Author’s Diary for Feb. 21, 2020: Chasing and Evading

Your opponent got away! How will you catch up to him? Find out below the fold.

Today’s writing is a stellar example of how things are a lot more complicated in practice than they are in theory.

I was inspired to add rules for chasing and evade by this video from YouTuber Lindybeige.

Role Play Gaming’s Missing Rule by Lindybeige

Characters get a limited number of bids during interstitials. So the character doing the chasing (let’s call xir the pursuer) makes an opposed chase bid against an evasion bid by the character being chased (let’s call xir the quarry). Therefore:

  • If the pursuer wins more opposed bids than the quarry, xi catches the quarry in the next scene.
  • If the quarry wins the same number of or more opposed bids than the pursuer, xi evades the pursuer.
  • If one side does anything other than chasing or evading (EXAMPLE: stopping to heal, check for traps, etc.), xi automatically loses that bid.

Simple, right?

One problem I realized as I sat down to write out the rules, though: characters come in groups. Who makes the chasing and evading bids in each group? Everyone? Just some? If it’s just some, then that takes away some of the urgency of the chase: some members of a group can take their time with other tasks instead of chasing or evading.

I finally came up with a kludge: everyone has to either take a Chase action in the pursuer party or the Evade action in the quarry party, then everyone contributes to the chasing and evading bids.

I don’t much like this solution, though. Having numerous characters contributing traits to a common bid will almost certainly mean both sides will be making half-cost bids, letting them breeze over any obstacles in their way. It also means that I’ll have to come up with rules for collective bids, which will probably only be used during chases.

That means that I’m probably going to have to rework the chasing rules entirely in the next rules version.

Here’s what I wrote today.

  • Groups of characters can chase each other during interstitials.
    • The group doing the chasing is the pursuer.
    • The group the chaser is pursuing is the quarry.
  • Both the pursuer and the quarry use their interstitial bids to chase each other.
  • The pursuer makes opposed chasing bids against the quarry’s evasion bids.
    • Everyone in both the pursuer and the quarry contributes to these bids.
    • To make a chasing bid, everyone in the pursuer must take the Chase action.
    • To make an evasion bid, everyone in the quarry must take the Evade action.
    • If anyone in either group does not take a Chase or Evade action, xir side automatically loses the bid.
  • If the pursuer wins more opposed bids than the quarry, then the pursuer catches up to the quarry during the next scene.
  • If the quarry wins the same number of or more opposed bids than the pursuer, then the quarry evades the pursuer.

That’s it for now. Talk to you tomorrow.

Published by radiofreecovenant

A podcast about the science-fiction roleplaying game "Covenant" and the urban fantasy novel "Crossing the Line", soon to be published by Black Opal Books.

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