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Best Chase Scene Mechanics

Bipolar Bear

The Saddest/Happiest Bear
Validated User
Almost every RPG I've ever seen has a full chapter dedicated to combat, either ranged or up close and personal. That makes sense given that violent conflict factors into so many of the genres emulated by games.

I'm curious about chases though. Not every fight in a movie or book is a straight-up toe-to-toe battle. Some of the most dramatic moments in action films have been car chases. What mechanics have been used to simulate a great chase scene and how well did they work? What could be done (either mechanically or descriptively) to make chases as engaging as brawls?
 

Whymme

Mad
Validated User
Bipolar Bear said:
Almost every RPG I've ever seen has a full chapter dedicated to combat, either ranged or up close and personal. That makes sense given that violent conflict factors into so many of the genres emulated by games.

I'm curious about chases though. Not every fight in a movie or book is a straight-up toe-to-toe battle. Some of the most dramatic moments in action films have been car chases. What mechanics have been used to simulate a great chase scene and how well did they work? What could be done (either mechanically or descriptively) to make chases as engaging as brawls?
The old James Bond RPG is often referred to when chase mechanics are discussed.

Here is a set of rules that I wrote for WFRP. I've been using those for years now, so you can consider them well tested.
 

Orsino

Inveterate Layabout
Validated User
Spycraft 2.0 represents this very well with the Dramatic Conflict system. They expand on the idea to use it for really anything where there are two outcomes on the opposite ends of a spectrum-- a seduction, in which one party wants to go home alone (or at least not with you) and the other wants to well, you know; manhunts; interrogations. One party gets what they want, or the other does.

FATE also does this well, a car chase is basically an opposed, dynamic challenge.
 

iconoplast

LE TURBO
Validated User
Unknown Armies 2nd Edition reprints the section from the 1st Ed Lawyers, Guns and Money Supplement that deals with them.

Stolze & Tynes bring up the same lack of car chase rules in RPGs, though they credit TMNTaOS as having had a pretty good one.

...at work. Description of mechanics to follow.
 

Craig Oxbrow

Ah, y'know. This guy.
Validated User
Spycraft 1's chase mechanics (from which 2.0 extrapolates) were so good that Adventure! d20 swiped them in their entirety (with thanks in the credits).

Top Secret / SI managed a similar result with TSR's Indiana Jones.

Espionage games attract good chase systems, with a solid basis (success versus success for various manoeuvres) and lots of flavour.
 

Phantom Stranger

Welcome to Casablanca
Validated User
Spycraft's system works extremely well. It's one of the few I've seen which really encourages you to switch between tactics from round to round.
 

Dave Blewer

Drakin Chosen
Savage Worlds has some interesting, if abstract, chase rules.

Feng Shui has some sublime chase rules.

Wushu has a whole supplement on chases that is very good as well.

:)
 

Kiero

Retiring User
Validated User
Let's not forget it isn't just car chases. Foot chases can be pretty exciting to, check out this scene from Banlieue 13. Parkour is very cool.

Wushu or Feng Shui would be my ideals, Angel has serviceable chase rules too.
 

khereva

curmudgeonly cur
7th Sea (R&K) had a pretty fun set of rules, recognizing that a chase is basically a lot of fun shit that happens until you either catch or lose whomever you're chasing.

Foot, carriage, horse rules. Big fun.
 
T

tetsujin28

Guest
Along with others that have been mentioned, Wushu does awesome chases.
 
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