Jetboots Redux

JCab747's picture
JCab747
December 30, 2017 - 6:10pm

A few months ago, Jedion posted a treasure trove of old Dragon magazine articles in one PDF on this site.

One of them was a story called “Jetboots don’t fail me now!” by Charles A. Venelli that was in the November 1988 issue of Dragon Magazine. You can see a separate PDF of this original story here: http://www.starfrontiers.us/node/9954

Vanelli offers an alternative way to calculate a character’s movement rate and his story begins with this vignette:

Player (whose character; a space-station security guard, has unexpectedly discovered an intruder in a storage area): “I back away, drawing my nightstick.”

Referee: “Great, because the guy takes off the moment he sees you. He’s carrying a box from the storeroom.”

Player: “I chase after him! When I catch up, I’ll smack him with my nightstick! I move at 30 meters per turn.”

Referee: “Being a human, the intruder also runs at 30 meters per turn.”

Player: “Well, then, how am I gonna catch him?”

Good question. Unless the intruder happens to slip on a convenient banana peel or other unforeseen obstacle, the poor security guard may never get his man. Here we see evidence of a flaw in the STAR FRONTIERS® game, in that all beings of the same race run at the same rate of speed.

The problem, however, is not just limited to running or walking; it also applies to swimming, climbing, and just about every other movement task that a character might attempt.

In the STAR FRONTIERS game, all creatures are given a set of movement rates which are dependent only upon the races of the creatures involved. Thus, every Human in the Frontier runs just as fast as every other Human. The same can be said for Yazirians, Dralasites, and every other known race.

Obviously, this just isn’t the case. Any decent member of an Olympic track team could beat the socks off the average person on Earth in a foot race, yet the current movement system would not allow this.

Since all characters are not created equal in the STAR FRONTIERS game system, all speeds should not be equal. Speed should be based upon the basic attribute scores of a character and the character.s race. (Obviously, a Dralasite cannot run as fast as a Vrusk.)

Vanelli then proceeds to offer a diversified movement rate system based on the average of a character’s strength and reaction speed.

“The Strength score is used in the MRM because a character’s speed and quickness are based upon the strength of the muscles within that character’s limbs,” Vanelli wrote. “The Reaction Speed score is used because, by definition, it is a measure of a person’s quickness.”

By taking the average of Strength and Reaction Speed, you create a Movement Rate Modifier, then use a series of somewhat complicated charts (of which I think there are some typos in the statistics) to calculate a character’s speed.

Joe Cabadas
Comments:

JCab747's picture
JCab747
December 30, 2017 - 6:13pm

I think there is an easier way, though it would still be based on a combination of a character’s Strength and Reaction Speed, which becomes their race’s Average Movement Value (AMV) – this number is simply arrived at by adding the STR and RS scores.

 

Table 1: Average STR, RS and Movement Values by Race

Race

Average Strength

Average Reaction Speed

Average Movement Value

Base Walking Speed*

Base Running Speed*

Base Hiking Speed**

Dralasite

50

40

90

5 m/t

20 m/t

3 kph

Human

45

45

90

10 m/t

30 m/t

 5 kph

Humma1

55

45

100

10/25 m/t

35/50 m/t

6 kph

Ifshnit

40

45

85

4 m/t

15 m/t

2 kph

Osakar

50

50

100

25 m/t

60 m/t

10 kph

Vrusk

40

50

90

15 m/t

35 m/t

6 kph

Yazarian

35

50

85

10 m/t

30 m/t

4 kph

Satheroid2

45

40

85

10 m/t

20 m/t

3 kph

*Walking and running speeds are the distance that a character can travel in meters per turn (m/t).

**Hiking speed represents the rate a character can walk, with appropriate rest periods, over long periods of time, represented in kilometers per hour (kph).

(1) Humma can conduct leaping and spring charge attacks, which is why there is a second number for their walking and running speeds. Leaping can only be done for 10 turns, followed by 30 minutes of rest.

(2) Includes Sathar and the optional S’sessu races.

 

So, if a character’s Strength and Reaction Speed equals or is about the same as their racial average, then their walking, running and hiking speeds remains unchanged.

Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
December 30, 2017 - 6:16pm

So, if a character’s Strength and Reaction Speed equals or is about the same as their racial average, then their walking, running and hiking speeds remains unchanged.

I propose that for every 5 points that a character has above their race’s Average Movement Value (the combination of the STR and RS scores), their walking speed increases by 0.5 m/t and running speed increases by 1 m/t.

Likewise, for every 5 points that a character has below their race’s Average Movement Value (the combination of the STR and RS scores), their walking speed is trimmed by 0.5 m/t and running speed decreases by 1 m/t.

Now, for Dralasite and Ifshnit characters, this could make them more turtle-like than ever. So, should there be a minimum “floor” where say an Ifshnit character with a STR of 35 and an RS of 35, giving them an AMV of 70 or 15 points below their racial average, wouldn’t be walking at  2.5 m/t and “running” at 12 m/t? Or does this sound right?

A Human with a STR of 35 and RS of 35 would be 20 points below average, giving them a walking speed of 8 m/t and a running speed of 26 m/t. So, does that work?

Now, some Olympic runners can do a 100 meter dash in under 10 seconds – running at 10 meters per second, so in a Star Frontiers’ speak that’s running at a rate of 60 meters per turn… So, what scores would such a Human character need, under this system, to accomplish that feat?

Hmm,  since that is about double the average speed, such a character would need an average STR and RS score of 90, right? Maybe I need to give this a bit more thought, but does anyone have any other ideas.

I’ll have to figure out something for the hiking rate.

Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
December 30, 2017 - 6:17pm

I have not yet put in statistics for the following charts, but they are based on Vanelli’s article.

 

Table 2: Other Average Movement Speeds by Race

 

Race

Base Climbing Speed

Base Crawling Speed

Base Swimming Speed

Base Swimming per Hour

Base Flying Speed

Dralasite

m/t

m/t

m

m

N/A

Human

m/t

m/t

m

m

N/A

Humma

m/t

m/t

m

m

N/A

Ifshnit

m/t

m/t

m

m

N/A

Osakar

m/t

m/t

m

m

N/A

Vrusk

m/t

m/t

m

m

N/A

Yazarian

m/t

m/t

m

m

N/A

Satheroid*

m/t

m/t

m

m

N/A

*Includes Sathar and S’sessu.

 

Table 3: Average Leaping Distance by Race

Race

Base Climbing Speed

Base Crawling Speed

Base Running Leap

Base Standing Leap

Base Running Vertical Leap

Base Standing Leap

Dralasite

m/t

m/t

m

m

m

m

Human

m/t

m/t

m

m

m

m

Humma

m/t

m/t

m

m

m

m

Ifshnit

m/t

m/t

m

m

m

m

Osakar

m/t

m/t

m

m

m

m

Vrusk

m/t

m/t

m

m

m

m

Yazarian

m/t

m/t

m

m

m

m

Satheroid*

m/t

m/t

m

m

m

m

*Includes Sathar and S’sessu.

 

Yes, Vanelli included a flying column for all the races listed even though no character race can naturally fly.

Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
December 30, 2017 - 6:19pm
Oh, and sorry I haven't been posting much lately or responding to other's posts. I have a bit of catching up to do, but I've been tied down with real life projects.
Joe Cabadas

sevanwint's picture
sevanwint
December 30, 2017 - 7:28pm
I have the characters roll their RS if they want try to move more than normal. If they succeed I let them move one more square. In a chase, the character with a higher RS will usually run farther over time. I suppose you could average STR and RS to get a movement score.

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
December 30, 2017 - 8:05pm
The irony of this article is the exact same problem exists in D&D --- the very game that Dragon magazine was intended for --- with the exception in that game being EVERYONE moves the same speed regardless of race or class. The movement rates are only affected by encumbrance and/or type of armor depending on the rule set.
No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

JCab747's picture
JCab747
December 31, 2017 - 1:14pm
sevanwint wrote:
I have the characters roll their RS if they want try to move more than normal. If they succeed I let them move one more square. In a chase, the character with a higher RS will usually run farther over time. I suppose you could average STR and RS to get a movement score.


This seems like a good house rule.
Joe Cabadas

iggy's picture
iggy
December 31, 2017 - 1:47pm
You could make the movement modifiers race dependent and not just +/-5 for all races.  A dral or ifshnit could be +/-3 and a vrusk +/-6.  Just throwing numbers out in the dark to help show my concept.  Also, wouldn't height or leg length to be more exact have an effect. People with really long legs can walk faster and/or longer than  short leg people.  So, same strength and reastion speed as another but longer or shorter legs will tweak the movement rate.

I do like Sevenwint's RS check idea for keeping the movement simple but allowing two matched movement rate beings to have a race.
-iggy

sevanwint's picture
sevanwint
December 31, 2017 - 2:04pm
How about an RS roll for a bonus of one square movement for dralasites, two for humans and yazirians, and three for vrusk? Just mess around with the amout of bonus for a successful roll. 

rattraveller's picture
rattraveller
December 31, 2017 - 8:41pm
iggy wrote:
You could make the movement modifiers race dependent and not just +/-5 for all races.  A dral or ifshnit could be +/-3 and a vrusk +/-6.  Also, wouldn't height or leg length to be more exact have an effect. People with really long legs can walk faster and/or longer than  short leg people.  So, same strength and reastion speed as another but longer or shorter legs will tweak the movement rate.

This can get complicated real fast.
Humans are the basis for movement but the racial characteristics of the other races were not really considered.

Yazirians are terrible runners. Jed sit down a minute and listen. They are aerborial and designed to glide not to run. Ever try running with big flaps attached to your arms and legs? While they are good at keeping up with Humans at short distance they quickly tire and go slower. (4km long distance compared to Human 5km)

Dralasites are not built for speed at all. They could make longer legs but there is no longer muscles to propel them. Although never stated the lack of knees also slows them down a bit too.

Vrusk have the shortest legs. They only stand 1.5 m or about 4' 11" tall. This is further broken down by legs that do not work like Human legs. They have a sideways scuttle not a flat out run.

Best to keep it to straight numbers and/or maybe the RS roll unless you want to give them Running Skill to give a bonus. 
Sounds like a great job but where did you say we had to go?

KRingway's picture
KRingway
January 2, 2018 - 6:47am
sevanwint wrote:
I have the characters roll their RS if they want try to move more than normal. If they succeed I let them move one more square. In a chase, the character with a higher RS will usually run farther over time. I suppose you could average STR and RS to get a movement score.


I think this is similar to what I used to house rule. RS comes into play because there's a chase involved between parties who are ostensibly evenly matched in terms of movement rate. I think that I had a check being made by both each round, and if either party were rolling lower than the other it would mean that they were either creating distance or catching up. All this worked within a given time and distance when this is happening, i.e. running some distance to a door, etc.

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
January 2, 2018 - 9:33am
The answer should be obvious: rather than roll against RS or whatever to speed up, you should roll against RS to maintain current speed. Failure means you slipped/tripped/stumbled and lost a few m/turn for that round.
No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

KRingway's picture
KRingway
January 2, 2018 - 3:11pm
Failing an RS roll means that usually happens in some way or another - you lose ground. If you both keep passing your rolls, the player with the lower roll gets the upper hand in that 30m stretch. It creates some nice tension, but the trick is not to get too bogged down in the minutae otherwise a nice chase scene gets stuck in the mud of maths Wink You just have to keep a picture on paper/in your head just were everyone is, and that's usually not too tricky. It's only really a problem if a player starts quibbling about the exact distances involved Laughing

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
January 2, 2018 - 4:55pm
There's an even easier solution: stop running, take careful aim, and shoot. Kiss
No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

JCab747's picture
JCab747
January 2, 2018 - 9:01pm
rattraveller wrote:
iggy wrote:
You could make the movement modifiers race dependent and not just +/-5 for all races.  A dral or ifshnit could be +/-3 and a vrusk +/-6.  Also, wouldn't height or leg length to be more exact have an effect. People with really long legs can walk faster and/or longer than  short leg people.  So, same strength and reastion speed as another but longer or shorter legs will tweak the movement rate.

This can get complicated real fast.


Exactly, which is why I don't want it to be complicated.

As for movement modifiers (and other ability score modifiers for that matter) based on height, weight, age, gender, etc. were covered in stories in Star Frontiersman magazine... issue 4 for most of them, though I think there was a story in a later issue.

I just want to take a complicated formula from the "Jetboots" Dragon magazine article and simplify it.

So, I just want to concentrate on the STR and RS scores and how that might impact how fast a character can walk, run, crawl, climb, swim, etc. without destroying SF's simplicity. You know, some optional rules.

I like the idea of an RS roll to allow a character to get an extra burst of speed, though a going an "extra square" would depend on the scale. Can a Dralasite move an extra square if it is only 2 meters? Sure.

But what if that square is 5 meters? Or 10? Or is it a 25 meter square?

Hmm, maybe an Olympian Dralasite could run faster.
Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
January 2, 2018 - 9:04pm
KRingway wrote:
sevanwint wrote:
I have the characters roll their RS if they want try to move more than normal. If they succeed I let them move one more square. In a chase, the character with a higher RS will usually run farther over time. I suppose you could average STR and RS to get a movement score.


I think this is similar to what I used to house rule. RS comes into play because there's a chase involved between parties who are ostensibly evenly matched in terms of movement rate. I think that I had a check being made by both each round, and if either party were rolling lower than the other it would mean that they were either creating distance or catching up. All this worked within a given time and distance when this is happening, i.e. running some distance to a door, etc.


There's also the character's endurance that comes into play. Isn't a character can run at top speed for the number of minutes equal to their STR score divided by 10? (If you use the Zeb's Running skill, then you can run twice as long, I think).
Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
January 2, 2018 - 9:04pm
Shadow Shack wrote:
The answer should be obvious: rather than roll against RS or whatever to speed up, you should roll against RS to maintain current speed. Failure means you slipped/tripped/stumbled and lost a few m/turn for that round.


An interesting idea!
Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
January 2, 2018 - 9:05pm
Shadow Shack wrote:
There's an even easier solution: stop running, take careful aim, and shoot. Kiss


Even a better idea.
Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
January 2, 2018 - 9:09pm
KRingway wrote:
Failing an RS roll means that usually happens in some way or another - you lose ground. If you both keep passing your rolls, the player with the lower roll gets the upper hand in that 30m stretch. It creates some nice tension, but the trick is not to get too bogged down in the minutae otherwise a nice chase scene gets stuck in the mud of maths Wink You just have to keep a picture on paper/in your head just were everyone is, and that's usually not too tricky. It's only really a problem if a player starts quibbling about the exact distances involved Laughing


Yes, I don't want to bog things down with math equations. I think the idea of "Jetboots" is you figure out your character's speed during character creation... but then the referee... or starbitrator, as I think either jedion or shadowshack coined... would have to worry about NPC's running speeds... but if you use any of the fan-created rules from SFman magazine, then that's what you're getting too.
Joe Cabadas

jedion357's picture
jedion357
January 4, 2018 - 9:16am
JCab747 wrote:
but then the referee... or starbitrator, as I think either jedion or shadowshack coined...


Not me, I'm a traditionalist and stick with the official Star Frontiers referee or GM if I'm feeling to lazy to write referee.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
January 4, 2018 - 10:15am
Yep, "starbitrator" was one I coined back in the day.


Mostly from the fact that I never owned any zebra shirts...
Related image
No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

JCab747's picture
JCab747
January 31, 2018 - 6:30pm
Here's what I've been working on, which is a compilation of various stories from Dragon, Star Frontiersman and Frontier Explorer magazines.

Fleshing Out Characters

The section that's done some major editing on is looking at the "Jetboots" story. What follows is my effort to simplify these rules.

Keep in mind, I offer the following rules as an option that can be used by referees (starbitrators) and players later in a campaign rather than worrying about it during initial character generation.
Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
January 31, 2018 - 6:33pm

Movement and Endurance

The following information is repeated from the Combat Section for clarity.

Running. Normally a character can run at top speed for a number of minutes equal to his Stamina score divided by 10, rounded up. For example, a character with a STR score of 45 can run for 5 minutes.

The character then must rest for 10 minutes before running again. If characters walk for more than 10 hours, they move at half speed and their Dexterity scores and Reaction Speeds are reduced by half until they sleep.

Climbing. A character can climb a rope at a rate of 2 meters/turn. The character must make a Strength check with +30 percent modifier at the halfway point of the climb and at the top. A roll of 96-00 is automatic failure. Failing the roll means the character falls.

A character can climb a vertical surface at a rate of 1 meter/turn, if there are handholds and footholds on the wall. He must make a Dexterity check with a +30 percent modifier at the halfway point of the climb and at the top. A roll of 96-00 is automatic failure. Failing the roll means the character falls.

These rolls are not necessary if the surface the character is climbing slopes less than 60 degrees.

A character can climb a ladder at his normal walking speed.

Swimming. Characters can swim at a rate of 10 meters per turn (or one kilometer per hour). If a character swims longer than one hour, he will lose five Stamina points for every 30 minutes he continues swimming. These movement rates can be affected by obstacles such as seaweed or coral (or alien equivalents thereof).

Running Skill Bonus: A character who has the Running skill is assumed to conduct regular exercise training. This boosts his endurance to the level where he can run at top speed equal to his Strength score divided by 5, rounded up. The character then must rest for five minutes before running again.

For example, the character with a STR score of 45 who has learned the Running skill and can now run for 9 minutes before needing to rest.

Climbing Skill Bonus: A character with this skill can climb a rope at a rate of 3 meters/turn and vertical surfaces at a rate of 2 meters/turn. Ifshnits can only move half this distance due to their size.

The character can also use the proper equipment to climb and rappel-like a mountain climber. Only one level of this skill needs to be purchased, but the character must spend experience points to purchase a first-level of this skill every six months to renew his training.

Swimming Skill Bonus: A character with the Swimming skill is a proficient swimmer. As such, characters can double their race’s normal movement rate in the water. In addition, a skill check is required only in difficult circumstances (swimming in stormy seas, holding breath longer than usual, etc.).

This skill does not allow a character to conduct any extended activities underwater, however (for that, a character needs the underwater operations skill). Be aware that characters without the swimming skill can still stay afloat and swim as indicated in the Alpha Dawn rules. They may not, however, be able to swim or stay afloat in anything other than favorable conditions.
Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
January 31, 2018 - 6:34pm

Leaping and Vaulting Distances. Under the Alpha Dawn rules, a character can leap up to 2 meters horizontally  without a running start. If the character can run 15 meters in a straight line before leaping, he can leap up to 5 meters.

A character trying to leap across an obstacle must make a Strength check. A character who fails the check has lost his balance and cannot move for 1 turn. A character who tries to leap farther than the distance has a -20 modifier on his Strength check for each additional half-meter.

A character with a 15 meter running start can vault over an obstacle that is 2 meters high, or grab something that is up to 4 meters above the ground

Failure means the character falls short of the distance.

Acrobatics and Recreation/Sports Skills Bonuses: Neither the Zebulon’s Guide nor the Star Frontiers 2000 rules (which these Zebulon Sunset rules are based on) provides a specific jumping or vaulting skill. However, two separate skills – Acrobatics and Recreation/Sports – can help a character improve their jumping and vaulting distances.

The Acrobatics skill (from Star Frontiers 2000) includes all the various activities associated with circus acrobats including jumping and flipping. In combat situations, a character with this skill – after making a successful skill check – can dodge more effectively while moving at full speed (see the Acrobatics skill in the Library of Skills for more information.)

For purposes of leaping and vaulting, boost the character’s distance by 1 meter. Thus, a character can leap 3 meters horizontally without a running start or can leap 6 meters if he’s been able to run 15 meters in a straight line first. Similarly, a character with a 15 meter running start can vault over 3 meter high obstacles or grab something (such as a branch, the bottom of a dangle rope ladder, etc.) that is 5 meters above the ground.

The Recreation/Sports skill is similar to the Entertaining skill outlined in Zebulon’s Guide, except it relates to indoor and outdoor recreational activities and sports (billiards, table tennis, skiing, surfing, boating, skydiving, etc.). For this to have any benefit when it comes to leaping and vaulting, however, the character must have learned a sports skill that may help such as track and field, gymnastics, etc. If so, then the character receives the same leaping/vaulting bonuses that a character with acrobatics receives. The referee may (or may not) decide to allow a character with both an acrobatics and a sports skill to combine their bonuses to leap/vault even farther.

Billiards, ping pong, tennis, or shuffleboard type Recreation/Sports skills may be interesting to character development but do not  help someone leap farther than normal.
Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
January 31, 2018 - 6:36pm

Ability-Based Movement Rate Modifiers

So far in these optional rules, a character’s base movement can be altered by taking into account factors such as age, weight and height. Yet there is one more way which movement can be calculated by basing it on a character’s Strength and Reaction Speed ability scores.

Charles A. Venelli tackled this subject in a story called “Jetboots don’t fail me now!” that appeared in the November 1988 issue of Dragon Magazine. Some excerpts from that article follows:

In the STAR FRONTIERS game, all creatures are given a set of movement rates which are dependent only upon the races of the creatures involved. Thus, every Human in the Frontier runs just as fast as every other Human. The same can be said for Yazirians, Dralasites, and every other known race.

Obviously, this just isn’t the case. Any decent member of an Olympic track team could beat the socks off the average person on Earth in a foot race, yet the current movement system would not allow this.

Since all characters are not created equal in the STAR FRONTIERS game system, all speeds should not be equal. Speed should be based upon the basic attribute scores of a character and the character.s race. (Obviously, a Dralasite cannot run as fast as a Vrusk.)

Example, a player’s character is a space-station security guard who has unexpectedly discovered an intruder in a storage area.

Player: “I back away, drawing my nightstick.”

Referee: “Great, because the guy takes off the moment he sees you. He’s carrying a box from the storeroom.”

Player: “I chase after him! When I catch up, I’ll smack him with my nightstick! I move at 30 meters per turn.”

Referee: “Being a human, the intruder also runs at 30 meters per turn.”

Player: “Well, then, how am I gonna catch him?”

Good question. Unless the intruder happens to slip on a convenient banana peel or other unforeseen obstacle, the poor security guard may never get his man. Here we see evidence of a flaw in the STAR FRONTIERS® game, in that all beings of the same race run at the same rate of speed.

Since all characters are not created equal in the STAR FRONTIERS game system, all speeds should not be equal. Speed should be based upon the basic attribute scores of a character and the character.s race. (Obviously, a Dralasite cannot run as fast as a Vrusk.)

Vanelli’s Movement Rate Modifier (MRM) system was based on the average of a character’s Strength and Reaction Speed. The Strength score represents strength of the muscles within that character’s limbs while the Reaction Speed score is a measure of a person’s quickness.

Vanelli used a complicated series of charts to determine the MRM. What follows is a simplified system which attempts to emulate what he was attempting to portray.

Average STR, RS and Movement Values by Race Table

Race

Average Strength

Average Reaction Speed

Average MRM

Base Walking Speed*

Base Running Speed*

Base Hiking Speed**

Dralasite

50

40

90

5 m/t

20 m/t

3 kph

Human

45

45

90

10 m/t

30 m/t

 5 kph

Humma1

55

45

100

10/25 m/t

35/50 m/t

6 kph

Ifshnit

40

45

85

4 m/t

15 m/t

2 kph

Osakar

50

50

100

25 m/t

60 m/t

10 kph

Vrusk

40

50

90

15 m/t

35 m/t

6 kph

Yazarian

35

50

85

10 m/t

30 m/t

4 kph

Satheroid2

45

40

85

10 m/t

20 m/t

3 kph

*Walking and running speeds are the distance that a character can travel in meters per turn (m/t).

**Hiking speed represents the rate a character can walk, with appropriate rest periods, over long periods of time, represented in kilometers per hour (kph).

(1) Humma can conduct leaping and spring charge attacks, which is why there is a second number for their walking and running speeds. Leaping can only be done for 10 turns, followed by 30 minutes of rest.

(2) Includes Sathar and the optional S’sessu races.

If a character’s Strength and Reaction Speed equals or is about the same as his racial average, then their walking, running and hiking speeds remains unchanged. Any fractions are rounded down.

For every 5 points that a character’s combined Strength and Reaction Speed scores are below his race’s Average MRM, then his walking speed decreases by 0.5 meters per turn (m/t) and running speed declines by 1 m/t.

For every 10 points that a character is below his race’s Average MRM, then his base hiking speed declines by 0.5 kph.

For example, a Dralasite with a STR score of 48 and an RS score of 38 has an MRM score of 86. Its score is only four points below its racial average, so the character is not penalized with a drop for its walking and running speeds. If, for some reason, the character’s Strength or Reaction Speed declined by 1 point, then its speeds would drop.

For every 5 points a character’s combined Strength and Reaction Speed scores are above his race’s Average MRM, then walking speed increases by 0.5 m/t but running speed increases by 2 m/t. For every 10 points that a character is above his race’s Average MRM, his hiking speed improves by 0.5 kph.

For example, a Human character with a STR of 50 and an RS of 50 would have an MRM score of 100, which is 10 points above his race’s Average MRM score. He would be able to walk at 11 meters per turn (m/t) while his running speed would increase to 34 m/t while he can hike at a speed of 5.5 kph.

Running Skill MRM Bonus: If a character learns the Running skill, not only will he have increased endurance and be able to run at top speed for a longer period of time, he will also be able to run faster. The Running skill will provide a character with a +10 MRM bonus.

So, a Vrusk female character that normally has a MRM score of 90 (her race’s average) will have the equivalent of a MRM score of 100 and can walk at 36 m/t, run at 39 m/t and hike at 6.5 kph.

Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
January 31, 2018 - 6:37pm

Base Climbing, Crawling, Swimming and Flying Speeds by Race. While the various character races are treated differently when it comes to walking, running and hiking, under the Alpha Dawn system (along with rules published in various modules) are all given the same movement rates while climbing and swimming. No rules were provided for crawling or flying – especially since no player character race can fly.

Charles Venelli touched on these subjects with his rules in the “Jetboots” article. The following optional rules are based on his work.

Climbing, Crawling, Swimming Speeds by Race Table

 

Race

Base Climbing Speed

Base Vertical Climb

Base Crawling Speed

Base Swimming Speed

Long Distance Swimming

Dralasite

2 m/t

1 m/t

2 m/t

10 m/t

1 kph

Human

2 m/t

1 m/t

3 m/t

10 m/t

1 kph

Humma

2 m/t

1 m/t

3 m/t

15 m/t

2 kph

Ifshnit

2 m/t

1 m/t

1 m/t

4 m/t

600 m/hr

Osakar

6 m/t

3 m/t

5 m/t

25 m/t

3 kph

Vrusk

4 m/t

2 m/t

4 m/t

8 m/t

1 kph

Yazarian

3 m/t

2 m/t

3 m/t

10 m/t

1 kph

Satheroid*

5 m/t

2 m/t

6 m/t

12 m/t

1.5 kph

*Includes Sathar and S’sessu.

Base Climbing Speed. As noted earlier, this is the maximum rate which an average character of a particular race can climb a rope during a turn As noted earlier, climbing represents the maximum speed a character can climb a rope, while they can climb a ladder at walking speed.  Some species, such as the Osakar, Vrusk, Yazarians and Satheroids are better climbers than others.

Base Crawling Speed. This is the rate at which a character can crawl along the floor or ground in a semi-prone position in meters per turn. A character doing this receives the benefit for being prone when facing a ranged attack while permitting them to move. Sathar, S’sessu and other creatures that propel themselves by slithering can basically travel at 60 percent of their walking speed while crawling.

Base Swimming Speed. This is the maximum rate which a character can swim expressed in meters per turn.

When it comes to swimming, Dralasites can form flipper-like limbs, which allows them to increase their speed in the water. The benefits of a Yazarian’s wings for pushing water is counteracted by the drag caused by their hair and the wings themselves, but this balances out so they typically can swim as fast as a Human. Vrusk are particularly awkward in the water and, unless they have a breathing bag for their abdomen, run the risk of drowning.

With their long limbs, Osakar are about as fast in the water as they are on land. The Humma’s strong tail makes them particularly proficient swimmers. Satharoids can also swim fairly fast. The diminutive Ifshnits, however, again suffer from their lack of height both when it comes to climbing and swimming when compared to other characters.

Long Distance Swimming. This is the rate at which a character may swim (with brief floating rests) over long periods of time expressed in kilometers per hour. For Ifshnits or other smaller and sloer characters, this distance may be represented in meters per hour.

Effects of Movement Rate Modifier. A character’s MRM score will also adjust his climbing, crawling and swimming speeds.

For every 5 points that a character’s combined Strength and Reaction Speed scores are below his race’s Average MRM, then his base climbing, crawling and swimming speeds by 0.5 meters per turn (m/t) and long distance swimming speed declines by 100 meters per hour. The character’s vertical climb rate drops by 0.25 m/t. If a character’s climbing or crawling rate drops below zero, he would need to make a strength check each turn to attempt to climb 1 meter by rope or vertically climb 1 meter. Otherwise they basically remain motionless that turn. Or the referee may decide the character can move at 0.5 meters per turn.

For example, an Zorran, an aged Human male has a STR score of 30 and a RS score of 30 – these scores are rated as “Feeble” in the Zebulon’s Guide system. He is 30 points below his race’s Average MRM score. His base climbing speed is -1 m/t, his base vertical climbing speed is -2 m/t (note he can still climb a ladder at walking speed) and his crawling speed is 0 m/t. Zorran needs to crawl 5 meters to escape a smoke-filled room and needs to roll below his strength score in order to move at a rate of 1 m/t.

For every 5 points a character’s MRM score is above his race’s Average MRM, then his base climbing and vertical climb speeds increase by 0.5 m/t, base crawling speed increases by 1 m/t, and swimming speed increases by 2 m/t. For every 10 points that a character is above his race’s Average MRM, his long-distance speed improves by 0.5 kph.

Climbing Skill MRM Bonus: A character with the Climbing skill receives a +1 meter per turn movement rate when it comes to rope climbing and vertical climbing. They can climb a ladder faster too with a +1 m/t movement rate bonus.

Swimming Skill MRM Bonus: The Swimming skill, as noted earlier, doubles the character’s normal movement rate in the water. In this case, figure out what that rate is and then double it. This includes the rate for long-distance swimming.

Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
January 31, 2018 - 6:39pm

Base Leaping and Vaulting Distances by Race. Again, the Alpha Dawn rules treat all races pretty much equally when it comes to leaping and vaulting distances. Charles Vanelli’s “Jetboots” article changed this formula and these rules are based on his work.

Average Leaping Distance by Race

Race

Base Standing Horizontal Leap

Base Running Horizontal Leap

Base Standing Vertical Leap

Base Running Vertical Leap

Dralasite

1.5 m

4 m

0.5 m

1.5 m

Human

2 m

5 m

0.5 m

2 m

Humma

10 m

25 m

5 m

10 m

Ifshnit

1 m

3 m

0.4 m

1 m

Osakar

3 m

10 m

1 m

5 m

Vrusk

2.5 m

7 m

0.5 m

2 m

Yazarian

3 m

8 m

0.75 m

3 m

Satheroid*

2 m

5 m

0.5 m

2 m

*Includes Sathar and S’sessu.

Standing Horizontal Leap. This is the distance in meters that a character can leap horizontally from a standing start.

Running Horizontal Leap. This is the distance in meters that a character can leap horizontally, allowing a straight-line run of at least 15 meters before leaping.

Standing Vertical Leap. This is the height in meters that a character can leap/vault over an object from a standing start. This height is measured from the ground to the lowest point on the character’s body at the apex (the highest point) of a jump. The sum of this distance and the character’s height (with arm extended) is used to figure out how high a character can reach when attempting to grab an object above him.

Running Vertical Leap. This is the height in meters that a character can leap, allowing for a straight-line run of at least 5 meters before jumping. (See the description of the Standing Vertical Leap for more information.)

Effects of Movement Rate Modifier on Leaping. A character’s MRM score will also adjust his leaping distances.

For every 5 points that a character’s combined Strength and Reaction Speed scores are below his race’s Average MRM, then his standing horizontal leaping distances decreases by 0.25 meters, decrease a running horizontal leap by 0.5 meters, decrease the standing vertical leap by 0.1 meters, and trim the running vertical leap by 0.5 meters. .

For every 5 points a character’s MRM score is above his race’s Average MRM, then his standing horizontal leaping distances increases by 0.25 meters, a running horizontal leap is lengthened by 0.5 meters, a standing vertical leap increases by 0.1 meters, and a running vertical leap increases by 0.5 meters.

Acrobatics and Recreation/Sports Skills Bonuses: Please see the earlier references to these skills in the Movement and Endurance subsection for more information. The Acrobatics skill for the purposes of leaping and vaulting will boost the character’s distance by 1 meter. Similarly, a character with an appropriate sports skill can also receive this benefit. The referee will need to decide if the benefits of these two skills are cumulative.

Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
January 31, 2018 - 6:40pm

Temporary Bursts of Speed

The following information are house rules based on discussions on the starfrontiers.us website, specifically comments by Rattraveller,KRingway,ShadowShack and Iggy (http://www.starfrontiers.us/node/9955).

In a desperate situation the referee may allow a character to gain an extra burst of speed “to move one more square” in a turn by making a Reaction Speed check. Since distances on maps in Star Frontiers can be anywhere from two to five to 25 meters across, if you are using the Ability-Based Movement Rate Modifier system given in this section, assume a character receives a 10-point MRM boost for that turn only.

However, every additional time that a character attempts to gain an additional burst of speed receives a cumulative penalty of -5 percent.

For example, archeologist In’Da’N’Na (Indiana to his friends in PanGal) is trying to outrace a boulder that is rolling at him in the narrow passage of an ancient Tetrarch temple. The boulder is moving along at 50 meters per turn and will catch him before he jumps clear through the exit unless he can somehow move faster.

Since his ability scores are average for a Vrusk, Indiana rolls a 49 on his ability score check, which is just below his RS score of 50. Instead of running at 35 meters per turn, he can move at 37 meters for that turn. The next turn, he must roll below 45 percent to get that same burst of speed; he misses his roll – now 40 percent or below – on the second turn and can only run at 35 meters per turn; on the third turn, he must roll below 35 percent to get that burst of speed (the -5 percent penalty keeps piling up whether Indiana made his ability check roll or not.)

Putting It All Together

The whole purpose of the “Fleshing Out Characters” section is to promote individuality for your adventurers; however, going through all these formulations at the beginning of a campaign is likely to slow down the character generation process and lead to dissatisfied players.

While many of these alternative rules, such as the Movement Rate Modifier system may make sense, especially if you are trying to show that not all members of the same race can run, leap, swim and climb at the same rate, for the vast majority of adventures, using Star Frontiers’ standard movement rates is OK.

You may use any parts of these rules that make sense for your campaign or adventure session, but ignore them at other times when they don’t help move the story and excitement along for your players.

In regards to movement, gravity should also play some role too. The Star Frontiers rules do provide optional rules to cover some aspects of gravities that are lighter or heavier than normal – falling damage decreases with lighter gravities or gets worse in situations where it is higher than 1 G; the Yazarians’ gliding ability is greatly affected too.

However, gravity does not seem to alter how fast a character can walk or run, but there are plenty of science fiction films that have been built around the premise of a character who was from a higher gravity planet being able to make fantastic-seeming leaps in a much lower gravity environment. The referee can establish rules for these situations if it seems appropriate.
Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
January 31, 2018 - 6:42pm
Yes I need to do some more proof reading for this draft, so if anyone notices twisted syntax, please point it out.

But, overall, when you compare this to the original "Jetboots" story, is this ability-based movement modifier system better? Can it better approximate real life anywhere?
Joe Cabadas

sevanwint's picture
sevanwint
January 31, 2018 - 9:11pm
I am reluctant to comment on most things, I usually just give an idea here or there. Tone is notoriously difficult to transmit in writing. But that is not very useful when you are developing ideas. 

It still feels like alot of rules,which is a problem I am trying to address more and more in my own rules (thank you Tom for pointing that out). That was one of my problems with the original Jetboots article.  I do however think it is an improvement over Jetboots. I think if it is streamlined a bit, it will work very well.

For instance, I don't know if you need the cumulative reduction in temporary reductions of speed, it might be enough to just use the limits of stamina, and any failed roll means you can't sprint again till you rest.

Also, myself, I would rather worry about only about walking, running and jumping, and then only as one number each, and not break them out in multiple stats.