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diagonal movement - 1:1 or 1.5:1?

GlassJaw

Explorer
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* :p

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?
 
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.
 
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Vespucci

Villager
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.
 

ValhallaGH

Villager
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.
 

GlassJaw

Explorer
It's not a game balance issue.
ValhallaGH said:
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. :p
 

joela

Villager
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.
 

Vespucci

Villager
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.
 

ValhallaGH

Villager
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.
 
  • 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? ;)
 

Vespucci

Villager
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!
 

Laslo Tremaine

Villager
Not really...

The trick to drawing square rooms on a hex grid is to draw the lines between the rows of hexes. Then only count hexes that have a majority of their space inside the room. It takes a couple tries to get the hang of it, but it works quite well for us, and there is almost no confusion as to what is a valid hex.

Thusly...


 

GlassJaw

Explorer
The trick to drawing square rooms on a hex grid is to draw the lines between the rows of hexes. Then only count hexes that have a majority of their space inside the room. It takes a couple tries to get the hang of it, but it works quite well for us, and there is almost no confusion as to what is a valid hex.
Cool graphic. Just wondering why you don't line up the left/right walls of the room with the vertical hex lines?

In that case, you would essentially end up with half hexes, although I would probably count them as normal size.
 

Laslo Tremaine

Villager
The reasoning at our gaming table is that it would mean that some parts of the room would be 25' wide while others would be 20'.

With this method, the room is effectively 20x20 and it's pretty clear which hexes are valid. I fully admit that it's a bit kludgey, but the upsides to hexes greatly outweigh the downsides for us.

Counting movement, determining spell effect (both radius and cone), drawing round rooms, etc, are all pluses. The only real downside is drawing sqaure rooms, and this method solves that issue for us.

I should probably add that my group of gaming buddies were super-hardcore Champions/Hero players way back in the day. So we cut our teeth on hexgrids.
 

BryonD

Villager
So is it a balance issue or not? I'm less concerned with "realism" - Trailblazer should be proof of that. ;)
Serious question: What part of Trailblazer should lead me to conclude that a 40% acceleration resulting from simply turning 45 degrees is not within your "realism" threshold?

I know it sounds snarky, and I apologize if it comes off as nothing less, but I really mean the question.

In a related manner what other properties applicable to commoners and puppies does Trailblazer disregard because no reason other than "realism" applies? Is there a reason other than realism for why commoners can't all walk up walls?

To me RPGs are much more than tactical games and getting it right is important. At least when it is really easy to do. And 1-2-1-2 is really easy to do.

1-1-1-1 has tactical implications, but it comes a long way from "breaking" the game. Balance in not on my radar when I think about diagonal moves.
But when I see 1-1-1-1 it immediately tells me that either the game does not expect to live up to a high standard of being right, or it just doesn't think very highly of the capabilities of its target audience.

In my games things that are not realistic fall into one of two categories.
1) Features of the game.
2) Failures of the system.

And BOTH do exist. Accepting and mitigating the second kind is part of the process. Hit points are the obvious prime offender, but there are certainly others. But any time an easy fix for a failure exists, that fix should be implemented immediately. And 1-1-1-1 has an amazingly easy fix.
 

csuaso

Villager
How can it be realistic if when firing an arrow or throwing a javelin it counts as 5 feet? The same amount of distance is covered by both walking and range weapons.
 

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