Chases are action scenes best suited for when characters are competing to reach a particular goal; a necromancer fleeing as the tide turns against his undead minions, an archeologist braving the ocean to be first to reach an ancient tomb, or an intergalactic spy dashing through the hangar towards their getaway ship fueled for takeoff.
A footrace across the room may be over in a matter of seconds, a car chase across the interstate may take hours, and chasing across countries might even take days. Whatever the scope of the chase, each participant in a chase has a position that is described by their distance from the goal in spaces.
When you're dealing with a chase, you get access to a few additional abilities. You can Rush to take a risk to get closer faster, you can Obstruct to slow down participants, and you can Shortcut to speed up participants. Chase abilities are complicated and risky, so you must spend at least two actions on them and your gamemaster will have you make a test to see if you can pull them off.
You can use any abilities in a chase, not just chase abilities. If you'd rather behave more conservatively in a chase, for instance, you probably just want to Move.
If you're taking extra risk to reach the goal faster, you're rushing. That might be leaping out a window, driving off a ramp, making a hairpin turn, or anything else that's a high-risk high-reward way of getting where you want to go.
When you test an attribute to take a risk to reach the goal faster, if you...
- Fail: Move towards the goal once and suffer the worst of the risk.
- Partially succeed: For each action spent on the stunt, Move towards the goal. Then suffer some of what you risked and Move towards the goal once more for free.
- Fully succeed: You pull off your stunt and catapult yourself forward. For each action spent on the stunt, Move twice towards the goal.
- Critically succeed: Your stunt is wildly successful. For each action spent on the stunt, Move twice towards the goal. Then Move twice towards the goal once more for free.
If you're trying to make it harder to reach the goal, you can obstruct other participants by cutting a bridge, overturning a cart, tackling them, or somehow otherwise keeping them away from where they want to go. You can affect multiple participants with this ability if it makes sense that they'd all be slowed down by this obstruction.
When you test an attribute to make it harder to reach the goal, if you...
- Fail: You weren't able to make it more difficult to get to the goal.
- Partially succeed: All affected participants are pushed five spaces away from the goal.
- Fully succeed: All affected participants are pushed five spaces away from the goal for each action spent on the obstacle.
- Critically succeed: All affected participants are pushed five spaces away from the goal for each action spent on the obstacle. Then they are pushed a further five spaces away from the goal.
If you're trying to make it easier to reach the goal, you can shortcut the distance to the goal by tossing down a ladder, making a ramp, blasting a hole through a wall, or somehow otherwise giving participants in a chase a quicker way to get where they want to go. You can affect multiple participants with this ability if it makes sense that they'd all be sped up by this shortcut.
When you test an attribute to make it easier to reach the goal, if you...
- Fail: You weren't able to make it easier to get to the goal.
- Partially succeed: All affected participants are moved five spaces towards the goal.
- Fully succeed: All affected participants are moved five spaces towards from the goal for each action spent on the shortcut.
- Critically succeed: All affected participants are moved five spaces towards the goal for each action spent on the obstacle. Then they are moved a further five spaces towards the goal.
Chasing when you're not a chaser
Not all characters are well suited to being directly involved in chases, but that doesn't mean they can't participate. Usually characters who are indirectly involved in chases either team up with someone who is, or they spend the chase Obstructing enemies, Shortcutting for allies, and performing other abilities.
Suspend your disbelief a little with how these characters can contribute -- imagine a camera zoomed in on the characters who are directly involved in the chase. Anyone who isn't directly involved can fade to being off screen when it's not their turn and optionally appear along the chase route when it is their turn to give aid and/or cause trouble if they need to.
If you find yourself in a chase where you're attempting to shake your pursuers, you're the fleeing participant in a pursuit and there are some slight tweaks to the chase rules.
In a pursuit, the position of the fleeing participant is the goal of the chase. Because the goal is moving, reaching the goal no longer indicates the end of a chase. Instead, a pursuit has a time limit of how many rounds the pursuit will go on for, a time limit consequence for what happens when the time limit is hit, a capture number of how many pursuers are needed to capture the fleeing participant, and a shake distance of how many spaces ahead of their pursuit a fleeing participant must be to lose their pursuers.
A pursuit is over if, at the end of a round:
- The fleeing participant is further ahead of their pursuers by the shake distance
- There are at least as many pursuers at the fleeing participant's position as the capture number
- The time limit has been reached
Any abilities that a fleeing participant may use that would move them towards the goal instead pushes all of their pursuers that many spaces away. Any abilities that would move the fleeing participant away from the goal instead moves their pursuers towards them.
Escape the Guards
Time limit: 5 rounds
Time limit consequence: They call in their backup and catch you
Capture number: 1 guard per player
Shake distance: 20 spaces
Whenever it makes sense, you can team up with other characters to act like one participant in a chase. You can leave a team at any point in a round before your team takes a turn, or join a team at any point in a round before you've taken your turn.
A team is treated as a single entity. They share a position and can only take actions or have initiative passed to them as a team. Tests of attributes performed by a team are performed by whichever member of the team makes sense while the other members of the team provide assistance.