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Climbing and swimming speeds

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  • Climbing and swimming speeds

    So there's a new mechanic in SWADE that's bugged me a lot: each inch of climbing or swimming uses 2 inches of Pace. I don't really understand the logic in that change; now Usain Bolt could out-swim Michael Phelps purely by virtue of being Fleet-Footed.

    I think a new version of the old rules (climbing speed is half of the Strength die, swimming speed is half the Athletics die) would fix this quite nicely. But if you're dead-set on keeping the speeds at half Pace, I propose these simple alternatives:
    1. For climbing, each raise on the Athletics roll adds an additional inch of movement.
    2. For swimming, characters may roll Athletics as an action for more speed; each success and raise adds 1 extra inch of movement. (You could even apply the usual --2 if they're already "running," arguing that the character is over-exerting himself.)

    If you go with my proposal, it might be nice to also introduce an Edge that grants +2 to Athletics rolls when swimming (and maybe even allows a character to hold her breath a little bit longer). Athletics rolls for climbing wouldn't need any such new Edge; Free Runner and Thief fulfill this role already.

  • #2
    Clint says:


    Since all movement is based off basic Pace, the current rule makes combining different forms much easier and more intuitive. It also means "Running" for additional Pace covers additional movement regardless of the type. And as noted in the rules, if the situation is one where an Athletics roll would be required (a duress situation like combat for instance), then choosing to Run would apply its usual -2 penalty to the roll. Meaning characters don't roll to get more speed, instead players have the option to move faster but increase the risk of failure. We think basing the roll on avoiding an actual detriment as opposed to simply adding to the character's move (which an existing die roll already handles) makes such situations more dramatic.

    And keep in mind, the movement rules are designed (as they all are) to handle most characters within the core parameters of the game, not ones at the extremes. Those specialists would have unique Edges to account for being Olympic level athletes in their fields.

    Hope that clarifies the intent and thanks for the feedback!

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