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Multi-Group Ranged Player/GM Aid


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#1 Jedi-Scoundrel

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 06:46 AM

 I put together an aid for use by players and GMs.  The purpose is to more easily track the relative range bands for multiple groups of combatants.  It can be found here.

The hexagon grid allows different groups to be represented with any inter-group distance (same hex = engaged; 1 hex distant = short; 2 hex distant = medium; etc.)  For quick reference I also put maneuver costs for moving between the different range bands, base ranged attack difficulties, as well as a summary chart of various combat dice pool modifiers.

Note that this is not intended to be a map.  The ranges are still abstract constructs.  However, this provides a graphical means by which the relative ranges can be tracked so everyone at the table can see who's where.  This original version is in 1/2 in hexes, to be used by writing with pencil (or laminate it and use wet or dry erase markers).  It could be used with miniatures if it's printed larger (say x4 such that each hex is 2 in).  So for those who are disappointed by no miniatures with the EoE system, this would provide the opportunity to at least have the miniatures at the table representing your character.



#2 gribble

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 01:05 PM

Nice work. A couple of things I picked up on:

Firstly, it might be better to make the long range band 2 hexes wide, that each cost one hex to move through, rather than 1 hex that costs two, otherwise it's not so easy to represent a combat with multiple groups at different range bands from each other - as it stands the distances are all relative to the PCs (or whatever is in the centre), not to each other…

Secondly, there is one rules error - the assist action isn't melee only - it applies to any check, but the assisting character needs to be engaged with the ally that they are assisting.


Star Wars Edge of the Empire (Beta test) resources

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#3 Jedi-Scoundrel

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 02:58 PM

Making the long range a 2 hex band is an interesting idea.  I suppose that it could be useful if a group wants to pay attention to position within the band, but I'm not sure if the rules follow that way.  Specifically, I'm not sure if you can spread the maneuvers over multiple turns; it was my understanding that they had to be spent in the same turn (though I may be wrong).

Regarding the Assist action, I guess when I read that the ally character had to be engaged, I assumed that meant it would be melee only - and that they would have to be engaged with the opponent.  Is there a clarification anywhere that the assisting character needs to be engaged with the ally that they're assisting?

In any case, thanks for the comments and review!



#4 gribble

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 03:44 PM

Jedi-Scoundrel said:

Specifically, I'm not sure if you can spread the maneuvers over multiple turns; it was my understanding that they had to be spent in the same turn (though I may be wrong).

The truth appears to be somewhere in the middle, which might complicate things. The beta rulebook says (p130-131): "When covering long distances, multiple maneuvers do not have to be performed on the same turn, but the character is not considered to be in the new range increment until all required maneuvers have been performed."

I'm not sure if having separate hexes would make that easier or harder to keep track of…

Jedi-Scoundrel said:

 Is there a clarification anywhere that the assisting character needs to be engaged with the ally that they're assisting?

I don't think one is needed - the rules are pretty clear on this (p130): "Performing the assist maneuver allows an engaged ally to add a [boost die] to his next check."


Star Wars Edge of the Empire (Beta test) resources

Reference Sheets | Combat Reference Sheet | Critical Cards | Talent Tree Reference

 


#5 Jedi-Scoundrel

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 03:03 AM

UPDATE:  Fixed the rules issue with Assist.



#6 Jedi-Scoundrel

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 03:08 AM

 Oh, one more thing.  One poster mentioned that the hex grid has everything relative to the center hex, and that it limits the relative ranges that can be expressed.  It's actually not intended to be used that way.  different groups/individuals can occupy any hex, with each hex distance representing an additional range band.  The depiction of range bands, etc. from the center hex is simply there as a quick-reference guide.  It doesn't mean that the center hex needs to be occupied.  With this aid, it's actually very easy to keep track of relative ranges for multiple groups.



#7 Sturn

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 03:57 AM

This is very nicely done. But (sorry) I think it may take away from the narrative intent of the combat system. It could make the players revert back to concentrating on hexes and distances instead of imagining in their head the action and distances. This is one step back to actually drawing out a map with hexes upon it.

A great help, I agree, for the GM. Hide it behind a GM screen with your own markers for the participants?

There were some similar aids made for FFG's Warhammer that uses the same style of narrative combat. One was a hex grid similar to this one if I recall correctly. Some folks playing Warhammer used home-made over-sized location cards (purchased ones were playing card sized) to place participant markers upon. Ranges were kept track of by placing Engaged markers adjacent each other, Short on the location card, Medium on the edge of the card, Long just off the card, etc. Your hexes have the advantage of partially solving the problem involving ranges between participants at the same range band (as in not relative to the center of action), but again I'm afraid the hexes could take away from the narrative imagination.



#8 gribble

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 10:32 AM

Jedi-Scoundrel said:

 Oh, one more thing.  One poster mentioned that the hex grid has everything relative to the center hex, and that it limits the relative ranges that can be expressed.  It's actually not intended to be used that way.  different groups/individuals can occupy any hex, with each hex distance representing an additional range band.  

That would be me. I understand what you're trying to do there now, and it makes a lot more sense - thanks!

:)


Star Wars Edge of the Empire (Beta test) resources

Reference Sheets | Combat Reference Sheet | Critical Cards | Talent Tree Reference

 


#9 Jedi-Scoundrel

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 06:17 PM

Sturn said:

This is very nicely done. But (sorry) I think it may take away from the narrative intent of the combat system. It could make the players revert back to concentrating on hexes and distances instead of imagining in their head the action and distances. This is one step back to actually drawing out a map with hexes upon it.

A great help, I agree, for the GM. Hide it behind a GM screen with your own markers for the participants?

Thanks for the compliment.

I agree that it has the potential to detract from the narrative play of this system (which I like a great deal).  That's why I personally would not put it over any kind of map - it's not in any way intended to be a map.  I originally intended this to be exclusively a GM aid.  However, some players like miniatures, and whether on a map or not, they just like to have them there.  I've even seen players play an entire narrative game session with their miniatures sitting in front of them serving no other purpose that to enhance their imagination; many players' role-playing experiences are greatly enhanced by tactile supplements.  With an aid such as this, the miniatures would at least serve some sort of purpose.

In any case, I'm planning on using this in my next session.  I'll provide an after-action report if anyone is interested.



#10 Sturn

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 11:28 PM

Jedi-Scoundrel said:

In any case, I'm planning on using this in my next session.  I'll provide an after-action report if anyone is interested.

Please do!



#11 gribble

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 08:56 AM

So, I figured out today, while preparing for tonight's session, why this doesn't seem to work for multiple groups with one hex being one range band…

Imagine the PCs in the middle hex. Imagine an enemy two hexes immediately above them (in the hex marked Medium) and a second enemy three hexes above them (in the hex marked Long).

Now imagine the PCs moving one hex upwards (into the hex marked Short) - how many maneuvers does that cost them? If you consider the first enemy, they are moving from the Medium range band to the Short range band, which should cost one maneuver. But if you consider the second enemy, they're moving from the Long range band to the Medium range band, which should cost two maneuvers…

You'll note the same thing applies when the center hex isn't occupied - i.e.: when there are two groups in a line from another group, this issue occurs. It doesn't even necessarily have to be a straight line, that's just the simplest example.

Still a useful reference guide, but it doesn't work for tracking multiple enemies as it stands… I think there needs to be one hex per maneuver, rather than per band, to do that, as intuitively that's what should be measured - how many maneuvers away each enemy is, not how many range bands away they are.

 


Star Wars Edge of the Empire (Beta test) resources

Reference Sheets | Combat Reference Sheet | Critical Cards | Talent Tree Reference

 





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