I don’t want this campaign to feel like D&D with super powers. With M&M being based heavily on D&D, it’s kind of hard not to get that feeling.
One of the ways I’ve come up with to help make it feel different is to limit or eliminate the battlemat completely. In some games, I love the battlemat. It makes things easy to visualize because you are seeing it in some way. However, since the powers are listed with ranges of a certain number of feet, and movement is done the same way, it can be difficult to keep track of all that info without a battlemat, or taking huge amounts of notes to make sure I keep the distances straight (as our play test against the tanks showed me).
Another problem I have with the battlemat is the severe change in thought that happens when it is pulled out. It turns from a ROLE PLAYING game to a role playing GAME. and the change of focus from story to board game means that the thought of winning above all else creeps in. I’d like to switch that focus from winning to writing a really cool action scene.
So, I created a new movement system to use in combat. Movement in combat is known as jockeying for position.
Here is how we jockey. Combat is broken up into the movement phase and the action phase. You roll initiative. We won’t talk about all of initiative, but just the jockeying for position part. So, for that, initiative is 1d20 plus your initiative bonus plus any ranks you have in movement powers that you are using for this round.
We then “act” from low to high. Act is in quotes, because nothing happens right now. We just say where we are moving to. The actions actually happen on the next phase. For right now, it’s just important to know where you are moving to. So, if one hero was fighting 3 armed thugs, two with knifes and one with a gun, and the hero rolled highest, it would go like this.
Thug 1: I move into melee range.
Thug 2: I move into melee range.
Thug 3: I stay out of melee range.
Hero: I teleport out of melee range of the first 2 thugs, and into melee range of the thug with the gun.
So, by rolling higher, and going last, you actually have final say in the positions. The higher you roll, and thus the later you get to declare, the better position you will end up in.
As for how to tell if you can reach your target. Right now, I’m settling for very few range descriptions. There will be melee range. Point blank range. Far range. Extended range. And then out of range.
Melee range means right next to you. Each person able to throw and land a punch on each other. From melee range, you can move to ranged range as a move action, to far range as a double move action, and to extended range as a run action.
Point blank range means that you can only hit your target with a range weapon. Or, if there is something like a stretching power or growth power, one person can reach the other, but the other is unable to reach back.
Far range is still within a weapons range, but outside of normal movement range. You can shoot them, but not run up and punch them. You can chance them down if you do nothing but move, or you can charge them (which is a double move with an attack where you don’t care as much about your safety). But normal attacks are out of the question.
Extended range is on the outer limits of combat. Ranged weapons still work, but unless they were designed for long distances, you take negatives. You cannot melee attack someone at this range at all unless you have a movement power.
Out of range. They are so far out of range they cannot be targeted at all.