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Mark Hall
2009-12-01, 10:44 AM
So, last night we had a fight on what I called "the risers". 5'-10' (saw-toothed), then a 10' rise, then a 15' flat space, then another 10' rise to a 5' section. To an extent, this worked to my advantage... I was behind an abutment for most of the fight, and so the artillery up top couldn't really see me. However, this also lead to some odd distance computations.

How do y'all handle vertical spaces in game?

Kurald Galain
2009-12-01, 10:48 AM
How do y'all handle vertical spaces in game?

Usually, we either don't, or we treat them as difficult terrain and that's that.

I suppose that 3D distance would work the same as 2D, in that a diagonal move requires exactly as many "steps" as an orthagonal one. In that, it would be easy to get a minor cover bonus, and you may be able to get full cover by dropping prone (although that's more of a desperation move).

Dekkah
2009-12-01, 11:03 AM
We count it like any other 2D ground (5 feet = 1 square move). Altough, like Kurald said, i ofthen rule some square as diffcult terrain (like the saw-toothed).

In the same line of ideas, is there a RAW rule that explain area effect and 3D battle?
I dont remember reading it anywhere, but i assumed a area effect is 3D. So a Area burst 1 is 3 X 3 X 3 box.

mikeejimbo
2009-12-01, 11:06 AM
I was just about slapped for suggesting we bring trigonometry into things.

Kurald Galain
2009-12-01, 11:14 AM
I dont remember reading it anywhere, but i assumed a area effect is 3D. So a Area burst 1 is 3 X 3 X 3 box.
Most players and DMs I've spoken to on this matter assume so, but I don't believe it's anywhere in the rulebooks. For some powers it makes sense to be three-dimensional, but for others it really doesn't.

It does give rise to further questions, though. Are humanoids supposed to be 1x1x1 square, or are they two squares tall? Does this figure change if you drop prone? Can you conjure e.g. a stinking cloud a few feet up in the air so that it only affects large creatures (i.e. enemies only)? Can you use a "pull" effect to get a flying creature down? And so forth. I'm afraid the rules weren't really written with 3D in mind, and support for 3D varies wildly between different sections in the rulebooks.

Tiki Snakes
2009-12-01, 11:32 AM
I'm personally torn between the boxes being taller than 5 foot, or having medium and above creatures smudge over into the next layer.


But generally, I'd not tie it down so as to avoid giving my players the temptation to try things like the stinking cloud thing.

Thajocoth
2009-12-01, 12:32 PM
Medium creatures take up 2 squares vertically. Small = 1. Bursts and blasts are cubes. Large = 3 vertically. Huge = 4 or 5, Gargantuan = 6. Beasts are 1 square shorter (except for small beasts).

I had a room where gravity was towards all wall and the ceiling in addition to the floor recently. That was fun.

Gralamin
2009-12-01, 06:46 PM
Most players and DMs I've spoken to on this matter assume so, but I don't believe it's anywhere in the rulebooks. For some powers it makes sense to be three-dimensional, but for others it really doesn't.

It does give rise to further questions, though. Are humanoids supposed to be 1x1x1 square, or are they two squares tall? Does this figure change if you drop prone? Can you conjure e.g. a stinking cloud a few feet up in the air so that it only affects large creatures (i.e. enemies only)? Can you use a "pull" effect to get a flying creature down? And so forth. I'm afraid the rules weren't really written with 3D in mind, and support for 3D varies wildly between different sections in the rulebooks.

Page 45 of the DMG Implies that each "Square" is a 5x5x5 ft cube. From there, it is simply a logical conclusion that Area of Effect attacks, which are measured in squares, are 3d. This is not stated outright anywhere, though.

Kurald Galain
2009-12-01, 07:15 PM
Page 45 of the DMG Implies that each "Square" is a 5x5x5 ft cube. From there, it is simply a logical conclusion that Area of Effect attacks, which are measured in squares, are 3d. This is not stated outright anywhere, though.
Yes. The problem is that if you start with an implication and take logical conclusions from there, bearing in mind that "common sense isn't", you'll end up with numerous vagaries and contradictions, as well as some things that feel like they can't be intended by the designers and simply aren't balanced.

For instance, stinking cloud is one of the best level-5 powers in the game. Stinking cloud that hits only enemies isn't balanced. Or, to put it differently, implied rules aren't RAW.

Looking through the rulebooks from that perspective, it is clear that the designers simply haven't thought this through, and that most mentions of 3D are added as an afterthought at best. The fact that both the devteam and custserv explicitly refuse to answer questions on this particular matter further underlines that.

Lunix Vandal
2009-12-01, 09:12 PM
My group treats blasts and bursts as nxnxn-square cubes, with Medium and Small creatures taking up 1x1x1-square (5x5x5-foot) cubes and anything bigger being as many "squares" tall as it is wide and long. We do upwards (non-flying) movement as difficult terrain (usually paired with Athletics (Climb) checks), or use Athletics (Jump) checks to get the needed height.

The one time that the latter option came up, we were fighting a blue dragon that was attacking us in a two-square-deep ravine, keeping two squares between itself and the top of the ravine as it did so. Then our DM ruled that you could attack mid-jump (and jump mid-charge), prompting my barbarian to do exactly that ... while spamming knock-prone powers. Fun times.

Sir_Elderberry
2009-12-01, 09:30 PM
For instance, stinking cloud is one of the best level-5 powers in the game. Stinking cloud that hits only enemies isn't balanced. Or, to put it differently, implied rules aren't RAW.

Just curious, how does 3D positioning open up Stinking Cloud to that sort of abuse? (...alright, I play a 4e wizard, yeah, but I promise not to use the knowledge for evil.)

Mauril Everleaf
2009-12-01, 10:30 PM
Well, assuming the stinking cloud wouldn't just descend to the ground (which is how I would rule it), the abuse comes in that you can cast the cloud one square up and have your party duck. It gets anything above small size while your whole party is safe. It goes from "Target: all in burst" to "Target: anyone stupid enough not to duck".

Kurald Galain
2009-12-02, 03:49 AM
Just curious, how does 3D positioning open up Stinking Cloud to that sort of abuse?
You go into battle with large creatures (which is common starting high paragon levels) then cast it one or two squares above the ground, depending on how many squares tall humans are.

This means it goes from "target: all in zone" to "target: all enemies in zone". By RAW, the enemies can't even drop prone to avoid this - but if the DM allows that, then the spell just went from "1d10+int automatic damage" to "1d10+int damage + automatic prone".

RAW says that conjurations don't need ground to support. This probably means you can cast them at ground level over a pit or lake, but is often interpreted as that you can cast them up in the air. Having them descend to the floor is a good solution; after all, WOTC aren't idiots and are perfectly aware of the difference between a "square" and a "cube".

Sstoopidtallkid
2009-12-02, 03:54 AM
Having them descend to the floor is a good solution; after all, WOTC aren't idiots and aren't perfectly aware of the difference between a "square" and a "cube".Fixed that.