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All Rules in Pursuit

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Building a Pursuit

Source Ultimate Intrigue pg. 142
Once the GM knows the progress numbers for both the pursuers and quarries, she is ready to construct the overall structure of the pursuit. Building a pursuit is fairly simple, but the process depends on the type of pursuit (and for direct pursuits, whether the PCs are the pursuers or the quarries).

When running a pursuit, it helps to have a visual aid of the area where the pursuit takes place. If the GM is using a published adventure or otherwise has access to a nice-looking map of the region, it might be interesting to have a map big enough for miniatures or tokens to sit on each tile. The GM can then draw in the tiles, providing a bit of a game board to help the players visualize the pursuit.

Direct Pursuits

Source Ultimate Intrigue pg. 142
A direct pursuit involves a pursuing group chasing after a quarry group across a series of terrain tiles. The pursuers must succeed at Survival checks to continue tracking their quarries, as described in the Running a Pursuit section on page 143. Direct pursuits in which the PCs are the pursuers are the simplest and the most common type in an average campaign. It is a good idea to run a direct pursuit as the group’s first pursuit to help the players and GM alike to get a grasp of the system.

PCs as Pursuers: In a direct pursuit with NPC quarries, the GM establishes a linear series of terrain tiles that the quarries will follow, and the pursuers proceed along those tiles after their prey. See the section on Terrain Tiles for common types of terrain tiles. For a direct pursuit that is even simpler to run, don’t give the quarry group access to use all the tools described later in this section. For instance, the quarries might not attempt to gain advantages, and they might use tactics sparingly—and only if it makes the pursuit more interesting. Remember that if the quarry group doesn’t use those tools, the pursuit will be much easier for the PCs.

PCs as Quarries: If the PCs are quarries, direct pursuits become a bit more complicated, as the PCs have options for which path they choose and which type of terrain they enter as they try to shake their pursuers. The GM should present pursuit tiles arranged in more than a simple linear path. In fact, the GM can divide a map of the general region into terrain tiles as appropriate, perhaps using a hex grid to match the system for exploration in Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Campaign.

Ending a Direct Pursuit: A direct pursuit can end in one of four ways. When the pursuers are on the same tile as the quarries and have made equal or greater progress than the quarries, the pursuers catch their quarries. When the quarries reach a location where they stop progressing (such as a safe haven or stronghold), pursuit ends and may turn into a siege. When the pursuers can’t possibly succeed at the Survival check to continue tracking their quarries and have exhausted any other tactics that might help relocate the trail, their quarries have eluded them. Finally, the pursuers can voluntarily give up the pursuit. Optionally, the GM can choose a distance at which the quarries are so far ahead that the pursuers have no real chance of catching up. For instance, the GM might decide that if the quarry group is five tiles ahead of the pursuers, they’ve escaped; this number might be smaller in jungles or other dense terrain.

Races

Source Ultimate Intrigue pg. 143
In a race, both groups have far more options in their travels. As with a direct pursuit in which the PCs are the quarries, the GM should include more options for terrain tiles than just a linear path. The two groups might start on different tiles and move through different types of terrain during the race. A race features no quarry or pursuer. A race ends when one group reaches the designated destination.