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Vehicle Rules

VEHICLE COMBAT

When you’re in a vehicle fleeing from enemies who are on foot, or you’re on foot yourselves trying to stop a vehicle, movement and combat are represented on a grid, such as a battle map. Different rules apply to chases between vehicles, since they involve much greater distances.

Vehicles are objects, so they don’t have actions or reactions of their own—they must be driven by a character. However, they might still move when uncontrolled.

VEHICLE HEADING

Which direction creatures are facing on a grid is generally irrelevant, but vehicles aren’t as nimble, so you need to monitor a vehicle’s heading each time it moves. If you’re using miniatures, rotate the vehicle’s miniature to face the correct direction whenever its heading changes. The vehicle has to face toward one of the edges of its space, not toward a corner.

When a vehicle has to move at its current heading (such as during a race action or when uncontrolled), it has to move in a straight line. This line is measured from the center of the vehicle on its front edge, and it can be straight ahead or at an angle. The angle can’t be greater than 45 degrees diagonally from the heading.

VEHICLE HEADING AND MOVEMENT EXAMPLE

Left Forward Diagonally

Forward

Right Forward Diagonally

Vehicle

The vehicle in this diagram is facing forward, so its current heading is toward the top of the diagram. If its driver takes the race action, the vehicle must move in a straight line at its current heading, allowing the vehicle to move forward or forward at an angle to the left or right, though the angle can be no more than 45 degrees from its heading. If the vehicle is uncontrolled, it must move forward (its most recent heading); it can’t move diagonally. In either case, the vehicle keeps the same heading it had before it moved.

If the driver takes the drive action instead, the vehicle can move in any direction (not just its current heading) and turn as needed during the movement, allowing it to swerve and even zigzag. At the end of the movement, the driver can set the vehicle’s heading toward any direction (or keep the same heading, if desired).

DRIVING A VEHICLE

When you’re driving a vehicle during a combat on a grid, the vehicle moves on your initiative count and you have to spend your actions to drive it. Creatures can take the following actions to drive or interact with vehicles, in addition to the normal combat actions.

MOVE ACTIONS

It takes a move action to board, drive, start, abruptly stop, or take control of a vehicle, as detailed below.

Board or Disembark from a Vehicle: You can board or disembark from a vehicle as a move action. Doing so while the vehicle is in motion requires a successful Acrobatics check; see Boarding.

Drive: You can drive a vehicle at its drive speed, which is noted in the Speed entry of the vehicle’s statistics as a move action. You can turn as needed throughout that movement, and you set your heading at the end of the drive action. Vehicles provoke attacks of opportunity while driving, and when you are in a vehicle that’s driving, you similarly provoke attacks of opportunity if you take any actions that would normally do so (including making ranged attacks) unless the vehicle provides total cover. You can’t use the drive action to move a vehicle through spaces occupied by creatures, even if they’re allies.

Start Vehicle: Firing the ignition of a vehicle is typically a move action, though more complicated vehicles might have a multistage startup sequence requiring multiple actions.

Stop Short: Stopping a vehicle after a race action (see Race below) requires a move action (stopping after a drive action doesn’t require an action; see Not an Action). Normally, a vehicle continues to move following a race action. You can attempt a Drive check (see Driving a Vehicle) to reduce the distance your vehicle moves before stopping after a race action by the result of your check, rounded down to the next 5-foot increment. For example, with a result of 17 you would reduce the distance moved by 15 feet (3 squares).

Take Control: You can take control of an uncontrolled vehicle as a move action. See Uncontrolled vehicles for more information about taking control of an uncontrolled vehicle.

FULL ACTIONS

Speed along in a straight line or attacking with the body of a vehicle takes a full action, as detailed below.

Race: When making a race action, you drive a vehicle at full speed in a straight line at its current heading using a full action. You must succeed at a Drive check (DC 15) to race. If your vehicle is starting from a dead stop (that is, it didn’t move last round), the DC of the check increases by 5.

If you fail this Drive check, the vehicle’s behavior depends on the circumstances of the check and the surrounding terrain. If you were attempting to race from a dead stop, the vehicle stalls and doesn’t move at all. If the vehicle was already moving, its behavior depends on the terrain. Rough terrain slows the vehicle, causing it to move at half its full speed at its current heading. On flat terrain, the vehicle usually moves at full speed but goes significantly off course. In this case, the GM should take the 180-degree arc in front of the vehicle and divide it into four equal 45-degree arcs. Then the GM randomly determines which of these arcs the vehicle moves into.

A vehicle can’t safely race through difficult terrain or over obstacles unless outfitted with special gear, nor can it safely race to a destination you can’t see unless you’ve thoroughly scanned the destination. If you force a vehicle to race unsafely, you must attempt a Drive check at a DC determined by the GM (usually 20 + any driving conditional modifiers) when you encounter the difficult terrain or obstacle. If you fail or the vehicle is uncontrolled, the vehicle crashes or spins out, as determined by the GM.

After taking a race action, a vehicle doesn’t slow down immediately. On your next turn, you have four options: you can use another full action to continue to race at full speed, use a move action to drive at the vehicle’s drive speed, use a move action to stop short, or relinquish control of the vehicle as a swift action. If you take a swift or move action, you can also take a standard action during that turn. For instance, you could race one turn, then on your next turn, you could fire a weapon as a standard action and then drive as your move action.

A racing vehicle provokes attacks of opportunity, but it gets a +2 bonus to its AC against them due to its speed.

Many vehicles have extremely high full speeds compared to creatures’ speeds, so racing at full speed is often tantamount to exiting a battle entirely, unless other vehicles get involved.

Ram:  As a full action, you can drive a vehicle at up to its full speed in a straight line at its current heading and try to ram one creature or object at the end of the movement, dealing double the vehicle’s collision damage to the target and half the vehicle’s collision damage to your vehicle. A vehicle’s collision damage and collision DC are listed in the Attack (Collision) entry of its statistics, the DC modified by +1 for every 2 ranks in the driver’s Drive skill.

Movement during a ram action has all the same restrictions as the race action and requires the same Drive checks. If you fail any Drive check during the movement, you fail to ram your target.

If the target of the ram action is a creature, it can attempt a Reflex saving throw against the vehicle’s collision DC to avoid being hit. If the target of the ram action is another vehicle, the driver of the defending vehicle can attempt a Drive check to avoid being hit, with a DC equal to the result of your Drive check. The attacker wins ties.

Run Over: As a full action, you can drive a vehicle at up to double its drive speed and run over any creatures at least two size categories smaller than the vehicle during this movement. Those creatures take bludgeoning damage equal to the vehicle’s collision damage, but can each attempt a Reflex save against the vehicle’s collision DC to take half damage. Roll the damage only once and apply it to each creature, rather than rolling separately for each. A vehicle’s collision damage and collision DC are listed in the Attack (Collision) entry of its statistics, the DC modified by +1 for every 2 ranks in the driver’s Drive skill. (see Vehicles).

When you take a run over action, the vehicle takes damage equal to half the damage rolled for each creature it runs over. If the vehicle becomes unable to proceed due to this damage, it ceases moving. You can still set the vehicle’s heading at the end of this movement as normal.

A vehicle taking the run over action can damage a creature no more than once per round, no matter how many times its movement takes it over a target creature. The vehicle can run over objects of the appropriate size with the same effects, though they don’t receive saving throws unless they are driven or otherwise animate.

SWIFT ACTIONS

It takes a swift action to relinquish control of a vehicle, as detailed below.

Relinquish Control: You can voluntarily hand over control of a vehicle to another driver as a swift action. If you relinquish control of a vehicle but another driver does not take over control, the vehicle becomes uncontrolled (see Uncontrolled vehicles below).

NOT AN ACTION

The following does not require an action.

Stop: You can stop a vehicle after a drive action without Difficulty and without spending an action.

UNCONTROLLED VEHICLES

If you are knocked out or cease actively driving, your vehicle becomes uncontrolled. If you delay your action, the vehicle becomes uncontrolled and continues to act on the same initiative count as it did before. This separates your initiative count from that of the vehicle, and the vehicle continues to move (see below) at your previous initiative count until a driver takes control of it or it crashes or otherwise is brought to a definitive halt.

Unless otherwise specified, an uncontrolled vehicle moves straight ahead at its most recent heading as if taking two drive actions on its turn. It slows down incrementally with each action taken (usually to three-quarters the speed of its last action) until it comes to a stop or crashes. At the GM’s discretion, it could slow down more if it’s on uneven terrain or an upward slope, or it could stay at the same speed or even accelerate if it’s in a zero-g environment or on a downward slope.

Taking Control: You can take control of an uncontrolled vehicle as a move action (see Take Control). During this move action, the vehicle doesn’t move any additional distance—you spend the whole action taking control. Once the action is taken, the vehicle resets to your initiative count, and you can spend any remaining actions driving the vehicle.

Crashing: If an uncontrolled vehicle runs into an obstacle or another vehicle, it crashes. This deals double the vehicle’s collision damage to the uncontrolled vehicle and to the obstacle it ran into, and stops the uncontrolled vehicle’s progress. If the uncontrolled vehicle crashes into a controlled vehicle, the other driver can attempt a Drive check to avoid being hit as if it were being rammed (see Ram). If that driver avoids being hit, the uncontrolled vehicle continues to move as detailed in Uncontrolled vehicles above.

ATTACKING FROM A VEHICLE

Anyone attacking while on a vehicle takes that vehicle’s penalty to attack rolls, as listed in the Modifiers entry of the vehicle’s statistics. It’s especially difficult to attack from a vehicle that’s moving at high speed, so a vehicle might have a higher modifier on attacks (shown in parentheses) when traveling at full speed. The penalty for moving at full speed applies if the vehicle moved at full speed during the last round. The attack penalty doesn’t apply when the vehicle is stopped.

Firing Vehicle Weapons: Firing a weapon mounted on a vehicle works like firing a normal ranged weapon, but you must activate the vehicle’s weapons instead of ones you hold. The penalties to attack rolls in the vehicle’s Modifiers entry also apply to attacks made with a vehicle’s weapons.

Some vehicles have weapons bound to their steering devices or weapons that are operated from the same control panel. These can be fired when you are driving, though you normally can’t fire the vehicle’s weapons on the same turn that you race (or on the same turn that you take another full action) because you don’t have enough available actions. Weapons mounted in other manners typically need to be fired by creatures on the vehicle that are dedicated gunners.

Drive-By Attacks: Because many vehicles have full speeds that might let them move across an entire battle map, the GM may need to make a judgment call when vehicles leave the map and want to return. The GM determines how long returning takes, but it normally takes at least 1 round to double back, since it takes a move action to drive and change heading.

In theory, creatures could pile on a vehicle, ready actions to shoot enemies as soon as they’re within 30 feet, race the vehicle across the map, and fire in passing. Such a maneuver might seem like a sure thing, but it comes with a few problems. First, the attackers take a big penalty to all their attacks, but enemies who ready actions to fire back don’t take those penalties. Second, enemies have time to prepare while the vehicle is off the map. They might take cover, set up obstacles to prevent the vehicle from racing through, or just leave. The GM might also rule that the attackers can’t keep a good watch on what’s happening while they’re off the map or that the vehicle breaks down after the stress of using such a tactic.

ESCAPING ON A VEHICLE

Because vehicles have a top speed that’s far faster than most creatures can run, creatures in a vehicle can usually escape from a battle with enemies who are on foot, if they want. The GM has final say on whether a vehicle can escape. Usually, once a vehicle is beyond the range that the enemies on foot can run, those enemies get one more volley of attacks, and then the vehicle and everyone on it escapes. However, if the enemies also board a vehicle, they can usually pursue and the battle transitions to a vehicle chase.

Drive ActionSkill Check DCResult of Success
Accelerate15Move 1 zone forward immediately (and move 1 zone forward in chase progress phase).
Break Free5 + enemy vehicle’s CMDEnd vehicle engagement (and move 1 zone forward in chase progress phase).
Double Maneuver*Special (each at a –4 penalty)Special (and vehicle moves 1 zone forward in chase progress phase).
Engage Another VehicleEnemy vehicle’s CMDVehicle’s riders can attack one another or board another vehicle (and vehicle moves 1 zone forward in chase progress phase).
Evade20Vehicle gains a +2 bonus to its AC (and moves 1 zone forward in chase progress phase).
Keep Pace15Vehicle moves 1 zone forward in chase progress phase.
Slow DownNoneVehicle doesn’t move forward in chase progress phase.
Trick20Drivers behind you take –2 penalty to Drive checks for 1 round (and vehicle moves 1 zone forward in chase progress phase).
* A double maneuver is a full action that allows a driver to take any two of the other actions listed in this table.

VEHICLE CHASES

The Tactical Vehicle rules in the previous section are meant for battles on a grid, with some creatures in vehicles and others on foot. But in a high-speed chase or race between competing vehicles, the drivers’ skill and the environment play the predominant role in victory or defeat. The system detailed below is a more narrative-based system that allows for greater flexibility and doesn’t require an enormous grid for play.

RELATIVE POSITIONING

In a vehicle chase, you monitor only the relative positions of the vehicles. The easiest way to do this is by using a series of horizontal lines called zones. You can use a battle map for this and simply ignore the vertical lines.

As a default, vehicles in the same zone are considered to be about 50 feet apart. If they’re engaged (see Engage Another Vehicle), they are considered adjacent, but they normally don’t touch, leaving room for creatures trying to hop between them to fall. Vehicles one zone apart are about 200 feet apart.

BEING AHEAD

Being ahead of an opponent is advantageous. You get a +2 bonus to Drive checks against enemies that are behind you, or you get a +2 bonus to all Drive checks if you’re ahead of all your enemies. When attacking, you get a +2 bonus to attack rolls against enemies and vehicles that are behind you.

PHASES OF A VEHICLE CHASE

Chases happen in rounds with three Phases, which are described in more detail below. At the start of a chase, roll initiative checks (or use the same initiative order if a grid-based vehicle combat transitioned into a chase).

  1. Drive Actions: Each vehicle’s driver selects her drive actions and attempts any needed checks outside the normal character initiative count.
  2. Chase Progress: The GM moves the vehicles to their new zones, based on the actions the drivers chose and whether they were successful. The GM also determines whether anyone is out of range of other vehicles, and therefore out of the chase.
  3. Combat: Drivers (if they have any remaining actions) and passengers take their actions in initiative order as they normally would in a combat. Passengers and drivers can fire on other vehicles, depending on their range, and drivers might be able to slam their vehicles into those of their enemies.

DRIVE ACTIONS

During the drive actions phase, the driver of each vehicle selects any drive actions she wants to use to drive her vehicle this round, and performs her driving actions in initiative order during this phase. Most drive actions require a move action; taking two drive actions requires the double maneuver drive action, which is a full action. Only the accelerate action advances vehicles during this phase. For all other drive actions, the GM advances vehicles as appropriate during the chase progress step. If the drivers have any actions remaining at the end of the drive actions phase, they can take them in initiative order during the combat phase. Table above offers a quick reference for the drive actions.

Accelerate (Move): You attempt a Drive check (DC 15) to get ahead, moving forward one zone immediately on a success. If the vehicle encounters any hazards or similar effects that occur upon entering a zone, they trigger immediately. The vehicle later moves forward one additional zone in the chase progress phase, even on a failed check, unless you failed the check by 5 or more.

Break Free (Move): You attempt a Drive check (DC = 5 + the enemy vehicle’s CMD) to disengage from an engagement with other vehicles. If the engagement includes multiple enemy vehicles, the DC equals the highest CMD among the enemy vehicles + 5 per enemy vehicle beyond the first. If all parties are willing to end the engagement, no Drive check is required to break free.

Engage Another Vehicle (Move): You attempt a Drive check (DC = the CMD of the enemy vehicle) to engage your vehicle with an enemy vehicle in the same zone. Two allied vehicles can engage freely; this is useful to allow people on one vehicle to board the other. In both cases, your vehicle then automatically becomes engaged with all other vehicles in the engagement. You can make melee attacks against those on another vehicle only if your vehicle is engaged with it; see the Engagement sidebar for more information.

Evade (Move): You can attempt a Drive check (DC 20) to grant your vehicle a +2 circumstance bonus to its AC for 1 round. If you evade twice, the bonuses aren’t cumulative.

Keep Pace (Move): You attempt a Drive check (DC 15) to stay in the same position in the chase. If you’re successful, your vehicle moves forward during the chase progress phase. If you fail, your vehicle falls back one zone during that phase. Many other drive actions can also result in a vehicle moving forward one zone during the chase progress phase, but they have a higher DC, increasing the chance the driver will fail.

Slow Down (Move): Your vehicle doesn’t move during the chase progress phase. This drive action doesn’t require a check.

Trick (Move): You can try a risky maneuver, use the terrain, or take an unconventional route to foil pursuers. You attempt a skill check (DC 20); this skill check could be a Drive check if the ploy requires intricate maneuvering, but it might instead be a Bluff, Stealth, or other skill check at the GM’s discretion. If you succeed, the Drive checks of all vehicles behind you take a –2 penalty for 1 round. You can attempt multiple Tricks with the double maneuver action, but the penalties imposed on the vehicles behind you aren’t cumulative. Penalties from multiple different drivers who are ahead and successfully perform Tricks, however, are cumulative.

Double Maneuver (Full): You can take two of the aforementioned drive actions, but take a –4 penalty to each Drive check or other skill check. You take the drive actions in succession, but can choose your second action after taking the first one and can take an action more than once. If you don’t want to use your second action, you forfeit it but still take the penalty to your first check. Unlike other drive actions, a double maneuver takes your full action.

If your vehicle is significantly faster than the other vehicles in the chase, you have an advantage when performing a double maneuver. If your vehicle’s full speed is at least 50 feet faster than the fastest enemy vehicle, you take only a –2 penalty when performing a double maneuver.

Regardless of how many drive actions you take as part of a double maneuver, you move forward at most one zone during the chase progress phase.

CHASE PROGRESS

In the chase progress phase, the GM advances vehicles (based on their drivers’ chosen actions and whether they succeeded at the required checks), then determines whether any participants have escaped or been left behind and whether the chase is over.

ADVANCE VEHICLES

The GM moves forward by one zone all vehicles whose drivers succeeded at a minimum of one required check. If a vehicle’s driver deliberately slowed down or she failed all the Drive checks attempted, her vehicle doesn’t move forward. If a driver attempted to keep pace and failed, her vehicle instead moves back one zone. If a driver attempted to speed up and failed by less than 5, her vehicle still moves forward one zone now. Because a driver has to fail all checks to stay put, a driver who tried to speed up twice would stay put only if she failed both checks by 5 or more. The slow down action supersedes the forward movement from other successful Drive checks, so if the driver succeeded at the evade and slow down actions, she’d get the bonus to her vehicle’s AC but wouldn’t move forward. Treat uncontrolled vehicles as if their drivers had failed all Drive checks.

If a vehicle is engaged with another and fails all its checks, it still moves forward along with another engaged vehicle, provided that vehicle would be advanced by the GM. However, the opposing vehicle gains all bonuses from being a zone ahead (even though it’s in the same zone). If all the vehicles in an engagement fail all their checks, none move.

Hazards and other effects of moving into a zone trigger immediately (see Chase Environments for more information, since sometimes environments can prompt specific hazards in a relevant zone).

ESCAPING AND GETTING LEFT BEHIND

You leave a chase if you escape or get left behind. During the chase progress phase, you escape if you end up two zones ahead of all adversaries, and you get left behind if you end up two zones behind.

If you would escape from a chase but don’t want to do so, you can voluntarily move back to being only one zone ahead in the chase progress phase.

It’s possible for you to rejoin a chase if you’ve been left behind (or if you already escaped and want to later support allies with an ambush), but it requires Extraordinary circumstances and happens at the GM’s discretion.

ENDING A CHASE

If either all enemies or you and your allies have escaped or been left behind, the chase is over. It’s possible for one group to escape by dropping back until it’s left behind, but it’s easy for the other chase participants to circle back and pick off the group while it’s a sitting duck.

COMBAT

The final phase of each round is combat. This happens in initiative order, and characters can take the usual actions they can in combat, with the following adjustments. drivers can also act during the combat phase, as long as they have any actions remaining to spend. Because of the motion involved in a chase, all attacks take the penalty listed in the vehicle’s Modifiers entry. However, because the vehicles are all moving at high speed, the differences in speed cancel out somewhat, so combatants take the normal penalty instead of the higher penalty for full speed.

Ranged Attacks: Passengers on and drivers of vehicles can attempt ranged attacks against other vehicles or their passengers in the same zone or one zone away. Unless otherwise specified, these ranged attacks follow the normal rules for attacking from vehicles. To determine the range between two vehicles, see Relative Positioning.

As a passenger, you can attack with your ranged weapons or abilities. If you’re a gunner, you can attack with the vehicle’s mounted weapons, as described in Firing vehicle Weapons. As a driver, you can attack only if you have a standard action left and can make a full attack only if you left the vehicle uncontrolled in the drive actions phase.

Passengers can attack an enemy vehicle directly, but targeting riders or drivers can be difficult. vehicles (except for entirely open vehicles) usually grant their passengers some degree of cover.

Due to high speeds, wind, and other factors that may or may not be part of the environment (see Chase Environments), some weapons might not work effectively during a chase. For example, it’s nearly impossible to throw a grenade from one vehicle to another while moving at high speeds. The GM has final say on what can and can’t be used during a chase and the penalties incurred for difficult attacks.

ENGAGEMENT

Vehicles in the same zone as one another can become engaged, meaning they’re neck-and-neck and within physical striking distance of one another. If two or more vehicles are engaged, move their miniatures or tokens next to one another. The vehicles’ passengers and drivers can make melee attacks against each other in the combat phase or attempt to board the other vehicle. An engaged vehicle can’t speed up, slow down, engage another enemy, or end the engagement unless it takes the break free action.

MELEE ATTACKS

Anyone in a vehicle can make melee attacks against those on an enemy vehicle with which their own vehicle is engaged. You can make melee attacks against those in an enemy vehicle only with reach weapons, and such targets typically have some cover provided by their vehicle. Even when your vehicles are engaged and you’re using a reach weapon, you do not threaten any squares of the other vehicle.

BOARDING

If two vehicles are engaged and you are a passenger, you can attempt to move from one vehicle to the other as a move action that provokes attacks of opportunity. This is like boarding a vehicle in normal combat, but it also requires a successful Acrobatics check with a DC equal to 5 + the CMD of the vehicle you’re boarding. Failure by less than 5 means that you are unable to board the other vehicle and remain on your vehicle. If you fail by 5 or more, you fall from the vehicle and land prone. You take double the normal falling damage for the distance of your fall or 1d6 falling damage if you fall less than 10 feet. Once you have boarded an enemy vehicle, you take the attack penalty from that vehicle, not your former one.

COLLISIONS

When driving a vehicle, you can attempt a Drive check (DC = the enemy vehicle’s CMD) as a standard action to smash into another vehicle you’re engaged with. If you’re successful, your vehicle deals its collision damage to the enemy vehicle, and takes half that much damage itself. A vehicle’s collision damage is listed in the Attack (Collision) entry of its statistics.

CHASE ENVIRONMENTS

Where a chase occurs can dramatically influence how it plays out. Heavy traffic, obstacles, and winding paths could all impede a chase or add strategic options for the vehicles involved. The GM decides the environment’s effects on the chase, and the sample chase environments can give the GM some ideas. The environment might affect the entire chase or only some zones—whatever makes the most sense for the scene.

Designating Environmental Zones: For environmental effects that affect only part of the chase, the GM should designate one or more zones as environmental zones that contain hazards. The GM should reveal an environmental zone once it comes into view of the foremost vehicle in the chase.

TYPES OF ENVIRONMENTS

Environments can affect vehicles in a chase in five main ways.

Active Hazards: Hazards can directly impede or damage the vehicles in a chase. They might be persistent or temporary. Some hazards make one attack against a vehicle when that vehicle enters the hazard’s zone. The hazard might trigger only once, or it might attack every vehicle that enters the zone. Decide whether a hazard deals damage, knocks a vehicle off course, or both. The hazard’s CR should be close to the item levels of the vehicles involved in the chase, and should use the corresponding attack bonus and damage amount (see Table 8–4: Hazard Attacks and Damage above). If a hazard knocks vehicles off course, the driver of any vehicle it hits takes a –4 penalty to Drive checks (in addition to its normal modifiers) for 1 round. If a hazard both deals damage and knocks the target off course, reduce the attack bonus by 2 and halve the damage.

Altered Attacks: Attacks might be more difficult due to bad weather or barriers that block lines of sight. Use the normal rules for concealment, cover, and line of sight when implementing environments that alter attacks. It’s rare for the environment to improve attacks, but if it somehow would, you can reduce the normal penalties for attacking during a chase.

Altered Movement: Some environments make it easier, more difficult, or more complicated to move. This might come up in a chase on a muddy plain where vehicles could get bogged down. Altered movement usually causes a +2 bonus or –2 penalty to skill checks attempted during drive actions. The environment can work differently on different vehicle types. Likewise, the effects can change how certain actions work. A massive downhill slope might make it easier to speed up but harder to keep pace, or it could even require a check to slow down.

New Tricks: Environments can provide new Tricks that drivers can use with the trick action during the drive actions phase. These could include clipping precarious rocks in a canyon so they fall in your enemies’ paths or diverting oncoming traffic toward your enemies. These Tricks usually have a DC of 2 to 4 higher than the normal trick action, but their effects should also be more impressive. In terms of game rules, the effect might be a bigger penalty for enemies’ Drive checks (–4 to –6), or the trick might create a new active hazard (see Active Hazards) in the zone directly behind the vehicle.

Split Routes: It’s possible for chase participants to take slightly different routes through a zone to gain some other Tactical advantage. A split route works much like having two parallel zones in a single zone, one of which has a different environment: usually altered movement (for a shortcut) or an active hazard (for a dangerous zone). The driver decides which route to pursue when taking his drive action. Even if two vehicles are in the same zone, they can’t interact with each other if they’re on different parts of a split route. A split route usually lasts for only one zone before converging.

If vehicles that are engaged pursue different routes, their engagement is automatically broken off. When the route converges again, any vehicles that had been engaged and are still in the same zone automatically become engaged again.

TABLE: HAZARD ATTACKS AND DAMAGE

CR

Attack Bonus

Damage

1/4

+3

2d4

1/3

+4

2d4

1/2

+6

3d4

1

+8

4d4

2

+9

5d4

3

+10

5d4

4

+11

5d6

5

+12

5d8

6

+14

6d8

7

+15

6d10

8

+17

7d10

9

+19

8d10

10

+20

9d10

11

+21

10d10

12

+23

11d10

13

+24

12d10

14

+25

14d10

15

+26

15d10

16

+28

17d10

17

+29

18d10

18

+30

20d10

19

+31

23d10

20

+32

25d10

 

EXPERIENCE FOR VEHICLE CHASES

PCs earn experience points for successfully completing a vehicle chase. To award XP, take the CRs of the creatures in enemy vehicles, plus the CRs of any active hazards encountered, and award the proper amount of XP for each CR. The PCs can earn XP for each creature only once; if a creature was defeated in combat during a successful chase, the PCs don’t gain experience for defeating the creature and for completing the chase.

At the GM’s discretion, when the PCs complete a chase in a particularly dangerous environment, the environment itself might increase the amount of experience the characters gain from the encounter.