diagonal movement - 1:1 or 1.5:1?
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  1. #1
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    diagonal movement - 1:1 or 1.5:1?

    Just an informal poll:

    I'm curious how people play diagonal movement on the grid. Per the rules as written, the first diagonal costs 5 feet and the second diagonal costs 10 feet.

    Generally, I've always been a proponent of the added movement cost for moving diagonally but lately I've been rethinking it.

    For the past couple of weeks I've been playing a really cool iPhone game called Hunters (you can download it for free!) which uses mechanics very similar to many grid-based boardgames. Each of your characters has a certain number of "Action Points" which can you spend to move one square or make one attack.

    Moving diagonally does not cost extra and you know what? It doesn't break the game. *gasp*

    Wulf and I have had discussions on this in the past and if I recall, he has been more of a supporter of diagonal movement than I have. There is no doubt that it is easier and faster during play.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
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    I prefer the 1 : 2 : 1 diagonal move. Probably from habit.

    I've been in a 4e campaign the past few months and I can see the benefits. Going 1:1 diagonal means , IMO, changing diagonal reach and AoE to match diagonal move to keep down abuse.
    Last edited by Eric Anondson; Tuesday, 10th May, 2011 at 11:38 PM.

  3. #3
    It's not a game balance issue. D&D is not a board game, it's the descendant of tabletop wargaming. The 1.5:1 diagonal move is a simplification of the measured movement still popular in those games (and still used in some people's D&D games). Aside from getting away from our roots, ditching the diagonal move would mean a loss of realism.

    I know, I know - who cares about realism in a world with beholders, right? But this is a change to the rules for walking. We know that characters do not hop from space to space. They have to move through curves in space. The rules should reflect that.

  4. #4
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    Pros:
    It's easier and faster. It doesn't confuse new players. It doesn't take extra time to explain.

    Cons:
    Less "realism"; though the world isn't Orthogonal, so that's a very questionable point. Can make movement around the battlefield surprisingly swift - without changing movement speeds. For those used to 1-2-1, it means unlearning an old habit.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vespucci View Post
    It's not a game balance issue.
    Quote Originally Posted by ValhallaGH
    Can make movement around the battlefield surprisingly swift - without changing movement speeds
    So is it a balance issue or not? I'm less concerned with "realism" - Trailblazer should be proof of that.

    If enemies can move the same way, is it really unbalancing? If anything, it could way the balance towards the bad guys.

    I'm also not concerned with making the game feel like a board game. I'm a huge fan of miniatures and battlemaps and usually don't play without them.

    Making the game feel like the Magic the Gathering...well that's another story.

  6. #6
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    1:1's fine with me. Another non-critical subsystem to worry about.

    I had a GM once use the 1:1 movement rate in our Pathfinder game. Everything went fine.

  7. #7
    Well, I guess the question for me is, "What's the hard bit of 1.5:1?" It can't be counting, or adding 2, so I'm guessing it's the 'blinking' aspect of the modifier. That can be removed. If this is going into a Trailblazer core book, I would suggest:

    • 1:1 diagonals as the "Basic" rule.
    • 3:2 diagonals as the "Expert" rule - i.e. 5 feet of movement = 2 movement points.
    • Full on movement in feet as the "Master" rule. 7 feet gets you through a diagonal if you're using a grid, but most likely people playing this way are using tape-measures.

    That would introduce new players to the general range of movement conventions currently in the hobby, while steering them to the easiest option.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by GlassJaw View Post
    So is it a balance issue or not?
    It is Not.

    The surprising crossing speed is simply because table-top battlefields are so tiny. Skirmishes tend to happen in areas 50 yards or more across, with movement all over the place - that's about 30 inches per side in D&D distance. If moving to a modern battlefield then squad-level engagements tend to be in the 50 to 200 yard square area(or 30 to 120 inches to a side on D&D scale). Nobody uses maps that big, mostly for logistical reasons.
    Most D&D skirmishes happen within 10 inches: 50 feet is a nothing distance. Movement is going to be extremely swift over such short ranges, and it often surprises folks when that happens. This favors close combat, which works fine for the genre (it even seems to be a design goal).

    Again, "a square is a square is a square" is not going to unbalance the game.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vespucci View Post
    • 1:1 diagonals as the "Basic" rule.
    • 3:2 diagonals as the "Expert" rule - i.e. 5 feet of movement = 2 movement points.
    • Full on movement in feet as the "Master" rule. 7 feet gets you through a diagonal if you're using a grid, but most likely people playing this way are using tape-measures.
    Then the Immortals rule is to use hexes?

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Anondson View Post
    Then the Immortals rule is to use hexes?
    Good question! For a definitive answer, I asked Dave & Gary. Based on the flight patterns of nearby birds, their answer is:
    • Use perfect communication so that everyone vividly imagines the very same scenario.
    I'm not sure this would work with all gaming groups!
    Laugh Hrothgar Rannúlfr laughed with this post

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