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Failing to move

Quick question: if you try to move boldly or subtly and fail, do you still get to move? The rules are clear that you can’t spend momentum to move farther, but what about the original move?

I would say yes.

I’d use the following, from pg. 166, Taking Action as source:

When you take your turn, you may take a single action, to either move an asset or use an asset.

I think the intent is that PCs/NPCs always get a move (should they choose) with the potential for additional benefits if they want to move boldly/subtly. This would mimic other rulesets that break a round into: “a PC/NPC always get a move, an attack, and a free action, etc.”

That said, I also think Traits and Assets could change that calculus, e.g. a defensive asset in the target zone.

You have a scenario in mind?

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@Evocatus I’m picturing something really simple. I decide to move an asset subtly from zone 1 to zone 2. This is difficulty 2, but unfortunately, I only roll 1 success. Does my asset move to zone 2 or does it stay in zone 1?

Then, yes.

I’d rule you get the move but, of course, sacrifice the initiative (including Momentum spends) and could have an enemy Asset moved against you by 1 zone.

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@Evocatus Thanks. You mentioned previously that your answer might change if there was an enemy asset involved. Let me embellish my example: I try to move subtly from zone 1 to zone 2, where zone 2 contains an enemy defensive asset. I fail my roll. Would my asset be stuck in zone 1, or would it move to zone 2?

In general, I’d rule you still get the move.

That said, here’s where nuance and the narrative will dictate in my opinion, i.e., which conflict type are we talking, what is the nature of the defensive asset, what traits are associated (either with the zone or the asset), what makes logical sense, etc.

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For me, I’d say no.
You failed the roll so you are unable to move your asset effectively.
Same as if you fail to attack you don’t get to hit.

But, you could rule you can move but you just don’t get the added bonus of moving boldly or subtly.
That is within the scope of the rules depending how you read them.
Nathan has said you can move without a roll as well and he knows the system better than me.
But I feel the roll is to see if you can move, not whether you get the bonus for doing so. Otherwise you know you can move an asset each round making the tests less important to your overall success.

As a compromise you could rule that you can move on a failed roll, but only if there is no defensive asset in the zone you are trying to move to.

For the previous question of ‘if you roll 1 success can you still move a bit’ I’d say no there too (I am very strict! :slight_smile: ) In most cases the system is pass or fail rather than how well you did so you either get to do your action or not. To be honest I think allowing partial success would make things very complicated.

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Interesting.

My thought here is that the skill test is for an additional benefit only. And, failure of the test already dictates pretty severe consequences - loss of initiative, inability to make an additional move with a Momentum spend, and possible automatic reaction.

I’m reading it in light of round structure where, in a game turn, you can either move or use an asset. Simple movement seems like it should be free unless there is an asset or trait that makes the movement more difficult.

I’m thinking of other 2d20 rulesets where there is a specified structure of 1 turn = move, standard action, and free action(s). You can generally always move, within the constraints of the narrative, and it is generally the standard action that requires a test.

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@Andy-Modiphius Thanks for your thoughts. That was my knee-jerk reaction on reading the movement section: that failure on the movement roll would mean you wouldn’t move. However, reading the text again, I realised there was no mention of not moving in the discussion following the bullets:

In either case, if you fail, you may not spend Momentum on additional movement, and one enemy may move a single asset one zone, as they react to your failed ploy. Further, you many not Keep the Initiative.

So I wondered if I was “reading between the lines” that you didn’t move on a fail. There was also an example by @Modiphius-Nathan on RPGnet where he had an asset move on a fail.

I went and had a look at some other 2d20 quickstarts, but the systems I looked at (John Carter, Star Trek, and Conan) didn’t make such a big deal about moving. It was more something you did in between shooting and fighting rather than a central issue of the conflict.

It is perfectly fair to read it that way, and it should work.
I think its closer to Nathan’s intention as well! :slight_smile:
For me movement is more important in Dune as conflict has a more tactical aspect.
In some of the other 2D20 games moving it just adjusting position, but in Dune its what puts you in place for a killing blow.

I’d definitely allow the move to happen but without the benefit from subtle or bold.

Look at it like this: you have to cross a courtyard to get to the door of a building that has a lookout on the roof watching for you.

A subtle move would be trying to move slowly to sneak across without them spotting you. If you succeed, you make it to the door and since they didn’t see you you can act again (keep the initiative). If you fail, you’re still at the door but the lookout sees you and sounds the alarm so the defenders now can act.

A bold move would be purposely making noise as you run across the courtyard to catch the lookout’s attention and that way he won’t notice your compatriot sneaking around the back of the building. If you succeed, the lookout jumps down off the roof to engage you and your ally is able to get in the now unguarded building. If you fail, again you’re still at the door, and the guard sees you but realizes it’s a distraction and isn’t fooled, and is free to notice and shoot at your ally.

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I like it.

I think the follow-on question is whether a defensive asset (or, trait) in the zone increases the default difficulty 2 test for subtle/bold moves.

I view the D2 test to be baseline and increased/decreased by assets/traits. So, a subtle move with a main gauche into a zone with an opposing main gauche/rapier that could potentially parry makes the difficulty D3 for the purpose of the move.

Yup, the D2 is the base difficulty, so it would indeed be modified by defensive assets and other traits that come into play.