diagonal movement 1:1 it just doesn't make sense

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ok people so heres the break down. a character who moves forward moves one square of distance but a character that moves diagonally moves 1.4142 squares of distance and i get that we dont want to be count out to infintesimally small decimals so it got rounded to the closest .5 (to 1.5) but taking it down to 1 is just dumb. why be so much farther from what would be mathematically correct? and i guess i am just not buying the "for simplicities sake" argument because you really should be able to count by 1/2's. so if i were to use my bow which (arbitrarilly for the sake of the example) has a maximum range of 120 feet (call it 24 squares) but my enemy is 25 squares ahead of me (one outside my range) then all i would need to do to shoot at him would be to move such that i am now on a diagonal aiming at him... so basically this is saying that my bow shoots farther because i am going to shoot NE (arbitrary diagonal map direction) as opposed to N or E... baffling
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I will present several arguments for 1-1-1 diagonal movement and rangeing

1. You only looked at two angles: strait on and 45 degrees. The problem with 1-2-1 counting comes in at all the other angles. And their are also situations where you move in multiple directions in one turn. In many of these situations, 1-1-1 counting gives a more accurate distance. In all of these situations, its much easier to count. (For everyone, be they 6 years old or 16 years scince they last did a math problem.)

2. In the confines of a dungeon ones movement it much more restrained by walls, pits, and other structures for the diagonal movement to become much of an issue. Ranges are usually more than enough to hit any target. In the forest, trees, large rocks, and difficult terrian are still much more an issue than diagonals. Ranges are often more than enough to hit any target. Most of the game this will be a non-issue.

3. At 120' you have no need for minis to be on the table. Their is no flanking no, tactical jostles at those ranges. These situations are best handed by a deincrimenting number until the opponets are about 20 squares apart and range is agian a non-issue. (And by the way, there is no a priori reason for the grid to lock to north. The grid should always be aligined with the main line between the party and the enemy.)

In short, all this funky counting is a poor comprimise between simlicity and accuracy. If you want simplicity use RAW. If you want accuracy pull out the mesuring tape and dispose of the grid entirely.
ok people so heres the break down. a character who moves forward moves one square of distance but a character that moves diagonally moves 1.4142 squares of distance and i get that we dont want to be count out to infintesimally small decimals so it got rounded to the closest .5 (to 1.5) but taking it down to 1 is just dumb. why be so much farther from what would be mathematically correct? and i guess i am just not buying the "for simplicities sake" argument because you really should be able to count by 1/2's. so if i were to use my bow which (arbitrarilly for the sake of the example) has a maximum range of 120 feet (call it 24 squares) but my enemy is 25 squares ahead of me (one outside my range) then all i would need to do to shoot at him would be to move such that i am now on a diagonal aiming at him... so basically this is saying that my bow shoots farther because i am going to shoot NE (arbitrary diagonal map direction) as opposed to N or E... baffling

The simple answer: Because it pretty much doesn't actually matter.

The long answer:

Yes, counting 1-2-1 isn't hard, and if you're just counting diagonals, it's fine. The problem is that you're not always moving just diagonal. Counting 1-2-1-2-1 IS easy. It gets more complicated when you're running around terrain at, say, a 30 degree angle. Then it becomes 1-1-1-2-1-2-1-1- wait, was my last diagonal a 1 or a 2? Not an insurmountable annoyance, but when it doesn't really matter, why bother?

Actually, "all you would need to do" would be to step forward a square (left, right or center), because that would put you closer. If you're at a diagonal from him, you're still 25 squares away, and your bow still shoots 24 squares.

And of course your opponent is also 25 squares from you if you're 25 squares from him, regardless of angle. So it really doesn't matter.

This is just one of those things. Nothing anybody says is going to make you accept it. It's all a matter of degrees. I'm fine with 1-1-1. You'll accept nothings less than 1-2-1. Somewhere there's a freak who gnashes his teeth at anything less than 1.4142-1.4142-1.4142.

However, as long as everyone at the table is using the same measurement system, it really doesn't matter. Feel free to use 1-2-1. I don't see how it can hurt anything.
Heres the breakdown: real life fighters do not constrain themselves to movement in five foot increments, and do not give their opponents their own five foot bubble of personal space. Also, that little corner at the edge of the square should be free game, because even if a combatant was entitled to personal space, "diagonal" movement does not work like that in real life, and the fighters would instead have circles for personal space.

Furthermore, most humanoids in real life take up more than five feet of vertical space, meaning that they themselves are not confined to a five-foot cube. Scandalous!

The Point: If you are going to have a problem with grid movement, take it up with the grid, not the movement. Real life is not defined in grid movement, and so if there is a problem with the "math" of something, one should generally look for the real cause, which in this case is the abstraction of combat, and not the change in rules. If you have a real problem with mathematically incorrect square movement, I recommend that you invest in hexagon grids (I enjoy them, but they make dungeons wonky.) However, I mostly recommend that you give this new rule a try; nobody at my table has even noticed the change besides when they learned it. It really does make movement and area of effects easier to adjudicate (a profession I make unto thee as a DM), and the sacrifice in mathematical soundness is unnoticeable.
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Then it becomes 1-1-1-2-1-2-1-1- wait, was my last diagonal a 1 or a 2? Not an insurmountable annoyance, but when it doesn't really matter, why bother?

This is incredibly correct. The tactical space is an abstraction, and 1-1-1 is vastly more efficient. That is the only reason that matters.

...Well, that and I'd already been using 1-1-1 without paying attention to it in my D&D games for years.
Oh, man... Not another 1-1-1 vs. 1-2-1 bloodbath!

Those that like 1-1-1 better are not going to buy into any of the "it's more realistic" stuff.

Those that like 1-2-1 better are not going to buy into any of the "it's easier to use" stuff.

WotC has probably made a survey and found out that the first group is bigger than the second (these debates tend to heat up so I can't really point to a "forum standard" on this issue), and are therefore catering to them.

Now, please, let's just put this topic away. Please.
I am going to be switchign to a hex based system, personally...but i'm a bit concerned with how to adjucate blasts and area effects using Hexes. I've never really done it before.
I am going to be switchign to a hex based system, personally...but i'm a bit concerned with how to adjucate blasts and area effects using Hexes. I've never really done it before.

Unearthed Arcana had some reasonable rules for it. Here's some help: http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/adventuring/hexGrid.htm

Poe's Law is alive and well.

When I want realistic movement, I break out the measuring tape and create a guideline based on inches of how far "5 feet" (or in this case, a square) actually is. From there, I just play.

If you really want realism, I suggest you do the same. It's far better for it.
. . .a character who moves forward moves one square of distance but a character that moves diagonally moves 1.4142 squares of distance. . .

Actually, he doesn't. A square is a discreet unit of measure. You could say:
. . .a character who moves forward moves one square moves 5 ft, but a character that moves diagonally moves 7 ft . . .

But they are both only moving one square. Could you move 1.5 squares, you would end up standing on a line

Seriously, it's like electrons and energy states.

Since the distance a character can cover in one "move action" is already an abstraction, you can not apply scientific analysis after the fact. Why 6 squares (or 30', in 3.5)? Why not 5 squares? Why not 4 squares plus DEX/5? Why not 3.14 squares?

A 5 ft step in 3.5 let you cover 7 ft if you moved diagonally. So just imagine that each turn is really 6 turns, but you get to take them all at once for ease of play. . .
It makes perfect sense, it is just less reflective of reality. These are not the same thing.
so if i were to use my bow which (arbitrarilly for the sake of the example) has a maximum range of 120 feet (call it 24 squares) but my enemy is 25 squares ahead of me (one outside my range) then all i would need to do to shoot at him would be to move such that i am now on a diagonal aiming at him... so basically this is saying that my bow shoots farther because i am going to shoot NE (arbitrary diagonal map direction) as opposed to N or E... baffling

BUT...
A) You had to move to get into range (which is also true of 1-2-1-2 movement!)
B.) He is also now 24 squares away from you for the sake of moving, charging, AoEs, and return fire (which is also true of 1-2-1-2 movement!)

The 1-1-1-1 system is consistent for everyone involved.

The only discrepancies that will arise will be when you're laying out a detailed map of a "real" location like a tavern (i.e., being able to reach the far corner of the room just as quickly as one of the walls), and let's face it - 1-inch grids are rather unrealistic for those purposes anyway. Back when I lived in a dorm, the room I was in would be best approximated by a 2x2 grid, but you could definitely fit more than 4 people in it if you wanted. As long as you're not designing a map that REQUIRES diagonal movement to be an accurate simulation, it's not going to be a problem,
The tipping point that won me over to players moving 1:1 -

The bad guys use the same system.
1-2-1-2 makes sense if that's how you count it.

But everyone I've played with counts like this:
1..2..3..4

Moving diagonally that's..

1..3..4..6

Which isn't intuitive at all.
ok people so heres the break down. a character who moves forward moves one square of distance but a character that moves diagonally moves 1.4142 squares of distance and i get that we dont want to be count out to infintesimally small decimals so it got rounded to the closest .5 (to 1.5) but taking it down to 1 is just dumb. why be so much farther from what would be mathematically correct? and i guess i am just not buying the "for simplicities sake" argument because you really should be able to count by 1/2's. so if i were to use my bow which (arbitrarilly for the sake of the example) has a maximum range of 120 feet (call it 24 squares) but my enemy is 25 squares ahead of me (one outside my range) then all i would need to do to shoot at him would be to move such that i am now on a diagonal aiming at him... so basically this is saying that my bow shoots farther because i am going to shoot NE (arbitrary diagonal map direction) as opposed to N or E... baffling

Because it really doesn't matter. What 1-2-1-2 movement brings to this game isn't worth the added hastle. 1-1 isn't going to bring the game crashing down around your ears and it's much easier and faster to use. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that 1-2-1-2 movement is hard, just that it is slower and the current change doesn't make much difference.
Yes, counting 1-2-1 isn't hard, and if you're just counting diagonals, it's fine. The problem is that you're not always moving just diagonal. Counting 1-2-1-2-1 IS easy. It gets more complicated when you're running around terrain at, say, a 30 degree angle. Then it becomes 1-1-1-2-1-2-1-1- wait, was my last diagonal a 1 or a 2? Not an insurmountable annoyance, but when it doesn't really matter, why bother?

Yup, and that's before you factor in 3 dimensional movement or difficult terrain that costs double.

The 1-1 diagonal is absolutely necessary if you want flight in the game, and I'm glad the designers realized that. Otherwise the game comes to a halt when you try to figure out exactly how much distance is between you and some guy that happens to be at a 12 squares right and 8 squares below your mini and also 55 ft up in the air. That's just not an easy math problem to do in a 1-2 diagonal. But with 1-1 diagonals it's actually really easy. Just find the largest distance in any one direction and use that. So the range is 12 squares in that problem. No math needed.

The same is true with 3-D radius effects. With the spherical 1-2 diagonal, you simply can't easily figure out if something flying falls within the radius of a fireball. You really have no idea without a lot of calculation. The 4E firecube however makes that pretty easy. Again, it's a matter of taking the longest distance and comparing that to the radius of the spell. Easy enough.
Well, I've been dabbling with 3d math from time to time, so the "diagonal movement costs 1.5 squares, round down" isn't exactly difficult, IMO... OTOH, 1-1-1 is at least somewhat simpler.

for an example, moving 10 forward, 6 sideways? Costs 13 move. Now, it costs 10 move. not a terribly big difference.

A knight's move with shortest path is 4+1, so it comes to 4.5 rounded down = 4.
Movement-cost wise it isn't a big thing, as seen from the above example.

Hey, if it breaks your Veri-thingy, use hex grid? ( I must say it does bad things to my sense of v-that-thing, too. )
I don't like 1:1:1 either, just because it doesn't look right on the battle map. Like the OP said, a person can move further diagonally. 1:2:1 is closer to keeping the distance covered the same.

That said, I can't believe the number of arguments that break out over this particular rule change. It's probably going to be the easiest thing to house rule in the entire game. I'll keep the 1:2:1 rule just because 1:1:1 bugs me and my players (and we've never had even a slight difficulty with 1:2:1), and people who like the ease of 1:1:1 will adopt that if they weren't using it already.

No big deal.
ok people so heres the break down. a character who moves forward moves one square of distance but a character that moves diagonally moves 1.4142 squares of distance and i get that we dont want to be count out to infintesimally small decimals so it got rounded to the closest .5 (to 1.5) but taking it down to 1 is just dumb. why be so much farther from what would be mathematically correct? and i guess i am just not buying the "for simplicities sake" argument because you really should be able to count by 1/2's. so if i were to use my bow which (arbitrarilly for the sake of the example) has a maximum range of 120 feet (call it 24 squares) but my enemy is 25 squares ahead of me (one outside my range) then all i would need to do to shoot at him would be to move such that i am now on a diagonal aiming at him... so basically this is saying that my bow shoots farther because i am going to shoot NE (arbitrary diagonal map direction) as opposed to N or E... baffling

Use a hex map, its easier, produces more realistic results all around (no square fireballs) and this situation will make perfect sense.

Really D@D should have used a hex map all along instead of squares.
I think too, the reason why 1:1 and 1:2 in either regard aren't that important is that, perfect variables like that don't exist in combat.

Your not going to be taking measured steps while charging at an opponent or dodging and weaving attacks, so why does that need to be so heavily reflected in the mechanics.

Your not going to take a 5' foot step one after another, it is going to be; run, skid, slide, run more, side-step, duck, roll, run, jump and smashes into opponent.

As for weapons, like bows, etc. The same kinda of idea follows, you won't necessarily fire your bow with the same length of drawback, at the same angle, etc. So such precise measurements simply aren't needed.

As such, I think why not just go with a easier thing like 1:1 when it is essentially impossible to replicate real-life movement.
Random tangent: I don't know whether to be amused or annoyed when another one of these threads appear. Annoyed by the fact that there are already so many others just like it, or amused by the fact that every one of them causes me to think back to Tim Curry's "1 + 2 + 1 + 1" scene in Clue.
The thing that probably did in 1-2-1 movement for me was when someone talked about a character walking in a circle. Using 1-2-1, to walk in a circle, a character actually needs 30 feet of movement, despite a 5 foot diameter circle only having a circumference of 15.707963267948966192313216916398 feet (or 16 if you prefer :P ). Now, admittedly, walking around a circle isn't something you'd probably do in D&D combat, but it just shows me that, while on a perfect 45 1-2-1 is better, there are situations it's a lot worse that 1-1-1.







P.S. All the decimals are to please the 1.4142 fans :P
the moral of the story is i'm switching to hex
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The thing that probably did in 1-2-1 movement for me was when someone talked about a character walking in a circle. Using 1-2-1, to walk in a circle, a character actually needs 30 feet of movement, despite a 5 foot diameter circle only having a circumference of 15.707963267948966192313216916398 feet (or 16 if you prefer :P ). Now, admittedly, walking around a circle isn't something you'd probably do in D&D combat, but it just shows me that, while on a perfect 45 1-2-1 is better, there are situations it's a lot worse that 1-1-1.

P.S. All the decimals are to please the 1.4142 fans :P

Erm, if you're walking in a circle that surrounds a 5' square (forward-left, back-left, back-right, forward right) you are walking a 10 foot diameter circle (diameter of 31.4 feet), not a 5' diameter. walking in a 5' diameter circle (forward, left, back, right) puts you at 20' of movement, which is still off by about one quarter of the distance, but note it does not use any diagonal moves.

edit:
on the other hand, with a hex map, that 5' circle would take only 3 moves and thus have the correct circumference, however it would be a triangle.... as opposed to a square or diamond, that's irrelevant
Erm, if you're walking in a circle that surrounds a 5' square (forward-left, back-left, back-right, forward right) you are walking a 10 foot diameter circle (diameter of 31.4 feet), not a 5' diameter. walking in a 5' diameter circle (forward, left, back, right) puts you at 20' of movement, which is still off by about one quarter of the distance, but note it does not use any diagonal moves.

Sure, bring logic into this, and take all my fun away. :raincloud

Okay, so you're technically right (give me a break, it's been like 15 years since I've looked at a geometry problem) but it still bugs me that if you wanted to circle around an individual you'd have to walk 30 feet with 1-2-1 movement. And that's what I was conceptually thinking of (well, someone else brought it up, and I liked it, so I stole it) when I was talking about that.

So, technically, you're right, but my logic still works for me. However, you win in real world logic (which I've never much cared for anyway.) :surrender

All that said, using a hex grid instead is definitely tempting, despite the fact that it does sometimes get wonky in terms of getting a straight line between two objects.
Use Hexes
Nah. I'd rather keep an axis of movement and have deterministic sight lines. Hexes feel much more natural for orbital mechanics, but otherwise just offer a different set of trade offs.

For some reason, I notice "spline movement" a lot more with hexes than squares. Possibly because hexes feel like they are trying but failing to simulate euclidean geometry while squares don't bother trying.
I don't use either way. In my game I count the number of squares horizontally (h) and the number of squares vertically (v), and the distance (d) is measured d = sqrt(v^2 + h^2).

This seems to get the distance about right. A calculator might be handy for this, but you can round to the nearest 5ft.

Having played in a game with 1-1-1 measurement, I think it can be easy to abuse when getting across a battlefield. However, since 8 squares diagonally is the same distance as 11 squares straight up, either is going to take about 2 rounds to get across, so there isn't really too much of an issue as long as you're going in a straight line.

In much larger battlefields, I'd say 1.5 times diagonal distance is okay when thinking about longbow range, and you could knock it to 1.2 times distance for an angle half way between diagonal and straight up. Being much more accurate than that is a little silly.
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Take the grid away. No, honestly try it. Imagine that everyone has a move = to a circle around them. 6 feet, whatever. And then move them using a tape measure. What your seeing here is a compromise between square based combat and total freeform movement. And it works.
Take the grid away. No, honestly try it. Imagine that everyone has a move = to a circle around them. 6 feet, whatever. And then move them using a tape measure. What your seeing here is a compromise between square based combat and total freeform movement. And it works.

Just like Hex combat works, and Square combat works, and freeform combat works. It's all a matter of preference.

I could go on for ages about arguments involving the use of miniatures and tape measures from when I played Warhammer. "No, that guy can't charge into base to base, I made sure I was 12.5" away when I moved!" Ah, the good old days. . .
Just like Hex combat works, and Square combat works, and freeform combat works. It's all a matter of preference.

I could go on for ages about arguments involving the use of miniatures and tape measures from when I played Warhammer. "No, that guy can't charge into base to base, I made sure I was 12.5" away when I moved!" Ah, the good old days. . .

Yeah the main thing that tape measures screw with is the ability to easily determine distance just by looking. The only way you really know is by measuring something out, and that means that you're now obstructing the board. Imagine a wizard trying to choose where to play a spell radius by measuring... that's going to get really crazy and slow.
Yeah the main thing that tape measures screw with is the ability to easily determine distance just by looking. The only way you really know is by measuring something out, and that means that you're now obstructing the board. Imagine a wizard trying to choose where to play a spell radius by measuring... that's going to get really crazy and slow.

Not really, it's faster in some ways. Ever watched a Warhammer/WarMachine game? They have a templet that they lay over an area to judge things. You can cut one out of cardboard. Or you can just eyeball it. Trust me, it gets easier once you can visualize things. Heck, you don't even need the table at all. If you know distance X and can run that in your head as a DM. Your golden.
The only problem with 1-2-1 is slowing the game down when players try to optimize their movements. They'll figure one way to move, then have to recount as they look for another way to move to get the most out of their movement.
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The only problem with 1-2-1 is slowing the game down when players try to optimize their movements. They'll figure one way to move, then have to recount as they look for another way to move to get the most out of their movement.

The optimal path is always the one with just one diagonal movement. Anytime an even amount of diagonals is taken you break even. If you want to optimize movement, tell your players to take one diagonal movement in the desired direction and cardinal movements for the rest.

Really, 1-1-1 movement doesn't add any value to the game. Why fix what isn't broken?
Really, 1-1-1 movement doesn't add any value to the game. Why fix what isn't broken?

This argument just makes me want to slap my forehead (or someone else's)...

It doesn't add any value to your game. To mine, it does.
Really, 1-1-1 movement doesn't add any value to the game.

Cos 1-1-1 movement does add value by simplifying movement and speeding up play.

Why fix what isn't broken?

It isn't being fixed, it's being replaced with something better.
Cos 1-1-1 movement does add value by simplifying movement and speeding up play.

I can't imagine this speeding up the game to a noticeable degree in any group of people. I mean, the 1-2-1 counting is so simple that I've never seen it slow anything down in my group. Players incorporating diagonals figure out their moves as fast as those who don't. There isn't really an appreciable difference.


It isn't being fixed, it's being replaced with something better.

No, it is being replaced with a "simpler" rule at the expense of something that made more sense and was just as easy to incorporate. That doesn't make it better.

But it's something that is so easy to house rule that it really doesn't make enough difference to argue about it. People who like it will keep 1-2-1, those who find their counting sufficiently challenged will move to 1-1-1. :D
I can't imagine this speeding up the game to a noticeable degree in any group of people. I mean, the 1-2-1 counting is so simple that I've never seen it slow anything down in my group. Players incorporating diagonals figure out their moves as fast as those who don't. There isn't really an appreciable difference.

Add in difficult terrain, tumbling, and perhaps some vertical movement and tell me how "simple" it is. It also leads to a lot more recounting of movement as players attempt to maximize efficiency.

No, it is being replaced with a "simpler" rule at the expense of something that made more sense and was just as easy to incorporate. That doesn't make it better.

1-2-1-2 does not make more sense, it is just slightly more reflective of reality. These are not the same thing.

But it's something that is so easy to house rule that it really doesn't make enough difference to argue about it. People who like it will keep 1-2-1, those who find their counting sufficiently challenged will move to 1-1-1. :D

It is equally easy to make it 1-1-1-1 and those who are arrogant enough to consider those supporting the change to be "challenged" can house rule it to 1-2-1-2 and can sit around patting themselves on the back and basking in their imagined intellectual superiority while the rest of us play the game and have fun.
It is equally easy to make it 1-1-1-1 and those who are arrogant enough to consider those supporting the change to be "challenged" can house rule it to 1-2-1-2 and can sit around patting themselves on the back and basking in their imagined intellectual superiority while the rest of us play the game and have fun.

Unfortunately for that argument, since 1-2-1 is just as easy to implement, we'll be playing the game and having just as much fun as you will.

And the rule is quite a bit more reflective of reality in terms of distance moved, not just slightly more. Thus, it makes a lot more sense to have it.
Add in difficult terrain, tumbling, and perhaps some vertical movement and tell me how "simple" it is. It also leads to a lot more recounting of movement as players attempt to maximize efficiency.

This strikes me as a problem with inumeracy. I mentioned it before: the optimal path is always the one with just one diagonal movement and the rest cardinal ones. If you're constantly re-doing moves it's because you're not taking this into account. For difficult terrain/tumbling you're just doubling movement costs. Doubling the number 2 is about as difficult as doubling the number 1.

1-2-1-2 does not make more sense, it is just slightly more reflective of reality. These are not the same thing.

The rules more closely adhering to Euclidean geometry makes more sense to me because it is more reflective of reality.

It is equally easy to make it 1-1-1-1 and those who are arrogant enough to consider those supporting the change to be "challenged" can house rule it to 1-2-1-2 and can sit around patting themselves on the back and basking in their imagined intellectual superiority while the rest of us play the game and have fun.

If you really think that those of us wishing to maintain 1-2-1-2 movement do it because of some elitist desire I don't think you really get it.

For many of us the change presents virtually no benefit and is noticeably inferior in at least one regard (adherence to Euclidean distances)
so does moving diagonally into a square of difficult terrain cost 2 or 4 squares of movement alternately,, or does each cost cost 3 movement? The second option is more 'accurate' and creates yet another deviation from the norm.

I don't have any problem with 1-2-1-2 movement, i'm just not sure it addes anything of worth to the game. Especially when people have figured out to only take one square of diagonal movement and get a little free movement out of the system (by never paying the 2)