Shatterzone RPG & Miniature Play
After not running Shatterzone for over 20 years, I ran a one shot recently. I openly recognize that my game style has evolved over time. In the past, I ran games out of a college room, using a chalk board for combat maps. It was very abstract. It was what I was comfortable with it. Over time, as I move to the table, I got into miniatures. I love the tactical immersion that a cool combat scene with terrain and minis can create.
The value system of the Torg/Shatterzone/Masterbook systems creates a more abstract environment to work in, where the world of miniatures is a little more precise. The question is how do we get the more abstract game working in a miniature based game session?
Movement in Shatterzone is in meters, so that causes slight issues in terms of squares. I make each square equal to 2 meters, round down if your movement rate is odd.
Movement Rates are given in values, which translate into meters per turn. The fastest anyone can go is 8, or 40 meters, unless something special changes it. That’s RUNNING. In miniature play, that’s 20 squares. One thing to consider is that in most RPGs, a turn is 6 seconds. IN SZ, a turn is 10 seconds, which is a little more time than most are used to. So that adds up with the movement rates.
How much movement in one turn
I interpret the rules to say that the maximum anyone can do in a turn is a single movement, without a push. In other RPGs, a run is considered a double movement and takes an action, and that’s in a 6-second turn. In the 10 second turn world, I can see movement being further but apparently in SZ, it’s not an action. At least it does not appear to be. Should it be?
I was thinking of some kind of house rule to (1) scale the combat down to something that works for tabletop miniatures; (2) slow the characters down so they are not all over the game terrain.
Option 1: Restrictive – Half movement is free. Full movement is an action, and in a multi-action, it is the first priority action by default, no roll.
Option 2: Rewarding – If the player uses on half movement or less in one round, then they gain a +2 bonus to their first action.
I find that if you scale the tactical map up to say 5 meters a square, it begins make change the tactics and make things impractical For instance, if you have terrain that is scaled to 5 ft squares, at 5 meters squares, it does work as well. It might be me. I may be to particular about my scales.