Move Physical / Metaphysical Law in Star Wars: Shards | World Anvil


Adapted from The Star Wars Roleplaying Game Second Edition, pages 101-103 and 123-129, published by West End Games.
People have a Move Attribute. (It is often "10".)
Animals have a Move Attribute.
Droids have a Move Attribute. (It is often a single digit if they are surface-based, or in the high teens if they have repulsorlift undercarriages instead of treads or limbs.)
Vehicles have a Move Attribute that might be down near person-speed if they are intended more for power-based tasks. A typical planetary use vehicle has a Move rated with three digits.
Starcraft have hyperdrives or other interstellar technology; those have a Space Attribute, which is a different concept with its own mathematics. On those occasions where a pilot limits their starcraft to atmospheric travel, the Space Attribute has an associated Atmosphere listing. Starships with no Atmosphere listing are not capable of entering atmospheric environments except as part of a crash.

So what is Move supposed to mean?

Move is the distance in meters that could hypothetically be covered in normal speed travel, in a straight line, over a single combat phase of 5 seconds.
A character can move once per initiative round, all at once.
It may be possible to move faster by rolling a movement-based skill (running, swimming, climbing) -- but that counts as the character's Dice Action for that round of initiative. It might even remove the options to dodge or parry for that round!
In species whose default movement is limb-based walking, to swim or climb probably operates at one-third of their Move Attribute. Doggo Hayc may have a Move of 11, but his maximum climbing or swimming speed will not work out to 2.2 meters per second. His Move would drop to one third, a maximum Move of 3.66 and rounding down. He will be lucky to reach six-tenths of a meter per second until he gets his feet back on solid, relatively flat flooring.

Cautious Movement: half Move Attribute or less

Vanya: "Do we ever do that?"
Davish: "At home? Sure."
Goss: "Shenanigans. Neither one of you is ever that chill."
The character moves at the equivalent of a slow walk. They might indeed be strolling. Swimmers might be doing a breaststroke.
Unless the terrain is Difficult (or worse), this is a free action -- just like normal conversation. If the terrain does come with severe complications, the related movement skill roll faces a difficulty which the GM reduced one level.

Cruising Movement: full Move Attribute or less

You ever try to keep up with Miles as he goes from any one place to another?
I don't believe major injuries can make him go at less than full Move.
The character moves at their purposeful but not urgent movement speed, the equivalent of a human walk.
Cruising speed counts as an action in an initiative phaseW, but no actual roll is necessary unless the terrain is Difficult or worse.

High Speed: run at speeds up to twice Move Attribute

You don't suppose that distant blaster fire has anything to do with our misplaced Mentat?
— the party notices that they have lost track of Reese Pieces
This character has someplace to be, and needs to be there soon. They are not sprinting. They are definitely hurrying!
High Speed Movement requires a roll on a relevant skill. Defaulting to Attribute (probably Dexterity) is possible, but trained skills are less likely to face increases to Difficulty levels.
Terrain difficulties of "Difficult" or higher will increase one difficulty level for the skill roll even when attempted by a trained athlete! The character has less spare attention to notice unstable footing or similar obstacles before they are already atop them.

All-Out: sprint up to four times Move Attribute

I don't like your tone!
Or your haircut!
— Captain Aerena Kolene, heard over comms, is starting a cantina brawl
and we are missing it!
Gotta be there; got to be there now!
All-out movement is for true emergencies. It absolutely requires a roll on the motion-related skill. Whether moving their bodies or opening the throttle to full, this movement increases the difficulty at least one level for any terrain.
It also removes the possibility of doing anything else in that phase. Characters moving all-out cannot make Perception checks, they cannot communicate with team or bystanders or opponents, they cannot fire weapons, they cannot even dodge or parry. The character is fully committed to their Move!


Typical Move Attributes
  • Most sapient carbon-based species start with a Move of 10.
  • Jawas start with a Move of 8. They max out at 10.
  • Wookiees start at 11. Their Move can go up to 15.
  • Noghri start at 11. Their Move can go up to 18.
  • Toydarians have a ground-based Move between 6 and 8, but their Flight-based Move is 18 to 20.
  • A brand new Knights' Swoop has a Move Attribute of 225.
  • The typical LiteVan IV speeder truck, common to local commercial traffic in Core Worlds or Mid-Rim cities, has a Move Attribute of 35.
  • On Pelagon, High Lord Aral Vorkosigan owns a modified Saltech V-53 Hydromancer that cruises at a comfortable Move of 25.

House Rule: Nah!
In the Shards campaign, we do not count full Move as an action in a combat phase (requiring that the player withhold a die from all other rolls that phase) unless 1) the terrain is Difficult or worse; 2) the character is taking an unfamiliar and extremely complicated route; 3) the character is pushing their Move to its maximum, which would be "High Speed" or "All-Out".


WEG Terrain Difficulties

Adapted from pages 102-103 of
The Star Wars Roleplaying Game Second Edition
by WEG

Many contributing factors help the GM determine the difficulty number of a movement roll: how fancy is the described action, how long has the movement been going on, how recently has the GM had a good laugh or a rest break, how much attention are the forces of Evil paying to this moment, is the character or vehicle damaged in some way.
They all start with what kind of physical environment the character plans to traverse!
Players may find it helpful to have benchmarks as to how difficult their circumstances are known to be at the outset. That leaves room in the plan for unknown detriments.

Text of the table below is quoted directly from the sourcebook. The only changes were reformatting it for ease of use.

Terrain Difficulty
Descriptive Examples
Very Easy:
Flat, clear, even ground with no obstacles.
Clear walkways or tracks.
For swimming, calm water.
Flat but naturally uneven ground (fields, yards) that may have a few small obstacles such as rocks, holes, bushes, low branches, and so forth.
For swimming, water with minor obstacles: occasional branches or reefs, or water with mdoerate currents.
Rough ground or any area with many obstacles (large holes, rocks, thickets and bushes).
For swimming, an area with many obstacles or a very confined area, such as a small tunnel
Running through a densely packed area that's difficult to navigate: a panicked crowd or a thick forest, for example.
Very rough ground with drop outs, darkened tunnels, or an area that's being pelted by falling boulders.
Swimming during a very rough storm or around attacking predators.
Very Difficult:
Moving through any dangerous terrain, such as a minefield, down a narrow crawl-way with whirling cooling fans, a starship as it breaks apart, or along the outside of a repulsorlift vehicle as it makes twisting maneuvers.
Swimming in the middle of a dangerous storm with large waves.
Heroic terrain is virtually impassable: running through an avalanche, or running down a corridor filled with falling debris, smoke, and exploding consoles.
For swimming, in the middle of a tidal wave or hurricane.


Author's Notes

I included some of the WEG canon rules here because we occasionally see references in our other resources to how the game mechanics of movement was originally designed. I find that it helps to know what we are and what we are not doing, so I know when to convert to our House Rules.

The ruleset also talks about rates of acceleration and deceleration. We are not using a setting quite that realistic; the setting ignores the game logistics of how a character speeds up or slows down, keeping that only to storytelling components.

Anyone who wants to incorporate that idea into their game should check page 102, second column, of the sourcebook.

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