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Last session my GM dealt with it during the encounter, but he wasn't sure how it should actually be handled- given the party, it will occur again.

The party Oracle (Wave Mystery with Water Sight Revelation) had cast Obscuring Mist, and the hostile creature (a quasit) retreated into the fog, and readied an action to retreat when approached. The Oracle called out its location to the rest of the party, and the Summoner's eagles approached to chase it down. When they came within view, it retreated, but the eagles still had plenty of movement left. How should this be handled (keeping in mind that neither the quasit nor the eagles can see more than 5ft through the mist)? Does the chase proceed and things move simultaneously, or should the quasit get its full retreat before an eagle can continue its move action?

Also noteworthy is that the eagles move faster than the quasit (80ft vs 50ft), so realistically that wouldn't be much of a chase at all. Furthermore, everything is flying basically blind thanks to the fog, as well.

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I think this might be asking the wrong question: You can't have a chase without knowing where what you're chasing is, so trying to use "better" chase mechanics is just going in the wrong direction. Do you really want a better way to handle a chase while blind, or would answers about a better way to handle such situations in general be helpful? –  SevenSidedDie Jun 10 at 0:20
    
I don't think he means "chase" in the formal game mechanic sense as Pathfinder chases use rules not in evidence here. I think he means "you know.. a chase, as in folks running after a weirdo demon." –  mxyzplk Jun 10 at 1:26
    
@mxyzplk Even then, I mean. You can't have a chase without the target's location, like you can't have a combat while everyone is asleep. –  SevenSidedDie Jun 10 at 4:01
    
@SevenSidedDie Well, the location was being called out (in a language the quasit doesn't speak) such as "...at the landing of the right staircase" and "over the pool in the center of the room." The location was being known-- the question is regarding how the mechanics work for its escape vs the party advancing on it. –  LeesusFreak Jun 10 at 4:16
    
Next time, just summon something with blindsense (or tremorsense if the enemy isn't flying) and avoid this triple deadlock... –  G0BLiN Jun 10 at 21:59

1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

As a starter, correct me if I'm wrong, but you're discussing This Quasit?

Unfortunately, D&D does not have a graceful mechanic for chase scenes. Essentially I would leave the game in whatever state it is in between combat and narrative and decide based on that. To accurately convey where the creature is, the Oracle needs to know the allies' positions in relation to (let's say) him. The characters don't see a battle map with everyone's positions all nice and pretty. They can't see each other either. Oracle has to say "[Summoner], send them fifteen feet forward, five feet left from you" and that barely stays a free action for speech in most circles. In theory the eagles only wouldn't run into each other because they move as separate actions in combat mode.

Combat

The initiative order stays and that's what makes things dangerous. The Oracle can speak as a free action, but unless the quasits do, he has to wait until the second one moves to call out directions. Now, while the Oracle can see, this really only narrows down the field for what they can direct. If a quasit moves after the Oracle's turn, they technically have to wait until their next turn before dictating directions. It gets extremely messy because the quasits are technically holding their action until they can see the eagles. The eagles can pretty much be pointed in a direction, and technically every square they move it can be dictated what changed in their visibility.

So here's how the turn order might go:

  1. Oracle gives directions (holding until both quasits move)
  2. Eagles are moved to that square, have a standard action to spend.
  3. Quasit is probably in Total Defense for the standard action, and then spend its move action. Unless the eagles are grappling it, of course.

A very messy version of things could happen since quasits are reasonably (15) INTelligent

  1. Oracle calls out location.
  2. Quasit hears call out and uses delayed action to move.
  3. Eagles blindly probe from last known location.
  4. Oracle waits until eagle initative, calls out.
  5. Eagles probe

The worst part is when they start trying to wait for each other and then initiative gets thrown out the window and we might switch to narrative mode to keep things a little more streamlined. Not only that, but this pretty much ignores that the Quasit has Detect Good (if either the summoner or oracle are good-aligned), and Cause Fear if a pair of hunting eagles come a-charging. It might even turn into a wolf to fight back and who knows how it all breaks down.

Narrative Mode

Doing more than 8bit tactics combat, we have to consider that a single quasit is most likely to just run away when this outnumbered, especially when the larger force hides itself. Now, depending on the situation, the quasit probably has some hidey-hole to exploit if it was somehow caught alone. If not, you sound the bugle and just watch the eagles hunt it down like releasing the hounds.

Let's tease the idea that the quasit attacks. Let's remember that this little demon has basic human smarts and can speak common so now we enter the quasit maybe trying to use stealth v. party perception. Now the Oracle needs a silent way or another language to tell where the quasit is (which it may get the gist of anyway and adjust). A silent way without the party seeing him if they aren't clustered. Then it becomes a stealth v. quasit perception if they don't want it to hide in the mists as well until finally this game of cheating Battleship gets a hit.

Ultimately there is one extremely limiting factor: Terrain. Sure the Oracle can see, but is there anything the quasit can hide behind not made of water? The eagles might be 60% faster, but they are also a few grades lower in maneuverability and a larger creature. One tightly winding tunnel and the quasit breaks free of the party.

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Yeah, that's the one! The DM ended up letting us parlay with it once the fight stopped going anywhere. But since the Oracle is gonna milk this gimmick from here on out (its actually a Sniper that took a level in Oracle to guarantee sneak attacks), I figured it'd be useful to know how things should work mechanics-wise. –  LeesusFreak Jun 10 at 3:59

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