Alternate Running Rule Idea

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Running Skill: Good idea or bad?

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Cutter XXIII
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#21 Postby Cutter XXIII » Wed Oct 24, 2007 2:36 pm

A random running die breaks "realism," but every character moving at the exact same rate (6") and running at the exact same rate (12") is an okay compromise? Sounds a little strange to me... ;)

I'm with CK and Shane: the random running die is a shorthand method for achieving more realism. Everyone at the same rate seems much less "realistic" to me.

(But then again, I've got very little use for so-called realism in my RPGs.)
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#22 Postby HawaiianBrian » Wed Oct 24, 2007 2:40 pm

No, I appreciate the discussion. I know running comes up here fairly regularly, and I've never been totally satisfied with the results. I deeply appreciate the effect the random running die adds -- It's just a matter of convincing my players as to its verisimilitude. Or me, for that matter. cpk666 had some good points about what the random aspect is supposed to simulate, but the problem is, every battlefield is different, and sometimes those "slippery" or "crowded" variables don't always apply. Doing something for the sake of its game effect is fine, but a lot of players are sticklers for feeling like something is doing a decent job of representing reality. Even a free-wheeling system like SW.

As for the chase rules... I don't yet have the SW:EX rulebook. I've had nothing but trouble trying to get it (my local game store had to wait weeks to put in the order, then their computer system went down and they lost all order records, then when I tried to order it online it took 3 weeks to make its way across the country only to be "undeliverable as addressed" and leave the islands the *same day* to wend its way back across the country to the original shipper.... still trying to get that taken care of, but its now been 3 months since I first put in an order for it!!!!). So right now I'm working with the previous rules set and the chase rules haven't been something I felt like tackling. Most of my chases take place in combat or at the end of it, so they end up being extensions of combat -- i.e., you move, they they move, then you move, then they move, etc. And the only way to catch someone with the same Pace as you is to hope you win initiative or try to interfere with them from a distance. That's why I do appreciate randomness.

I think I'll try to float the idea to them again, and talk them into seeing it work in practice, rather than theory. Of course the deciding factor will be whether it works in their favor that first time. If not, I fear the last nail will be in the coffin, so to speak.

I do appreciate all the great suggestions, though, and there have been quite a few. The Athletics skill idea is a pretty good one, to be mulled over for a future edition (far future). Taking an average may not be bad, either. I'll see how it goes.

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#23 Postby seanwalsh » Wed Oct 24, 2007 2:47 pm

HawaiianBrian,
SW:EX is available for .pdf download here.

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#24 Postby HawaiianBrian » Wed Oct 24, 2007 2:54 pm

seanwalsh wrote:HawaiianBrian,
SW:EX is available for .pdf download here.


I saw that, but now that I've spent so much money to get the physical copy, I want to get my money's worth. Pdfs are fine, and I have some of them for this game and others, and I do use them, but I find they're best for books you rarely access and don't want to take with you to a game session. Especially true for D&D! But there's something to be said for a real, physical book in your hand. Most likely I'll still buy the .pdf here in a little while, but first I want the book.

I'm going to spend $4.00 more to have the seller ship it here quicker, meaning in the end I'll have paid about $17 for a $10 dollar book. But apparently it is impossible for my local game store to get it, so I don't have much choice. Soon I'll be moving, and so I can't afford to wait weeks on end for it to be shipped Media Mail -- you know it takes 3 weeks to go from Georgia to Hawai`i? Stuff sits in distribution centers for days at a time. It's all so very frustrating.... I 'm running a public game at a game day here during November and I need the book for that.
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We don't need another skill...

#25 Postby wmarshal » Wed Oct 24, 2007 8:12 pm

I don't think adding the Running skill is a good idea. I'm against skill "inflation" (don't know a better term for it) in general. On the other hand I understand why a few folks aren't fond of the current rule, as I'm not either. For my campaigns what I do is:

1. If a character wants to run they double their Pace. I think it's more realitic and effective than the current rule, plus it helps avoid a die roll.

2. If a character wants to flat-out "Sprint" then they double their Pace, plus they get to add their Running die. (Perhaps I should call it their Sprinting die) However, they don't get to take any other actions besides talking. Have you ever tried doing something else while being totally focused on getting away from a big dog? I think this reflects that reality.

With the above rules I have players sometimes run, and even rarely "sprint" because they really needed to get the heck away from something. It's a lot more quick and satisfactory than having a player roll a die to sometimes get only 1" further for which they suffer a -2 to their other actions.

Anyway, thats my 2 bits.
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#26 Postby Bill » Thu Oct 25, 2007 7:52 am

I would suggest just the opposite. Rather than doubling pace on a run and adding a dice on a sprint (allowing no other actions), keep the running rules the same (it is actually more of a dash) but allow the doubling of pace plus the running dice for a flat out sprint.

This would represent the difference between a quick burst of speed with a possible intent to do an action afterward and a sustained run while keeping the variables. For the burst you could always add bonuses to the players roll based on circumstances (downhill, open solid space with few obsticles gaining a +1 to +4 based on GM decision) giving more distance if warrantted.
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Re: We don't need another skill...

#27 Postby Sitting Duck » Thu Oct 25, 2007 8:03 am

wmarshal wrote:I'm against skill "inflation" (don't know a better term for it) in general.


How about skill bloat?
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#28 Postby Bill » Thu Oct 25, 2007 11:09 am

Bill wrote:I would suggest just the opposite. Rather than doubling pace on a run and adding a dice on a sprint (allowing no other actions), keep the running rules the same (it is actually more of a dash) but allow the doubling of pace plus the running dice for a flat out sprint.

This would represent the difference between a quick burst of speed with a possible intent to do an action afterward and a sustained run while keeping the variables. For the burst you could always add bonuses to the players roll based on circumstances (downhill, open solid space with few obsticles gaining a +1 to +4 based on GM decision) giving more distance if warrantted.


Just an example to this method (and reason). Man running from fleet footed beast (pace 8, d10 run).

Current method: man runs 6+d6 and can take an action at -2.
beast runs 8+d10 (will not need to run 33% of time and will catch the man auto matically for a bite attack -2 60%+ if it has to roll)

1st Proposed method: man runs 12+d6 and can take no actions.
beast runs 16 so can bite the man 66% of time at -2 and will not get an attack (and thus no free attack when the man runs again) the other 33% of time (but will be in range on a run roll of anything but a 1, a 10% chance).

My proposed method: Man can run as normal and take an action at -2 (same result as the current method) or sprint at 12+d6.
Beast can run as normal 8+d10 and get a bite attack but only at -2 and only if he rolls at least a 5 (equals the man's minimum roll) or a 10 to match the man's maximum roll. The beast can catch the man as normal on a full run but will not get a strike as the man leaves then as the beast was not able to attack.

Thus it seems to me to better reflect the chances everyone takes, and open more options, by just adding a sprint rule to the current rules rather than changing the run mechanic might be the better way to reflect this.
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#29 Postby Clint » Thu Oct 25, 2007 11:41 am

Bill wrote:Just an example to this method (and reason). Man running from fleet footed beast (pace 8, d10 run).


Clints take. This a classic example of...

"I don't have to outrun it; I just have to outrun you!" ;)

Seriously though, some points I would make.

When you change the basic values that a character can move in an action (such as being able to move double + a running die or whatever), keep in mind that this affects the game in more ways than simply how far a character can move.

For instance, it may not be obvious, but a character's movement is linked to the Range values for ranged weapons. The ability to move in a round and change the Range increment of a weapon being used or being used against a character is part of the balance of the range stat.

Also, as to the example above and my comments on Range, that's why I would say that Fleet Footed is an Edge. The slower character should have a very small chance to get away; that's what Fleet Footed does. It allows the character to catch up with foes, get away from foes, or have more options if carrying a ranged weapon.

It just feels weird to use the fact that Fleet Footed gives someone an edge as an example for changing the rules. I mean, that's what it's supposed to do.

But of course if the example if of two characters with the same Pace, then the rule kind of becomes moot. They still move at the same Pace and Running die, and all the change does is create a faster speed they can chase each other but not affect each other (since they can't take any other actions), effectively creating a potentially never-ending chase.

Anyway, my two cents.
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#30 Postby JackAce » Thu Oct 25, 2007 12:32 pm

seanwalsh wrote:However, I think someone suggested an Athletics skill as a combination of the Climbing and Swimming Skills. You could also include Running and Jumping under an Athletics Skill

If any chnage to the running rules were to be made, I'd favor this solution.

seanwalsh wrote:and create mechanics for movement, whether it be running, jumping, climbing or swimming, that all stem from the one "Skill".
Off the top of my head:
Pace in water = 1/2 Athletics
Pace on ground = 1/2 Athletics + 3" (2" or 1" if Lame)
Pace while climbing = 1/2 Athletics + 2" per Athletics success, 4" on a raise.
Running = Athletics die type + 3" per Athletics success, 6" on a raise.
Run and jump = Athletics die type/2 + 1" per Athletics success, 2" on a raise.
Standing Jump = 1/2 Run and jump

However, this can be done much simpler
For Climbing, Jumping and Swimming, the respective Paces are already given by the rules; just substitute Athletics for the Skills currently used.

For simple ground movement leave Pace as it is.

For Running, make an Athletics roll and each Success and Raise adds +3" to your movement distance.

Fleet-Footed characters increase their Pace by 2 and add +4" per Athletics success.

Lame characters reduce their Pace by 2 and only gain add +2" per Athletics success.
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#31 Postby The GIT! » Thu Oct 25, 2007 12:48 pm

HawaiianBrian wrote:As for the chase rules... I don't yet have the SW:EX rulebook.

-Bri

You could always download "Burning Rubber" by Butch Curry. The pdf is available on the Savage Heroes website. This is a set of chase rules that came out before SW:EX. There are a lot of similarities and, in some ways, I actually prefer Butch Curry's ideas.

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#32 Postby Snate56 » Thu Nov 01, 2007 7:10 pm

For ordinary uneven terrain I would use the rules as is. But for "perfect" terrain like a running track or city street I've been kicking around the idea of doubling pace + 1d4 or pace plus the running die type +1d4 to show the difference between faster and slower people and still have a bit of randomness.


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