Airships and Riverboats Peak
Posted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 6:24 am
I mentioned earlier that I had the "chase" rules done for the Airships & Riverboats revision. As a sneak peak to go along with the great Discipline previews we have been getting, here is that section of the chapter (may undergo further edits).
Travelers who encounter each other in the skies, waterways, and territories of Barsaive may react in two ways: either they engage the other party (for parley or combat), or they avoid engagement. How ships and other large groups of characters react is determined by the ship's captain or the group's leader.
If all parties or ships involved decide to avoid engagement, they simply go their separate ways. If all parties decide to engage, players may use the rules below to initiate combat or parley. If some parties wish to avoid engagement and others want to engage them, those determined to engage begin a Pursuit. At times, through ambush or other subterfuge, one group may surprise the other and in these cases the gamemaster may immediately call for Engagement rolls, granting the surprising group 2 initial successes.
A Pursuit is a situation where one party follows another party over a relatively long time-period. The pursuing party may hope to close distance to engage the pursued or they may merely wish to shadow their prey—hoping to learn something important. The gamemaster first determines a time scale for the pursuit, how long each turn will last. Use a 1 hour pursuit turn for ship-to-ship or overland pursuits that will cover miles of territory. Use a 10 minute pursuit turn for smaller locations, like around a town, kaer, or ruin.
Inform the players of the turn scale chosen. At the beginning of each turn all parties in the pursuit with at least the “Crack Crew” success level may attempt to increase their Speed Step by activating the “Make Sail/Full Ahead” Maneuver. Next, the fastest pursuing party makes a Pursuit test using its Speed step. The target number of the Pursuit test is the lowest Speed step of the parties being pursued.
If the Pursuit test is successful the encounter has closed to Engagement range, where ships chase each other while jockeying for position at the edges of their weapon ranges.
If the Pursuit test fails, the gamemaster describes the events of the pursuit turn—such as changes in weather, scenery, or new obstacles—and may make a Hazard test, as described in the Hazards section. If a second Pursuit test fails, the quarry has lost the pursuer. The gamemaster may allow certain abilities to find a lost quarry, but this should be handled on a case-by-case basis.
For more detailed chases with obstacles and rapid action, use the Engagement rules below with 1 minute turns. Make the current turn-scale clear to the players, especially as you shift from one mode to another.
Each engagement turn, all ship make a Speed(5) test. The first ship to achieve 6 successes in total achieves their objective—either to close or to flee the situation. If ships are tied with 6 or more successes, continue the engagement turns until one is clearly in the lead. During the first engagement turn, ships will use the modified Speed step from their last action. Allow each ship that qualifies to modify their Speed on following turns.
The winning ship of an engagement determines what occurs next. A fleeing ship causes the action to drop back to the long range pursuit scale. A ship that successfully closes may initiate combat, or may attempt to parley with the other group.
To call for “parley” is to offer a temporary truce while a situation is handled through negotiation. If the other party does not already have Attitude rating towards those calling for parley, the gamemaster may make a Reaction test to determine a random starting attitude, as described in the Hazards section on Possible Hostilities.
From here use roleplaying and the Social Interaction rules (Gamemaster’s Guide, p.142-155) to resolve the scene, starting with Making an Impression—and using the other Social Interaction rules as appropriate. These negotiations may take one or more 1-minute turns, and lead to a negotiated settlement, a trading of Favors, or even to violence as Hostile character attempt to hide their intentions right up to the moment of attack.