[CONAN] A Thought About Turn-Based Movement

You may have run into this situation before: Your players have their PCs spread out across a corridor in some old, dusty, crumbling ruin. They're approaching a right angle turn, and from around the corner comes an enemy guard.

Initiative is rolled. The PCs want to stop the guard from raising the alarm, but the guard wins initiative. The guard bails. He's elbows and boot soles, running back in the opposite direction.

Initial distance between the PCs and the guard was 40 feet. But, now the guard has moved 120 feet, making it a total of 160 feet. The most the PCs can move and still attack is 30 feet, meaning that range will be 130 feet.

The problem that players sometime have with this is the movement. The argument: "I've got my spear in my hand! I can't chunk it at him before he gets to the end of his movement, a full 6 seconds later?"

This can be exceptionally frustrating when the foe run right past (but not in an AoO space) a PC holding a distance weapon. "He just ran past me. Range was 30 foot. Why can't I attack him there instead of waiting until he's 90 more feet away from me?"

Thus is one of the ugly faults of turn based combat in a game system that allows a character to take a full 6 seconds of action before the next character moves.

I've got a thought. I'm still thinking about it, because I'm not sure if implementing the house rule is worth the fuss.

The idea is to maintain the game round just the way it is except for movement. On a character's initiative count, he can only move a distance of 1x or 2x Speed. That way, a typically 60 foot charge is still easy to play. A character can move and attack. Or, a character can move 2x Speed without performing other actions.

We're basically allowing the play of half movement and actions, then the second half of the round goes to allowing characters that move 3x or 4x Speed to finish their movement. All other standard rules remain.

Looking at the scenario above, let's say the guard came around the corner, and initiative was thrown, with the guard winning nish. The guard would move 60' and indicate that he's going to run all-out, completing the second part of his movement after everybody else has moved.

So, if you move 30 feet and attack, you're good. Or, you can move 60 and do no more actions (you can attack on a charge, though), allowing everybody else to complete actions, before it comes back to you to finish any other movement at 90 or 120 feet.

What do you think about this. Easy, simple idea? Or, too fussy and not worth the effort--the original rules are fine.

A version of the OP--two PC's round a corner in an Archeronian ruin and see a human guard standing 10 foot away, facing them. There is no surprise. Initiative is thrown. The Guard wins.

1. The Guard wants to run, full-out, down away from the PCs, to warn his comrades. Speed 30. He is only allowed to move 60 foot at this time (he can complete his move of an additonal 60 after the two PCs have moved).

Thus, the Guard starts at 10 foot from the PCs, then moves 60. At this point, he's at 70 foot from the PC's, with 60 more feet coming.

2. PC 1 goes next. He's got a spear and wants to throw it at the guard. He moves 30 feet and throws his spear. Distance is 40 foot to the target. The spear has a 10' range increment, which means PC 1 can take this shot at a -6 penalty.

That sounds reasonable, yes, doesn't it?

3. PC 2 is last to move in the initiative count. He pulls his axe from his belt, which he can do as an action combined with his movement, moves 30 feet, and throws. His attack is also at a -6 penalty.

See...the difference in this and the RAW is that the attack is possible.

4. Now that everybody has acted, the Guard, if he still lives, can complete the rest of his movement, so he now moves 60 more feet, ending the round 100 feet from the PCs.

I think that all plays out easily, nicely, and smoothly.