chase, but everybody else during each round is following the leader.
Before The Chase begins
- Roll Initiative as normal for all participants except the lead.
- Declare Attitudes
- Determine Speed Modifier
- At the start of the round check for obstacles.
- Take Lead’s action.
- Next character in order of initiative takes action.
’’Special’’: Use the size modifier of the vehicle, not the character, for determining attack rolls; a huge vehicle imposes a -2 on attacks made by it’s crew. For simplicity, characters with Firearms Training are assumed to be proficient with starship weapons. Vehicles use their base defense, modified by Speed Category and Comparable Speed, unless the pilot uses the Vehicular Combat feat. Vehicles rely upon their innate toughness and shields to survive being shot at; good pilots dramatically increase a vehicle’s survival rate.
Assuming that the speed category is high enough that one vehicle is faster than the other, comparing the speeds of the vehicles becomes very important. Take the speed of the slowest vehicle participating in the encounter. Compare the speeds of all other vehicles to this speed. The faster vehicles gain a Comparable Speed bonus to all attacks, defense and most Maneuver checks. See the Maneuvers for specific exceptions.
|Faster, less than double||1|
For a speed difference greater than quadruple, set aside whichever vehicles are unimportant in the immediate encounter. For example, if the party is escaping in an animal drawn wagon along an open highway, and are being chased by riders on other animals as well as a pilot in a starfighter, then ignore the starfighter on the assumption that it is simply too fast to interfere with the party while they are dealing with the riders. After the riders have been defeated, the starfighter may be reintroduced if it is a fair encounter.
Ranges are arbitrary in design because of the variability of chase scale. Two characters on foot may have a close range of 10 to 30 meters while two capital ships would have a close range of 10 to 30 kilometers; flexibility of scale is the primary reason for the abstractness of these ranges.
There are five basic ranges, as summarized in the table below.
The closer one is to the target, the easier that target is to hit. Additionally, certain maneuvers are only available at certain ranges.The penalty applies to Ranged attacks and to Notice checks.
‘’Point Blank:’’ Practically touching the other creature, point blank range has the danger of accidental collisions. On the other hand, it is the perfect distance for ramming, leaping from one craft to another or attacking with a melee weapon at either the craft or any exposed crew members.
‘’Short:’’ Short range is the most common in chases, as it provides no chance of accidental collision and good firing position.
‘’Medium:’’ Medium range is tricky, as only good pilots can fire effectively from this range and the chances of losing the target are increased. On the other hand, return fire is much easier to avoid.
‘’Long:’’ Only the best pilots engage moving targets at long range, though it is popular for engaging stationary targets such as space stations and ground defences. Being able to kill a target at ranges where it can not effectively respond is a useful advantage.
‘’Extreme:’’ At this distance, the other vehicles are barely perceptible, well outside any effective weapons fire. Ranged attacks at this distance are impossible and keeping the target in sight is difficult.
Any creature that falls back past extreme range falls out of the chase.
The control Skill for any given round of combat will depend on the situation and the actions taken by the character. For example, a chase through empty rooftops will have rounds in which the control skill is Acrobatics, due to the narrowness and uneven nature of the surface, but in other rounds the control skill will become Athletics, because the characters must jump from one roof to another, or climb up or down a roof.
‘’On Foot:’’ Athletics, Acrobatics
‘’Vehicle:’’ Pilot, Drive, Handle Animal
‘’Special:’’ Stealth, Notice, Intimidate, Diplomacy. Bluff (see maneuvers)
During a chase each participant has an attitude, which determines modifiers to maneuvers and checks. These attitudes are:
|’’Attitude’’||‘’Modify Range, Barrel Through’’||’’Other’’|
’’Cautious’’: allows a character more control when avoiding obstacles, but makes it harder for him to break away or shorten distances.
’’Reckless’’: makes it easier to close a gap or burst through obstacles, but it makes avoiding them harder, as well as making it easier to miss someone hiding.
Changing attitudes during a race means slowing down, increasing the range increment by 1.
Terrain refers to how confining the environment is. From asteroid fields, to the shattered hulks of dead fleets, to the frozen canyons of a glacier, to the traffic packed streets of Absalom, chases take place on a variety of restrictive and dangerous terrain.
There are three categories of terrain (Open, Close and Tight). The chance of encountering an obstacle, and the base maneuver DC, changes with the terrain and is shown below. Changing the terrain can be highly advantageous, since it can cause a pursuer to fall behind, remove a Comparable Speed bonus or increase the chance of a foe striking obstacles.
|’’Terrain’’||‘’Obstacle Roll’’||‘’Base DC’’|
‘’Open:’’ Open terrain is generally clear and unobstructed. Well maintained highways with little traffic, open space and flat plains are all examples of Open terrain.
‘’Close:’’ Close terrain has some obstructions that make it unsafe to move at full speed. Moderate traffic on a highway, hilly terrain, light asteroid fields and the surface of an inactive capital ship are examples of Close terrain.
‘’Tight:’’ Tight terrain in narrow, twisted or just so full of debris that only a great fool would travel it at speed. Narrow canyons, dense asteroid fields, the surface of an actively hostile capital ship or rush hour traffic would all be examples of Tight terrain.
During a chase, the leader must face sudden changes in condition, because he is trying to break away from those following him. Each round, there is a chance of an obstacle appearing (alternatively a Narrator can determine that one is coming up). Obstacles are described as minor, moderate or major:
|’’Size’’||‘’DC Modifier’’||‘’Damage Modifier’’|
The Base DC of an obstacle is modified by its size, giving the obstacle a final difficulty to overcome. Their are different kinds of Obstacles, some of which are listed here.
Barriers are stationary obstacles that impede progress by presenting a more-or-less impassable blockage. “More-or-less” is the operative term here, as both fruit carts (the essential element of all chases, of course) and brick walls are considered Barriers. Unexpected turns on narrow streets, for example, are Barrier obstacles. Barriers can be destroyed through sheer damage or avoided through nerves and skill. Barriers deal +5 base damage, and in some cases more. Barriers can be leaped or climbed over (Athletics) or they can be avoided (Acrobatics), or barreled through (CMB).
Moats are obstacles that prevent travel by presenting a gap in the chase surface. Rivers, ditches, blown-out bridges and bomb craters can all be Moats. Moats can be jumped (Athletics, Drive, Ride) or Avoided (Acrobatics, Drive, Ride). The base damage of a moat is +0.
Traffic objects are obstacles that are moving through the area of the chase. They differ from Barriers in that they can be encouraged to move aside, rather than either avoided or destroyed. They can be other vehicles, creatures, mobs or others. Traffic can be avoided (Acrobatics, Drive, Ride), scared away (Intimidate, Handle Animal), or barreled through (CMB). Traffic deals +2 base damage.
Maneuvers are the actions that can be taken during a chase. They are divided by Lead and Pursuer Maneuvers.
Leads have a series of maneuvers they can make, and their choices determine what choices are available to them.
!!!Attack (Attack modifier)
Deal damage to pursuer. Choose this maneuver to use your weapon against an opponent.
’’Result’’ Attack and you deal damage to one target within range if successful, and all others pursuing decrease distance by 1 level of range increment on . If you succeed by 5 or more, your target falls back 1 increment as well. If you fail, you still loose 1 range increment.
’’Special’’ If you have the Move-by-Action feat, you gain +5 to the attack (offestting the increase in DC).
!!!Avoid Obstacle (Control)
Perform a sudden deceleration or change of direction to avoid an obstacle.
’’DC’’ Terrain DC+ Size DC
’’Result’’ If successful, the lead suddenly changes direction, climbs or leaps over the obstacle. If you fail the check, you take damage and everybody in the chase gains 1 range increment on you. If you succeed, you avoid the obstacle. Those following you at Point Blank and Short range also must avoid the obstacle, or take damage and loose 1 range increment. Addiitonally, they can automatically avoid the obstacle by falling back two range increments.
!!!Barnstorm (CMB or Control)
Plow into an obstacle in order to shake off pursuers. Choose this maneuver to deliberately plow into an obstacle in an attempt to force pursuers to either Crash or Fall back.
’’DC’’ Terrain DC+ Size DC
’’Result’’ Upon choosing this maneuver, the acting driver’sʼs vehicle takes automatic Damage as it strikes a Barrier (+5+Size) or Traffic (+2+Size) obstacle and must make a CMB or control skill against the obstacle DC. If he fails the check, he bounces off the object and falls down, and everybody in the chase gains 1 range increment on him automatically. Characters in Point Blank or Short Range must either avoid the obstacle, or barnstorm themselves. Addiitonally, they can automatically avoid the obstacle by falling back two range increments.
!!!Change Terrain (Varies)
This maneuver may not be possible at all times. The Narrator determines if this maneuver is possible.
’’Result’’ The Narrator determines the skill necessary to change terrain. The Lead makes a check, setting the DC. All those following at PB or Short range must beat the DC to keep pace. Those that fail loose 1 range increment. Those that fail by 5 or more loose 2 range increments. Those that beat the DC by 5 or more shorten the range by 1.
’’Special’’ Sometimes the Narrator will set a minimum DC for the Lead to make. Failure means everybody closes at least one range with him, and might mean an additional effect (entangled in brambles, falling damage, etc…)
!!!Extend Range (Control)
Choose this maneuver anytime you want to gain ground on your opponents.
’’Result’’ The Lead makes a check, setting the DC. All those following must beat the DC or fall back one range step. Failure by 5 or more means the pursuer falls two steps back. If the pursuers beat the set DC by 5 or more instead shorten the range by one.
!!!Loose them (Stealth)
Shake your pursuers by hiding in traffic or crowded conditions. Choose this maneuver to lose your pursuers by ducking behind obstacles. The Narrator determines if this maneuver is possible (if there is cover or concealment enough).
’’DC’’ Notice Defense+15
’’Result’’ Make a Stealth Check against pursuers Notice Defense. If you beat the DC, extend the range by 1 increment. If you beat the DC by 5 or more, that opponent falls out of the Chase. He can attempt to join in next round.
‘’Special:’’ If you have the Challenge (Fast Stealth), you gain +5 to this Stealth check.
Deal damage to pursuer. Choose this maneuver to use your vehicle as a weapon and slam it into your opponent’sʼs vehicle, or to knock somebody over.
’’Result’’ If successful, you deal damage to one target within Point Blank range. If you succeed by 5 or more, he also falls back one range. If you fail, everybody in the chase gains 1 range increment on you
!!Scare Away (Intimidate, Handle Animal)
Choose this maneuver to try and convince Trafﬁc or Creature obstacles to let you by.
If successful, no collision occurs. If you succeed by 5 or more, those at PB and Short range take damage as they collide into the obstacle you aimed against them.
Most Pursuers don’t have too many actions to make, because they must react to what the lead is doing or fall behind. The following are actions that those on pursuit can make against the lead, or against others in the chase.
If the pursuer is still within range of the lead, it can try to deal damage to target. Choose this maneuver to use your weapon against an opponent.
’’Result’’ Attack and you deal damage to one target within range if succesful, as you fall back on range increment. If you succeed by 5 or more, your target falls back 1 increment as well.
’’Special’’ If you have the Move-by-Action feat, you gain +5 to the attack (offestting the increase in DC).
!!!Find Shortcut (Notice, Knowledge (Local))
Choose this maneuver to ﬁnd an alternate route that will bring you closer to your target.
’’DC’’ Terrain DC+10
’’Result’’ If successful, you gain a +5 bonus on the Join Chase attempt after this maneuver is resolved. If you succeed by 5 or more, you gain a +10 bonus on the Join Chase attempt after this maneuver is resolved. Regardless, after the maneuver is resolved, the pursuer is now out of the race and can only attempt the Join Chase maneuver.
!!!Join Chase (Notice)
Choose this maneuver to join a chase already in progress, either because you werenʼt aware of it, because you were foiled.
’’DC’’ Terrain DC+5
’’Result’’ If successful, the acting vehicle joins the chase. By default, new chase participants join a chase at long range. If you succeed by 5 or more, you join the chase in medium range. If you fail, you are out of the chase permanently.
!!!Leap Aboard (Athletics)
Try to jump aboard a moving vehicle.
’’DC’’ Terrain DC+5.
’’Result’’ If succesful, you cling on to the moving vehicle and can climb aboard the next round. If you succeed by 5 or more, you jumped so perfectly that you can act normally the next round.
!!!Regain Control (Control)
Get control over an out-of-control vehicle.
’’Result’’ If successful, the vehicle is no longer out-of-control. If you fail, the vehicle looses 1 range increment.