[L5R 4e] Movement and Travel Notes

Lord_Specineff13 Mar 17th, 2017 (edited) 24 Never
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  1. Houserules and clarifications related to movement speeds, as well as a convenient compilation of terrain and weather-related mechanics for overland travel. Included also is a note on how fast armies can march.
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  4. Tactical Movement Houserules
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  6. Movement Speed:
  7. Unless their Water Ring itself has been actually brought to 0, a character's minimum movement speed regardless of terrain or disadvantages is Water 1.
  9. A note on stealthy movement:
  10. When moving while using stealth, a character must take a complex action to move a distance equal to their Water Ring x5. The skill's mastery abilities are unchanged.
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  13. Terrain Types (under Move Actions, L5R 4th Edition Core Rulebook)
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  15. Movement is also modified by the type of terrain where characters are located. It is far easier to run down a city street, for instance, than a rocky beach. It is ultimately up to the Game Master to determine what level of terrain any particular area falls under. Terrain types and the movement penalties they incur include:
  17. Basic: City streets, plains, sparse forest, etc. A character has no movement penalties in basic terrain.
  19. Moderate: Tall grass, foothills, beaches, etc. A character's Water Ring is considered one Rank lower (to a minimum of one) for the purposes of determining how far he can move using Move Actions when on moderate terrain.
  21. Difficult: Mountains, dense forest, hip-deep water, etc. A character's Water Ring is considered two Ranks lower (to a minimum of one) for the purposes of determining how far he can move using Move Actions when on difficult terrain. GMs may optionally choose to assign penalties to physical rolls (both Skill and Trait rolls) made in Difficult terrain, typically a -5 or -10 to the roll, if it seems appropriate.
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  24. Wind & Weather (Great Clans, pg.169)
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  26. Generally speaking, wind and weather conditions should serve as descriptive aspects of an L5R game rather than taking an active mechanical role. However, if the GM or players desire to incorporate wind and weather into the game mechanically, the following are some suggestions. These rules may also be used as guidelines for the effects of the Yoritomo Shugenja School's Technique.
  28. Degrees of Wind: Still, Breeze, Gusts, Storm
  29. Degrees of Weather: Calm, Showers, Rain, Storm, Torrential Storm, Hurricane
  31. Heavy winds or bad weather will inflict penalties on ranged attacks (and possibly spell-casting, if visibility is low enough), beginning with Gusts or Rain at +5 to the TN and increasing at +5 per degree of severity thereafter.
  33. Wind and Weather effects are not cumulative, as Wind is assumed to be included in a listed Weather effect.
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  36. Effects of Weather (Book of Air, Chapter 5)
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  38. Extreme weather conditions can have a variety of effects on men and their endeavors. GMs who wish to add mechanical effects for such conditions may use the following section as guidelines:
  40. Heat
  41. Rokugan can get very hot and often quite humid during the summer; extremely hot and humid conditions persist in the Mantis Isles and the southernmost reaches of the Empire throughout spring, summer, and fall. Weather aside, a character may be exposed to high heat for long periods of time for a variety of reasons, such as exploring a volcanic cavern or riding across the Burning Sands. In general, as long as the heat isn’t sufficient to inflict immediate physical damage, a character has access to adequate fresh water and rests periodically can travel and work indefinitely in such conditions. However, characters who lack adequate water or who engage in strenuous activity without breaks can face the deleterious effects of heat exhaustion.
  43. In conditions the GM judges to be extremely hot, a character can endure the heat without water for a number of hours equal to his Stamina without ill effect. After that time the character becomes Fatigued. Moreover, for every hour that passes without water in this state, he will suffer 1 Wound; after a number of additional hours equal to his Stamina, this will increase to 1k1 Wounds per hour. He must also roll Stamina at TN 20 each hour or suffer heat stroke, at which point he is considered Stunned until he receives water and rest. Prior to becoming Stunned, one hour of rest and adequate fresh water (or a suitable spell, such as Rejuvenating Vapors) will end all further negative effects, but once the character becomes Stunned he will remain so until he gets abundant water and at least 8 hours of rest. (Spells may be able to mitigate these requirements, at the GM’s judgment.)
  45. Cold
  46. In the winter the interior regions of Rokugan can become extremely cold, and higher elevations such as the upper reaches of the Seikitsu Mountains and the Great Wall of the North can remain cold through much or all of the year. Exposure to extreme cold will generally inflict harm more quickly than exposure to extreme heat. As a starting point, characters can resist the effects of cold for a number of hours equal to their Stamina; however, clothing can modify this. Wearing adequately protective clothing, such as layers of thick fabric, can extend this duration by several hours or even indefinitely if the clothing is sufficiently heavy (in general, Rokugani clothing is not heavy enough to provide indefinite protection - the exception being the furs worn by the Unicorn, which other Rokugani regard with distaste). Conversely, a lack of any heavy clothing will drastically reduce the amount of time a character can safely spend in the cold, down to as little as a few minutes (equal to Stamina) in severe winter conditions.
  48. Once the duration is reached, characters take 1k1 Wounds per hour thereafter (1k1 Wounds per minute if they have no heavy clothing and the cold is extreme). Being brought into a warm environment for at least one hour will cause these effects to end, but will not restore lost Wounds, which must be healed as normal. GMs may wish to consider additional long-term effects of cold damage, which could include problems such as losing fingers and toes to frostbite, or facial disfigurement (loss of the tip of the nose or the earlobes, for examples). Some of these effects might produce long-term mechanical problems as well - for instance, losing toes might cause the character to become Lame, damage to the face might result in Disturbing Countenance, or losing fingers might result in penalties to Agility-based rolls.
  50. Wind
  51. Except in extreme cases, such as hurricane-force gales, wind by itself will rarely be more than an irritant to Rokugani characters. However, wind does affect activities such as archery. A GM seeking greater realism may opt to apply a penalty to Kyujutsu Rolls based on the presence of strong wind. As a guideline, consider a modifier of +5 TN for moderate winds and +10 TN for strong winds; at long ranges (e.g. beyond the “base” range of the bow) these should increase to +10 TN for moderate winds and +15 TN for strong winds. A character with decent skill at archery might be able to adjust for the wind somewhat - as a guideline, consider letting any PC with at least 5 Ranks in Kyujutsu take a Simple Action to judge the wind and reduce the TN penalties 5.
  53. When wind speed reaches extreme power - in excess of 60 miles per hour - it will become a significant obstacle to many activities, including simply moving. The GM may apply greater TN penalties, rule that certain actions are impossible, require PCs to take Complex Actions in order to move, call for Athletics / Strength rolls to avoid getting bowled over, and so forth. Note that siege weapon projectiles are usually not affected by even strong winds due to their great weight and power, and magical effects are of course wholly immune to wind.
  55. Precipitation
  56. Like wind, normal precipitation (rain, snow, hail) will usually be little more than an inconvenience to characters. Intense rain may cause localized flooding, of course, and thus confront the PCs with water obstacles to cross. It may also cause flash flooding in low-lying areas; this can be represented by duplicating the effects of the spell Strike of the Tsunami on page 190 of the L5R 4th Edition Core Rulebook. Ground saturated with rainwater can also become muddy and difficult to traverse; the GM may reduce the PCs' effective Water Ring for movement to simulate this, or in extreme conditions require Complex Actions to move at all. The same types of penalties should be applied to movement through deep snow.
  58. Rain and snow can both obstruct vision, imposing penalties on ranged attack rolls (+5 to +10 depending on how heavy the precipitation is) and on Perception-based rolls to spot distant persons, detect ambushes, and so forth. Finally, hail can cause direct harm to unprotected characters; assume 1 Wound for average hail and 1k1 Wounds for large hail.
  60. Storms
  61. Storms are among the most intensely severe weather conditions, and can sometimes last for a considerable amount of time as well. During the summer, thunderstorms can result in high winds, intense rain, lightning, and hail; along the coasts, taifun (hurricanes) can devastate entire cities. The impact of such extreme storms can be represented by duplicating the effects of the spell Wrath of Kaze-no-Kami found on page 173 of the L5R 4th Edition Core Rulebook.
  63. Being struck by lightning is extremely rare, enough so that it really is not meaningful to involve a die roll or other randomizing mechanic. This is especially true given that the Rokugani believe that lightning is sent by the Fortunes - especially Osano-Wo, Fortune of Fire and Thunder. A lightning strike should therefore be a momentous event, one full of spiritual significance. Mechanically, it should be represented by the spell Fury of Osano-Wo, found on page 181 of the L5R 4th Edition Core Rulebook.
  65. During the winter, severe storms usually take the form of blizzards, resulting in high winds, extreme cold, and deep snow. The general effects of these conditions are described earlier, but a blizzard will also result in extremely bad visibility, with the characters often unable to see more than ten feet or so. This renders ranged attacks largely impossible and also makes it very easy to be ambushed, get lost, and so forth.
  67. Fog
  68. The main effect of fog is to reduce visibility. Natural fog occurs normally near large bodies of water when water and air temperature are significantly different, especially early in the morning or in the evening. Fog can also appear due to supernatural effects or the anger of a Fortune. The obscuring effect of fog is somewhat gradational, with a "close" zone in which vision is not obscured significantly, a "middle" zone in which there is an obscuring effect, and a "far" zone in which visibility fails completely. As a simple guideline, the GM should apply a +5 TN penalty to any rolls made in the "middle" zone that involve visibility (such as ranged attacks and Perception-based rolls). In the "far" zone all such actions will be impossible. The usual width of the "near" and "middle" zones will be fifty feet each, but a GM can vary this depending on how thick the fog is supposed to be.
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  71. Rate of March (Sword and Fan, page 27)
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  73. Generally, a Rokugani army is expected to cover ten miles per day while on the march. Smaller and more mobile forces will move faster - perhaps up to fifteen or even twenty miles per day - as will forces of any size traversing through relatively open country. However, in no case is an army likely to exceed a maximum distance of twenty miles per day.
  75. The exception to this is an army which is being "force marched", an extreme situation which can allow an army to cover perhaps as much as twenty-five miles in a single day, at the cost of greatly increased fatigue, as well as many more personnel lost to injuries and as stragglers (particularly among the ashigaru). A forced march also increases vulnerability to enemy attack and can result in the separation of the slow-moving baggage train from the rest of the force. Generals are usually quite reluctant to conduct forced marches unless they face a desperate strategic situation or the result will be such an advantage over the enemy that it is worth the risk. Generals who are particularly ruthless and simply do not care about their troops may also employ forced marches, but even such men are usually reluctant to undertake forced marches if engagement with the enemy is likely.
  77. It should be noted that there are other circumstances which can affect the rate of an army's movement. An army attempting to march in winter conditions - a dire situation indeed, given the harshness of Rokugan's winters - is fortunate to manage five miles per day.
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  80. Travel Distance per Day (Atlas of Rokugan, page 99)
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  82. Below is a basic estimation of how far the typical player character or party of samurai can travel in a day, for the benefit of GMs incorporating travel into their campaigns. These are only estimates, as many factors can change things wildly. They are presented as a general rule of thumb.
  84. Terrain         By Foot         By Horse
  85. Flat Road       20 miles per day    40 miles per day
  86. Hilly Road      15 miles per day    30 miles per day
  87. Rocky Road      10 miles per day    15 miles per day
  88. Grasslands      15 miles per day    30 miles per day
  89. Hilly Land      10 miles per day    20 miles per day
  90. Mild Forest         10 miles per day    20 miles per day
  91. Thick Forest/Jungle     6 miles per day     12 miles per day
  92. Mountains       6 miles per day     10 miles per day
  93. Marshlands      5 miles per day     10 miles per day
  95. Heavy Rain / Wind - Halve the distance covered
  96. Snow / Flooding - Quarter the distance covered
  97. Utaku Warhorse - Add 5 miles to distance covered
  99. The GM may also wish to adjust travel times based on the party’s skills. For instance, increasing the travel distance per day by one mile per level of Tracking, or granting a bonus to someone with the Know The Land Advantage.
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