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All Rules in Pursuit

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Terrain Tiles

Source Ultimate Intrigue pg. 143
The following are some of the most common types of terrain tiles a group might encounter during a pursuit. One terrain tile is roughly 12 miles across (the same size as hexes from Ultimate Campaign’s exploration system), though pursuit is abstracted enough that the size can vary. Especially large tracts of one terrain type should consist of multiple tiles. The GM might want to customize these options and create terrain tiles appropriate for the situation. For instance, if the PCs use aerial tracks to pursue foes through the clouds, the GM should create a sky terrain tile.

Each terrain tile’s stat block lists the amount of progress a group needs to make to pass off of that tile and onto the next one, followed by the typical type of ground and the base Survival DC in parentheses, plus the maximum number of advantages a group can employ on that type of tile. This limit resets when the group enters a new 1-hour pursuit phase. The number of advantages is smaller the easier the terrain is to navigate, as there’s not many tricks that can speed up travel along a road, for instance, without using a vehicle or magical means of conveyance.

Inclement Weather

Bad weather, especially precipitation, can affect both the progress a group makes and the DCs of Survival checks required during pursuits.

Progress: Heavy precipitation, strong winds, and other environmental factors might impede a group’s progress. For brief storms lasting one or two pursuit phases, reduce the group’s progress by 1 in each pursuit phase. If an entire terrain tile has particularly nasty weather (like a high mountain plagued by winds or a jungle during a monsoon), instead add between 4 and 8 to the tile’s progress to complete, depending on the weather’s severity. Increase the tile’s number of maximum advantages by 1 so the travelers have the opportunity to find a way to overcome the nasty weather.

Tracking: If there is rain during a direct pursuit, increase the DC of the Survival check by 1 for every pursuit phase that it rained. If it snowed, increase the DC by 10 instead. To track the duration of the precipitation during a direct pursuit, mark down the tile where the quarries are and the amount of progress they have made when the precipitation begins, then mark down the progress they had made when the precipitation ends. When the pursuers are on that tile and have made an amount of progress equal to or greater than the lower progress value, use the increased Survival DCs. After the pursuers have passed the higher progress value, the Survival DCs return to normal. If the precipitation occurs before the quarries entered an area, the Survival DCs to follow the trail might be reduced since the ground becomes very soft mud or covered in snow.


Progress to Complete 12
Ground soft (DC 10) or very soft (DC 5); Maximum Advantages 2

Cold terrain includes tundras, glaciers, and the like. The rules for environmental cold dangers apply in most cases, potentially affecting both groups.


Progress to Complete 16
Ground very soft (DC 5), soft (DC 10), or firm (DC 15); Maximum Advantages 3

Desert terrain includes warm and sandy areas. The rules for environmental heat dangers apply in most cases, potentially affecting both groups.


Progress to Complete 16
Ground firm (DC 15); Maximum Advantages 3

Forest terrain includes both deciduous and coniferous forests, but not dense jungles or rain forests.


Progress to Complete 16
Ground firm (DC 15); Maximum Advantages 3

Hilly terrain includes areas with plenty of uphill and downhill travel, but not mountains.


Progress to Complete 32
Ground firm (DC 15); Maximum Advantages 8

Jungle terrain is denser than forest terrain, and it also includes rain forests. Jungle terrain is particularly slow going, but there is ample opportunity to gain an advantage over pursuers or quarries.


Progress to Complete 24
Ground firm (DC 15) or hard (DC 20); Maximum Advantages 6

Mountainous terrain contains areas that require climbing, as well as the potential for steep cliffs and precipitous drops. If the need to climb is especially ubiquitous or if the characters are climbing above the timber line (use the rules for cold dangers), a mountain tile can have more maximum advantages and take more progress in order to complete.


Progress to Complete 8
Ground firm (DC 15); Maximum Advantages 0

The plains terrain is a basic terrain type with no particular hindrances or advantages, and often represents a tame, flat grassland that isn’t difficult to travel across. A wild and overgrown savannah tile can easily have more maximum advantages and take more progress to complete. The statistics for a plain tile also suit many other types of readily navigable ground.


Progress to Complete varies
Ground varies; Maximum Advantages varies

Planes vary so wildly in their nature that it would be impossible to create a listing that covers them all in any meaningful way. Sometimes, an area on the planes can be simulated by using another sort of terrain tile. On other planes, tracking becomes nearly impossible. On planes with truly strange or exotic features, such as highly morphic planes, it’s appropriate to offer plenty of know the terrain advantages and other advantages involving the plane’s nature (such as an advantage using the Fly skill to understand and control subjective gravity).


Progress to Complete 8
Ground firm (DC 15) or hard (DC 20); Maximum Advantages 0

A dirt or cobblestone road can let a group move quickly without leaving as clear a trail as they would in unworked terrain. However, traveling on a road makes it more likely they’ll be seen. The gather information tactic can make it easier to track road travelers. Old, unused, and overgrown roads are treated like plains.


Progress to Complete 16
Ground very soft (DC 5) or soft (DC 10); Maximum Advantages 3

Swampy terrain includes bogs, marshes, and fens, as well as any other sort of wetlands. A swamp tile with a significant number of deep areas, quicksand, or more can easily have more maximum advantages and take more progress to complete.


Progress to Complete 12
Ground hard (DC 20); Maximum Advantages 2

Underground terrain includes caverns and dungeons. While the ground is hard—making it one of the most difficult terrains through which to track prey—the lack of rain or snow can make it much easier for pursuers to catch up to their quarries. While the typical underground tile only offers a small number of obstacles and hindrances, an underground tile with extremely narrow tunnels, yawning chasms, treacherous dips and climbs, or other sorts of features can easily have more maximum advantages and take more progress to complete.


Progress to Complete varies
Ground varies; Maximum Advantages varies

Underwater pursuits also require more planning than other types. Because travel speeds can very wildly, a pursuit might end up being trivial if one side has members with swim speeds and the other doesn’t. Typically, if so much of the pursuit occurs underwater that it takes up an entire terrain tile or more, and both groups are on equal footing in terms of their ability to move underwater, it’s best to find an analog among the other terrain tiles and use that instead. For instance, traversing an underwater garden might work like a jungle, traversing open stretches of water might work like a plain, and swimming under an iceberg might be cold terrain or a mountain (and could use the rules for cold dangers). This also assumes the groups can breathe underwater for enough pursuit phases to traverse an underwater tile.


Progress to Complete 16
Ground firm (DC 15) or hard (DC 20); Maximum Advantages 3

In theory, urban terrain covers settlements from a thorp to a metropolis, but for an entire terrain tile to count as urban, it must be a large enough city to warrant a tile (though smaller settlements might certainly appear on another terrain’s tile, thus opening up different tactics or advantages). Tracking through an urban environment can be extremely challenging, given the sheer number of creatures present, but that also makes the gather information tactic more effective. Despite the relative ease of moving through a city, an urban tile takes longer to navigate because of the difficulty of tracking creatures through a heavily populated environment.


Progress to Complete 16
Ground hard (DC 20, see text); Maximum Advantages 3

A lake or an area with many rivers counts as a water tile. Because such a tile contains little ground, Survival checks to track involve following wakes or looking for refuse quarries left behind, functioning the same as hard ground. Rapids might cause a water tile to take more progress to complete, and water features with currents typically have more maximum advantages. A group traveling on water usually needs a boat or raft, and uses the speed of that vessel. Swimmers must attempt a DC 20 Swim check for each 1-hour pursuit phase or take 1d6 points of nonlethal damage (See the <%SKILLS&Swim">Swim skill for more information). The special movement tactic allows a creature with a swim speed to traverse water rapidly.