D&D 5E The popularity of horror adventures/settings for 5e

It's fascinating to me how often people point to the DMG's chase rules when it's painfully obvious that they've never used them, or even thought very much about how it might go down if they tried. What you're saying might work out just fine if you were playing with side initiative and both teams lined up across from each other like a Final Fantasy game. But that's not 5e. So at what point in the round are you allowed to do this conversion from combat to chase? Any time you like? Can you take all the PC turns attacking, then flee before the enemy gets a turn? Do you get to Dash away, then call for retreat and get to start with a free extra 60ft head start? If you're completely surrounded, can you still declare a flee action and teleport through enemy spaces? If you're mostly surrounded, can you declare a flee action to avoid taking half a dozen opportunity attacks? Or do you still take the opportunity attacks anyway? If you do, what happens if the opportunity attack has the ability to stop movement, like sentinel feat or a monster attack that grapples on hit? What about Warcaster and Booming Blade? If you declare that you're fleeing, and the enemy pops you with Booming Blade, are you committed to the chase and automatically take the damage, or can you abort it?

Most hilariously, if you start from melee range, then the distance between the pursuer and the quarry is zero. Congratulations, you've now caught the quarry and the chase is over.

Yes, they exist, but they're not just less than great. They're absolute garbage, and whoever wrote them also literally never considered how to transition from a combat to a chase during and actual game. And, on top of all that, they still mostly come down to "whoever has the highest movement rate wins." And I know someone is about to say something about the stealth checks to escape, but you don't get to make those unless you can break line of sight, and you can't break line of sight unless you can create some distance from the pursuer, and you can't create that distance unless you either started with it, or you're faster than whatever is chasing you. Oh look, that's a whole page of rules that says "the rogue can use Cunning action to get away, then Stealth Expertise to hide. Everyone else is either a crap shoot, or has basically zero chance to escape." You know... the same thing you get if you just don't use the chase rules at all.
I'm not a DM, but a player so I don't "run" the rules so to speak. We have done chases before, but my DM ran them more like 4e skill challenges IIRC. My only point was that from reading it (the DMG) it seemed like an easy transition to go from combat to chase IMO.
 

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GrimCo

Adventurer
Uh huh... that's assuming the players know that the vampire is a CR they can't effectively fight against. I don't think "just metagame around it" is quite the trump card you want it to be here.

No, players don't know CR of monsters. Nor do monsters know PC levels. But players do know that vampires are deadly, dangerous and it's stupid and borderline suicidal to fight one at night. We are speaking about horror settings, Existence of vampire myths are common. What parts of those old folk tales are true or false are in the realm of "naughty word around and find out". But honestly, that's just play style that i personally encountered when playing horror games and that is how i personally run them. Your style may be totally different and that's cool.

Level 5 party creeps to the house. They slowly open the door. Inside, they see the pale bloodless corpse of farmer.
Players: we cautiously go in to investigate the corpse
DM: Something moves above you, the corpse of the farmers wife drops and you see the Vampire blood red eyes as it dives towards you (surprise)
Players: oh no! We're getting hell out of here, on the double.
Disengage and dash
DM: the Vampire Dashes after you - you’re still in melee range

Why would vampire, intelligent creature, attack on sight band of heavily armed and armored people? And after good meal none the less. Just like i said in paragraph above, neither party knows at glance how tough the other party is. But intelligent creature can eyeball it and in 1 vs 5 situation, survival instincts kinda tells you it's not really smart to fight people who don't look like an easy prey.
 

It's fascinating to me how often people point to the DMG's chase rules when it's painfully obvious that they've never used them, or even thought very much about how it might go down if they tried. What you're saying might work out just fine if you were playing with side initiative and both teams lined up across from each other like a Final Fantasy game. But that's not 5e. So at what point in the round are you allowed to do this conversion from combat to chase? Any time you like? Can you take all the PC turns attacking, then flee before the enemy gets a turn? Do you get to Dash away, then call for retreat and get to start with a free extra 60ft head start? If you're completely surrounded, can you still declare a flee action and teleport through enemy spaces? If you're mostly surrounded, can you declare a flee action to avoid taking half a dozen opportunity attacks? Or do you still take the opportunity attacks anyway? If you do, what happens if the opportunity attack has the ability to stop movement, like sentinel feat or a monster attack that grapples on hit? What about Warcaster and Booming Blade? If you declare that you're fleeing, and the enemy pops you with Booming Blade, are you committed to the chase and automatically take the damage, or can you abort it?
There's a reason the chase rules are in the DMG, the DM will have to adjucate all these things.
 

GrimCo

Adventurer
5ed by design puts heavy focus on "rulings not rules" principle. While there are some optional rules in DMG ( i'll be first to admit that i skimmed most of dmg), it's mostly up to DM to make rulings on situations or make home rules. That's why i said in one of my posts that "out of box, as is" 5ed isn't really good for all styles of horror games, nor for all play styles.
 


mamba

Legend
nd I know someone is about to say something about the stealth checks to escape, but you don't get to make those unless you can break line of sight, and you can't break line of sight unless you can create some distance from the pursuer
or by running around a corner, jumping over a fence / wall...
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
Why would vampire, intelligent creature, attack on sight band of heavily armed and armored people? And after good meal none the less. Just like i said in paragraph above, neither party knows at glance how tough the other party is. But intelligent creature can eyeball it and in 1 vs 5 situation, survival instincts kinda tells you it's not really smart to fight people who don't look like an easy prey.
because its horror, because the vampire is in a feeding frenzy, because the vampire can use the door is a chokepoint (so cannthe PCs), or the vampire has some other tactical advantage that makes the fleeing adventurer a ripe target…

Not being able to escape a monster chasing you sounds like a horror trope to me.
lol, that might be good point I suppose - if only it was a bit more dynamic and built actual tension…

or by running around a corner, jumping over a fence / wall...
always amuses me how running around a corner allows someone to disappear even though the pursuer is only a few steps behind…
 

mamba

Legend
always amuses me how running around a corner allows someone to disappear even though the pursuer is only a few steps behind…
there is a lot of room between ‘a few steps behind’ and ‘so far behind that you break line of sight’… and depending on the case, a few seconds is enough
 

Rystefn

Explorer
Why would vampire, intelligent creature, attack on sight band of heavily armed and armored people? And after good meal none the less. Just like i said in paragraph above, neither party knows at glance how tough the other party is. But intelligent creature can eyeball it and in 1 vs 5 situation, survival instincts kinda tells you it's not really smart to fight people who don't look like an easy prey.
So why would the PCs, intelligent creatures, knowing that they are a band of heavily armed and armored people, eyeballing the same 1v5 odds run in terror? I know you really want to have it both ways here, but it doesn't really fly. Either one side seems to have an significant advantage to the mind of an intelligent creature that finds itself in this situation, and therefore should feel confident enough to attack, or neither side has the obvious upper hand to the intelligent observer, and therefore the PCs have no reason to flee instead of at least making the attempt.

Also, tangential to the specific example, but relevant to the overall topic: Five 5th level 5e PCs, depending on party makeup and specific builds, have a decent chance of actually winning against the vamp and forcing it to flee if they've got ready access to radiant damage. Yes, it's a dangerous monster, but you might be surprised at how much of those 144 hit points can vanish in a turn if it's up against a party that's actually set up for vampire hunting.
 

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