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Hi Guys, I wish to pick peoples brains over the movement rules & use of miniatures in OpenQuest. Given there is version 2 working its way out it might be an odd time to query the old rules, but I am currently using OpenQuest to run a game in the Cthulhu Rising setting and in the process of writing a conversion for a Western setting.

I have a preference for using miniatures and floor-plans in encounters and found the core movement rules a little excessive in the amount of movement (15m) that was allowed in a 5 second combat round with no penalty to actions. I have also felt that having everyone on the exact same movement rate was a bit of an oversimplification. What are others experiences of this rule and do you use miniatures? I imagine these may not be an issue in a more narrative style of play were distances might be more abstract.

I have been experimenting with having characters movement rates being a derived attribute currently based on DEX (1m/3) and Athletics (1m/20) (and a penalty if SIZ is greater than STR) so that movement speeds reflect physical differences. Most characters come out with a movement of 5 to 8. Then allowing each rounds action a move of; half with no penalty to tests, full with a -25 to tests or run up to double movement.

I am conscious that one of the main charms of OQ is keeping things simple, but so far I have found this modification to add an extra dimension to characters & combat without slowing it down.

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Just to pipe in quickly to say I inherited the movement rules as is from the MRQ1 SRD. I've not cleaned them up, in fact I've handwaved and made quick guesses where I've needed to (say movement rates of monsters), because I'm firmly in the Narrative camp of BRP Gming. I nearly expressed movement rates as "Normal (human), Fast (Double Normal), Slow (half normal human)" until someone pointed out that for backwards compatibility this would be a bad thing.

However it doesn't mean that I'm not open to a well thought out and quick movement system for folk who do use minis. This is the OpenQuest way :)

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Cheers Newt

If I remember right BRP inherited almost the same rule, but made it an elastic measure, letting the GM decide what that distance was on the ground depending on playing style and situation. Showing my ignorance, I had to look up what MRQ1 was :7 , I've played it just didn't recognise it shortened.

Having played a lot of RPG's purley narratively and then in recent years playing in and running a few with mini's, I'm definatley an advocate of using miniatures. Everyone being able to see where various characters are, what cover is available, where they are going to be able to get to in a turn I find saves soo many questions and misunderstandings. Requires a touch more planning, but I' a glutton for punishment :)

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I'm a big fan of FATE's movement via zones. Essentially the map consists of zones defined by line-of-sight, existing barriers, and ease of movement. Characters usually move at most only one zone a turn; they can strike anyone in their zone with a fist or hand weapon, poke people in adjacent zones with a polearm, and shoot up to five zones away with increasing range penalties.

This sort of map illustrates who's standing where and roughly how far each target is without having to count out squares/hexes/inches every round. Diaspora (my source for the explanation) extends the concept of zones to strategic combat, space combat, and social combat (i.e. where every party in a negotiation or verbal conflict is in relation to their starting positions and goals).

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I have no problem with a human move of 15m in 5 seconds. I tend to use hexes and each hex is "about" 3m, so 15m is 5 hexes. In Savage Worlds a human moves 6 hexes, so it all feels about right. People don't really vary in their ability to move by that much, so I just work on that basis. I let players move, and then attack, or attack and then move, all in DEX order. If they are engaged in combat and they move away they get clobbered by a free attack, which they can dodge or parry. If you don't like it then feel free to house rule or use the numbers in RQ6.

You can count down hexes moved as SRs, which is kind of what RQ6 says, but that's quite badly broken as a miniatures rule, frankly.

I don't think OQ2 will change this, so feel free to house rule away.

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You can count down hexes moved as SRs, which is kind of what RQ6 says, but that's quite badly broken as a miniatures rule, frankly.

Sorry Tom, although I'd be the first to admit RQ6 isn't intended for mini's game, I'm a bit confused by what you said here. Can you explain better?

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Cheers for the feedback guys. Even this relatively small straw poll has shown that people are quite likely to treat rules like this in fairly different ways, using them in ways that fit their groups playing style. I'm thinking it will be better to offer an alternative rule for GM's/ groups to choose from rather than just a single altered one.

My first crack at OpenQuest (a mid season Cthulhu Rising switch) we just scaled the measurements down, funnily enough like tzunder 3m to a space.

The little pedant in my head still gets niggled by the idea of covering 15m in 5 sec (basically jogging) and still being able to shoot (or other actions) as well as if you were stood still (something I am not without experience of). I'd also have to disagree on peoples speeds not being much different. Even day to day negotiating of footpath traffic shows variation and I'm pretty sure an Olympic sprinter could move a tad faster than me. The real question though would be much more, does trying to represent such a difference make the game experience more interesting without slowing it down.

My experimental rule has just seen it's forth session and is working well, for my group at least. Without any noticeable slowing down of play it's added some tactical choice of speed over accuracy. And in character development players are liking having an option to invest in making characters more mobile.

The SR count down rule previously mentioned was something I thought sounded a great way of recreating taking time to cover space, potentially being a target at points and allowing enemies time to react to a charge, but I thought it was one of rules that fell into the trap of adding realism over keeping combat moving quickly.

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  • 1 month later...

I've just been having a ponder of this area again now my current game is coming to an end and am planning the next. And I finally got around to looking at MRQ1 SRD (I realise now that wasn't the version of RQ I'd played), it does actually have a variable movement in the varying number of combat actions based on DEX. If I've read it right, a basic human has a move of 4m and two actions meaning a maximum potential running movement of 16m (a character with ramped up DEX could manage 32m) every five seconds as opposed to the maximum running speed with OQ of 45m in the same time (free action 15m + run or charge of 30m) Olymipc 100m sprinter speeds which are impressive as potentially doable by someone armed and armoured bimbling around a dungeon, maybe with a Shoggoth behind them :)

Seriously thinking of using, or at least using a version of the RQ combat action system. I'm guessing the extra depth adds some complexity to each round and players will almost certainly all end up with high DEX. But I think it will also be a simpler way of having some variation in speed between individuals and include actions as well as just distance covered. Will have to give some more thought, I love the simplicity of OQ, will love it even more if I can work out how best to use the combat system :)

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... as opposed to the maximum running speed with OQ of 45m in the same time (free action 15m + run or charge of 30m)

As another miniatures and floor plan user, I've also been grappling somewhat with OpenQuest's movement rates. The 45 m in 5 second speeds that can be achieved by using a Charge or Sprint action in addition to the free Movement action do seem implausible.

As a simple fix I might be tempted to reduce Charge and Sprint to just 1x a character’s movement (in addition to the free Move). This would bring the maximum movement rate in a 5 second round down to 30 m, rather than 45 m. This still seems very fast to me :), but not quite Olympic speeds.

I think it's the fact that the basic Move action in OpenQuest is free which leads to these high movement rates. For example, the basic movement rate in RQ3 of 30 m in a 12 second round is similar is to OpenQuest's 15 m in a 5 second round. But in RQ3 you could only achieve those speeds if you did nothing but move in a given round. Any other action would eat up strike ranks, limiting the movement range.

Perhaps something simple like having an action "cost" 5 m (or something) of movement might be a way of accommodating this in OpenQuest.

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I've uploaded a first draft (here) of an alternative movement system that should provide more satisfying miniatures play in OpenQuest. I've essentially presented it as a direct substitute for OpenQuest's existing 'Summary of Combat Actions' table. It draws on some of NDCowdy's suggestions (scaled-back movement), as well as Tom's free attack for running away from combat. It's also draws somewhat on a miniatures supplement that I prepared for my favourite d20 system (here).

The key modifications to the existing rules are as follows.

1. Movement is no longer a free action. A character not engaged in combat may still move a distance up to their full movement score (15 metres for humans), but they may perform no other action that round.

2. In general, if a character wishes to move AND perform an action in a given combat round, they may only move up to half their movement score (7.5 m for humans).

3. For actions that require a degree of careful aiming or concentration, including ‘Ranged Combat Attack’, ‘Cast Spell’ and ‘Intimidate/Persuade’, no movement is permitted in that round.

4. The total distance moved during a round in which a character uses a ‘Charge’ or ‘Sprint’ action has been reduced from three times their movement score to twice their movement score (30 m for humans).

5. For a given character, it is assumed that any movement takes place before any action. This is a primarily a personal preference. I don’t think it would break things if action before movement was permitted.

6. If a character attempts to withdraw from close combat without using a ‘Fighting Retreat’ then they expose themselves to a parting shot from any melee opponents at +25% to the opponents’ close combat attack.

The upload is just a first draft, so comments and criticisms are most welcome.

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  • 2 months later...

I've uploaded a first draft (here) of an alternative movement system that should provide more satisfying miniatures play in OpenQuest. I've essentially presented it as a direct substitute for OpenQuest's existing 'Summary of Combat Actions' table. It draws on some of NDCowdy's suggestions (scaled-back movement), as well as Tom's free attack for running away from combat. It's also draws somewhat on a miniatures supplement that I prepared for my favourite d20 system (here).

The key modifications to the existing rules are as follows.

1. Movement is no longer a free action. A character not engaged in combat may still move a distance up to their full movement score (15 metres for humans), but they may perform no other action that round.

2. In general, if a character wishes to move AND perform an action in a given combat round, they may only move up to half their movement score (7.5 m for humans).

3. For actions that require a degree of careful aiming or concentration, including ‘Ranged Combat Attack’, ‘Cast Spell’ and ‘Intimidate/Persuade’, no movement is permitted in that round.

4. The total distance moved during a round in which a character uses a ‘Charge’ or ‘Sprint’ action has been reduced from three times their movement score to twice their movement score (30 m for humans).

5. For a given character, it is assumed that any movement takes place before any action. This is a primarily a personal preference. I don’t think it would break things if action before movement was permitted.

6. If a character attempts to withdraw from close combat without using a ‘Fighting Retreat’ then they expose themselves to a parting shot from any melee opponents at +25% to the opponents’ close combat attack.

The upload is just a first draft, so comments and criticisms are most welcome.

Like :)

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