Level Up (A5E) Noticed an interesting mechanic for TotM the range standardization allows


over in the magic preview thread it's noted that " spell ranges have been standardized; common distances include short range (30 feet or less), medium range (60 feet or less), or long range (120 feet or less), as well as self, touch, and special ranges." & it clicked how that enables drawing from fate for a middle ground between grid map & vague everyone asking "is x near enough for me to do Y thing?" all the time. while reading some of the discussion on 5e's failings with tactical grid map combat. In Fate you have zones that the gm decides & maybe scribbles on note cards. Taking a cliche example of the bbeg in his throneroom with a bunch of guards arrayed around the room the main "zones" might be:
  • (Outside the throneroom)
  • Near the entry <-- players are here
  • by the petitioner's dias
  • amid the evil ritual
  • off to the side balconies
  • by the throne
then the gm might toss those notecards/stickynotes down on the table in some kind of rough layout. In fate you can (almost*) always attack an opponent in the same zone while depending on how much you invest* into extending the range of a weapon you can usually use a ranged weapon to attack 1 or sometimes 2 zones away. That knd of thing applies well to these sort of range increments lend themselves very well to fate's pseudo TotM setup while preserving meaningful AoO provoking conditions for pseudo TotM. with this sort of example that may or mayalign with plans as we see more on spells & other chapters
  • In short every zone is like Schrodinger's cat Everyone in the same zone is simultaneously within 5 feet of each other & not within 5 feet but close to it with the specifics not mattering until someone does something that makes it matter .
  • Self: Obviously you can almost always use it but doing that provokes an AoO from hostile creatures in the same zone if the action with range self provokes an AoO on a grid map but it's less likely that range self abilities provoke(maybe they don't ever without a special feat or something).
  • Touch: Hostile touch abilities like chill touch don't generally provoke an AoO from creatures in your zone while beneficial/neutral ones like cure wounds & lay on hands provoke an AoO from creatures in the same zone.
  • Close: you can attack creatures in the same zone or one zone away but provoke an AoO from creatures in your zone same as how touch does
  • Medium: same as close but you can attack 2 zones away
  • Long: Same as close but you can attack 3 zones away.
  • If you want to move from the zone you are in to another adjacent zone you risk provoking an AoO from hostile creatures in your zone just as if you were moving through a threatened square or leaving the reach of a hostile opponent
  • All it needs is some kind of simple TotM "this is how cones lines & bursts work for zones"
With this sort of pseudo tactical pseudo TotM setup you can have meaningful grid based tactical combat rules for things like movement based AoOs, 5 foot step/shift flanking & so on needed for meaningful robust tactical grid based combat and have all of that fit into TotM in a way that builds upon & enhances it rather than bogging it down with irrelevant unknowable details. Players who don't want any of that in ther TotM game can just ignore all of it & do whatever they are already doing.

I love fate & I ran open fate games at a nearby FLGS for years so got really good with this kinda pseudo-TotM. It's not a replacement for the crunchy tactical grid based combat rules from older editions that I sorely miss in 5e, but it's a nice middle ground for those times when I feel like a quick TotM encounter is good enough or an example someone can point to if someone is playing a class like rogue/certain battlemasters/etc that depend on being able to see a grid in a gm's TotM as a useful middleground to avoid asking "can I do x" every round or so. For new players/gms it also has the benefit of a very low cost for a pen/pencil & pack of notecards/pad of sticky notes.

* It's complicated because fate is such a dramatically different type of system & irrelevant

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Arcadian Knight
This is an old post and I am sorry I missed it but yes that standardized; common descriptive distances would be a basic feature IMO for a game that actually wants to do more than lip service for TOTM.

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