Movement and Speed

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Azathoth Azathoth's picture
Movement and Speed

So I was thinking about movement and multiple action phases. The book says that your movement is divided evenly between all action phases, so if I have speed 2 I can walk 2 meters per action phase, or run 10 meters per action phase. Okay, check.

But I was wondering how you guys handle these situations:

-What if I walk 2 meters on my first action phase, then want to run on my second? Should my second action phase movement be 10m, and any running penalties only occur in the second phase?

-What if I run 10 meters in my first action phase, then want to walk? I suppose it would reverse, with a movement of 10m in the first phase, then a movement of 2 on the second. Should this let me ignore the running penalty in the second action phase?

It seemed weird to me that if you were trying to beat an opponent to an area on the map, and you win initiative, your opponent may beat you there if he has a LOWER speed than you simply because he can spend all his movement in one pass! But when I considered a house-rule letting you split movement however you like between all action phases as long as you don't exceed your movement rate (walking or running) for the turn, I get sticky answers to the above questions!

Thanks for any insights/opinions on this!

OneTrikPony OneTrikPony's picture
Re: Movement and Speed

Azathoth wrote:

It seemed weird to me that if you were trying to beat an opponent to an area on the map, and you win initiative, your opponent may beat you there if he has a LOWER speed than you simply because he can spend all his movement in one pass!

Nope. He can't spend all his movement in one pass. He can spend his movement in one turn. If you want to determine how far he has moved on another character's pass you divide his movement by the total number of passes in the turn.

Edit: you are right about winning init tho. The first person out of the blocks usually gets to the finish line first.

If you still want to allow characters to change their movement rate from one turn to another that's fine. A guy who spends one of his IP's walking will be slower and that works out right. But, I would require a free running test with each change in movement rate. Consider the different environments with respect to gravity; On the moon it is extremely difficult to accelerate because there's not much gravity to enable friction. Of course, in microgravity you really don't get to change your movement rate unless you can grab handholds, (in which case a climbing test might be the more appropriate test).

Edit again: Haaaaa! I finaly beat someone to the post. BoooYa! Suckit D-miller! :D just kidding.

Mea Culpa: My mode of speech can make others feel uninvited to argue or participate. This is the EXACT opposite of what I intend when I post.

D-Miller D-Miller's picture
Re: Movement and Speed

Actually it's my understanding that you divide movement by the number of phases in the turn, not by the number of phases that the character has. Which could mean that someone with a low speed may not act until much later in the turn.

For simplicity if you have multiple speeds in an encounter, I'd suggest that you divide movement by 4 and consider everyone moving at only 1/4 their movement per phase. If someone wants to move further than 1/4 their movement and then act, they act in a later in the turn.

So if a 1 speed character wants to walk 4m then act, they start their movement on their action on phase 1 but do not actually take their action until phase 4. I would consider them delaying action until then.

I hope that makes sense.

*edit*
OneTrik beat me to it. :)

-D

Azathoth Azathoth's picture
Re: Movement and Speed

Wait, so even if I only have a speed of 1, I have to divide my movement between all the action phases for the round (but I can't do any other actions on those later phases)? That fixes one problem, but then what if I charge an enemy? I might not reach him on the first action phase, but I can't use my complex action to attack in a later phase?

Yeah, that house rule is looking better and better to me! :P

D-Miller D-Miller's picture
Re: Movement and Speed

With a speed of 1 you can charge that enemy, but you may not arrive at his location until a much later phase. When you arrive you can take your complex action (having withheld it until you arrive).

This does mean that if the enemy has multiple phases you could be taking shots as you charge in.

Melee sucks in ranged-combat based games... Don't bring a knife to a gun fight, you'll lose.

=)

-D

Azathoth Azathoth's picture
Re: Movement and Speed

I hear ya, but charging is just an example. While I like the image of a guy getting a face full of plasma for a few rounds while he tries to charge, the mechanic seems like it would slow down gameplay.

Thanks for helping me figure out the RAW, but I think I will be house-ruling a few things. :)

Nicochan Nicochan's picture
Re: Movement and Speed

So...let me understand clearly:

characters can walk 1m per action phase or run 5m?

CodeBreaker CodeBreaker's picture
Re: Movement and Speed

Nicochan wrote:
So...let me understand clearly:

characters can walk 1m per action phase or run 5m?

For those character with the default movement rate (4/20), yes. They may also sprint during an action phase using the rules on page 191 of the core.

-

Nicochan Nicochan's picture
Re: Movement and Speed

so, considering the "normal" movement of 4/20, if one character has speed=1, can move 1/5, if speed=2 2/10, if speed=3 3/15, if speed=4 4/20?

I realize that only now O_O

D-Miller D-Miller's picture
Re: Movement and Speed

Everyone can move their full movement rate in the turn, no matter how many phases they have. Movement in games with phases/passes per turn can get a little confusing.

There are really two ways to handle movement.
1. Divide the movement rate of each character by 4, and that’s how far they can move on each phase. So with the default movement of 4/20 using this method the character can move 1m per phase walking or 5m per phase running. If they only have a speed of 1 then they get to choose which phase they take their action in; delaying action until they act.

For example a character with a speed of 1 wants to move 3m to cover. On phase 1 he starts his movement and arrives on phase 3 where he takes cover as his action.

2. The other slightly more complex way is to divide the movement by the highest speed in the scene. So again we have the character with a speed of 1 who wants to take cover 3m away and another with a speed of 2. The character with a speed of 1 on his action begins to move, in phase 1 he moves 2m (4m walking distance divided by 2 (the highest speed in the turn)), on phase 2 he moves the additional 1m to cover only using half of his available movement that phase.

As you can see option 1 is simpler as you can divide everyone by 4 and be done with it, but both are equally balanced.

I know a lot of people that house rule that you have a fixed amount of movement in a turn and can use it when you like including all-at-once, meaning that you can charge your full 20m running distance in phase 1, but that doesn’t allow you to move at all in successive phases. This system is simpler, but not as well balanced.

-D

OneTrikPony OneTrikPony's picture
Re: Movement and Speed

Nicochan wrote:
so, considering the "normal" movement of 4/20, if one character has speed=1, can move 1/5, if speed=2 2/10, if speed=3 3/15, if speed=4 4/20?

Nope. :)

Every one can move thier "Movment Rate" in meters every turn. If your movment rate is (4/20, 8/40, 50/200, whatever) you can move that far in one Turn no mater how many Action Phases you have. Sometimes it's important to know how far a character has moved in the just the first or second phase of the turn. "can my character make it to cover before the other character shoot's him?"

The best way is the book way. Look at the number of passes in the turn, this will be determined by the character(s) with the highest Speed stat. Divide the movement-per-Turn of all character's by that number to get movement-per-Action-Phase.

So sometimes movment-per-Action-Phase will be divided by two or three or, rarely, four.

This is the method that is fair to everyone all the time. It doesn't screw fast characters by allowing slow characters to reach cover before they should. It doesn't screw slow characters by limiting their movement to something less than what they should be able to achieve in a turn.

It's probably best not to over simplify things. If you go the (movement)÷4 route, someone will end up getting screwed out of distance because there's usually no one with 4 action phases.

Mea Culpa: My mode of speech can make others feel uninvited to argue or participate. This is the EXACT opposite of what I intend when I post.

D-Miller D-Miller's picture
Re: Movement and Speed

OneTrikPony wrote:
It's probably best not to over simplify things. If you go the (movement)÷4 route, someone will end up getting screwed out of distance because there's usually no one with 4 action phases.

No one loses their movement, it's just that they act later. A speed 1 character that needs to run 20m before they do something will run 20m by phase 4 and then act (in phase 4). Others that weren't moving as far (or at all) and only had a speed of 1 will have already acted (most likely on phase 1) by the time the runner gets to his destination and acts. There is less bookkeeping and rounding involved with the divide by 4 method. That's why divide by 4 is the method I tend to recommend, however as you said the book method is divide by the fastest person. Either works very well and is balanced. The biggest drawback to the RAW method is fractional movement (20/3=6.6667-ish). Most of the movement rates in the book can be divided by 4 quite easily with at worst a multiple of 0.25 as the remainder.

-D

OneTrikPony OneTrikPony's picture
Re: Movement and Speed

I guess I don't understand how people deal with the ÷4 method when there's only 2 or 3 phases in the turn. It seems to me that it kind of messes up the simultaneity of actions in an action turn. (Something a GM should take care to describe or the 3 second Action Turn becomes a bunch of mini-turns)

In the example of the speed 1 character acting in the 4th phase. If the turn only had two phases when does the speed 1 character who needs to run 20 meters get to act? Does he still have to wait for the "4th phase"? Does every one get 4 phases for movement even if everyone has completed their actions by the second phase? Or is movement backlogged and he moves 5 meters in the first phase, and 15 meters in the second phase cause there are not really 4 action phases?

Aside from 1 npc I threw in just to be a dick :D I don't think we've ever had a character in the party with SPD 4 so, trust I'm not being critical, just wondering.

Mea Culpa: My mode of speech can make others feel uninvited to argue or participate. This is the EXACT opposite of what I intend when I post.

Azathoth Azathoth's picture
Re: Movement and Speed

Yeah, that's the issue I kinda had. You'd be breaking the turn into mini-turns essentially, where anyone with a low speed could only move for most phases. It seems like it would slow things down a lot.

What if you let high speed characters get their extra phases FIRST (moving only a fraction of their move per phase), then in the last phase the speed 1 characters move their entire movement at once. That would let faster characters complete most of their move before the slower characters move, but doesn't force slower characters to divide their movement... Just a thought. :)

D-Miller D-Miller's picture
Re: Movement and Speed

Any game with phases automatically breaks down the turn into mini-turns by its very nature. The only real difference between divide by 4 and divide by speed is that everyone knows just how far they move in a fraction of a second in the divide by 4 method, where as in the divide by speed method no one knows how far they can move until they determine how fast the fastest person is. So with /speed you may be able to move 20m then act in one combat, but the next combat rolls around and you can only run 4m before you have to act (or withhold your action until later in the turn). And the /speed becomes even more crazy when you have a character enter the fight part-way through with a higher speed than anyone had earlier in the fight. Where /4 stays stable.

Anytime someone wants to move then act they can take their action at the end of their movement. It keeps is simple. The only thing complicated is how far can the character move in a fraction of a second. Divide by 4 makes this a fixed value, divide by speed makes it a variable value.

I'm not sure I can simplify this any further. The only difference in game play between /4 and /speed is with /4 there is an invisible, inactive, non-interactive NPC with a speed of 4 in the combat.

*edit*
On a side note, as long as there is an initiative there is no simultaneity. The only things that happen at the same time are when two or more people roll the same initiative score. Because actions are (on your initiative score) declare then resolve actions there really is no simultaneity.

-D

D-Miller D-Miller's picture
Re: Movement and Speed

Since this whole time I've been talking about a house rule (divide by 4) I've just thought of a MUCH simpler house rule for handling initiative. According to the 3rd printing INIT= (INT+REF)/5 (round up). When you roll initiative you roll 1d10 and add INIT. Now you break combat into phases and movement gets nuts.

How about this, all turns consist of 1 phase it is 3 seconds long and your speed stat determines how may d10 you roll. It makes the whole thing much easier and speed still plays a tactical role?

Sorry Azathoth I didn't really mean to derail your thread so far. But now I'm wanting to beat MY head against a wall with movement and phases. :)

-D

Azathoth Azathoth's picture
Re: Movement and Speed

D-Miller wrote:
Sorry Azathoth I didn't really mean to derail your thread so far. But now I'm wanting to beat MY head against a wall with movement and phases. :)

No problem, the conversation is still relevant to my issues with speed. :)

Another house rule I've heard considered is reducing the turn to 1 action phase, but when you act you get a number of Complex actions equal to your speed. Though, someone with high initiative could do a lot of damage before anyone else acts.

Oh, and re: mini turns, it's not so bad when just a few people are going In the extra phases, but when everyone has to go, but some people are just going "i continue to move towards cover. Am I there yet?" That it seems bogged down to me. :)

OneTrikPony OneTrikPony's picture
Re: Movement and Speed

D-Miller wrote:

On a side note, as long as there is an initiative there is no simultaneity. The only things that happen at the same time are when two or more people roll the same initiative score. Because actions are (on your initiative score) declare then resolve actions there really is no simultaneity.

I get your points about the ÷4 method. It's just a matter of preference I guess.

It's true that most actions are resolved during the action phase in which they're declared but I don't think that needs to effect the sense of simultaneity in a turn or even across turns. Just because a character with low INIT goes last in an action phase doesn't mean that he's taking no action while quicker characters are taking theirs. That would be an artifact of rules and play style. Descriptively; quicker character's are also taking their complex action until their next action phase. (alternately they might be considered to be taking their actions from the point of their last action phase and those are resolved on their initiative turn.)

I like it when everything is happening at the same time it makes interrupt actions, full defense and other tactics more available and useful to players. Movement is one of those things that is ongoing throughout the turn, like suppressive fire, hacking, communication. I enjoy the game more when actions that should be simultaneous are portrayed that way. It just makes combat more fluid and compelling for me and other rules are designed around the concept. That's why I recommend it.

Mea Culpa: My mode of speech can make others feel uninvited to argue or participate. This is the EXACT opposite of what I intend when I post.

D-Miller D-Miller's picture
Re: Movement and Speed

Thanks guys.

To me combat takes too long as it is. I usually try to avoid it. When 1+ hours of real time are used to show 6 seconds of game time, it makes it really hard for me to see things happening all at once I guess. I think I'm going to pose to my group my house rule of only 1 phase and see what they think. We've only had one combat so far (one 3 play sessions intotal playing EP), but after 20 years playing ShadowRun I'm very familiar with how slow combat can be with multiple passes/phases. I'm also very aware of how bored people with slow characters can get when there are a couple of fast ones in the fight.

I think the longest/shortest combat I've ever run (once familiar with a system) was a ShadowRun fight after 5 hours (real time) of dice rolling and actions only to look back over the area and see that less than 1 minute of game time had gone by I (as GM) simply said "you guys win, I'm sick of dice" and we moved on. I can see EP doing the same thing mostly because of phases and breaking down the turns. Lucally we are all new enough to the system that moving to a 1 phase house rule will be painless.

Thanks for all the insight.

-D

OneTrikPony OneTrikPony's picture
Re: Movement and Speed

LOL! I'm guessing that was SR3? I have recurring nightmares about that too (Bug City). I wish I had your ability to disengage like that. It's true that you can expect a combat to take most of a night's session.

Let us know how your fixes work out please.

Mea Culpa: My mode of speech can make others feel uninvited to argue or participate. This is the EXACT opposite of what I intend when I post.

D-Miller D-Miller's picture
Re: Movement and Speed

This is the house rule that I proposed to my group:

Suggested:
Rather than Speed being how many phases you act in, all combat turns are only 1 phase long, your speed stat determines how many d10 you roll for initiative. So high speed still contributes to combat by increaseing your initiative score. I would also limit your number of quick actions to Speed +1 (unless otherwise noted).

Breakdown:
Pros:
Easier combat progress (no slow person left behind)
Easier movement breakdown (everyone can move their full movement on their action)
Obvious limits on quick actions
Combats will likely last longer (game time, not real time)
Melee combat more viable (charging will actually get you where you're going)

Cons:
More Initiative rolls per combat
Speed stat not quite as useful (is reducing a "must have" stat a con?)
It's a house rule

Now I just have to wait and see what the response is....

-D

OneTrikPony OneTrikPony's picture
Re: Movement and Speed

Umm... you should probably divide movement still, so you'll know where the faster characters are at when the slower characters take their turn...

Just Kidding LOL! :D Heh, sometimes I like beatin dead horses just for fun.

Seriously tho; LOVE the limitation on quick actions. Easy to say, easy to remember, tied to an existing stat, that one's got a lot going for it.

About the "must have" Stat/Gear. From a mechanic perspective I hate the "must haves" in any game. But really the must-haves say more about the setting than the rules in the sense of; rules are how the world works and must-have gear is so important to the major archetypes, in that framework, that it is part of the setting. Sometimes it's Magic Armor, sometimes it's Hyper-Speed. If it's not in the setting then you're saying something about what the setting is.

Over all; changing the initiative structure may not give you the results you like because it will still take X number of attacks to do X amount of damage. However, the way you've got it set up now, it will take fewer actions to run away so it just might work.

Mea Culpa: My mode of speech can make others feel uninvited to argue or participate. This is the EXACT opposite of what I intend when I post.

D-Miller D-Miller's picture
Re: Movement and Speed

Well the team decided to not adopt the house rule. We are still running combat by the RAW system with the exception of Quick Actions. Though I suppose the way the rules are written it is up to the GM how many quick actions a character can take on their action phase so limiting quick actions to Speed+1 is still RAW as long as that's what the GM wants. :)

-D

EccentricOwl EccentricOwl's picture
Re: Movement and Speed

I love your idea of Quick Actions being equal to (Speed + 1)... and as you said, it totally falls into "Ultimately, the gamemaster decides what activity you can or can’t fit into a single Action Phase."

It's simple, unified, and makes loads of sense.

However, as for combat- I've never run a straight-up combat using the printed rules and I'm dreading it now that I'm gearing up to run a big ol' 'by-the-books' campaign. It just looks like such a pain!

One of the reasons I'm trying to get away from Rob Boyle's other excellent system is that subdivision of time. Not only is it obnoxious and nonsensical, but it just seems so time-consuming... moving 1 (or maybe 5) hexes/squares a turn and then getting just a single Complex Action for that whole 15-20 minutes of gameplay? It seems anathema to fun.

OpsCon OpsCon's picture
Re: Movement and Speed

D-Miller wrote:
This is the house rule that I proposed to my group:

Suggested:
Rather than Speed being how many phases you act in, all combat turns are only 1 phase long, your speed stat determines how many d10 you roll for initiative. So high speed still contributes to combat by increaseing your initiative score. I would also limit your number of quick actions to Speed +1 (unless otherwise noted).

Similar idea I've seen done in a lot of Turn/Phases mechanics that builds on this is you roll one init die per SPD, and each INIT die represents the init count that an action happens on. Similar house rules have been used in Shadowrun as well.

So, for example, a Fury morph with SPD 2 would roll 1d10 + INIT and 1d10 + INIT, recording both numbers. During the turn, the phases are thrown out, and you simply get to take a Complex Action on each Init Count that matches numbers you rolled. So, if that Fury rolled an 11 and a 14, they would get to act on count 14, and again on count 11. You simply divide movement for that character up by number of available complex actions.

This serves a few purposes--

1. High SPD characters, rolling more than one init, will more likely have at least one that goes before most of their low SPD opponents.

2. Rather than being in the first phase, and then getting wailed on in later phases, SPD 1 characters are more likely to act in 'about the middle' of the turn.

3. Everyone goes on their init counts. When all init counts have passed, you roll init and start over. You don't have to remember to pass through the 4 phases and don't risk missing or doubling up on one in a long fight.

4. If using the option to roll and keep init once, this really speeds up the flow of combat and makes it easy to remember who goes when.

{Edit} 5. Just considered this, a person with a SPD 2+ also has the option of delaying their highest init action to react to combat conditions ("I'll hold a shot ready on that corner in case the enemy tries to rush our hacker") and using their lower init actions for what they want to do.

My two cents. This is what I've suggested to the GM for our upcoming game, who is admittedly a little intimidated by the combat rules, and is relying on my experience to help him make sense of it.

KT
Alex 'Iceshade' Andrade


Azathoth Azathoth's picture
Re: Movement and Speed

This is a really cool house rule! I may have to consider that!

OpsCon OpsCon's picture
Re: Movement and Speed

Thank you. I've seen the base idea elsewhere in other systems, and refined it for Eclipse Phase.

KT
Alex 'Iceshade' Andrade