Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
sidescroller

Range bands--any worked example from FFG?

Recommended Posts

26 minutes ago, mouthymerc said:

 

  • The dragon moves down the road. He makes a fitness roll successfully and is able to move 3 range bands away from the unicorn. He is still 4 bands from the goblins in the field, as was determined at the beginning of the encounter. 

It sound like you are saying that moving with respect to one character never affects your range to another? Apart from anything else, that makes no narrative or physical sense. 

If the unicorn was at one range band from the dragon, and the goblins at range four from either before the goblins advance three range bands towards the unicorn, you now have a situation that cannot physically work (goblins in Melee with the unicorn but at bow range to the dragon, whilst the dragon and unicorn are within sword-length of each other) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, mouthymerc said:

They did the same with the Star Wars boxes. Some people like visuals. 

Sure, but given the movement rules they can only confuse players - we're stuck with a mish-mash of narrative and physical, and seem to have the worst of both worlds, 

It's kind of depressing to read the playtest movement thread, and see that FFG seem to have added nothing to the LtP set to clear anything up for new players - it doesn't bode well for the full rules... 

I'm fairly new here, do we see much of FFG staff on the forums?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sometimes movement doesn't affect your relative distance. If the goblins are at range 4 from the unicorn and dragon and the dragon moves away 3 bands along the road that is not that far. He would still be in bow shot. If they are going to move up on the characters but split into two groups then you only need to concern yourself with how each group interacts with each character.

I understand that tactical players can misstep because they are used to more concrete information. But the game is more about telling fun stories than tactical combat.

I am more confused about why the goblins would move up. Do they not have bows? The entangling terrain would give them advantage in melee due to their sure-footedness. They would be more likely to shoot at the unicorn and then the dragon if he didn't approach.

Edited by mouthymerc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, gareth_lazelle said:

I'm fairly new here, do we see much of FFG staff on the forums?

If Star Wars is any indication then no they are not actively on here partaking in conversations. They do follow them though, to a certain extent. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll admit I used to have a big problem with the range bands. As in I couldn't grasp them and how the heck they were supposed to be useful. I ran Star Wars for 2 years and it took a few months before I had that "Aha" moment that sometimes happens. So if you don't get it, know you are not alone. But after i grasped it I find it works insanely well and I no longer have to think about it. I even ran 3rd ed Warhammer for a year and a half afterwards and had no problems with showing new players how it worked. YMMV but I found that my biggest problem was conceptualizing how far a character moves if they move 1, 2, or more range bands. I saw a post in that other thread with a weird ruler where the person moved 2 range bands and it looked like they hardly moved at all so how the **** does that translate into moving within spear range?! And that was exactly my problem. But then I mentally turned the ruler around, and suddenly the moving character was going places! (Until they got close enough to their target that they had to be a little more careful.) Basically don't think about how far the acting character is moving, instead think about how far they are becoming from the target they are moving toward/around. It seems like the same thing but that perception changes a lot somehow. It's like that old adage where you climb halfway up a ladder. And then you climb halfway again. Are you at the top? No, you are only 75% up. But you moved "halfway" both times, and a ladder only has 2 halves so why are you not at the top? Because "halfway" means different things based on your perception. Does that make sense? I'm probably rambling at this point.

NOT-> The bandit is 4 range bands away from me and I move 2, so now i am 2 range bands from my target and 2 range bands from my shugenja that I left behind.

INSTEAD -> My bushi is 4 range bands from the bandit. I move 2 range bands to be within spear range of the bandit. Since I'm so close to the bandit now I'm around throwing distance (maybe bow shot) from my shugenja so range 3 (or 4).

If not, have you looked in the beta updates to see how they translated it into the grid map? I hate squares and much prefer hexes (because, you know, diagonals), but it helped my concept of where they were going with this since it is a little different from the others (0 range bands away?). 

 

The only other thing I have to say is that GM fiat shouldn't really exist in this edition. The goal is to make it more of a collaborative process so the players and gm should be working together to make the story interesting. I know that's some "in a perfect world" B.S. and not every group is the same but it really does work. Happy gaming!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, mouthymerc said:

I understand that tactical players can misstep because they are used to more concrete information. But the game is more about telling fun stories than tactical combat.

1

To be acutely honest here, working with Range Bands do give away strong "tactical combat like" vibes. It is, like, tactical abstract combat or something. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, mouthymerc said:

. If they are going to move up on the characters but split into two groups then you only need to concern yourself with how each group interacts with each character.

Sure, and that's a lot of relationships to keep track of - potentially six just in the simple example I gave, 

As I noted above, in a game with four players and four enemy groups there are potentially 7! = 28 relationships to track! How that is simpler than a scattering of tokens on the tabletop and a ruler I'm at a loss to say... 

Quote

I am more confused about why the goblins would move up. Do they not have bows? The entangling terrain would give them advantage in melee due to their sure-footedness. They would be more likely to shoot at the unicorn and then the dragon if he didn't approach

Also as noted above, it doesn't really matter - if you'll excuse me for saying so, you're just looking for excuses to simplify the combat in order to eliminate the question I'm trying to get answered (I'm not looking for tactical advice, I'm looking for an explanation of the movement rules) 

You're going to have to accept that at some point most games are going to include more than one clump of bad guys, and the rules for movement are very unclear on how to handle that. 

I will at least agree that the rules for movement work if both sides move as one clump (but if nothing else, the fall of initiative will quickly break the PCs up into smaller units). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, gareth_lazelle said:

Sure, and that's a lot of relationships to keep track of - potentially six just in the simple example I gave, 

As I noted above, in a game with four players and four enemy groups there are potentially 7! = 28 relationships to track! How that is simpler than a scattering of tokens on the tabletop and a ruler I'm at a loss to say... 

I will at least agree that the rules for movement work if both sides move as one clump (but if nothing else, the fall of initiative will quickly break the PCs up into smaller units). 

The only relationships you need to track are the ones that are actively interacting with each other. 

Say the unicorn in your example decided to shoot arrows at the goblins moving to engage the dragon instead of the group moving up on him. They are at bow shot range so that is their range.

You seem very tactically inclined, but with range bands you just need to be generally aware. So do your players. This shouldn't all fall on you. Players need to be aware of who they want to interact with, if anyone. This is a collaborative game. 

And not to worry, it's the internet. I have very thick skin. 

Edited by mouthymerc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not a very experienced GM in FFG RPGs, I have GMd a little Star Wars and some Genesys. However, I am overall probably quite an experienced GM on systems ranging from very tactical (SPI's DragonQuest back in the day, anyone? C&S all editions, even Phoenix Command) through in more recent years to things like Fate, Cortex Plus etc. 

 

Anyway, none of that really matters, just wanted to point out I do not speak with much authority as far as FFG RPGs go. However, I DO REALLY like the more abstract range concept, and so I thought it might just be helpful for those struggling, if I mentioned how I have done it... there is no magic sauce here, so I offer this with all humility...

 

So... first things first...  in our group, on all matters, the table decides. But the GM is chair of the table with arguably a casting vote if required. Normally the way this works in practise is that the GM typically expresses an opinion, and in reality that is normally accepted. But the right for the table to disagree does exist, and does happen.

Anyway, I normally sketch a map of the scene, with an indication of the vicinity each  of the foes are in and the PCs are in. I also give an indication of rough scale... what would short and medium look like roughly on this map (Star Wars and FFG terms.. In Lot5R I might show Throw and Bow range indications. I consider Spear, Melee and Hand to be variations of Engaged.)

 

When a character moves, we indicate the new vicinity they are now in, and we agree the range to any other characters we are particularly interested in. So if a PC moves from Bow to Spear for a particular foe, we look at the map and decide what that means for any other 'figures' they particularly want to know about. This has never felt anything other than obvious and easy. You COULD do this with strict distances but we just find this ... less book keeping and easy. I do NOT keep a matrix of distances from every figure to very other.. we just use a coarsely drawn sketch of the scene, and rough indications of vicinities figures are in. I guess you could even use counters for this!... Of course other tables may vary, but that is how we do it, and it has always felt really easy. For Lot5R, I anticipate the same. But I would handle Spear, Melee and Hand as variations of Engaged.. so less about notable movements on the map, and more about engagement with one or more specific foes...

 

Anyway, that is how we do it... it may or may not help... one final comment... I had to go through a process of 'letting go of detail' some years ago on this sort of stuff, especially when I first started using Fate, Cortex and similar... in fact moving to FFG systems is actually a slight return to crunch for me!.

Edited by DavidJDance
spelling

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Range Bands are a relic from Warhammer Fantasy 3rd RPG. 

There, you had to place little tokens between character miniatures to show how many range bands were between them.

 

That is exactly how i play the beginner box. I use the little blossom tokens from the l5r lcg and put them between character tokens. 1 blossom token for range band 1, 2 for range band 2, etc. When you put minions in groups, you can even measure the groups range bands relative to all player characters, using that system.

Edited by Siepermann

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Corg Ironside said:

NOT-> The bandit is 4 range bands away from me and I move 2, so now i am 2 range bands from my target and 2 range bands from my shugenja that I left behind.

INSTEAD -> My bushi is 4 range bands from the bandit. I move 2 range bands to be within spear range of the bandit. Since I'm so close to the bandit now I'm around throwing distance (maybe bow shot) from my shugenja so range 3 (or 4).

Seriously, I understand all that.
The "good" reading you advise is the first reading I got, the one I still have, and the one that makes no sense at all.

Problem is, at the end of the day, someone has to decide that the bushi and shugenja are too far appart just because it makes sense. "He was far away, you moved close to him, so ended up far from were you started" is totally sound and fine.
But what makes even more sense, is either:
 - to not use those  bands and go full narrative. (as everyone at the table can agree to get rid of numbers)
 - to not use those bands and go full tactical. (as everyone at the table can equally  agree use more precise and reliable numbers)
Why bother with some clunky in-between mechanics that you sometimes use, sometimes don't, and always end up overruling with fiat and common sense ?

If that is really how they are supposed to be used, I see them as utter failure to achieve anything but a headache.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow. I miss a day, and this just blows up with fun.

On 8/14/2018 at 1:50 PM, AtoMaki said:

With the above example I want to clarify one thing: if Bushi A moves one range closer to Bandit 2 then he will not necessarily get into Range 0  with Bandit 1, the choice is up to the player, essentially. This was a prevalent source of confusion in our games, and we found that re-calculating relative distances after each move is a sort of a must. 

Correct. And there are great reasons to go to 0 (No Katana, anyone?). 

On 8/15/2018 at 2:24 AM, gareth_lazelle said:

Thanks for the response KveldUlfr, can I just point out that your example avoids a lot of the move obvious sources of confusion because of the nature of the engagement,

Some examples that might help you understand the nature of my confusion:

1: There are foes at range 4 in front of me and range 2 behind me. If I move one range band towards one of the groups of foes, how does it impact the range to the other? This is especially of interest as my movement distance seems to depend upon which group of foes I choose as the focus of my movement!

2: There are a group of foes at range 2 in front of me and another more important foe at range 3, I want to move towards the further target - how does this impact on my range to the closer target? Because of the longer movement distance can this be abused to enter melee?

3: An encounter I ran during the playtest period - the players (a unicorn and a dragon in this case) are on a road (open terrain) which emerges from some woods (concealing terrain) into paddy fields (entangling terrain, though the road continues to cut through the fields towards a village). A group of a dozen goblins are harassing peasants a little way off the road in the fields, say 30 meters off the road and a hundred meters or so away, but upon seeing the players they split up - one group moves straight towards the players through the field whilst the other heads straight for the road and then turns towards the players. The players, being players, also split up - the unicorn hangs back on the treeline and uses his bow whilst the dragon advances towards the group in the fields - how do you assess who is in what terrain, and relative positioning between all four "units" (that's potentially six distance measurements to track - and all can be important depending upon which talents the players have access to, abilities with areas of effect, etc).

Also, how do you handle movement that isn't directly towards or away from a target (like the goblins moving towards the road)?

It's worth adding that adding more units geometrically increases the number of distances to keep track of! (A fifth unit adds four more measurements, and a sixth adds another five! - a typical player group of four players with an equal number of enemies may have as many as 7! = 28 ranges to keep track of...

--

As I said, Star Wars had a lot of the same problems (I only read Edge of the Empire, so I guess some of the other books might offer some clarity). In our games though, most combat was ranged - so this was a lot less of an issue. L5R has a lot of melee combat, and there a variety of weapons with different lengths (spear vs katana vs unarmed) - keeping track of positions is a lot more critical than it is in SW where you can mostly get away with fudging it.

You are welcome, but my example was just a quick overview because no one really put out a lot of concrete examples at the time, and it was just a quick explanation.
So, range bands works for me because I am used to defining narrative space. I work just fine with grids, distances, zones, and a dozen other types of rpg movement. Range bands are just that - you do not necessarily cross the same amount of distance when you close in or move away from an armed opponent. 

Range bands effect everything. Mechanically, however, range bands only need to be considered when a person is moving or acting with a goal, and there are only ever two real points that need to be considered in that moment. Where one begin, and where one ends. You can move 3 range bands towards someone, but still be in the same range band when someone further off considers you. Range bands do not have to take multiple attackers into account because they are used, specifically, for an individual moment. For a tactically minded person, this can seem like a nightmare until you consider all movement is dictated by the fiction and is relative. 

Say Bushi A and Bushi B are fighting each other at sword distance. Bushi C approaches Bushi A from Behind and also gets in sword distance. That couls mean he is within sword distance to Bushi B.... or it could mean he is within Spear distance. 

Hence why some people will use markers, and other people will still be fine with how the narrative is described.

How would I handle movement that is nether towards or away from a target? Then they did not change range bands... or perhaps they did if they crossed at an angle. 

But if I tell my Bushi player that he is in throwing distance, and he tells me he wants to get in closer to strike with his spear... well, that's a pretty easy solution.

So, to answer your questions:

1. Your narrative movement distance can change. If someone is at range 2, and you move towards them to range 1 or even 0, you have moved a slight distance. You'd still be at range 4. However, if you ran away from the range 2 towards the range 4, closing that distance, then yes, you would then be at a longer range for one, and a shorter range for the other. So 2<--0---->4 can become 1<-0---->4 or 4<----0-->2 depending on how you move.

2. I do not know what you mean by abused to enter Melee - because if you move towards a target to get to another target, then yes, on their turn, they might strike at you if you are literally moving within sword reach of them. But this game doesn't have the same threat of some games. Are you in sword range? Then yes, you can be struck when a turn comes up. On the other hand, if they are 'in front' but off to the side, then while you may get closer to them, you may stay within spear range as you close the distance to the other. Define where the positions are, and pay attention to the narrative impact.

3. So, how I would handle it, is to set up some initial idea of distances. Okay, lets say they are at range band 4 initially. The goblins split, one band running towards the players through the field, closing the range band by 1. The other group splits off, taking the longer way, maintaining distance for now. So, we currently have two groups, one at 3 and one at 4. The Unicorn, hanging back, maintains distance and lets fly towards the group at range band 4. The dragon decides to close the distance on the ones at throwing distance. He decides to move a single range band and ready himself, moving into spear range, but not pushing himself into sword range yet. He'll leave that to them. At this point, the question becomes, if they close in on him, a couple meters, does it change the fact that they are at throwing distance to the unicorn? Maybe. It's a narrative range. One could say closing in on the Dragon like a pile of wild animals brings them closer, but with just a couple of meters, I'd be likely to say they are still in throwing range from the Unicorn. So, when they finish with the Dragon, the unicorn still has a tiny bit of breathing room. But either way, next turn, the goblins on the road are going to charge from bow range to spear range, so he'll need to worry about that.

Does this involve GM Fiat? Or Group Consensus? To an extent. What it really requires is narrative buy in and the desire to tell a fun story. It adds a little more granularity of movement over zones that Fate and Conan use - which, if you are not familiar (very simplified) state you can act on anything melee in the same zone as you, but require ranged to hit outside your zone, and movement within that zone is free and chaotic.

On 8/15/2018 at 3:23 AM, Exarkfr said:

@KveldUlfr

This example works because:
 - it's one dimension
 - with each camp on their own side
 - and individuals from each camp not interacting with each other

 

 

EDIT:
Here is another thread on range bands from Beta

Literally any movement, and any range comparison, whether using range bands or range increments or zones is a one dimensional thing.
Also, remember that anything above volley range (Sight, etc) also requires narrative style movement. I.E. they won't be used in combat situations. 
That leaves, for most people, the troubling aspect of Bow and Volley ranges, Specifically moving from a Volley range into Bow range in a turn, etc. And for some people, that might be too much. So far, in games I have played, people have been happy.
 

18 hours ago, AtoMaki said:

No, because character positioning remains constant despite the Range Bands disappearing. 

It works, it just has a tendency to be a really tiresome mechanic when you have to recalculate your Range Bands for the ninth time in two turns. Personally, I'm more of a fan of the Combat Zones mentioned above, but that mechanic would drive the tactical-minded players insane :lol: !

Combat Zones tend to make grid lovers go crazy, 'tis true. Heh. 

17 hours ago, Exarkfr said:

The more you post, the less I understand.
Sincerely. ?

Why use range bands at all, then ?
And not distance ?
Why use a map for position, and then abstract distances ?

 

Range bands are presented as a way to "handles the concept of distance between two people or objects abstractly [...]. Range bands are a set of numbered, approximate distances that can be used to define spatial relationships between two points when that information is needed."

It all rings like it is used to determine positions and distances.

 

 

 

Concrete situation:
Shugenja (S) and spear-wielding Yojimbo (Y) are walking along a road, side by side.
Bandit (B) with a bow, some 50 meters away, asks for their koku.

Do you use range bands ?
Like S and Y are range 0 from each other, and range 4 from B ?

Yojimbo decides to move closer to Bandit and maneuvers for extra move .

Do you use range bands ?
Like distance between Y and B is reduced to 2 ? 3 ?
What's the distance now between Y and S ?

Shugenja wants to cast Power of the Earth Dragon (range 0-2) on Yojimbo. Can they ?

 

If I take a piece of paper and write some distances on it, changing them as people move, it works perfectly.
If I use range bands, it doesn't work at all. Something doesn't click.
I don't see the point of those rules.
They are neither tactical, nor abstract. Just some weird in-between design concept thrown around.

Concrete Example Answers from me:

Sure. But I'd just say they were at bow range. 
S and Y are likely range 1 from each other. Range 0 means touching, pretty much, and it is an impolite range, even among friends.
Because the Yojimbo is closing in first, moving from 4 to 2 with the maneuver (and possibly closer should he decide to roll), then yes, the Shugenja would need to close in a bit to use the Power.

Think of it without range bands for a second. Think of it in the narrative. Okay, the Bandit has met them. He has threatened them, and the Yojimbo leaps into action first, rushing forward, leaping out of arms reach, and past the read of even a yari. The Shigenja growls slightly. He had intended to ask the Kami close by to help his companion, but he knows how far the prayer tends to work. So, he leaps after his Yojimbo, not quite as fast, muttering his prayer as he goes.

They are not tactical. They are narrative abstract.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It sounds like the range bands are not a replacement for a grid map, the replacement for the grid map is just having a free form map, whether physical or mental, and the range bands are just reach/range and movement speed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, HamHamJ2 said:

It sounds like the range bands are not a replacement for a grid map, the replacement for the grid map is just having a free form map, whether physical or mental, and the range bands are just reach/range and movement speed.

Depends. Even the beta document says some people will need to use different methods.

 

I personally tend to use TotM for most things, but I will pull out chits for positioning if needed. A lot of the time it is not needed. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did some more thinking: 

The game forgets range bands

With range bands, sometimes the game generates specific game information. Example: A bushi is 4 range bands away from a bandit. Bushi moves 2 range bands towards the bandit, and is now 2 range bands away. Range 2 isn't a specific measurement, but it's a specific piece of game information. 

But after generating that information, the game "forgets" that information. Example: Someone moving an angle. There's not a good way to track non-right angle movement with range bands and be sure that you're keeping the range bands consistent. This is where people chime in "Oh, you just use common sense to re-establish range bands". 

The problem with this dynamic is that the game needs the specific information it generated, but the game doesn't have a way to edit that information when it needs to change. So you have to compensate for the game. This gets tricky because, like @AtoMaki has pointed out, certain techniques operate on specific range bands.

More tactical games, like D&D*, don't suffer from this problem in combat space; it keeps the game information tied to specific measurements, grids on a map (which represent some number of feet, can't recall). More narrative games, like Fate*, also don't suffer this problem, because they don't lose track of the game information they generate (you're in the zone you're in until you move zones). 

*I might be wrong. Been a long time since I played those games. 

Are range bands narrative?

Some argue that since range bands are narrative, we shouldn't worry too much about them.

Except I don't think they're narrative. Narrative mechanics model a story. Simulation mechanics model a world. Range bands--while fuzzy--tie you to specific areas. Not points, for sure, but areas. 

Narrative combat rules would put you in dramatically interesting/appropriate spots and fudge the specific distances. They'd support the table in building a fun/interesting story, like @mouthymerc said, instead of trying to identify where you are in space.

I just don't see how range bands are narrative. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, KveldUlfr said:

They are not tactical. They are narrative abstract.

They are neither.

They'd need to be tactical so that you know whether you are in the right range for your numerous techniques that require a precise range. (being at Range 2 when your weapon is Range 1 requires tactical enough rules)

Or be totally narrative by being like "You are too far away to get to the target that round while staying under cover, unless you can pass a good athletic check. But if you fail, you are a nice target in the open. Wanna try ?".

 

Range bands are certainly not abstract, as they are a precise, concrete number. And you have a limited amount of options each turn to alter that number. So, not abstract.
But I'm re-hashing what I said in the other threads, where we never manage to get to a satisfying conclusion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Exarkfr said:

But I'm re-hashing what I said in the other threads, where we never manage to get to a satisfying conclusion.

And you will probably never get a consensus. Not a big deal. Never met a game that appealed to everyone.

Personally I enjoy the range bands. In Star Wars, which favours ranged combat, they work well for my group. LotFR tends to favour melee, as it should, so has more close in range bands, thus allowing maneuvering and some tactical thought. In Star Wars you are either engaged in melee or not. Actual concrete distances come in second behind fun stories. No need to worry about diagonal movement or exact positioning,  just maneuvering for the best position in a more abstract form.

There was a learning curve for some when Star Wars came out, I  imagine there will be one here too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Exarkfr said:

Range bands are certainly not abstract, as they are a precise, concrete number. And you have a limited amount of options each turn to alter that number. So, not abstract.
But I'm re-hashing what I said in the other threads, where we never manage to get to a satisfying conclusion.

I forget that a lot of people do not use abstract like I do, which is my problem, not yours. When I talk about abstraction in game terms, I use it the same way as I do when talking about abstraction in my job, which is programming.

For me, an abstraction is removing everything but the most relevant of data. For me, the range bands are like an abstract class for narrative movement. No, it is not 100 percent narrative. For me it is an abstract narrative class, which will be inherited by several other classes, and has functions of it's own, and will be called by other functions.

I do agree, however, that you may never get to a satisfying conclusion. I, myself, am satisfied (Not 100 percent thrilled, but I like it well enough), which is good, as it is the current rule - as I understand it. If I find myself not satisfied with a rule, however, that is where I bring in rulings. I hope you can find a way to make it work for your table, or find an acceptable alternate rule. I have a feeling some people will be house ruling or stripping lots of little things - but that is the nature of these things. Heh.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, KveldUlfr said:

, I use it the same way as I do when talking about abstraction in my job, which is programming.

Hah, my day job is land surveyor - I like maps ?, that may be my problem... 

Quote

 which is good, as it is the current rule - as I understand it.

And that's why this thread was opened, because we're not 100% sure what the writers did intend, and they don't seem too keen on clarifying. 

Quote

have a feeling some people will be house ruling or stripping lots of little things - but that is the nature of these things. Heh.

It may come down to that, but I'd rather know how it is intended to work before I make that choice. 

A few people here seem to have made it work for them, but no one seems sure how it's supposed to work, 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As I stated before, if this is anything like the Star Wars game, very few, if any, direct responses will be forthcoming from FFG personnel.

2 hours ago, gareth_lazelle said:

A few people here seem to have made it work for them, but no one seems sure how it's supposed to work, 

No I am pretty sure I know how it's supposed to work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alrighty, I don't like to complain about stuff without proposing an alternative, and I finally had some time to sit down and think of something. I ... think it works, but please poke holes, if you care to and find them. 

It's long, but it's much simpler than a huge wall of text implies. 

Here are the design goals:

  1. It can be used with or without a map or tokens
  2. It keeps ranges consistent--it doesn't "forget" information; when a character changes position, you know their current range from everyone else--no need to estimate, eyeball it, etc. 
  3. It uses the same range values as range bands, so it can be used consistently with the beginner game (and beta)--no need to overhaul the whole system

 

Basic idea: this system divides the combat space into narrative Zones, like Fate, but measures ranges using the same values as normal. Ranges 0-2 are contained in 1 Zone. Range 3 is an adjacent Zone. Range 4 is beyond range 3. Zones at Range 4 or 5 might be so far away that you don't want to track all the zones in between, which is fine. Moving to different Ranges ends up taking roughly the same number of movements as the normal Range Band system (or, as many as the normal Range Band system intended)

For simplicity, let's say zones are organized into a square grid. They don't have to be. They can be funky shapes. But a square grid will make it easy to explain.  

Zone group = any set of Zones that are continuous/adjacent to each other. If Zone A is adjacent to Zone B, and Zone B is adjacent to Zone C, then they comprise Zone Group ABC. 

Ranges 0-2 = one Zone: By default, everyone in a Zone is Range 2 away from each other, unless they move closer

  • Movement is the same: Any time you could move a range band, you could move one range closer or farther away from another character. Example: Lion is at range 2 from Crane (default), and uses their free move to move to range 1 of Crane and strike. 
  • Transitive property of ranges 0-2: everyone who is of equal range from you is equal of range from each other. This rule helps keep ranges consistent and helps prevent the system from "forgetting" ranges between characters. 
    • Everyone at Range 2 of you is at Range 2 of each other
    • Everyone at Range 1 of you is at Range 1 of each other.
    • Everyone at Range 0 of you is at Range 0 of each other.

Range 3 = adjacent or diagonal zones: everyone who is a zone adjacent to or diagonal from yours is at Range 3 

  • Movement is the same: When you are Range 2 away from everyone in your zone, you can move one range into an adjacent or diagonal zone. Example: Dragon is at Range 0 from Lion. He uses his free move to get away from the lion. He is now at Range 1 from the lion. He uses the maneuver action and makes his Fitness check, so he moves to Range 2 from the Lion, and he can now move into an adjacent zone (and will be range 2 away from everyone there). 

Range 4 = consecutive zone beyond Range 3, and most distant/disconnected zones

  • Range 4 within Zone Group: any Zones in your Zone Group that are not adjacent or diagonal from your zone are at Range 4. In other words, if there's one (or more) Zones between your zone and another Zone, it is at Range 4. (In the example Zone Group ABC above, Zone A is Range 4 from Zone Group C). 
    • Movement is the same. Example: Unicorn is at Range 0 from Crane. Unicorn uses their free movement to get away from Crane, and is now at Range 1 from Crane. Unicorn uses the maneuver action, and makes the Fitness check with 4 successes; Unicorn moves to Range 2 of the Crane, then into an adjacent/diagonal Zone, and then into a Zone adjacent/diagonal from that one. 
  • Disconnected/Distant Zones: Range Band 4 is big, so Range 4 is where we start using narrative distances. You might say one Zone is Range 4 from another without identifying all the Zones in between. 
    • Example: say the party is ambushed by a group of bandits. Some start in an adjacent zone, but some are archers, and they're a ways down the road. Instead of figuring out how many zones are between the players and the archers, just note the general direction and that the archers' Zone is Range 4 from the players' zone
    • Transitive property of Range 4 for disconnected Zones and Zone groups: if one Zone in a Zone Group is Range 4 away from a Zone in a different range group, then all Zones in each group are Range 4 away from all Zones in the other group. Example: in the above bandit scenario, the archers' Zone is Range 4 away from the players' Zone, which means it's also Range 4 away from the close bandits' zone, because it is adjacent to the players' zone. 
    • Movement is similar, not the same: if you are in a Zone on the edge of your Zone Group, and you want to move to a distant/disconnected zone that is at Range 4, just move one Range (as if you were moving adjacent). Example: In the above scenario, Dragon wants to head straight for the archers, which is disconnected from his Zone Group. He uses his free action to move into the adjacent Zone with the bandits. He then takes the maneuver action, making his Fitness check with 6 successes (meaning he can move Ranges 3 more times). Since the bandits' zone was on the edge of the Zone Group, he can cross the fuzzy narrative distance into the archers' Zone. He then moves into Range 1 of one of the bandits, and then closes into Range 0. He's ready for some serious punching.
      • Here, the dragon made the same number of movements as moving across Range Bands from Range 4 to Range 0.
    • Example, continued: one of the bandits who started close to the players wants to pursue the Dragon. He's wielding a spear, and he's already on an edge Zone, so he can simply use his free move to go to the archers' zone, followed by a Strike action agains the Dragon. 
      • This example shows that characters in edge Zones get to move towards an enemy at Range 4 with one less movement than in the normal rules. 

Range 5 = bigger Range 4: Range 5 works pretty much the same as Range 4, but might encompass more Zone Groups. I don't recommend placing Zones farther apart than Range 5. I mean I guess you can if you hate yourself. Probably takes more bookkeeping.

  • Moving to Range 5: Range 5 is so big that stuff is really spread out. To move to a Zone that is Range 5 away from a Zone at the edge of your Zone Group, it requires moving two ranges (instead of one, like for Range 4). Example: A Lion wants charge a bandit Scout who's standing quite far away, at Range 5. It's just the two of them in the scene, so each Zone Group is only 1 zone (so they're both in edge Zones). The Lion must use his free move and the maneuver action to enter the Zone of the bandit. 
  • Transitive property of Range 5 for disconnected Zones and Zone groups: Similar to the Transitive property of Range 4, if one Zone in a Zone Group is Range 5 away from a Zone in a different range group, then all Zones in each group are Range 5 away from all Zones in the other group.

 

 

An example of Zone Layout. Ranges are given from the perspective of the zone marked "[0-2]".

[3]   [3]   [3]

[3]  [0-2] [3] 

[3]   [3]   [3]

[4]   [4]   [4]

       

        [4]

Edited by sidescroller
Changing the formatting so it's better on mobile

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Meh... I can learn to accept custom dice but I really really hate range bands. It's confusing and, if your combat is mainly "narrative" (not using minis, not caring much about positions/movement), you can make that up and its not important at all ("the goblins will take... umm... 2 turns to get to you guys"). Didnt like them in the Fantasy RPG 3rd Edition and certainly not going to use them here.

Despite most of my combat scenes while dming L5R would be called "narrative" (I dont pull out minis) when there's a lot of people involved I like tactical combat for clarity. So I guess I will have to tweak the rules. Probably will set a standard walk/run pace in spaces/squares/hexes that will be modified by your stance and will have to convert all ranges for weapons/spells I guess. Wish they had given us a tactical movement system as an alternative. It leaves a bad taste when I get a new system and I start having to tweak it from the start.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...