10 September 2012

Tactical Movement

In my post on Combat Round Structure, I alluded to a variety of movements it was possible to declare. Now, the players don't need to use these exact words to describe what they're doing, but all movements they do is going to fall into one of these categories.

My concept for all of this is to make resolution as straightforward as possible. This is pretty much how descriptive combat works in any case. I'm largely just trying to classify the different plans and modes for tactical movement. I think this is a pretty complete description of how you can move in combat.

I'll also cover Attacks of Opportunity here, as they often come up in 3E as a result of movement.

Possible Movement Plans

There are six ways you could plan to move in a tactical situation:
  • Close distance with opponent(s)
    • A careful attempt to get into range (either melee range or missile range, as appropriate)
  • Open distance with opponent(s)
    • A careful attempt to create distance, usually by falling back, and includes fleeing
  • Maintain distance with opponent(s)
    • A careful attempt to keep the distance between you and your opponent the same, usually by circling (perhaps so a ranged attacker will stay out of melee)
  • Hold your ground
    • Defend yourself while moving as little as possible (defend a fallen comrade, or someone picking a lock, etc.)
  • Make for an objective
    • Head to a specific place (get the gem off the pedestal, go to a fallen comrade to administer first aid, etc.)
  • Maneuver opponent
    • Attempt to maneuver a combatant you are engaged with to where you want them (position them as a shield against missile fire, or to back them up against a chasm so you can push them in, etc.)
I think for the most part the resolution of these actions should be fairly straightforward.

A few cases:

If one combatant is trying to close, and the other maintain or open distance, and one of the combatants is moving faster, they're going to get their way. If they're the same speed, the character not trying to close can either circle, keeping the combatants

The only one which requires a separate mechanic is Maneuver Opponent, as it would not either automatically succeed, nor is its resolution obvious from common sense. I'll go into more detail on this later, but it would probably require some kind of check modified by your level and the opponents level.

Possible Movement Modes

The ways you can go about each of those movements are:
  • Normal
    • 3mph, 25'/round
      • Default mode of movement - move at about a walking speed, ready stance
  • Fast
    • 6mph, 50'/round
      • Jog - 50% reduction to Defense
    • 9mph, 75'/round
      • Run - 75% reduction to Defense
    • 12mph, 100'/round
      • Sprint - 100% reduction to Defense
    • Can still attack at the end of a Fast move, but no added damage.
  • Slow
    • 1.2mph, 10'/round
      •  Move while doing something (trying to light a torch, read a scroll, find that damn potion that's in your pack somewhere)
    • .6mph, 5'/round
      • Extra-cautious (maybe because of poor footing, slippery floor, darkness, etc.)
  • Stealthy
    • Variable, likely 1-6mph
      • Attempt to move without being heard/seen/noticed
Regarding charges, it seems to me that any added impetus would be likely offset by your worse aim. Rather than try to figure out a lot of fiddly modifiers for that, I think it's easier, and likely equally realistic, to just ignore the issue.

Stealth will be handled with a mechanic where the GM determines (secretly) how close you get to an enemy before being noticed.

Sticklers may notice the numbers have been fudged a little to make them round.

Attacks of Opportunity

Attacks of Opportunity are stupid. Therefore, they are not included. If you're moving past someone, I think it can be safely assumed that you'll do what it takes not to get smucked. Also, if they're already engaged with someone, stopping to smuck someone else would pretty much guarantee getting smucked themself. Not really a good call.

If someone wants to attack someone moving past them, they certainly can, but that's their action for the round.

There are also no attacks of opportunity for people trying to disengage from combat. I think that whole notion got started from Hollywood depictions of swordfights, where two guys stand about two feet apart whacking each others swords. In reality, it's madness to stand that close to someone with a sword. Armed combatants stand far enough apart that either would have to take a step to land a blow - any closer, and you don't have time to defend yourself. That's a distance of about ten feet. At that range, it's very likely that you'll be able to high-tail it before the other person can get a solid blow in.

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