Question about diagonal movement


Beginner Box


I'm reading through the beginners box and I have a question about moving diagonal squares. On a player's first move, if he moves diagonal it counts as 1 square but if it is his second move, it counts as 10. Can a player move straight up and then diagonal and have it count as only one square or does the diagonal move have to be his first move for it to count as one square? Also, when moving diagonally every other move is 2 squares, so it goes 1 square, 2 squares, 1 square, etc. Am I understanding the movement correctly?

Thanks!


You start counting with the first diagonal move. So here's an example.

On the same turn, you can:
Move 2 squares vertically = 2 squares
Then move 1 square diagonally = 1 square
Then move 1 square vertically = 1 square
Then move 1 square diagonally = 2 squares

When it's your next turn, you start over with "1" in the "1, 2" sequence: the first diagonal move counts as 1 square.

Liberty's Edge

Ulairi wrote:

I'm reading through the beginners box and I have a question about moving diagonal squares. On a player's first move, if he moves diagonal it counts as 1 square but if it is his second move, it counts as 10. Can a player move straight up and then diagonal and have it count as only one square or does the diagonal move have to be his first move for it to count as one square? Also, when moving diagonally every other move is 2 squares, so it goes 1 square, 2 squares, 1 square, etc. Am I understanding the movement correctly?

Thanks!

Only ever other diagonal counts double so you can go diagonal (5), straight (5), straight(5), diagonal (10), diagonal (5) for a total of 30. It doesn't matter the order the straight/diagonal moves just count every other diagonal double.

Right it's 1/2/1/2/1/2 etc.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber

Think of moving diagonally as moving 1.5 squares / 7.5 feet, at the end you simply round down to the nearest square / 5 feet.

E.g. if you move 2 squares vertical and 3 squares diagonally that is 2 + 4.5 rd = 6 squares / 10 feet + 22.5 feet, rd = 30 feet.


Interesting to learn out, that the hassle with diagonal movement was kept in the Beginner Box. I am playing in couple of campaigns and we have got rid of the rule. We like complexity, but counting diagonal movement is worth not much else than slowing down the game and obscuring something that should be clean and simple.

If you really want to keep the game simple, do houserule your beginner game and count every square worth 5 feet movement (diagonal or not).


I actually don't find the rule to be complex, I just want to understand it. There are a couple illustrated examples that confused me more than just a straight reading of the rules.

Grand Lodge

Two diagonals = three straights.

If you prefer, assume one diagonal = 1.5 straights, then round the total down.


It isn't complex but I agree with Laerlorn it iis well worth changing that rule.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

We count diagonals as one. It's worth noting that it sometimes gives weird results though - like you can run around a patch of difficult terrain or another obstacle with no reduction in speed, which is a little odd.

Contributor

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No special diagonal rule = square fireballs. :(


Sean K Reynolds wrote:
No special diagonal rule = square fireballs. :(

Special diagonal rule = jagged fireballs :(

The Exchange

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Steve Geddes wrote:
We count diagonals as one. It's worth noting that it sometimes gives weird results though - like you can run around a patch of difficult terrain or another obstacle with no reduction in speed, which is a little odd.

Like with any rule you don't like - house-rule it if you want. :-)

However, you may want to reinstate the RAW if you're doing a chase scene/race/anything where movement accuracy can make a significant difference. Otherwise, having constant 5' move diagonals could result in a character who starts further away than others catching up/getting there first etc.


I'm curious. I've never played with battlemats very heavily and tend to game without minis most of the time. Do the rules tend to break down if you use a measuring tape and little 5 ft rings around the bases of characters instead of turning everything into squares?


Caedwyr wrote:
I'm curious. I've never played with battlemats very heavily and tend to game without minis most of the time. Do the rules tend to break down if you use a measuring tape and little 5 ft rings around the bases of characters instead of turning everything into squares?

It works out pretty well, it just tends to be slightly slower than using a grid.

Contributor

kyrt-ryder wrote:
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
No special diagonal rule = square fireballs. :(
Special diagonal rule = jagged fireballs :(

Which is still at least an approximation of a circle at map resolution.

Scarab Sages

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
No special diagonal rule = square fireballs. :(
Special diagonal rule = jagged fireballs :(
Which is still at least an approximation of a circle at map resolution.

So, you're saying that hexagonal grids have a higher resolution, as a battle approximation?

Contributor

Yes, but try drawing a rectangular room on a hex grid and having to explain all those partial hexes...


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Square fireballs are awesome.

Shadow Lodge

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
No special diagonal rule = square fireballs. :(

Sean, you're awesome. I have seen the square fireball, and have marvelled at its idiocy. Thank you so much for that. I may have to put it on a t-shirt for PaizoCon.

- Rich


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Yes, but try drawing a rectangular room on a hex grid and having to explain all those partial hexes...

It turns out, Pathfinder plays just fine on a hex grid. If you swing that way. ;)

Grand Lodge

The Beginner Box rules are a subset of the regular Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Paizo wanted to keep the BB compatible with the full ruleset. Some things just can't be simplified and still remain compatible. The diagonal rule is one of them.

I'd love to see the game use a hex grid, but that would mean a whole nother version and cries of a money grab as folks scramble to replace all their flip-mats and map-packs. Half grid spaces in a rectangle building can just be squeezing for Medium sized creatures or simply ignored.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

I wasn't advocating that the game should officially be changed to use hexes. Just that if you are the sort of player that is inclined to use hexes, you should just go ahead and do so. It works out easily.

I happen to have a flip mat that is squares on one side and hexes on the other. For big outdoor fights I tend to use the hex side.


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"Manhattan" style diagonals are a really valuable basic math tool. It's a decent approximation of distance without recourse to trigonometry.

Normally I am the last person to say "suck it up" when it comes to rules complexity, but really? Do you really want people running faster at 45 degrees? Doesn't that make map tactics seriously dependent on how the grid is aligned?

Maybe this is a personal preference thing. The "consequences" of not using Manhattan style either bother you or they don't. If they don't, go ahead with 1-1-1. I'll rest quite happily in the knowledge that 1-2-1 means I can slap a grid on any map and not worry about it affecting the tactics.


Meh I just count diagonals as 1 square. It's a fairly common houserule.

The battle map is just an abstract representation anyways, so why not?

Contributor

Evil Lincoln wrote:
"Manhattan" style diagonals...

I love that term! Can't tell ya how many visitors to NYC think Manhattan runs N-S. :)

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
Rebis Ouroboros wrote:
I have seen the square fireball, and have marvelled at its idiocy. Thank you so much for that. I may have to put it on a t-shirt for PaizoCon.

One man's idiocy is another man's "my god that makes life so much simpler why doesn't everyone do this". Everything is degrees of abstraction and I can tell you from having played 4e it speeds play up so much its unbelievable - I am willing to have a bit more abstraction in return for the extra speed of play.

I have also played PF RPG dropping the diagonal move rule and although area of effect spells can have fairly different areas (although 5' radius spell is a square anyway, and a 20' radius looks very square like) in terms of character movement it really didn't affect tactics much (if at all).

My experience was that rarely do you run full speed diagonally, more likely you move two or three squares diagonally over your characters movement for a turn which means getting 1 square extra movement. That isn't that big of a deal for me.


So... How much time do you all REALLY save by not counting the diagonnals as 1.5 squares? 0.78 seconds? lol

It's so insignificanty non-complexe that it doesn't even register on my list of things to think about during a game. I'm reading this thread in almost disbelief.

Ultradan


Why doe people find this complex, it's simple. The first diagonal is 1, the second is 2, the third is 1, the fourth is 2, ect, ect,ect.

Sovereign Court

Ulairi - welcome to the PATHFINDER RPG. I remember when I first started using a battlemat, and I remember that I didn't count well at first. But after a few games, the diagonals become very easy, and you get to see how it makes sense when you're playing with spells, feats, or weapons that only go so far.

In fact when I got the hang of it--I found it to be much more simple than I first thought. I just picked up the Beginner's Box too, and plan to teach new players the game. Hope you're enjoying it.

Regards,
Pax

Liberty's Edge

Math is hard.

It's not difficult for me, but I've been playing D&D since about 4 months before the 3.0 PHB came out (I was thrilled be able to join in right at the start of the new edition, but my teenage wallet was very sad).

For new people, or folks not used to doing math in their head, or who just plain aren't any good at it, diagonals can be difficult.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
Ultradan wrote:

So... How much time do you all REALLY save by not counting the diagonnals as 1.5 squares? 0.78 seconds? lol

It's so insignificanty non-complexe that it doesn't even register on my list of things to think about during a game. I'm reading this thread in almost disbelief.

Ultradan

It can actually be a good few seconds or more, and its usually to do with forgeting how many diagonals I have moved.

E.g.

Player: "Okay I move" <moves figure 6 squares two of which are diagonals>
GM: "Hold on are you doing a double move?"
Player: <looks up from mini> "Yes, so that is umm, 35 feet moved"
GM: "Cool"
Player: <moves figure another square>
GM: "Okay you provoke an AoO from my guy here, he tries to trip you" <Gm rolls for trip> "What's your CMD?"
Player: <Looks to character sheet> "15"
GM: "Okay the trip fails"
Player: "okay" <moves figure two more squares one diagonally> "Was that my second or third diagonal?
Other player: "I dunno"
GM: "Not sure, you started from here and went..."
Player: "No I started from that square remember, so I went" <moves figure back and plots course again> "Okay so that was 5, 10, 15 (diagonal), 20, 25, umm 35 (2nd diagonal), 40, 45, ummm 50 (3rd diagonal)" <player then continues to move figure another square> "55.. um moving there would be a fourth diagonal wouldn't it?"
GM: "Yep"
Player: "okay, I don't have enough move for that."
Other Player: "Rather than move that last square you could move digonally and that would at least leave you out of reach of the ogre"
Player: "Good idea, so I back up, um 50 feet, diagonal 60 feet, and end my turn there"

Now if you use an area of effect with a 20' radius and it could potentially catch 6 characters, you need to chart a line to each of those counting diagonals.

I am not bad at maths, but I am bad at mental arithmetic, I struggle to keep numbers in my head, so for me just having to keep count of how many squares or feet I have moved is easier than keeping count of that and also having to keep a seperate running tally of how many diagonals I have moved.


Pax Veritas wrote:

Ulairi - welcome to the PATHFINDER RPG. I remember when I first started using a battlemat, and I remember that I didn't count well at first. But after a few games, the diagonals become very easy, and you get to see how it makes sense when you're playing with spells, feats, or weapons that only go so far.

In fact when I got the hang of it--I found it to be much more simple than I first thought. I just picked up the Beginner's Box too, and plan to teach new players the game. Hope you're enjoying it.

Regards,
Pax

Thanks! I'm understanding the rules but sometimes the rules as text are easier to understand than the illustrated examples.

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Yes, but try drawing a rectangular room on a hex grid and having to explain all those partial hexes...

In my home games, I tend to use a square grid for artificial structures (buildings, dungeons, etc.), and a hex grid for natural environments (forests, natural caves, and so on). This works really well at giving those environments a different feel, and it lets us ignore things like diagonal movement half the time :-)


DigitalMage really said it beast, why counting diagonal movement is worth more than +0,78 seconds per turn. For spell effects we use normal templates. Moving is common, spells with templates rare, so it wont hurt too much making the fireballs round.. well close to that anyway.


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How it goes at my gametable:

Player: Places finger on the square mini is currently leaving, and moves the miniature 6 squares, two of which are diagonal. One, two, three, four, five, six-seven.
GM: Double move?
Player: Yes. He moves the figurine another 4 squares to its final destination and sets it down. His finger is no longer needed so he stops measuring. Eight, nine, ten, eleven-twelve. I provoke.
GM: Okay, he's going to trip you. Drops some description and rolls. I got a thirteen.
Player: He has improved trip? Asked while holding the die, maliciously waiting for their return attack of opportunity.
GM: Sweats, looks at their sheet-- I swear I knew they'd do this-- finds it. Yeah.
Player: Okay. That fails.
Player B: Are you sure you want to end in the reach of the ogre?
Player: Oh. Hm, no. I'll stand one over.
Player B: You're not moving your full distance.
Player: That's fine.

How it feels other people think about what will happen at my gametable:

Player: Alright. Moving. The player picks up their figurine and begins to move it. One, two, three, four-five--As a single diagonal move is made, the entire game surface ruptures into a howling pit of pure obsidian darkness. Dice explode from the table like shotgun pellets into the air, Mountain Dew bottles rupturing like stressed arteries, miniatures and snack foods launching away from the pit like a great unseen force had taken it and thrown it aside. The scream of the devilbear earth-child rips through the room, pulverizing every player at the table's worthless material forms from screaming mammals into flesh particles in a matter of seconds. As the GM looks on in awestruck reverance at what he dare wrought upon this world, the power released from the great darkness transforms him-- but, in a fickle instant, it finds him unworthy and he explodes into a fine mist of water that coats the room in a shotgun pattern before fully evaporating into the lukewarm air. With a crack of lightning, the portal shuts. The room is now bare, as if it had never been lived in.


When ignoring the diagonal rule, for area effects such as fireball we measure 6 squares up, down, left and right, and connect these points as a circle.

I personally prefer to use the rule.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

DigitalMage wrote:
Now if you use an area of effect with a 20' radius and it could potentially catch 6 characters, you need to chart a line to each of those counting diagonals.

These sure have made my life easier.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:
DigitalMage wrote:
Now if you use an area of effect with a 20' radius and it could potentially catch 6 characters, you need to chart a line to each of those counting diagonals.
These sure have made my life easier.

I was going to say much the same. Those are very nice. If you are cheap though, the first thing I always do when a caster reaches fireball level is cut out a template from a piece of paper. Hand it and some colored pencils to the best artist at the table to draw flames. Never worry about a fireball's size again.

Silver Crusade

DigitalMage wrote:

Think of moving diagonally as moving 1.5 squares / 7.5 feet, at the end you simply round down to the nearest square / 5 feet.

E.g. if you move 2 squares vertical and 3 squares diagonally that is 2 + 4.5 rd = 6 squares / 10 feet + 22.5 feet, rd = 30 feet.

:head explodes:

I feel like such an idiot. I should have thought of that myself. I think this proves that I'm no longer the total math nerd that I was 20 years ago, when I used to play AD&D 1st edition.

Just count each diagonal as 1.5 squares, and round down. Then you don't have to remember how many times you moved diagonally as you move your mini. Why isn't the rule explained that way in the Core Rulebook?

Contributor

Fromper wrote:
Just count each diagonal as 1.5 squares, and round down. Then you don't have to remember how many times you moved diagonally as you move your mini. Why isn't the rule explained that way in the Core Rulebook?

Because it wasn't explained that way in 3rd edition, and the focus on PF was fixing things that needed to be fixed rather than clarifying clunky wording that worked despite its clunkiness.

But I do like that "count them as 1.5 and round down" explanation. I'll just need to check all of its iterations to make sure it works. :)


Sean K Reynolds wrote:
But I do like that "count them as 1.5 and round down" explanation. I'll just need to check all of its iterations to make sure it works. :)

Discrete math, anyone?


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
But I do like that "count them as 1.5 and round down" explanation. I'll just need to check all of its iterations to make sure it works. :)

You don't need to do that, it's obvious enough, especially seeing the using the 1-2-1-2 logic is doing *exactly* that.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
But I do like that "count them as 1.5 and round down" explanation. I'll just need to check all of its iterations to make sure it works. :)

You don't need to do that, it's obvious enough, especially seeing the using the 1-2-1-2 logic is doing exactly that.


Zaister wrote:
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
But I do like that "count them as 1.5 and round down" explanation. I'll just need to check all of its iterations to make sure it works. :)
You don't need to do that, it's obvious enough, especially seeing the using the 1-2-1-2 logic is doing exactly that.

B...but... wasn't a diagonal 1.4, rather than 1.5?

(Well, 1.414213562370950488 is a bit unwieldy....)

*ducks and runs for cover*

Silver Crusade

Midnight_Angel wrote:
Zaister wrote:
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
But I do like that "count them as 1.5 and round down" explanation. I'll just need to check all of its iterations to make sure it works. :)
You don't need to do that, it's obvious enough, especially seeing the using the 1-2-1-2 logic is doing exactly that.

B...but... wasn't a diagonal 1.4, rather than 1.5?

(Well, 1.414213562370950488 is a bit unwieldy....)

*ducks and runs for cover*

Well, yes it's technically the square root of 2 (assuming we're talking in terms of squares, not feet).

I guess you could use 1.4 instead of 1.5, and round properly instead of always rounding up or down. That would work out the same as long as you don't move diagonally 6 or more times in the same move. Once you hit 6, it would turn into 1-2-1-2-1-1 by the old method. 1.5 and always round down would preserve the same result as the old method (while being less technically accurate than 1.4).


Fromper wrote:
Midnight_Angel wrote:
Zaister wrote:
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
But I do like that "count them as 1.5 and round down" explanation. I'll just need to check all of its iterations to make sure it works. :)
You don't need to do that, it's obvious enough, especially seeing the using the 1-2-1-2 logic is doing exactly that.

B...but... wasn't a diagonal 1.4, rather than 1.5?

(Well, 1.414213562370950488 is a bit unwieldy....)

*ducks and runs for cover*

Well, yes it's technically the square root of 2 (assuming we're talking in terms of squares, not feet).

I guess you could use 1.4 instead of 1.5, and round properly instead of always rounding up or down. That would work out the same as long as you don't move diagonally 6 or more times in the same move. Once you hit 6, it would turn into 1-2-1-2-1-1 by the old method. 1.5 and always round down would preserve the same result as the old method (while being less technically accurate than 1.4).

Spock touching the Horta: "PAIN!!... SO MUCH PAIN!!"

Ultradan

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:
These sure have made my life easier.

I did think about getting some of those, but I can't really justify the cost, especially after just spending $260 on flip mats and map packs! :(


DigitalMage wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:
These sure have made my life easier.
I did think about getting some of those, but I can't really justify the cost, especially after just spending $260 on flip mats and map packs! :(

One of my players used old wire coat hangers and made his own.


Maldollen wrote:
DigitalMage wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:
These sure have made my life easier.
I did think about getting some of those, but I can't really justify the cost, especially after just spending $260 on flip mats and map packs! :(
One of my players used old wire coat hangers and made his own.

I still like radius spells to be actual circles, and anyone in a partial square gets a bonus to the save. Firejaggy-gons are exactly as 'unrealistic' as Firecubes.

Then again, I play enough miniature wargames that I would be ok with using measuring tapes for movement and not have a grid at all... although that would significantly increase how long it took to move.


Marshall Jansen wrote:
I still like radius spells to be actual circles, and anyone in a partial square gets a bonus to the save. Firejaggy-gons are exactly as 'unrealistic' as Firecubes.

In some ways, this is actually a simpler rule, isn't it? No counting squares, no templates, just a center-point and a measuring stick. If you're touching the edge of the area, +2 to the save.

It's not often that you have a rule that's easier and more realistic. This is how we always handled it (until MapTool, which obviates the need).

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