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BluSponge
BluSponge's picture
Cut to the Chase: Dramatic Chase Sequences
explorers society, Rule varriant, pdf

From that guy who brought you A Scandalous Affair and Cards on the Table...

High-octane chase scenes are a staple of modern swashbuckling cinema. So how do you bring that same excitement to your gaming table? Cut to the Chase presents an Action Sequence variant designed to inject your chase scenes with visceral, high stakes drama. Inside you’ll find:

  • tools designed to work seamlessly with any Action Sequence
  • a step-by-step walkthrough of how they work in play
  • a complete round-by-round example
  • guidelines for villains, monsters, and brute squads in chases
  • advice and idea generators to help you get the most out of chase scenes in your 7th Sea 2nd edition game

This is a big one, guys and gals. It was seeded with multiple groups and thoroughly playtested. It's as close as to a comprehensive guide to Chase Sequences in 7th Sea 2nd edition as I can give you. You can view all the rules components in the preview. If you don't like what you see, walk away. Everything else in the document builds on those simple tools. I've even included a simple GM cheat sheet at the end for reference in play. Please give it a look. Give it a spin on your next game session. If you like the results, please consider leaving a review. Thank you for your interest.

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Carlo Lope
Carlo Lope's picture

I sent you a private message asking about this a while back! You ruffian!

Anyways... I bought it and read a bit... It's really impressive BlueSponge. You gave details for everything! there were a couple of times I was like: What if I want to do this? like... a Villain shooting a pistol and then I read how Villains could act.

I will leave a review once I've finished reading it in detail :)

Thanks for this! I needed it.

BluSponge
BluSponge's picture

D'oh!  Sorry about that Carlo!  I didn't mean to leave you out.  It honestly must have slipped through the cracks.  I manage two youngsters during the day, so during the summer there are a LOT of cracks.

I really tried to make Cut to the Chase exactly the suppliment I would want to buy as a customer.  I wanted to keep the rules to an absolute minimum and was always looking for ways to trim them down to the barest essence and keep the rest of the material for guidance.  I had four or five people with eyes on it and playing it in their groups.  So any time someone asked a question ("Hey, what about this Monster Quality?") that I couldn't answer, it went into the book.  I'm pretty sure the Villain stuff was a morning shower revelation.  :D  I mean, you could just have your villain roll dice like anyone else, but I think my solution is a bit more elegant and will lead to less frusteration in play.

So yeah, I glad you're liking it.  Please throw a chase at your players in your next game session and see how it goes.

Carlo Lope
Carlo Lope's picture

At the monent I have one question though. Do you think it's fine how much Momentum you need in order to finish the Chase? I remember you saying something about pcs getting a lot of Raises once they are competent enough and even with Momentum 6, I kept wondering myself about what would happen if they get a lot of Raises.

I haven't done any maths regarding this but perhaps you asked this question yourself or some of the people who tried this out?

 

BluSponge
BluSponge's picture

The basic math concept is detailed in the Behind the Curtain section.  *I* think the requirements fine because I wanted chases to be short, exciting bursts in the narrative.  So a for a group of 4 players getting to 6 and even 4 Momentum in 3 rounds is going to require a bit of sacrifice.  But if you have a larger or experienced group, or one of the players is working the system really well (and that's cool – let them be awesome now and then), there are several built in methods of ratcheting up the difficulty:

  • a short, desperate chase (2 rounds to achieve Momentum)
  • increase the Momentum requirement (I recommend an upper limit of 10)
  • increase the Obstacle dice (since they are on odd results, you should average 1 obstacle for every 2 dice rolled), or spend danger points to turn regular Obstacles into Major Obstacles (which can cost the group Momentum)
  • spend Danger Points to increase the Raise requirements from 10 to 15 (for when the opposition has some advantage over the heroes).
  • if the object of the chase is a villain, just spend the influence point to escape and skip the chase altogether.

And there's no reason you have to stick with just one of these methods.  You can flip as many of these switches as you feel you need to.  But run a few basic chases first so you and your group can get the feel for them before you start turning up the heat.  The object of the chase variant is to keep the action focused on the players and to make each successive round feel more tense than the previous one.  If your players find chases frusterating, drawn out affairs against impossible odds ("You have 2 rounds to get to 10 momentum and I'm spending a danger point to make raises 15!") you are going to suck all the fun out of them.

Carlo Lope
Carlo Lope's picture

Well... My thoughts were if it was right to raise the Momentum needed to 8 or so... but you answered a lot of things (some extreme, others really interesting). :P

Either case, knowing about what different possibilities chases offer from you (you wrote this after all) satiated my curiosity. Thanks!

 

BluSponge
BluSponge's picture

Carlo, 

I don't see how raising the Momentum require to 8 would hurt anything. Especially if you have 5 or more players involved or they have some cool abilities to tap into. Obviously if your group is cakewalking through them, beef those chases up. Those are all the dials I can think of you can twist to make life more interesting for your heroes. There may be more hidden in there.

I really hope I've kept things flexible enough for individual GMs to tweak and push things in different directions to suit their tastes. And just because I think something doesn't mean I'm right. 4 and 6 may be setting the bar low. It probably is. So I'm very interested to hear what people do with this expansion now that it's out of my hands. I hope that came off in my response above. It's been a crazy weekend, so please excuse any dismissal of your question. That wasn't my intent. In fact, if you find 8 Momentum a better metric, please let me know.

Carlo Lope
Carlo Lope's picture

Don't worry. It's been a hard weekend for me also and you know how I usually post some crazy things. No need to feel bad as I didn't feel you were ignoring me... Actually, you probably answered questions I would have asked anyways :)

I'll tell you how it goes as soon as I can.

Guy Jobbins
Guy Jobbins's picture

BluSponge - used these rules in the opening scene of our new Season, with the Heroes' ship being pursued by a mighty Man O'War through a gale. With waves washing over the decks, chasing cannon fire, and wind tearing at the rigging, they goaded their crew to fly more sail, put out a fire in the galley, and surfed down a rogue wave to escape. They mustered 4 momentum in just two rounds, but afterwards said that the tension and action was a great kick-off to the session. 

I hesitated about using the chase rules for the first time in a ship encounter, but it worked well. Rather than having the chase rapidly changing locations, I framed it in terms of a rapidly changing pursuit in difficult waters. First round was about struggling with the conditions, second round was about surviving a broadside (at range) while leaving the Man O'War standing at a disadvantage in challenging shallow waters. So it worked narratively. 

We ran a second chase scene later in the session, more in keeping with your ruleset - over rooftops and through a crowded market. Worked very well.

Thanks for putting these rules together. A great asset, and I think we'll be using them a lot.

BluSponge
BluSponge's picture

Fantastic!  Sounds just like what they were meant to do: not be so difficult as to turn the scene into a slugfest, but to give the players a nice jolt of tension.  And the way you handled the shifting scenery sounds great!

I have a simplified chase mechanic for the sea battles expansion I'm finishing, but those are meant to be an appetizer not the main course.  So I'm really happy to hear the CttC material worked well in this scenario.

Harliquinn Whit...
Harliquinn Whiteshadow's picture

Blu

    Awesome work as always. My biggest question is around Momentum and Obstacles.

    First Question:

     By my reading of Momentum in the intro, "Building Momentum is a Special Opportunity that costs 1 Raise per Hero in the scene," I understood that for the 'group' to achieve 1 Momentum, all Heroes had to spend 1 Raise towards building Momentum (Succeed or fail as a group). However, in the example, Carmena spent 2 Raises to build Momentum (since Rory could not spend 1 Raise) and yet they received Momentum 2. Can you help clarify what I'm not understanding?

 

    Second Question:

    For Obstacles, my assumption (and impression) is that unlike Opportunities or Consequences, Obstacles *must* be overcome by each Hero (or removed by a special Opportunity) before Momentum can be gained in the Scene? Is that true?  If not, I'm trying to understand the main difference between an Obstacle and a Consequence of "Take one Wound" or "Take one Wound and lose 1 Momentum"

    Addendum: Do all Players need to devote at least 1 Raise to a Major Obstacle during a scene for that Obstacle not to reduce Momentum for the group?

John

BluSponge
BluSponge's picture

By my reading of Momentum in the intro, "Building Momentum is a Special Opportunity that costs 1 Raise per Hero in the scene," I understood that for the 'group' to achieve 1 Momentum, all Heroes had to spend 1 Raise towards building Momentum (Succeed or fail as a group). However, in the example, Carmena spent 2 Raises to build Momentum (since Rory could not spend 1 Raise) and yet they received Momentum 2. Can you help clarify what I'm not understanding?'

I should really go and edit those to say "shared Opportunities".  Momentum works kinda like a Shared Consequence.  The size of group tells you how many Raises you need to achieve a rank in it.  It doesn't matter who spends the Raises.  If you have one player who with an advantage that turns all her dice to Raises in a scene, spend those Raises in place of the other players at the table, giving them room to do other things.  Now, ideally this is going to cost each player 1 Raise, because between Consequences, Opportunities, and Obstacles, there should be plenty of things competing for those Raises.  But as long as the number of raises is met, it doesn't matter where they come from.

For Obstacles, my assumption (and impression) is that unlike Opportunities or Consequences, Obstacles *must* be overcome by each Hero (or removed by a special Opportunity) before Momentum can be gained in the Scene? Is that true?  If not, I'm trying to understand the main difference between an Obstacle and a Consequence of "Take one Wound" or "Take one Wound and lose 1 Momentum"

No, you do not NEED to counter all Obstacles in the scene to build Momentum.  An Obstacle is a type of Consequence that must either be overcome by spending a Raise or the player takes a wound.  A MAJOR Obstacle is one that not only inflicts a Wound if you don't counter it, but also potentially costs Momentum.  I wanted to distinguish Obstacles as their own thing because an Obstacle affects ALL THE HEROES in the scene.  Different approachs lend themselves to different Consequences.  But an Obstacle is right there in the fat middle of everything and eithe needs to be overcome or it costs you.  Plus, these aren't exactly like shared Consequences.  Your GM might rule that another player could spend a Raise to help you past that barrel, or not.

With a regular Obstacle, you can spend a Raise to overcome it (jumping over a barrel) or not and take a wound (stumbling past it, bouncing off of it, etc.)

With a Major Obstacle (a cart full of barrels crossing the road in front of you), you have to spend two Raises to fully overcome it: one to avoid a wound and one not to lose Momentum. 

Faced with a Major Obstacle, you COULD save your raises, take the wound AND the loss of Momentum, and STILL spend a Raise towards building Momentum later in the round.  But then you lose as much as you gain.  If you pay attention to the math, at some point you are going to have to make a hard choice between taking wounds and building Momentum.  Losing Momentum just makes that harder.

Do all Players need to devote at least 1 Raise to a Major Obstacle during a scene for that Obstacle not to reduce Momentum for the group?

That's totally the call of the GM.  I can see there could be circumstances where I would not allow that, and others where I wound.  By the letter of the rules in CttC, I would say treat it like a Shared Consequence.  But that's a broad blanket statement that isn't meant to cover every possible scenario.

Something to consider: in CttC, fully embraces the idea that Wounds are not necessarily physical injuries.  They could be fatigue, confusion, distraction, disorientation, irritation, you name it.  A chamber pot poured on top of you does a wound unless you counter it, because its really hard to focus on your objective when you are wet, nasty and smell like piss (or worse).  So have fun with it.

Harliquinn Whit...
Harliquinn Whiteshadow's picture

Thanks for the reply. I love the rules you've put together and want to use them when we play again in a month. I think I found a discrepancy in the sample.

In the first scene, 2 Raises are spent for Momentum but the Momentum goes from 0 to 2. Did I miss something there?

BluSponge
BluSponge's picture

Nope.  It's just an error.  Originally Momentum started at 1.  But I realized then you only had to bump it three times to win.  So I changed it to 0.  That's all.

Harliquinn Whit...
Harliquinn Whiteshadow's picture

Okay now I understand! When we resume this November with our 7th Sea game, I'm definitely going to have a chase with the new rules :)

BluSponge
BluSponge's picture

Great!  Try em.  Let me know how they work out for you.  :D

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