But first, let's talk about zone maps.
Talkin' 'Bout ZonesSo, let's take a look at a cool piece of isometric art.
Awesome isomeric art courtesy of jgrainger.deviantart.com.
- Center Tables
- Couch area
- Left 1-Top
- Right 1-Top
Thinking in Inifnity terms, the chairs, tables, and glass probably provides Light Cover, whereas the bar provides Heavy Cover.
So my zone map might look something like this:
|If this is too small, click here for a larger version.|
Zones are Groups, not Just Distance
Obviously, distance plays a part in things. But zones are often full of stuff. In our above example, somebody on the north side and south side of the "Couch Zone" aren't next to each other, but moving around in that zone isn't a big deal.
So let's say that Miyamoto Musashi is trying to enjoy his latte in peace, but Joan of Arc is playing her French Canadian indie rock too loud. This being Infinity, shit's about to get real
So! Musashi wants to violently interact with Joan. He can shoot at her with his pistol (or throw a baguette at her, if he's not that angry): that's close range, so no penalties: though she is going to benefit from the light cover. Or, he could make his way over and punch Joan: that's actually easy too! Move past couches, vault over them, whatever: all that stuff is in close range: moving to any point within that zone is a free action. So vault that couch, and get within Reach: it's still a free action to get there. Then the punching can commence.
One thing to take away from this, is that they're not just standing there: they're moving around. Combat is dynamic: so just because someody's in a zone, that doesn't mean that they're standing there, making it easy to hit them, right?
It's dynamic. Fluid. There's a lot of motion going on.
on With the Range
But distance is a thing too.
So after all this ruckus, the nice Hasassin Lasiq who runs the cafe has just had enough of these recreations wrecking her shop. So she pulls out her Viral Sniper Rifle, and takes aim.
|Somebody woke up on the wrong side of the bed.|
She's in the Bar zone, and they're in the Couch Zone, with Center Table Zone inbetween. So while it might be counter-intuitive to think of it, this is actually long range: perfect for a sniper. With no range penalties, Joan and Miyamoto are in some trouble: reluctantly, they agree to stop fighting, and settle their dispute with a game of dominoes.
"But Killstring: that's awfully close for 'Long Range'"
Yep! That's the adjustment I was talking about. RPGs tend to happen in closer quarters than miniatures games: it's a different genre of expression, if you like. Just like how in a kung fu film, everybody knows how to block, but in a beat'em up video game, hardly anyone does.
But more importantly, the long-range weapon is good at taking aim and firing in a precise manner: you wouldn't want to shoot it from the hip. So yeah, in the manga-inspired, kinetic action of Infinity, this is a perfectly reasonable range to fire a sniper rifle in.
"Ok, fine. But what about long Long Range? Does that still work?"
Yep! It's just about finding a shot.
So let's say that you're at a football field. (Non-American football, 'cause that's what I got art for)
|https://phuymatric.deviantart.com/art/Basic-Isometric-Football-field-521360372. Pretty Cool!|
That's a big open space! I'd say that each colored bleacher would be its own zone, each half of the pitch would be one, and the different sidelines would each be one too. With big zones like these, rounds might be a little longer, right? None of this D&D 3 seconds tomfoolery: this is cinematic. The rounds are as long as makes sense for what's going down.
On the topic of what's going down, Joan never paid her tab at the cafe. The poor Lasiq just wanted to retire in peace and make coffee: but she cannot abide by this insult. Thus, she hunts Joan to a football match.
|Joan likes to watch from the corner don't ask me why it is a mystery|
So! Taking care not to shoot any of the players, the Lasiq takes aim. It's 3 zones away: that's Extreme range. It's a +1 to her difficulty, but that's nothing she can't handle. She takes aim, and the paintball hits, thoroughly embarrassing St. Joan during her day at the stadium. Mission accomplished.
If there weren't players on the pitch, the field might be one zone, so this might only be Long Range. It really depends on the scene. Bottom line: zones are full of stuff. That stuff, more than meters as the crow flies, determines how hard it is to get a bead on a target for ranged attacks, how easy it is to move, etc. People in 2d20 combat aren't sitting still: they're scrambling, moving, ducking for cover, and so on.
"So Wait, I have to make a map any time I wanna do stuff?"
Not at all! But it's probably a good idea to make a couple so that you get a feel for it. Zones are more art than science: I spend a lot of time saying "I think that's probably a zone, " and going from there. While you're likely to want visual representation every now and again, hopefully everybody gets enough of a feel for this that winging it becomes second nature.
"What was that? I think I zoned out."
It's cool, I'm zoned-out too.
Anyway, hope that's useful! Perhaps next time, we'll talk about Quantronic Zones, for hacking adventures.
Until then, be excellent to each other!