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Mark Hall
2008-08-15, 07:44 PM
We played 4e last night. I'm reserving judgement on the game until we've played one or two more sessions; there was a lot of fumbling for rules last night. However, something did come to me while playing, and I wanted some other folks' input on it.

What if, instead of squares, you used hexes for movement and distance? It would solve the problem of diagonal movement, and should work well for other purposes.

fractic
2008-08-15, 07:47 PM
What if, instead of squares, you used hexes for movement and distance? It would solve the problem of diagonal movement, and should work well for other purposes.

What problem? 4E just isn't set in Euclidic space. The diagonal thing just makes things quicker. That said, I don't see any problems with using hexes. Especially since you don't have to go in a straight line for run and charge. Straight lines are a bit funny on hexes.

LoopyZebra
2008-08-15, 07:48 PM
It would work well for most purposes. However, you'd have to look closely at AoE attacks, because blast 3 (a 3x3) cannot be directly translated to the hex grid. You'd have to come up with approximate areas for the blasts. Bursts would also cover a lot more ground.

fractic
2008-08-15, 07:51 PM
However, you'd have to look closely at AoE attacks, because blast 3 (a 3x3) cannot be directly translated to the hex grid.

Take a 3x3 diamond instead, it gets a nice conical feel too it aswell. Bursts are actually smaller.

[edit] A 2-3-4 trapezoid looks good too and is the same size.

Kurald Galain
2008-08-15, 07:54 PM
I think that would be an improvement, yes.

LoopyZebra
2008-08-15, 08:31 PM
Take a 3x3 diamond instead, it gets a nice conical feel too it aswell. Bursts are actually smaller.

[edit] A 2-3-4 trapezoid looks good too and is the same size.

You're right. I just remembered 'em being different from when I thought about it a couple of weeks ago.

Mark Hall
2008-08-15, 09:32 PM
What problem? 4E just isn't set in Euclidic space. The diagonal thing just makes things quicker.

I'm used to Euclidic space. I'm comfy there.

skywalker
2008-08-16, 12:28 AM
Wouldn't it make measuring range easier?

Like, I want to throw a dagger at that guy but he's not a set number of diagonal squares away?

Myatar_Panwar
2008-08-16, 12:42 AM
I thought 4e already solved this by letting each diagnal movement still count as one square, instead of 1 1/2 or whatever 3e used. Please correct me if i'm wrong, as I've been using this for the past month or so.

turkishproverb
2008-08-16, 12:54 AM
I thought 4e already solved this by letting each diagnal movement still count as one square, instead of 1 1/2 or whatever 3e used. Please correct me if i'm wrong, as I've been using this for the past month or so.

problem is, some people find that to be a little bit of a cheat, as it moves you theoretically farther or some such. personally, i prefer a hexmap for that reason.

Myatar_Panwar
2008-08-16, 01:01 AM
problem is, some people find that to be a little bit of a cheat, as it moves you theoretically farther or some such. personally, i prefer a hexmap for that reason.

A cheat? Even if the monsters are using the same rules? lolwut? But I guess I can understand, as it does feel odd moving so erratically in combat.

I have never used hexes before, but have always been interested in it. Maybe it will work easier with 4e than with 3e.

Edge of Dreams
2008-08-16, 01:18 AM
I am currently playing with a group that uses squares for anytime the party is inside a man-made area (streets, buildings, constructed dungeons, etc.) and hexes the rest of the time (outside, caves, etc.). This actually works really really well. First, it helps distinguish the two types of environments. Secondly, I think hexes are actually a superior system for tactical combat because there is no such thing as a diagonal with hexes.

For counting distance on a hex grid, imagine point A and point B as opposite ends of a diamond and count the number of hexes along two sides of the diamond. For arbitrating blasts and bursts, the caster selects one hex as the center and then distance to the edge of the aoe is calculated as per the above formulation, giving a "circular" area. It takes some getting used to in order to judge distance and aoe properly, but eventually it becomes just as natural as squares, without the pesky "diagonals count as one" or "one-half" nuisance that any square-based system involves.

EDIT: This is a 4e game I'm talking about. 3e actually had more realistic rules for diagonals with the "one-half" and cone and blast shapes in the dmg, but it was a pain to count distance sometimes. Hexes + 4e radius rules fix that.

Ecalsneerg
2008-08-16, 01:27 AM
problem is, some people find that to be a little bit of a cheat, as it moves you theoretically farther or some such. personally, i prefer a hexmap for that reason.

But then you have the hilarious image of everyone charging at each other by running in diagonal lines. "I GET THERE FASTER THIS WAY!"

Mark Hall
2008-08-16, 02:07 AM
A cheat? Even if the monsters are using the same rules? lolwut? But I guess I can understand, as it does feel odd moving so erratically in combat.

I have never used hexes before, but have always been interested in it. Maybe it will work easier with 4e than with 3e.

It's not a cheat, but I would find it easier, conceptually, to deal with hexes. Square ABCD is longer AC or BD than it is AB, BC, CD, or DA. Therefore, moving AC to AC to AC is longer than BC to BC to BC.

JaxGaret
2008-08-16, 03:29 AM
I am currently playing with a group that uses squares for anytime the party is inside a man-made area (streets, buildings, constructed dungeons, etc.) and hexes the rest of the time (outside, caves, etc.). This actually works really really well. First, it helps distinguish the two types of environments. Secondly, I think hexes are actually a superior system for tactical combat because there is no such thing as a diagonal with hexes.

I just read this suggestion elsewhere recently, it sounds like a great idea. I'm definitely thinking about adopting it for my games.

Kurald Galain
2008-08-16, 04:21 AM
problem is, some people find that to be a little bit of a cheat, as it moves you theoretically farther or some such. personally, i prefer a hexmap for that reason.

Well, it's the same thing as that diagonal-running in most FPS games makes you move 1.4 times faster (square root of two). There, it's not a cheat per se but a fancy trick for uber players and speed runners.

The point is that it makes it easier to get around obstacles, which some people may find undesirable. Also, a fireball's blast area can be expected to be circular (because, you know, explosions are circular in pretty much every other game I could think of) and "all hexes around a central tile" resembles a circle more closely than a 3x3 square.

wodan46
2008-08-16, 12:05 PM
4e secretly takes place in the Far Realms, which is why the geometry is non-euclidean.

Glimbur
2008-08-16, 12:14 PM
One difference between hexes and squares is that the fighter can be surrounded by 8 minions in squares, but only 6 in hexes.

Kiara LeSabre
2008-08-16, 01:55 PM
The hex idea sounds good to me, provided you're willing to deal with the adaptation challenges as already pointed out.

CarpeGuitarrem
2008-08-16, 01:58 PM
One difference between hexes and squares is that the fighter can be surrounded by 8 minions in squares, but only 6 in hexes.
That's a good point. But otherwise, the hexes sound cool.

Kompera
2008-08-17, 01:24 AM
One difference between hexes and squares is that the fighter can be surrounded by 8 minions in squares, but only 6 in hexes.
This is why I've chosen to keep the square grid map offered by the rules even though a hex grid is much more logical and intuitive. I considered that this might be only a minor tactical advantage to the NPCs (the players are not likely to have 8 persons available to fully surround an opponent) but decided that this advantage should not be taken away without cause.

Saph
2008-08-17, 08:08 AM
One difference between hexes and squares is that the fighter can be surrounded by 8 minions in squares, but only 6 in hexes.

I think this is a good thing, personally. It's pretty silly having eight creatures with non-reach weapons all somehow managing to hit the same target without getting in each other's way. (Even six is pushing it.)

- Saph

CthulhuM
2008-08-17, 11:01 AM
Hexes are a better system for representing distance - most wargames and such have been using them for decades. The problem with them in DnD, though, is you are frequently fighting inside enclosed spaces (dungeons, etc.) with rectangular rooms, and trying to lay a hex grid over a rectangular space gets very messy. You tend to end up with a lot of partial hexes, and you have to come up with some sort of system for determining which of them (if any) can actually be occupied.

Fortunately, this isn't too much of a problem with 4e, since 4e tends to assume you are fighting in fairly large spaces with plenty of room to maneuver. In that sort of situation, you can usually just ignore the partial hexes around the very edges of the battle and be none the worse for wear.