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Armor movement penalty and nonhumans

posted Feb 11, 2013 15:58:42 by thomas5251212
Is it just me, or does the flat movement penalty for armor seem to interact somewhat badly with nonhumans with slower or faster movement rates. Since it doesn't effect walking it doesn't produce completely ludicrous results, but it seems odd that it'd proportionately effect characters like dwarves (who I'd expect to be less bothered by armor than a human) with slower movement move and those with faster movement less.

It kind of looks like a place where the combination of attempting to keep it simple may have not played well with nonhumans (and isn't addressed the way a few other related issues are).
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14 replies
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lawrence.whitaker said Feb 11, 2013 19:37:37
Is it just me, or does the flat movement penalty for armor seem to interact somewhat badly with nonhumans with slower or faster movement rates. Since it doesn't effect walking it doesn't produce completely ludicrous results


Remember that the Armour Penalty is based on the ENC of the armour and ENC is a measure of both weight and how much movement is restricted by the type of armour worn. The specific effects on movement are based on the Armour Penalty and then factors of the adjusted movement rate; its not a flat movement penalty and is applied in the same way across all creatures (save for those with natural armour where there is no inhibiting factor).

but it seems odd that it'd proportionately effect characters like dwarves (who I'd expect to be less bothered by armor than a human)


Why? Clad anything in something that weighs a lot, generates heat and restricts both movement (and possibly vision) and its going to function at something of a distraction and at a slower pace. If you want to have dwarves that are seemingly unaffected by wearing armour, you can, if you wish, house-rule that they ignore X points of ENC or their movement is unaffected by wearing armour. But generally armour is a burden across the board.

It kind of looks like a place where the combination of attempting to keep it simple may have not played well with nonhumans (and isn't addressed the way a few other related issues are).


Pete and I gave this a great deal of thought and it was discussed quite extensively with our playtesters. The rules, as they stand, are a decent summation of armour's effects, without layering-in a whole list of species-specific caveats or creating even more complex movement rules to account for a creature's build, locomotive type, load-bearing capacity and so forth.
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thomas5251212 said Feb 11, 2013 20:14:35
The point I was making Lawrence was that you get the following situation. Let's look at three cases, your typical 6m movement human, a 4m movement dwarf, and a hypothetical race with 8m movement (let's call them "lightfeet" for convenience).

Now at unarmored speeds, all these types maintain the same relative speed when walking or running; the dwarf moves 2/3rds the speed of the human and half the speed of a lightfoot.

Now let's see what happens when we put them all in a full suit of brigandine. This is 18 encumbrance, and thus a strike rank penalty of 4. So what does that do?

The lightfoot goes from running at a speed of 24m, to running at 20m. He's lost a sixth of his speed.
The human goes from running at 18 to running at 14. He's lost 7/9ths of his.
The dwarf goes from running at 16m to running at 12m. He's lost a quarter of his.

That seems, to say the least, odd. It has the effect that it not only affects those with slower base out of proportion to their speed, in practice it penalizes you less and less the faster you are. It produces the odd result that a dwarf needs to worry about how heavy his armor is than a human or an elf, which seems, if anything, backwards.

It wouldn't have needed species specific caveats to address this; just caveates dealing with base speed.
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thomas5251212 said Feb 11, 2013 20:18:05
As a side note, there's another artifact that can crop up here with slow-moving species; a dwarf with articulated plate doesn't move any faster running than he does walking; in theory, with a slow moving race with more than six locations you could have a situation where, by the book, he was actually faster walking.
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PeteNash said Feb 11, 2013 21:15:07
We use a simplified model to cover the 'majority' of situations. The effect on Movement uses Strike Rank Penalty so that it roughly scales no matter the SIZ of the creature. Does this mean that creatures with a different base movement rate are somewhat disproportionately penalised?

Yes.

Is this a major obstacle to 99.5% of our customer base?

No.

Does there really need to be an extra level of complexity to normalise this minor idiosyncrasy?

Hell no.

Look, this isn't Gurps, C&S or Aftermath. Neither do I want them to be. The entire system is based upon loose models where we try to use one simple rule to rule them all. As Loz said, that thing we want is race specific modifiers for locomotion, physique, and so on. It just leads to the game bogging down and would simply be ignored in most cases.

If you have a problem with dwarves then tweak it however you like to make it fit your world view - or use a scroll of genocide and wipe them out as a problem in your setting. I'm sure Legolas and Aragorn would have caught those uruk-hai if it hadn't been for Gimli slowing them down...
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thomas5251212 said Feb 11, 2013 21:23:31
Look, all I'm suggesting was that it wouldn't have required a lot of backflips to mention that some adjustment might have needed to be made for races with other movement bases. You didn't hesitate to do with the aforementioned size issues, and I don't see it would have been any worse to do here.

I get that RQ, like most RPGs is humanocentric in its setup, and that the base rules are going to focus on that; and that given that, a lot of people aren't going to care about this. I only brought it up because you do bother to spend some attention to it in other cases where it seems, if anything, less likely to matter to a PC than this one does.

As I've said before, there's "let's keep it simple" and "let's ignore it" and I don't think the two statements are identical.
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DanTrue said Feb 11, 2013 22:00:22
Now let's see what happens when we put them all in a full suit of brigandine. This is 18 encumbrance, and thus a strike rank penalty of 4. So what does that do?


Ehm, wouldn't a full Dwarf Brigadine weigh less, as it's smaller? And thus the dwarf wouldn't be penalised as much. His Brigadine might weigh 12 ENC.

In my world it makes perfect sense that if you're slow or smaller, and bearing the same weight as a larger or faster person, then you're slowed more than them.
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PeteNash said Feb 11, 2013 22:05:30
"As I've said before, there's "let's keep it simple" and "let's ignore it" and I don't think the two statements are identical."

I did think about it when we designed the Movement rules. I considered the complexity involved trying to model the issue and decided the minor statistical bias wasn't worth the effort, nor would there ever be a solution which could be encompassed in one or two sentences.

Loz and I have a close friend who is a professor of animal body mechanics, who does all those palaeoecology speed models based on fossil remains. You really, really don't want to scratch beyond the surface of movement physics, nor should you pick at the scab of RQ6 creature movement. The whole model is fundamentally flawed from the get go, since creatures have different movement multipliers dependent of gait, number of motile limbs, leg length and so on. Horses for instance have more than four gaits alone, whilst cheetahs have a ridiculous speed multiplier whilst running flat out. A SIZ 10 squat dwarf might have stubby legs and a diabolical jogging rate, whilst a giant SIZ 10 daddy-long-legs would leave him for dust.

Honestly, its enough to drive anyone insane.

Hence a simple one size fits all approach which is still game-able.
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thomas5251212 said Feb 11, 2013 22:12:16
Probably so, looking at the rule on page 117 and 118. That probably means this is an issue that's only going to come up under special circumstances, since most of the slow creatures are small.
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DanTrue said Feb 11, 2013 22:14:48
And, if it's not - for instance if you have some race who's incredibly strong and resilient, but human-sized and too dim-witted to move thier muscles fast - then perhaps a trait for this race changing their effective ENC carried might be the best option ;) Special-cases are okay.

- Dan
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thomas5251212 said Feb 11, 2013 22:19:30
Uhrm, the above post was directed at Dan, not Pete; wish it was easier to quote on here.

I realize I'm probably coming across as hostile here, Pete, and I don't mean to; as you can see from my post above this may be a practical non-issue because you guys don't seem to mess around much with movement speed within a broad size category and the same number of legs. As such, I'll let it go.

I just think that while simplicity is a virtue, its not the only virtue, and I tend to get my back up when it starts to sound like that's the doctrine on something and everything else gets to go by the wayside.

(And to make it clear, that doesn't seem to be the philosophy you and Lawrence used in RQ6; in general it seems to be "the degree of complexity that's actually needed". I just sometimes get the feeling it gets pulled out when someone disagrees with where you drew the line somewhere).
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lawrence.whitaker said Feb 11, 2013 23:04:09
And to make it clear, that doesn't seem to be the philosophy you and Lawrence used in RQ6; in general it seems to be "the degree of complexity that's actually needed". I just sometimes get the feeling it gets pulled out when someone disagrees with where you drew the line somewhere.


No, it gets pulled-out when its the honest truth of the matter.

As its probably clear from our participation in these forums, and willingness to answer questions and clarify sticking-points, both Pete and I LIKE engaging with you guys. We like answering questions. We like explaining the reasoning behind things. In this regard, I think we're amongst the most open game designers out there.

If we bollocks something up, we'll admit it. If we find an alternative proposal is actually a better solution than something we've written, we'll acknowledge it and take it forward (a lot of RQ6 is the result of such interaction following our experiences with MRQII/Legend). But what we don't do is use the 'degree of complexity' card without it being true and the genuine reason behind a decision.

Designing a game system for publication is bloody tough. We're also very rigorous in testing assumptions, complexity levels, nuances and so on. Sure, we'll occasionally miss something, but in 99.9% of the cases you can rest assured that we've thought about it, messed with it, tried different approaches, and reached an informedconclusion.

So there you go.

wish it was easier to quote on here.


Me too. If someone out there has PHPBB experience and wants to help me set up a far better forum, with all the bells and whistles PLEASE get in touch!
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thomas5251212 said Feb 11, 2013 23:06:38
Fair enough, Lawrence. It just comes across as the all purpose defense sometimes, but I'm probably being unfair.
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DanTrue said Feb 11, 2013 23:17:02
Me too. If someone out there has PHPBB experience and wants to help me set up a far better forum, with all the bells and whistles PLEASE get in touch!


Yo! I'd be happy to help.
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lawrence.whitaker said Feb 11, 2013 23:23:24
You have my email, Dan... drop me a line!
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