Random 4e Musing: Movement…

2008 June 16
by Dante

This morning I find myself in the office at an unusually ungodly hour. I fully expect to achieve miraculous feats of productivity that include sitting quietly and breathing in-and-out to the tune of our white noise machine.

Because of this horrible situation, I blearily found myself wandering downstairs this morning and I tripped on the dog. This forced me to wheel out of the way of the end table and love seat, resulting in a vaguely marionettish finish in the middle of my living room. I was satisfied to have avoided all major obstacles, but it got me thinking about something related to the newly released fourth edition of D&D: movement.

I have only made it through what little I could glean from the new PHB, but it seems that many of the battle-oriented skills (the at will/encounter/daily ones) have to do with manipulating squares on the battle grid. I have seen that standard movement is done as a function of squares now as well.

This doesn’t implicitly bother me that much (those skills are COOL, by and large), using a standard measure is bound to make things less complicated in the long run. What I don’t like about this situation is that it does push a little more planning time onto the DM, or at least a little more “board prep” time during the game. I fully suspect that I would be able to squeeze out an impromptu drawing on the battle grid to relay the scene to my gaming group, however the cleanup and drawing process does take a little time when you use a vinyl battle mat like we do.

This might force me into doing the whole “plexi-glass overlay” thing that I have been thinking about for quite some time, but that involves more work than I’m willing to undertake in my currently sleep deprived state.

I’m sure this development is going to increase the sales of battle grid accouterments and what-not, so that might be interesting to behold. In the past, my reasons for not buying in to the many tools designed to make battle grids more interesting, easy to generate, or the like is that it seems to be a fairly large amount of outlay for only a few minutes of enjoyment during most of our gaming sessions. To fully leverage some of the really cool stuff you are forced to plan in advance or else face the annoyed groans of your campaign-members as you pull out set pieces, landscape tiles, and the like… and I’m not very good at knowing when to plan for that type of thing yet.

I’m sure in time, my skills in such matters will improve but for now I’m going to keep enjoying the fun descriptions on skills and not sweat the details so much.

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