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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Turns and Rounds

I really should get back to posting again…

So, I’ve been skimming through one of the arguments about the length of a melee round. It’s a frequent and unresolvable debate: some want a round to be something very short, typically ten seconds or six seconds or even 3.14 seconds. Others are happy to keep it at one minute.

But in a couple places, such as Keep n the Borderlands, there’s something like this:

For the sake of convenience, a DM can consider one entire melee turn to equal one normal turn (that is, 10 minutes), no matter how many melee rounds the combat took.

Ignore the phrase “melee turn” for a moment; after all, if we aren’t counting how many rounds are in a melee turn, then we’re really just talking about one combat. So one combat, no matter how long it takes, plus whatever time is left over, is one ten-minute exploration turn.

So why define the length of a melee round at all?

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1 comment:

  1. Why define the length of a melee round at all?

    So that you know what can be done in one round. Can I run and hit the switch on the tower that's 100 metres away? Piece of cake in a 1 minute round, a brisk walk will do it. Simply impossible in a six-second round.

    Can I rifle through the trash and find the macguffin before the troll kills my friends? Quite possibly with a one-minute round, ridiculous with a six second round.

    It's also worth keeping in mind while thinking about what can be done in a round that classic D&D movement rates only work with a short round; they are beyond laughably slow with a one-minute round. Either OD&D round length or movement speed is certainly an error in the transcription from Chainmail.