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

From: "Charles Gadda" <cgadda@earthlink.net>

... some profound disconnects between movement and time
in Melee/TFT and the real world.

I come down on TFT movement with these rationalizations. Not that the players have ever asked. But like you say, it's worth a closer look. I open with two quotes from the rules. From there I do the mental gynastics called "rationalizing" and come up with an apprach that seems ok to me. Then I conclude with a comparison of TFT only cross country movement table to the five second movement rates. The use of an underscore before and after words represents _italisized_ words in the origianl text.

"If figures are fleeing from a foe - that is, if they are disengaged, and have spent the previous turn running away - they _automatically_ get initiative if and only if they use it to continue their escape."
        - AM pg 5.  Initiative, paragraph 3.

"Dragons CAN fly. The speeds given here do not reflect the dragons full cross-country flying speed. The first number given under MA is the dragon's ground MA; the second is his flying MA _in combat._ A dragon flying cross-country is at least four times as fast as a horse."
        - ITL page 53.

So out of combat it is officialy granted that dragons fly four times faster than their listed MA. Their listed MA being about equal to a horses. So it comes down to a question of weather the creature is in combat or not. The implication being that all MA listed is for creatures in combat. Now I encoutered two bears in Smokey Mountains National Park. They moved in silently and engaged the campsites garbage can. My memory of them was that they were large, slow, and determined. Fortunately I did not flee, and they did not persue me. If I had fled, and for some bizarre reason they decided to give chase, I don't think I would have been really surprised to see them double or even quadriple their speed. Their non combat, unengaged speed. Consider an olympic sprinter running a 50 yard dash. Now put a teenager in his path armed with a baseball bat. Or better yet, light a couple of spots in his lane on fire. I hazard to guess that the time will be substantially different. Now what does "out of combat" mean? Consider the first quote above from AM. It means you are fleeing the combat if nothing else. The sprinter would probably get his same olympic time if he were fleeing the baseball bat rather than running into it.

Lastly on page 72 of ITL it lists a horse doing 50km a day on a road. It also says "a horse cannot travel at or near its full MA for more than a couple of hours without exhaustion." So I use 1/2 MA for the horse traveling cross-country. Using some slap dash math I get the following.

    50,000m / 1.5m hex = 33333.333
    33333.333 / 12 MA = 2777.777
    2777.777 / 12 turns = 231.48 minutes
    231.48 / 60 = approximately 4 hours a day of actual forward progress.

I don't consider that too far off the mark. Maybe an MA of 6 is more appropriate as MA 12 for a horse could be considered a canter, and not a walk. So then it's 8 hours a day of forward progress. And humans can keep up at that rate. As long as the horse is carrying all the equipment.

So in conclusion, the exceptional speeds shown by some animals over short periods of time, like the cheeta or bear, are neither cross country travel, or combat travel. The easiest way for TFT to handle these cases is to give predators the speed movement spell. Let them spend some fatigue, and run down their prey.

    David Michael Grouchy II

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