Moving Diagonally


Combat & Magic


Hey, all.

Any thoughts about making diagonal movement count as one square, or two? not a combination of both? Either way does not matter to me. It just seems to be easier and faster in Star Wars Saga (where a diagonal is always two squares of movement) and 4th Edition (where a diagonal is always one square of movement. Just a small change to the game that seems to save some time each round.

No big deal, just thought I'd ask. I will be adapting the one square of diagonal movement still counts as one square of movement. I like that simple convention. But again, I prefer either way over the alternating convention of movement currently presented in 3.x.

Don Brown
Nyrond Triad - PoC
West Jordan, Utah

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

I like the one square. Important note about 4e though, you can't move diagonally around corners. ;)


Is this really that much of an issue? I understand that grid movement is a conceit that we have to give into to get more tactical rules, but I really don't want to go the 4th edition "a square is an abstract distance" kind of idea.


Truthfully I always like the hex map more, but alot of people shy away since they arnt really supported by wizards. Plus alot of fun things you can do with direction you character is facing and movement. Battletech had alittle in its system but theres alot more for d20.


Truthfully I always like the hex map more, but alot of people shy away since they arnt really supported by wizards. Plus alot of fun things you can do with direction you character is facing and movement. Battletech had alittle in its system but theres alot more for d20.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
KnightErrantJR wrote:
Is this really that much of an issue? I understand that grid movement is a conceit that we have to give into to get more tactical rules, but I really don't want to go the 4th edition "a square is an abstract distance" kind of idea.

Hehe in 4e it seems more like 5 feet is the abstraction and the square is the reality. :)


SirUrza wrote:
KnightErrantJR wrote:
Is this really that much of an issue? I understand that grid movement is a conceit that we have to give into to get more tactical rules, but I really don't want to go the 4th edition "a square is an abstract distance" kind of idea.
Hehe in 4e it seems more like 5 feet is the abstraction and the square is the reality. :)

Good point. Strike that, reverse it.


For my thoughts on math in D&D, consult my post about the XP charts... :P

Seriously, the math nerd in me can't make diagonals either one or two, as moving diagonal is five times (the square root of two) feet, or roughly seven feet. ((Why doesn't a keyboard have a square root key?)) At least in SW a square is worth 2m and therefore diagonal movement is 3m. Perhaps movement should be doubled, straight lines count as 2 per square and diagonal count as 3. Not that I'm seriously suggesting it be changed, but then I would be happy. And ultimately isn't that why we're all here- my happiness? :D

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2013 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

Counting squares can't be that hard... it's one of the basic rules you need to learn to play the game. It's rule #1 in my group that you have to know what your character can do, skills, feats, spells, class abilities. I also recommend reading the Combat and Adventuring chapter of the PHB every so often to stay on top of things.

Knowing how many actions you get in a round, movement, etc, is part of being a good player. Back to Basics kinda stuff.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 8

I'm going to be actually think about trying 1 movement diagonals just because I would like to speed up the spellcaster when placing a fireball that hits as many enemies as people (often trying to avoid a party member).


KnightErrantJR wrote:
Is this really that much of an issue?

Not really. I said, "It's no big deal. Just thought I'd ask." Having said that, I've seen something as simple as moving diagonally in 3.x take a bit longer than it should because of the current convention. And, if you distract someone while they're moving, you'll do it twice (or three times).

I like anything that speeds things up. I don't care too much about the abstraction of actual distance. I just want it a bit faster to resolve. That's why I support a diagonal always counting as either one square of movement or as two, every time. One or the other, I don't care. It's simply fixed with a house rule. But, I thought I'd mention it in the Pathfinder RPG discussions since different conventions are being used in other d20 games, as mentioned above.

Happy gaming.

Don Brown
Nyrond Triad - PoC
West Jordan, Utah


I understand where you are coming from. Sorry to have sounded a bit dismissive in my post. Its never really been a problem for my group, but I don't mean to downplay anything that might speed up play or make things run smoother in other people's campaigns.


FeranEldritchKnight wrote:
((Why doesn't a keyboard have a square root key?))

Well, in service to your happiness... If you are using Windows try holding down ALT, type 251 (use keypad with numlock), release ALT. If you are using Mac OSX, hold Option and press V. √2

(Google/Yahoo search for "ALT Codes" to get more special characters.)

Hex grids? Why do you speak of grids at all. Pull the grids and use a ruler. :-p

Meh, the "1st diagonal is 5 feet (1 square) of movement, 2nd diagonal is 10 feet (2 squares) of movement" works for my group. When we actually use a grid and miniatures that is. More like graph paper and graphite dots then miniatures.


5?ã2=7 (roughly). Thanks!

edit: D'oh! Too bad it doesn't post.

Liberty's Edge

I would hate to see a consistent rule for it equalling 1 or 2 squares.

It just stretches believability too far. If you're using 5 foot squares, the diagonal should be just over 7 feet. Roughly 14 feet for moving two squares, which works fine for me.

Rather than trying to figure whether it is 5 or 10 each square, we try to figure out what direction we're moving. If we move two squares diagonal, we count both toghther as 15 (rather than 5 then 10). If you move any number of diagonal squares, you figure it out at the end. Let's say I move 8 squares diagonally. 4x15=60 feet. Cool.

Let's say I move 15 squares. For every 2 squares is 15 feet, so I know I have an extra 5. I take 7 (1/2 of 15) x 15 = 105 + 5 = 110. This only becomes difficult if I try to move farther than I'm allowed, but once you do it a few times you'll know your limit pretty easily. You can also look at a 'straight' move and try to estimate if you're within that (or a ruler works as well, particularly when the angle isn't straight).

Liberty's Edge

I like things the way they are. The first diagonal only costing "one" reflects the idea that a creature can really take one step in any direction quite easily. Over longer distances the distortion of geometry would get too large if you don't adjust somehow. We tried rulers for a little while, but if you are moving around other figures or terrain it can be a big hassel. Until players are used to it, it might be worth having a cheat-sheet handy: 5-15-20-30-35-45-50-60. For spells cut a template out of a cereal box. Alternatively don't let your spellcasters count and recount. Pick a centre and hope for the best. Friendly fire is a part of real combat.

Sovereign Court Contributor

I've put this a few other places, but I'll put it here again. I think that creatures should have movement points equal to twice their current move in squares. In other words, and unburdened human has 12 MPs and a dwarf has 8, etc.

Then make moving 5 feet orthogonally cost 2 points and moving 5 feet diagonally cost 3. That way you don't have to keep track of whether you are on your odd or even diagonal move.

I think this would get rid of a lot of confusion.

Liberty's Edge

That's an interesting idea, and may work.

What about when you want to make a move, but don't have enough MP?

Example, move diagonal 3 squares, straight 1 square (9+2=11). You have 1 MP left. Can you use it to move 1 diagonal? 1 straight? Just stop?

Example, move straight 5 squares (10). Can you move 1 diagonal?

Assume 12 MP.


There is a cool T-Shirt featuring the diagonal movement rule:

>> T-SHIRT <<

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