Movement rate in combat

I am new to Ars Magica and have been digesting the book for some time. However, I cant find the part of the rules that explains what you may do in a combat round, such as how far you can move in one round. I am assuming that I am simply overlooking that information.

As a design decision that level of information isn't there in the core rules. The combat round is pitched at a level of detail above where most RPGs are, which gives players and storyguides the opportunity to be a litle more free with the set piece action encounters. But the trade off is, of course, that it can confuse people coming into this edition, or the game as a whole. And it means that lots of people have to come up with their own movement rules.

I'm pretty sure that there's a thread on here somewhere that gives at least one way to crack it.

It'll be something like:

Walk: 6 + Quickness paces
Run: 12 + Quickness + Athletics paces
Sprint: 18 + Quickness + Athletics paces

If you can't find the thread in a search (I couldn't) then just play with the above until you're happy you have some reasonable distances for people to travel over a 6-second combat round.

I'd keep your ear to the ground for any future releases that may provide additional input into this.

And welcome to the game!

At almost every opportunity, Ars avoids rules that invite detailed map combat, "tabletop tactics", and steers the play toward storytelling and drama. That's one reason they use "paces" and not feet or yards or meters - it's not formally defined.*

[size=85](* It is indirectly, but you have to look for it.)[/size]

A serious fan once asked J. Michael Strazinsky (of Babylon 5 fame) how fast the starfighters and other star ships moved, and the veteran writer/creator answered "They move at the speed of plot" - which is to say, they always arrive exactly when they need to, either too late or just in time, to advance the plot according to his vision.

Now, any SG has to be careful about being too flexible with such - but if you de-emphasize detailed battle maps (a big shift for some, admittedly!*) and keep thinking (at least!) one step ahead of the current action, you can use that to your advantage to create some very dramatic battles and combat scenes without worrying too much about whether a character is 15 or 16 paces away, etc.

(* You can still use maps to show the general layout, just make sure everyone knows there is a little "NTS" at the bottom of them - "Not To Scale", and those hexes or grids are rough at best.)



You may find the Ars Magica FAQ helpful as you work your way through. We will be glad to answer any additional questions you may have.


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Far too low.

Nope, because the game is made to be storycentric rather than game mechanics centric, meaning that most of the time its not used.
Its usually a major advantage in that it allows freedom of interpretation and lets you skip past details (like "oh darn everybody died because one character ended up 1m short of the safety handle for the trap"), but can be a disadvantage because if the SG cant handle it or the players abuse it, troubles a plenty can happen.

Hope you have fun playing!