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Movement and SR

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58 minutes ago, Sumath said:

There seems to be a great deal of effort going on here to avoid the point of the example. Which is that not accounting for an opponent's movement in a combatant's strike rank order results in a sequence of combat that is spatially or chronologically impossible.

It's not impossible at all. It's perfectly possible for someone to pass close by my and be killed by someone else before I react. Why is that impossible?

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Not if they pass by you when you are ready to hit them it isn't.

A combatant can move three metres per SR. If you attack on SR5 and they have moved 15 metres, then you are ready to hit them as they pass you.

The other combatant (who attacks on SR4) could still be 6 metres away, so cannot attack them.

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15 minutes ago, Sumath said:

Not if they pass by you when you are ready to hit them it isn't.

A combatant can move three metres per SR. If you attack on SR5 and they have moved 15 metres, then you are ready to hit them as they pass you.

The other combatant (who attacks on SR4) could still be 6 metres away, so cannot attack them.

If you want to replace the Strike Rank system with an Impulse system, go ahead, but it's probably better if you don't call them SR in that case, because it leads to this kind of confusion.

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It's not an impulse system. It's an acknowledgement of what SRs are:

DEX SR - reaction speed

SIZ SR - physical reach

Weapon SR - weapon reach

There is nothing in-built to the SR system to account for the effect of movement and positioning of combatants.

The fact that SRs are added for movement is an acknowledgement of this.

But all movement is relative. You cannot say it affects the order in which the mover attacks, but not anyone else whose position is changing relative to the mover.

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8 hours ago, g33k said:

I do not think the RQG rulebook states any definitive RAW on this.  But it is IMHO the only valid interpretation:  as you strip away things that could add SR's -- move to longer weapons, readed weapons, missile weapons, etc -- the one element you can never eliminate is your DEX based SR.  When all the other elements add zero SRs each, you go on your DEX rank.

That makes a lot of sense, but this thread (and others I've seen like it) show that movement within RQ's SR system brings a lot of conceptual baggage with it from system veterans. If your interpretation is the commonly accepted one when there's a gap in the rules, then I'm glad to adopt it. No problem there. But I like exploring other options...

5 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

I've never explicitly thought of a rule like that, but I can't think of any way that you could act before that, except for rune magic or divine intervention. Are you thinking of parries or dodges, that a character can't defend against an attack that happens before their DEX SR? I wouldn't rule that. So no, I wouldn't play that way, and I don't think I've ever seen it even suggested. It would be a pretty rare situation anyway, maybe a Diminish DEX spell could bring it about.

The other rule I'm considering involves the ordering of movement and the PC's other action(s) in their SoI. If a PC declares that they'll move before doing anything else in the round, why not begin that movement on SR 1 regardless of their DEX SR? Absent a particular rule in RQG stating otherwise, is that a better or worse idea than starting on the character's DEX SR? I'm honestly not sure, so I'm interested in feedback. If they move later in the round, their movement (limited to half their Move rating since they aren't moving in Phase 2 of the combat round) is completed 1-4 SR later.

I realize this treads on the "ordering system vs. impulse system" debate for RQ's SR system. Frankly, I see threads like this one cropping up somewhat frequently in my relatively short time in this forum. They all eventually orbit this debate. The impulse-system framework seems to produce fewer clashes with modern players' expectations of play than the ordering system. I still don't quite see the difference myself and I've been paying far more attention it than most RQ players out there in the world. So I'm thinking of this in "impulse" terms, at least as far as my still-shaky grasp of the debate defines the term. But this topic keeps coming up and that indicates that there's a problem in the rules that keeps tripping people up.

Edited by EpicureanDM

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3 hours ago, Sumath said:

It's not an impulse system. It's an acknowledgement of what SRs are:

DEX SR - reaction speed

SIZ SR - physical reach

Weapon SR - weapon reach

There is nothing in-built to the SR system to account for the effect of movement and positioning of combatants.

The fact that SRs are added for movement is an acknowledgement of this.

But all movement is relative. You cannot say it affects the order in which the mover attacks, but not anyone else whose position is changing relative to the mover.

I'm very much in sympathy with this. Some stalwarts in this forum cling very strongly to this "ordering vs. impulse" distinction. It might have made sense to gamers in 1980 when it was designed and released, but it clashes with the mindset produced by modern TTRPG design principles.

It's crucial to acknowledge how awkwardly movement has been shoved into the SR system in RQ2, RQ3, and RQG. It's ironic that I'm often the one banging on about playing RQG RAW considering how shaky the design work is around integrating movement cleanly into the SR framework. I'm looking for the exits from RAW when I should be trying to make it all hang together. But I can't see how it does without some houseruling or handwaving. :)

Edited by EpicureanDM
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3 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

If you want to replace the Strike Rank system with an Impulse system, go ahead, but it's probably better if you don't call them SR in that case, because it leads to this kind of confusion.

If only we had a proper example of play from RQG's designers showing us how they handle movement within RQG's Strike Rank system! I went looking for this and found an actual-play session on YouTube GMed by Jason Durall. This was a promotional session for the game for a group of D&D 5e players who had never played any version of RQ before. When combat arrived, he practically threw out RQG's SR system and ran it more like a free-form AD&D session. If you looked closely, you could see the influence of SR in how things were going, but it wasn't rigorous. I don't think any of the players would be able to tell you how SR work in RQG after that fight because of how Jason ran that game.

My own RQG group also consists of 5e players who've never played RQ in any incarnation. I had to teach one of them how to roll percentile dice! He'd never done it before in any game he'd played since he started around ten years ago. He finally understood why one of his d10 had two numbers on each face ("00, 10, 20..."). These are the types of players who might form RQG's new audience. They keep coming to this forum because they can't figure out what I call the "Waiting Warrior" problem. 

I honestly wonder whether any of RQG's designers do play their game RAW. If they're not, then they need to demonstrate how they do play it so that forum regulars can help resolve this confusion with a unified voice rather than kicking it down the road. If Jeff and Jason can't make RQ's SR system play smoothly for new RQG players without falling into old RQ2 habits that handwave movement within the SR framework, then that would be nice to know.  

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6 hours ago, Sumath said:

There seems to be a great deal of effort going on here to avoid the point of the example. Which is that not accounting for an opponent's movement in a combatant's strike rank order results in a sequence of combat that is spatially or chronologically impossible.

Whether the set-up is 'weird' or not is immaterial. The same problem results if they only run past one person who has a higher strike rank than the runner's target. 

There is no weird turn by turn movement of people in Glorantha. If someone has their weapon ready, anybody running by will be a the sharp end of their weapon if they declare so, strike ranks be damned. The example makes it sound like there is a pause in battle every 12 seconds until the fastest people start acting. That's simply not the case.

And yes, it can mean that the second NPC bypassed gets to strike before the first NPC bypassed gets to do so. So what - they will have moved slightly. It still results in two (or three) attacks rolled at the person trying to bypass them before arriving at the selected target.

The question only arises if the NPCs bypassed don't have their weapons ready. In every other circumstance, common sense and a wise GM will roll the attacks. It's not like the players have a need to know the exact strike ranks of the opposition anyway.

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1 hour ago, EpicureanDM said:

Some stalwarts in this forum cling very strongly to this "ordering vs. impulse" distinction.

Yes. And yet strike ranks have always been the bastard offspring of both of those things, so I'm not sure why that still lingers.

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21 minutes ago, Joerg said:

And yes, it can mean that the second NPC bypassed gets to strike before the first NPC bypassed gets to do so. So what - they will have moved slightly.

The second person bypassed striking before the first person bypassed just makes no sense at all, especially when the distance between the first and second is several metres or so. Good luck on presenting that to an average table of players. 

I really don't understand what the obsession is with refusing to increase the SR of a combatant who is waiting for an opportunity to attack. 

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I'm generally in favor of subordinating my ingrained play instincts to a game's design if it's trying to get me to play in a new way. I've played a fair amount of Torchbearer, for example, and that game makes very unique demands on modern TTRPG players. But it all hangs together when played RAW and its unorthodox design assumptions work together with the rest of its design.

I like having my assumptions and habits around playing TTRPGs challenged. But I have to believe that new, challenging playstyles has been thoughtfully considered and designed. Integrating movement and SR doesn't feel that way in RQG (or prior editions, I suppose). I keep struggling with how to make it all hang together without some awkward bits sticking out.  

And before we get utterly sidetracked, does anyone have any feedback on the idea I posted above? ;)

2 hours ago, EpicureanDM said:

The other rule I'm considering involves the ordering of movement and the PC's other action(s) in their SoI. If a PC declares that they'll move before doing anything else in the round, why not begin that movement on SR 1 regardless of their DEX SR? Absent a particular rule in RQG stating otherwise, is that a better or worse idea than starting on the character's DEX SR? I'm honestly not sure, so I'm interested in feedback.

 

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12 minutes ago, Sumath said:

Yes. And yet strike ranks have always been the bastard offspring of both of those things, so I'm not sure why that still lingers.

That's actually not the case. In RQ3, SRs were explicitly made into a hybrid impulse/initiative system. In RQ2 they were explicitly an initiative system and RQG rolls back to RQ2.

To be precise, RQ2 consisted of three different timing system.

Melee SRs - used for determining who goes first in melee combat.[1]

DEX SRs, used to indicate order of actions in non-melee combat. (i.e. missile or magic attacks)

Movement: used for dealing with movement and actions that don't interact with combat.

In general, if two combatants are not engaged in melee the idea is that they close with each other on one melee round then attack and parry on the next. Where it gets complicated is when one person joins a pre-existing melee. If you add an offset to the third person's melee SR for movement then it starts to turn into an impulse system. And then things start to get really hairy. In RQ3, the authors embraced the impulse side of SRs and the game started to bog down. I mean I played RQ3 for more than 10 years in multiple campaigns and it works OK providing you handwave most of the interactions into yes you can/no you can't/add X SRs to your attack.

It seems to me that if you took all the most immersion breaking failures of an initiative system and married them up with all the most cumbersome elements of an impulse system, what you end up with is SRs. If you look at all the ground-breaking elements of RQ1/2 that were copied and influenced RPG game designs for the next 40 years, the one thing you don't see is the SR system. There's a reason for that. 

Probably in RQG you should take one of two options. Handwaving. If someone wants to try and move past an armed and ready enemy, make up something e.g. Attack vs dodge out of the normal SR sequence or Dex vs Dex, with the enemy getting a free attack if they win. If they're X far away then maybe someone can cast a Befuddle first. Or, if consistent application of rules is your preference, use RQ3 style impulse counting in order to integrate movement and action. Providing you know what you want to do and everyone's on the same page then it won't matter. Either way there will be (as @EpicureanDM has posted while I write this) there will be "some awkward bits hanging out" so choose what is least awkward for you.

[1]There was an option in RQ2 to use DEX SRs for combatants who were already engaged before the melee round started but that was largely forgotten about. Even back in 1979, the authors felt that pikes being "faster" than daggers for people in close combat made no real sense.

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16 minutes ago, deleriad said:

That's actually not the case. In RQ3, SRs were explicitly made into a hybrid impulse/initiative system. In RQ2 they were explicitly an initiative system and RQG rolls back to RQ2.

To be precise, RQ2 consisted of three different timing system.

Melee SRs - used for determining who goes first in melee combat.[1]

DEX SRs, used to indicate order of actions in non-melee combat. (i.e. missile or magic attacks)

Movement: used for dealing with movement and actions that don't interact with combat.

Completely true.

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24 minutes ago, deleriad said:

To be precise, RQ2 consisted of three different timing system.

Melee SRs - used for determining who goes first in melee combat.[1]

DEX SRs, used to indicate order of actions in non-melee combat. (i.e. missile or magic attacks)

Movement: used for dealing with movement and actions that don't interact with combat.

This conceptual separation between when to apply Melee SRs and DEX SRs helps to crystalize why RQG's clashing with my RQ3 experience. We see the legacy of RQ2's treatment of movement in your quote by Phase 2 of RQG's combat round, Movement of Non-Engaged Characters.

Thanks.

24 minutes ago, deleriad said:

In RQ3, the authors embraced the impulse side of SRs and the game started to bog down. I mean I played RQ3 for more than 10 years in multiple campaigns and it works OK providing you handwave most of the interactions into yes you can/no you can't/add X SRs to your attack.

I only have a couple of years of RQ3 experience, but it's what I'm leaning on to sort out RQG. I'm pretty close to settling on something close to this, but you've got practical experience on where it can break down. Could you share that experience in more detail? Where will the problems crop up (if they do) and can they be resolved without handwaving (it's OK if that's the answer, I just want to avoid unnecessary brain damage)? It might be helpful advice to have in my back pocket when similar issues arise in my RQG game. 

24 minutes ago, deleriad said:

It seems to me that if you took all the most immersion breaking failures of an initiative system and married them up with all the most cumbersome elements of an impulse system, what you end up with is SRs. If you look at all the ground-breaking elements of RQ1/2 that were copied and influenced RPG game designs for the next 40 years, the one thing you don't see is the SR system. There's a reason for that. 

Probably the wisest comment I've ever seen on this topic. :)

 

Edited by EpicureanDM
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1 hour ago, Sumath said:

The second person bypassed striking before the first person bypassed just makes no sense at all, especially when the distance between the first and second is several metres or so. Good luck on presenting that to an average table of players. 

I really don't understand what the obsession is with refusing to increase the SR of a combatant who is waiting for an opportunity to attack. 

Just house rule it! Way back when, we were allowed (by a Chaosium GM) to delay our actions. No need for an official rule for that, unless you are implementing Called Shots.

SDLeary

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1 hour ago, Sumath said:

The second person bypassed striking before the first person bypassed just makes no sense at all,

Depends on their lateral displacement to the course of the intruder. If the defenders have a very open formation allowing movement between them without running directly into them, they will use the 1m per strike rank in combat movement to approach the intruder.

 

I still say this is very much a strawman setup.

And I also say don't mind strike ranks except for relative first strike option between opponents.

1 hour ago, Sumath said:

especially when the distance between the first and second is several metres or so. Good luck on presenting that to an average table of players. 

The rules are fairly clear on this. You move into the envelope of the foremost defender and are engaged (unless the NPC is befuddled and doesn't make his rolls). If you still say you plow on, the defender gets an unparried attack if he has a weapon ready.

If you decide to parry or dodge, you slow down to combat movement rates.

And positions on the grid are what there is at the start of the melee round.

 

1 hour ago, Sumath said:

I really don't understand what the obsession is with refusing to increase the SR of a combatant who is waiting for an opportunity to attack. 

Decreasing would make sense, so the attack can take place. Increasing means that the attack opportunity doesn't come up because every 12 seconds everything grinds to a stop, and then some characters will start moving.

 

First rule of GMing: there is NPC info that PCs don't need to know and don't get to know. Just because something is written in the scenario notes doesn't mean it has to be played out exactly like that.

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34 minutes ago, EpicureanDM said:

I only have a couple of years of RQ3 experience, but it's what I'm leaning on to sort out RQG. I'm pretty close to settling on something close to this, but you've got practical experience on where it can break down. Could you share that experience in more detail? Where will the problems crop up (if they do) and can they be resolved without handwaving (it's OK if that's the answer, I just want to avoid unnecessary brain damage)? It might be helpful advice to have in my back pocket when similar issues arise in my RQG game. 

It always comes down to what happens when a character is only within melee range of another character for one SR but the enemy's SR is higher. Now remember that in RQ3 SoI's are much looser and can be adjusted/changed by adding your DEX SR. Given the usual issues around movement and engagement if one person wants to run past the other you pretty much work through a flowchart. Does the "defender" know what's going on? Is the defender able to do anything about it? what does the runner plan to do if the defender attacks and so on. After all that it turns into Quantum movement for a while. if the runner gets past then the runner will end up at point A, a certain distance away from the defender. If the defender can plausibly attack the runner then the defender resolves the attack at the SR when the runner turns up. depending on how much of a grid you are using and the length of the defender's weapon  the runner could be in a variety of places. This may be significantly earlier than normal but remember your Melee SR is an abstraction based on a whole melee round of jockeying for position whereas this is (sort of) a non-melee attack. The attack happens, someone loses a leg, the wave state collapses and the SR sequence resumes.

Mostly my RQ3 days consisted of me saying "you want to get to the balcony, that's about 8m away so you'll get there on your DEX SR+2. The trollkin with the loaded sling will fire at you while you're running. The other one is getting another stone so won't be able to fire until SR 6." Unless other people were involved, I would often batch a series of actions around one person or area rather than counting all the SRs.  We would generally play with some figures, various dice for markers and a sketch map to one side showing the area so distances were always somewhat approximate. A round often consisted of a bunch of discussion about what players planned to do and my feedback on what I thought that might entail, at which point they might adjust. 

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1 hour ago, SDLeary said:

Just house rule it! Way back when, we were allowed (by a Chaosium GM) to delay our actions. No need for an official rule for that, unless you are implementing Called Shots.

 

Occam's Razor!

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1 hour ago, Joerg said:

The rules are fairly clear on this. You move into the envelope of the foremost defender and are engaged (unless the NPC is befuddled and doesn't make his rolls). If you still say you plow on, the defender gets an unparried attack if he has a weapon ready.

If you decide to parry or dodge, you slow down to combat movement rates.

And positions on the grid are what there is at the start of the melee round.

Add in Knockback an you have it covered Joerg.

 

1 hour ago, deleriad said:

Mostly my RQ3 days consisted of me saying "you want to get to the balcony, that's about 8m away so you'll get there on your DEX SR+2. The trollkin with the loaded sling will fire at you while you're running. The other one is getting another stone so won't be able to fire until SR 6." Unless other people were involved, I would often batch a series of actions around one person or area rather than counting all the SRs.  We would generally play with some figures, various dice for markers and a sketch map to one side showing the area so distances were always somewhat approximate. A round often consisted of a bunch of discussion about what players planned to do and my feedback on what I thought that might entail, at which point they might adjust. 

Thank you.

The 90's were too far away for me to be so accurate, not to mention I was busy running the game and making sure this info got to the ears that needed it,  to be noting it down for later playback (well done and good memory, deleriad). Your articulation brought it all back into clear view and I remember the play progressing exactly as you stated. The rules (despite many opinions to the contrary at the time and even still) must have been well written if this is our mutual experience from way back at the dawn of the 'net. Most of my clarifications (the few I could find) back in the day came form mags, zines, geek meets and occasional dumps of the digest from friends with better 'net connections.

Back then, I knew the SRs (not each individual one, but ones that were noted in SOIs) mattered in very real ways, for spells movement, and combat. RQ 2 (and RQ G) is a little bit more "hand wavey" than that. Our group used battle mats, I GMed with a chart showing spells cast and when and by who and on who and expiration, no figures, but marker drawings or names written on the map sufficed.

If you are ok with analogues and approximates that are easy, than RQ 2 or RQ G  should work better for you. Should you have a more cog-work (mostali, perhaps) mind, well I really do recommend grafting RQ 3 combat, in full, onto the RQ G body. Someone else, an old timer who has been around for while, or was it a Chaosium staffer (wasn't Jeff Richards or Jason Duran was it?) was recommending that as well.

Occam's Razor

Cheers

Edited by Bill the barbarian

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23 minutes ago, Bill the barbarian said:

Should you have a more cog-work (mostali, perhaps) mind, well I really do recommend grafting RQ 3 combat, in full, onto the RQ G body.

This is exactly what I envision for the next time I will GM RQ: Taking RQG, replacing all the combat chapter by the RQIII one, adding a few things (the various specials effects, for example) and changing what is necessary to be integrated with the rest of RQG.

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1 hour ago, Joerg said:

Depends on their lateral displacement to the course of the intruder. If the defenders have a very open formation allowing movement between them without running directly into them, they will use the 1m per strike rank in combat movement to approach the intruder.

 

I still say this is very much a strawman setup.

And I also say don't mind strike ranks except for relative first strike option between opponents.

The rules are fairly clear on this. You move into the envelope of the foremost defender and are engaged (unless the NPC is befuddled and doesn't make his rolls). If you still say you plow on, the defender gets an unparried attack if he has a weapon ready.

If you decide to parry or dodge, you slow down to combat movement rates.

And positions on the grid are what there is at the start of the melee round.

 

Decreasing would make sense, so the attack can take place. Increasing means that the attack opportunity doesn't come up because every 12 seconds everything grinds to a stop, and then some characters will start moving.

 

First rule of GMing: there is NPC info that PCs don't need to know and don't get to know. Just because something is written in the scenario notes doesn't mean it has to be played out exactly like that.

I'm sorry, we seem to be taking part in two different conversations, because very little of what you've said here maps to the points I've made.

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21 minutes ago, Kloster said:

This is exactly what I envision for the next time I will GM RQ: Taking RQG, replacing all the combat chapter by the RQIII one, adding a few things (the various specials effects, for example) and changing what is necessary to be integrated with the rest of RQG.

and season delicately to bring out all the flavours!

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4 minutes ago, Sumath said:

I'm sorry, we seem to be taking part in two different conversations, because very little of what you've said here maps to the points I've made.

They must have been very obscure, then. I was tackling the problem that an attack of a defender that would go off at the earliest of say SR7 would give the person running in earlier a free pass past him despite having the weapon ready.

4 hours ago, Sumath said:

I really don't understand what the obsession is with refusing to increase the SR of a combatant who is waiting for an opportunity to attack. 

Did you mean that a SR of 7 means you have to act out your stated action on 7 and not on a later SR? That your runner would arrive at SR 8 or 9 and the defender had his action not any longer?

That's not the point of the SR. It gives the earliest moment you can strike in comparison to the opposition, not the exact or the latest moment the action can be performed.

 

To repeat your complaint:

3 hours ago, Sumath said:

The second person bypassed striking before the first person bypassed just makes no sense at all, especially when the distance between the first and second is several metres or so. Good luck on presenting that to an average table of players. 

What exactly is your problem? Do you have these guys lined up in a one person wide corridor? In that case, running past them will require a knockdown for every goon in the way.

I assumed that the playing field is fairly open ground, with the goons irregularly placed on the field - some to the left, some to the right of the course of our runner towards his desired foe. The runner starts, and the defenders edge in on him. The reckless runner would still select a course that would keep him from direct contact with any of their starting positions, right?

That can mean that he gave goon 1 a wide enough berth that goon 2 gets into striking range first. What is the problem with that?

 

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45 minutes ago, Joerg said:

What exactly is your problem?

I don't have a problem, I have a solution - which is adding the same number of SRs to the person moving as to the person they encounter. Done and dusted.

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Just now, Sumath said:

I don't have a problem, I have a solution - which is adding the same number of SRs to the person moving as to the person they encounter. Done and dusted.

Sounds sincerely wrong to me.

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