Thursday, July 21, 2011

2nd Edition: The Game You have (probably) never played, part 14

Today we're just going to discuss time, walking, and running.
      In 2nd edition there are only two types of "game time" to worry about. This includes the 1 minute Round, and the 10 round Turn. That's it, no segments, no change in round duration for combat. Yes, this does make combat a bit wonky seeming, but you have to realize that 2nd edition combat is very abstract. Thus, if you're looking for a bit of mechanics-generated-excitement in your combats 2nd edition combat is probably not going to appeal to you.
      Unlike round length, walking comes in two types. There's the cautious "dungeon" walking and then the more casual "overland" walking. Each PC/NPC/Monster has a movement rate determined by race. For example, Sir Darien the Human Fighter has a movement rate of 12, while his friend Torgar Ironshield the Dwarf fighter has a movement rate of 6. This number doesn't tell you much by itself.
      When having a great and spiffy time traipsing through the various meadows and villages and towns in their travels, each round Sir Darien and Torgar move at their movement rate x 10 in yards. In our example Sir Darien moves 120 yards(360 feet) in his round while Torgar moves 60 yards(180 feet) in his. There is a penalty to this movement speed however. While merrily walking along at this pace they both suffer a -1 penalty to their surprise rolls(surprise is on a 3 or less on a 1d10 roll and like initiative is only rolled once for each side).
      Dungeon speed is movement rate x 10  in feet. Thus Sir Darien moves 120 feet in his round, while Torgar only moves 60 feet. This speed's only penalty is that you're moving more slowly. It represents that your character is alert and paying attention to his surroundings rather than worry about trying to get from point A to point B in a timely fashion.
     The character may choose at any time which walking speed he intends to use. As written, their are technically no core rules to cover jogging and running movement rates outside of a chase. There is an optional rule listed in the PHB, but we're talking about core here.
     Chases are handled with an initiative roll. Both the pursuing side and the fleeing side roll for initiative. The difference between the two dice x 10 is distance(in feet or yards, DMs choice) that the winning side gains on the other. For example, Sir Darien and Torgar are running from a group of fairly irate goblins after stealing the goblins' treasure. The players roll a 5 while the goblins roll an 8, thus resulting that the fleeing adventurers gain 30 feet/yards on the murderous goblins over the course of the one minute round . Initiative rolls keep being made until either the goblins catch up and force the adventurers into combat, until one side gives up, or the adventurers make their escape.
     In this regard I think it's actually a good thing that the various characters don't have a solid rate of advancement for fleeing/chasing. Most people tend not to pay very much attention to their surroundings And this allows the DM to decide where the adventurers actually end up, thus providing an interesting obstacle for parties that are normally meticulous in their mapping and record keeping.
    Another form of movement characters have is overland or cross-country movement.  Overland movement occurs over a 10 hour "marching day" while the characters could possibly march on longer than this, the game uses a 10 hour block so there's time for characters to have random encounters, as well as enough time to find, set up, and breakdown a campsite(as well as other things characters have to do while not in travel mode).
    Like walking, overland travel has two rates. The first is the more casual, and allows the characters to take frequent breaks so they don't get worn out by their travel. They gain a number of movement points equal to his movement rate x 2.
    The second, more grueling option is the forced march. The character must make savings throws/Con checks each day(with -1 cumulative penalty/day) to make multiple day forced marches.  In addition to the checks to continue doing this, for each day spent forced marching the character suffers a cumulative -1 penalty to attack rolls. These penalties only reset when the character has a 1/2 day's rest for every day of forced marching. The upside to forced marching is that you get a number of movement points equal to your movement rate x 2.5.
    Now that you have your total movement points, you need to know your terrain. This terrain is like the terrain(though not climate) parts of monster descriptions in the MM. Each mile has a point cost. When you have used up your points, you've traveled as far as you can go in the 10 hour marching day. Under core rules, Terrain effects such as darkness, and obstacles such as rivers or chasms don't effect your movement rate, but they MIGHT result in the DM treating the obstacles as an encounter.

Next time: Mounts, Vehicles, and special movement types

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