03212014, 06:19 AM  #1 
Banned
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden

The mathematics of Hiking
According to the basic rules "If a party is traveling together, all must make a Hiking roll in order to get the increased distance." Doesn't this mean that a reasonably large party (say, six people) of masterhikers (skill 14) will only get this bonus about half the time (55%)? And that unless everyone is very very good at hiking, taking the skill is effectively a waste of points unless you are alone? Should other skills, like Leadership or Survival (just spitballing here), be able to assist?

03212014, 06:31 AM  #2  
Join Date: Aug 2004

Re: The mathematics of Hiking
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03212014, 06:34 AM  #3 
Banned
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden

Re: The mathematics of Hiking
Grumble, grumble, requiring me to actually read the rules...

03212014, 11:39 AM  #4 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Berkeley, CA

Re: The mathematics of Hiking
I'd really rather hiking was reversed: you pick an amount by which you're pushing your pace, and then make a Hiking roll to see whether you either (a) arrive fine, (b) arrive exhausted, (c) arrive with minor injuries such as blistering, or (d) collapse part way through.

03212014, 04:10 PM  #5  
Join Date: Mar 2013

Re: The mathematics of Hiking
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03222014, 12:13 AM  #6  
Banned
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Europe

Re: The mathematics of Hiking
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I think it'd be better to implement some MarginofSucess rules, i.e. a much more finegrained system. Or just dump the dice roll and make it deterministic. How about +2% distance travelled per Hiking skill over 8, going by the lowest Hiking skill in the party? Another option again is that you only roll for the lowest Hiking skill in the entire party. If he makes it, they get the +20%. If he doesn't, they don't. For a party above a certain size, say 11+ people, require a roll both for the lowest and secondlowest. For a party of 101+, require a roll for the three lowest skills. A variant on the above is that you always only roll for the one lowest Hiking skill, but if the party is above a certain size, that roll is at penalty. But obviously such penalties should only kick in for very large parties, and so be of very little relevance to traditional PC parties. Maybe 1 for a group of 20100, and 2 for a group of 101500, 3 for groups above that (with large groups being able to split up as a way to reducing that penalty). I'm not particularly sure how I'll end up using Sagatafl's Hiking skill. I do know I want travel speeds to be completely deterministic, or nearly so, being derived from the stats of the characters (as modified by effective encumbrance), and their familiarity with the terrain they travel through, and the difficulty rating of the terrain (with familiarity being irrelevant if the terrain difficulty is normal or easier). Maybe I'll just demand one Hiking roll per character per Week of travel, so that there's a chance of getting trench foot and the like. If you only travel for 4 days, then you add 4 days to your tally, then next month, or ten years later, if you travel 4 more days, you make the Hiking roll that you "owe" after the first 3 days, and your tally resets to zero, then goes up to 1 for the last day. It'll even be possible to have factors that increase (or decrease) this Hiking roll interval, e.g. special trainings, species traits, or Enchantments, but I'm honestly not sure if that is a worthwhile complication, since it's simpler to just give an RD modifier to the Hiking rolls, e.g. for Boots of Tramping. And it is attractive to have the entire PC party always subject to the same interval so that if they travel together, they all roll together (even if the consequences of a failed roll may be delayed by, say, 1d6 or 1d7 Days, so that if several PCs Fumble, they don't all develop trench foot or sprain an ankle at the exact same time). (Special training could increase the interval in a fairly coarsegrained fashion, i.e. to 1.5 Week, then to 2 Weeks with really advanced training. That way, the entire PC party will still be "in sync".) Such an approach can, of course, be used in GURPS, but you may want to make the Hiking skill easier (I doubt it is at E already) since its effect is much reduced, no longer giving a speed boost, but simply reducing the chance of mishaps. Riding can be handled the same way, for the purpose of overland travel, but of course Riding has enough adventuring and combat applications that it would be stupid to make it easier and cheaper to learn. 

03222014, 12:16 AM  #7  
Banned
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Europe

Re: The mathematics of Hiking
Quote:
Or instead of allowing characters to pick the pace in a very finegrained fashion ("I want to travel 1.27% faster than average travel speed"), you can simply define Normal Travel and... I don't know the English word, the Danish word is "ilmarch", hurried marching, with the hurried version being perhaps 25% longer travelled per day. For normal travel, you only make the Hiking roll at spaced intervals, e.g. as per my onceaweek suggestion, but for hurried travel, you make it every day (or even every halfday), and at a penalty, and if your roll fails, you'll be entering a world of pain. 

03222014, 04:33 AM  #8  
GURPS FAQ Keeper
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Kyïv, Ukraine

Re: The mathematics of Hiking
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03222014, 10:11 AM  #9 
Hero of Democracy
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: far from the ocean

Re: The mathematics of Hiking
I think what is needed is a system that allows either approach to be taken. give me a moment with some math...
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03222014, 10:12 AM  #10 
GURPS FAQ Keeper
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Kyïv, Ukraine

Re: The mathematics of Hiking
You mean like active defences and deceptive attacks? ^_^
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