View Full Version : Promoting movement in d&d 3.5-- brainstorming

2012-01-08, 05:04 PM
The thread title really says it all. I'm interested in trying to make tactical combat in D&D more of a mobile affair, rather than the current stand-still-and-full-attack or sit-in-corner-and-make-ranged-attacks mess that it currently is.

The first issue is full attacks, obviously. We need some way to make them either less appealing, or to ditch them altogether.
Revise the entire spring attack chain to make it more usable, so the skirmisher archetype becomes easier.
Generally provide more incentive for characters to move beyond just getting in range of attacks.
Make movement AoO's less attractive?

One possibility I'm considering is implementing some sort of facing system. The Unearthed Arcana variant isn't quite right; I'm thinking of something more like in the Final Fantasy Tactics games, if anyone's ever played those-- bonuses to attack and/or damage for attacks to the back and so on.

I don't really know where I'm going with this, though. Thoughts?

2012-01-08, 06:19 PM
You can make Full Attacks a standard action. This makes Pounce less necessary at mid-high levels which discourages the barbarian dip for Spirit Lion Totem. It does make spring attack et al kind of pants, but you could just cut out the feats altogether or stop the chain at Dodge (which should be improved).

Facing is another thing to track. You could implement something like: attacks from the side are at +2 to hit, attacks from behind are at +2 to hit and you are flat-footed. This makes maneuvering pretty important... it also means that in a fight between two melee combatants each of them will walk behind the other on their turn to get the sweet back-attack bonus. This is standard practice in Final Fantasy Tactics et al, but some people would argue that it is unrealistic.

I prefer to encourage movement not by changing the rules directly, but by changing the encounters. Invaders to a goblin warren will be chagrined when they realize that the goblins know where all the pits are, for example. Put together a spear hedge to give the PCs a bad day. Cast battlefield control spells. If bull rush was less terrible you could have more combats on cliffs and near lava. The advancing wall of slime/death/magma/etc during a fight encourages movement as well. Narrow bridges make who is where more important. Many of these can be obviated by flight, but at low levels they are sound and smoke, shrubbery, etc can reduce visibility from the air.