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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Greywander's Avatar

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    Nov 2017

    Default New Movement Speed Type - Teleport Speed

    I think most of us can agree that Nightcrawler from X-Men is pretty cool, and some of us might have thought about rolling up a similar kind of character, but one of his defining characteristics, teleportation, is kind of hard to pull off. Or maybe you're more of an anime fan and want a character who can flash step everywhere. Anyway, I had this on my mind and thought it would be interesting if teleportation were to be implemented as a type of movement speed.

    Teleportation is generally seen as being pretty strong; Misty Step is a 2nd level spell, rather than a 1st or cantrip, for a reason. However, I think turning it into another type of movement speed would solve most of the issues that would arise from at-will teleportation. It would still be pretty strong, but maybe not as much as a fly speed.

    The defining trait of teleportation is that it allows you to move from one point to another without passing through the space in between. If we start with just this as the basis for our new movement type, then some interesting rules interactions arise:
    • Because of the way having multiple movement speeds work, if your teleport speed is less than your walking speed, you have to teleport first or not at all. An example of this can be seen with the aarakocra: an aarakocra can walk 25 feet then fly 25 feet, but can't fly 25 feet then walk 25 feet. Movement speeds are more like movement limits, and any kind of movement counts toward that limit. If a character has, say, a walk speed of 30 and a teleport speed of 10, if they walk 10 feet then they can't teleport during that turn.
    • Teleporting out of a creature's reach still provokes an opportunity attack. If that creature has Sentinel, then your speed could be reduced to 0, preventing you from teleporting away.
    • Likewise, a condition that reduces your speed to 0, such as being grappled or restrained, prevents you from teleporting.
    • Taking the Dash action doubles your teleport distance, but you still have to do it at the beginning of your movement. E.g. you can't teleport 10 feet, move 20 feet, Dash, and teleport 10 more feet. You've already moved 30 feet at that point, so doubling your teleport speed from 10 to 20 has no benefit.

    This does leave us with a few questions which should probably be address. Do you need to see where you're teleporting to? Can you teleport through solid objects? Do we need any special rules that modify the above?

    Here's a few proposals for modifications:
    • Teleporation is linked to walking speed. Your teleport speed is only "spent" when actually teleporting, but teleporting also requires walk speed. If you have a walk speed of 30 and a teleport speed of 10, that means you can teleport up to a total of 10 feet as any part of that 30 feet of walking. If you also have, say, a fly speed of 60, then flying for 30 feet means you can't teleport, as you have no walk speed left, even though you still have fly and teleport speed left.
    • You can't teleport into or out of liquids unless you have a swim speed. You can't teleport into or out of dirt/stone unless you have a burrow speed. You can't teleport onto a climbable surface unless you have a climb speed (you will fall instead). You can teleport into the air without a fly speed, but without some way to float you will fall.
    • Teleportation can be rather disorienting. You can safely teleport to spaces you can see. You can attempt to teleport to an unseen location, in which case there's a 50/50 chance of ending up where you intended vs. ending up in a random spot within range. If you teleport into a solid object, you take 1d10 force damage and get shunted back to your original location.

    I mean, yeah, we could just make it a racial or class feature with a description. I'm just thinking if we can figure out what we want teleportation to be like most of the time, we could codify that into "teleport speed rules" for quick and easy understanding, and then a creature with more specialized teleportation can have it written up as a feature that explains it. Or they could have both a teleport speed and a feature that modifies how it works.

    Anyway, what are people's thoughts on this? I think a lot will depend on just how much teleport speed a creature has. I see a speed of 10 as being about ideal for a PC character; not too weak, not too strong. Boosting it to 20 with the Mobile feat also seems fair, especially as teleportation circumvents the need for some of Mobile's other benefits (meaning it is less useful to you). Monks, though...
    Last edited by Greywander; 2019-11-12 at 10:17 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Aug 2018

    Default Re: New Movement Speed Type - Teleport Speed

    In general I think this is a pretty good idea and I'm definitely going to adopt a version for home games. I do have some minor tweaks for personal preference I'd make:
    Move speeds in general I would like to see be cumulative and non-sequential, thus if you have a Walk Speed of 30 and gain both Fly Speed 60 and Tele Speed 10 you could move a total of 100 feet with your move, in whatever order of events you please. Might be a little strong but bear in mind this would apply just as well to enemies and AoO's would still be a thing.
    I could also see things like the Warlock invocation for misty step being reworded to simply gaining a T.S., and I'd like to see feats for other classes allowing for much the same (for the aforementioned anime crowd).

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Greywander's Avatar

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    Nov 2017

    Default Re: New Movement Speed Type - Teleport Speed

    While I do find it odd that, say, an aarakocra can walk 25 feet then fly 25 feet, but can't fly 25 then walk 25 feet, I understand why the designers did it this way.

    Imagine a character with all five types of speeds: walk, swim, climb, fly, and burrow. For simplicity, let's say they're all 30. Under the most restrictive conditions, such as being deep underwater, that character is only able to use one of their speeds (swim, in this case), and so can only move 30 feet. In the most permissive conditions, such as a perfectly arranged obstacle course, they'll be able to use all five speeds, traveling a total of 150 feet.

    The problem with allowing movement to work that way is that it will lead to some very strange and non-immersive player behavior. PCs will start diving into puddles in order to use their swim speed, or they'll run 30 feet, then climb onto a wall and shimmy sideways for another 30 feet, then drop from the wall.

    With regards to teleportation, an alternative that might be a bit simpler would be that, rather than having a teleport speed, you have an ability that allows you to teleport using your walk speed. As long as you have walk speed left, you can teleport. The ability that grants this would also have a maximum distance you could teleport in one jump. If that max distance was 10 feet, and your walk speed is 30, then it would take at least three jumps to cover that whole distance, although you could make smaller jumps as well. The cap on your teleport distance would prevent you from trivializing certain obstacles. For example, even though you can teleport 30 feet in one round, you can't cross a 25 foot gap because you can only go 10 feet in one jump.

    Going this route, we could codify this as our definition of teleport "speed" (with the "speed" being the maximum distance you can go in one jump), but in this case I'd also say that it's not actually a "speed" and doesn't benefit from Mobile or Unarmored movement. Simply getting more walk speed already gives you more teleportation, but the primary limit on teleportation that keeps it from getting too powerful is how far you can go in one jump. Thus, we don't want speed buffs to affect teleportation distance. A 10 foot teleport distance is probably on the level of a racial feature. A 20 or 30 foot distance is more like a class feature, and a mid to high level one at that. I could see a feat that boosts it by 5 feet.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    Sep 2016

    Default Re: New Movement Speed Type - Teleport Speed

    I love this idea for the most part, but I think we disagree on how multiple speeds work.

    At my table, the only limitation on mixing speeds is "you can move a total distance equal to your highest speed."

    For example, aarakocra have a walking speed of 25 and a flying speed of 50. An aarakocra character could fly 50 feet, walk 25 and fly 25, or use any combination inbetween. They could walk then fly. Or fly then walk. Or alternate between the two.

    What matters is that they exceed neither speed and move a total distance no greater than their highest speed.

    This is thematically reasonable, mechanical balanced, and all around the most fun in my opinion.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Blackbando's Avatar

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    Default Re: New Movement Speed Type - Teleport Speed

    Quote Originally Posted by GalacticAxekick View Post
    I love this idea for the most part, but I think we disagree on how multiple speeds work.

    At my table, the only limitation on mixing speeds is "you can move a total distance equal to your highest speed."

    For example, aarakocra have a walking speed of 25 and a flying speed of 50. An aarakocra character could fly 50 feet, walk 25 and fly 25, or use any combination inbetween. They could walk then fly. Or fly then walk. Or alternate between the two.

    What matters is that they exceed neither speed and move a total distance no greater than their highest speed.

    This is thematically reasonable, mechanical balanced, and all around the most fun in my opinion.
    Disagreeing implies that they're making an argument or a suggestion for how speeds work. They were citing the actual rules for how they do, as janky as they might be.

    I don't disagree that your way of doing it sounds a bit more sensical, but it's also not how the rules are. That's not to say that it shouldn't be considered for this, but more so that it's not entirely relevant to the question at hand.

    For the actual teleportation rules, I think it's an interesting concept. I do wonder, however; how does this affect teleporting spells? Would misty step still do as it currently does, or is it almost like fly, but until the end of your turn?
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  6. - Top - End - #6
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Greywander's Avatar

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    Default Re: New Movement Speed Type - Teleport Speed

    Quote Originally Posted by GalacticAxekick View Post
    I love this idea for the most part, but I think we disagree on how multiple speeds work.
    Quote Originally Posted by Blackbando View Post
    Disagreeing implies that they're making an argument or a suggestion for how speeds work. They were citing the actual rules for how they do, as janky as they might be.
    Yup, that's what the rules say, IIRC. And yeah, it's a bit janky, I do think your way of handling movement is a bit more intuitive. What I would add to it is that your total movement can't exceed the highest speed that you use. Even then, there might be some possible jank in your modified movement rules. Imagine a character with a 120 fly speed, 60 swim speed, and 30 walk speed. Under your version, they can walk 30 feet then swim 60 feet, because this doesn't exceed their highest move speed, which is 120 feet. Under my modification of your modification, they would have to fly for, well, I guess it wouldn't have to even be 5 feet, they just have to use any amount of fly speed and they would be able to walk 30 feet and swim 60 feet.

    The logical way to patch this would be to figure out a way to express that any distance flown will increase your total distance you can cover. Using just walk + swim would have a max distance of 60 feet. If you fly for 10 feet, then you could add that on, for a total of 70 feet. In order to go that max distance of 120 feet, you'd need to fly for at least 60 feet.

    Perhaps another way of expressing this would be to reverse the vanilla rules, having slower movement speeds happen at the "end", rather than the "beginning", of movement. With the way it works now, swimming for 10 feet will reduce the amount you can walk by 10 feet as well. By reversing it, with a swim speed of 60 and walk speed of 30, you can swim for up to 30 feet "for free", and only after that does it start counting against your walk speed. With a fly speed of 120, you get your first 60 feet "for free", then the next 30 feet count against your swim speed, and the last 30 count against both swim and walk speeds. Because your swim speed is less than your fly speed, any swimming counts against your fly speed, and likewise any walking counts against both swim and fly speeds.

    I'm having trouble thinking of a way to articulate this in a formal way. You'd want to be careful that the rules couldn't be exploited.

    For the actual teleportation rules, I think it's an interesting concept. I do wonder, however; how does this affect teleporting spells? Would misty step still do as it currently does, or is it almost like fly, but until the end of your turn?
    I think existing teleportation effects are fine staying as they are. Part of the benefit of spells like Misty Step or Dimension Door isn't just that they allow you to teleport, but also that they extend your movement. Misty Step is basically a bonus action Dash, something that would be lost if it simply gave you a teleport speed. This does open up a space for new spells and effects that give or interact with teleport speeds. Oh, and another difference is that Misty Step doesn't provoke OAs, while using a teleport speed would. You can also Misty Step while your movement speed is 0. I guess what I'm saying is that a spell like Misty Step is intentionally a lot stronger than simply having a teleport speed, albeit only for a single jump.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Lvl 2 Expert's Avatar

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    Default Re: New Movement Speed Type - Teleport Speed

    "Misty step is a lot stronger, if only for a single jump."

    Which means Greywander has done a good job. An at will presumably pretty low level ability shouldn't be as strong as a spell with limited availability. I kind of like this concept. It still allows for some shenenigans, just not all of them. Is it balanced/too restrictive/too free? No idea. But I think it is pointed in the right direction.
    Last edited by Lvl 2 Expert; 2019-11-18 at 01:19 AM.

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