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jgalak
So I was trying to run a car chase using the Chase Combat system during last nights session, and it seems broken in several ways. My players were really unhappy with it, so I'm hoping for some advice on how to resolve this. Please note that this all under SR4a.

1) Penalties/bonuses for multiple vehicles. Players are being chased by 4 cars. The PCs have 1 car. As I read the rules, the PCs get +2 to their drive roll for one car on their side and -8 for 4 card on the other side, for a net of -6. The NPCs are jsut the opposite - +8 for 4 cars, -2 for the PC's one car, for a net of +6. That's an effective swing of 12 dice! That seems huge? Am I looking at it correctly? Is there another fix? One obvious way is to just drop it to +1/-1, anyone try that and like the results?

2) Timing of the opposed vehicular roll. It seems that this roll needs to be done at the beginning of each chase combat turn, but it just says the driver must contribute one complex action per turn to this. Can the driver choose which action? If the driver has multiple initiative passes (jumped-in rigger in hot VR), can he use his last pass for this?

3) Use of the opposed vehicular roll. It says that the action being used for the opposed vehicular roll can be used to perform a stunt (cut-off, etc.). Is this a separate test from the main opposed roll? I'm not quite clear on how this works.

4) Length of chase combat turn. This is the biggie. SR4a states that one chase combat turn is 1 minute, or 20 rounds. That's plausible in terms of getting vehicles maneuvering, but what about the actions of the characters inside? Do the passengers get 20 rounds worth of actions for each one of these? In the case of the street sam with WR3, firing a pistol, that's 120 shots each chase combat turn! I tried making each chase combat turn one normal turn in length, but then the scale for vehicle response doesn't really work (if Knights Errant show up in 5 minutes to investigate the firefight, in normal combat turns that's 100 turns..). Any advice? I'm tempted to split the difference and make each chase combat turn maybe 3-5 regular turns, see if that works.

Any advice on a better way to do this would be appreciated.
Karoline
I've always heard that the chase rules in SR suck, so I'd guess you're just running up against that problem. As for fixing it I have no idea. I think I'd personally ignore the section on chases completely and simply set it up so that the vehicles move exactly like they normally would, with perhaps the ability to make a pilot roll (As a simple or complex action, once per turn max) to increase speed. There is no reason that having multiple cars tailing you would make it harder to go faster than them or generally hinder you in any direct way. All it would do is make it more likely that at least one of them will pass the check to do a hairpin turn at 200 KPH.
DireRadiant
You are either in Chase Mode, or Tactical Combat. Choose one. Don't mix them. See Page 167 SR4A Vehicle Combat.

If the PC are taking actions on IP, you are not in Chase Combat, and you do not use the Chase Combat rules, tables and modifiers. If the PC are using IP, yes, one IP per round is used to do a Pilot test or there is a risk of Vehicle crashing.

:"Tactical combat primarily occurs when vehicles (usually drones)
are supporting (or opposing) the characters, or in pretty much any
situations where flesh-and-blood characters are involved as well as
vehicles. (For example, the party is trying to stop the bad guy from
boarding a helicopter and getting away.)"

"Chase combat occurs predominantly when only vehicles are involved
(though this may not always be the case) and is generally a lot
more fluid, based more on maneuverability than positioning. Itís more
abstract and takes place over a much larger scale and timeframe than
standard tactical combat."

1. Yep, it's hard to out run 4 cars.

2. The Chase Stunt is a Vehicle control test with a special outcome. You are almost always going to do one of these instead of a simple pilot vehicle test.

3. See 2

4. If you want the PC to use 20 rounds of actions in a Chase Combat Turn, then you are not in Chase combat, you are in Tactical Combat. Use Tactical Combat rules with IP passes initiative order etc.

You are in either a Vehicle chase where the PC can take an occasional shot, or a gunfight where the combatants happen to be in vehicles.

Normally I simply give passengers a single complex action per Chase Combat turn to do something if we are in Chase Combat.
Ascalaphus
Vehicle Chase Combat is what you get on long stretches of road, where you can get out of regular gunfire range to the point where you only get a good opportunity for a shot every minute instead of every three seconds.

Tactical (Vehicle) Combat is what happens when vehicles are cornered somewhere in a city, distance is less, and shooting people in the other vehicles becomes more feasible.
D2F
QUOTE (Ascalaphus @ Dec 30 2009, 10:49 PM) *
Vehicle Chase Combat is what you get on long stretches of road, where you can get out of regular gunfire range to the point where you only get a good opportunity for a shot every minute instead of every three seconds.

Tactical (Vehicle) Combat is what happens when vehicles are cornered somewhere in a city, distance is less, and shooting people in the other vehicles becomes more feasible.


I would not restrict chase combat to long stretches of oen road. The downtown chase through heavy traffic can just as well be chase combat as the Autoduelist chase across a german Autobahn.
The differing characteristic here shoud be time. If time is of the essence, you're in tactical mode. If not (and you're in a Vehicle chase) it's chase mode. At least that's how I handle it.

That all said: the chase rules still suck, even in the 4th edition...
Ascalaphus
QUOTE (D2F @ Dec 31 2009, 12:14 AM) *
I would not restrict chase combat to long stretches of oen road. The downtown chase through heavy traffic can just as well be chase combat as the Autoduelist chase across a german Autobahn.
The differing characteristic here shoud be time. If time is of the essence, you're in tactical mode. If not (and you're in a Vehicle chase) it's chase mode. At least that's how I handle it.

That all said: the chase rules still suck, even in the 4th edition...


Well, usually in town distances between cars will be small enough that tactical combat becomes possible, so you'll probably end up doing that instead. But I suppose it could happen, if you pick a bigger scale; for instance when there's lots of cars between you, and you therefore only get in range (without too much obstructions) once a minute for tactical. The point of the chase might be to close in enough to engage in tactical combat instead (the pursuer probably wants this.)
jgalak
According to the book, "short" range in chase combat is literally side-by-side (and they use the specific example of being able to jump from car to car), "medium" range is medium range for most ranged weapons, "long" range is long range, etc. So it's not exactly long stretches of open road.

The problem I have is one of realism - in that one minute of driving, characters are doing something, and 20 rounds is forever in SR combat. I suppose if you only have one person per car, and he's trying to drive and shoot out the window at the other vehicle, it makes sense that he only gets an occasional shot off, but once you add passengers to the mix, there's no way they aren't popped out of the moonroof firing for all they are worth. With the other vehicle at short or medium range, that's gotta be more than one set of shots per minute...

I guess the real issue here is that the RAW suck for chase combat. I think what I'll try next time is to say that each chase round is 5 normal rounds, and you get one set of IPs per chase round (to account for the difficulty of doing things in a jostling car with opponents dodging and weaving). We'll see how that oges over.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (jgalak @ Dec 30 2009, 04:40 PM) *
According to the book, "short" range in chase combat is literally side-by-side (and they use the specific example of being able to jump from car to car), "medium" range is medium range for most ranged weapons, "long" range is long range, etc. So it's not exactly long stretches of open road.

The problem I have is one of realism - in that one minute of driving, characters are doing something, and 20 rounds is forever in SR combat. I suppose if you only have one person per car, and he's trying to drive and shoot out the window at the other vehicle, it makes sense that he only gets an occasional shot off, but once you add passengers to the mix, there's no way they aren't popped out of the moonroof firing for all they are worth. With the other vehicle at short or medium range, that's gotta be more than one set of shots per minute...

I guess the real issue here is that the RAW suck for chase combat. I think what I'll try next time is to say that each chase round is 5 normal rounds, and you get one set of IPs per chase round (to account for the difficulty of doing things in a jostling car with opponents dodging and weaving). We'll see how that oges over.



Funny... I actually enjoy the Chase Combat and we use it often at our table... we have never actually had any problems with it...

Keep the Faith
Malachi
QUOTE (jgalak @ Dec 30 2009, 05:40 PM) *
I think what I'll try next time is to say that each chase round is 5 normal rounds, and you get one set of IPs per chase round (to account for the difficulty of doing things in a jostling car with opponents dodging and weaving). We'll see how that oges over.

This is pretty close to what I do, except I leave the 1 minute time frame, and give each players the normal number of IP's they get in a round. Except this round lasts 1 minute instead of 3 seconds.

The Chase Combat work fine for what they are intended to do: provide a "quick and dirty" way to play a moving scene without having to keep track of exact distances, speeds, and accelerations. If your group really wants to do all that precision number crunching then run every vehicle chase as Tactical Combat. If the "1 minute" thing is bothering you then simply change the number. I'm fairly certain the only reason 1 minute was chosen was to give a plausible amount of time that a vehicle could change relative distance(s) to target within a single interval.
Karoline
QUOTE (Malachi @ Dec 30 2009, 11:34 PM) *
I'm fairly certain the only reason 1 minute was chosen was to give a plausible amount of time that a vehicle could change relative distance(s) to target within a single interval.


You've obviously never driven on a highway before. Relative distances can change in alot less than a minute wink.gif
Larme
Chase combat is actually a misnomer. It should be called crash crash boom boom combat. You can't escape if the opponents significantly outnumber you, and that means one thing: you have to thin the herd. A plain chase, where you just try to drive away from the other team, will get you nowhere. You might as well drive on a treadmill.

The easiest way to thin the herd, as a rigger, is to use Cut Off on vehicle after vehicle. If your opponents are less skilled then you, they'll crash and get taken out of the fight. Then you can easily move to long range and Break Off. If you have weapons, or friends shooting from your windows, you can also thin the herd by shooting, which has a similar result. Oil slick sprayers and road strip ejectors are also quite helpful.
Tricen
When I run Chase Combat, I usually let the drivers operate as normal and let the passengers make extended tests for whatever they want to do (shoot at that driver, etc.). Usually the difficulty is Med Range:12, Long Range: 18, Extreme Range: 24. When they finally reach the goal, they get to make a ranged test (if shooting). For other tasks, other extended tests come into play. It keeps the others occupied while the drivers are having their fun. Shadowrun is a spotlight game and situations like this should be spotlighting the driver. The trick is to allow the others to aid. So far, this has worked grand ^_^
vacrix
i too ran into this problem as an unarmed adept pixie flying from car to car so i feel your pain.

i think the best idea for tactical combat would to have the driver's dice pool to be used more like a gymnastics roll to do stunts and turns and what not. then the players in the car that are shooting could make a balance roll (gymnastics + agi?) to see if they can shoot and it would give them a modifier to their attack roll based on their hits.

im still curious as too how more experienced players would suggest unarmed flying from car to car combat?
Karoline
I wouldn't imagine that a pixie could keep up with a vehicle at speed.
vacrix
well it wasnt a highway chase it was a hongkong alleyway chase. and being that im a legit atheltic pixie i was able to sprint from one to the next in 1 second bursts.
Karoline
QUOTE (vacrix @ Dec 31 2009, 03:47 PM) *
well it wasnt a highway chase it was a hongkong alleyway chase. and being that im a legit atheltic pixie i was able to sprint from one to the next in 1 second bursts.


Then you are dealing with tactical combat and not chase combat. Keep in mind that even a very very fast sprinter is going to have trouble going more than... I don't know, like 15-20 mph tops. Even a car going through back alleys and the like is going to be going 30+ easy. I could see you jumping (Sideways or backwards) from one to another, but there is no way you could catch up to one once you got behind it.
Mercer
With the Movement power from a decent force spirit, and it's not impossible for a person on foot to outrun a car, particularly in tight quarters.
Karoline
QUOTE (Mercer @ Dec 31 2009, 04:50 PM) *
With the Movement power from a decent force spirit, and it's not impossible for a person on foot to outrun a car, particularly in tight quarters.


Good point. A world class sprinter with a F6 or so spirit giving them movement could hit 100 mph or so.
vacrix
well we were in front so i was jumping backwards and forwards. still +50m/s for a sprint isnt that bad specially if we did augment it. our mage was unable to show up so our Dm wouldn't let us use him frown.gif
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