And the villain escapes

So for the adventure i am trying to write for tis weekend there will be a attempted bank robbery with the super villains escaping to be tracked back to their lair for a harder fight. (like you do)

What is the best/most fair way to run this?
Let them all got to 0 health and then say “but then they escape”
have them flee when at >10 health?
some other option?

this bad guy group have deception/ misdirection schtick so i would not feel as bad about “you did everything right and thought you won but no” but still it seems a not great thing to do as a GM

I’d make the win condition less “the heroes stop the bad guys” and more “the heroes stop the bad guys from getting away with the loot”.

They can still be tracked back to their lair, but if their health gets too low or any of them are knocked out, they take off early. Then, if the Red Zone runs out, they get away, take whatever it was they were trying to steal, and the lair fight becomes a lot more interesting.

You could have the Villain make one or more Overcome Actions to get away. The Villain could have Minions that Boost the Villain, and Heroes could Hinder the Villain or Attack those Minions to give them the illusion that they can stop the Villain’s escape.

So, the encounter could end in one of several ways:

  1. The Scene Tracker runs out or the Villain succeeds on enough Overcomes without any Twists.
  2. The Villain succeeds on enough Overcomes with some Minor Twists.
  3. The Villain succeeds on enough Overcomes with some more Major Twists.
  4. The Villain is reduced to some Health threshold (such as 10 or 0).

In all cases, the Villain would escape, of course (because that’s what The Plot needs to happen). However, the Heroes can still influence how the Villain makes its escape. The higher the method of escape is numbered, the worse the Villain’s escape is. Depending on how the Villain gets away, you can make the lair fight easier, make tracking the Villain easier, or make the Villain have to leave some (or all) of the loot behind.

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