Combat with Floor Plans

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JoeCarr28
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Combat with Floor Plans

Post Sun Oct 28, 2012 6:26 am

I use MapTool for both of the games that I run and I've felt for a while now that it would be useful to have an established and consistent set of rules for grid-based combat that my players could refer to, be it with floor plans and miniatures, or using a virtual tabletop. So here's my first attempt. It's still very much a work in progress, but the core rules for movement, combat and running away are drafted. I've generally tried to stick to the Core Rules, but these have had to be extended or interpreted for certain aspects. Comments welcome.

EDIT - 1st January 2018 - Release 4 (Final). Change log:
- References to page numbers in the Core Rules have been removed as these sometimes change when the Core Rules are updated. They have been replaced with references to sections of the Core Rules (Characters, Spells, Encounter, etc.).
- Various (very) minor updates to the text.
Available to download in the Showcase.

EDIT - 1st January 2015 - Release 3. Change log:
- Page number references and monster lists updated to bring them into line with the 3rd Edition of the Core Rules.
- 'Attacks From Behind' section updated.
- Various minor updates to text and figures.

EDIT - 11th June 2013 - Release 2. Change log:
- Diagonal movement simplified.

EDIT - 21st March 2013 - Release 1. Change log:
- Section on 'Large Combatants' added.
- Final proof read.

EDIT - 17th March 2013 - Release 0.06. Change log:
- Explanatory figure for 'Attacks From Behind' added.
- Various minor typos corrected.

EDIT - 2nd February 2013 - Release 0.05. Change log:
- Text for 'Attacks From Behind' and 'Simultaneous Movement' added.
- Various minor typos corrected.

EDIT - 31st December 2012 - Release 0.04. Change log:
- Introductory "What Do I Need?" section drafted.
- dymondy2k's clarification regarding missile fire through allies added.
- Layout enhanced with several nice photos courtesy of some of the talented people at the Dragonsfoot forums.

EDIT - 4th December 2012 - Release 0.03. Change log:
- Optional movement penalties for difficult terrain or obstacles added.
- Clarification that you can move through an ally's square.
- More freedom for in-combat movement (up to half normal movement rate per round).
- Only one Parting Shot per opponent per round.
- Numerous illustrative figures/tables added.
- Overall document structure refined.
Last edited by JoeCarr28 on Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:48 am, edited 17 times in total.
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SmootRK
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Re: Combat with Floor Plans

Post Sun Oct 28, 2012 8:35 am

This is very cool... especially for those folks who are coming from 3e or later who are accustomed to a more tactical manner of playing.

I do not play with battle maps these days, nor even generally very detailed mapping at all... preferring to just describe areas and allow players some liberty with describing their actions loosely, but I can really see the value in this to bridge the different styles with more people.
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Hywaywolf
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Re: Combat with Floor Plans

Post Sun Oct 28, 2012 8:48 am

I want to make clear that if as a GM you submitted this as a houserule document I would accept it as is and say, "Great. Lets play.!" But since you are submitting this as a Basic Fantasy RPG Supplement and not just a houserule document there are a few things that I believe need to be changed to keep it more in line with the core rules.

First, nice work. With the increasing use of online tabletops like Maptool and Roll20 this is something that is really needed. You've got a good start on map based combat. I also like the use of screenshots to help explain the supplement. I am pretty much only gaming in PBP and online tabletops so I am very ready for this supplement.

I am sure there will be other additions like - What is the distance cost of getting out of a chair :) or climbing over an obstacle (bench, small boulder, bed, etc) unless that is handled by the 5' vertical/horizontal movement penalty. If so, it might be useful to add those to the supplement as examples of movement costs. Or hell, maybe do a movement cost table since stepping over a bench shouldn't cost as much as climbing over a table.

Another possible addition would be players blocking a passage or entrance. Say a PC is standing in a 5' corridor, can his allies enter his grid to pass him? I would assume yes if not in combat.

You already know one of my objections. :) The majority, if not all, of the community who posted on the thread in question agreed that the BFRPG core rules do not allow for a Parting Shot in addition to any other normal attacks that round on a Character running past someone who wasn't in melee with them at the start of the round. Your method is fine for a house rule, but I think a supplement should stick to the core rule as much as possible.

Another question is why can't a Combatant fight someone in the three squares behind them if they are not currently engaged in combat. This supplement allows for them to turn their facing in any given direction? What is preventing him/her from turning an attacking? Along the same lines, IMO to get the -2 AC penalty for attacking someone's back, that person would either have to be unaware of the back stabbers presence or currently engaged in an action they can't or won't stop (not able to turn their back on their current opponent without giving up a parting shot , picking a lock, etc.) or they are not aware of the back stabbing opponents presence. I'm interested to hear the community feeling on this.

What is the point of sidestep which only lets me move 5' when I can use my normal movement to move that 5' or all of my full movement to move half-way around without turning my back on an opponent. heck you could even use fighting withdrawal to do the same thing at half speed if you want to say that the opponent is slowing your full movement while in melee. Unless someone rules that fighting withdrawal only allows someone to back directly away from an opponent. If that's the case then they are screwed if the door isn't directly behind them. :)
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JoeCarr28
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Re: Combat with Floor Plans

Post Sun Oct 28, 2012 10:44 am

Thanks Hyway, good comments.
Hywaywolf wrote:I am sure there will be other additions like - What is the distance cost of getting out of a chair :) or climbing over an obstacle (bench, small boulder, bed, etc) unless that is handled by the 5' vertical/horizontal movement penalty. If so, it might be useful to add those to the supplement as examples of movement costs. Or hell, maybe do a movement cost table since stepping over a bench shouldn't cost as much as climbing over a table.
Yeah, I thought about this and similar things such as different movement rates for different types of terrain. In the end I decided against it for now as it would be a clear extension of the Core Rules. But it might make a good appendix or optional rule.
Hywaywolf wrote:Another possible addition would be players blocking a passage or entrance. Say a PC is standing in a 5' corridor, can his allies enter his grid to pass him? I would assume yes if not in combat.
Yes, you should be allowed to move unimpeded through an ally's square. I'll add that.
Hywaywolf wrote:You already know one of my objections. :) The majority, if not all, of the community who posted on the thread in question agreed that the BFRPG core rules do not allow for a Parting Shot in addition to any other normal attacks that round on a Character running past someone who wasn't in melee with them at the start of the round. Your method is fine for a house rule, but I think a supplement should stick to the core rule as much as possible.
I've thought about my Parting Shot rule some more and am coming round to accepting that it is too harsh on the combatant trying to escape. However, equally, what I'd like to try and achieve is a consistent ruleset that is universally applied regardless of the situation, and avoid any circumstance-specific exceptions. Two of the pillars my ruleset (which I believe are generally consistent with the Core Rules) are:

- Once two opponents are within 5' of each other (i.e. in adjacent squares) they are engaged and must abide by the rules under Defensive Movement.

- If a combatant moves out of square that is adjacent to an opponent (and not by a Sidestep or a Fighting Withdrawal), then they expose themselves to a Parting Shot.

So I maintain that you shouldn't be able to run straight past an opponent (i.e. through one of their adjacent squares) just because you weren't in melee with them at the beginning of the round and beat them to the initiative. You should run the risk of a Parting Shot. I think a good compromise might be that a combatant may only make one Parting Shot against a given opponent each round.
Hywaywolf wrote:Another question is why can't a Combatant fight someone in the three squares behind them if they are not currently engaged in combat. This supplement allows for them to turn their facing in any given direction? What is preventing him/her from turning an attacking? Along the same lines, IMO to get the -2 AC penalty for attacking someone's back, that person would either have to be unaware of the back stabbers presence or currently engaged in an action they can't or won't stop (not able to turn their back on their current opponent without giving up a parting shot , picking a lock, etc.) or they are not aware of the back stabbing opponents presence. I'm interested to hear the community feeling on this.
Not quite sure what you're getting at here. My melee rules state that, each round, a combatant in melee may make one change of facing and then attack. So, if at the start of the round an opponent was behind the combatant, the combatant could turn to face them and then attack. Nothing is preventing them from turning.

I have never interpreted "Attacking from Behind" as being the same as a Sneak Attack. I understood the Attacking from Behind bonus to stem entirely from the fact that it's much more difficult to dodge and parry an opponent that's behind you, and had nothing to do with being unaware that they're there.

Basically, if a combatant is surrounded in melee, under my rules they need to make a conscious tactical decision as to which opponents they are going to prioritise in terms of their facing. They shouldn't be allowed to spin continuously within a round so that they're facing every incoming attack head on.
Hywaywolf wrote:What is the point of sidestep which only lets me move 5' when I can use my normal movement to move that 5' or all of my full movement to move half-way around without turning my back on an opponent. heck you could even use fighting withdrawal to do the same thing at half speed if you want to say that the opponent is slowing your full movement while in melee. Unless someone rules that fighting withdrawal only allows someone to back directly away from an opponent. If that's the case then they are screwed if the door isn't directly behind them. :)
The Sidestep is an "in melee" move. I see it's main purpose as making room on the melee front - perhaps to accommodate an arriving ally. Or perhaps for some other tactical reason (e.g. moving behind cover from a missile opponent, or out of the area effect of a spell). I think a Fighting Withdrawal should take you away from combat (that is what the Core Rules suggest). The sidestep lets you stay fully engaged in combat, but make a small adjustment to your position. You couldn't use your full movement under my rules as it would lay you open to a Parting Shot. This is to avoid tactical silliness whereby combatants continuously run round the back of an opponent for an Attack from Behind.
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Hywaywolf
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Re: Combat with Floor Plans

Post Sun Oct 28, 2012 12:13 pm

JoeCarr28 wrote:Thanks Hyway, good comments.
Hywaywolf wrote:I am sure there will be other additions like - What is the distance cost of getting out of a chair :) or climbing over an obstacle (bench, small boulder, bed, etc) unless that is handled by the 5' vertical/horizontal movement penalty. If so, it might be useful to add those to the supplement as examples of movement costs. Or hell, maybe do a movement cost table since stepping over a bench shouldn't cost as much as climbing over a table.
Yeah, I thought about this and similar things such as different movement rates for different types of terrain. In the end I decided against it for now as it would be a clear extension of the Core Rules. But it might make a good appendix or optional rule. Probably just add a line like "Movement other than a straight line costs a 5' movement penalty. ie: stepping over a bench, getting out of a chair, etc"
Hywaywolf wrote:Another possible addition would be players blocking a passage or entrance. Say a PC is standing in a 5' corridor, can his allies enter his grid to pass him? I would assume yes if not in combat.
Yes, you should be allowed to move unimpeded through an ally's square. I'll add that.
Hywaywolf wrote:You already know one of my objections. :) The majority, if not all, of the community who posted on the thread in question agreed that the BFRPG core rules do not allow for a Parting Shot in addition to any other normal attacks that round on a Character running past someone who wasn't in melee with them at the start of the round. Your method is fine for a house rule, but I think a supplement should stick to the core rule as much as possible.
I've thought about my Parting Shot rule some more and am coming round to accepting that it is too harsh on the combatant trying to escape. However, equally, what I'd like to try and achieve is a consistent ruleset that is universally applied regardless of the situation, and avoid any circumstance-specific exceptions. Two of the pillars my ruleset (which I believe are generally consistent with the Core Rules) are:

- Once two opponents are within 5' of each other (i.e. in adjacent squares) they are engaged and must abide by the rules under Defensive Movement.

- If a combatant moves out of square that is adjacent to an opponent (and not by a Sidestep or a Fighting Withdrawal), then they expose themselves to a Parting Shot.

So I maintain that you shouldn't be able to run straight past an opponent (i.e. through one of their adjacent squares) just because you weren't in melee with them at the beginning of the round and beat them to the initiative. You should run the risk of a Parting Shot. I think a good compromise might be that a combatant may only make one Parting Shot against a given opponent each round.

My problem has always been with this dual use of the term parting shot - one as a rule the other as a descriptor. By rule, "Parting Shot" is only for combatants who were already in melee at the start of the round. A Parting Shot gives you your normal attack plus an attack of opportunity. When you aren't engaged prior to the round then all you should get for someone running past you is an Attack of Opportunity only and not your normal attack.
Hywaywolf wrote:Another question is why can't a Combatant fight someone in the three squares behind them if they are not currently engaged in combat. This supplement allows for them to turn their facing in any given direction? What is preventing him/her from turning an attacking? Along the same lines, IMO to get the -2 AC penalty for attacking someone's back, that person would either have to be unaware of the back stabbers presence or currently engaged in an action they can't or won't stop (not able to turn their back on their current opponent without giving up a parting shot , picking a lock, etc.) or they are not aware of the back stabbing opponents presence. I'm interested to hear the community feeling on this.
Not quite sure what you're getting at here. My melee rules state that, each round, a combatant in melee may make one change of facing and then attack. So, if at the start of the round an opponent was behind the combatant, the combatant could turn to face them and then attack. Nothing is preventing them from turning. I was referring to your Who Can I Hit With My Sword section

I have never interpreted "Attacking from Behind" as being the same as a Sneak Attack. I understood the Attacking from Behind bonus to stem entirely from the fact that it's much more difficult to dodge and parry an opponent that's behind you, and had nothing to do with being unaware that they're there. I wasn't trying to equate attacking from behind as a sneak attack. I only meant to say that the only reason an attacker should get the attack from behind is if the defender is unaware of them and thus doesn't turn around, or the defender doesn't turn around because they are currently engaged in melee and chooses not to turn around.

Basically, if a combatant is surrounded in melee, under my rules they need to make a conscious tactical decision as to which opponents they are going to prioritise in terms of their facing. They shouldn't be allowed to spin continuously within a round so that they're facing every incoming attack head on. That was what I said :)
Hywaywolf wrote:What is the point of sidestep which only lets me move 5' when I can use my normal movement to move that 5' or all of my full movement to move half-way around without turning my back on an opponent. heck you could even use fighting withdrawal to do the same thing at half speed if you want to say that the opponent is slowing your full movement while in melee. Unless someone rules that fighting withdrawal only allows someone to back directly away from an opponent. If that's the case then they are screwed if the door isn't directly behind them. :)
The Sidestep is an "in melee" move. I see it's main purpose as making room on the melee front - perhaps to accommodate an arriving ally. Or perhaps for some other tactical reason (e.g. moving behind cover from a missile opponent, or out of the area effect of a spell). I think a Fighting Withdrawal should take you away from combat (that is what the Core Rules suggest). The sidestep lets you stay fully engaged in combat, but make a small adjustment to your position. You couldn't use your full movement under my rules as it would lay you open to a Parting Shot. This is to avoid tactical silliness whereby combatants continuously run round the back of an opponent for an Attack from Behind.
I don't understand what is preventing a combatant from remaining in melee and yet moving around the room? have you never seen the famous sword fight scene between Inigo Montoya and the Dread Pirate Roberts? :) And if a combatant wanted to run around and stab an engaged combatant in the back what would prevent the engaged combatant to spin with him?
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JoeCarr28
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Re: Combat with Floor Plans

Post Sun Oct 28, 2012 1:19 pm

Hywaywolf wrote:Probably just add a line like "Movement other than a straight line costs a 5' movement penalty. ie: stepping over a bench, getting out of a chair, etc"
Will do.
Hywaywolf wrote:My problem has always been with this dual use of the term parting shot - one as a rule the other as a descriptor. By rule, "Parting Shot" is only for combatants who were already in melee at the start of the round. A Parting Shot gives you your normal attack plus an attack of opportunity. When you aren't engaged prior to the round then all you should get for someone running past you is an Attack of Opportunity only and not your normal attack.
I think we interpret the rules differently, but end up with exactly the same result. Under my interpretation, characters become engaged in melee at the instant they arrive in adjacent squares. Whether it's the start of the round or not is irrelevant. A combatant is allowed a Parting Shot at the instant their melee opponent moves out of an adjacent square. So in the situation we discussed in the other forum, the runner would enter the adjacent square, instantaneously enter a melee state and become subject to the associated movement restrictions, subsequently move out of the adjacent square and suffer a Parting Shot (but not a regular attack).

I think we're agreeing on the turning around thing.
Hywaywolf wrote: I don't understand what is preventing a combatant from remaining in melee and yet moving around the room? have you never seen the famous sword fight scene between Inigo Montoya and the Dread Pirate Roberts? :) And if a combatant wanted to run around and stab an engaged combatant in the back what would prevent the engaged combatant to spin with him?
If you don't have such a restriction, then there's nothing to stop Heroic Warrior running round the back of Orc Chieften and hitting him from behind, then Orc Chieften running around the back of Heroic Warrior and hitting him from behind, ad infinitem. Just seems silly to me. I'd rather see them slug it out toe-to-toe. Nothing to stop a third party entering the melee from behind. But once you're in melee, the movement restrictions kick in. I always thought that was the general spirit of BF combat.
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Re: Combat with Floor Plans

Post Sun Oct 28, 2012 1:52 pm

Your interpretation of the parting shot rules is not by-the-book. It's not bad, per se, it's just not how I wrote it.

However, I have no problem with your supplement changing that rule. It's consistent, and it's in no way bad. I would just ask that you say, in the text, that the supplement rules differ from the official rules.

Regarding the facing issue: I agree with Hyway that a character should be able to move while engaged. I would restrict such movement to normal fighting withdrawal speed (i.e. 1/2 normal). His point had to do with the defender being able to turn also. I think, as a special case, that a defender should be able to change facing to follow a moving attacker that he is aware of regardless of whether or not it's his turn.

One attacker would not be able to "run around behind" a defender, as the defender could turn to follow him; with your facing rules, I don't think even two attackers could do this, as the defender could turn so that one attacker was on each side, within his attack/defense area. But three could pull off a flanking maneuver such that one would get a from-behind bonus.

I can easily imagine these maneuvers, which is one of my main requirements for deciding such things.
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Hywaywolf
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Re: Combat with Floor Plans

Post Sun Oct 28, 2012 1:58 pm

JoeCarr28 wrote:
Hywaywolf wrote:Probably just add a line like "Movement other than a straight line costs a 5' movement penalty. ie: stepping over a bench, getting out of a chair, etc"
Will do.
Hywaywolf wrote:My problem has always been with this dual use of the term parting shot - one as a rule the other as a descriptor. By rule, "Parting Shot" is only for combatants who were already in melee at the start of the round. A Parting Shot gives you your normal attack plus an attack of opportunity. When you aren't engaged prior to the round then all you should get for someone running past you is an Attack of Opportunity only and not your normal attack.
I think we interpret the rules differently, but end up with exactly the same result. Under my interpretation, characters become engaged in melee at the instant they arrive in adjacent squares. Whether it's the start of the round or not is irrelevant. A combatant is allowed a Parting Shot at the instant their melee opponent moves out of an adjacent square. So in the situation we discussed in the other forum, the runner would enter the adjacent square, instantaneously enter a melee state and become subject to the associated movement restrictions, subsequently move out of the adjacent square and suffer a Parting Shot (but not a regular attack).

I don't think its a different interpretation of the rule. I think you are just disregarding the rule as written for the rule you like better. Perfectly fine for a houserule, but IMO its not fine for a supplement unless you are stating that you are rewriting the rule. The rule clearly says "and begins movement". A running character began movement prior to becoming adjacent to an opponent thus the BTB "parting shot" rule is not in effect. Just call it an "attack of opportunity" without the normal attack to ditinguish it from the "parting shot" which by rule allows your normal attack as well..

I think we're agreeing on the turning around thing.

mostly, just still unclear on the Who can I hit with my sword statement about combatants behind you.
Hywaywolf wrote: I don't understand what is preventing a combatant from remaining in melee and yet moving around the room? have you never seen the famous sword fight scene between Inigo Montoya and the Dread Pirate Roberts? :) And if a combatant wanted to run around and stab an engaged combatant in the back what would prevent the engaged combatant to spin with him?
If you don't have such a restriction, then there's nothing to stop Heroic Warrior running round the back of Orc Chieften and hitting him from behind, then Orc Chieften running around the back of Heroic Warrior and hitting him from behind, ad infinitem. Just seems silly to me. I'd rather see them slug it out toe-to-toe. Nothing to stop a third party entering the melee from behind. But once you're in melee, the movement restrictions kick in. I always thought that was the general spirit of BF combat.
That can't really happen. If a combatant can attempt to block an attack when he doesn't have initiative, he can surely turn in place to block an attack from an opponent trying to run around behind him. And if he turns to keep a 3rd party from hitting his back, which he can choose to do, he gives up the Parting shot to the opponent he turned his back on. The only way you would have silliness is if the DM makes a combatant stand in place like a statue without attempting to defend himself until his initiative comes around.
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Hywaywolf
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Re: Combat with Floor Plans

Post Sun Oct 28, 2012 2:04 pm

two comments after reading Solomoriah's post.

While I agree with him that you can have your supplement change that rule, I don't think you should do it just because you like it better. You should do it only if the community agrees that it works better.

Second, Solomoriah is right that 2 opponents can't get behind a single combatant to use the attacking from behind rule, but 3 or more can.
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JoeCarr28
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Re: Combat with Floor Plans

Post Sun Oct 28, 2012 2:07 pm

I'd much rather try and produce a set of guidelines that are broadly acceptable to the community and well aligned with the intended spirit of the Core Rules, than a set of personal house rules. My problem with the Parting Shot issue is that I fundamentally don't understand the Core Rules. My interpretation is the only way I've been able to rationalise it. However, I'd be delighted if Hyway, or anyone else, wanted to draft that aspect of this supplement. And I'd be happy to credit the contributor as a co-author.
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