Using Chase Rules to run an Investigation at the beginning of the module
- Initiative Cards. When the PCs decide a direction, deal out Initiative cards as follows
- To each PC group. So if they split up into 3 groups to check out 3 leads pass out 3 cards. If they all go together – one card.
- For the main target (example – the mastermind behind the kidnappings)
- Other groups in play (say the town guards investigation, the family that is betraying the town, a natural event that is looming, maybe a goblin group that wants the sacrifice to fail)
- Resolve in initiative order, realizing it generally is simultaneous and independent. Order only matters if there is a direct effect (say the group wants to scry and the villain is feeling the heat and decides to take precautions
- Use the Chase rules for inspiration – getting a Club is an obstacle that could help or hurt the PCs.
- After that round’s resolution of investigation, the GM evaluates and adjusts the chase tokens (one chase token for each theory the PCs have come up with). This represents to the PCs that feeling you get when you are “getting close” or “it is slipping away” that you have in real life.
- But, like in real life, sometimes we are way off base. Red Herrings – The Chase tokens really show how close the PCs feel to the answer based on their assumptions. If they follow a Red Herring hook, line, and sinker, then they will appear to get close until the RH is revealed. Then suddenly the chase drops back to reflect the actual. Little Red Herrings are just handled in the course of the investigations (actions) keep you even or set you back (more of a dead end).
- As they close in with the chase tokens, the DM can place in fixed events. For example, if they get within 2, the event where they find the dead dwarf/owlbear attack occurs in the module
- Keep all the initiative cards on the table. It gives the players something to think about – “why does the DM have 4 cards in front of him?” DM might remove them at his discretion. For example, the goblin group may have struck and failed, thus eliminated from the issue.
- Might be a good place for the GMEmulator. It can resolve if other interested parties are successful, thus throwing in some interesting plot twists. Could also use it in to “shake up the scenes” before they start