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Thread: Overland Chases

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    Orc in the Playground
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    Nov 2006

    Default Overland Chases

    Running a game for a group and ended last game with a bit of a cliff hanger. Only problem is I need to figure out what rules to use for next game.

    The Situation:
    The party after a slow day's travel guarding a princess in a caravan found out about an "assassination" attempt by a large force of men on the princess that would be coming in the next four days.

    In order to avoid the attack the party split off from the rest of the caravan took two horses each and at 11 or so at night headed out off road to avoid the attack. They traveled throughout the night as they didn't want to exhaust their horses I said at day break they would need to rest.

    They got about 2 hours of sleep when they spotted 30 riders coming after them; about 1.5 miles away. They quickly mounted and head out. The Princess turned around to join with the pursing riders, secretly her paramour whom she wanted to run away with, and the party knocked her out.

    She's currently tied into her saddle with her horse being led by a member of the party. The pursuing force has been riding all night long but started fresh.
    The party had a days very slow caravan ride then rode all night and have only had two hours rest.

    So now the questions:
    1. What rules are used to resolve long distance overland chases like this? According to the standard rules the pursuers are 1.5 miles behind and will stay that way more or less forever.
    2. Anyone know of any good rules on how long you can stay awake?

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    SamuraiGuy

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    Dec 2006

    Default Re: Overland Chases

    Well, the SRD says to make opposed Fort rolls and I'd be inclined to agree. If the party beat the enemy by a high margin, let them go, a low margin or equal, make them roll again, with a penalty for tiredness. If they get lower, they get caught.

    Of course, it depends how far they're going to have to move. If they're a day away from a safe place, they should be able to do it without much problem. Adrenaline will keep them going, though they might not be much use in a fight by the end of it.

    Much more than that, and they're going to be suffering massively, but their pursuers will start to be too.

    Give them the option of hiding. 1.5 miles is a long way, and if they can get a bit of cover between the two groups, they can release the horses and hide themselves, or hide the most tired members while the rest ride on.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Dec 2005

    Default Re: Overland Chases

    Yeah, for overland chases, opposed Con rolls, or just con rolls against exhaustion until one side slows down.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Overland Chases

    A simpler way would be, do you want that member of the party to get away easily? Perhaps the group runs into a forest, and theres a few rounds of shots between them as you have to slow down. You don't have to make opposed rolls of any kind, you can just choose to have a cinematic encounter like that.

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    Titan in the Playground
     
    Matthew's Avatar

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    Default Re: Overland Chases

    Constitution Rolls are generally called for, but you should probably think about allowing people to 'take 10' and then increase the difficulty as time goes on. Once the difficulty surpasses what can be achieved by 'taking 10', it's time to roll.
    The pursuers can also travel at a faster speed than the pursued (albeit for shorter periods). Do not tell the Player Characters how fast their opponents are travelling (Walk, Hustle, Run x3, Run x4, Run x5) and have them come up with their own speed for each 10 Minutes or 1 Hour of Travel, depending on distance.
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    Default Re: Overland Chases

    Don't forget that you're rolling for the horses' constitution checks, not the riders'.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Apr 2007

    Default Re: Overland Chases

    Since the bandits are pursuing, they could also have anyone who fails a check fall back, whereas the party will have to stay together to avoid being picked off. This might result in the party being caught by a smaller detachment of the bandits, which could provide a good fight to cap off the chase scene.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    SamuraiGuy

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    Default Re: Overland Chases

    Horse-back chase type battle sounds good to me. Have 1/3 of the pursuers chase like absolute nutters, knackering their horses but catching up enough to try to slow the PCs down via battle. They'd have a few (cinematic, exciting) rounds before their horses gave out, and the PCs would have to try to not be slowed down or risk being caught by the other, more long-term pursuers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Toxic_Avenger View Post
    Trust me, Ikkitosen knows what he's talking about.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Overland Chases

    Thanks for the help guys.

    Also thanks for the idea Ikkitosen. I like the idea of having it be a running fight like that.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    SamuraiGuy

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    Default Re: Overland Chases

    They could lob caltrops behind them...

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Overland Chases

    Quote Originally Posted by Tor the Fallen View Post
    Don't forget that you're rolling for the horses' constitution checks, not the riders'.
    Long rides can be hard on the riders, too, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikkitosen View Post
    Horse-back chase type battle sounds good to me. Have 1/3 of the pursuers chase like absolute nutters, knackering their horses but catching up enough to try to slow the PCs down via battle. They'd have a few (cinematic, exciting) rounds before their horses gave out, and the PCs would have to try to not be slowed down or risk being caught by the other, more long-term pursuers.
    Or, if you like playing really smart enemies for your PCs to deal with, have 1/3 of the pursuers on the fastest horses chase like absolute nutters just to get close enough to wound one or two of the PC's horses (it helps if they have bows for this purpose).

    Now the other 2/3 of the group can pick them off more or less at leisure.

    That's what I'd do if I had overwhelming numerical superiority. It is a cliche that "a stern chase is a long chase," and if I want to catch up to the 'bad guys' without spending a couple of days riding up hill and down dale after them, I'd want to try to force them to slow down so I could outmaneuver them.

    Quote Originally Posted by goat View Post
    They could lob caltrops behind them...
    Remember that the range is over a mile. Unless the chase is happening along a narrow road that people can't leave, the odds of the pursuers riding directly over a patch of caltrops laid down long before hand are low.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Viscount Einstrauss's Avatar

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    Default Re: Overland Chases

    It would've been a great place for a combat trapsmith to shine, too :P

    I'd say two checks are necessary here- a con check from the horses and a ride check from the people. Also, depending on the terrain, it might be possible for the players to throw the enemy riders off their trail (such as through a forest) where they'd have to slow down to make track checks.
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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Overland Chases

    As it was .this is where the story takes over and the rules step aside..

    As the story teller, what do you think should happen..
    After that, its all about building suspense and drama...

    Wether they get away or are confronted...these things could lead up to that...

    The pursuers know the lay of the land better..the party is forced into a ravine..the pursuers split up, on following the others doing an end around to "cut'em off at the pass"..

    A river presents iteself right in front of them...think fast..

    Have the roll some riding checks....fumbles could cause a horse injury..think fast..

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    SamuraiGuy

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    Default Re: Overland Chases

    Quote Originally Posted by Umarth View Post
    Thanks for the help guys.

    Also thanks for the idea Ikkitosen. I like the idea of having it be a running fight like that.
    Most welcome - sounds like a fun game

    Quote Originally Posted by Toxic_Avenger View Post
    Trust me, Ikkitosen knows what he's talking about.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Overland Chases

    Quote Originally Posted by Tor the Fallen View Post
    Don't forget that you're rolling for the horses' constitution checks, not the riders'.

    Although you could have the riders make Ride or Handle Animal checks as Aid Another actions. A rider who knows how to pace his horse would have an advantage.

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