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The 5e' is going to copy WFRP3's gridless system


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#1 Emirikol

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 06:37 PM

Mearls announced that 5e is going to have gridless combat.

Oh, I can hear the autistic screams already from the people who can no longer maximize the 5' step-flankmarkslantslidedance  ;)

WFRP3..ahead of it's time or just common sense in this regards?

 

jh



#2 madpoet

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 07:59 PM

Perhaps it s a way to return to a real rpg experience.

The others two things they could do would be reduce the number of COMBO and fully balance every class.

They tried to do it in the 4' edition but the whole system was totally based on tactical movement and miniatures.

So, after 20 years of D&D, I turned to WHFR3! 



#3 borithan

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 08:26 PM

Its probably good that it would no longer require a grid (which 4th did. With 3rd edition it made many things easier but could be done without), but I don't like the idea of removing the option entirely. I find some of the tone in some of the WFRP 3rd edition stuff a bit irritating, where it essentially says "We're better because we don't use grids and battle maps." Most systems I know allow both free-form and gridded combat (though usually work better with one or the other), but even those that only use one or the other don't tend to be judgmental about the other.



#4 Sebashaw

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 10:14 PM

borithan said:

Most systems I know allow both free-form and gridded combat (though usually work better with one or the other).

This is the problem.

 

And yes: we're better because we don't use grids and battle maps! ^_^



#5 Gallows

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 10:54 PM

Emirikol said:

 

Mearls announced that 5e is going to have gridless combat.

Oh, I can hear the autistic screams already from the people who can no longer maximize the 5' step-flankmarkslantslidedance  ;)

WFRP3..ahead of it's time or just common sense in this regards?

 

jh

 

 

 

I' ve ditched the gridless abstract combat of 3rd ed. I just find it to be a pain in every way and a lot of the cards benefit a lot from playing on a grid. Playing on a grid actually inspires more interresting combat, use of environment, cover, relative positioning etc. I find the abstract combat to be rather bland and boring. And I have tried. For over a year I have used the abstract combat, but I just can't take it anymore. It just dumbs down combat in a bad way that just doesn't seem to fit the cards very well.

 

I don't think wfrp is ahead of it's time... how can it be? There is no right and wrong, like one thing being better than the other. New isn't always better. I personally have gone old school, because I find this new way of handling positioning (or lack of) and movement dull and boring.

 

D&D4 is too much like a mmo, so I  very much prefer wfrp. But the gridless abstract movement/positioning system of wfrp 3 really annoys me. It's strange that there is so much detail in cards, recharge etc. Lots of stuff... and then they. You could very well abstract the rest of combat as well. I just don't see what's good about the abstract movement system... it seems pointlessly abstract and I don't see why it's useful. It's not like using a grind is rocket science and I actually find the abstract movement more work. Unless of course you don't keep track of everything, but then why bother. Why use miniatures at all?

 

I think the abstract movement system of wfrp lands somewhere in no mans land... not useful for keeping track of the tactical side of combat and not really adding anything in terms of roleplaying, plus it doesn't really speed up combat.



#6 Jericho

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 11:48 PM

 I guess it really depends on how you use the abstract system, Gallows.

For my game, the system didn't change anything at all since we were playing like that more or less already.

I always draw maps, don't get me wrong, but the are scribbles on a piece of paper to help players get a feel of the environment and memorize my description.

While before I would draw a house and a tree and say : " Here is the peasant's thatched hut, and approx 50 yards from there, a old, gnarled oak tree."

Now I would say : "Here is the peasant's thatched hut, and at medium range from there, an old, gnarled oak tree."

 

Once that is done, I'll use figures and location cards to set up a tabletop abstract version that again is just support for our visualization of the scene. My players know that as GM, I take into account anything they do with the environment, giving out advantages and disadvantages freely. So the figures are used to know who is where and to establish relative distances.

Sometimes we don't even use figures and just write on the scrap of paper directly... for simple scenes.

I like the abstract range system because it's verbal, not mathematical. When I describe, I can quickly give precise game mechanic info without breaking to much the description. For example, if I describe a noble's hall, I can just end the description by saying that from one end to the other is medium range. That gives players a sense of scope and that's all I need for the story to stay vivid and well visualized.

I rarely have any confusion at my table as to where PCs and NPCs are in relation with the décor. And some of my players are pretty tight tacticians.

 

Maybe FFG should have done a better job on explaining how the system can be used with different levels of detail. I agree with you that just using location cards and ranges in a vague and non-descript way is very bland, but I don't think that's what FFG had in mind.


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#7 Herr Arnulfe

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 12:14 AM

Emirikol said:

Mearls announced that 5e is going to have gridless combat.

Oh, I can hear the autistic screams already from the people who can no longer maximize the 5' step-flankmarkslantslidedance  ;)

WFRP3..ahead of it's time or just common sense in this regards?

Minis and a ruler is the Warhammer way. WFRP v2 only added grids because Pramas wanted to woo D&D 3.5 players. WFRP v3 only removed rulers because there wasn't enough room leftover on the table.



#8 bigity

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 02:15 AM

I like grids.  I don't like the whole game being about what happens on the grids, which I feel is what D&D 4 is.  Many of the aspects of D&D4 and WFRP3 are similiar - recharging or per-encounter powers, etc.

However, WFRP still pulls on the rich RP world that GW has created over years.  D&D4 is all about the dungeon crawls it feels like.  Granted, most of my AD&D experiences is 1st/2nd with a little bit of 3/3.5 and a session or two of 4.

 

However, in any case, FFG better not be thinking 'hey what a good idea, a new edition!' :D



#9 madpoet

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 03:29 AM

......at least we're faster!



#10 Gallows

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 03:59 AM

double post... sorry :) 

 

 



#11 Gallows

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 04:03 AM

Jericho I intend to use the grid just like you describe you're using the abstract movement system.

 

I just find it a lot faster to just count four squares for moving (one maneuver). The ranges are then just really obvious on the grid, but there is not more mathematics about it. It's just a different way to organize and I feel grid is easier and gives a more vivid expression of the battlefield and allowing for more immediate detail. All the things possible with the abstract movement system is possible on the grid. It's just a simple way to handle engaged, short, medium, long and extreme range.

 

Sometimes the abstract system gets silly when players are at very different ranges from each other and opponents where you need to track range between individual stand ups where it matters. If one engagement then moves away and is at medium range from the engagement it was previously engaged with, then you need to take into account at what range they are to the other engagements in relation to which direction they moved. I want to track it where it matters, because otherwise... why bother. I just find the abstract system really cumbersome, where the grid is straight forward.

 

What I am trying to say is that the grid is just a way to put down an automatic range finder under the standups, so you don't have to track it, consider it and remember it. It changes nothing really... it's just a ruler that tracks all ranges in two dimensions, but we still use the ranges.

 

That said some of the cards targeting engagements can get real silly, because we have had engagements of 20 total stand ups sometimes and a blunderbus can hit them all in one go. You'll house rule that of course, but again with a grid this just becomes instantly simple and above all has some consistency.

 

Consistency is important for me as a GM. I want my players to know the fairness of the game lies in the consistency, because then I can challenge them and they are more in control, the more they can see, react to and the more my interpertation of the combat is similar to their expectations and perception of what's going on.

 

These are my grid house rules:

• One maneuver equals 4 squares of movement. Disengaging costs one maneuver and moves you one square. Players have one maneuver each round for movement. They can use fatigue to gain extra maneuvers. If they use more than two maneuvers for movement in their turn however, they can't attack.
Range increments (squares):
o Engaged = touching bases (1)
o Short = 2-5
o Medium = 6-9
o Long = 10-17
o Extreme = 18-29
o Out of range = 30+
Combat conditions and pushing/sliding enemies
o Staggered = push 2 squares away
o Exposed  = Push 1 squares away
o Rattled = Slide 2 squares
o Sluggish = Push 2 squares away
o Any other = Ask GM
Opportunity attacks: When you move from a square adjacent to an enemy he gets an attack of opportunity on you, unless you use one maneuver to disengage (move one square). An enemy can only get one attack on you this way in your turn, but several enemies may all get attacks. Pushing and sliding does not provoke opportunity attacks.
• The standard size of an engagement is 4 times 4 squares, in relation to effects that targets engagements.
 

They are simple and the combat conditions and pushback is something we just want to test. It could easily be removed and you would have the exact same system as exists in the current abstract rules... just consistent and easy to work with. The opportunity attack is no different from the current rules that force people to use a maneuver. I just give the option of not doing it. The engagement size of 4x4 squares is something we need to test, but these are the rules and they aren't complicated or mathematical. It's more of a measurement tool.

 

Before making these rules I had some laminated rulers saying MEDIUM, LONG, EXTREME, SHORT and would put them between standup engagements to track, But in some bigger fights it was a clutter that really detracted from the game.

 

So the reason I want to use a grid is not complexity, but simplicity ;)

 

 



#12 Doc, the Weasel

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 05:14 AM

Emirikol said:

WFRP3..ahead of it's time or just common sense in this regards?

Or just like most games out there.


Listen to my actual play podcasts at BeggingForXP.com.

 

Take a look at my Talent Trees (updated to include Dangerous Covenants), as well as my other handouts.


#13 borithan

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 04:24 AM

Sebashaw said:

borithan said:

 

Most systems I know allow both free-form and gridded combat (though usually work better with one or the other).

 

 

This is the problem.

 

And yes: we're better because we don't use grids and battle maps! ^_^

Why is it a problem? Obviously a system will usually work better how it was designed to be played. If it wasn't designed primarily with a grid in mind it won't necessarily gain anything from having a grid (and situations can come up because of the grid that were not planned for in the rules), and if it was designed with a grid in mind you then loose an aspect of what it was designed for or (more commonly) it becomes a bit more difficult to track things the game requires. For example, Last Unicorn Games' Star Trek game was obviously planned for ungridded games, but because they give measured distances you could translate these onto a grid. However, the way it treats movement in difficult terrain and similar is very vague (which doesn't work for the more strict grid movement), so would have to be house ruled. However, nothing about it precludes the use of grids, and I don't remember there being anything sniffy about gridded combat. That is my only real problem with WFR3ed's treatment of grids... I don't care that it doesn't use them, I have used several gridless systems (probably a 50/50 split between them), but claiming it is better, rather than just different, irritates me.



#14 dvang

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 05:40 AM

That said some of the cards targeting engagements can get real silly, because we have had engagements of 20 total stand ups sometimes and a blunderbus can hit them all in one go. You'll house rule that of course, but again with a grid this just becomes instantly simple and above all has some consistency.

Unless you are facing a dozen small rats or dogs, why on earth would you (as the GM) allow a single engagement with 20 participants? That is obviously not really possible physically, and the GM should have broken that engagement up into about 3-4 separate engagements. Remember, an engagement range is an area of just a few feet, close enough to strike with a melee weapon or whisper.  Engagements really should not contain more than 5 or 6 people at most. In this "engagement area" opponents are moving and maneuvering, swinging weapons, etc.

I like to envision a circle, centered at the center of the engagement, with a radius of ~3 feet, so about 6 feet in diameter (give or take, of course).  Anyone who can fit in or close to that area could be considered as part of that engagement.

If you consider it with a grid in mind, I would look at it like an area of 9 squares (ie a center "target" square, with all the surrounding squares). I also envision WFRP combat being more fluid and dynamic, with opponents needing more room than a single "square" to swing their weapons, avoid attacks, etc. Thus, each person in an engagement needs about "2 squares".

As another option, use a stand or a token to represent "the engagement". All standups that can touch this token are involved in that engagement. You should be able to get 4-6 standups touching it, depending on the size used to represent "the engagement".

I think it just comes down to the control that the GM has. While the rules do not specifically limit the size of an engagement, the GM is well within their right to do so. A GM probably should take control, or, as you mentioned, some things can get pretty outrageous.

 



#15 Sebashaw

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 06:34 AM

borithan said:

1)Why is it a problem?

2)claiming it is better, rather than just different, irritates me.

 

1) Because to me a good game is a game I can play RAW so, if one of 2 system is better, why are there both?

2) I was joking.



#16 Gallows

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 10:44 PM

dvang said:

That said some of the cards targeting engagements can get real silly, because we have had engagements of 20 total stand ups sometimes and a blunderbus can hit them all in one go. You'll house rule that of course, but again with a grid this just becomes instantly simple and above all has some consistency.

Unless you are facing a dozen small rats or dogs, why on earth would you (as the GM) allow a single engagement with 20 participants? That is obviously not really possible physically, and the GM should have broken that engagement up into about 3-4 separate engagements. Remember, an engagement range is an area of just a few feet, close enough to strike with a melee weapon or whisper.  Engagements really should not contain more than 5 or 6 people at most. In this "engagement area" opponents are moving and maneuvering, swinging weapons, etc.

I like to envision a circle, centered at the center of the engagement, with a radius of ~3 feet, so about 6 feet in diameter (give or take, of course).  Anyone who can fit in or close to that area could be considered as part of that engagement.

If you consider it with a grid in mind, I would look at it like an area of 9 squares (ie a center "target" square, with all the surrounding squares). I also envision WFRP combat being more fluid and dynamic, with opponents needing more room than a single "square" to swing their weapons, avoid attacks, etc. Thus, each person in an engagement needs about "2 squares".

As another option, use a stand or a token to represent "the engagement". All standups that can touch this token are involved in that engagement. You should be able to get 4-6 standups touching it, depending on the size used to represent "the engagement".

I think it just comes down to the control that the GM has. While the rules do not specifically limit the size of an engagement, the GM is well within their right to do so. A GM probably should take control, or, as you mentioned, some things can get pretty outrageous.

 

 

Yes you can do that but there are situations where people are fighting and attacking each other so that 1 is attacking 20 that is attacking 19 that is attacking 17 that is attacking 16 etc, We have had situations where the whole combat was one big engagement because of whom attacked whom. It's just too vague for me and I just find using a grid much more straight forward and simple. :)

 

I can house rule it, but on a grid I don't have to worry about it and it's the same every time. In close quarters you may have to tell players that max 4 can be engaged at one time. On a grid I just find it easier because I can combine the description with the visual cue on the grid. :)

 

I guess that after a year of using the abstract movement system I have just given up on it. It's just not adding anything to our game and a grid is more simple and easy to use.



#17 borithan

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 12:46 AM

Sebashaw said:

 

borithan said:

 

1)Why is it a problem?

2)claiming it is better, rather than just different, irritates me.

 

 

 

1) Because to me a good game is a game I can play RAW so, if one of 2 system is better, why are there both?

2) I was joking.

 

1)RAW will usually allow the system that works better for the game, so you can freely ignore any less than ideal option.

 

2) I realised you were joking, I was just referencing my irritation at the tone in the WFRP 3e rules again.



#18 Slysher

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 08:38 PM

Honestly it seems to break down into two general groups:

1: The Tacticians prefer the grids

2: The Roleplayers prefer the gridless

Just use the system that you have the most fun with after all thats why you are playing right?  As for 5e using gridless.... I find the situation amusing.



#19 Sebashaw

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 10:42 PM

My ideal option is a game that works at the best.

Even in WHFR even without a grid you use tactics.



#20 Gallows

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 01:05 PM

Slysher said:

Honestly it seems to break down into two general groups:

1: The Tacticians prefer the grids

2: The Roleplayers prefer the gridless

Just use the system that you have the most fun with after all thats why you are playing right?  As for 5e using gridless.... I find the situation amusing.

 

Not quite. We're role players for sure, but the abstract system gives us more tactical headaches than it adds to the role playing. In fact I can't see anything it adds to role playing that grids don't. Mind you I am referring to using grids as a measurement tool to find the ranges, not playing combat as a table top strategy game.

 

But you're right, people should only really worry about one thing, when deciding what system to use... fun.






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