The Chase: Man vs. Man vs. Machine vs. Nature

As inspiration for this blog entry, check out Jon Gibbons' work on the art for the chase section! (full-length 30 minutes)

It turns out that the opposed rolls of SUPERS Revised are as fitting for resolving chase scenes as they are for combat. Funny thing though, I didn't see that at first. My experience with games such as James Bond 007 and more recently Savage Worlds already had me pointed in a direction that involved specific maneuvers and tactical options. So in the early stages of Search & Destroy I began overlaying that type of model on to Supers RED, and I quickly realized that this was the wrong direction.

So I scrapped the whole thing and started over with a fresh perspective. Instead of a cause-and-effect approach, Supers works as an effect-and-cause model. The chase rules needed to enable the same. Therefore, the basics of a chase stay true to the opposed roll mechanics that are the strength of the system. To that, I simply added a couple of new wrinkles to exploit a chase scene for all it's worth.

  • Environment & Hazard Checks - The Backdrop is Out to Get You. In a really good chase scene, the participants are not just contending with each other, they are being assailed by the environment as well. So for chases in S&D, I made the environment an active third party. Each round, the Judge rolls for the environment to determine when a hazard comes into play and how big of a problem it presents. These hazard checks should provide some great opportunities for everyone to interact with the environment!

  • Chase Actions & Dynamic Actions - There are two potential action phases per round during a chase. Chase actions are those that involve maneuvering. Whenever vehicles are involved (which is most of the time), drivers may decide to rely strictly on the vehicle's qualities for the chase action. On the other hand, the driver may decide to use his or her Vehicle aptitude or any other aptitude that applies. This tactical decision can be important because when a driver uses a Vehicle Quality for the Chase action, they may still get a Dynamic action in the same round.

Those two aspects, Environmental Hazards and Chase Actions, put some extra emphasis on both the surroundings as well as the vehicles involved, all with the aim of capturing the action hero experience.

Next time, we will look at the "Social side" of action.

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