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Two questions about movement combined with attacking. So you can move up to half your move and attack. Your SR is increased by 1 for each 3m you move. But

P. 194: 
“Movement: Any time two fighters meet in melee, no matter how long they’ve traveled to get to
that meeting, strike rank should be figured out normally for them. However, the gamemaster should consider the time taken to get from point A to point B when an adventurer joins an ongoing melee or charges across a distance at a foe using a
spell or missile against them.”
 

1) Say Larry Longspear (MSR 6) moves 12 m towards Stevie Shortsword (MSR 7) and attacks.  Both have DEX SR 3. What happens? Does Larry arrive and attack at SR 10? Or does he arrive at SR 7 since he began moving at DEX SR 3 and adds 4 for 12m? Basically, at what SR does he arrive at Stevie, and at what SR does he attack?

How about Stevie? If Larry arrives at SR 7, can Stevie then attack Larry at SR 7? Or does Larry arrive at 10 and Stevie has to postpone his attack until then, meaning they strike simultaneously? This interpretation would seem to go against the concept that longer weapons strike first, and potentially give an advantage to whoever doesn’t move before attacking, which doesn’t make logical sense. 
 

Now, in terms of mounted charges. To execute one, you need to ride at least 20m in a straight line. My bison has MOV 12, so he can move 36m. Half of this is 18m, so can I (the rider) not charge with my bison and attack with my lance in the same round? Or is it that since it’s the bison moving and not the rider, the rider’s MSR is not affected by the distance moved, so that the difference is that the bison cannot charge and attack in the same round, but the rider can? And at what SR does the rider arrive, and at what SR does he attack?

*he=he/she/it/they etc

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Firstly, remember Strike Rank is about determining who goes first.

20 minutes ago, Barak Shathur said:

1) Say Larry Longspear (MSR 6) moves 12 m towards Stevie Shortsword (MSR 7) and attacks.  Both have DEX SR 3. What happens? Does Larry arrive and attack at SR 10? Or does he arrive at SR 7 since he began moving at DEX SR 3 and adds 4 for 12m? Basically, at what SR does he arrive at Stevie, and at what SR does he attack?

Stevie goes first on SR7, Larry goes second (6+4=) SR10

20 minutes ago, Barak Shathur said:

How about Stevie? If Larry arrives at SR 7, can Stevie then attack Larry at SR 7? Or does Larry arrive at 10 and Stevie has to postpone his attack until then, meaning they strike simultaneously? This interpretation would seem to go against the concept that longer weapons strike first, and potentially give an advantage to whoever doesn’t move before attacking, which doesn’t make logical sense.

Keep it simple, this not a moment by moment simulation, otherwise combat will take you ages.

20 minutes ago, Barak Shathur said:

Now, in terms of mounted charges. To execute one, you need to ride at least 20m in a straight line. My bison has MOV 12, so he can move 36m. Half of this is 18m, so can I (the rider) not charge with my bison and attack with my lance in the same round?

Yes. However, you can charge in 18m, but you won't get the mount damage bonus. But you could go for a hefty knock back if your bison is war trained.

20 minutes ago, Barak Shathur said:

Or is it that since it’s the bison moving and not the rider, the rider’s MSR is not affected by the distance moved, so that the difference is that the bison cannot charge and attack in the same round, but the rider can? And at what SR does the rider arrive, and at what SR does he attack?

I would suggest in the first melee round you state you are preparing to change, so that's move to position, wheel and start the run. Second melee round, you strike at the rider plus weapon SR. I use the rider SR as there's some manoeuvring and riding to be done, however it's usually only SR 3 or 4, and the damage bonus is the mount's.

(You can ask over at the Q&A but @Scotty will give the same answer)

 

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35 minutes ago, David Scott said:

Stevie goes first on SR7, Larry goes second (6+4=) SR10

Even though Larry has a longer weapon? So charging someone is always a disadvantage? I mean in this example, the spear tip arrives before Larry gets in range of Stevie’s shortsword, so Stevie going first is very strange.

35 minutes ago, David Scott said:

Yes. However, you can charge in 18m, but you won't get the mount damage bonus. But you could go for a hefty knock back if your bison is war trained

So in essence, I charge in MR1, the individual I charge gets to attack me, and in the next MR I attack him? Even though my lance tip reaches him way before he can physically reach me? This can’t be right. 

Edited by Barak Shathur
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2 hours ago, David Scott said:

Keep it simple, this not a moment by moment simulation, otherwise combat will take you ages.

 

The rules are hardly well-written, and I am not sure they are completely self-consistent on that point, being sometimes only about attack order and sometimes doing moment--by-moment stuff that only works given minis on a map, and takes a long time even then.

The simplest approach is, as per P. 194,  strike ranks start when melee starts. Consequently, movement into melee by either side does not change order of attacks, and Larry goes first. The movement costing SRs rule should only be used if you _are_ doing moment by moment accounting, with everyone in a known position on a map.

The tricky case here is when Stevie joins a combat between Larry and a Broo.  As usual, Stevie must beat the broo's SR to attack before it, and so must Larry. However, that doesn't tell you whether Stevie attacks the broo before the broo attacks Larry. That's the case where, if you are using minis anyway, you could reasonably use the 1 SR = 3m rule. This implicitly means you are using SRs to track things second-by-second, giving an absolute, not just relative, ordering of events.

Or you could not bother and just stick to the printed SR to determine _player_ order (or, even simpler, just go round the table). NPCs act on the 'turn' of the player they are attacking. Whether that is before or after depends on relative SR.

 

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14 minutes ago, radmonger said:

The rules are hardly well-written, and I am not sure they are completely self-consistent on that point, being sometimes only about attack order and sometimes doing moment--by-moment stuff that only works given minis on a map, and takes a long time even then.

Exactly! It says that SR do not equal necessary at what absolute point in time in a round something occurs, but rather in which order, yet the way in which movement affects SR means the exact opposite. 
 

14 minutes ago, radmonger said:

The simplest approach is, as per P. 194,  strike ranks start when melee starts. Consequently, movement into melee by either side does not change order of attacks, and Larry goes first. The movement costing SRs rule should only be used if you _are_ doing moment by moment accounting, with everyone in a known position on a map.

The tricky case here is when Stevie joins a combat between Larry and a Broo.  As usual, Stevie must beat the broo's SR to attack before it, and so must Larry. However, that doesn't tell you whether Stevie attacks the broo before the broo attacks Larry. That's the case where, if you are using minis anyway, you could reasonably use the 1 SR = 3m rule. This implicitly means you are using SRs to track things second-by-second, giving an absolute, not just relative, ordering of events

This is how I interpret that paragraph, that when two fighters first engage, SR is not modified by any prior movement, since initiative itself has nothing whatsoever to do with that. However, when someone joins an ongoing fight, they might arrive too late to have a meaningful impact that round. This makes sense, but I wish they could clarify it if so. 

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4 hours ago, Barak Shathur said:

1) Say Larry Longspear (MSR 6) moves 12 m towards Stevie Shortsword (MSR 7) and attacks.  Both have DEX SR 3. What happens? Does Larry arrive and attack at SR 10? Or does he arrive at SR 7 since he began moving at DEX SR 3 and adds 4 for 12m? Basically, at what SR does he arrive at Stevie, and at what SR does he attack?

I split the action in two :

round 1 : Larry is charging (or takes his spear then charges): then Stevie has 7 SR ( 12 = 7+5 to take his spear ) to cast a spell or prepare himself for melee round or use a bow etc... Think about the +5 for Stevie if he is not already in the right posture

round 2 : Larry and Stevie are in melee, I start the round with Larry MSR 6 then Stevie MSR 7 (or MSR 12 if he must take his sword -> the +5 for example drop the bow and take the sword)

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26 minutes ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

round 1 : Larry is charging (or takes his spear then charges): then Stevie has 7 SR ( 12 = 7+5 to take his spear ) to cast a spell or prepare himself for melee round or use a bow etc... Think about the +5 for Stevie if he is not already in the right posture

This works, but then SR becomes a measure of the absolute point in time in a MR the action occurs, rather than simply the order, which runs contrary to the stated intent of the rules. But this is certainly a valid interpretation in my mind. What absolutely doesn't make sense would be if Stevie remained at SR 7 and can strike then, while poor lumbering Larry doesn't get to attack until 12.

IMO, SR as time signature is far more onerous as a system than SR as simply initiative order.

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1 hour ago, Barak Shathur said:

This works, but then SR becomes a measure of the absolute point in time in a MR the action occurs, rather than simply the order, which runs contrary to the stated intent of the rules. But this is certainly a valid interpretation in my mind. What absolutely doesn't make sense would be if Stevie remained at SR 7 and can strike then, while poor lumbering Larry doesn't get to attack until 12.

IMO, SR as time signature is far more onerous as a system than SR as simply initiative order.

it is both order and kind of measure of time :  you can hit one or two or three times in a round... and it is defined by your dex, your weapon (or spell) etc...

 

but it is not a "true" action points system as every round is reinitialized (when there would not be "round" notion in a "true" action points system)

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6 hours ago, David Scott said:

Yes. However, you can charge in 18m, but you won't get the mount damage bonus. But you could go for a hefty knock back if your bison is war trained.

I think you’re misunderstanding the question - how could you *ever* charge (for Lance bonus) with a bison under the rules? First off, in order to get the charge bonus, you would have to move more than half of your (or in this case, the bison’s) move, so you wouldn’t get to attack. Second, you would also spend so many strike ranks moving that you wouldn’t have enough left to make the attack.

This can presumably be sidestepped if you make some of the move in the round before, but that has other problems - for one thing, as it has to be a straight line, your target could just step out of the way (barring formation fighting).

Hence the part of the question that asks whether the rider spends SRs in the same way as the mount. Which I think the rules at least suggest that the rider doesn’t, and that this movement is ”free” for the rider.

(Mobility spell solves the 18 movement part.)

Edited by Akhôrahil
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I haven't thought through all the permutations yet, but it seems to me that removing movement from the SR calculation entirely might be the best thing.

I'm not sure what is gained by including it.  As David says here and I've heard many times, SR is used to determine who goes first.  Period.  So the rules don't want you to think in terms of where combatant X is at a given SR based on their movement.

I'm considering separating the two and using the MR only to determine where combatants can get to during their turn, not in what order they will act. 

Edited by Jason Farrell
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40 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

I think you’re misunderstanding the question - how could you *ever* charge (for Lance bonus) with a bison under the rules? First off, in order to get the charge bonus, you would have to move more than half of your (or in this case, the bison’s) move, so you wouldn’t get to attack. Second, you would also spend so many strike ranks moving that you wouldn’t have enough left to make the attack.

This can presumably be sidestepped if you make some of the move in the round before, but that has other problems - for one thing, as it has to be a straight line, your target could just step out of the way (barring formation fighting).

Hence the part of the question that asks whether the rider spends SRs in the same way as the mount. Which I think the rules at least suggest that the rider doesn’t, and that this movement is ”free” for the rider.

(Mobility spell solves the 18 movement part.)

RQ3, for example, explicitly states that  “a riding character does not have to spend strike ranks on movement - his animal is doing that for him”. 

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Just now, Barak Shathur said:

RQ3, for example, explicitly states that  “a riding character does not have to spend strike ranks on movement - his animal is doing that for him”. 

This is the only interpretation that makes any sense in RQG (since otherwise charging and mounted archery simply wouldn't work),but yes, it could have been clearer. 

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6 minutes ago, Jason Farrell said:

I'm considering separating the two and using the MR only to determine where combatants can get to during their turn, not in what order they will act. 

This probably works. In this case, I would add the houserule that you (D&D style) get one Move action (of your regular move) and one Attack action, but that you can sacrifice your Attack action to either Move twice or Run.

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So continuing to think about this and talking out loud now, one scenario in which it makes sense to count movement in strike ranks would be the following:  X casts a rune spell at the beginning of their round and does nothing else.  Y casts a rune spell but only after running across the room.  Y would not cast their rune spell as soon as X would because they are, say, running 18 meters ( so they would cast it on SR 7)

There's some common sense at work there that is probably understandable to any player or GM.  But it still complicates thing from the standpoint of having a consistent initiative system.  I think part of the issue with the OP's example is that it's a melee.  It doesn't seem logical that Stevie would attack before Larry because Stevie is attacking Larry himself.  Larry having to run toward him would seem to be immaterial once they were actually engaged.  On the other hand, if Stevie was attacking Leroy a meter away from him in the opposite direction rather than Larry, it would make sense that Stevie's attack would happen before Larry could reach and attack Stevie.

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I love the idea of what a character is actually doing mattering in the determination of how quickly they can do it.  I much prefer that in theory to the highly abstracted initiative roll in D&D/Pathfinder.  Unfortunately, there are some big flaws in the SR system and these conversations are common, for good reason.  I don't know that there's any way around adjudicating individual cases on the fly as a GM using the current system as written.

Edited by Jason Farrell
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9 minutes ago, Jason Farrell said:

I love the idea of what a character is actually doing mattering in the determination of how quickly they can do it.  I much prefer that in theory to the highly abstracted initiative roll in D&D/Pathfinder.  Unfortunately, there are some big flaws in the SR system and these conversations are common, for good reason.  I don't know that there's any way around adjudicating individual cases on the fly as a GM using the current system as written.

RQIV:AiG figured this out and separated movement and other actions entirely. There was a move phase, and a 'melee phase', where magic, missile and melee happened in SR order, and the one did not impact the other except in that if you moved more than your basic move stat (usually 4-6 m) you didn't get to do anything else apart from moving.'

But they canned this one.

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Granted that I don't know anything about that system but what you just wrote, I don't like that either because it too rigidly defines when you move and when you do other things.  It would seem to preclude there being a difference between running across a room and attacking versus attacking and then running out of a room.  Both should be possible, imo. 

Edited by Jason Farrell
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8 hours ago, David Scott said:

Firstly, remember Strike Rank is about determining who goes first.

Stevie goes first on SR7, Larry goes second (6+4=) SR10

Keep it simple, this not a moment by moment simulation, otherwise combat will take you ages.

Yes. However, you can charge in 18m, but you won't get the mount damage bonus. But you could go for a hefty knock back if your bison is war trained.

I would suggest in the first melee round you state you are preparing to change, so that's move to position, wheel and start the run. Second melee round, you strike at the rider plus weapon SR. I use the rider SR as there's some manoeuvring and riding to be done, however it's usually only SR 3 or 4, and the damage bonus is the mount's.

(You can ask over at the Q&A but @Scotty will give the same answer)

 

So this is it, this is canon? If you move to attack someone, you will strike last even if you have a longer weapon and are taller? If a rider charges an opponent, that opponent gets to strike first even if the rider has a longer weapon and greater reach from being mounted?

Edited by Barak Shathur
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35 minutes ago, Jason Farrell said:

So continuing to think about this and talking out loud now, one scenario in which it makes sense to count movement in strike ranks would be the following:  X casts a rune spell at the beginning of their round and does nothing else.  Y casts a rune spell but only after running across the room.  Y would not cast their rune spell as soon as X would because they are, say, running 18 meters ( so they would cast it on SR 7)

The generalization of p194 is that combat starts at the point one combatant is _in range of_ another. This allow attempting to charge down an archer, and determines how many shots they can get at you as you close.

But really the rules need a clean rewrite splitting up strike rank (SR) and action points (AP), and making AP optional. If used, you have 12 AP per round and attacking with a weapon costs you your SR in AP.

SR alone determines who goes first. But AP determines if the person who goes first has time to do some other action beforehand. If the other action costs more APs than the _gap_ in SRs between the two combatants, it can't be done in time. If that action was a necessary precondition for attacking (i.e. closing to range, drawing a weapon, or reloading) the opponent goes first instead.

if you have more than 2 combatants involved, you repeat that procedure pairwise until everyone involved has an order assigned.

 

 

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6 minutes ago, radmonger said:

The generalization of p194 is that combat starts at the point one combatant is _in range of_ another. This allow attempting to charge down an archer, and determines how many shots they can get at you as you close.

But really the rules need a clean rewrite splitting up strike rank (SR) and action points (AP), and making AP optional. If used, you have 12 AP per round and attacking with a weapon costs you your SR in AP.

SR alone determines who goes first. But AP determines if the person who goes first has time to do some other action beforehand. If the other action costs more APs than the _gap_ in SRs between the two combatants, it can't be done in time. If that action was a necessary precondition for attacking (i.e. closing to range, drawing a weapon, or reloading) the opponent goes first instead.

if you have more than 2 combatants involved, you repeat that procedure pairwise until everyone involved has an order assigned.

 

 

Or, IMO, a simpler solution that doesn’t add another factor such as action points, is for movement to not have an impact on strike ranks. Either you can move up to half your move and carry out an action (or several if SR permits), or move more than half your move but not do anything else. 

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1 hour ago, Barak Shathur said:

RQIV:AiG figured this out and separated movement and other actions entirely. There was a move phase, and a 'melee phase', where magic, missile and melee happened in SR order, and the one did not impact the other except in that if you moved more than your basic move stat (usually 4-6 m) you didn't get to do anything else apart from moving.'

But they canned this one.

In my opinion, RQ3 handled SRs the best. It was not perfect nor did it mesh well with RQ2 but it held together long enough to hide the cracks and offer good strategies. (@Klosteris a huge fan of RQ 3) So, the Chaosium crew went with RQG to keep compatibility with RQ2. Lords and ladies, we, all know it aint perfect. It took some of the old ones from the 90s and the Noughties several screens worth of posts to sort, pre-pandemic... (2019?) and I think @Paid a bod yn dwpcollated a chart for it. But until a rewrite, what do we do... a heavy errata. It almost works now. Some folks have given us some great clues above.

Hey Paid, still got that chart for SRs and combat?

Edited by Bill the barbarian
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5 hours ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

I split the action in two

That's what I would do too. Because obviously as @Barak Shathur said, it's weird that charging an adversary puts you at a disadvantage. I *want* my players to charge my NPCs 😄

Of note, Larry can also cast spells while charging, so both Larry and Stevie can begin the melee magically buffed. If I'm playing theatre of the mind (which we do for half of the combats on average), I don't even bother counting distance, and just say "charging for one round, get in melee range the second round" so that we can simply use the weapon SRs directly without any added crunch.

Ludovic aka Lordabdul -- read and listen to  The God Learners , the Gloranthan podcast, newsletter, & blog !

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