Monday, September 1, 2008

Rules Clarification...

So one thing that kind of gnawed at me the whole time was the movement in combat thing. I don't think we can move twice our speed in a round AND take another action. The way the rules are worded make this confusing, but here's my rationale.

For those of you who have the player's handbook (v. 3.5 - Bethany I gave you the 3.0 version, but it should say the same thing, just on a different page number maybe), here's the ruling and where the confusion may lie. On p. 147 of the handbook, it says that "generally you can move your speed in a round and still do something...if you use both of your actions in a round to move your speed, you can move double your speed." That seems pretty clear that we are limited to moving only one times our speed if we want to do something else.

The confusion lies in the next chapter. On p. 163 of the handbook, it says that "characters generally don't walk during combat - they hustle or run." On the previous page it showed that hustling = double your speed. So there's the confusion - it sounds like one chapter said you get to move during your turn, and the next chapter said that you hustle during combat so you would move double your speed every time you take a movement. But I think that's the wrong conclusion.

I think what it MEANT was that if you hustle during combat, which is generally what you do, you can move double your speed in one round. In fact, that's what Table 9-3 seems to indicate. Your speed for one round when you hustle is double your normal speed. But the key is that it is for a FULL ROUND. Not a round where you take some other standard action, like attacking. So if you hustle for half a round and spend the other half a round doing something else, you get to move your standard speed, which is half your hustle speed. I know that's confusing, but it makes sense if you think about it.

Besides, it just seems a bit unfair that we can move pretty much wherever we want whenever we want. Applying this rule would make movement a bit more meaningful since we won't always be able to get our guys exactly where we want them (meaning either more attacks of opportunity for TC or less desirable attack positions for us). I say we implement this movement thing the next time we play.

One other point that I'll make, but I'll try not to belabor it. I know I did this for me and Julia, but I'm not sure anyone else did. Everyone knows what their base speed is - that's the speed we have written down. But that speed gets reduced if you have a certain amount of gear (that's why we wrote down light, medium, and heavy loads). So depending on how much crap you have in your backpack, you may not be able to move your entire speed. It could get pretty involved if we try to add and subtract weight every time we pick up or use an item, so I don't think we want to do that necessarily. I think it would be easy enough for people to take an inventory of what they have right now, find out what size load you're carrying, and see if that affects your speed (and your armor check penalty, actually). Don't worry about most stuff you pick up in battle, unless it's clearly consequential (like if Lord Bolt wanted to pick up Ieuan if she was unconscious and move her to safety). We'll refigure it after battle is over for all the miscellaneous crud we get.


Moonglum said...

I'm not sure that I am completely convinced by what you said about running and hustling but I do like that it makes movement more meaningful and am totally willing to do it anyway since it should make combat more exciting.

As to the carrying capacity, the player's handbook says "A character's armor defines his or her maximum dexterity bonus to AC, armor check penalty, speed, and running speed. Unless your character is weak or carrying a lot of gear, that's all you need to know. The extra gear your character carries, such as weapons and rope, won't slow him or her down any more than the armor already does." It seems like we can add everything up if we want, but unless we are suddenly carrying much more than normal or are suddenly much weaker than normal for some reason, it doesn't look like it is strictly necessary.

Lord Bolt said...

"So if you hustle for half a round and spend the other half a round doing something else, you get to move your standard speed, which is half your hustle speed."

This is the only line that confuses me... by the rationale of your previous paragraphs, how can you hustle for "half a round?" I thought hustling takes up a full round action.

Also, can you take two move actions in a round? (if you can, hustling would be stupid since you can already move double your speed just by moving twice instead of using a full-round action)

Anyway, it sounds like a good idea regardless. We were all basically teleporting around the room we had so much speed. And hustling makes more sense if we use it as a last-ditch effort to get in front of an enemy to shield our weaker characters as opposed to just winking in and out of existence and getting freaky with our weapons.

Taran said...

On the gear thing: again, I think this is a bit confusing the way they word it in the book, but the way I understand it is this. Normally, your armor determines your speed and your AC penalty, max Dex, etc. This is probably all that matters for OJ and John, since they are already wearing medium armor and so they can only move 20 feet anyway (+10 for OJ, obviously).

But for anyone with light armor, you are not penalized in movement speed by your armor. So you have to make sure you are not penalized by your gear. Julia, for example, is wearing leather armor, but she is carrying a medium load (mainly because her strength is so low). This means that even though her armor allows her to move 30 feet in a round, her total gear weight only allows 20 feet.

My character had a light load, but I need to refigure it now that I got a chain shirt and picked up some other stuff. The only time this would matter is if you had a light load and picked up enough stuff to push you into the medium load category. Your speed slows by 10 feet at that point.

Moonglum said...

I think I get it now, and Dan is right. On page 163 it says "A hustle is a jog at about 6 miles an hour for an unencumbered human. A character moving his or her speed twice in a single round, or moving that speed in the same round that he or she performs a standard action or another move action is hustling when he or she moves."

The point, I think, is that if you are moving and then performing a standard action, the reason you have time to do this is because you are hustling. I think the confusion is that Table 9-3: Movement and Distance on page 162 isn't a chart of how far you can go with a move action in a round, it is how far you could go if you spent your WHOLE ROUND moving. So it's not as if, when you take a move action and a standard action, we'll be walking casually up to a monster and then hitting him. We'll still be hustling. But if we want to hustle and then take a standard action in the same round, we'll only be able to hustle half our hustling distance (which is our walk distance, coincidentally) since we have to use the rest of the time in the round in order to swing our sword or whatever. Does that make sense?

Taran said...

Ok, I knew I was bad at explaining that. Let me try to break it down a little better.

Assumption (as put by the book): When in combat, characters hustle.

Definition of "hustle": moving double your normal speed in one tactical round (per table 9-3)

So if you hustle for one whole round, you get to move double your speed. However, we don’t usually hustle for one full round. Usually we hustle for half a round (our movement action) and do something else for half a round (attack, unsheathe a weapon, cast a spell, etc.). So if hustling doubles your movement speed for one full round, but you only hustle for half a round, you wind up moving your standard speed.

I think that there are several key quotes that confirm it: “A character who moves his or her speed and takes some action…is hustling for about half the round and doing something else the other half.” (p. 163) “Generally you can move your speed in a round and still do something.” (p. 147) Your speed is defined on that same page as “your base land speed,” which is further modified by encumbrance from armor or gear.

I totally understand why this was confusing. I mean, it’s still kind of confusing, and the only reason I looked it up was because it just felt wrong while we were playing. Even then, I looked at that quote that said you hustle during combat and thought, “Oh, maybe we WERE doing it right.” But then I read a little more and discovered that hustling for a FULL ROUND doubles your speed. Hustling for half a round lets you go your standard speed. Whether this makes sense or you with my reasoning, I think we can agree that moving our normal speed will make things little bit more tactically interesting while in combat.

Taran said...

Yeah, Moonie, it's the full round thing that threw us off.

Oh, and to address John's point about hustling taking up a full round - it's RUNNING that takes a full round action. And running actually lets you move four times your speed, but you lose your dexterity bonus to armor and you can only do it so many rounds in a row. You can hustle without taking a full round to do it. Basically you're just jogging.