Saturday, April 20, 2013

R is for Range Rules

Today, I’ve been editing the range rules for MTDAA Legacy. While I’ve heretofore been working under the assumption that each unit beyond the range (in cm) gives the target a +1 shift to the dodge Feat roll, I’ve been thinking of a simpler system…

What if your weapon’s range sets its effective and maximum ranges? It’s range rating is its max effective range, while double this is its maximum possible range… So, a rifle with a range of +5 can hit a target up to 5 cm away with no penalty, and allows you to target a foe between 6 and 10 cm away with a -1 shift to your attack? I like this because it keeps the math a bit simpler, and eliminates some of the fiddly measuring that could take place at the table… is the foe 6 or 7 cm away? At 6, he gets +1 to dodge, but at 7 he gets +2 to dodge… I haven’t play tested this sort of scenario with a large group, but I’d expect that these sorts of conversations/measurements/debates could slow the game down. I could also see someone trying to ‘game’ this system, constantly taking a handful of steps from foes in order to wring every last bonus out of the dodge. If you know that you are just in range of the foe’s attack, you might try to get out of range; if you know that you are within maximum efficiency range, you might try to get out of that and force the -1 shift. However, this keeps such decisions from being an every round sort of consideration. If you are 7 cm away from a foe with a 5 cm range weapon, you are probably going to stay put. Moving 4 cm to get out of range is probably too much effort right now.

I want to leave the flexibility in the referee’s hands to say ‘you’re close enough – we’ll call that in your -1 shift range’ rather than saying ‘well… he’s at 9 cm… but he’s almost at 10… hmmm. Do I give him +4 or +5 to dodge?’

This also keeps ranged weapons dangerous at range. A weapon with a +6 rating quickly lost efficiency past 6 cm… now, it’s still pretty potent up to 12 cm. With the new system, 12 cm away is a -1 die shift (effectively -1 to the attack) while in the old setup this would have been +6 to the dodge (pretty much a guaranteed miss without Clout, or a die explosion, or both).