Chase mechanics

Does anyone have a link to a good run-through of a Chase scene for FFG? Or would give an example in their own words?

I’ve tried to run a few before and still don’t feel like it’s compelling, so I must be doing something wrong.

Also, I encountered the question about whether participants in a chase should be allowed to shoot at each other during the chase or not. Wasn’t sure how to answer since it would just be combat at that point.

EDIT: Rules explanations are fine, but was actually looking for kind of a battle report of a chase you’ve been involved in.

There was a chase that was pretty well done in FFGs other game (Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay third edition), which has similar dice mechanics to Star Wars. I think it was in the Enemy Within adventure and was a chase through Altdorf (capital city).

In the adventure they divided the chase into multiple parts that used multiple different skills. A failed check means you fall behind and get one or two black dice on the next check. Two failed checks in a row equals looising sight of the person fleeing. Any character getting to part 5 and succeeding caught up with the fleeing person.

In the adventure they had these five stages (more fantasy themed as it was Warhammer):

  1. Through an Alleyway (roll athletics 2d) - Just run after the person fleeing.
  2. Through busy streets (roll athletics 2d, or coordination 1d) - Athletics to just keep running or weave through the crowd with coordination.
  3. The Chicken crates (roll athletics 3d, or folklore 2d) - The one fleeing person jumps over a pile of crates that block the way into an alley. Athletics to jump after, or folklore to know another way.
  4. The stinking slick of fish guts (roll athletics 3d, or coordination 3d) - The target turns over a barrel of fish guts making the road slippery.
  5. Onto the water (roll athletics 3d, or coordination 3d) - Jump onto docks, barges, etc to get over a canal.

Depending on how much planning goes into the chase scene it can be fun to plan and include different skills. And you could divide the chase into more or fewer parts depending on how long you want it.

During the chase in the adventure no combat checks were rolled, as it was virtually impossible to hit the target as he had a headstart and was weaving through crowds, slipped behind crates, turned corners into alleyways at every oppurtunity. They needed to catch him before it could turn into combat. But I guess depending on circumstances it could turn into a combat at an earlier point during the chase.

I personally like it when it’s not only athletics or coordination based checks, even if those skills make a lot of sense during a chase scene. It’s fun when players can use less obvious skills such as Leadership (get a crowd to disperse and let you through), Streetwise (anticipate the way a target might take) or Computers (to hack a door to get through a shortcut).

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It’s not exactly a run through, but we have a GM Workshop on Chases and Races! Check it out here:

Thanks for the replies. I am really hoping for some Barney level of instruction though.

I’ll see what I can write up for you later today. Have you looked for other topics on the subject? There’s at least one on this forum that you might find useful.

I have searched Google, and found mostly Reddit posts with a lot of half-answers or unresolved, abandoned posts.

Well, here’s a good topic on the subject from this forum:

I can point you to how my group settled on running chases. We use a three-roll approach to each round of the chase. The three rolls represent the tactics being used, the actual movement itself, and how much the chase is wearing the participants out. We do allow Ranged skill checks as part of the tactics, but that represents something like warning shots, which makes the chase harder for the opponent rather than causing actual damage.


I really like this, will definitely use it next time I use a chase scene.

Cool! I’d be interested to hear how well it works with a larger group of PCs than our normal 1-2.

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@SuperWookie, I’m sorry I never did get back to you.

Here’s how I handle a footrace:
Competitive skill checks:
I generally give the players an option between two, sometimes three, skill matchups depending on the circumstances. Athletics to climb a fence, Skulduggery to break the lock, Coordination to run through a crowd or Cool to cross a street through traffic, etc. The NPCs’ skill will sometimes be the same or sometimes different, such as if you use Skulduggery to break the lock, the NPCs are able to make an easier Athletics check since they don’t have to worry about getting blocked by the fence.

Each won check gains 1 range band on the opponent, with the chase ending when the chasee gains sufficient distance to no longer be plausibly followed—I couch it in such imprecise language because the distance will vary between different circumstances—or has been caught, either through deciding to turn and fight or through being tackled or something.

I would not directly allow shooting at opponents, but similarly to @jendefer, I do allow the use of weapons. Melee to break a fire hydrant, impeding the pursuer’s progress, Ranged (Light) to distract the other party and dissuade them from continued pursuit (Triumph could result in an actual hit), etc. If running through a crowded area, any ranged checks should be upgraded twice because of the potential for collateral damage.

If someone desires to do some actual combat (the Kyuzo stops running and pulls out his bola carbine, aiming at the retreating figure and gently squeezing the trigger…), they would go at the top of the round, but their opponent gains the range band equivalent of 2 Maneuvers on them. So if you’re going to stop running, you better be sure you’ll stop the target from running too.

Actual example:

Chase Example:

Round 1:
GM: “Athletics to move down the fire escape, or Brawl to bust past the people at the door and escape into the hall.”
Petra: “Heh, no thank you, I have 1 Brawn. May I use Coordination to swing across the alley on a clothesline, then drop to the ground? You know, like how sometimes you see clotheslines strung across alleys like this?”
GM: “I think those might just be banners, but sure. Easy Coordination, but upgraded once. The people chasing you will have to make an Average Athletics check to run down the fire escape.”
Rorgan: “I, however, have 4 Brawn. I’ll take the stairs. Also Average?”
GM: “Roll 'em!”
Petra: 2 Success, 1 Advantage, 1 Despair.
Rorgan: 1 Success, 3 Advantage.
Police: 1 Success, 2 Advantage.

GM: “Petra, you manage to swing down, but you slam into the brick wall. Take 5 Strain. Rorgan, you make it to the bottom just ahead of the police, and together you manage to gain on the police, but they’re quick behind you.”

Round 2:
GM: “You come to an intersection. You can make a Average Cool check, upgraded once, to cross the street in traffic, or you can make an Average Coordination to run through the crowd. If you cross traffic, the police have to make the same check, but if you run through the crowd the police will have to make an Easy Coercion check.”
Rorgan: “Ugh, he only has one Presence and I don’t want to get hit by a car. Fine, we’ll try the crowd. Can I use Athletics to bowl them aside?”
GM: “You can, but it’ll upgrade the roll once.”
Petra: “I agree. I’ll slip through the crowd like-”
Rorgan: “A greased monkey.”
Petra: “I was going to say ‘graceful ballerina’ but sure.”
GM: “Roll 'em!”

Rorgan Athletics: 4 Success, 2 Threat.
Petra Coordination: 1 Failure, 3 Advantage.
Police Coercion: 2 Success, Triumph.

GM: “Rorgan, you muscle your way through the crowd like a champion running back, but it’s tiring. Take a Setback to your next check. Petra, you are stymied by the press of people and unable to move as far as you’d like. Someone grabs your arm, trying to hold you back, as the police run forward. They’re now at Short range from you and Medium from Rorgan.”

Round three:
GM: “Petra, since you failed last time and the police spent a Triumph for this, you have to make the same check again, and the police make another Coercion check. If you fail, the police will catch you. Rorgan, there’s an alley to your right, and the storefront of a fashion boutique. Easy Knowledge (Core Worlds) to navigate the boutique, or Hard Stealth with a Setback to hide in the alley.”
Rorgan: “Uh… I don’t have good Stealth and just two green for Core Worlds. I think I can take them if I have to, I’ll try Stealth. Maybe I’ll get lucky.”
GM: “Roll 'em!”
Rorgan: 1 Success, 4 Threat.
Petra: 2 Success.
Police: 3 Success, 1 Threat.

GM: “Rorgan, you duck into the alley, but unfortunately, you hide next to a drug-addled Toydarian who tries to strike up a conversation.”
Rorgan: “Great.”
GM: “Petra, you get past the crowd, but the police catch up to you and are now in Engaged range.”

Round 4:
GM: “The police will try a Brawl attack to capture Petra. Then Rorgan needs to make an Easy Charm check to avoid the Toydarian giving him away.”
Police: 1 Success, 3 Advantage.
Rorgan: 1 Success, 1 Threat.
GM: “Rorgan, take a Strain from the smell and from watching Petra get tackled by five police… You’re in the clear once the cops clear out, unless you want to try to rescue Petra?”

I hope this helps you!

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Alright, I’m working on a session and all I’m seeing for chases are through an urban environment. I’m looking for a space/atmosphere chase.

The setting is the players just stole their ship back from the Empire, and are now being chased across the skyline of Antar 4.

The obvious answer is of course Piloting Planetary/Space vs. Piloting Planetary/Space. However, this could get boring really fast. Any suggestions on how to spice this up?

Space is spacious. The only way to make it complicated is to in some way restrict their movement or install obstacles.

If they are not in space, then consider their altitude and the terrain through/over which they are racing. Can they change their altitude? If so, why would they need/want to?

The only real answer if they’re just in wide open space is “check vs. check, don’t overthink it,” but I know that doesn’t help much. Can you describe the situation in more detail?


The start of the chase will include an Imperial base, which the players are escaping from. After they fly away, they’re at probably 0.5 mile/0.8 kilometers above the planet’s surface. The terrain is swampy all around, and the players are trying to get back to base without the Empire following them.

If there’s something missing just ask a more specific question and I’ll do my best to answer.

So the terrain is pretty shallow and level.

We’re in an era of advanced sensor technology, so the potential for fog is irrelevant.

Since the terrain is such a non-factor and cannot provide atmospheric concealment, it may as well be outer space for all the good it does you.

0.5 miles is pretty low altitude, just 2,600 feet, and well, well within Close range, so they can be easily engaged by ground fire.

How far is their own base from the Imperial base? What will be pursuing them? Is the terrain consistent between the two locations? What kind of Imperial defenses (such as AAA) are between the two locations? Is their route a roughly straight line, or roundabout?

If roundabout, then can you add special terrain for them to fly through?
Depending on the sort of environment, swamps could be formed at the base of mountain ranges as snow runoff soaks the land below periodically.

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Around 200-300 miles

So far, four TIE fighters. Maybe I’ll make them TIE Strikers to suit the engagement better

Yes. It’s all just Swamp

The base has Anti-Air weaponry, probably statted as a Light Turbolaser, maybe Medium. There are also patrols of Imperials that contain AT-ST support which could fire the Anti-Vehicle Missles and laser barrages.

It could be either. If the terrain is all the same (which it probably end up being), then the players could just go straight for the base. If the players are more focused on running, then a more roundabout path.

Of course!

At around 250 miles, it should take them about half an hour at speed three (twenty-five minutes at speed four).
I’d recommend making the chasers TIE Strikers. It’s more interesting and thematic.

Okay, then there’s not a lot you can do with that.

Are the AT-ST’s missiles surface-to-air, or ATGMs? Just thematic, really, but AT-STs would generally carry a ground-targeting missile, either an ATGM-type weapon for dealing with enemy armor or an anti-personnel weapon (consider it as an AP shell vs. HE for a WWII tank).

In that case, how much do the players know about the patrols? Is it something they know to steer away from, or are they unaware?
(Consider the patrols part of the “terrain”)

Here’s a good spot for a chase check to determine what the players do, but only if you have alternate terrain. If it’s just a longer route, then there’s no real gain.

Mountains make topographical, mechanical, and narrative sense for this.

I’ll work on a basic scenario.

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Will do

No, I haven’t told them about the patrols and it will be a nice surprise when a missile shoots out from the undergrowth :smiley:

Yeah, I was thinking about that. Should I just toss them in, or make them a part of a roll?

Many thanks!

Based on what I know, here’re some ideas on how I’d set up the scenario. Beware, they may be rather complicated as I am specifically trying to make them dynamic and interesting. They can always be toned down if needed, and I’m sure we (or your players) will find ways to make it pull on an even more diverse set of skills, if such a thing is desirable. As always, I strongly suggest allowing your players to put forward what skills they would like to use in the situation.

First choice: Do you want to go straight home and try to lose your pursuers through protracted combat/speed, or do you want to try and lose them in the mountains?
(To answer your question, I would just toss the mountains in. They aren’t exactly subtle to have escaped the characters’ notice)

Over the Swamps
If they want to lose their pursuers through protracted combat/speed, then they basically have two options: Go just out of range of the AA defenses and fight it out, or make a beeline and open up on the Strikers with the turret.

This is a moot point if they don’t have a turret, but:
The catch on trying to chase a target is that if you aren’t going in a straight line, you’re losing time even if you’re going “the same speed.” Because of Star Wars shielding technology, let’s ignore drag and losing speed through maneuvers. If you zig-zag, you are covering more ground. If you go 25% faster but cover 30% more ground, you’re losing time. If you’re firing on your pursuers with a turret, you force them to either take evasive maneuvers (covering more ground) or settle in for what could be an easy shot in order to keep pace.

So, if they want to actually conduct a chase rather than a structured time combat, I would make it a Gunnery vs. Cool (Triumph or 3 Advantage kills an enemy fighter) or Gunnery vs. Piloting (Planetary) (Triumph causes the pursuers to suffer a hit for base damage). Add a catch that with Piloting (Planetary), the TIEs count as moving one speed lower than they really are (to a minimum of 1). It’d be up to you as a GM to choose what the NPCs do, and it could vary from round to round. For example, if the PCs succeed in shooting down a Striker while the TIEs are using Cool, maybe they switch to Piloting (Planetary).

Once they’re out of range, it becomes just Piloting/Piloting, with exceptions I’ll mention later.

Talk of Skills

Now TIE pilots, unfortunately, lack both Cool and Discipline. There are two ways to rectify this. One is to give them one of the two skills (Discipline, to contrast with the Rebellion’s Cool would make sense), the other is to make the check Piloting as well, and simply have the effect trade-off. More easily shot down, or more easily outrun? After all, since it’d be a minion group the skill has no difference anyway.
Also, you’d have to decide if the TIE Striker is (Planetary) or (Space). I’d choose (Planetary), in which case you’d need to give TIE pilots (Planetary) as a group skill, but ultimately it doesn’t matter since they’re NPCs. Just know that their dice pool is YYY for Agility skills, and YYG/GG for everything else, whatever skills you assign them

Now, consider the other alternative: Flying to the mountains. This will require actual piloting skills, and navigation with the Survival skill.

Piloting/Piloting through difficult terrain (number of Setback up to you/player choice/roll results) is the obvious, but then once they’re a certain range away (say, past Close), now make it Survival/Perception. But what’s the difficulty there? Up to you. There should remain upgrades, but when you aren’t having to also dodge laser blasts you can take the route more easily. Survival to navigate and either already know the mountains or guess the layout, Perception to try and follow the ship through the “sensor blind” region by either seeing them blip in and out on the sensor screen, or by actually viewing where they went.

For Survival, I’d make the difficulty set based on how treacherous/dense/complicated the mountains are, upgraded by half silhouette in the same manner as Difficult Terrain. Setback can be added for visual conditions, unfamiliarity, etc. Despair can result in being forced to fly above the mountains, immediately becoming visible again.

For Perception, there would be two difficulties: One based on everyone being down in the mountain range, and one with the pursuers above the mountains (when above the mountains, the pursuers always use Perception).

If the pursuers are down in the range with the pursuees, then they have one less difficulty than the pursuees, but an additional Setback from any visual conditions. If they’re up above, then they count as moving one speed faster (for resolving chase checks) and ignore Setback, but increase the difficulty once.

As always, Despair can result in a collision when appropriate, and can also be spent to force either party up out of the canyon.

Now, the patrols. If the PCs are Short range or more ahead of the TIE Strikers, have the patrols use Gunnery against the PCs’ Computers. A Triumph or 3 Advantage inflicts a Critical Hit on the PC’s ship as a missile detonates nearby (consider it a proximity fuse, rather than a direct impact). Computers allows the PCs to detect ground targets and/or spoof missiles, allowing the pilot to perform fewer evasive maneuvers, while the Gunnery from the ground fire slows down and damages the PCs, allowing the TIE Strikers to catch up.

From previous rolls (e.g. Computers in the Imp base), perhaps the PCs catch wind of these patrols. In that case, Knowledge (Warfare) vs. Leadership of the Imperial commander could be used to avoid the patrols, similar to navigating terrain, or the PCs could decide to go through the unpatrolled mountains instead (or, instead of unpatrolled, make it “patrolled by patrols light on AA”).

Hopefully, the PCs would succeed in shaking or destroying their pursuers and escape back home. Successive Triumph and Despair could indicate such an eventuality, beyond any damage or range, and even perhaps they think they escape only to discover that the Imperials shadowed them and learned of the location of their base (this would require the Imps to have stronger sensors than the Rebels, or to be able to mask their own presence while staying within sensor range themselves).

If they take the mountains, increase the amount of time it takes to get back by 100-200%. If they avoid the patrols, increase the time it takes to get back by 50%. If the time it takes to get back doesn’t matter, then just bear this in mind for the narrative.

Edit: I forgot to add, but you could also have the TIE Strikers open fire, making it an inverted version of the turret section I mentioned earlier. The catch is that if the PCs want to choose to fight it out with the turret gun rather than running and trying to dodge fire, they simply enter combat.

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