Wednesday, December 9, 2015

ACKS: Wilderness Movement Points (Also: Snow, Weasels)

The current "you have n miles of move, times m for terrain, and you can go that far in a day" wilderness movement system works great in homogeneous terrain.  In heterogeneous terrain, however, it becomes a pain in the ass.  Hence, a simplifying abstraction!

A lovely, grassy, flat 1.5 mile hex of plains or farmland costs one movement point to traverse.

A party in the wilderness has 4 MP/day per 30' of movement speed.
  • 30' -> 4 MP
  • 60' -> 8 MP
  • 90' -> 12 MP
  • 120' -> 16 MP
And so forth for mounted parties.  Forced March increases the MP available in a given day by 50%.

The following terrain types have the the following costs to traverse in movement points:
  • Grassland hills, flat forests: 3/2 (Three per two)
  • Wooded hills, barren mountains, swamps: 2
  • Forested mountains, icy mountains, forested swamps?: 3
  • Truly miserable haunted mountain glacier hellscapes not fit for man: 4
Following a road drops the MP cost down one category (so following a road through a hex of flat forest costs 1 MP rather than 3/2, road through mountains is 3/2 rather than 2, and so forth). Bad weather, snow, or mud increase the cost by at least one category (ie, snow-covered mountains are 3 MP instead of 2 because they have standing snowdrifts, and go up to 4 when actively snowstorming).

Snowshoes may be used to negate the movement penalty for snow on the ground (and weigh one item (sixth of a stone) per pair).  Skis on snow-covered terrain can reduce its cost to traverse to one category lower than its base (ie, snow-covered mountain is only 3 MP per 2 hexes when traversed with skis in good weather), but weigh one stone per pair.  Fighting while wearing skis is sort of hard, and may require Riding (Skis) to move and attack in the same round.  Snowshoes and skis are not compatible with livestock, except for dogsleds, riding sabretooth tigers, packmammoths, and other extra-fuzzy beasts of burden specifically adapted to the snow, who count as having snowshoes.  Characters with Riding (Skis) may skijor behind such beasts under snowy conditions.  I will figure out rules for this later, but it will be fast - as the beast doesn't actually need to carry the rider's weight except on the uphill, skijorers probably count as less encumbrance than their actual weight for determining the overland speed of the beast+skijorer combo.

TODO figure out sled dog prices and availability in markets.

Iceweasel: Not Just A Firefox Fork Anymore
Begin digression

Huh, giant weasels are actually very competitive with grizzly bears and giant boars stat-wise (faster, lower AC, comparable HD, low damage but they latch on so they only need to hit once, best carrying capacity of the three, scent, noted to sometimes burrow into dungeons -> you can probably take them into dungeons).  Not trainable as war mounts per DaW:C ("Anyone can ride a giant weasel...  once."), but hunting/packweasels (or Beast Friendship henchweasels) would be pretty great.

In the Cons column, if they fail morale they might flip out and try to eat you.  They're also pretty pricey, but that sword cuts both ways when you're using them as garrison (Excellent for garrison duty.  "The peasants' revolt has reached our gates, sire."  "I had hoped it wouldn't come to this, but...  release the weasels."  "I...  I've never seen so much blood, sire.") or you've established a giant weasel breeding program to corner the market.

Apparently "a confusion of weasels" and "a boogle of weasels" are both valid collectives for weasels.  If I just came up with a random-ass collective noun for some animal, I wonder how long it would take before google decided it was actually a thing.  Your homework assignment for tonight is to use "a conspiracy of cuttlefish" in a sentence somewhere on the internet (seriously, with those w-shaped pupils and adaptive camouflage, they can't be up to any good).  I look forward to your reports.

End digression

Right. Where was I before I started thinking about snow and weasels?

If the party doesn't have enough MP to traverse the next hex at the end of the day, keep track of how much of the next hex they still need to traverse.  You know, the sensible thing.

I think that's all there is to this.  Should make dealing with the sort of overland adventures in mixed terrain we're doing a touch easier.

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