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Adding more movement to combat

posted Oct 08, 2012 20:28:54 by bluefenix42
My group uses the tactical movement rules from the appendix. We like using a grid with 1-meter squares (man-made environments) or hexes (outdoors, natural caves, etc.) to keep track of positioning.

However, we are a little disappointed that once two combatants engage each other, they tend to stay right where they are for the rest of the combat, with the exception of bashes, knock back, or disengaging to flee. I'd like to encourage more cinematic-style movement during combat such as circling your foe or forcing your opponent to backpedal. It would make terrain more relevant and encourage more creative combat tactics.

To that end, here are the house rules I am considering. I would appreciate any feedback you might have for me.

* Circling: On each combatant's turn, they may move up to 1 meter (one grid square or hex) as a free action, if they have not already used all their movement for the round by walking or running. This movement must NOT increase the distance between them and any foe they are currently engaged with.

* Overextend Special Effect: In addition to the normal effects of this SE, the defender may choose to move away from the attacker by up to 1 meter (one grid square or hex) and move the attacker the same distance in the same direction. This represents tricking your foe into following you or stumbling forward as you backpedal. The defender may not use this effect to disengage from another foe.

* Press Advantage Special Effect: In addition to the normal effects of this SE, the attacker may choose to move toward the defender up to 1 meter (one grid square or hex) and force the defender back the same distance in the same direction. This represents forcing your foe to backpedal away from your threatening attacks. The attacker may not use this effect to disengage from another foe.
[Last edited Oct 08, 2012 20:30:39]
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11 replies
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Antalon said Oct 08, 2012 20:59:26
I don't use these rules, but all these look good to make combat more dynamic.

The Outmaneouvre action should also force/cause a lot of movement.

One point on press adavantage: you shouldn't allow this to force an opponent into harm (off a cliff, into a tripping hazard etc).

Antalon.
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bluefenix42 said Oct 08, 2012 22:10:53
The Outmaneouvre action should also force/cause a lot of movement.


My group hasn't had a fight yet where Outmaneouvre was worth using, but I will definitely keep this in mind if/when it comes up.

One point on press adavantage: you shouldn't allow this to force an opponent into harm (off a cliff, into a tripping hazard etc).


This is worth considering. I'm not sure if I would just disallow it entirely, or allow an athletics/acrobatics check for the opponent to save himself, similar to Bash.
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ArthurReyes said Oct 09, 2012 19:40:17
Sorry if this is already covered in the rules, but there should also be a feint-like se which allows you to move opponents in any direction. In this way, you can force foes to fall off stairs, into fire pits, and out windows.

These are great rules. I watched a lot of swashbuckling movies, with Drop Flynn, and always wanted rules trouble emulate this in combat. 4E D&D does this well, but I've never played that game.
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VaughanCockell said Oct 10, 2012 10:15:29
There is the Bash effect which forces an opponent off-balance or even to move back like knockback. Could hou just flavour your description to include the feinting flourishes hou describe but use the bash mechanics?
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bluefenix42 said Oct 10, 2012 17:20:38
I read Bash as knocking the opponent directly away from the attacker, and if it moves the foe at least a meter, it's going to result in those two combatants being disengaged from each other. A Feint or Force Re-position SE or whatever you would call it would allow the opponent to be forced to side-step, and would keep the two characters engaged. Sometimes you don't want to fling the foe away from you - sometimes you want to keep him right where you want him, busy fighting you.
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pjw611 said Oct 10, 2012 18:17:13
The one sword duel that most everyone has seen is the big fight in The Princess Bride. Now, granted, that's a movie and they're trying to make it interesting, but a question for you actual sword-fighters out there - do you really move around that much, pressing attacks making your opponent back up and vice versa?
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PeteNash said Oct 10, 2012 18:57:51
Nope, not generally. The only time I 'deliberately' press my opponent is when he's armed with a longer reach weapon and I'm trying to close range. Conversely, I find that many of my opponents tend to be intimidated by me and back off subconsciously - often leading to situations where I deliberately hold off in order not to back them into obstacles.
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DanTrue said Oct 10, 2012 19:54:41
No, I do move a lot, but mostly to get an angle on him or to get some space to take another stance. But, we fight on a flat surface without stairs, chairs or wooden logs lying around. But, if I were in that kind of an environment I would likely move even less... yes, I might be able to make him trop over a log - but I also risk overseeing a log and tripping myself. In a real fight, I think I would not take that risk and try to remain as stationary as possibly...

- Dan
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redcrowkp said Oct 11, 2012 23:00:38
I guess the real question you have to ask yourself is which do you want your game to reflect more, cinematic Swords & Sorcery or Realism. I prefer a little more of the former myself, but YMMV.
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pjw611 said Oct 12, 2012 02:41:46
Yeah, I'm definitely in the 85/15 Realism/Cinematic frame of mind anymore. Looking for a be-all, end-all game to settle down with.
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SteveLieb said Dec 26, 2012 17:30:18
I like the rule suggestion on outmaneuver.
Further, if a player 'evades' I rule that they MUST leave their current hex (we always use hexes), but can choose which adjacent hex they evade to. (OK we did it with Dodge in RQ3, but that will be my ruling in RQ6).

Of course, if the area's packed, and there's nowhere to dodge TO, their dodge automatically fails. (Needless to say, the player who had a 'dodge'-based character REALLY got angry when the other party members 'closed in' to combat, forcing him (at best) to dodge back, away from his melee opponent and forcing him to re "close" the distance each round, heh heh heh.)
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