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Re: (TFT) A Problem of Time and Distance in Melee/TFT

As hinted, GURPS uses a more literal scale, and the average speed is five
yards per one-second turn, or six while sprinting (after one full turn
running in a straight line), which matches reality. The result is a more
literal match to the reality of "what someone could possibly do." The
problem this gets into, when trying to be literal and use the time combats
end up taking for other purposes, is that although someone could
physically do things that quickly, in practice, people rarely do move that
quickly. Much or even most of the time in an actual fight, from first
facing off to conclusion, people actually spend circling for an opening,
thinking about what to do, making sense of what is going on, hesitating,
etc. So while the actual swings may only take a few seconds, the whole
encounter may take dozens of seconds, or even longer.

That doesn't fit the gamer mentality or the pacing of turn-based human-run
games, though. Sitting over a game table waiting for your turn, you can
decide what to do fairly quickly, or in advance of it being your turn.

I've actually made and used expanded house rules for GURPS where every
character is rated for a Combat Sense skill, which combined with their
alertness and so on determines how well they understand their situation
and can act on it each turn. Planning and coordination is also limited by
leadership and communication skills. It was an interesting experiment, but
for board games, only suitable for maniacs. Worked out pretty well for
maniac and study purposes, though.

In sum, the 5-second turns in TFT are I think a fine abstraction. Isn't it
written they are "about five seconds"? Figure it takes into account the
actual time people would take, including disorientation, deciding what to
do, coordinating moves, and so on. The players may be in a hurry to kill
immediately, but the characters are in no hurry to die. It's not a
simulation of human limits, and in some cases, such as turns where
everyone is running down a hallway, maybe turns could be thought to
represent less time, if it makes any difference. Otherwise, I'd suggest to
just figure it's a reasonable compromise that works out in the end.

As for bears being able to out-run humans, yep, they can. They might
pursue or flee for their lives at full speed. I'm not sure that's how they
generally would engage, however. Again, correct modelling with more
precision (if players think about it and consider yes that's what they
really want) should somehow take into account what animals actually do in
practice, and not just their theoretical maximum performance.

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