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As The Crow Flies

Water Bob

Adventurer
Speaking over Overland Movement here.

Do you think the Terrain Adjustment accounts for non-linear travel? Or, does it just slow movement due to the actual terrain (i.e. a person can move faster on a flat trail than he can on uneven ground in the wilderness)?

Let's say the PCs have to move 100 miles through Rough Terrain. That's straight line, point-to-point, as the crow flies distance. In reality, we all know that the ground route that the PCs take will be snake-like, avoiding obstacles, going around large hills and crevices.

Should I count that as 100 miles and then apply the Terrain modifier? Or, should I count the distance as longer, to account for the longer ground route, and then apply the Rough Terrain modifier?
 

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ValhallaGH

First Post
I would assume that the Rough Terrain modifiers already include the inevitable twisting and backtracking common to travel in rough terrain.
I've moved through jungles. You don't move at half speed, but you cover terrain at about half speed due to the circuitous travel. On a combat patrol you move more slowly but that's a function of trying to be stealthy and attentive (generally useful in a combat zone).

However, if your PCs are covering terrain too quickly then I can see multiplying the route length and then slowing their travel time. But all that really means is that they will use more rations and have more random encounters. Unless you're playing in an apocalypse or wilderness-survival setting, that won't add anything to the campaign as a whole.
I'll be the first to admit that random encounters have given my campaigns some great stories, but they haven't contributed to the campaign as a whole. Excluding increased party XP. ;)
 


Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Let's say the PCs have to move 100 miles through Rough Terrain. That's straight line, point-to-point, as the crow flies distance. In reality, we all know that the ground route that the PCs take will be snake-like, avoiding obstacles, going around large hills and crevices.

I think of it this way - the overland movement distance is the distance you'd measure on the scale of the hex map. The terrain modifier is then applied to include the wending and weaving you might have to do in rough terrain.

So, if you've got 20-mile hexes, and it is five hexes away, that's 100 miles, then layer on the modifiers for terrain type in each hex.
 

howandwhy99

Adventurer
Wargames were big into this. The reason most hexes were 24 or 30 miles across is they had a large number of divisors (e.g. 24 = 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 12, 24).

Terrain modifiers were fractions that fit those divisors (e.g 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 1/6, 1/8, etc.) And terrain had to do with slope, water, flora and non-encounter fauna, sight distances, ground conditions, and even average temperature and air quality.

It all adds up to slowing down the march. But these things can also inspire terrain challenges too (a.k.a. 4E terrain encounter). Climbing high mountains and crossing a swamp are no picnic. Now add in rock falls and swamp gas we might start asking ourselves "Is there a better way to do this?"

There's a reason we stick to roads and even grassy plains (along borders for easy navigation).
 
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LostSoul

Adventurer
I always thought the terrain modifier figured in non-linear travel. Didn't they also have modifiers for trails and roads? Anyway, that's what I use - three different terrain modifiers for trail/river, road, and wilderness. (Or is it road/river? Eh, I forget.)
 

Water Bob

Adventurer
The terrain modifier is then applied to include the wending and weaving you might have to do in rough terrain.

I was thinking the same, but one thought bugs me:

Let's say the PC have to travel 10 miles, and they have road to follow--thus, no move modifier. The PCs might have to zig and zag like a snake, actually moving 15 miles, eventhough the going is easy on the trail.

If it were a flat, grassy plain, then the PCs could travel in a straight like the full 10 miles.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Let's say the PC have to travel 10 miles, and they have road to follow--thus, no move modifier. The PCs might have to zig and zag like a snake, actually moving 15 miles, eventhough the going is easy on the trail.

I think the overland movement guidelines are not designed for situations where possible paths are very clearly laid out. This isn't for in a dungeon, but more like a terrain hex map, which doesn't keep that level of detail.

Or, you can think of it this way - the characters are moving through a hex of rough terrain. You can explain that in fluff as they have to blaze their own trail, or follow a twisty road. The mechanical result and travel time is the same.
 

IronWolf

blank
Let's say the PC have to travel 10 miles, and they have road to follow--thus, no move modifier. The PCs might have to zig and zag like a snake, actually moving 15 miles, eventhough the going is easy on the trail.

If it were a flat, grassy plain, then the PCs could travel in a straight like the full 10 miles.

A lot of things in RPG games start to fail under the microscope.

Essentially, I would simply say the road lets them move faster due to a more even grade, packed surface, potentially easy access to water along the way than any overland travel - even over flat grasslands. So they get to travel at the 10 mile speed through the hex, but actually crossed 15 miles of road because they could move faster across it.
 

Hand of Evil

Adventurer
Epic
Characters move as fast as the plot. If they need to be somewhere at the right time they will be.

If I am letting them plan a jouney, I let them roll based on information they gather...this goes to amount of food they carry and not too much else. Things that they gather; maps (quaility counts), talking to rangers, hunters and trappers, and time of year.

They also bring trade goods, things like salt and axe blades.

For me the overland movement guide just provides an idea how slow and difficult it is. More chances of injury and breakage.
 
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Water Bob

Adventurer
Characters move as fast as the plot. If they need to be somewhere at the right time they will be.

Not always true, in my games.

Plus, I like to throw in a good old fashioned random roll encounter and explore type of adventure from time to time. Old School. There is no plot. The PCs explore, and the GM rolls random encounters. That can be so fun--the unexpected.
 

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