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Action Times

I’ll format this pretty later. Thoughts for right now:

  • Actions happen in increments of time called “ticks”. At present, a tick is 1/10th of a second, though that might change going forward.
  • Need to find a formula that converts movement speeds into an actual “Speed” stat. Currently, moving forward with the assumption that listed movement speed can be interpreted as a sprint over 1 second (i.e. 10 ticks). That puts the average for medium creatures at 30 feet per second, or about 20 miles per hour, which is a very respectable sprint. Ideally, the Speed stat will work out to 1=5 feet, but we’ll see. By that logic, the average human has a Speed of 6, the average elephant a Speed of 8, etc.
  • Speed based on a combination of a base speed (5?), modified by armor, size, and avg of str/dex.
New Things To Add:
  • Stuff from Hackmaster, mostly. Actions in combat, how ranged weapons work, two-weapon fighting, things like that.

Action Times

Weapon Attack Time

  • Longbow, rapid shot, world record is 23 arrows in 1 minute. That’s roughly one arrow every 2.5 seconds, or 25 ticks in this system. A longbowman pacing himself over a long battle may have fired more like ten every minute. I’m going to begin by reducing that time significantly, since this is a fantasy game, but archery will still be one of the slowest forms of combat. I’m tinkering with the rules for dodging ranged weapons (i.e. you can’t) and ranged weapons penetrating armor. My current model is that a shortbow or light crossbow ignores bonuses to AC from armor or natural armor if its Strength rating is higher than the armor bonus (e.g. a shortbow with a Strength rating of 3 ignores the armor bonus of targets with less than a +4 armor or natural armor bonus and treats attacks against such targets as touch attacks, or ignores the DR if using an Armor as DR rule). A longbow or heavy crossbow ignores bonuses to AC from armor or natural armor if its Strength rating is at least half of the armor bonus (a longbow with a Strength rating of 5 ignores mundane armor and any natural armor bonus less than +11 and treats attacks against such targets as touch attacks).
  • Longbows have a base attack time of 45 + the bow’s Str rating in ticks. This time includes 10 ticks to draw the arrow, 5 ticks to nock the arrow to the string, 20 + the bow’s Strength rating in ticks to draw the bowstring, and 10 ticks to aim. Loosing the arrow is a free action that occurs at any point after the bow has been aimed.
  • Shortbows have a base attack time of 35 + the bow’s Str rating in ticks. This time includes 10 ticks to draw the arrow, 5 ticks to nock the arrow to the string, 10 + the bow’s Strength rating in ticks to draw the bowstring, and 10 ticks to aim. Loosing the arrow is a free action that occurs at any point after the bow has been aimed.
  • Light crossbows have a base attack time of 20 ticks, plus 5 ticks per point of Strength rating. This time includes 5 ticks to ready the crossbow (plus 5 ticks per point of Strength rating), 10 ticks to draw the bolt, 5 ticks to set the bolt, and 5 ticks to aim. Firing the bolt is a free action that occurs at any point after the bow has been aimed.
  • Heavy crossbows have a base attack time of 30 ticks, plus 10 ticks per point of Strength rating. This time includes 15 ticks to ready the crossbow (plus 10 ticks per point of Strength rating), 10 ticks to draw the bolt, 5 ticks to set the bolt, and 5 ticks to aim. Firing the bolt is a free action that occurs at any point after the bow has been aimed.
  • Light weapon, unarmed attacks, and natural attacks have a base attack time of 10 ticks.
  • Two-handed weapon and heavy unarmed attacks have a base attack time of 20 ticks.
  • One-handed weapon attacks have a base attack time of 15 ticks.
  • The base attack time for a weapon is modified by various things like the character’s Dex bonus, the weight of the weapon, and a high Str bonus for heavy weapons.
  • A weapon’s Weight is equal to (1/3 its weight) rounded up, -1. Daggers and unarmed strikes have Weight 0, a greatsword has Weight 2, a Rune Giant’s greatsword has Weight 21(though special rules apply to large creatures).
  • A weapon’s attack time is equal to it’s base attack time plus its Weight. A greatsword has an attack time of 22 ticks, a longsword has an attack time of 16 ticks, etc.
  • A character must have a Strength bonus at least equal to the Weight of a weapon to wield it without penalty if the weapon has Weight 1 or more. Using two hands allows a character to act as if their strength bonus was increased by 1/2, minimum +1. A character needs a Str bonus of +1 (+2 with both hands) to wield a greatsword in two hands without penalty, but a greataxe requires a Str bonus of at least +2 (+3 with both hands) to wield without penalty.
  • If a character’s Str bonus is high enough to wield a weapon without penalty, their Dex bonus reduces the attack time of the weapon. For every 5 points of Dex bonus, reduce the weapon’s attack time by 1. A rogue with 20 Dexterity, wielding a dagger, has an attack time of 9 instead of 10.
  • A character with a high Strength score can reduce his weapon’s attack time by 1 for every 5 points of Str bonus. Heavy weapons can be reduced by up to 10 points in this way, and one-handed weapons can be reduced by up to 5. Attack times for light weapons, natural weapons, and unarmed strikes can not be reduced by a high Strength score.

Spellcasting

Casting a spell takes 15 ticks plus 10 ticks per level of the spell being cast. Casting a spell spontaneously with metamagic (which normally increases the casting time of the spell to a full-round action) takes 30 ticks plus 10 ticks per level of the spell being cast. Quickening a spell (which normally reduces the casting time of the spell to a swift action) takes half the normal casting time of the spell. I might consider reducing casting time by a function of the relevant casting stat, similar to a strong character reducing the attack time of his weapon. A possible approach might be reducing both the base time and the per spell casting time by 1 per five points of the relevant casting stat (so a Wizard with 30 Intelligence casts spells with a base casting time of 13 ticks plus 8 ticks per level of the spell being cast). Additionally, reducing casting time by ranks in Spellcraft or some other relevant skill, similar to combat classes reducing attack time with their Base Attack Bonus.

Other Actions

For the time being, unless otherwise specified, any action that is a “swift” action takes 5 ticks to perform, any action that is a “move” action takes 10 ticks to perform, and any action that is a “standard” action takes 15 ticks to perform. These will probably reveal some ridiculous things during play (such as being able to pick a lock in less than two seconds), but for the time being these are the baseline. To reiterate:
  • Swift: 5 ticks
  • Move: 10 ticks
  • Standard: 15 ticks
  • Full-Round: 30 ticks
  • 1 Round: 60 ticks

Movement Speed

Movement speed is calculated in feet per second; 5 feet per second per point of a character’s Speed score. A character’s Speed score is 4 (or 20 feet per second), plus or minus any size modifiers, plus or minus the average of the character’s Str and Dex modifiers, minus any penalty for armor worn. Alternately, we might just stick with, “the listed movement speed for a creature is now the distance that creature can move in 10 ticks or 1 second at a dead sprint.” A jog is half of a sprint, and a walk is half of a jog, rounding the distance moved down to the nearest five. So, a halfling or a dwarf can walk five feet or jog ten or sprint twenty in one second, a human can walk five or jog fifteen or sprint twenty, etc.

This time increment for movement can be divided further, to half-seconds or fifths of a second or tenths of a second, but the distance moved is always rounded down to the nearest 5 if it doesn’t divide evenly. If a dwarf or halfling wanted to jog for 5 ticks rather than 10, they move 5 feet in 5 ticks because their normal jogging speed of 10 feet per second is the same as 5 feet per half-second. If a human wants to jog for 5 ticks rather than 10, he can also only move 5 feet in 5 ticks because his jogging speed of 15 feet per second is the same as 7.5 feet per half-second, and we round down to 5 feet per half-second. However, if that human wanted to sprint for half-a-second instead of a whole second, he could sprint 15 feet, because 30 feet per second is the same as 15 feet per half-second.