Monday, October 10, 2011

Fast Blast Movement Rates

("Fast Blast" = "I had an idea but haven't thought it all the way through yet"... and I've been listening to Coast to Coast AM again lately...)

120' movement per turn is ridiculously slow, right? Even if you do the double move described in some versions of the game (in which case why not just say movement rate 240'?). So how to explain it?

Keep in mind that underground, it's dark. Available light sources don't really illuminate very well. Watch the Descent movies, or go walk around a cave (or dark woods) with a lantern.

There is no casual movement in dark, unfamiliar, hostile environments. Period.

Exploration Movement (movement rate per 10 minute turn)
  • Allows mapping with "good enough for government work" measurements given.
  • Allows automatic spotting of obvious traps (open pits, etc).
  • Nonobvious but exposed traps (tripwires) are only triggered if the party is surprised (roll as if it's an encounter) by them.
  • Normal chances of surprise in an encounter

Walking Movement (movement rate per minute)
  • No measurements given for mapping
  • Obvious traps are not noticed if they surprise the party
  • Nonobvious traps are automatically triggered
  • Double chances of surprise in an encounter

Running Movement (movement rate per round)
  • Automatically trigger all traps in the way
  • Automatically surprised in an encounter
  • No mapping, and the Ref doesn't even have to tell you about passages or doors you pass... in fact, if in a totally unfamiliar area, save vs Paralyzation (every round?) or run into a wall or trip or otherwise have your nose come into swift contact with a hard surface.


  1. Sounds good to me.

    Though interestingly, even Running Movement seems slow. Someone in good condition can run 100 yards in 10 or 12 seconds not 100 feet. I understand that this is underground with bad light and rough surfaces, etc., but still. 500 or 600 feet a minute is not a lot faster than the speed I walk to work. I don't think this is a big objection. Just pointing it out.

    So, would these rates be tripled out of doors?

    I've always thought a useful skill--or perhaps something that would be a consequence of one's Strength, or some such-would be the ability to sprint faster than normal. Now, in the real world good sprinters are only maybe 30% faster than normal sprinters. But in the game you could, say, allow them to double their speed for a few rounds, thus making it more dramatic and guaranteeing that the skill would actually be used.

  2. I like these as well, and I see Oakes' point. I think I'd experiment with this as written first and then maybe see about expanding the running speed down the road.

  3. LotFP rounds = 6 seconds, so running would be a bit faster than Oakes figures.

  4. I like it.
    linkboy: "why are we moving so slow?"
    adventurer: "this is your first time underground, isn't it boy?"

  5. I like the rules for banging around in the dark and setting off traps as you move too fast.

    I think Oakes' rates are a little off though. Sure, the world record for sprinting is just under 10 seconds for the 100 meter dash. After you do the math you get approximately 200 feet per round. That's the fastest a human being can move on a track in expensive running shoes for a short period of time.

    For sustained running the numbers are quite different. A healthy person should be able to run a 6 minute mile. That breaks down to roughly 90 feet per round. Again, that's on a track in running shoes.

    When I was in the army the standard was running 2 miles under 18 minutes in full combat gear. We ran on uneven, broken pavement wearing leather combat boots, carrying a rifle, canteen and all the other crap that was in our webbing like ammo, a sweater, rain gear etc. Some people were able to do it a lot faster, but the 18 minutes is a fair benchmark. This puts our sustained movement rate at 60 feet per round. You could call us lightly encumbered, but the main difference wasn't what we were carrying, it was the boots.

    I hope that's helpful as you blast your movement rates.

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  7. Looks nice. I'll be trying out for a session a least, see how it works.

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  9. At six seconds in a round I think the numbers are spot on. Running works out to be about a 5:15/mile pace, which if not quite an out and out sprint is still pretty fast for underground conditions, not wearing track shoes, etc. Most people, even most physically well-conditioned adventurers, would be hard pressed to keep that up very long.

    Perhaps this is also an argument for the 6 second (as opposed to the 10 or 12 second) round.

    I think I went with 12 seconds for my own game because I read somewhere that this was the average reload time for bows and I wanted bow attacks to be about as frequent as melee attacks--not multiple bow shots per round but not multiple rounds per bow shot either.

  10. Good stuff. I especially like the idea of traps being triggered on surprise rolls. Simple but effective.