Moving In Combat

In combat players become concerned about the details of movement because small variations in position can mean the difference between life and death. Movement can be tracked using figures, 5' squares and battlemats, or it may be handled in a more abstract manner. Whichever method is used the principles are the same. Movement in combat requires characters to use potential in actions that overcome the resistance set by the terrain.

To move in combat characters need either an action with a Movement keyword or to rely on a potential action. As with any other action, the character spends potential and rolls their dice and the resistance is set by the terrain and other factors. There is one significant difference: movement is an anomaly because the characters only have to equal the resistance to succeed, rather than beat it.

Movement Types

A potential action is the normal method of movement for most creatures. With the expenditure of a single dynamic potential the character can make a single movement. This can be a mosey (walk) which delivers a fixed rate of movement or a run which is more variable but can take the character twice as far as a mosey. Characters can make multiple movements in a single turn, spending one potential for each, but these are distinct and separate actions. This is important when characters or foes have opportunity advantages or other special abilities triggered by movement.

The Movement keyword appears on relatively few advantages and is generally used for more specialised forms of movement. Using a Movement keyword has two major benefits for a player over using a potential action. They may combine multiple available and appropriate advantages together as long as at least one has the Movement keyword. By combining advantages the character can make a single large movement which helps avoids obstacles and reduces the threat from opportunity actions. The second major benefit of advantages with the Movement keyword is their CP and dice value can be increased. Characters using only potential actions can never move faster than a mosey or 1d6+0 run.

The characters' form of movement is down to the game's narrative and common sense. Humans move on two feet, birds fly, fish swim but they all mosey or run and all move at the same rate. It also applies when characters adopt other forms of movement such as swimming, flying, burrowing, climbing or teleporting.


A mosey or walk is a short movement that exchanges distance for consistency. It can only be used for movement using a potential action or for an action consisting of a single advantage with the Movement keyword. The mosey does not need a dice roll and provides the character with a predictable amount of movement equivalent to a dice score of three. Mosey can only be performed during an initiative action and not as part of an opportunity action.


Running allows the character to move further, but it is a less predictable form of movement. It can be used with a potential action and must be used when the movement action consists of more than one advantage. Running using a potential action is worth 1d6+0.

Movement Resistance

Movement actions is opposed by Movement Resistance (MR) which is set by the nature of the terrain the character is moving across. For detailed tactical movement the terrain is split up into 5' squares and each square may have a different movement resistance. One 5' square of flat level ground has a MR of one and a character only has to equal the resistance to move into the square. It does not matter from which direction the character enters the square, the movement resistance of a square is always the same regardless of the direction of travel. Players do not need to state where they are moving before they roll their action dice. They can choose their route and destination based on their action score but once they have rolled or declared they are moseying they must move at least one 5' square.

Failing a movement action occurs when a character cannot move the required minimum distance of one square. The consequences of failing depend on the circumstances and can range from no effect or simply slipping over to misjudging a jump and plummeting to the ground.

Movement Resistance per 5' square
MR 1
Flat, level surface; the floor of a house.
MR 2
Rough, difficult or slippery ground; ploughed field or snow.
MR 3
45° or more slope; a river bank.
MR 4
Near-vertical slope or horizontal 5' jump; a rocky outcrop.
MR 5
Vertical slope with few handholds; a well-built castle wall.
MR 6
Smooth, vertical slope; a glass facade on a skyscraper.
MR 7
An overhang or vertical 5' jump; a balcony.

With some modes of transport such as flying, terrain does not have any impact and all squares are treated as having a MR of one. Game Leaders can introduce resistances based on other factors such as weather, river currents or fluctuations in the trans-dimensional astral plane.

Hidden Movement Resistance

It is assumed characters are able to assess the terrain before moving and pick their route accordingly. Occasionally hazards may be hidden, such as the level snow hiding the deep ditch. Game Leaders should not tell the players until they move and reach the squares with the troublesome terrain. The character can then decide whether to carry on, if they have a high enough action score to beat the new resistance, or to stop their movement.

Boban and Razir are enjoying a quiet drink in the Dead Pony Tavern, a favourite haunt of adventurers, when in walk the town guards who immediately spot the two notorious thieves. It is time for a quick getaway. The Game Leader declares that the guards are five squares away from the heroes and the back door of the tavern is ten squares away from them (15 squares from the guards).

It is Boban to act and she has four dynamic potential. Looking at the distance, she decides to mosey four times, each time using one of her potential as a potential action. Four moseys later, each covering three squares, she is out of the door (only ten squares away).

The guards go next. The Game Leader decides they have two potential available and they are running towards Razir. Rather than roll for each guard, she declares there will be one dice roll for all the guards. The guards are using potential actions and rolling 1d6+0. They get a two, leaving them three away from Razir. The guards spend their second potential, this time to mosey. The guaranteed result of three takes them right up to Razir but they have no potential left.

Razir is last to act but is running using his Sprint advantage worth 1d6+1 and, after a discussion with the group, Grace (1d6+2) as he elegantly starts his move by leaping over a table. The Game Leader says that the leap will add three on the movement resistance. Razir rolls three on the dice, scoring a total of six. The first square of movement counts as three and the rest one each, so he has only travelled four squares. He is still six away from the back door.

Occupied Squares

Characters can move into squares occupied by other characters or foes with an additional cost to the movement resistance. A square occupied by an ally (or a person choosing not to hinder the character) raises the square's movement resistance by one. Attempting to enter a square containing someone who wishes to prevent this happening grants the occupant a proximity resistance action against the movement. Their resistance action is added to the movement resistance for the square. If the occupant is unable to act, the minimum resistance score of one is added to the movement resistance. If the square's total resistance prevents the character from entering, the movement ends with the character outside the occupied square.

There is no additional movement resistance for leaving an occupied square unless the occupant wishes to prevent it. Leaving triggers a proximity resistance action and its score is added to the movement resistance of the next square the character is attempting to enter. If the movement action cannot equal or exceed the resistance for the next square the character remains stationary. Because all resistance actions score a minimum of one, leaving a square when the occupant wishes to resist always increases the movement resistance by at least one.

A character attempting to pass through a square occupied by an enemy in the same movement action will trigger the resistance penalties both for entering the square and for leaving it.


For the most part players and Game Leaders should ignore the weight and bulk of the equipment the characters are carrying. Common sense should be applied and if a character is clearly carrying too much the Game Leader can simply state they cannot move under such a load. As a rule of thumb, a character can carry enough equipment for a few days of travel plus weapons and armour without being penalised.

Sometimes a character will be encumbered and still wish to move and act, for instance when carrying an unconscious companion to a rescue craft. The character gains the Encumbered status effect with a dice value set by the Game Leader as appropriate to the load being carried. A CP 10 / 1d6+3 effect would be appropriate for carrying an adult human. In some situations a character who is unencumbered will still find themselves disadvantaged by their equipment. It is very hard to swim in plate metal armour and the Game Leader must use their discretion and apply situation bonuses as appropriate.

Any situation bonuses or additional resistance for encumbrance are rolled and added to the movement resistance for the first square the character wishes to enter.

Standing, Sitting & Lying Down

Characters are always assumed to take the most favourable position for their action. They swap between standing, sitting and lying down as needed without the player stating this, and without it costing potential. The exception to this occurs when a character is knocked down, falls down or is otherwise forced to change position. Standing up afterwards requires a movement action with an MR equal to the MR of the square currently occupied. This may be done as part of a mosey or run.

Moving & Acting

With a few exceptions movement cannot be combined with an another action focus because very few things get easier when moving. The reverse is also true with very few actions making it easier to move. Game Leaders should require players to make separate actions for movement and other activities.

5' Step

A 5' step allows the character to attack with a melee weapon and, by spending one additional dynamic potential, to move one 5' square. This models the constantly moving nature of hand-to-hand combat, the benefit to an attack of the extra momentum of the movement and the difficulty in defending against a moving opponent. The 5' step is only usable in initiative and opportunity actions and not in resistance or other types of actions.

Staying Hidden

Moving and remaining hidden from detection is an act of deceit and suffers the standard 2d6+0 penalty to the resistance for acting while deceiving.

Less Tactical Movement

For Game Leaders who are playing without battlemats and figures, movement will necessarily be less exact. Instead of moving three squares, characters will want to move to the other side of the room or run down the fire escape. Movement is handled in exactly the same way for this style of game except that the Game Leader will set the movement resistance.


DT, 2013/08/03 17:21

After much pondering I have indeed changed “and Other Mediums” to “and Other Media.” I'm still not convinced either way though.

Chris Tregenza, 2013/08/11 11:20

Completely changed the title.

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open/mechanics/core/combatmovement.txt · Last modified: 2014/03/15 17:59 by darth_tigger
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