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Monkey Leap and Lightning Speed

Here are my houserules, and here's why they exist.

  • Monkey Leap, while it lets a character jump as a movement action, can only be used once per action or flurry.
  • Every mote invested in Lightning Speed through Athletics Excellency grants +Ess yards per turn to the user's speed

Transcribed from a post of mine on the forums, at what I THINK was a request:

All right, let's break this down into three movement paradigms.

There are going to be Athletes who prefer to run for their speed, utilizing raw dexterity in combination with their athletic skill, there are going to be those who simply jump startling distances, and there are going to be those who mix the two.

For the purposes of clarity, I will refer to the running paradigm as the Flash approach, the jumping paradigm as the Hulk approach, and the mixed paradigm as the Batman approach. (Granted, Batman prefers high powered First Age vehicles for transportation, but he does his fair share of roof hopping, and besides, everyone loves Batman)

All three are Athletics 5. Flash is Dex 5, Strength 1. Hulk is Strength 5, Dex 1. Batman is sitting pretty at Dex 3, Strength 3.

Mundanely, Flash should be the fastest because most people in the real world do not jump their way through the 100 meter dash. Here's how their relative speeds look:

Flash: Dash at 11 yards per tick, Move at 5 yards per tick, Jump at 2.4 yards per tick (3.2 with a willpower)
Batman: Dash at 9 yards per tick, Move at 3 yards per tick, Jump at 3.2 yards per tick (4.0 with a willpower)
Hulk: Dash at 7 yards per tick, Move at 1 yard per tick, Jump at 4.0 yards per tick (4.8 with a willpower)

For the Hulk, it's typically faster to jump around during a flurry, but he's the most extreme possible case. Batman can benefit from a jump as well, but it's not usually worth the cost. And, in either case, Dashing is even faster. I figure this sounds about right. If you count in possible specialties, the three become even more differentiated. Now let's say that Flash takes Lightning Speed, Hulk takes Monkey Leap, and Batman takes both. Twink.

Flash: Dash at 16-26 yards per tick, Move at 11-21 yards per tick
Batman: Dash at 14-24 yards per tick, Move at 8-18 yards per tick, Jump at 32 yards per tick
Hulk: Dash at 6 yards per tick, Move at 1 yards per tick, Jump at 40(!) yards per tick

Now, this screws the Flash but good. Since Flash is SUPPOSED to be fast, or at least compete with the Hulk in terms of speed, let's figure out multiple strategies to make it happen. Ultimately, we also want Batman conflicted over which version to use, so that for a balanced character they're equally viable strategies.

Let's say you can only jump once per flurry. Now leaping doesn't get any slower when all you're doing is moving each tick. If you're fighting with, let's say an average 4 speed weapon, though, you face considerable slowdown.

Flash: 11 yards per tick in combat
Batman: 8 yards per tick in combat moving, 8 yards per tick in combat jumping
Hulk: 1 yards per tick in combat moving, 10 yards per tick in combat jumping

Flash is King of combat speed, at this point, although jumping around like a monkey becomes faster when you've got a faster weapon. With Jade hearthstone bracers and a 3 speed weapon, Batman or Hulk leap twice as fast. So this isn't a BAD strategy, but it relies heavily on what kind of weapon the characters use. Performing Ninja Leaps is great when you've got a light, fast weapons, and you're better off trudging along with a tetsubo.

This actually looks really good! There's only one problem, by my reckoning. With this solution, the Flash sucks at running away. Now, if you play Solar Athletics in any way close to how I use it, running away is a key combat strategy.

What I suggest is we leave it alone, but for two changes:

  • 1- You may still only make one jump action per flurry, as detailed above
  • 2- We pump up Lightning Speed's enhancement to Dash

Number two is a big problem! We're talking about a gulf of 16-26 yards per tick versus 40 yards per tick. I suggest factoring in the user's Essence. Either multiply the Dash speed of the Exalt by their Essence, instead of allowing them to pump it up with Athletics Excellency (16, 32, 48, 64, 80 yards/tick), or make every mote contributed by Athletics Excellency increase the speed by the Exalt's Essence (16-(26, 36, 46, 56, 66) yards/tick). Either of these solutions accomplishes the following:

  • 1- Lightning Speed is faster than Monkey Leap when carrying slow weapons
  • 2- Monkey Leap is faster than Lightning Speed when carrying fast weapons
  • 3- Monkey Leap is better at long-distance movement
  • 4- Lightning Speed is better at all-or-nothing bursts of speed

Now, I like 3 and 4 especially, because the charm after Monkey Leap is a burst of all-or-nothing speed, and the charm after Lightning Speed is long-distance movement! So, in conclusion, limiting Monkey Leap to once/flurry looks awesome, as long as you enhance Lightning Speed's burst a little bit, one way or another.


Well said! I especially hate the thing where fast weapons make you do other things faster. Very annoying part of the base rules. -- GreenLantern

It's a backwards correlation within the standard 'fast people attack quickly.' Because you are fast, you should attack quickly, but as it is, if you attack quickly, you must be fast. Those Earth Immaculates with the Jade Tetsubos and Jade Hearthstone Bracers? They get to act every three ticks. Make a Solar willing to lay down 24 motes for the attunement, and you could have a big burly dude play rapid-fire whack-a-mole with Monkey Leap and Iron Whirlwind Attack. Jade utterly stomps in 2e, for lesser wonders. -- Ketrus, who is probably going to play a Night with an Attack speed of 2 one of these days. What a whore.
Wait till you see the updated Gem of Perfect Mobility - I'm guessing that instead of an extra dice action per round, it'll just halve the speed (round up?) of your existing actions. If not, well, I can certainly see someone making such a stone or artifact. THEN use Jade! -- GreenLantern
Dude, no. Just no. No sane min/maxer ever includes a hearthstone 5 in their build. There's a difference between tempting ST wrath and inviting it, and Manse 5 stomps over that line, kills its family, and rapes its goat. -- Ketrus fears the sort of people who think they have a shot at taking such a thing from you.

Note that Lightning Speed is a scene-long, like Monkey Leap, whereas Soaring Crane is an "Until Next Action" Instant. Racing Hare Method is the analog to Mountain-Crossing Leap Technique; therefore, Lightning Speed needs a Reflexive interim. Following Soaring Crane Leap, it should probably cost 2m, have a Duration of 'Until Next Action', and allow the character to perform Dashes with a Move action, while also doubling their Dash rate. Since Lightning Speed isn't itself a doubler, it should probably be cumulative with whatever this charm is called. See SolarAthletics/Ialdabaoth for an example.

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