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defendi

Tactical Grid Rules

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We tested the tactical grid rules this weekend. We've been using a tactical grid on Roll20, using pretty much a direct conversion of range bands, with me using the middle of the range band for movement when in doubt, since the beginning. We were mid-battle when the rules update came out and that changed a battle that should have been a near TPK (I designed it so that the party would need to call in reinforcements) into an easy romp. Here were the unanimous opinions of my players after the first night:

Tactical Movement:

Pretty much perfect. The movement rules were a revelation. The original rules made movement feel like every character started mired in molasses. If I placed a foe any distance from a character, the party all but sighed and gave up. They were hoping that the tactical grid rules would fix that, but they didn't dream they'd fix them so perfectly. Seriously. Don't change a thing. We LOVE them. The fact that a person with a good fitness in water stance can reliably move 12 squares had them dancing with joy.

Okay, change ONE thing. Give us diagonal movement. "But there is, diagonal movement!" you say? When all diagonals cost two, then no. No there isn't. Everyone might as well be moving down and over for every diagonal. I know you're probably trying not to be like D&D 3.5. Who cares. Be like D&D 3.5. Or be a rebel and charge two for the first square and one for the second. The point is, don't charge two.

But even at two per diagonal, they were singing your praises for movement. Roll20 has a ruler. If all else fails, I can just measure.

Ranges:

Boy. The ranges don't work at all, do they? Not a bit. There's a running joke with RPGs in my group that no game designer has ever played an actual sport. You can tell because of how many games make it impossible to throw a baseball from home to first base, which is considered an easy throw in what we call "the sports circles." We don't have rules for throwing a baseball, of course, but with the new rules, you can't shoot a bow to first base, so it's a pretty good bet you can't throw a baseball there.

However, you can run there in one round.

The thing is, ranges were fine before. I mean, not the ranges for invocations, those were a mess, but the bands themselves? Those were great. I know you were trying to make them easy to remember. I'd rather they were practical, and I needed a cheat sheet. If I need a cheat sheet for ranges on the tactical grid, that's fine.

In fact, with the movement rules, I don't need a cheat sheet, I just need to know the ranges, in squares, for any invocation or weapon. I can either write them down that way, or (better yet) you can in the descriptions. If your weapon table had an entry for ranges in bands AND in squares, and they were the same in both columns, both narrative and tactical, just pre-converted, then bam! Problem solved. With invocations and the like, you can just have the range in squares in parenthesis after the range bands. If I know the maximum range (and min for weapons), that's all I need on a tactical grid.

Invocations

My players would also kill me if I didn't lodge their complaint about how short the ranges are on every Invocation. They are very upset about it. :) if they wanted to play up close warriors, they would have played bushi. Especially with the new, functional movement rules. With most spells having a range of 3ish, very few spells reach even halfway to first base. As it were.

What are the experiences of the rest of you? Have others tested the new rules?

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There are a few ways of handling diagonal movement.

The two quick and dirty solutions are every diagonal cost 1 or every diagonal cost 2. However from your post this is not what you are looking for.

I always found the 1.5 cost (rounded down) solution kind of annoying, overall I like the 2 simplistic solutions better.

 

However... We are currently at the everything cost two, which can feel a bit clucky especially in close combat. The solution I found most compelling to use was that every character (and every projectile for that matter) can do one (1) diagonal step per turn.

Not sure if you can enjoy that but I always thought this is was the best compromize of playability and "realism".

And it actually works surprisingly well, at least from my game experience.

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