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The Modular Terrain System

The place to discuss the range of figurines available for the Aeternitas RPG and the Aeternitas RPG tabletop terrain system.

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Postby Aeternitas » Fri Aug 23, 2013 7:32 pm

Developed in conjunction with the team at [url="https:/www.griffingrove.com.au/"]Griffin Grove Gaming[/url] the modular terrain system brings 360 degree freedom-of-movement and genuine 3D terrain to your combat scenes.

The crux of the Aeternitas combat system is the player -- not the Player Character (PC). The player is in the crucible, heat is applied, their mettle is tested. What does that mean? It means that the player's decision making is the key to their character's success in combat -- the PC's character sheet is secondary. The player's decision making, the player's judgement, the player's situational analysis, the player's knowledge of the mechanics -- these attributes are at the core of a PC's success in combat. Big numbers on the character sheet are less important than the player's attributes.

One aspect of this is the terrain system. Tabletop wargames have always put an emphasis on the player's capacity to judge distance. The player needs to be able to judge distance and range. To emphasize this, the terrain surface is without markings that would provide a visual aid to judging distance. Role-playing games (RPGs) often have an abstract combat environment, so the question of judging distance is irrelevant. When RPGs have a tactical combat environment they almost invariably overlay a grid over the map. This isn't just a clue to the range -- it makes the distance between objects easily and accurately calculable.

This seems to be a curious oddity given that RPGs originated from and were designed for wargamers.

It also seems like a design anomaly. After all many games give extremely precise ranges for things. A spell might have a maximum range of 30', for example. Yet the player always knows, with extreme precision, whether the distance from their character to a potential target is under 30' or not. The wizard character never targets an opponent, rolls, and then discovers that the target was 32' away and therefore the spell fizzes.

Aeternitas asks its players to develop the same judgement skills as the canny wargamer. With Aeternitas, the tactical combat environment includes as few visual clues to distance as is practical. There are no more visual clues to distance for the player than there would be visual clues to the character in the scene.

Since there is no square or hex grid overlay on the terrain -- with its commensurate insistence that the figurines be moved according to the overlay, the base of the figurine being clearly within one square or hex -- the Aeternitas terrain system can accommodate 360 degree movement. A figurine is moved directly and precisely to exactly where the player wants it moved.

In addition the Aeternitas terrain system is true 3D, not 2.5D. What is the difference?

A 2D game is played with miniatures on a flat surface. An example of this would be Close Action: The Age of Fighting Sail. This game is played on a flat surface with miniatures of 19th century warships. The miniatures themselves are 3D but the game mechanics themselves make to reference to height.

A 2.5D game is played with miniatures on a flat surface that has 3D terrain placed upon it. Am example of this would be Warhammer. The game is played on a flat surface with terrain objects places upon it. The terrain objects and the miniatures are 3D, but the game mechanics do not place any emphasis on the specific height of things. As height is unimportant (beyond, for example, a blanket bonus that might be conferred on a unit that has any sort of height advantage) the game is not truly 3D.

A 3D game is played with miniatures on a textured surface that incorporates 3D terrain. Height matters; the rules convey advantage(s) based on height differential, range calculations take into account relative height, movement calculations incorporate slope in the calculation, and so on. This is a true 3D environment. Aeternitas has a true 3D combat environment.

Further details on the modular terrain system to follow.
Regards,

- The Aeternitas RPG team
Aeternitas
 
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