CHAPTER 7: SPACES AND MOVEMENT
Spaces and Size
Size is relative. What’s big to a mouse is small to a dragon. Size in Tavern Tales is represented by spaces, which is how much physical space a creature occupies. Every creature in Tavern Tales occupies 1 space, regardless of how big it is. That means that the size of 1 space varies from creature to creature. For a human, 1 space might only be a 5-foot by 5-foot area. For a dragon, 1 space might be a 50-foot by 50-foot area.
These are the sizes in Tavern Tales and the corresponding space that they occupy:
Tiny: A tiny creature is the size of a housecat or smaller. It occupies a 1-foot area or smaller.
Small: A small creature is approximately the size of a human child. It occupies a 2-foot area.
Medium: A medium creature is approximately the size of a human. It occupies a 5-foot area.
Large: A large creature is about 2-3 times the size of a human. It occupies a 10-foot area.
Huge: A huge creature is approximately the size of a house. It occupies a 20-foot area.
Gigantic: A gigantic creature is larger than a two-story mansion. It occupies a 50-foot area or larger.
Many traits in Tavern Tales reference spaces. For example, consider the Martial Arts trait Four Winds Strike:
Four Winds Strike
Describe how you attack with force → Push the target away from you until it is no longer close (assuming you can logically do so), and it becomesresistant to your Four Winds Strike. An additional effect occurs if it collides with each of the following:
A creature: That creature is also affected by the attack.
A solid object: Roll +1 damage die.
A breakable object: The creature breaks through all breakable objects in its path.
Nothing: The target is slow for 1 turn.
How far is a close distance? It depends on who’s doing the attack! For a human, a close distance is about 25 feet. For a huge dragon, a close distance is closer to 250 feet!
Movement and Speed
Creatures can move up to a set distance. By default, creatures can move a close distance unless otherwise stated. These are the distance steps from shortest to longest:
Near: A near distance extends several steps (relative to your size), or 3 spaces on a battlegrid.
Close: A close distance extends to the size to a room (relative to your size), or 5 spaces on a battlegrid.
Midrange: A midrange distance extends to the size of a building (relative to your size), or 10 spaces on a battlegrid.
Far: A far distance extends to the size of several buildings (relative to your size), or 20 spaces on a battlegrid.
Moving is a normally a simple action. If you attempt an extremely complicated movement (climbing a rock wall while trying to be stealthy, swimming while keeping an unconscious ally afloat, etc), the GM might shorten the distance that you can travel or have the movement cost your action for that turn.
If you need to determine the exact distance that a creature moves, multiply the feet it occupies by the spaces it moves. For example, suppose a human moves 3 spaces. Humans are medium, which means that they occupy 5 feet. 5×3 = 15; the human moves 15 feet.
When you move 1 space, you don’t have to move the entire space. For example, suppose that a 50-foot-long dragon wants to move 10 feet forward. It normally moves 50 feet when it moves 1 space. If the dragon wants to, it can move forward only a fraction of its 50-foot space.
Battlegrid vs Theater of the Mind
There are two types of play styles that involve movement: battlegrid and theater of the mind. Tavern Tales was designed to accommodate both of these options.
The battle grid approach involves using game miniatures and a battle map to create an accurate representation of battles. If you prefer this method of gameplay, then handling movement and spaces is simply a matter of using the right minis. For medium creatures, use minis that occupy 1 square/hex on the battlegrid. For large creatures, use minis that occupy 2×2 squares/hexes. And so on…
Theater of the Mind
Gamers who use the theater of the mind (TOTM) approach avoid battlegrids, preferring instead to imagine the action. If your gaming group uses this approach, it is recommended that you stick with qualitative descriptions. Don’t worry about exact numbers, measurements, and speed, because these values bog down TOTM gameplay. Instead, focus on the game’s qualitative descriptions. A large creature is exactly that: large. A close distance is exactly that: close. Who moves farther: a medium creature that moves a midrange distance, or a huge creature that moves a close distance? You could do the calculation, but why bother? Just go with what feels right: TOTM gameplay is meant to be loose and intuitive, so don’t let math slow you down.
When you start your turn, you can announce that you hurry. On that turn, you decrease all rolls you make and the distance you can move goes up 1 step, which doubles the distance you can travel. For example, the distance you can move might increase from close (5 spaces) to midrange (10 spaces). This doesn’t stack with haste. This applies to all forms of movement: running, climbing, swimming, flying, etc. Hurrying is particularly exhausting, so the GM might require you to roll if you hurry for extended periods of time.