Thursday, 27 September 2012

Chase, No Words

What do you think? Is this a clear enough expression of the basic chase rules from earlier this week (everything except "losing sight")? Or does it come across more like a rebus you have to figure out? What icons or symbols would you add? Where do you need some words to come in?


  1. I haven't read the rules, so here's an interpretation entirely from the picture:

    Far left part is a little unclear, but I'm guessing: a runner rolls 1d6 per 30' of their movement speed and moves the corresponding amount shown on the right (each yellow arrow is equal to 10'). If they roll a 6, they move 60' if they can roll equal/under their Constitution on a d20, otherwise they move 30' and lose 10' from their movement speed for the remainder of the chase.

    Top part with the squiggly lines (terrain?) is unclear. Top right part means to jump an obstacle you need to roll under Dexterity-3 on a D20.

    I had to study it for half a minute before I felt like I'd figured it out. The blue arrows gave me pause. I wasn't sure what the terrain section meant until I checked the rules; if you replace the curly bracket with arrows that might make the relationship clearer. The sections on terrain and obstacles should come below and after the main section, not before it.

    1. Oh, apparently I was wrong about the obstacle rules too. The black arrow isn't immediately meaningful. I would make it a blue arrow consistent with the others, and mark it as applying for 1 round only.

  2. Luckily, for testing purposes, I missed the earlier post. Without that info, I can say it's very difficult to be sure of what the graphic is telling me to do.
    Is the top telling me to add the number of dice shown next to the terrain type to a d20 roll against my dex? -3?
    In the bottom part I'm not sure if the die roll adds the stated amount to 30 feet, or if it's just how far I go. Or is it how much I close the gap by?
    You don't need to answer those questions - just letting you know what uncertainties I was left with. I'll go check out the earlier post now :)

  3. I looove that you are doing this. I think clarity and smart visual design are things that rpg rules could use a lot more of.

    To be fair, the chart of mine you pointed to last post has a bunch of text associated with it in my travel challenge compilation. I think that forest chart might function more as an illustration of the rules or a mnemonic device to help use them at the table than the complete rules themselves.

    Anyway, that might be something to think about, if your intended audience is players currently in a chase rather than DMs (for explaining to players later) what would your chart look like? And is it something you can slip to a player while helping someone else, or does the DM need to initially explain symbols. I always shoot for the former, but I think it almost always requires some text. The latter really allows streamlining but might mean little if people aren't clued in to the dialect of symbols used.

    Another thought, what if you had an example chase? Of course that makes for more stuff you would have to depict but if it showed 2 parties chasing each other and when they need to roll for what, that kind of narrative might help convey the system.

  4. The only part that confuses me is the two squigglies at the top. I get that it is a difference in running speed based on terrain (and I get the straight line one), but I'm not sure it's enough info for me to rule on it in practice. Also not sure what the #1 represents in each of those.

    Otherwise I like it quite a bit. Very clever.

  5. Yeah it looks like text might be needed in some places :) Mr. Blue - the #1 means the front runner.

  6. If I'm reading things correctly I think it may be good to change the order of the terrain types. My interpretation is that if a chase is occurring on flat/smooth terrain you get to roll 3d6 to determine movement. If you're running on slightly uneven terrain it's 2d6, and really messed up terrain is 1d6.

    It took me a bit to come to that conclusion though because the die showed a 1, and 1s are bad, so I thought it had something to do with failure rates on that terrain, but that didn't seem correct.

    If I'm right, I think it would be helpful to change the order of the graphics from easiest to hardest, and replace the dice icon showing a 1 with the black 1d6 icon.

    The obstacle stuff seems nice and clear, though I think the green guy just clutters it up and should go. Though, now, looking at it again, does it mean that to clear an obstacle you have to do d20 > dex with a minus 3 penalty? Or you have to roll d20 > dex and "spend" three movement units?

    All that said, I think it looks really great!