I combined the ideas from the Dungeon Master’s Guide chase mechanic with the chase used in Edge of Anarchy and came up with this chase sequence to make the encounter with Ilaris a bit more interesting. It worked well and my group managed to catch her at space 7. In retrospect I would have made her start further away. I also allowed characters to negate hazards if they came up with a good idea – for example our warrior knocked the horse out clearing the way, the monk dumped a handful of coins to negate the beggars and so on. I printed each card onto index cards and had them facedown so the players didn’t know what the obstacle was. I didn’t indicate the terrain type on the rear – the first 8 were urban and the remainder were wilderness to simulate the change in terrain in Iadenveigh. Our android ranger has urban as his favoured terrain so I allowed him to roll with advantage to catch her. He was the first to grab her and slow her down. So that advantage made a big mechanical difference to the chase.
IADENVEIGH ILARRIS CHASE!
Ilarris is a bit of a painter, in fact she is pretty good. She is in fact painting when the PCs arrive and as soon as she hears that her cover is blown she gets up from her easel and casts a minor illusion of herself painting. This illusion will last 1 minute.
You see a beautiful dark haired woman painting quietly behind one of the wagons. The easel she is working on holds a half-completed painting of an imp and a pseudodragon fighting atop a church steeple.
The image will not respond and any interaction with it will clearly reveal it as an illusion. Otherwise its a DC 14 Intelligence or perception check to realise its fake. It disappears in a minute. If the players take that long to figure out that its a decoy then Illarris gets away though tracking gives the characters an idea the direction she ran. Since she cast vanish straight after the minor illusion she will reappear 4 rounds (24 seconds) later and be about 240 feet away from the characters. Give each character a disadvantaged opposed DC vs Illaris stealth to catch a glimpse of her. Failure means she also gets away. Success means the characters have a chance to catch her.
At the start of the chase, Illaris moves first and PCs move in a anti-clockwise fashion (right to left).
When a character moves, he decides if he wants to attempt to move one, two, or three cards. A character can move one card as a move-equivalent action automatically, or he can attempt to move two or three cards in his turn by taking dangerous shortcuts as a full-round action. If a character wants to move two cards, he must make skill check from the card he starts his turn in order to move two cards. If a character wants to move three cards, he must make both of the current card’s and traversing card’s skill checks to progress.
If a character fails any of these checks by 5 or less, he only moves one card forward. If a character fails any of these checks by more than 5, he cannot move at all that turn, and if he fails two checks by more than 5, he falls 1 card behind. If he stops to take an attack action or to cast a spell he automatically drops one card behind. The only exception is that obstacles in red must be dealt with in some way before moving from, to or past them. Characters that fall off the 1st space are out of the race. For every 10 feet characters that move faster than Illaris 30 feet gain +1 to the checks.
Illarris steadily moves only one card at a time as long as she maintains at least a three-card lead over the PCs.
As she moves, she uses her wand of daze monster (DC 14 Wisdom save or lose a space) against the closest PC in an attempt to slow down pursuit. If a PC is on her same card, she uses hideous laughter (DC 14 Wisdom save or lose three spaces) in an attempt to shut him down for a few rounds.
If a character ends his turn on the same card as Illarris, he may attempt a single grapple check to tackle her. Once Illarris is pinned, unconscious, or killed, the chase ends. Also, if Illarris manages to move off of card 15, the chase ends.
- A maze of barrels and crates stands in your way. Make a DC 10 Dexterity (Acrobatics) or Intelligence check (your choice) to navigate the maze.
- You run into a brawl in progress. Make a DC 15 Strength (Athletics), Dexterity (Acrobatics), or Charisma (Intimidation) check (your choice) to get past the brawlers unimpeded. On a failed check, you take 2d4 bludgeoning damage, as well as losing your turn.
- A beggar blocks your way. Make a DC 10 Strength (Athletics), Dexterity (Acrobatics), or Charisma (Intimidation) check (your choice) to slip past the beggar. You succeed automatically if you toss the beggar a coin. On a failed check, the beggar counts as 5 feet of difficult terrain.
- A horse and cart blocks your way. Make a DC 15 Dexterity (Acrobatics) check to get past the obstacle. On a failed check, the obstacle counts as 10 feet of difficult terrain.
- Illaris takes a sharp and unexpected turn at the last minute in her attempt to lose you. Make a DC 15 Insight check to guess her deception at the last minute and avoid a collision or a DC 10 Dexterity saving throw to navigate the turn. On a failed save you collide with a wall and take 1d4/2 bludgeoning damage and lose your turn.
- Shortcut! You take a dangerous shortcut hoping to gain ground. Make a DC 20 Perception Check to notice the shortcut or a DC 15 Intelligence or Insight check due to familiarity with the town. Only Charisma, Rikku and Sylvanus can make this check and Charisma has advantage. Others can make a DC 15 Constitution check sprint.
- Illaris slashes a horse as she runs past it causing it to run rampant in the streets. DC 15 Animal Handling to calm it down but the character loses a space or DC 25 Strength check to barge through or a DC 20 Dexterity check to dodge it in the narrow streets.
- You hit a crowded street. You can only move one square unless you do something to disperse the crowd.
- Hedge – athletics DC 15 to jump or DC 20 Strength to barge through it.
- Your path takes you through a rough patch of brush. Make a DC 10 Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check (your choice) to get past the brush. On a failed check, the brush counts as 5 feet of difficult terrain.
- Uneven ground threatens to slow your progress. Make a DC 10 Dexterity (Acrobatics) check to navigate the area. On a failed check, the ground counts as 10 feet of difficult terrain.
- You run through a swarm of bees living in the woods. The swarm makes an opportunity attack against you (+3 to hit; 4d4/8 piercing damage on a hit) unless you make a DC 15 Perception or Nature check to avoid them in the nick of time or a DC 20 Constitution save to ignore the stinging and power through!
- An outlet of Longbitter Lake blocks your path. Make a DC 10 Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics check (your choice) to cross the impediment.
- Illaris stabs a random citizen and pushes them into Longbiter Lake! You may stop the chase and save the citizen, or ignore them and move one space forward without a check.
- Illaris disappears into a a forested area. Make a Survival or Perception check (your choice) vs Illaris Stealth check. Illaris gains +1 to the roll for every space she is ahead of the lead PC.
Ad Hoc Experience Award: If the PCs catch Illaris, award them experience as if they had defeated her in combat. Though she will fight the characters if cornered.