Alternate Running Rule Idea

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Running Skill: Good idea or bad?

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HawaiianBrian
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Alternate Running Rule Idea

#1 Postby HawaiianBrian » Tue Oct 23, 2007 8:48 pm

I know the conventional wisdom around here, and with good reason, is not to add anything new to the rules and let existing rules serve needs. But I've noticed a number of posts over the last few months on running -- specifically, how to do it. The random running die is a neat idea, but it has meet steadfast resistance on the part of my players, who see it as an unforgivable break in realism, no matter whether or not it adds some variety to chases. We just use a "Pace x2" rule for running, but there you have the same problem with everyone being able to run the same speed, the whole purpose behind the running die idea in the first place.

So I just thought of a possible alternative to this quandary. (Maybe this has been floated before, but I'm fairly new to the boards. I couldn't find mention of it with a search.)

Add a Running skill to the list of skills. It would come off of Dexterity, or maybe Vigor (that would take some debate). Then, based on that, make Pace still equal 6 for most characters, but then Run = Pace + (2+ half running die). To avoid confusion, call it Sprint or something.

Most people would run at 8, but that makes some sense considering:
• Pace represents a jogging speed, and wouldn't be used if a character is just strolling along. In fact, Pace is probably rarely used outside combat, anyway.
• Most people without some training cannot run much faster than they can jog.
• Running is an actual skill that you can practice and get better in.

What d'yall think?
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#2 Postby SlasherEpoch » Tue Oct 23, 2007 8:57 pm

I would say you could take the average (3) or roll the die (random!). How's that?

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#3 Postby fanchergw » Tue Oct 23, 2007 9:03 pm

To be honest, Brian, I would avoid adding another skill. There is already a Running die, which is d6 for most, but is modified by existing Hindrances and Edges. If you don't want to actually roll the die, just add half of the Running die when running. This way, most would run at 9", but some would run at other rates.

If the problem is that no one is taking any of the Hiindrances or Edges that modify the Running die, then that is partly the players' fault. However, you can resolve that as well by substituting one of the attribute dice (say, Dexterity, Spirit or Vigor) for the Running die.

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#4 Postby HawaiianBrian » Tue Oct 23, 2007 10:27 pm

fanchergw wrote:If you don't want to actually roll the die, just add half of the Running die when running. This way, most would run at 9", but some would run at other rates.


That's perhaps a more elegant answer...
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#5 Postby SlasherEpoch » Tue Oct 23, 2007 11:33 pm

If running must be based off an existing die, I would say Vigor's a good bet. After all, Vigor's a representation of a character's overall fitness.

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#6 Postby DerFinsterling » Wed Oct 24, 2007 1:48 am

Why not base it on Strength? This Running covers short-term-sprints, after all, not marathons.

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#7 Postby Clint » Wed Oct 24, 2007 8:13 am

DerFinsterling wrote:Why not base it on Strength? This Running covers short-term-sprints, after all, not marathons.


My recommendation would be Strength as well. I think it would work better system-wise.


And as a sidenote, I love the poll question and options! It always helps to stack the deck. :lol:
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#8 Postby lauren_tk » Wed Oct 24, 2007 8:56 am

I would avoid a running skill. For those few characters that are faster, there is always an edge.

I might consider something different if the player said they wanted an Olympic level runner.
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Re: Alternate Running Rule Idea

#9 Postby cpk666 » Wed Oct 24, 2007 9:21 am

HawaiianBrian wrote:The random running die is a neat idea, but it has meet steadfast resistance on the part of my players, who see it as an unforgivable break in realism, no matter whether or not it adds some variety to chases.


I have to take issue with this. Personally, I've always seen the running die as a facile way to handle all the niggling little details that occur on a battlefield. Otherwise, you'd have to keep track of all the little things that could mess up someone's movement, like a slick area, a small puddle of water, maybe even a pencil that was dropped on the floor. How realistic is for people to move through the terrain unimpeded, with all obstacles staying neatly within their own hexes? Haven't they ever seen someone trip over their own feet? Or even choke on their own saliva? How the heck are you going to simulate all of the possible things that occur when someone is just moving across a room, let alone running through a crowded warehouse with enemies firing automatic weapons at them? I don't think the running die was added to provide variety to chases, but to simulate the vagaries of chance and circumstance. Just because other game systems haven't bothered to simulate the fickleness of the combat zone doesn't make it less realistic.

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#10 Postby PEGShane » Wed Oct 24, 2007 9:32 am

I'm with CK. The idea is that if you're both rested and running on a flat, even surface, your "running speed" is probably a constant. In *any* real situation--a street chase, a battlefield, a room, an interior with doorways and turns, a grassy field with dips and debris, etc--that running speed will vary somewhat.

So both for realism's sake AND for gaming's (re: fun's) sake, it's variable.

Change it and everyone will be sitting around doing math in their head, playing chess with their characters as they run away from foes, elude mathmatically slower creatures, etc. Keep the die and you'll have tension and suspense so "maneuver combat" is NEVER a sure thing.

But hey, it's your game.

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#11 Postby PEGShane » Wed Oct 24, 2007 9:33 am

And your poll needs a "Leave it as is!" vote.

Cheers!

Shane :jack:

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#12 Postby SlasherEpoch » Wed Oct 24, 2007 9:40 am

I have to play devil's advocate here and say the point of SW doesn't seem to be to "simulate the fickleness of the combat zone."

I would submit the running die adds a little bit of drama to the game more than anything else.

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#13 Postby The GIT! » Wed Oct 24, 2007 11:22 am

When I was working on my James Bond conversion I decided to do away with the running die and just double Pace.

Having watched the discussions that took place on this subject a little while ago I changed my mind and went back to the system as is. I actually like the way SW handles running and would keep away from introducing a running skill.

Of course, outside of the combat arena, the chase rules are great for handling foot chases.

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#14 Postby lauren_tk » Wed Oct 24, 2007 11:29 am

The GIT! wrote:Of course, outside of the combat arena, the chase rules are great for handling foot chases.


I didn't think of that. That would handle the Olympic Runner situation as well. A race is nothing but a chase after a static position.
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#15 Postby Nys » Wed Oct 24, 2007 12:57 pm

What is strange to me is that every time someone takes issue with the Running die, they neglect to mention the Chase Rules. I think that what it comes down to is if the Running die seems unrealistic for a scenario, it is probably because the scenario is exactly the kind of situation that the Chase Rules were meant to handle.

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#16 Postby seanwalsh » Wed Oct 24, 2007 1:03 pm

HawaiianBrian,
The rule mechanic you describe doesn't really sound like a "Skill" because it just functions as a static modifier to a particular movement action. That sounds more like a "Derived Statistic".
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 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

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#17 Postby AFDia » Wed Oct 24, 2007 1:15 pm

I use the standard rule with the alternative to take the average (round down).

With a d6 Running Die, you can either take 3 or you can roll your die (which has an average of 3.5).

I've introduced the rule for groups (If 20 guys run, they should run the average and not all of them 1d6 - this is a bit unrealistic for me) but after some time I decided to expand this rule to use it for the players. (I think it is a fair alternative to the roll)

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#18 Postby Nys » Wed Oct 24, 2007 1:28 pm

AFDia wrote:I use the standard rule with the alternative to take the average (round down).


What is nice about this house rule is that it could be expanded to any roll, not just running. :)

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#19 Postby fanchergw » Wed Oct 24, 2007 2:20 pm

HawaiianBrian wrote:The random running die is a neat idea, but it has meet steadfast resistance on the part of my players

Since he has already told us that his players are strongly opposed to doing it as per the rules, I don't think that all of these arguments for going by the rules are very helpful to Brian.

It's nice to follow the party line and all, but in this case I think being helpful to his situation is more relevant.


AFDia wrote:I use the standard rule with the alternative to take the average (round down).

We use this in one of the groups I play in. Works fine.

Gordon

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#20 Postby HawaiianBrian » Wed Oct 24, 2007 2:23 pm

Clint wrote:And as a sidenote, I love the poll question and options! It always helps to stack the deck. :lol:


Whoops! I had a third option but I guess it didn't save. I'll see if I can change that. How embarrassing....
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