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16 February 2015 @ 11:19 am
Tweaking Exalted movement  
One thing I noticed in my Warlords of the Mushroom Kingdom combat test was the huge movement rates. Moving every tick does keep people engaged and allow for some interesting strategy, but it also slows combat down a lot and requires a large area griddedhexed out, especially if one of the combatants has a ranged weapon and faster movement speed. So I thought, what if I added a cost to movement?

Keep the same overall move distance per tick, but make Move a Speed 2, DV -0 action, so each Move action moves (Dexterity - Mobility Penalty) * 2 yards, and then each Dash action moves (Dexterity + 6 - Mobility Penalty) * 3 yards. I already made each hex two yards across, so the average soldier in armor will be moving one hex per movement action, or 10 hexes per Dash action. Dash has its own DV penalty and prevents any parrying at all without a stunt, and since mortals rely on parrying due to Mobility Penalties to Dodge caused by armor, Dashing probably won't be common other than in the beginning or near the end.

I'd need to end up adjudicating edge cases so there aren't any situations where leapfrogging movement prevents people who should be next to each other from actually attacking, but that probably fits under the spot ruling I made for Attacks of Opportunity for people disengaging from combat--Dexterity + Dodge (-Mobility Penalty) vs. Wits + Melee, if the defender wins they withdraw safely, if the attacker wins they get a free attack against DV 0. In a blind rout, I'd go straight for the attack and avoid the roll-off.

This is partially inspired by buying some glass beads, since I can use those to count ticks. Every time anyone does an action, draw a number of beads equal to its Speed. Every tick, toss one back in the pot. On the tick a character tosses the last one in, they act. Repeat as necessary. It could be really fiddly and annoying, but it could also offer a nice tactical feel for combat.

It's also inspired by old Action Point CRPG combat systems, which Exalted is pretty close to already.

None of this is a consideration in any game that actually has Exalted in it, because when Monkey Leap Technique and Instinct-Driven Beast Movement come into play there's no point in tracking movement on a grid at all. There's a reason Exalted 3e is going to FATE-style Zones instead of tracking movement by the yard, after all. And it's not necessary in a lot of battles where exact position at the degree the game supports isn't super important, like one-on-one duels. But for a game where the combatants aren't jumping all around the map all the time, I think this has a lot of potential.

This might call for more testing!
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