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Movement & Environment

This section explains rules related to movement and actions which might affect the world around the characters. Most of the time, it really boils down to greatly oversimplifying things like:

  • Movement and tactical positioning
  • The hardness or thickness of different materials
  • The speed of objects and vehicles Anything not covered? Use logic and the real world as your guide. Anything covered that defies logic? Ignore it or run with it, as long as you are consistent and have the consensus of all the other players at your game table.

What’s an “Area”…?

Often times, we refer to ranges, speeds, and so on in terms of “areas.” In Astonishing Super Heroes, think of areas as “zones” or “range bands”: an abstract amount of space between you and your opponent or target. If you’re close enough to reach out and touch someone, you’re within the same area or up to 1 area away. If you’re far, you’re probably 2 to 4 areas away from the target. And if you’re really far, you’re 5+ areas away.

Some guidelines:

  • Outside, an area is about 10 yards/meters.
  • Inside, an area is a room or hallway.
  • A large enclosed space, such as a warehouse, might be made up of multiple areas of different portions of the warehouse floor.

To simplify it further, especially for theater-of-the-mind play, think of an area as each zone on the battlefield that contains something interesting or is of different terrain.

In a fight taking place on highway entrance near a megacorporation’s research headquarters, the battlefield might contain some of the following zones:

  • Highway
  • Storage warehouse
  • Reactor control room
  • Reactor containment
  • Megacorporation roof

Arguably, each could be an area, or larger zones like the highway and the storage warehouse might have 2-3 areas each.


Another way to look at it is like this: if someone’s in the same area or within a couple areas, you can close in on them and fight ‘em hand-to-hand. You can also shoot them or throw things at them, whether you move or not.

If they are farther than that, you may take a penalty to hit them with ranged attacks, and it’ll take you more than 1 round of moving to close the gap if you want to sock ‘em on the chin.

Range Table (in areas)
Rank Range Thrown
NULL Touch only 0
WK Touch only 1
MD 1 1
AV 2 1
GD 4 2
EX 6 3
RM 8 4
IN 11 5
AM 20 6
SP 40 7
UN 60 8
X1 80 10
X2 160 15
X3 400 20
C1k 1,000 Awareness
C3k 10,000
C5k 1M


A character can move a number of areas in a single round based on their Endurance. Unless they have special powers or gear that provide alternative means of movement, such as flight, web-slinging, and so on. In those cases, use the Rank of the power/gear to determine how fast they can move. Unless you’re told otherwise by a power or gear, you can always choose to move less than the full amount.

Note that, during combat, you can split your movement up throughout your turn, but you are (for game-purposes, not logic) stationary on other turns…unless they move you! This means that if you can normally move 2 areas per turn, you can move 1 area, attack someone, then move to another area after the attack, all on your turn.

Endurance Speed
WK or less 1 area/turn
MD to EX 2 areas/turn
RM+ 3 areas/turn


Crowds and clutter can get in your way. Whenever you’re pressed up against hordes of people (or monsters?) or forced to squeeze between rubble, warehouse crates, or the mad machinery of some villain, you must succeed at an Agility roll to leave the area. Usually there’s no Difficulty on this roll: just get a Green or better result.

Cramped Quarters Fighting

Fighting in extremely cramped spaces incurs a -1R penalty to all attacks.

Ranged attacks into a cramped space from outside of it is dangerous on a miss. When you miss, you hit a randomly determined target: the GM will roll to see who it is, replacing the original intended target with a complete miss.

Vertical Movement

Sometimes you need to climb, which might include climbing a ladder or doing a running leap and pulling yourself up onto a ledge or something.

Vertical Movement
Endurance Speed
Up to EX 1 story/15 feet per turn
RM+ 2 stories/30 feet per turn

Special Movement

Other common forms of movement that aren’t covered by vehicles can be found below, on the Special Speed Ratings table. These include riding in an elevator, falling, leaping, and swimming. You can safely assume crawling works like swimming, for simplicity’s sake.

Special Speed Ratings
Situation Movement
Elevator 10 stories/round
Falling 10 stories/turn, 10 damage per story (max 120) plus Stun (resist as in combat)
Leaping Strength Rank Number in feet
Swimming 1 area/turn

Vehicles, Gear & Powers

Vehicles, powers, special gear, and other stuff may have a speed rating. Speed ratings are Ranks, and they mean different things over land and sea, or in the air. See the Speed Table for all of the details and possibilities.

Note that acceleration and deceleration, or other complex considerations are ignored. Don’t hesitate to collaborate with your GM on such things, but always remember that the color of your result on the Uni-Table is the most important aspect of success or failure on a dice roll.

Speed Table
Rank Land/Water Speed Air Speed
Areas per turn Miles per hour Areas per turn Miles per hour
SH0 0 0 0 0
FE 1 15 2 30
PR 2 30 4 60
TY 3 45 6 90
GD 4 60 8 120
EX 5 75 10 150
RM 6 90 15 225
IN 7 105 20 300
AM 8 120 25 375
MN 9 135 30 450
UN 10 150 40 600
SHX 12 180 50 750
SHY 14 210 100 1500
SHZ 16 240 200 3750
CL1k 32 480 Interplanetary
CL3k 50 720 Near light speed
CL5k 100 1500 Near instantaneous (speed of plot)

Destroying the Environment

One of the most common situations in comic books and comic-related films is when inanimate objects come into play: busting through walls, wielding cars as melee weapons, and dropping buildings on your enemies. To determine the durability of an object we factor in its Material Strength. See the Material Strengths table.


If something is deemed especially thin by the GM (usually 1 inch or less of thickness), give the character trying to destroy it +1R. If it’s really thick (usually 1 foot of thickness or more), give them -1R per foot of thickness.

Breaking Stuff & People

But how does this come into play? Glad you asked.

Breaking Stuff

To keep things simple, when we discuss destroying an object, we tend to mean an object or inanimate thing about the size of the character in question. So a human-sized character punching through a window and a giant monster bursting through a wall are going to leave different-sized holes.

If you want to get very targeted — like knock down a support that topples an entire room’s roof or an entire building on someone — then the GM is well within their rights to call for attack rolls with Yellow (Bullseye) or better results.

Material Strengths
MS Object
WK Cloth, paper, brush, glass
MD Plastic, crystal, wood
AV Rubber, soft metal, ice, interior wall
GD Brick, aluminum, asphalt, high-strength plastic, light machinery
EX Concrete, iron, bullet-proof glass or clothing, exterior wall
RM Steel, reinforced concrete
IN Stone, volcanic rock
AM High strength steel, granite
SP Diamond, super-heavy alloy
UN Cosmic metal, magical elements
C1k Metal from the heart of a dying star

Anyway, assuming the former, breaking stuff is a common example of Difficulty. If you want to bend a steel bar, you compare your Strength (perhaps enhanced by Power Armor you wear, for example) to the Material Strength of the steel bar, then make a roll. If your Strength is RM 30 and the steel bar is RM Material Strength, you need a Yellow result to do it. Against cosmic metal or something way above your rating, the GM might rule it impossible, or you have to succeed at some other task to make it malleable (like hitting it constantly with a high-tech heat ray for an hour).

Optional Rule: Object Health & Damage

If the intent is to destroy an object completely — render it utterly useless — then the GM may rule that it takes more than just overcoming its Material Strength in a single roll. This is especially true of gear being used by a character (hero or villain), as well as objects that might be resistant to a single blow.

In this case, the object can either be targeted by a simple ability roll (ala the Strength roll previously described against the object’s Material Strength), or can be targeted by attacks. The object has a Health score equal to its Material Strength Rank Number. If it is unattended, do not roll the attacks, simply assume a Green result for every attack aimed at it. If it is attended, then attacks against it are resolved as if targeting the character holding/manipulating the object, and likely require special effects (such as a Yellow Bullseye result or special effects from powers or gear) in order to be affected.

Breaking People with Stuff

Using hard objects to beat other people down is a fun thing in comics and similar media. Ripping out light poles and swinging them at your enemies is a popular pastime, for instance.

The simple version is this: if the GM deems the object to be of sufficiently hard material, then a character employing such an object gets +1 to their Strength Rank for determining damage only; no bonus to actually hit the opponent, just to damage them.

The complex version, if you want to get technical, is the same as above, but the object must have a Material Strength equal to or greater than your Strength. Otherwise, no improvement: it’s just descriptive fun, and it probably breaks on the first couple hits or less. So in that case, if you have a Strength of IN 40, you need to be wielding a giant stone boulder or high-strength steel I-beam or something. An engine block might do. But throwing some bricks (rated WK) or wielding a baseball bat (rated GD) won’t improve your damage.


  1. Movement and positioning are abstracted into areas, which are basically just “zones of interesting battlefield stuff.”
  2. Range and speeds have some tables…but basically 0-1 areas is close by, 2-4 is far, and 5+ is very far.
  3. You can destroy the environment, or you can use stuff in the environment to destroy other people or things. Either way, doing so refers to an object’s Material Strength to determine how hard it is to break (Difficulty) or how useful it is in improving your damage output (potentially Strength +1R for determining damage).