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Ditching the Speed Chart


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This has probably been done before, but I can’t seem to find a “search” feature. Do you have any experience with ditching the Speed Chart? Just to put things in context, this idea is for Heroic games, not Superheroic. I want something like D20 or Gurps, where each character gets one action per round.

 

Issue 1 is SPD, which becomes meaningless. You could simply ignore it, and have players act in order of DEX + lightning reflexes. Or, reduce the cost to 1 CP for 1 rank and use a D20-ish initiative (3d6 + Speed + LR, roll once before combat begins.)

 

Issue 2 is Phase 12 recovery. Not sure what to do here (other than just ignore it) or say everyone gets a recovery after “round” 12.

 

Issue 3 is Flash, which relies on segments. Could you simply say that it works that many “rounds” or would that make Flash too powerful?

 

Anything else I’m missing?

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There was a discussion about this not too long ago but I can't find it with the search, either.

 

I think the core of if came down to 'why are you removing it'?

 

If it's because people going on different speeds is chaotic to track (and that's usually why someone wants to remove the speed attribute) then that's easy to fix - give everything in the game the same speed value for free and make it a dormant attribute - unable to be modified positively or negatively by anything in the game.

 

This lets flash, post 12 recoveries, aborting, and everything else that relies on the chart function without any sort of modification.  I'd recommend a set speed of 3 or 4 for a heroic game - that's 3 or 4 actions before the post 12 recovery.

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Ha!  Could not find using the search function on the site but Google is indeed your friend in such situations.  There are several conversations you might want to look at but I am highlighting this purely because I started it over five years ago!!  

 

http://www.herogames.com/forums/topic/34338-re-vitalising-the-speed-chart/

 

Another talks about removing it completely

http://www.herogames.com/forums/topic/19397-removing-the-speed-chart/

 

Another option to look at

http://www.herogames.com/forums/topic/73785-replacing-the-speed-chart-with-a-shot-system/

 

Doc

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I use 2. It is really semantics really, as long as everybody is at the same speed.  My issue was actual game play speed using a virtual table top (MapTool). I would have removed Post-12 recovery, but I automated the recovered END/Stun/Regeneration.

 

I never got around to building the powers, but I wanted to add Speed "boosting" powers that would add an extra Phase into the mix from time to time for some cost. Maybe next time around.

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I use 2. It is really semantics really, as long as everybody is at the same speed.  My issue was actual game play speed using a virtual table top (MapTool). I would have removed Post-12 recovery, but I automated the recovered END/Stun/Regeneration.

 

I never got around to building the powers, but I wanted to add Speed "boosting" powers that would add an extra Phase into the mix from time to time for some cost. Maybe next time around.

 

There is one material difference: endurance and recovery per turn. Characters with lower speeds take fewer endurance burning actions per turn. As a result, a Speed 4 game will typically require characters be build with higher endurance and recovery scores than a Speed 2 game. Its not all semantics.

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If you do want some speed differentiation, a simple option might be:

 

Important characters are Speed 4 (Phases 3, 6, 9, 12).

 

Supporting characters are Speed 2 (Phases 6, 12).

 

As a result, you still only have four phases to deal with: 3, 6, 9, 12.

 

That requires slightly more tracking, however.

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There is one material difference: endurance and recovery per turn. Characters with lower speeds take fewer endurance burning actions per turn. As a result, a Speed 4 game will typically require characters be build with higher endurance and recovery scores than a Speed 2 game. Its not all semantics.

 

Good point. We switched mid-point in the campaign, after the characters were already built. Depending on the campaign, END and Recovery might be an issue or might not. Still, I see where you are coming from.

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Good point. We switched mid-point in the campaign, after the characters were already built. Depending on the campaign, END and Recovery might be an issue or might not. Still, I see where you are coming from.

 

Its really genre dependent, I think.

 

In a game that leverages powers heavily (super powers, flashy magic, etc) it would make a difference.

 

In an espionage or fantasy barbarians game, much less so.

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My most recent CHAMPIONS game was run without the speed chart. Everyone (including normals) had a SPD 4 for purposes of determining the Post-Segment 12 recovery time.

 

Characters acted in order of DEX, breaking ties by alphabetical character names. I thought it worked quite well. There was no confusion about who moves when, and combat moved pretty quickly. Admittedly, I had no Speedsters in the game, but I don't think that would have been a problem. Instead of buying up your SPD, buy a high DEX (so can go first) and spend those points on powers that simulate superspeed (AOE punches, very high running or teleport, Change Environment, and so forth).

 

For Flash effects and the like, characters bought the dice as normal, but we counted the BODY like a killing attack to determine duration (i.e., 3d6 of Flash would average 3 turns, max 6).

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For me, the speed chart was one of the big draws for Hero.  Everyone moving like clockwork taking turns just doesn't feel right, plus the stat gives some very interesting effects in combat.

 

I feel the same way.  Segmented movement with a turn equaling 12 seconds allows for a LOT more precision than the AD&D round (for example) -- without the need for the GM to handwave the order of events.  The gameplay is also a lot more tactical in nature with segmented movement, because now you can actually 'look for an opening' -- something super relevant when lower speed characters are interacting with higher speed characters.

 

"I've got a held action and if I don't use it this segment I'll lose it since the next segment is my phase.  Hmm, he just attacked my teammate; I think I'll half-move up to him and POW!"  -- says the guy playing a SPD 2 character regarding the SPD6 attacker he is about to throttle.  (I take immense pleasure in doing that with low speed support characters, by the way.  It takes a lot of patience, but it's SOOOO worth it ... as long as you make it count.)

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If you do want some speed differentiation, a simple option might be:

 

Important characters are Speed 4 (Phases 3, 6, 9, 12).

 

Supporting characters are Speed 2 (Phases 6, 12).

 

As a result, you still only have four phases to deal with: 3, 6, 9, 12.

 

That requires slightly more tracking, however.

With a speed 2 you could add a power for 10/level that gives an extra action every other go around of the 'table' for 20 pts the player takes 2 actions back to back before allowing the next person to take their action(s)

 

ie for 10 pas

first action every one takes their actions. next go around everyone who has the extra action power can take 2 back to back actions. etc

 

ie 

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However, it is worth considering that for a lot of heroic games, almost everything will be speed 3 or 4 anyway, so there won't be a huge difference.

 

I did consider a system in which people had as many phases as their speed, then rolled 3d6 each segment they wanted to act.  If it was under their DEX, they got to move, but each successive segment of action was a penalty to the roll so it was harder and harder to act sequentially.

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I recall reading one house rule, might have been Marcus', in which each phase, if you rolled your speed or less on 2d6, you could go that segment. This still allows some to have better speed, while not making it set in stone which segments you get to go, all fairly simply determined, so reducing the in-gametime work.

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Thanks to everyone for the responses. And thanks for the links, Doc-- interesting stuff. But in the end, I think I'll just ignore SPD, as well as END, and phase 12 REC. If players want a REC, they'll have to take a 1-phase action. I would not use these mods for a Champions game, but for this experiment (a gritty, humans-only FH game) I think it will work well.

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I recall reading one house rule, might have been Marcus', in which each phase, if you rolled your speed or less on 2d6, you could go that segment. This still allows some to have better speed, while not making it set in stone which segments you get to go, all fairly simply determined, so reducing the in-gametime work.

 

There's actual several variations on this idea.  If you do a google search for "speed chart" site:herogames.com/forums you'll find quite a few options.  A couple of mine from way back in the day were:

 

1. GM rolls a d12 each Segment.  If your SPD is equal or higher, you get to act that segment.  Post-12 recovery happens every 12 segments.

2. As above but the GM draws a number out of a hat each segment.  When the hat is empty, post-12 recovery happens and all the numbers are put back in.

3. GM draws a number out of a hat each Segment and that's the column on the Speed Chart that gets used.  When the hat is empty, post-12 recovery happens and all the numbers are put back in.

 

There's a whole slew of Speed Chart variations out there

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