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Author Topic: movement while fighting  (Read 3499 times)

Posts: 114

« on: September 11, 2002, 03:56:54 AM »

Here is something I've been thinking about, it is intensely simulationist:

Movement while fighting:
randomly determine distance, direction, and new orientation.
forward and backward would be more likely than side to side (slightly) (maybe not)
when someone evades movement would be tend to be more backwards relative to the evader
full evasion would have a greater effect than partial
at beginning of each exchange allocate CP to affect movement for the round.

Here is some of what your responses will be so you don't need to post them:
"tRoS is so elegant and flexible already, these rules are unnecessary"
"This is a waste of time"
"You are stupid" : )
"The GM can just narrate this"

I would very much appreciate any useful comments that would flesh this out more.
Has any made or seen a rule like this in another system?

Posts: 5574

« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2002, 06:00:42 AM »

I know that movement in cut and thrust and earlier rapier styles (especially 2 handed rapier styles) tended to be circular in nature.  It wasn't until much later and the adoption of the small sword (think fencing foil) that movement became more linear (forward and backwards).

I'd say for a simple rule, that any time 2 white dice are thrown you'd have movement that may be significant enogh to track if there is a melee going on.  If its a duel, its probably not worth tracking, since position relative to each other is all that really matters and that is built in to stances, red/white, range, and keeping/losing initiative.

If the terrain was cluttered (a bar room) or uneven (gravelly slope, etc) than a pair of thrown white dice could easily result in mandatory terrain rolls representing the encountering of obstacles as position is jockied for.

Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters

Posts: 10459

« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2002, 06:52:18 AM »

Another thing to consider.

I agree that the movement in combat is sort of random. That is, to gain the greatest advantage at a given point, the best foot maneuvers will be determined by the essentially random interplay of minute choices being made by the opponents.

I would note, however that this breaks down against multiple opponents. That is, when there are multiple opponents they will have more control over where the battle goes. Such that if a player uses the terrain rules to engage less than all his opponents the opponents can maneuver such that this means movement in a single direction for the singled out opponent. Thus, given a limited space, the multiple opponents can maneuver their opponent, unless he makes some dramatic maneuvers. Think of it as cornering your foe.

Even one foe can do this if they are careful about it, however. In addition, there will often be cases where a player will want to get his character to a certain ocation for some reason (defend a friend, for instance). Deliberate movement should also be allowed. But what this does is make it harder to maintain that aforementioned optimum positioning against your opponent. IOW, I would allow a player to make voluntary maneuvers, but they would be required to use something like the Terrain rules. IOW, the character loses CP if making other than a "random" maneuver. For example, if I want to "corner" another character in a way that literally puts him in a corner where he cannot evade, for instance, I should have to pay CP to accomplish this.

In fact, what I'd do is, depending on the initiative situation, have both players bid dice for positioning. I'm thinking secret bid. Each player puts out a certain number of dice to represent maneuvering, and the one who bids more gets to determine where both combatants end up (within reason, of course). The "losing" player can then pay a further penalty to "Stand his ground" and not move. Perhaps the same amount that the opther player bid. The further effects of which are determined by the GM. On a flat, open field this will probably lead to little advantage. But in more complex circumstances such maneuvers would be critical, I'd think. For example, if your back is to a laval pit, I'm betting you'll be using your Stand Ground option rather than be forced back into the lava (of course the normal combat exchange may end up forcing you anyhow, but...).

Make sense?


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Thirsty Viking

Posts: 238

« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2002, 11:37:02 AM »

I like the bid system...   anyone chosing stand your ground  should be required to pay 2 dice in the secret bid however....   then if thier opponet bid 3 dice to push him...  i'd give a yard (difference in dice in yards)....
I think Id limit the total push to 3 yards a round.  I'd only require the stand your ground guy to pay difference +1 though in CP to resist Being pushed. by each opponent.    Two attackers pushing you toward a cliff face is almost certain doom.

In short  I'd allow the winner of the positioning to move his opponent 1 yard per die he committed to positioning.  I'd still allow the full exchange before the positionsing effects...   yes the guy you killed succeded in pushing you off the castle wall with his dying effort.

If you care to reply,  the needed change
should be obvious.

John Doerter   Nashville TN
Jake Norwood

Posts: 2261

« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2002, 03:14:18 PM »

These have been good comments, and I'm curious to see what comes of it. A note on movement in a fight--you're right that defense *generally* leads a fighter backward, though more skilled fighters regularly will move off-line, making the fight even more circular.

Here are some other observations on my experience in sparring and research into swordsmanship that may help in working all this out:

Full evasions would almost always be more or less straight back. Duck-and-weaves would be in close and under, and Partial Evasions would be off-line, slightly back, or to the side.

Generally speaking aggressive actions carry you forward, and a series of attacks will most always be toward your opponent. Defense usually (but not always) carries you away from the opponent's weapon, meaning in or out as is most practical at the time. Fighters who back up a lot are also usually out of range to strike for the bulk of the fight, but they're also a little harder to hit.

There are some steps and approaches, such as the ballestra (sp?) which can carry someone about 15' with little difficulty, allowing range to close very quickly. Such approaches are in straight lines.

You will essentially never turn your back to an opponent--not to attack, not to defend (unless you're running away). Running away is easy, and does NOT afford your opponent a free attack. And, because he's armed (read: encumbered slightly), you'll probably get away.

Any obstacles that tighten your ring are terribly problematic. Stuff on the floor, rocky or slick footing, ceiling shorter than 12' (depending on weapon), or less than, say, a 20' square to fight in (and that's tight! Again, based off of weapons used).

Hope that's in some way helpful.


"Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing." -R.E. Howard The Tower of the Elephant
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