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Movement in BRP


daddystabz

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On pg 190 of the big gold BRP book it talks about you would take penalties to your Dex rank in terms of Initiative if you move any more than 5 meters and attempt any other action on the same turn.

Do any of you actually use this rule? I find it a bit odd and cumbersome. You can only move 5 meters if you want to attack, for example, and attack. Any more than 5 meters and you incur big penalties to your Initiative basically. This makes things cumbersome, especially on the GM.

Do most of you ignore this? I vastly prefer the way MRQ II handles this.

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The issue is this....you take penalties to your Dex in terms of how Dex plays into Initiative. The way I read it is the penalty is not to your Dex as it applies to your attack but rather to your Dex as it applies to your Initiative.

I plan on using the optional rule where players simply state what their character is going to do and then roll right then and there to see if it is successful. This makes this Dex penalty stuff rather cumbersome. I think I will likely ignore it and treat Initiative and characters with multiple actions in a term exactly the way MRQII handles them, which imho is far superior.

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I have been playing various versions of the BRP system for quite a long time, in between forays into other rpg systems. Yes, MRQ2 is superior in many ways if you want a 'crunchy' version of the system, but it's not to everyone's tastes, especially if they've been playing a version of BRP for many years.

The movement system I have been using is that you can attack and move within a 5m radius. If you want to attack and move up to 15m then your attack roll is made at 'Difficult' (half A%). If you want to move up to 30m then your attack roll is forfeit. I'm not sure how official this rule is, I don't have the BRP book with me here to check, but I must of read it somewhere over the years. It seems to work for my troupe in any case, and they'ld probably kill me now if I started changing the rules after all these years...

Edited by Mankcam

" Sure it's fun, but it is also well known that a D20 roll and an AC is no match against a hefty swing of a D100% and a D20 Hit Location Table!"

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I may have misread the rules. I thought the book meant you take a penalty to your Dex in terms of how Dex plays into Initiative. I think now it might have actually meant you take a penalty to Dex in terms of any action you take in addition to the movement....like attack rolls, fine manipulation, etc.

Am I correct in this assumption?

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If it refers to Initiative then I still call rubbish on it and pretty much dislike it as a rule, especially given the fact I intend to use the option where each players says what he/she will do and then rolls to do it immediately.

So irrespective of how far apart combatants are or who or what lies between them, if one has DEX18 and the other has DEX15, the DEX18 combatant can do everything he wants in the round BEFORE the DEX15 guy (e.g., run past DEX15 guy the 8m to the control panel and set off the bomb?)? You really think that's a remotely plausible or convincing way for things to happen? Even D&D 3.x isn't that implausible and unconvincing...

It's your game, obviously, but I am genuinely baffled why one wouldn't use DEX ranks (or something similar) to sequence character actions so things are at least vaguely plausible.

Nick

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So irrespective of how far apart combatants are or who or what lies between them, if one has DEX18 and the other has DEX15, the DEX18 combatant can do everything he wants in the round BEFORE the DEX15 guy...

One of my favourite RQ2 quotes:

A fast, large man with a long-weapon can be slow to react when a dwarf with a short sword and two heads steps out of the wall. Thus, being surprised adds to the character's strike rank with any weapon or spell.

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On pg 190 of the big gold BRP book it talks about you would take penalties to your Dex rank in terms of Initiative if you move any more than 5 meters and attempt any other action on the same turn.

Do any of you actually use this rule? I find it a bit odd and cumbersome. You can only move 5 meters if you want to attack, for example, and attack. Any more than 5 meters and you incur big penalties to your Initiative basically. This makes things cumbersome, especially on the GM.

Do most of you ignore this? I vastly prefer the way MRQ II handles this.

Sure, the rule makes sense. The further you move from your starting position in a round, the later in the round you'll be able to attack. The rule isn't vastly different from the MRQ2 rule, where you have to use a combat action to move. In MRQ2, if you have 3 combat actions, the first one will be to move and the second will be to attack (or more probably, to parry), thus delaying your attack to the second or third combat action - i.e. later in the round. If you only have 2 combat actions, or have to parry twice when you get there, you might never get to attack. Personally, I like the way MRQ2 does it, too, but they aren't vastly different. It's all about using time to move before you can attack.

"Tell me what you found, not what you lost" Mesopotamian proverb

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In putting together an inaugural BRP Middle Earth game for FGII this weekend, I'm actually leaning more towards the optional SR combat sequence rules a la AHRQIII. I don't consider myself a crunch-o-phile by any means, but I sort of dig on the fact that weapon choice and reach actually make a difference. This line of thought was kicked off by the fact that one of the PCs (a Dunedain Ranger) wants to wield a sort of shortsword as his main weapon, and without a shield of any kind.

Granted, we're running a Heroic-level campaign, and HPs are figured as SIZ+CON, but I also wanted the verisimilitude of, say, a cave troll with a long spear being able to get an earlier attack than a hobbit with a shortsword, rather than say Frodo, er the hobbit, with a higher DEX rank being able to get the jump on the troll. ;) It also makes sense why Sam, I mean a hobbit, might close on a giant-hammer-wielding troll by moving towards it rather than through the areas it threatens with its reach.

It just rings truer to me, and I think, will make the players think a bit more about tactical decisions. I guess I'm saying that, for me, a modicum of extra bookkeeping can encourage some good story-making (or genre emulation if you will) rather than detract from it.

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First off, the BRP game is a toolkit and you are expected to pick and choose the options that fit the kind of game you are trying to run with it. I am not looking for a combat tactics-heavy kind of game. I intend to run a modern day urban fantasy game/horror campaign and tactics aren't really the all encompassing focus of what I want to do. The game will be more about atmosphere and ambiance. However, your point about movement doesn't even ring true in D&D. In D&D 3e/3.5 and 4e for that matter, your initiative is NOT affected by how you decide to move when your turn comes up during combat. On your turn you may move your normal 6 squares/30 ft. of movement or choose to double move or choose to run/move all out. These use actions but do NOT affect your initiative whatsoever at all and D&D is a much more tactical game than either BRP or MRQII. In MRQII movement is handled like this: "On each CA you can move and attack (melee or ranged) so long as you don't exceed your BM for the entire round. In other words you can spread your 8 meters over all of your CA's in any combination you like, 2, 2 & 4 for example if you have 3 CA's. Or you can move your total BM on 1 CA and attack, but you can then no longer move in that ROUND. You can Sprint which usually takes your whole round, i.e. you do nothing but run." This part about MRQII is taken from my own notes from a post on the official Mongoose message boards clarifying movement for players there because there were many questions about the abstract nature of movement in the game. Notice that movement in no way affects initiative in this game either.

Another thing you must keep in mind is that certain rules options will not make good sense depending on what optional rules you intend to employ in your personal game. I intend to use the optional rule where instead of having a sequence where each player declares his/her intentions and then in initiative order each player rolls those actions, in my game each player will say what he/she will do and then rolls right there and then to see if it is successful. In this context movement affecting Dex rank/initiative does not make much sense because each player would have already rolled initiative before he/she declares what his/her character will do and then rolls to see if the action(s) are successful or not. If I have each player roll initiative and then go to each player in turn to see what he/she is going to do and thus allowing each to roll for their action(s) right then and there on the spot then this deal with movement affecting the order in which you go becomes substantially less attractive and appears more cumbersome. I also intend to use the option to allow players to roll their initiative and not just allow Dex to decide automatically the order each time. I like allowing for a random element to initiative and not constantly penalizing lower Dex characters in terms of initiative, allowing them a chance to sometimes go before a higher Dex character. I have also never been a fan of sequenced combat. We even dumped sequenced combat from the MERP 2e game I play in Saturday nights online because it was unpopular with the players. I plan on using Dex ranks and Int ranks (for powers) for initiative and allowing the initiative roll to simply decide the order of events, not what weapon the character is wielding and not arbitrarily missile attacks before melee attacks, and power attacks before melee attacks, etc.

Your point about realism above in terms of movement kind of cracks me up because I wonder if you think sequenced combat is more realistic? Do you think it is more realistic that missile weapons always go before melee weapons in every circumstance? What if the guy with the melee weapon is point blank in melee range on the guy with the bow? The guy with the bow still can act first. I like it better if both combatants simply roll initiative and let their stats and chance decide who get the drop on the other. Is it really more realistic for a bow armed with a short spear to ALWAYS get initiative over a guy armed with a longsword? Not really. D&D doesn't think so either.

So irrespective of how far apart combatants are or who or what lies between them, if one has DEX18 and the other has DEX15, the DEX18 combatant can do everything he wants in the round BEFORE the DEX15 guy (e.g., run past DEX15 guy the 8m to the control panel and set off the bomb?)? You really think that's a remotely plausible or convincing way for things to happen? Even D&D 3.x isn't that implausible and unconvincing...

It's your game, obviously, but I am genuinely baffled why one wouldn't use DEX ranks (or something similar) to sequence character actions so things are at least vaguely plausible.

Nick

Edited by daddystabz
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Another thing you must keep in mind is that certain rules options will not make good sense depending on what optional rules you intend to employ in your personal game. I intend to use the optional rule where instead of having a sequence where each player declares his/her intentions and then in initiative order each player rolls those actions, in my game each player will say what he/she will do and then rolls right there and then to see if it is successful.

That is not an optional rule. It is your houserule.

Optional rules are rules that have been playtested and inserted in the rule book. What you suggest is totally unplaytested, and everyone who has played BRP in one way or another is telling you "don't do it". You are free to use whatever tweak you want, but I cannot see the point in trying to convince people with 20+ years of gaming on their shoulders that what you have devised since you read the BGB is better than what they have been playing for a quarter of a century.

As for the example Nick made, D&D works differently than how you describe. Sure, you can move and attack on your initiative, but you cannot do whatever move you want because you are limited by Opportunity Attacks.

By using your proposed houserule, the Orc with initiative 20 can move 8 metres around the hero and kill the defenceless princess, and the hero with his 19 Initiative can do nothing but look. Definitely unsatisfactory, realism-wise and story-wise.

Also, MRQ does not work as you propose, either. Sure you can move on your Strike Rank, and you suffer no penalty, but you cannot attack after moving. At all. You will attack with your next CA. AFTER your opponent has acted, not before.

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Wrong. It is not my house rule it is an optional rule listed right in the core rulebook. Go read it yourself. See on pg 188 the sidebar on eliminating or reversing statement of intents.

Btw, I have over 20 yrs of RPG experience as well in a plethora of games longer than anyone I personally know. I've been playing these games since just before the original red box D&D. I'm not trying to convince ANY of you of anything. I could care less what you all do in your own games. I'm simply explaining my reasoning for how I plan to do things in mine.

I've played D&D for decades and to reiterate: Movement in D&D does NOT affect initiative whatsoever. Your point about Opportunity Attacks is utterly beside the point because none of that has anything to do with initiative at all except that in some cases a player or NPC can choose to take an Opportunity Attack if a person or NPC is disengaging from combat from them without taking a 5 ft. drop or withdrawal action, as it's called in Star Wars Saga Edition. This simply allows a PC or NPC to temporarily act of turn against a PC or NPC disengaging from combat improperly. BRP has rules for disengaging too. The point is though, despite Opportunity Attacks the respective initiative order of the combat participants is NOT affected by movement in any edition of D&D at all.

About MRQII: The movement explanation I pasted here is from the official forum for the game and was made by a dev from the game, clarifying movement to players that had questions. I can paste more if you wish. In MRQII you may move 8 meters per ROUND, not per turn. You can spread this movement out per combat action however you see fit. You can move THEN attack on 1 CA but you cannot attack THEN move. You can sprint on your turn but doing so use multiple CAs and charging uses multiple CAs as well.

Edited by daddystabz
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Wrong. It is not my house rule it is an optional rule listed right in the core rulebook. Go read it yourself. See on pg 188 the sidebar on eliminating or reversing statement of intents.

If you couple it with the elimination of DEX penalties, it is not an optional rule but a houserule. I am pretty sure that NO ONE ever playtested this combination of rules. Playtesters please correct me if I am wrong: did anyone playtest the combat sequence like daddystabz suggested, i.e. "I do whatever I want on my initiative and then everyone else acts, no matter how many things I did?"

Please note that doing things like you suggest means that you can, in your turn, drink as many potions as you want, draw your sword, draw your shield, move as far as you wish, kill one opponent with an impale, extract the impaled weapon and then kill another opponent if you have 100% with your weapon, without anyone interfering, simply because without DEX penalties there is no way to know how many things you can do in one round!!!

Furthermore, the sidebar clearly and explicitly says "This streamlined style of play works well, and in most non-combat situations there is little worry of confusion." I.E., the rules are clearly recommending not to use it for combat, because in combat situations it will cause trouble. As in the example above.

I've played D&D for decades and to reiterate: Movement in D&D does NOT affect initiative whatsoever.

We know that, there is no need to reiterate it. You are completely missing the point that Nick and I made. We know how D&D works. However, D&D has correctives for the "fuzzy" things that we explained in the examples, and that stem from the fact that the rules allow you to do several actions before your opponents can act. If you use that approach in BRP, that does not have opportunity attacks or a limit to the non-combat actions you can perform in one round, then things will not go so smoothly as they go in D&D. Taking a rule that works well in a game and putting it into another may end up in a very different result than that it has in the other games. In the specific case, the BRP rules clearly say that using this approach in combat risk messing your game up.

Edited by RosenMcStern

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MRQII doesn't use this initiative notion and the combat works great in it, just like combat works great in D&D.

The note on the sidebar about non-combat situations does NOT mean this optional rule is not meant to be used in combat at all. It can be used easily for non-combat situations but this doesn't mean it can't be used for combat as well as long as you are willing to work within its limitations.

I will likely try it both ways and let the players pic which they prefer. I have an inkling though they will dislike movement effecting initiative because I know them well and their preferences.

Edited by daddystabz
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Personally, I use Strike ranks, not DEX Ranks, and the problem doesn't really happen.

I can see how movement can affect Initiative - If I stand there and attack, surely I should attack faster than if I move then attack?

Again, with Strike Ranks this isn't an issue, Movement merely delays your attack SR, as I read it.

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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Personally, I use Strike ranks, not DEX Ranks, and the problem doesn't really happen.

I can see how movement can affect Initiative - If I stand there and attack, surely I should attack faster than if I move then attack?

Again, with Strike Ranks this isn't an issue, Movement merely delays your attack SR, as I read it.

I'm another fan of Strike Ranks. I've been converting a D&D DM over to RQ/BRP and one of the things that has intrigued him was the way SR worked. In D&D (or BRP without SR) someone with a higher intitative can draw a weapon, move across a room, and attack a guy standing 10m away, even if they other guy is weilding a bow with an arrow at the ready. With SR they guy with the bow is almost certain to loose the readied arrow first. And might even get a second shot off before getting attacked.

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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MRQ2 strike ranks and BRP/RQ3 Strike Ranks are completely different.

I'm another one who uses BRP/RQ3 Strike ranks, and frankly they're one of the main reasons I don't switch to MRQ2 (along with characteristic rolls and the resistance mechanic).

And by the way, RQ3 combat is far more tactical than anything I ever experienced with D&D. In D&D, you can't hit a specific hit location for a specific effect, alter when you go in the round by changing tactic, bypass someone's armour, decide whether to cut someone's head off or just knee-cap him, begin chasing a foe as soon as he starts running (you have to wait for your turn), hold a foe at bay by wielding a longer weapon, knock someone back 3M with a mighty swing of your mace, decide whether to use an impaling, crushing, or slicing weapon, and so on. RQ3 and BRP with the dials turned up are much more simulationist than D&D - at least the four editions of it that I played (never played 2nd).

"Tell me what you found, not what you lost" Mesopotamian proverb

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I love the Strike Rank rules in MRQII. I am reading through the combat chapter right now in BRP and look forward to seeing how they work in BRP.

Strike Ranks in MRQII are similar to DEX Ranks in BRP, although not quite the same.

BRP Strike Ranks work on the basis that a combat round is split into distinct numbered segments, called Strike Ranks. A Character has a certain Strike Rank, calculated using SIZ/DEX for physical actions (and INT/DEX for magical ones, I think) which is the first point at which he can act. Each weapon has a Strike Rank, with short ones having a higher SR than long ones, these weapon SRs are added to the character's SR to determine when that weapon can be used. When in combat, Strike Ranks are called off one by one and when it reaches a Strike Rank when you can act then you can do something. Movement simply burns up SRs, depending on how far you move, so a human moves 3m per SR, so if he moves 6m then he has added 2SR to whatever SR he will act on. In RQ3, spells took a time of 1 SR per Magic Point to cast, so an 8 point spell took 8 SRs to cast, but I am not sure if this is the same in BRP.

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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More tactical in terms of simulationist tropes but not more tactical than D&D 4e with its mini game/pseudo wargame like gameplay where characters work together to create bigger effects on their opponents and piggy back bonuses to one another. D&D 4e is very much like a minis wargame and very tactically deep in terms of how it plays on the battle grid. D&D is more abstract in its approach to combat in terms of realism/simulationism in comparison to RuneQuest or BRP. RuneQuest and BRP are not focused on minis but rather, are much more focused on simulationism.

Strike ranks in BRP sound like a fantastic solution to my issue with Dex/Int rank based initiative and the effect movement has on them. I look forward to reading it more in-depth. I am almost at that point now.

Edited by daddystabz
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Your point about realism above in terms of movement kind of cracks me up because I wonder if you think sequenced combat is more realistic? Do you think it is more realistic that missile weapons always go before melee weapons in every circumstance? What if the guy with the melee weapon is point blank in melee range on the guy with the bow? The guy with the bow still can act first. I like it better if both combatants simply roll initiative and let their stats and chance decide who get the drop on the other. Is it really more realistic for a bow armed with a short spear to ALWAYS get initiative over a guy armed with a longsword? Not really. D&D doesn't think so either.

BRP doesn't have missiles going before melee weapons, that rule is only for if they are on the same DEX rank.

You need to have a DEX penalty for movement in a round due to common situations like this:

GM: "You are 25 meters from the werewolf and he is about to charge."

Player: "I have my shotgun loaded and ready."

GM: "Roll initiative." (If you are using that option. Otherwise, if the werewolf happens to have a higher DEX than the player.) "The werewolf wins initiative. He runs 25 meters at you, attacks, and hits for 14 points of damage."

Player: "Don't I get to shoot at him before he gets to me?"

GM: "No, he won initiative." (Or has a higher DEX than you.)

How is that going to go over with your players?!?!

In the BRP game I'm currently playing in, we skip Statements of Intent (usually). When it gets to player's turn and they decide to move, change weapons, or do something else that reduces their DEX rank, the GM just tells them what DEX rank it will happen on and they jump in on that rank later in the round to perform their action.

It is still fast and simple, but you've got to do something to account for movement situations like the example above.

If you really wanted to keep it simple, you could house rule that if you move more than 5 meters you can't attack. In that case, the PC would get to blast the werewolf before he gets to him, and the werewolf would just attack in the next round.

Edited by Narl

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In RQ3, spells took a time of 1 SR per Magic Point to cast, so an 8 point spell took 8 SRs to cast, but I am not sure if this is the same in BRP.

Actually I thought spells went off on DEX SRM+MP SR? Wasn't that AHRQ3, or is it somewhere in BRP BGB? I'm sure that's not my houserule...

In any case, the AHRQ3 Strike Rank rules are a great way to record combat. I tend to play AHRQ3 rules (with some MRQ2 combat manuvers for sp/crits) for most ancient/medieval genre games because it comes across very tactile with strike ranks, hit locations etc. For a Modern or 1920s/30s Pulp Adventure setting I go with the core rules such as standard intiative, total hit points etc like in CoC.

I have played the core rues for intiative and movement etc for ancient settings, although it didn't float the boat like the AHRQ3 rules did for combat. So I guess it's down to your tastes.

Daddystabz, nothings wrong with what you are doing, heck BRP has always been a system to tinker with, so I wish you the best with your house rules.

Just be careful not to 'bust the system', and be careful not to disregard advice from some of the more senior members of this forum as they tend to know what they're talking about with BRP. Many have written supplements for BRP or are current publishers, so that's a pretty good resource on tap for a sounding board in regard to rules-tweaking. They've all guilty of rules-tweaking at times, so some of that historical perspective is great to draw on to prevent things going astray in your own game.

There's always room for improvement in every game system. I'ld be interested in seeing how your initiative system pans out all the same, hopefully it'll work okay for you.

Edited by Mankcam

" Sure it's fun, but it is also well known that a D20 roll and an AC is no match against a hefty swing of a D100% and a D20 Hit Location Table!"

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