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Old 03-21-2014, 06:19 AM   #1
Anders
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Default 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 master-hikers (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?
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Old 03-21-2014, 06:31 AM   #2
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Default Re: The mathematics of Hiking

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Originally Posted by Anders View Post
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 master-hikers (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?
No, it isn't, see below:


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Originally Posted by Anders View Post
Should other skills, like Leadership or Survival (just spitballing here), be able to assist?
It can help:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Basic set page 351
A successful roll against Hiking skill (p. 200) increases marching distance by 20%. Roll daily. A group led by someone with Leadership skill at 12+ may make a single roll against the groupís average Hiking skill. (Hiking defaults to HT-5 for those who have not studied it.) Success lets the entire group march 20% farther; failure means the whole group must forgo the bonus.
Leadership assists by allowing you to use the group's average Hiking skill. Someone with a very high skill will boost the group's average Hiking skill.
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Old 03-21-2014, 06:34 AM   #3
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Default Re: The mathematics of Hiking

Grumble, grumble, requiring me to actually read the rules...
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Old 03-21-2014, 11:39 AM   #4
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Default 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.
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Old 03-21-2014, 04:10 PM   #5
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Default Re: The mathematics of Hiking

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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.
It should be possible to make appropriate penalties to change the +20% to something else and choose a target, then roll at the end of the day. Either a single roll for everybody or individual rolls as the case may be.
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Old 03-22-2014, 12:13 AM   #6
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Default Re: The mathematics of Hiking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anders View Post
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 master-hikers (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?
Nah.

I think it'd be better to implement some Margin-of-Sucess rules, i.e. a much more fine-grained 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 second-lowest. 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 20-100, and -2 for a group of 101-500, -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 coarse-grained 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.
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Old 03-22-2014, 12:16 AM   #7
Peter Knutsen
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Default Re: The mathematics of Hiking

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
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.
That's a good point.

Or instead of allowing characters to pick the pace in a very fine-grained 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 "il-march", 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 once-a-week suggestion, but for hurried travel, you make it every day (or even every half-day), and at a penalty, and if your roll fails, you'll be entering a world of pain.
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Old 03-22-2014, 04:33 AM   #8
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Default Re: The mathematics of Hiking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
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.
That would likely result in many players ranting that the system doesn't allow experienced hikers to use their knowledge of hiking in order to maintain a sustainable pace as opposed to going all-out if they see they're overexerting themselves.
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Old 03-22-2014, 10:11 AM   #9
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Default Re: The mathematics of Hiking

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
That would likely result in many players ranting that the system doesn't allow experienced hikers to use their knowledge of hiking in order to maintain a sustainable pace as opposed to going all-out if they see they're overexerting themselves.
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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Old 03-22-2014, 10:12 AM   #10
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Default Re: The mathematics of Hiking

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Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
I think what is needed is a system that allows either approach to be taken. give me a moment with some math...
You mean like active defences and deceptive attacks? ^_^
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