Hi! I've had a lot of fun with Feng Shui 2 so far. My group is about to start a new campaign, and I'm going to be playing a Gene Freak thematically inspired by D&D/Pathfinder's Soulknife class -- fighting with psychic energy blades, telekinesis and the like. But I had a question about the following shtick:
Spend 2 Genome points. Until end of sequence,
the shot costs of your actions decrease by 1, with a
minimum of 1 per action. You can move up to 30m
It seems pretty straightforward at first glance. At the cost of a couple of points, I can take actions a lot faster for one sequence. But then we get to that last sentence.
Is this movement speed bonus intended, like the rest of the shtick, to only apply in the sequence the shtick is activated? Or is it intended as a permanent replacement for the Gene Freak's movement speed, just for having the shtick?
If the former, then why does it say 'per sequence' instead of rolling it up into the 'Until end of sequence, ...' portion?
I think we may want to clarify that. It looks like there are two separate abilities there:
Spend 2 Genome points. Until end of sequence, the shot costs of your actions decrease by 1, with a minimum of 1 per action.
You can move up to 30m per sequence.
So I think what you're saying is #2 is a separate ability from #1.
However, I searched through the book, and I can't find any limit on the distance a typical character can move during a sequence, so the fact that a Gene Freak has a "30m" maximum is mostly a pointless factoid. The rules state that with a 3-shot action, you can run full-out, "traveling twice your Speed in meters." The fastest Speed you can start with on an archetype is 9 (Killer, Scrappy Kid, Sword Master, Thief). Assuming you roll a "6" for initiative, you have five 3-shot actions, and could full-out sprint on each of them, for 5 x 9 x 2 = 90 meters. Most of the other archetypes (Speed of 6-7) could exceed 30m over 9 shots.
The rules do not really encourage measuring out distances or even using maps. Unless the GM has created a particular "set piece" that involves calculating the exact distance between things, I can't imagine any hard limit on how far you can move per sequence would survive a GM Handwave, assuming the GM even noticed there was a limit.
I am not a rules authority here, but I'd be inclined to believe that it's not a replacement. I think it's a throw-away detail (possibly from an earlier draft of the rules) that can be ignored. The rules already state that you can move up to twice your speed in meters as part of a 3-shot "run full-out" action. However, I think the rules make it pretty clear that movement in combat should be focused more on narrative and style than the numbers, so if you need to go beyond a certain number of meters to pull off a stunt, then the rules encourage you to describe it without worrying too much about the numbers. If a PC needs to move across the battlefield very quickly, then all they need to do is describe some scenery that allows them to do so: a rope tied to a chandelier, a banister greased with blood, a room service cart with wheels, a borrowed skateboard, etc.
Throughout 1st and 2nd edition, Robin has advised against using maps and hard distances with Feng Shui. In FS2 p. 225, for example, there's a section titled, "The Map Is Not Your Friend":
"Other roleplaying games trade on a love of maps. Although we appreciate a compass rose and a scale bar as much as the next geek, this game asks you to set aside your affection for the grid. What in other games delivers a core part of the play experience here diverts and constrains your imagination. A map centers your visualization on a piece of paper or tablet screen when it should all be unfolding in your mind's eye."
"Resort to map use only to clear up a muddled conception of a location. Whip up a rough sketch to resolve the confusion. As soon as it has done its
job, remove it from everyone’s sightlines. This lets the players return to seeing things in their heads, rather than through a layer of representation."
I think what I'm trying to say is... if you have to measure the exact distance out in meters, you're doing it wrong.
That's... down to your playstyle and isn't ultimately very helpful for me in trying to understand the rules as written for the ability in question. XD For me, having a number in my head of how fast my character can move, even if there is no map, gives me a sense of what kinds of actions it makes sense / is plausible for her to do.
I'm not comfortable with just saying 'it was probably left over from an older draft of the rules, ignore it.' Especially when an Atlas employee just posted that it's relevant.