What’s the best way to handle chase scenes in DW?

What’s the best way to handle chase scenes in DW?

What’s the best way to handle chase scenes in DW? I can’t find anything in the book or here in the Tavern to give me a clue to run an exciting chase scene.

In situations like:

1) The opponent tries to flee combat. I’ve used a hard move to say he escapes and a soft move to show him trying to retreat.

2) A prisoner has escaped the PCs camp during the night. She has a head start on foot but PCs have a druid. In this example, the druid turned into a cougar and spent a hold to “run down my prey.” Sounded good to me – a large cat chasing a human on foot through the wilderness in the dark of night. Cat wins.

But in other situations, I don’t really know how to use the game mechanics to help inform the chase. Is there a good way, or should it just be narrated? What do you do?

9 thoughts on “What’s the best way to handle chase scenes in DW?”

  1. Narrate it. Lean strongly on announcing badness and revealing information and putting people in a spot — so you can broadcast signs of where the runner or chaser is at the moment, or reveal clues like foot prints or opened doors or what have you. Keep the moves soft if the players cover their bases to keep up the chase (spreading out to cover more ground, use light sources, discern realities and such) or if you want the chase scene to be drawn out. Bring the hard move to end the chase when you’ve used enough soft or hard moves to suggest the quarry has gotten a lot of distance on the pursuers.

    On the cougar running down prey? I would have required they actually track down the runner first. Sure, a cat will run you down (since that’s the move) but you need to be close enough to cover the distance, not just run off into the night and somehow find and tackle the runner who has a head start. Keeping in mind this kind of fictional positioning will also inform your chase scenes.

  2. A) The GM describes the situation (the goblin is very scared! He turns and flee away!)

    B) The GM ask to the player “What do you do?” (the goblin is very scared! He turns and flee away! What do you do?)

    C) The player describes what his character does. If this triggers a move…use that move. If this doesn’t trigger a move…this is a GM move.

    C-1) The player say: “I run toward the goblin! I want to catch him!!” The GM replies: “Yeah! Defy Danger! With your DEX”

    C-2) The player say: “I take my bow and I aim at his head…”

    C-3) The player say: “uh? I don’t care. there’s money on the corpses of the fallen?” The GM reply with a move (a move of the goblin? Maybe he can call his friends??) -> “Yeah, of course…but while you search the coins…”

    PS: i’m sorry for my english ^_^

  3. If you want a detailed chase, what Simone Micucci is right on.  One thing I’d add is: when you use Defy Danger for this situation, make it clear what the danger is.  Is the danger that they’ll lose you in the winding corridors? That they’ll raise the alarm before you catch them? Or what?

    If you want to zoom out and handle the chase in more-or-less one roll, here’s my go-to custom move for pursuing a foe:

    When pursue your quarry, roll +DEX if your running them down or +WIS if you’re tracking them slowly.  On a 10+, you corner your prey or catch them in the open.  On a 7-9, the GM picks one:

     – You’ve almost got them, but there’s an intervening challenge or obstacle

     – They wheel and attack suddenly

     – They’ve gone to ground; you know where they are but getting at them will be a challenge.

  4. From things like Trail of Cthulhu RPG, try a chase rule with 3 stages so all involved are 3 turns in the chase. If both parties make dex/con/piloting/riding rolls then everyone at same distance between them. If one ahead makes roll but one behind fails then distance increases (where they can eventually hide or outpace the pursuit). If one ahead fails a roll & one behind makes the roll, they catch up making the distance of 2 turns.

Comments are closed.