With an understanding of the basics of one's traits, how they are rated in comparison to others, and how to perform actions with them, it is time to start applying this knowledge to the world around your character.
All of the action in the 4C System: Edition 13 game takes place in a grand multiverse of possibility, a multiverse being defined as a multitude of dimensions. In fact, Edition 13 of the 4C System rules recognizes seven physical dimensions: three of space, three of time, and a seventh - the last of which has very strange aspects, indeed. Navigating these seven dimensions can be tricky, but luckily for us the three dimensions of space are the easiest to recognize and cross, and there are all manner of ways to get from point A to point B available to a character.
The simplest of which, naturally, involves walking there.
Walking / Running
|Rank Value||Running Speed / Acceleration *|
|2||One half sector per turn|
|4||One sector per turn|
|6 - 20||One and a half sectors per turn|
|30||Two sectors per turn|
|40 +||Three sectors per turn|
The standard means of going places since time immemorial, walking allows for the crossing of horizontal spaces. A healthy character can, in one minute, cross 1.5 sectors of space. The base unit for space in Edition 13, a sector is 40 cubic yards, meaning that this 40 yards extends in all directions. This assumes that said character is not in any hurry, and is simply having a pleasant stroll or determined walk.
However, this does not always apply, and a character may need to run to the scene of some crime or another (or, if a villain, from it). If running, a character can cross a number of sectors per turn - the basic unit of time in Edition 13 (equal to six seconds) - that is determined by his or her Brawn trait. These speeds are detailed on table 16.
This table reflects the maximum 'base' running speed for a character, for a given value of Brawn, assuming an overall top speed for human beings equal to 27.27 miles per hour. This is approximately ten times the standard walking rate, though maintaining this level of speed over time is easier said than done. Table 16 also reflects a rate of acceleration upon the body a character can reasonably withstand per turn.
While running characters can normally accelerate to their maximum sprinting speed almost instantaneously, acceleration forces come into play when wielding super-human movement powers. If a character has a running power that lets them move at well beyond three sectors per turn, for instance, it will take him or her some time to accelerate to maximum speed. Acceleration tolerances are determined on the table above using one's Fortitude trait.
* For walking speeds, simply change 'turn' to 'minute'.
Sometimes, you've just got to move fast... above and beyond the normal sprinting speed available to you. When this is the case, characters may attempt a yellow Brawn ACT roll to gain a burst of speed, allowing them to move one sector per turn faster than is normal for them. If the character fails this ACT, however, they will stumble and fall, but still continue moving as if subject to a Pound effect.
A character can turn at up to ninety degrees without losing speed, as this is generally considered standard maneuvering. If they attempt a tighter turn, however, said character must slow down to half their maximum speed to do so safely. If one wishes to bypass this slowdown, they must pass a red Coordination ACT roll to do so. If this ACT fails, the character may very well trip, slowly rolling to a stop.
Similarly, it is hard to concentrate on moving at maximum speed while doing something else. Texting while sprinting, for example, is ill advised. To safely manage another activity while moving, one must reduce their speed by half unless they are engaging in a charging maneuver, as running is part of the deal there. If one is in too big a hurry, the ACT described above (and consequences of failure) applies here as well.
For the most part, moving indoors is just like moving elsewhere. Of course, most rooms are not 40 yards to a side, so for ease of use, simply consider each individual space inside a structure to be one sector for the purposes of movement. This adjustment to movement generally takes into account the need to make use of doors and windows to get in and out of a sector - whether opening them or plowing through.
It is difficult to maneuver through a heavily cluttered area, one that is full of people, obstacles, or both. When doing so, running characters should slow down by one degree of speed (from three sectors per turn for a person with rank value 40 Brawn to two, for instance) to retain control of their movement. If one refuses to slow down, they must pass a blue Coordination ACT to avoid running into someone or something.
|Turns||ACT Required||Rest Period|
|Fortitude x1||Red||1d10 Turns|
|Fortitude x2||Blue||2d10 Turns|
|Fortitude x3||Yellow||3d10 Turns|
|Fortitude x4 +||Yellow each turn||4d10 Turns|
Table 16 indicates that even a relatively frail person can move along at a decent clip when they need to. But how long can they keep that up, you ask? The distance a person can run before needing rest depends entirely on their Fortitude. How this comes into play is when a character has run at their top speed for a number of turns equal to their Fortitude rank value.
Once they reach this point, they must attempt a red Fortitude ACT roll. If successful, they may continue, while failure indicates they must pause and rest for 1 to 10 turns (roll one of your percentile dice; that's how many turns the winded character needs to catch their breath). A character who is still running at this point may continue until they've done so for twice their Fortitude rank value in turns.
To keep pouring on the speed, they must pass a blue Fortitude ACT roll this time. If it fails, they must rest for 2 to 20 turns (roll both of those percentile dice and add the result together). Passing this ACT allows your runner to continue their sprint towards (or away from) whatever has caused them to run in the first place. If they must keep moving for longer, though, this gets harder over time.
Once our runner has done so for three times their Fortitude rank value, they must pass a yellow Fortitude ACT to keep going. Failure indicates they must rest for 3 to 30 turns (roll a d10 three times for the total amount of turns they must pause). If he or she succeeds, they can continue on, up until they reach an amount of time, in turns, equal to four times their Fortitude rank value, at which point they must stop imminently.
He or she can push it further, though this requires an additional yellow ACT roll each turn now, not at multiples of their Fortitude rank value. Our marathon runner can keep the pace up as long as they can continue to make these ACTs each turn (often requiring Fortune). As soon as he or she fails, they will collapse, needing 4 to 40 turns of rest to recover from this titanic exertion.
As an example, let us look at an average, relatively fit human.
To wit, a body with rank value 6 Brawn and Fortitude can run at their top speed of one and a half sectors per turn for six turns (or 9 sectors) without having to make a roll. They need a red Fortitude ACT to make it to 18, a blue Fortitude ACT to make it to 27, and a yellow Fortitude ACT to make it to 36 sectors. After this, they need to pass a yellow ACT every additional turn to continue.
Incidentally, a mile is exactly 44 sectors in length. And now you know why your gym teacher kept making you run those, and pushed you to run to the very end... to build your Fortitude!
A few notes on exhaustion. One can avoid it entirely by pacing themselves; one need not walk to avoid becoming exhausted - they just need to move at a more reasonable pace. Pacing oneself involves moving as though their Fortitude was two steps lower on the table; a body with rank value 30 Fortitude moving at only one sector per turn, for instance. Furthermore, having a Fortitude of rank value 100 or higher negates the effects of exhaustion entirely.
Similar to walking, swimming allows a body to easily get from one point to another, but swimming refers to movement across a body of water, as opposed to a field or city street. When swimming, a character can simply tread water, an action allowing him or her to move at one-sixth of their base walking rate (as is determined on table 16, above). If necessary, a character can put their all into a swim, and move at a rate equal to one-sixth of their running speed - which is ten times faster!
While this seems similar on the surface, aside from the generally slower rate of movement, the danger with swimming is that drowning is a real concern. A swimmer is subject to exhaustion just as a runner is, and if they push themselves until rest is needed, they must pass a Brawn ACT to keep themselves above water. If this ACT is successful, our swimmer is fine, but if not, they may indeed slip under the waves and drown.
Nominally, the length of time a character can hold their breath is determined as is exhaustion, on table 17. The difference with holding your breath, however, is that instead of needing rest when the Fortitude ACT ultimately fails, one must breathe immediately or fall unconscious. If this occurs from lack of oxygen, a character has drowned or suffocated (depending on the circumstances), and will begin to lose Fortitude rank values, one per turn.
The problem while swimming is that, if already exhausted before one needs to suddenly hold their breath, a body begins at the point where a blue Fortitude ACT roll is required, as they've already built up fatigue poisons in their system - as well as a whole lot of carbon dioxide. This is why it pays to pace oneself when swimming, unless you wear a life preserver or other method of keeping yourself afloat.
|Falling Time||Falling Speed|
|One turn||3 stories / turn|
|Two turns||6 stories / turn|
|Three turns||10 stories / turn|
|Four + turns||20 stories / turn|
Often, walking or swimming just won't get a body where he or she needs to be, as a bevy of important locations lie up in the clouds, whether they be on mountain tops or in skyscrapers. Whether using stairs, ladders, fire escapes, or simply climbing a vertical surface with requisite handholds or the appropriate equipment, a character can only move vertically at a rate equal to one story - approximately twelve feet - per turn. This applies to vertical movement in either direction - up or down.
The danger with vertical movement, though, is falling; it seems that people are always being pushed off of extreme heights to their doom. If he or she cannot find convenient grips to break their fall, a falling character will accelerate to their fate at the rate presented on table 18.
At the end of a fall, a body may be severely hurt, depending on their abilities. You see, when a person hits the ground after a fall, the damage to them (and whatever they hit) is figured as if it were a charging attack, with the m.v. of the item struck on the ground acting as the body armor of the 'target'; see the combat section for more on this phenomenon. This demonstrates how normal humans die so easily from a fall while super-heroes occasionally do not - especially if they're tough enough.
Thanks to either powers or equipment, many people have the ability to fly. A flying character typically moves at rates of travel much greater than those who are landlocked, so to speak. The top speeds of such fliers are determined by the gear or powers that allow them to do so in the first place. However, when a character first gets going, they are bound by their body's ability to accelerate. This is dependent on their Fortitude trait, as is determined on table 16.
In other words, one may fly at over two hundred miles per hour - 15 sectors per turn - but if he or she only has rank value 10 Fortitude, it'll take them over 7 turns to get up to top speed. Some powers may counter this acceleration limitation, though, and are so noted. On the other hand, if a flying body wishes to decelerate, he or she may do so by simply halving their current speed each turn, thus quickly bringing themselves to a complete stop.
Landing is good idea at this point. This is simply the ending of flight, most likely by decelerating to sensible speeds and touching down on a runway, helipad, etc. ACT rolls aren't needed while landing, unless a character tries to land while traveling at more than three sectors per turn. If attempting to do so, they must pass a blue Coordination ACT roll to land safely.
A variant form of flight, gliding should also be mentioned here. Unpowered flight, gliding allows a character to ride air currents at the listed flight speed, but their altitude drops one story per turn unless they pass a red Coordination (or gliding power value) ACT every turn in the air. Similarly, a character can't gain altitude while gliding unless he or she passes a blue Coordination (or gliding rank value) ACT roll; this involves carefully moving a glider around in air currents, and is tricky to say the least.
Flight speeds are presented for convenience on table 19.
While flying, characters or vehicles will lose one sector of movement during any mid-air turn; this implies relatively safe handling of the change in direction. If one attempts to bypass this small loss of velocity, they must pass a red Coordination or Handling ACT to do so; this ACT is also required when attempting a turn of greater than 90 degrees. If both are attempted simultaneously, the ACT is of blue difficulty.
If one of these ACTs fails, the character may well lose control of their flight. When this occurs, the character (or the vehicle they're piloting) will careen off in a random direction, which may include 'up' or 'down'. Recovering control of one's direction at this point requires the success of the ACT previously failed. The flier may attempt this ACT each turn until they regain control or crash into something.
When flying close to the ground or low in a city, the area might be full of what is called clutter. It may be people, houses, trees, or anything else, but all moving characters risk striking clutter if they don't slow down when it is in the area. Flying characters can only move safely at equivalent ground speed velocities, lest they ram themselves or their vehicles through the clutter before them.
Naturally, safety may be disregarded in such conditions. As is the case with most other difficult control situations, this requires a successful blue Coordination or Handling ACT; passing this means the flier pulled off a dazzling acrobatic maneuver to avoid all the stuff in their path. Failing this ACT means the flier will crash into something in his or her way - possibly wrapping themselves or their ride all around it.
All characters can leap to some extent, depending on their Brawn trait. The distance a character can jump is a value determined by the amount of weight they can lift, minus their own weight. Where the result falls on on table 3 determines a character's natural leaping ability. For example, a character with a Brawn trait of 10 weighs 200 pounds. They can lift 400 pounds, so subtracting their weight drops them into the rank value 6 category for leaping purposes.
Once you have this rank value, apply it to table 19, below, to determine just how far your character can jump. Horizontal distances function at the listed rank value, while vertical distances (leaping up) occur at a -1 RS.
Our example character, then, can leap 5.625 feet - which is pretty impressive, really. This is an average; making a leap forward of this distance would require a blue Brawn ACT. Using this logic, -1 RS (3.75 feet) would be a red Brawn ACT, while +1 RS (7.5 feet) would be a yellow Brawn ACT.
Similarly, our sample character can leap up 3.75 feet into the air on average (this being with a blue Brawn ACT).
On the other hand, dropping down occurs at this rank value +1 RS. This is the safe distance the character may fall without hurting oneself. Our friend with a Brawn trait of 10, then, can drop down 7.5 feet - over half a story - without any undue injury. A drop of greater distance inflicts damage as per a fall (described above), though the distance one can leap downward is subtracted from the overall amount when figuring out how far they fell.
Again referring to our example with a Brawn trait of 10, say they drop two stories. That's twenty-four feet, and subtracting their 7.5 leaves them at 16.5 feet. That still counts as only one turn worth of falling damage, and the harm suffered (if any) is based upon that distance. This doesn't do a lot of good on significant falls unless the character has a large Brawn trait, at which point they may absorb some of this pain more easily.
Leaping distances are presented for convenience on table 19.
|Rank Value||Land / Water||Leaping Distance||Air||Space|
|2||13.64 MPH (1 sector)||1.875 feet (1/64 sectors)||27.27 MPH (2 sectors)||340.91 MPH (25 sectors)|
|4||27.27 MPH (2 sectors)||3.75 feet (1/32 sectors)||54.55 MPH (4 sectors)||681.81 MPH (50 sectors)|
|6||40.91 MPH (3 sectors)||5.625 feet (3/64 sectors)||81.81 MPH (6 sectors)||1,022.73 MPH (75 sectors)|
|10||54.55 MPH (4 sectors)||7.5 feet (1/16 sectors)||109.09 MPH (8 sectors)||1,363.64 MPH (100 sectors)|
|20||68.18 MPH (5 sectors)||15 feet (1/8 sectors)||136.36 MPH (10 sectors)||3,409.09 MPH (250 sectors)|
|30||81.81 MPH (6 sectors)||22.5 feet (3/16 sectors)||204.55 MPH (15 sectors)||6,818.18 MPH (500 sectors)|
|40||95.45 MPH (7 sectors)||30 feet (1/4 sectors)||272.73 MPH (20 sectors)||13,636.36 MPH (1,000 sectors)|
|50||109.09 MPH (8 sectors)||60 feet (1/2 sectors)||340.91 MPH (25 sectors)||34,090.91 MPH (2,500 sectors)|
|75||122.72 MPH (9 sectors)||90 feet (3/4 sectors)||409.09 MPH (30 sectors)||68,181.82 MPH (5,000 sectors)|
|100||136.36 MPH (10 sectors)||120 feet (1 sector)||545.45 MPH (40 sectors)||136,363.64 MPH (10,000 sectors)|
|150||163.64 MPH (12 sectors)||240 feet (2 sectors)||681.81 MPH (50 sectors)||670,615 MPH (.1% light)|
|200||190.91 MPH (14 sectors)||300 feet (2.5 sectors)||1,363.64 MPH (100 sectors)||3,348,000 MPH (.5% light)|
|500||218.18 MPH (16 sectors)||600 feet (5 sectors)||3,409.09 MPH (250 sectors)||6,696,000 MPH (1% light)|
|1000||436.36 MPH (32 sectors)||1200 feet (10 sectors)||6,818.18 MPH (500 sectors)||18,600 m.p.s. (10% light)|
|3000||681.81 MPH (50 sectors)||2400 feet (20 sectors)||10,227.27 MPH (750 sectors)||93,000 m.p.s. (50% light)|
|5000||1363.64 MPH (100 sectors)||4800 feet (40 sectors)||13,636.36 MPH (1,000 sectors)||186,000 m.p.s. (light speed)|
While the previous forms of movement require a body to physically cross the space between the origin and end point of their travels, teleportation does not. This form of movement, regardless of how it functions, involves a character effectively ceasing to exist at one point in space and then instantly beginning to exist at another. A teleporter has a great range of movement, as this power uses the Far range category.
However, while teleporters can cross a vast distance in the blink of an eye, all of them face the risk of teleporting into a solid object. If he or she doesn't know the area being teleported into precisely, a body may inadvertently transport themselves into something solid. This causes damage equal to the m.v. of the object, and a person so damaged must immediately roll a Fortitude ACT vs. the intensity of this damage.
If this roll is successful, this teleporter can successfully transport to safety, but if not, they will immediately pass out, and begin to lose Fortitude rank values at a rate of one per turn. If deep within a solid object, such as a mountain or a thick wall, this may spell the end of our teleporter, as nobody may know where the unfortunate traveler wound up after their little trip.
But what are the odds of this happening, you ask? It ultimately depends on the area teleported into. If it is free of clutter, our teleporting friend is likely to be okay. But if it's littered with people or objects, or has been filled full of bulky things as a trap, a teleporter could be in real trouble. To be completely random, a Gamemaster may just give a percentage chance of this happening and roll against it.
Teleportation ranges are presented for convenience on table 20.
But Wait, There's More!
There are several additional, more esoteric methods of travel that are available to players, but these mostly function similar to those presented here - or as slight variations therein. These other motive abilities will be described more fully as becomes necessary (usually in their specific equipment or power descriptions).
Concepts of Range
Overall, there are seven different range categories in the Edition 13 game, each of which helps to define and differentiate the ascendant abilities of characters. These categories are named such that players can quite easily make sense of one in relation to the others, starting with Contact, then ascending through Very Near, Near, Middle, Far, and Very Far range, only to end with Infinite range.
While the Contact and Infinite ranges are pretty self explanatory, being zero and infinite, respectively, the other five range categories will vary based on the power rank value of the ability in question - whether only a little bit or a whole lot, depending on which range category is used. This variance is covered in detail on table 20, below, for the five variable range categories.
Another vital area where range is concerned is sensory acuity. All characters can generally perceive the fine details of sensory stimuli within their current sector without penalty, though each additional sector a stimuli is distant reduces one's Awareness for the purposes of detecting it by -1 RS. Possessing the super senses power extends this sensory range by one sector before penalties begin, as can a variety of high tech equipment and special powers.
Once a character's Awareness is reduced below rank value 0 when attempting to discern fine details in a stimulus, such is generally considered impossible. One may be able to see the moon quite well on a clear night, for example, but it's not like they can actually perceive individual boulders on its surface. No, only the most basic of details register at that point.
|Rank Value||Very Near||Near||Middle||Far||Very Far|
|2||2 yards||.5 sectors||1 sector||1 mile||2 miles|
|4||4 yards||1 sector||2 sectors||5 miles||25 miles|
|6||6 yards||2 sectors||5 sectors||10 miles||250 miles|
|10||10 yards||4 sectors||11 sectors||50 miles||2,500 miles|
|20||20 yards||6 sectors||22 sectors||100 miles||25,000 miles|
|30||30 yards||8 sectors||1 mile||500 miles||250,000 miles|
|40||40 yards||11 sectors||2 miles||1,000 miles||2.5 million miles|
|50||50 yards||22 sectors||4 miles||5,000 miles||25 million miles|
|75||75 yards||44 sectors||6 miles||10,000 miles||250 million miles|
|100||100 yards||66 sectors||8 miles||100,000 miles||2.5 billion miles|
|150||150 yards||88 sectors||10 miles||1 million miles||25 billion miles|
|250||200 yards||176 sectors||100 miles||10 million miles||250 billion miles|
|500||500 yards||440 sectors||1,000 miles||100 million miles||.5 light year|
|1000||1,000 yards||50 miles||10,000 miles||1 billion miles||5 light years|
|3000||3000 yards||100 miles||100,000 miles||10 billion miles||50 light years|
|5000||5000 yards||250 miles||1 million miles||100 billion miles||500 light years|
Maps and Ranged Movement
Though it is not required, those using Edition 13 of the 4C System may wish to use maps to detail their actions and movements. When a Gamemaster makes a map, he or she should do so at a scale of two inches to a sector, allowing for a detailed showing of all the action. This may seem small, especially when one is used to the map scale of other games, but a heroic fight tends to spread out all over the place.
A map this size is good for general use, but the Gamemaster is free to make their own at any size they prefer. Just make sure to mark off each sector as such on the map with dotted or dashed lines, so players know how far they can move their characters in a given turn. Of course, instead of going with a generic sector mapping, one can instead used a concept known as ranged movement.
This allows a player to use a ruler to measure out his or her exact movements, a method that has both good and bad points. Good in that it is far easier to track a character's exact placement on the map, but bad in that it is harder for N/PCs to be anywhere in a given sector at a given point in time, which can put a small crimp in a Gamemaster's plans. Either way works well, however.
As far as pointers for one's heroes go, virtually anything can be used. Any die, coin, or other knick-knack can fill this function nicely. Some people make small paper stand up 'figures', whether two- or three-sided, with the front of the fold-up figure representing exactly where the character is. Some players even buy miniatures from their RPG supplier, painting them up to look like their characters.
Bear in mind that the scale of the map may alter the usefulness of these items. If the Gamemaster uses a map of Manhattan Island, it will be of miniature scale, and it may be difficult to pinpoint exactly what street out of the twelve one's figure is standing on is actually occupied by the hero. To each their own, however, and for those that go forward with their map techniques, good luck to you!
If you're not seeing this content within the technohol.com domain, it's been stolen by someone who doesn't respect others' work.