Anyone else find it hard to start a Chase scene?

I find the pivot from Fight to Chase difficult to make happen gracefully, or at all. My players always try real hard to stop chase scenes before they start. Most especially, this happens with our Ghost character, who can fly and turn insubstantial. They always want to try to use an Athletic Stunt to enter the fleeing car, then use their sorcery schticks from inside the trunk to destroy the car on subsequent actions. Sorcery specifically is exempt from the usual rules that make you target a driver or passenger and only damage the car on a really lucky roll.

One solution would be to not involve a fight at all, but the moment the PCs see that the GMCs are heading toward a car, the Ghost starts shooting. So again the attack effectively pre-empts the Chase, and if that fails to do so, they can still try the tricks above to get onboard the vehicle before it escapes.

Which sucks, since one of the other PCs is a Driver. So it's basically one player trying to stop us from transitioning to the scene where the other player gets to shine. The Driver's player has been real chill about it, but I worry it's gonna cause trouble down the road.

Any advice on how to make a Chase happen, other than the obvious "start In Media Res" with no explanation of how it began?

One thing I can think of is flip the script and have the PCs pick up a tail when they're out driving, but I'm pretty sure most of the PCs will react to that by pulling over, getting out of the car, and starting a fistfight. We have five PCs, so they almost always take two cars to go anywhere. Which means even if the Driver wants to peel out, the other car might brake and split the party.

And just to clarify: I'm confident the Ghost's player is NOT intentionally trying to steal the spotlight from the Driver's player. They're just trying to stop villains from escaping, and being tactically creative about it. So I don't really want to tell them "dude, you need to stop doing the smart things your character would totally do in that situation".

That's challenging. I've only done one Chase scene so far (having only recently had a character added in with Drive skill, who had getaway schticks), which I started in media res, starting the opening sequence with the Jag racing through city streets pursued by mob members with a badly wounded ally in the back seat. After the first sequence, I did a flashback to how it started, then returned to the chase. (The heroes eventually got themselves boxed in, but won the resulting fight.)

One solution might be go with your 'escape' Chase, but give them a reason to not want to stop and make it a normal fight - such as a deadline to get to another destination, or a passenger that they need to protect. An incentive to actually keep driving.

Similarly, for a pursuit, maybe start with the bad guys already in the cars, getting away, when the PCs spot them - e.g. as the PCs pull up outside a building, ready to search it, the bad guys drive their cars out through the garage doors and head down the street, so they're already moving, and maybe pick up some additional escorts on the way past.

As for splitting the party in that circumstance, I'd be tempted to let it happen - it would also end up splitting the bad guys, with some of them stopping to fight, with others pursuing the Driver (and whatever is in his car that they're after). Or they might even swerve around the parked heroes, and the entire bunch of bad guys pursue the Driver's vehicle.

The two-vehicle issue can be challenging, but maybe also have circumstances where the heroes end up separated from their vehicles, and need to steal another vehicle for a getaway (a tour bus is traditional) before being reunited with their own vehicles after the end of the scene?

I'm not clear on why it would prevent or stop a chase to have the Ghost use their Flight to enter the enemy's car or attack it with their Chi blasts.

I've done chases where our Sorcerer used one of the Switcheroo abilities, the bad guys were kidnapping an ally, and the Sorcerer switched the ally with one of the heroes, so our Everyday Hero was suddenly in the bad guy's car, attacking him and trying to take out the driver.

It was still a chase scene, the hero was doing Chase Points from within the car, and the rest of the heroes were doing Chase Points from outside the car.

If the bad guys are driving a cheap car that can be destroyed easily, then it makes sense for the Ghost to be able to destroy it easily, but if they're in a heavier car, I'm not sure it would be such a problem.

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If the bad guys are driving a cheap car that can be destroyed easily, then it makes sense for the Ghost to be able to destroy it easily, but if they're in a heavier car, I'm not sure it would be such a problem.

I guess I see your point, but there's a practical limit to "how hard to destroy" a car can be, and it's pretty low. The absolute highest Frame you can get a Car to, per the rules as written, is Frame 10, and that's by using the "Armor Plated" Foe Schtick. There's no equivalent of a "Boss" Car, no way to make it take more than 35 Chase Points to end the scene. Which is kind of a weird thing to be missing, come to think of it. In "most" chase scenes, or at least most where the PCs are the Pursuer, you're going to have just one Enemy Car that really matters. It's the car that's got the hostages, or the briefcase with the secret formula, or the fleeing villain boss, or whatever in it, that the PCs are trying to catch up with.

Nearly all cars will have the same staying power as a single typical Featured Foe. Imagine having a Combat scene with four Featured Foes, but one of them has the weird extra rule of "If the PCs manage to KO this particular Featured Foe, all the other Featured Foes immediately take 15 Wound Points, and one of those other Featured Foes must also spend his next action making a Difficulty 12 roll to not have all the bad guys eliminated instantly." That's likely to be a real short scene.

Most of the Chase rules are designed around isolating that special target, so they don't get ganged up on. Only drivers can roll against them, and you can't use most of your cool attack powers so your damage values stay pretty low...

...unless there's Sorcerers and Ghosts in the group. They get to ignore all that and roll straight against the car as if it were just a Featured Foe. A Ghost, in particular, starts with both a Chi-Blast and Flight, so not only do they do Condition Points direct to the car, but they also don't have to worry about the dangers of the Riding Outside The Car rules, or worry about about being onboard the enemy car when it crashes. Ghosts are real good at destroying vehicles and ending chase scenes in the first Sequence.

It sounds like it's time for the famous "adult conversation." It's all a matter of how you phrase it. Point out that they are depriving the driver of their chance to shine. Also point out that being in a chase doesn't mean they can't have a fist fight. They can just have it diving in and out the windows of a moving car.

More generally maybe your players can't see what fun there is in a chase. If they see it as a chore that would explain why they will do anything to stop it happening. Even if it's not that strong a problem you are asking them to trade the known fun of a fist fight for the unknown fun of a chase.

I've put together a play aid for running chases as I always forget the rules. It is used with die-cast toy cars and the simple action of slapping it down on the table might serve two purposes. One, it might be a strong indication that new fun is about to happen. It might also act as a marker that the fight is over and a chase has begun.

I am in the process of sorting out some web space from which to make it available.

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On this point, as mentioned elsewhere, that sounds like they are in a chase and getting further away from anyone not chasing every shot.

Also, and we're getting into rules interpretation here, the rules say that "Ranged Sorcery, Create and Genome attacks can also target vehicles." But does that mean that they do or just that it is possible? I seem to remember in 1st edition you needed to take specific schticks to be effective against vehicles. That may have changed though.

There is a specific attack (Magnetic Blast) which talks about doing extra damage to vehicles. Again, I can't see anything which gives permission to attack vehicles so it is probably intended to be innate.

Still, just because the Ghost is in/on the car doesn't mean it can't "dodge" attacks in the normal way. Particularly if they are in the boot they have no idea when the car is suddenly going to change direction so they may be even more susceptible to missing.

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Okay, I see what you're saying. I and my players have been reading the above rulebook quote to mean that if a PC has Sorcery, Creature Powers or Genome attacks, all those attacks are automatically capable of targeting the vehicle directly, bypassing the standard restriction that says you have to shoot at passengers (and can only damage the vehicle on boxcars).

It sounds like maybe you are reading that quoted statement to just be sort of a heads-up, pointing out that there may be / are Sorcery, Creature, or Genome schticks that specifically target the cars, but if so they'll state that in the individual schtick descriptions.

That's an interesting difference. So I went looking for schticks that might confirm (or contradict) that interpretation. Turns out there are very few sorcery/creature/mutant schticks that even mention vehicles.

"Magnetic Blast: When you hit a vehicle with a Chi Blast, it takes +3 Condition Points."

-That's the entire text of the only sorcery attack that mentions vehicles (Heal Object and Heal Vehicle mention them, but obviously aren't attacks). It doesn't say you need this schtick to be able to shoot a car, just that when you do shoot a car, it deals an extra 3 Condition Points. Reads mostly like a damage boost to me, and seems to be assuming chi-blast can already shoot cars, and already does some amount of condition points to them when it hits.

"Rage Against Machines: Spend 3 shots and make a Creature Powers attack, at close or ranged distance, against the Driving value of a foe operating a moving vehicle. The vehicle takes 8 Condition Points. If the vehicle is involved in a Chase, it also takes 8 Chase Points, and is treated as if it has been rammed or sideswiped."

-That's the only Creature Power that mentions vehicles, and it does sound a lot more like it's granting you permission to do something you normally wouldn't be able to. In other words, much more like your interpretation of the quote. However, it's also giving the Creature a ranged attack, which Creatures don't have by default, so that may be why it's worded this way.
(Also, I just want to point out that this power is really weird, because it doesn't seem to care about your Outcome, or the car's Frame. It's just a binary: either you take exactly 8 damage or exactly 0 damage.)

"Blinkshifter: During a vehicle chase, spend 1 Genome point to vanish from the vehicle you are currently in and reappear in another nearby vehicle. During an ordinary fight, you never pay a shot cost to move from one area to another within the fight zone."

-And there's the only Mutant/Genome power that mentions vehicles. As you can see, it's not an attack at all. I think that's a strong argument against your interpretation. If they say "Genome attacks can target vehicles" but there's not a single Genome schtick that specifically mentions doing so, it seems to me like they must be meaning "whenever you make any Genome attack in a chase you can choose to target the vehicle directly" NOT "specific Genome schticks could theoretically target vehicles, and we want to point that out, even though none of them actually do".

On the other hand, I guess it's hard to say for certain. It could be that some Genome-powered anti-vehicle schtick existed in an earlier draft and got cut in the final edit.