Please don't use the SAGA diagonal movement rules

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Hi All,

I'd just like to express a deep, heartfelt appeal to the designers working on the combat rules: please, please, PLEASE don't simplify the map movement rules in either 4e or DDM by using the SAGA rule that all diagonal moves cost 2 squares of movement. It's one of the most jarringly unrealistic and illogical rules in SAGA. For the mathematically minded among us, it almost destroys suspension of disbelief.

Here's why: Pretend you and an opponent are standing in the corner of a huge arena- say almost twice the size of a football field, 300'x300'. Both of you are wearing full plate armor, but are weaponless. At the opposite corner you see a sword rise up out of the ground, stuck in the ground but ripe for the taking. Naturally, you both want to grab the sword, so both of you make a break for it.

You head straight for the sword, diagonally crossing the field to the southwest. Your opponent, meanwhile, stupidly decides to hug the walls of the arena, first going 300' west then 300' south. You laugh, knowing that in a few seconds you'll grab the sword and be waiting for your idiot enemy.

Imagine your surprise, then, when he arrives at the sword at precisely the same round as you, and swipes it from the ground since he had won initiative.

This scenario, currently impossible under 3.5e, would happen legally in SAGA.

Note that I'm not saying that the designers are planning to institute this. I'm just firing a warning shot, since SAGA had been cited as a major inspiration for 4e. I adore almost the entirety of SAGA. That diagonal movement rule drives me nuts, though.
A well written request.

I agree with this whole-heartedly. It the only problem with the rules I have when it comes to SWSE.
I've even house-ruled the older movement style (diagonals are 1.5 squares).
And once again the age old question: Why no love for the HEX?:D
And once again the age old question: Why no love for the HEX?:D

Because Hexes are creepy little curses that give me a -4 to my attack rolls and other such bad things.



<,<;; >,>;;

HEXBLADE FTW
And once again the age old question: Why no love for the HEX?:D

Because that would make the game simple enough to be ran by anyone without stupid questions and complex math.
Eh, hex drives me nuts, the way it looks like you're zigzagging as you move straight left and right. I know that's not what it's representing or what's really happening, but I can't get over the appearance of it.

That said, does it really matter whether they stick 2 or 1.5 in the core rules? This has gotta be the easiest thing to house rule in the ruleset
Because that would make the game simple enough to be ran by anyone without stupid questions and complex math.

I for one house rule hex movement in when I GM. Hex is just harder to make maps, is the only reason I can see not using them. If the cost 2 movement is in, It well just make it easier to talk those I run under to use hexs.
The other issue with hexes - and it's a biggie for many games - is lines of sight and effect. We used to struggle with it all the time with BattleTech.

On a square grid, a line from the centre of any square to the centre of any other square moves monotonically - once you cross from one line of squares to another you never cross back.

This is not true for hex grids. Indeed, an almost-flat line will oscillate back and forth frequently between the rows. Trying to trace a deterministic single-hex-width line between two hexes requires juggling fractions. With squares, you just drop a straight-edge.
I agree, diagonal movement should remain 1.5. It isn't a difficult concept to explain, and is pretty easy to remember (unlike some of the arbitrary numbers, like spell level to character level). It also makes it possible to be surrounded by 4 people, if you don't want to take more than a 5ft step. Although things will be more mobile anyway.

As for hexes: harder to make maps, much harder to DIY a battlemat.
As for hexes: harder to make maps, much harder to DIY a battlemat.

I cannot buy Hex Paper at the local Wal-Mart for $2 a bundle.


Also, though the 4E rules are no easily backwards compatible, the people crafting the rules are not trying to make the personal conversion work impossible. They want us to update old adventures and whatnot, moving to Hexes will make my stack Dungeon magazine maps too much of a hassle to convert.

All of the current battlemaps would be impossible to use as well.
Funny enough I don't really care what they do with 4e in this regard. As it is said, this would be one of the easiest and quickest house rules in either direction.

But the original topic brought up the miniatures game. And in that regard, I whole heartedly agree that the 3.x movement rules need to be kept. I can't even imagine being forced into thinking that an L shaped movement is equal to a true diagonal when playing such a placement/movement based competitive game.
I agree that 4e should not use the Saga rules for diagonal movement. While it's easy to houserule in my own games, it would be nice to have realistic movement when I play in RPGA events.
...I cannot buy Hex Paper at the local Wal-Mart for $2 a bundle.....

http://www.pdfpad.com/

Makes Printable Hex Graphs of many sizes and your basic Square Graph too... FOR FREE



Hex is something that i doubt they will directly support as being CORE but i do hope they print us a new Unearth Arcana. that would give people different Mapping and Movement options. Then again i can always just use the Unearth Arcana for that now... but still a new book would be nice : ]


On the Matter of Every D. Movement costing two? NO!!! thats BAD! if people can't handle every other square then i don't know... go back to school and learn how to count in your head...

5,15,20,30,35,45,50,60 Just right that down some where and it will make life easy on you if you can't handle it on your own...
http://www.pdfpad.com/

Makes Printable Hex Graphs of many sizes and your basic Square Graph too... FOR FREE

With prices on Printer Ink, its still a lot cheaper to by square paper at Wal-Mart for those without access to free college printers.
I think the diagonal movement rule was the FIRST THING house ruled by everyone who plays it. (OR it should be at least)

I "technically" house-ruled it, but I use Hex... so... :P
Stay Frosty! - Shado
Lets see:

Square Grid: allows for ease of mapping, and allows for 8 directions of movement. Small,Mediums take up one square, Large 2x2, Huge 3x3, etc

Hex Grid: difficult to map with, allows only 6 directions of movment. How many Hexes does a Large/Huge take up? How would flanking work? Cones? Lines?
I agree with this whole-heartedly. It the only problem with the rules I have when it comes to SWSE.
I've even house-ruled the older movement style (diagonals are 1.5 squares).

Ditto.

The only thing i worry about as far as house-ruling goes is unforeseen issues with interrelated rules. There may be some problem with reach or tactical movement or certain feats or spell ranges, ect, that somehow get messed up because im using 1.5 squares for diagonals and the designers are assuming 2.
Hex Grid: difficult to map with, allows only 6 directions of movment.

Or 12. Sometimes hex systems let you "move along an edge." I believe Spelljammer's projectile rules worked this way.

-- Alex
If a diagonal counts as 10 feet, then someone with a 5ft reach should not be able to strike an opponent standing in a diagonally adjacent square.

I hope this rule isn't implemented in 4e either. It may be easier to count "one, two, four, five, seven, eight." than "one, two, three point five, four point five, ermm, six, seven" or "one, two, three (remember theres a diagonal), four, five - second diagonal, so add an extra one for six, seven", but I don't think this facet is, in itself, worth the anomalies. For example, a combatant forced to go around an opponent will often have no advantage over a combatant who can confidently move through the opponent's territory.
Lets see:

Square Grid: allows for ease of mapping, and allows for 8 directions of movement. Small,Mediums take up one square, Large 2x2, Huge 3x3, etc

Hex Grid: difficult to map with, allows only 6 directions of movment. How many Hexes does a Large/Huge take up? How would flanking work? Cones? Lines?

Unearthed Arcana has a whole section on how Hex works for d20. It's a great section if you're interested in Hex rules.
Stay Frosty! - Shado
Unearthed Arcana has a whole section on how Hex works for d20. It's a great section if you're interested in Hex rules.

Yup, it's also available here. It includes hex rules that also uses the facing variant, also in Unearthed Arcana.
I can't see why this would even be an issue. I think haveing diag moves cost 2 squares would be simpler then 1.5 squares [thow both are pritty simple over all], but what difference does it realy make? I'm no going to enjoy the game any less [or switch to hexes] just because my fighter uses up 2 squares of movement instead of 1 to get around something, I'm just going to double move to threaten or single move and attack.
I'm no going to enjoy the game any less just because my fighter uses up 2 squares of movement instead of 1 to get around something.

I will. Something that blatantly illogical will break my enjoyment.
I can't see why this would even be an issue. I think haveing diag moves cost 2 squares would be simpler then 1.5 squares [thow both are pritty simple over all], but what difference does it realy make? I'm no going to enjoy the game any less [or switch to hexes] just because my fighter uses up 2 squares of movement instead of 1 to get around something, I'm just going to double move to threaten or single move and attack.

You realize by having diagonal moves cost 2 means that you need reach weapons to attack diagonally and only 4 meleers at a time can attack a medium or smaller creature. On top of everything radius spells now become Diamond shaped instead of being close to round. Oh lets make it simple for the people who don't want to think can play. I am sure that people with half a brain will just pick up a hex and play there own way or leave for a more mental game.
I can't see why this would even be an issue. I think haveing diag moves cost 2 squares would be simpler then 1.5 squares [thow both are pritty simple over all], but what difference does it realy make? I'm no going to enjoy the game any less [or switch to hexes] just because my fighter uses up 2 squares of movement instead of 1 to get around something, I'm just going to double move to threaten or single move and attack.

There are times where the suspension of disbelief is just asking too much, and I've found from personal experiece, this is just one of those things that makes you go WTF? O_o and is just a little too hard to wrap my head around. When the rules can help reinforce the suspension of disbelief by being more logical without complicating anything, they should.

The mini's game its fine, its a tactical simulator, like chess with more rules, not a role-playing game.
There are times where the suspension of disbelief is just asking too much, and I've found from personal experiece, this is just one of those things that makes you go WTF? O_o and is just a little too hard to wrap my head around. When the rules can help reinforce the suspension of disbelief by being more logical without complicating anything, they should.

Especially when it's so simple to have a diagonal cost 1.5 squares of movement. Sure, costing 2 squares is simpler, but it's not the sort of simplicity necessary for a smooth game, it's the sort of simplicity that's better referred to as "dumbing down".

There's much to be said for simplicity in game design, but I remember when game design used to assume that players had two brain cells to rub together.
Agreed 100%. This is the only thing that I change in my Star Wars campaign from the book.

The thing that is strangest for me is, that in some cases it costs you less to walk South then west instead of walking S/W diagonaly: If the SW square costs double and the South square does not. It costs 1 to move s then 2 to move w for a total of 3, but moving diagonally costs 4. Totally weird.
Ceterum censeo scrinium puniceum esse delendam
Agreed 100%. This is the only thing that I change in my Star Wars campaign from the book.

The thing that is strangest for me is, that in some cases it costs you less to walk South then west instead of walking S/W diagonaly: If the SW square costs double and the South square does not. It costs 1 to move s then 2 to move w for a total of 3, but moving diagonally costs 4. Totally weird.

Um...what? Only if you move South-West twice, which would leave you one square south of your target, having moved 2 South and 2 West in total rather than 1 South and 2 West. It always costs the same. Which is totally ridiculous in its own right.

Edit: Oh, I see. Well, that's not so weird. If there's an obstruction in that particular direction, it's understandable that it might take less time to go around. But the "diagonal equals 2 squares" thing is still utterly foolish.
Yeah, I'm rather iffy about the whole diagonal movement thing. Because I hate the 1.5 count for diagonal squares and yet I hate 2x too. 1.5 is too much math. It makes my head hurt calculating movement that way. 2x is so illogical that it's bothersome.

I'm almost tempted to just say that all movement is 1, regardless of direction. It's an affront to the pythagorean theorem, but I can't really think of what problems might arise from just having all directions be equal.
Too much math? Forget the half. It's just 1, 2, 1, 2...
It'd be hilarious if diagonal movement in 4th edition officially clocked as radical 50 feet...
Hex Grid: difficult to map with, allows only 6 directions of movment. How many Hexes does a Large/Huge take up? How would flanking work? Cones? Lines?

And the 6 directions allow so much more movement, not less - because you have small directional changes that don't cost additional movement like they do in squares.

Flanking is simple, it works same as square grids. No change whatsoever.

Cones are actually quite a bit easier on hex, and lines are just as simple as squares.

The only question would be Large/Huge creatures. I've used both 4 hexes (oddly shaped) for hex before, in addition to the following model:

  • Medium = 1 hex
  • Large: 1 hex, and the 6 surrounding hexes
  • Huge: 1 hex, the 6 surrounding hexes, and the 12 surrounding hexes.
  • Gargantuan or higher: Add one radius each size category

I tend to like the way that works.


Difficult to map? That's probably about the only thing I've seen that was a significant reason to not use hexes. Of course, you could simply just draw it as you see fit, and only use the hexes for movement, and that makes a whole bunch of sense.
All of these solutions seems overly complicated. If you're using a battlemat or other flat surface with minis, just use a ruler (or a mini tape measure). Simple--you can move to the center of any square you can reach, based on whatever scale you're using. This is also a good way to determine line of effect, cover and concealment, etc. The only math involved is multiplying X inches by X feet. It also has the benefit of consistency.

I hope that 4th doesn't use "squares" as a unit of measurement. Feet, meters, etc. work just fine and are much easier to envision. Besides, if the squares on my map represent don't represent 5 feet, that's another annoying conversion each time movement is calculated, and those kind of annoyances add up over time.
The only question would be Large/Huge creatures. I've used both 4 hexes (oddly shaped) for hex before, in addition to the following model:

  • Medium = 1 hex
  • Large: 1 hex, and the 6 surrounding hexes
  • Huge: 1 hex, the 6 surrounding hexes, and the 12 surrounding hexes.
  • Gargantuan or higher: Add one radius each size category

I tend to like the way that works.


Difficult to map? That's probably about the only thing I've seen that was a significant reason to not use hexes. Of course, you could simply just draw it as you see fit, and only use the hexes for movement, and that makes a whole bunch of sense.

Ahem.
Stay Frosty! - Shado
All of these solutions seems overly complicated. If you're using a battlemat or other flat surface with minis, just use a ruler (or a mini tape measure).

Well in my experience most people prefer squares/hexes over rulers, since the process of measuring usually takes more effort than counting squares - the process of grabbing the ruler taking the measurement, putting the ruler away... Yeah, ok, gamers are a lazy bunch, but hey ;)
Ceterum censeo scrinium puniceum esse delendam
Too much math? Forget the half. It's just 1, 2, 1, 2...

Yeah, exactly like it has been before. I really don't know a reason why to change it.
Ceterum censeo scrinium puniceum esse delendam
Doesn't the diagonals count as 2 also effect ranged weapons, reach weapons and spell area of effects?

Man and I thought the 20 foot radius looked odd in 3.5 :D
Ahem.

Wow... there are rules for that... but then again... it's all what you do, really... I never had a problem with my model.
I will. Something that blatantly illogical will break my enjoyment.

Hey, 1.5 wasn't logical either. It's actually closer to 1.4. I mean, if you're running across a football field, that actually does make an appreciable difference -- after running 10 squares you're one square ahead of where you should be.

"Wait!" I hear you say. "That doesn't matter at all when you're dealing with battlefields and movement speeds where you rarely move more than 5 or 6 squares at a time, 8 or 9 at the outside!"

Yes, indeed. Same with the difference between 1.5 and 2.
All of these solutions seems overly complicated. If you're using a battlemat or other flat surface with minis, just use a ruler (or a mini tape measure). Simple--you can move to the center of any square you can reach, based on whatever scale you're using. This is also a good way to determine line of effect, cover and concealment, etc. The only math involved is multiplying X inches by X feet. It also has the benefit of consistency.

I hope that 4th doesn't use "squares" as a unit of measurement. Feet, meters, etc. work just fine and are much easier to envision. Besides, if the squares on my map represent don't represent 5 feet, that's another annoying conversion each time movement is calculated, and those kind of annoyances add up over time.

The reason to do things in "squares" is that, for one thing, you remove the annoying problem of having to specify that a "5-foot square" is actually 25 square feet when calculating areas and things.

It's also that, for some bizarre reason, some people think that any system that requires you to break out a tape measure and do a conversion between inches and feet is *more complicated* than simply counting squares. (Yes, counting squares is less *realistic*. Realistic =/= simple, always.)
Yes, indeed. Same with the difference between 1.5 and 2.

Not even close, the change means that running diagonal across a square room of any size is the same distance as running along the wall. It will also effect area of effect spells, range weapons and even reach weapons in a negative way.

Was 1.5 exactly correct? Nope, but it was a lot closer than the new rule. The old way the error was 1 square every 10 squares, the new way it is 6 squares for every 10 squares measure. Which means in a 6 square movement the error the old way was less than 1 full square, the new way it is 3 squares, that is 50% of the total movement.

The break down for a 6 square move looks like this:
Real World: 1.4*6 = 8.4
3.5 Way 1.5*6 = 9
SWSE Way 2.0*6 = 12