D&D General Rules, Rules, Rules: Thoughts on the Past, Present, and Future of D&D

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
If someone's action is to move, the move should start on their initiative and be tracked tick by tick from there. ...

Movement as, in effect, a mini-teleport is garbage.

Why isn't it a smooth transition from the previous turn, and why can't he decide to change part way through? (If we're going that route).

Now I'm trying to remember the two different ways we did Star Fleet Battles...
 

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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
What if I told you it didn't have to be that way? You could have a more realistic way of managing turn order and not have the result be Keystone Cops. We used to have it in the game. Some wargames still have it, too. Instead of the rigid and unrealistic statues of 5E's turn order, we could go back to using phases. As in the movement phase. The missile phase. The melee phase. Etc. Everyone who's going to moves. Then everyone who's going to fire missiles does. Etc. Everyone declares in order, everyone resolves in order, and all the effects happen simultaneously. If that's too much of a change, you could easily add some verisimilitude to 5E without changing how turns happen. Just have the results take effect at the end of the round. You keep the silly rigidity for game purposes but you adjudicate them in a more realistic manner. Best of both worlds. You also cut out silly edge cases like the one Lanefan presented. "No you can't hold hands and move together because that's not how turn order works." Sod turn order, it's unrealistic.
That doesn't work. Movement is the primary problem. If movement goes in turns, it's keystone cops. All 40 goblins can go 40 feet and cut me off when I'm 10 feet from the door and ready to move if they have initiative.

The only way to do anything resembling simultaneous if for everyone on the battle field to be able to move one square(5 feet) and react to each other in initiative order. Then everyone moves another square. Then another. And so on, with attacks happening over X amount of seconds so someone might be able to move behind cover before you can fire. It's such a slow, chaotic mess that other than for a few die hards it makes the game unplayable.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
That doesn't work. Movement is the primary problem. If movement goes in turns, it's keystone cops. All 40 goblins can go 40 feet and cut me off when I'm 10 feet from the door and ready to move if they have initiative.

The only way to do anything resembling simultaneous if for everyone on the battle field to be able to move one square(5 feet) and react to each other in initiative order. Then everyone moves another square. Then another. And so on, with attacks happening over X amount of seconds so someone might be able to move behind cover before you can fire. It's such a slow, chaotic mess that other than for a few die hards it makes the game unplayable.
There's another way, nigh-impossible to do in TotM but very do-able on any sort of battlemap or board:

Each mini or token is moved an appropriate fraction of its move rate* each "segment" (i.e. each number on the init die), starting on its init and ending when it either gets where it's going or runs out of move rate. That way you can always see where each combatant is at any time, and there's no mini-teleport involved. Pleasant side-effect is that this also shows where everyone is when an AoE spell goes off.

But, you can only act, move, etc. on your own turn, as now; thus if you're not till a 12 because your character is indecisive and various people start moving before then, you're stuck until 12 comes around.

* whatever that fraction is in feet, NOT strictly square by square!
 

Pedantic

Legend
There's another way, nigh-impossible to do in TotM but very do-able on any sort of battlemap or board:

Each mini or token is moved an appropriate fraction of its move rate* each "segment" (i.e. each number on the init die), starting on its init and ending when it either gets where it's going or runs out of move rate. That way you can always see where each combatant is at any time, and there's no mini-teleport involved. Pleasant side-effect is that this also shows where everyone is when an AoE spell goes off.

But, you can only act, move, etc. on your own turn, as now; thus if you're not till a 12 because your character is indecisive and various people start moving before then, you're stuck until 12 comes around.
That produces its own absurdities, in addition to being a tracking nightmare. You might, for example, walk off a cliff into lava because someone fireballed the bridge you had planned to cross 6 ticks ago.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
That produces its own absurdities, in addition to being a tracking nightmare. You might, for example, walk off a cliff into lava because someone fireballed the bridge you had planned to cross 6 ticks ago.
A reasonable DM would let you stop at the edge.

However, if you happen to be on said bridge when the fireball hits, that's a very different story. Mini-teleport movement doesn't allow that to happen: you're here and then {blip} you're there...or not there, if your path was blocked; meaning that any suddenly-intervening hazards aren't a problem unless they just happen to arrive/appear on your turn, which they can't because it's your turn.

Another thing that, sadly, can't happen with turn-based movement: say the party's on one side of a short bridge (short enough for anyone to cross in a single move) and the foes are on the other. Each side wants to take the bridge for positional advantage and to gain a beach-head on the other bank.

How, in a turn-based system like this and without DM fiat, can they possibly meet in the middle of the bridge and fight on the bridge itself, unless someone intentionally (and foolishly!) decides to stop there?
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
How, in a turn-based system like this and without DM fiat, can they possibly meet in the middle of the bridge and fight on the bridge itself, unless someone intentionally (and foolishly!) decides to stop there?

Well, one way to at least minimize the problem is to have very short rounds and thus small movement increments. That has its own issues of course.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Whenever a new feature starts with 'this new thing is something someone has to track', it should be carefully considered, then cheerfully discarded if it doesn't add something new and fun for the person who has to track it.

One of the difficulties in these types of conversations (other than stumbling back into a thread you started and seeing that people are discussing simultaneous actions, which, okay?) is the continuing belief that preferences are universal. That there is some objective measurement of "good design" that works for everyone, everywhere, all at once. The idea of tradeoffs in design, which is well-acknowledged in most areas, seems curiously absent in these discussions.

Which is not to single out this particular comment, but to add to it. On the one hand, there are many people that do not enjoy tracking anything, really. There are quite a few players that are perfectly happy to set forth with a rules-lite RPG (or even a "black box" FKR TTRPG) and be none the wiser. On the other hand, there are those that genuinely love system mastery and resource management- ideas that can only happen with detailed rules and detailed record keeping. And there are those that fall somewhere in between, or have different preferences at different times (Tonight, we play Pictionary, and tomorrow we will continue The Campaign for North Africa).

D&D, for various reasons, has never been defined solely by its ruleset- this is evident with 5e, when you have people bending it more 3e/4e "RAW" directions, as well as people bending it to more OSR/1e directions. Unfortunately, a lack of standardization in rules is rarely something that proves successful when monetizing your product or pivoting to a shared VTT experience, so it will be interesting to see if 5.5e goes in the direction of locking the system down more (a la 4e's attempts) or not. We will see!
 

ThorinTeague

Creative/Father/Professor
It feels to me like the pendulum was more on the DM Fiat side of things in the 70s and '80s, and was kind of in flux in the 90s. Starting in the 2000s ish, it had swung in the direction of player agency. I think we're going to see it swing back about the time that the old school DMs start dying off.

I think this because my belief is that players who push against things like house rules and DM Fiat and such have probably been abused by bad DMS in the past. That's what I usually assume. And when I want to do stuff like that they don't yet know that they can trust me, so I just try to make it feel comfortable for them and make sure that they're on solid footing as best I can. I definitely have my story to tell, all DMs probably have their story to tell, but the story belongs to the players too.
 

ThorinTeague

Creative/Father/Professor
It feels to me like the pendulum was more on the DM Fiat side of things in the 70s and '80s, and was kind of in flux in the 90s. Starting in the 2000s ish, it had swung in the direction of player agency. I think we're going to see it swing back about the time that the old school DMs start dying off.

I think this because my belief is that players who push against things like house rules and DM Fiat and such have probably been abused by bad DMS in the past. That's what I usually assume. And when I want to do stuff like that they don't yet know that they can trust me, so I just try to make it feel comfortable for them and make sure that they're on solid footing as best I can. I definitely have my story to tell, all DMs probably have their story to tell, but the story belongs to the players too.
Didn't realize I was replying to a necro thread 🤣
 

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