I Find Dungeon Exploration Movement Rates To Be A Tad Silly.

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Psionic-Tribute
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I Find Dungeon Exploration Movement Rates To Be A Tad Silly.

Post Mon Oct 25, 2021 4:49 pm

I've seen this subject brought up on a few blogs, and some now dead forums, that being how silly the movement rate of exploration turns is during Dungeon play. (typically 120' per exploration turn) and I understand both the "in-game" and out of game explanation being that more or less that OD&D is a wargame more or less, and that having a consistent movement rate was easier, (also there was two movement phases per turn I think in OD&D? could be wrong, but that doesn't make it much better?

And I totally understand why every retroclone including Basic Fantasy went with that, cause it's simple and it works. but for me and my table this is where my suspension of disbelief kicks in. The in game assumption being that the players are being super duper careful, maping every square inch of the place, and checking every possible crack and cranny and running knives along walls and 10 foot poles ahead of them. That's all fine and dandy and might explain why the movement speed is so absurdly slow, though emphasise on the word "might" because if this is true (which I'm not sure why it should be assumed outside of simply because it's a retroclone and a tradition, which is a good enough argument I guess.) then it begs the question why am I making rolls for secret doors or finding traps? if they are literally only moving 6 to 8 feet per minute over a 10 minute span of time they should never ever be surprised by monsters, or not find a secret door or trap, like EVER!

Now this makes sense from a boardgame/wargame perspective because dungeons don't really have context they are simply death boxes for miniatures to go die in, or the common super-grognard answer of "mythic underworld" or something akin to that, in the same vain one repeats scripture mindlessly. But I think that should be left more to how players act or roleplay out or decide, so a alteration in which assumes movement rates without guessing or pre-prescribing their actions to me seems better.

I tend to resolve this issue via two ways, the first, I reduce exploration turns to 1 minute, or there abouts, maybe 2 minutes, 120' over a 1 minute sounds vastly more reasonable than over 10... more so in smaller dungeons like the ever popular 5 room dungeon format, where I start to question why I not rolling for random monsters several times per exploration turn... because a group of monsters in the next room down the hall should totally notice a small army of adventures shuffling inches at a time down a dungeon corridor well before the 20 minute mark...

The other way I solve this is I multiply the movement by 10, but make the dungeons way bigger, a cramped megadungeon to me is a waste, I want the Mines of Moria or Lonely Mountain big, the kinds of structures you can fit small cities in, 10 minute exploration turns start feeling a good deal more reasonable in those contexts with proper movement.

Of course ultimately this isn't me trying to convince anyone to do it my way, but I wanted to vent my thoughts and see if anyone had anything else to say on the matter? or if there are other solutions to this "problem," it's of course not a problem, just a play assumption I disagree with.
Seven
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Re: I Find Dungeon Exploration Movement Rates To Be A Tad Silly.

Post Mon Oct 25, 2021 8:49 pm

Well, I think it has more to do with corridors being short to make mapping practical than anything else. Watching for traps is not the same as looking for secret doors. Looking were you put your foot, what's over your head and on both side. And writing down with a quill on a piece of paper requires stopping but you can certainly move faster if you're not doing those things.
rudgar
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Re: I Find Dungeon Exploration Movement Rates To Be A Tad Silly.

Post Tue Oct 26, 2021 9:19 am

Psionic-Tribute wrote: Mon Oct 25, 2021 4:49 pm if they are literally only moving 6 to 8 feet per minute
They can move faster if they want to have less chance of noticing details, higher chance of getting lost, etc.
Psionic-Tribute
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Re: I Find Dungeon Exploration Movement Rates To Be A Tad Silly.

Post Tue Oct 26, 2021 8:20 pm

I think my bigger problem with that is if their moving at a speed that'd a make nursing home patient look like a formula 1 racecar, they really shouldn't ever miss or not notice anything, there really shouldn't be a roll if their being so careful as to only move a few feet per minute...

And if the players want to be that careful and move that slow, sure, but I just don't think that should be the assumed mode of movement.
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therealt
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Re: I Find Dungeon Exploration Movement Rates To Be A Tad Silly.

Post Wed Oct 27, 2021 10:22 am

Psionic-Tribute wrote: Tue Oct 26, 2021 8:20 pm I think my bigger problem with that is if their moving at a speed that'd a make nursing home patient look like a formula 1 racecar, they really shouldn't ever miss or not notice anything, there really shouldn't be a roll if their being so careful as to only move a few feet per minute...

And if the players want to be that careful and move that slow, sure, but I just don't think that should be the assumed mode of movement.
Just because someone is going slowly and and being careful, doesn't mean they wont miss something. I was involved in search and rescue with Civil Air Patrol many moons ago. I would setup training exercises where teams would search for an object or person using the techniques we taught them. I've had occasions where 5 teams walk thru the same 10x10 patch of ground and 3 of them found something and the other 2 walked right over it. Chalk it up to fatigue, distraction (thinking about lunch or that flagon of ale waiting on me at the inn), whatever.

Sometimes, you just miss something.
Psionic-Tribute
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Re: I Find Dungeon Exploration Movement Rates To Be A Tad Silly.

Post Wed Oct 27, 2021 10:51 am

Okay that's fair, there is always a chance you'll miss something, even being super careful, but even in your example, 3 out of 5 people found the item, which is way better odds than the base rules of 1 out of 6.

Again if the base movement and rules work for ya, they work, but I find them still a tad implausible, more so when moving through areas you've already explored or cleared out.

EDIT, also how long did it take them to search a 10x10 area?
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Dimirag
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Re: I Find Dungeon Exploration Movement Rates To Be A Tad Silly.

Post Wed Oct 27, 2021 12:51 pm

Psionic-Tribute wrote: Wed Oct 27, 2021 10:51 am 3 out of 5 people found the item, which is way better odds than the base rules of 1 out of 6.
The ods are more for "lucky finds", if the player described how and where the pc is searching, no roll should be required, that means that the 3 persons above searched the way they where told and most of them did not required any roll.
Sorry for any misspelling or writing error, I am not a native English speaker
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Seven
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Re: I Find Dungeon Exploration Movement Rates To Be A Tad Silly.

Post Wed Oct 27, 2021 6:37 pm

Psionic-Tribute wrote: Wed Oct 27, 2021 10:51 am Again if the base movement and rules work for ya, they work, but I find them still a tad implausible, more so when moving through areas you've already explored or cleared out.
That's the speed when walking though the Tomb of Annihilation, when you think the area is booby trapped. I don't use that for walking through "secured" areas.
rudgar
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Re: I Find Dungeon Exploration Movement Rates To Be A Tad Silly.

Post Wed Oct 27, 2021 6:51 pm

Psionic-Tribute wrote: Tue Oct 26, 2021 8:20 pm I think my bigger problem with that is if their moving at a speed that'd a make nursing home patient look like a formula 1 racecar, they really shouldn't ever miss or not notice anything, there really shouldn't be a roll if their being so careful as to only move a few feet per minute...

And if the players want to be that careful and move that slow, sure, but I just don't think that should be the assumed mode of movement.

12 feet per minute, and that's just for moving between squares (if using a grid).

It's including the time to move around the squares, the time to listen carefully to the user side of the door before opening it, etc.

I don't want to say "ok, you listened at the door, I'm adding thirty seconds, you spent some time looking at that painting, 30 seconds, you added a bit to the map, 2 minutes."
Psionic-Tribute
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Re: I Find Dungeon Exploration Movement Rates To Be A Tad Silly.

Post Wed Oct 27, 2021 8:16 pm

Seven wrote: Wed Oct 27, 2021 6:37 pm That's the speed when walking though the Tomb of Annihilation, when you think the area is booby trapped. I don't use that for walking through "secured" areas.
The Tomb of Annihilation is another old school example, which all the old D&D and OSR rules use that 120' all of them...

and the Tomb of Annihilation isn't a great example for the baseline dungeon cause it was designed to be a ruthless challenge, it's in-game logic comes second to being a brain teaser for the players.

also it kind of just sucks and wasn't really Gary's best...
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