D&D 4E Why Keep a Grid? Measurement in 4E

Graf

Explorer
KarinsDad said:
And, someone would try something and the DM would say 'Sorry, you are too far away' and it would suck because the DM's perception of the situation was different than a player's.
This is a more polite way of putting it.

Another way would just be that "whether you're inside, or outside of the cone of the dragon's fire is really really important".
I used to use hex maps specifically because the fireball was too jagged otherwise.
 

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Festivus

First Post
Since everything is in "squares", couldn't it be just as easy to be "hexes"? It does solve the "everyone is going to run into combat at an angle" problem.
 

Graf

Explorer
Having used hexes I can say that the "no wall is straight, or there are little hex chucks everywhere" is problematic.

And you can't move "forward" every move is semi-diagonal (left-right-left-right). Which is OK when people are moving even amounts of squares, then things line up perfectly.

But advancing along a corridor shoulder-to-shoulder required a degree of mental flexibility.

Personally I found this preferable to diagonals, etc. etc. in 3.0.
My players liked it.... less.

When the super detailed spell explosions charts were deployed in the 3.5 DMG we just used squares and those (if my memory suffices).
Or maybe we switched when I wasn't DMing anymore?
 

ptolemy18

First Post
Sorry, but IMHO, direct measurement is horrible. That's why I *don't* play games like Warhammer. It just degenerates instantly into "ooh, it looks like your fighter is just 1/2" too far away to get to the monster this turn... *nudges table and slides minis around* wow! Now he is close enough!"

Graphs are way, way better... even if I don't like the new 4e common usage of terms like "squares" in the game rules. (Give me at least the *illusion* that this all exists in some real world of 5-foot squares...)

And let me say just one thing! The best thing about 4e? DIAGONALS ARE NOW 1 SQUARE AGAIN LIKE THEY WERE IN 3.0! THANK GOD! :) That little element of aggravating counting-and-recounting "1-2-1" is GONE! GONE! Oh, thank you Wizards! I'm being completely serious here! A big kiss for Wizards for that one change... *MWA*!
 

ptolemy18

First Post
Gloombunny said:
I was briefly into Warhammer Fantasy Battles (the mini-based wargame) a few years ago. It uses tape measures and such for movement.

Measuring everything freakin' sucks. It slows the game to a crawl, and measuring by hand is frustratingly imprecise when you're trying to be tactical. I would not ever agree to play in an RPG doing it, and would walk out of an established game if the rest of the group decided to switch over to it. Life is too short to squint at a flexed tape measure all evening.

I agree, it's very aggravating to have to measure things.
 

Elder-Basilisk

First Post
Yet again with the nerd rage comment. I would have enjoyed the forum a lot more if 4e boosters could manage to let a thread go one page without making such condescending and insulting comments.

Objecting to 1-1-1 movement is not "nerd rage." There are a host of issues that changing movement like that brings up--and they are far from insignificant.

As to the OP's question, I actually enjoy gridless battles but the grid does speed things up for a lot of players and it facilitates drawing on the battlemap. I'm a decently skilled artist (for an amatuer) but I know I would draw artificial environments much more slowly and less exactly without a grid.

Grids also encourage prescision in movement counting. There is a warhammer 40k league that meets in the gamestore on the same night I meet to play D&D minis. Because I enjoy looking at painted minis I sometimes watch in between games and such. I quite frequently see a unit pick up an extra inch or two of movement through sloppy measurement and imprecise placement (how did that guy who was in the back of the unit around the corner of the building manage to get around to the flank on the howling banshees). In a friendly game of 40k, that may not be a big deal (or I may be observing subtle cheating--I don't know), but in D&D that's 30-50% of your non-hasted movement for the round and that kind of imprecision can damage the play experience. (I know in my game of Expedition to the Demonweb pits it was rather frustrating when my character didn't get to do much of anything in one key battle because my speed 20' character was on the battlemap and I was carefully living by those limitations while the other two warrior types in the party were running up the stairs of a tower that was not mapped out, and as a consequence of DM imprecision and players taking whatever they could get, they managed about a 50% movement increase that enabled them to make it to the battle before my character was able to accomplish anything. Playing by the rules when other people aren't is not fun--especially when the rules limit you more than the others to begin with).

Moochava said:
I'm surprised WotC didn't go for it, actually: straight measurement not only removes the nerd rage of 1-1-1 movement, it allows them to sell magnificent custom rulers and circle-templates. Color-coded by power source! Don't forget to pick up the special elf-only ruler because elves have a higher movement rate!
 
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Dausuul

Legend
Moochava said:
Depending on how hard-wired "flanking" rules are, I'm considering doing away with the grid and just using straight distances. I'm not sure, though: having to adjudicate "Yeah, I think 6" means you can reach that orc" is just one more judgment call for me as a DM--and I estimate that I can only make about 100 judgment calls in a session before I want to take a nap.

It's not like making judgement calls on rules issues. One gets used to it very quickly. The wizard asks "How many can I hit with a fireball?" You make up a number--three, or four if you're willing to blast the fighter--and keep going.
 


frankthedm

First Post
ptolemy18 said:
Sorry, but IMHO, direct measurement is horrible. That's why I *don't* play games like Warhammer. It just degenerates instantly into "ooh, it looks like your fighter is just 1/2" too far away to get to the monster this turn... *nudges table and slides minis around* wow! Now he is close enough!"
If it degenerated instantly to that situation, I'd be looking for a new player. If the player can't be trusted in a cooperative game, i'm not trusting them around my minis or my honest friends.

Here is an example of keeping the large creatures diasadvantage that the gid based flanking system gave them.
 

Tolen Mar

First Post
frankthedm said:
If it degenerated instantly to that situation, I'd be looking for a new player. If the player can't be trusted in a cooperative game, i'm not trusting them around my minis or my honest friends.


Those are my thoughts exactly. In my group, it was the players who asked to go gridless. I mean I realise its not for everyone, but for us, it sped things up. Just make sure that everyone is mature enough to not try and cheat (bumping the table, fudging movement a little to get that extra 1/2 inch...). As the DM it's your job to curb that kind of thing anyway.

We like it gridless, and the AoO issue is really not one so long as everyone can agree on the DM's interpretation. Of course, if the DM constantly uses it to fudge things in the bad guys favor...that's just as bad.

And if they take forever to decide how they move, put'em on a time limit. It's just a game, it isn't that crucial to be that exact every time your turn comes up.
 

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