D&D 4E Non-Euclidean Geometry in 4E?

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
A few things:

1. Moving 90 degrees left or right on a hex grid is easy enough provided your move is a number of hexes divisible by 2. (if you're facing north and the left and right sides of the hex you're in are "points" rather than straight, you can move 2 hexes due east or due west and end up properly "in" a hex) But while I appreciate the potential advantages of hex maps, I still think in squares for drawing and common sense for moving and range.

2. Fireball and anything with "radius" in its area description is *circular*. Is it really that hard to cut out a circular piece of paper of the right size and plonk it down on your grid, to see where the spell effects? (I never liked 3e's method of having a given spell affect either an entire 5x5 square or none of it...particularly when it's a small effect area to begin with)

3. If cones are gone outright that'd be a shame. They already standardized cones...wasn't that enough? (I have no problem with one spell having an a-of-e that is a 60' cone 20' wide at the end and another with an a-of-e being a 60' cone 60' wide at the end...)

Lanefan
 

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Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Haffrung Helleyes said:
What if, instead of using a template for a fireball or whatever that had jagged edges and was centered on a gridpoint and such, you used a template that was an actual circle, and had rules for what happened when only half of a square was included in a radius? Like the rules that we have now for cover; bonuses to saves and such. So, instead of two possibillities (in spell area or out of it) you'd have three (in spell area, out of it, or partially in spell area).

When the wizard cast his fireball or cone of cold, he would use something like the steel squire template, but instead of being jagged its edges would be smooth, and half-included squares would get the aforementioned bonuses.

Would this solve any of the problems cited here?
The speed-play crowd won't like it, as for anyone on the edge it possibly represents an extra die roll...one to see if you're in area or not, and another as your regular save if in area. But me, I have no problem with it at all.

I don't bother with squares to anywhere near that extent - I look at where the character piece is actually standing, and if it's in area, it's in area. 3e and DDM have combined to make squares and movement tactics far more of a factor than they ever should have been; and look now at all the headaches they cause. :)

Lanefan
 

IceFractal

First Post
It's not even the realism, or lack thereof, that's going to be noticable in play. It's the fact that a 1-1 rule has a visible, obvious effect on tactics, that doesn't mesh with normal spatial perception.

What I'm talking about if defense. Specifically, trying to block people from charging your casters. Whether done with "Wall of X", or a line of spear-wielding warriors, aligning your defenses diagonally makes them literally twice as effective as aligning them orthagonally to the grid.


What does this mean in gameplay? It means that the first thing a group with people to defend will do in combat is move into a diagonal position, relative to their foes. Likewise, the first thing an all-melee group will do is move into an orthagonal position. This is going to be a very visible and very strange beginning to combat, and it's going to happen more often that not.

In fact, if the groups are in a large open area like a desert or field, and catch sight of each-other from a distance, they could end up jockeying sideways for quite a distance as they moved toward each other. This is again, a highly visible effect, and saying that "NPC on NPC combat doesn't use these rules" just makes things worse - it's going to be pretty noticable if everyone starts moving differently as soon as a PC enters a battle.
 
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Squire James

First Post
I happen to be the DM, and good enough at math to add .5 to each diagonal move and tell the player how far he is attempting to move. All this in about the time it takes for the player to count the squares. I'm aware not everyone has my level of talent in the area, so I have no great objection to the "1 diagonal = 1 square" rule. It will, however, be the first House Rule I will make when I start running 4e.
 

Greenfaun

First Post
I'm glad to see there are other fans of the hexmap out there.

Does anyone have experience playing with a hex grid and three-dimensional combat? I.e. flying or underwater? It seems like that's one place where a three-vertex coordinate system might be more useful than hexes' sexy tesselation.

DamnedChoir said:
It's called Warhammer, and yes, lots of people play it.

You almost got me there, but then I realized that we're talking about people who play WH40K, and therefore there's still nothing wrong with the statement "No one in their right mind would play that game."

I kid, I kid.

Seriously though, I'm not a warhammer fan but I can acknowledge it has its strengths. I don't think anyone would say that quick, easy gameplay is one of them.

But it does exist, I concede the point.

This system is a great idea:

Syunsuke said:
Count movement by "movement point(MP)" or something like that.
MP is double of SPD. So, for example, Ice Archon's MP is 12.

Straights cost 2 MP.
Diagonals cost 3 MP.

Too gamist? Maybe... ;)

I like it because you can add other modifiers in a modular way. Tumbling? +1 MP/square. Rough terrain? +2 MP/Sq. Actively damaging surface, like spikes or flames? +5 MP/Sq or take the damage. Brilliant. Consider it stolen.

All that said, with casual gamers or people who are primarily roleplayers (instead of tactical gamers) I think the "1=1" thing is preferable. I have learned over the years to be accommodating to geeks less nerdy than I.
 

KarinsDad

Adventurer
Haffrung Helleyes said:
What if, instead of using a template for a fireball or whatever that had jagged edges and was centered on a gridpoint and such, you used a template that was an actual circle, and had rules for what happened when only half of a square was included in a radius? Like the rules that we have now for cover; bonuses to saves and such. So, instead of two possibillities (in spell area or out of it) you'd have three (in spell area, out of it, or partially in spell area).

When the wizard cast his fireball or cone of cold, he would use something like the steel squire template, but instead of being jagged its edges would be smooth, and half-included squares would get the aforementioned bonuses.

Would this solve any of the problems cited here?

We considered that, but it presents problems of its own. The DM has to adjudicate several of the edge squares any time a foe is in one. The jagged edged area of effect templates match exactly what is in the DMG, so there are no discussions or arguments over them. Once the origin point is picked, the template illustrates the exact area of effect.
 

HeinorNY

First Post
Just to resume (and maybe finalize) my point:

The 1-1-1-1 diagonal rules says these both lines have the same length.

attachment.php


I'm ok with asbtraction.
Come on, we play D&D.
Hit Points are abstractions.
Attack rolls, AC, levels... they are all abstract game mechanics.
I have no problem with accepting abstraction.

I also don't care about realism, math and real world physics. I do care about believability, but in some cases I can even put it aside a little. But believability is also no the problem here.

The problem IMO here is that the abstract rule affects how the game is played. Yeah, HPs also do that, we don't want our character to be 'healthy', we want them to have as much HPs as possible (so instead of eating good food our characters buy Amulets of Vitality).
But the diagonal movement as 1-1-1-1 creates situations and may disrupt what happens in the combat, depending solely on a completely out of the game convention, the alignment of the grid.

As I pointed before, in those two diagrams the distances between the characters and the monster are the same, but how their movement affects the outcome of the combat is different in both situations.
attachment.php
attachment.php

It's better to be the Blue Wizard in the B/w grid, and it's easier for the X monster in the brown grid, if he wishes to attack the Blue wizard.

In this other diagram, it's better to be the green character. Yes he is on a diagonal line with the X monster, but remember, the green character and the blue character are both 30ft away from the monster based on the 1-1-1-1 rule, so neither should really have an advantage. If we rotate the grid 45º, preserving the miniature's places, the blue guy has an advantage over the green guy now.
attachment.php

Those unfair advantages comes from the terrible inconsistence that the rule generates on the grid.

I tried to think on an example to explain my concearn.
Imagine that the 4E designers consider the initiative rule is too complicated, and so they are going to change it. Instead of characters rolling initiative checks, which is based on the character's dexterity, the new rule defines the initiative order based on the position of the players around the game table. Combat strategies will be then created based on a completely out of the game convention.

So my point is more of a worry than just nay-saying to the rule. I worry the 1-1-1-1 rule may disrupt too much D&D combat and create situations that should not exist. Maybe it works well in your group, maybe it works well in the playtest groups, but when this is being played in large scale, things will come up.

I still think they are creating a problem to fix a problem (that's not really a problem in the first place, IMHO).
 

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Ainatan, I don't think anyone's arguing with your point. (At least, I'm not.) As I've said before, I agree that what's been done isn't the perfect solution. And it does, indeed, open itself to abuse by certain players.

But--and I cannot stress this enough--I've weighed that point against the massive increase in speed and ease of play that I've seen in games that use the "1 = 1" rule. And to me, that simply outweighs the potential problems.

(And, for the record, it so far hasn't opened up any problems in my game. Now, maybe that's just because we're not taking advantage of it, I don't know. But so far, it just hasn't been an issue.)

Thankfully, even if 4E codifies the "1 = 1" system, going back to 1-2-1-2 is about the easiest thing in the world to house rule back in. :)
 

ainatan said:
Just to resume (and maybe finalize) my point:

The 1-1-1-1 diagonal rules says these both lines have the same length.

To be fair they don't say their same they're the same length, they just say they are equivalent distances in terms of movement and accuracy.
 

HeinorNY

First Post
Mouseferatu said:
Ainatan, I don't think anyone's arguing with your point. (At least, I'm not.) As I've said before, I agree that what's been done isn't the perfect solution. And it does, indeed, open itself to abuse by certain players.

But--and I cannot stress this enough--I've weighed that point against the massive increase in speed and ease of play that I've seen in games that use the "1 = 1" rule. And to me, that simply outweighs the potential problems.

(And, for the record, it so far hasn't opened up any problems in my game. Now, maybe that's just because we're not taking advantage of it, I don't know. But so far, it just hasn't been an issue.)

Thankfully, even if 4E codifies the "1 = 1" system, going back to 1-2-1-2 is about the easiest thing in the world to house rule back in. :)
I know Ari, I just reposted most of my points just for the sakes of organization and visualization :).
There is no doubt 1-1-1-1 rules make the game faster, I think the good debate we can do over it is if it could disrupt too much the combat, or the inconsistences will just pass unnoticed through most combats.
 

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