Hot Pursuit Rules

Pursuit Basics Vehicle & Mount Damage Crash Checks
Speed Factor Vehicles Collision Damage
Terrain Types Mounts Losing Control
Range Categories Maneuvers Obstacles & Locales

Pursuit Basics

When their turn comes up, a Passenger can choose a maneuver to perform. Drivers are responsible for the vehicle, and can influence the overall chase conditions. Foot Chases have their own set of maneuvers. Characters do not get attacks of opportunity , and many special attack actions are not available during a chase (unless specifically stated otherwise).

Generally, when riding a mount or operating a vehicle a character uses the Animal Handling skill for making their Maneuver Checks, while characters on foot use either Acrobatics or Athletics (player's choice). Proficiency with a Mount or Vehicle grants advantage on related Maneuver Checks. Any average person can operate a vehicle/mount without proficiency just fine, but having Proficiency indicates that you have a higher than typical level of training and are more familiar with the precise capabilities/limitations of your ride.

The chase ends when there are no pursuers at closer than Extreme range and there is a successful Close/Lengthen check against all the opponents.

On any Driver’s turn the following steps are followed (in this order):

  1. Determine Conditions — The DM determines the Terrain for each round, which applies to all chase participants. The driver can influence these conditions by declaring his intentions as the race progresses (i.e. I'm keeping my eye out for a narrow side street), but the results are ultimately at the DM's discretion. Depending on the type of Terrain and the current Locale, there is a chance of an Obstacle appearing. If one appears, the driver can either choose a Maneuver to avoid it or just crash through and accept the damage which could cripple or disable the vehicle.
  2. Resolve Maneuver — The driver gets to choose a maneuver for their action. The maneuver selected may affect other drivers, passengers, or the range between the vehicles. Drivers can choose to perform a Passenger maneuver, but the vehicle is immediately considered out-of-control.
  3. Determine Range — After any maneuvers have been resolved, the new Ranges (if any) are determined for the current driver’s vehicle.

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Speed Factor

+1 for every 15 feet of normal movement allowed per turn:

0-14: 0 15-29: +1 30-44: +2 45-59: +3 60-74: +4

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Terrain Types

Open: Open plain, empty street. Obstacle chance is 1 in 12.
Close: Narrow road, wide forest. Obstacle chance is 1 in 8.
Tight: Crowded square, dense forest. Obstacle chance is 1 in 4.

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Range Categories

Point-Blank Chase participants are close enough that they are in some danger of colliding. They may be side-by-side or one just ahead of the other, weaving to avoid one another and obstacles. There is no penalty to ranged attack rolls. same range
Short Ranged attack rolls suffer a -2 penalty to hit. 1 range
Medium Ranged attack rolls suffer a -4 penalty to hit. 2 range
Long Ranged attack rolls suffer a -8 penalty to hit. 3 range
Extreme Chase participants cannot make ranged attacks against each other. 4 range

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Vehicle & Mount Damage

Any time a vehicle is damaged, its condition deteriorates just like a creature's does (remember that vehicles with a Hardness rating subtract that amount from every attack before taking damage). Unlike creatures in combat, however, vehicles and mounts in chases become less effective as they lose hit points.

Vehicle Hit Points Condition
50% or more no effect
less than 50% Crippled
0 or less Disabled

Crippled: The vehicle or mount suffers a -4 penalty to all checks until its hit points are restored to at least 50%. As soon as a vehicle or mount drops to less than 50% of its maximum hit points, the driver must make an immediate Crash check with a +5 modifier to the DC.

Disabled: A vehicle that is disabled shuts down completely and comes to a halt. The driver must make an immediate Crash check with a +10 modifier to the DC. Mounts become disabled at 0 hp, like all creatures.

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Name Crew #Pass Mount
Speed AC HP Size
Donkey 1 0 0 25 13 11 M
Elephant 1 3 -2 35 15 104 H
Horse, Draft 1 0 1 40 13 24 L
Horse, Riding 1 0 2 48 12 19 L
Warhorse, Heavy 1 0 1 40 15 30 L
Warhorse, Light 1 0 2 48 14 22 L
Mule 1 0 0 25 13 22 L
Pony 1 0 1 35 13 11 M
Pony, War 1 0 1 35 14 14 M

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Name Crew
Speed AC Hard-
HP Size
Carriage 1 (+2) 5 (+5) -4 40/28 8 5 32 H
Cart/Wagon 1 (+2) 7 (+2) -3 28 9 5 12 L
Stagecoach 1 (+2) 7 (+5) -4 40 8 5 50 H

Carriage: Pulled by two horses, this is an enclosed wagon that offers three-quarters cover (AC and dexterity saves +5 bonus) to passengers and one-half cover to the driver who sits outside (AC and dexterity saves +2 bonus). The first speed is for a carriage with only one passenger, the second speed is for a fully loaded carriage.

Cart/Wagon: Pulled by two horses, this is an open wagon that offers one-half cover (AC and dexterity saves +2 bonus) to the driver and all passengers.

Stagecoach: Pulled by four horses, this is an enclosed vehicle that offers three quarters cover (AC and dexterity saves +5 bonus) to passengers and one half cover to the driver who sits outside (AC and dexterity saves +2 bonus).

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Crash Checks

The current vehicle/mount modifier applies to Crash checks. In addition, if the crash check is the result of a Collision, the special size modifier of the object with which the vehicle collided is also applied to the DC of the Crash check. If the Crash check is successful, there is no ill effect. If the Crash check is unsuccessful, the vehicle is immediately out-of-control.

On Foot: Characters on foot that succeed on their crash checks reduce any associated collision damage by half.

Current Terrain Crash Check DC
Open 10
Close 15
Tight 20

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Collision Damage

Collisions cause damage to all objects (vehicles and obstacles) that are involved in them, and can cause vehicles to go out of control. If a collision occurs, first determine the amount of damage the collision deals to all involved, and then have each participant involved in the collision make a Crash check.

Smallest Object or
Creature Size
Colossal 20d8
Gargantuan 16d8
Huge 12d8
Large 8d8
Medium-size 4d8
Small 2d8
Tiny 1d8
Smaller than Tiny 0

After finding the base damage, determine the collision's damage multiplier based on how the colliding vehicle struck the other vehicle or object.

Colliding Vehicle's Target Multiplier
A stationary object (Barriers and Moats) x 1
Vehicle, Traffic or Creature, Head-On x 2
Vehicle, Traffic or Creature, T-Bone x 1
Vehicle, Traffic or Creature, Sideswipe x ½

Once the damage has been determined, apply it to both vehicles (or objects or creatures) involved in the collision.

As long as a vehicle has at least one hit point, it can continue moving, although its performance may be degraded, depending on how much damage it has taken in the chase.

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Losing Control

A Driver/Rider can lose control over their vehicle in a number of ways. They can be rendered unconscious through damage, they can fail a Crash check, or can elect to give up control in order to perform a Passenger maneuver.

When a driver loses control of a vehicle, his vehicle immediately becomes “out-of-control”. It automatically foregoes any checks. It still checks for obstacles on the previous driver's turn, but the chance of an obstacle in all Terrain types increase by two. An out-of-control vehicle also takes automatic Collision damage every round as though it had collided with a Small Barrier Obstacle. The vehicle remains out-of-control until a passenger performs the “Take The Reins” maneuver. At that point the successful passenger becomes the new driver and the vehicle makes obstacle checks as normal starting with the new driver's next turn.

When a rider loses control of a mount, they must immediately make a check at DC 20. A rider who fails this check falls from the mount. Mounts never become “out-of-control”.

When a runner on foot loses control, they must make an Acrobatics check at DC 20 or lose their footing. Like all prone characters, they must use an action to stand back up before rejoining the chase.

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Hot Pursuit Rules

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