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taltamir
2010-01-14, 06:50 PM
I had an idea that can explain how fireballs work, rather then creating a "sphere" of fire, it creates a 2d circular plane of fire, the plane wobbles and is not perfectly parallel to the ground. You can "dodge" it by jumping above it, or ducking below it (or sideways depending on the exact wobble angle and your location.
Only the most nimble (evasion) can dodge it entirely, most just make it hit a less painful spot

this also explains the odd damage patterns. you are not engulfed with fire, but get a swath of fire across your body at one spot.

Finally, the wobble is slightly "tracking", you can dodge it, but in conditions where you are not allowed a reflex save it will always hit you right on.

Thoughts?

Radiun
2010-01-14, 06:55 PM
I had an idea that can explain how fireballs work, rather then creating a "sphere" of fire, it creates a 2d circular plane of fire, the plane wobbles and is not perfectly parallel to the ground. You can "dodge" it by jumping above it, or ducking below it (or sideways depending on the exact wobble angle and your location.
Only the most nimble (evasion) can dodge it entirely, most just make it hit a less painful spot

this also explains the odd damage patterns. you are not engulfed with fire, but get a swath of fire across your body at one spot.

Finally, the wobble is slightly "tracking", you can dodge it, but in conditions where you are not allowed a reflex save it will always hit you right on.

Thoughts?

I prefer
1 fireball = multiple small explosions going off at different times within a 20ft radius.
It's not boom so much as it is babababababababababababboom, and it takes an dodgy fellow to duck each explosion

Kiren
2010-01-14, 06:55 PM
It can also be explained by simply stepping out of the spot then back in during the enemies attack action, alternatively matrix style dodge works.

The Deej
2010-01-14, 06:57 PM
A novel idea. Seems to be within creative liscence for description of spell effects, too.

Drakevarg
2010-01-14, 07:00 PM
MAHJEEEEK. Alternatively, the barrage of tiny explosions is a nifty idea, too.

JonestheSpy
2010-01-14, 07:01 PM
The problem is that a fireball explodes in three dimensions - a creature flying 15' above the center of the ball will caught in it at the same time as someone 15' north of the center.

Really, evasion should entail moving out of the blast area. The only way I can see that justifies staying in the same spot would be if instead of a ball it was more of a starburst - tongues of flame shooting out in all direction that nonetheless are spaced widely enough apart that dodging them is possible.

taltamir
2010-01-14, 07:04 PM
I prefer
1 fireball = multiple small explosions going off at different times within a 20ft radius.
It's not boom so much as it is babababababababababababboom, and it takes an dodgy fellow to duck each explosion

That is another equally valid and very similar interpretation, which ends up mechanically identical to my suggestion (aka, mechanically, only certain "areas" of the area of the spell actually have fire in them, the rest is empty and thus you can dodge it).


It can also be explained by simply stepping out of the spot then back in during the enemies attack action, alternatively matrix style dodge works.

matrix style dodge to where? if it is a sphere you have nowhere to matrix into (unless you move to outside the area of the blast)... in my specific example you "duck" or jump over or move diagonally... aka, in my suggestion you use matrix style dodging.

Also, a problem with that is that you should have the option to remain outside the area of the blast instead of spending extra effort jumping back in, and that it should be harder the further you are from the epicenter.

Trixie
2010-01-14, 07:06 PM
You can "dodge" it by jumping above it, or ducking below it (or sideways depending on the exact wobble angle and your location.
Only the most nimble (evasion) can dodge it entirely, most just make it hit a less painful spot

this also explains the odd damage patterns. you are not engulfed with fire, but get a swath of fire across your body at one spot.

Thoughts?

I can see one problem with this - while trying to jump might indeed minimize damage, trying to duck and getting hit in the highest part would actually multiply damage.

Maybe it should be changed to - Caster tosses Fireball like a grenade, which creates rapidly expanding ring of fire on the ground, over which you can jump.

Still, rationalizing it won't change the fact it's a sphere that can affect anything flying 20 ft. above it. Multiple detonations explanation is even worse, as then, there would be no way to dodge it as blastwaves/flames would attack you from all directions, negating any dodge.

taltamir
2010-01-14, 07:07 PM
The problem is that a fireball explodes in three dimensions - a creature flying 15' above the center of the ball will caught in it at the same time as someone 15' north of the center.

Really, evasion should entail moving out of the blast area. The only way I can see that justifies staying in the same spot would be if instead of a ball it was more of a starburst - tongues of flame shooting out in all direction that nonetheless are spaced widely enough apart that dodging them is possible.

that is where the ability to NOT be parallel to the ground, and for the disk to wobble and curve comes into play.. it is a "squished" disk, like a coin that has been bent across its center. And since it has tracking capability (it hits anyone you want it to unless they are actively dodging) it can make for some interesting curvatures.

I think I was just not clear on what I meant by "wobble"... maybe "wobble" is not the correct term for what I was imagining.

EDIT: you know what, I think many small explosions really works better... unless you say it is several interlocked disks

As for as attemping to dodge and having it hit something more vital, well the same can occur when you try to jump if it came in at a high angle (not parallel to ground). you can just assume that whatever "angle" and "location" it eventually hits you in is determined by the damage rolls

Aldizog
2010-01-14, 07:11 PM
I like variants that have the same mechanical effect but different aesthetics.

For Fireball, something like "A fiery shape appears, lashing out at everything in its reach with a whip made of flames." Call it Surtur's Wrath, or Balor Strike, or whatever you want. Still 20' radius spread for 1d6/level, Ref half.

Most of all I like this because it is less evocative of modern weaponry; makes magic feel maybe 2% less like "sufficiently advanced technology." But it has the side-effect of making Evasion more plausible.

I have about a half-dozen aesthetic variants of Magic Missile as well, inspired by things TSR/WotC have suggested as well as various movies and so on.

oxybe
2010-01-14, 07:21 PM
it's maaaaaagic. also FOR SCIENCE.

why?

because D&D does not care about your realistic sensibilities and about what should actually happen when a small explosion happens.

note that fireball doesn't specify that it consumes oxygen, so yes, a high reflex rogue with evasion/improved evasion, in a 20 ft. sphere, has more to worry about due to eventually lacking air then the imminent, all-consuming explosion within.

D&D magic is silly. use the MST3K mantra and all will be fine.

Radiun
2010-01-14, 07:22 PM
Multiple detonations explanation is even worse, as then, there would be no way to dodge it as blastwaves/flames would attack you from all directions, negating any dodge.

Hence always taking some damage except with evasion.

And I wasn't clear, but I envisioned the multiple explosions as occurring at different points in time.

Runestar
2010-01-14, 07:23 PM
It could involve the rogue doing something to deflect the flames, like twirling his cape rapidly around him or something. I recall some scene in justice league cartoon - the flash spun real fast and the jets of flame just went around him.

Though personally, I like to think evasion involves something similar to what the xorvintaal dragon gets in MM5. They can move up to 30ft as an immediate action if it would get them out of the spell's AoE, but cannot move next turn. Improved evasion could remove the drawback maybe?

kieza
2010-01-14, 07:24 PM
Or, you throw an arm/cloak/magical shield (for caster) in front of your face/torso/jibblies as it hits, getting a bit singed but not severely injured. (This is pretty much how all damage is supposed to be in 4e until you get badly hurt.)

JaronK
2010-01-14, 07:52 PM
I always assumed the Rogue just jumped behind the other party members for safety, then jumped back. There's usually someone pretty close.

JaronK

drengnikrafe
2010-01-14, 07:59 PM
I always figured that a fireball was one big explosion (in 3d), and that reflex for half was ducking into a small ball, as to minimize burn area. Then for rogue... Uhh... jump (up to) 20 feet in the air. I can see some pretty nasty flaws sitting in it (especially if it gets expanded), but it's what I've figured for a long time. I do like those other ideas though...

olentu
2010-01-14, 07:59 PM
Well the thing presumably being that fireballs only remove HP so for evasion the character merely has the ability to be fireballed in a way that does not appreciably deplete the characters ability to take physical punishment and turn serious blows into less serious ones.

Cespenar
2010-01-14, 08:14 PM
Instead of treating it as a wave of fire, say it's like a shrapnel grenade, flinging numerous small firebolts at every direction.

Now, the real question is, how can you save for half against lightning?

Doc Roc
2010-01-14, 08:29 PM
How about we just say it's a gamist thing? And I don't have to try and teach you physics? Convection hurts..... trust me.

ericgrau
2010-01-14, 08:34 PM
I always considered it a Matrix dodge in that a fireball is not a perfectly spherical nor a pressurized explosion, but rather there are plumes of fire that arrive in different places at different times. Or you could shield your face and crouch for half damage, etc. Remember only rogues can avoid the damage completely a la Matrix.

Demented
2010-01-14, 08:47 PM
Generally, crouching and covering your head seems to protect you from darn near anything in fantasy and fiction.


Instead of treating it as a wave of fire, say it's like a shrapnel grenade, flinging numerous small firebolts at every direction.

Now, the real question is, how can you save for half against lightning?
Lightning can miss. Really, it's the question of how you evade a spread, be it lightning, fire or acid.

Spin so fast that it creates a shell of insulating air? :p

Beelzebub1111
2010-01-14, 08:51 PM
I think it's more of a duck and cover your vitals mechanic. Evasion can just lets you do it FASTER.

taltamir
2010-01-14, 08:51 PM
how about lots of small "balls" / jets / etc flung out from the center, you dodge between them matrix style
or multiple small explosion the area preceded by "blinks" half a second before each eruption (so you have some warning where they would be and can dodge)

taking a little damage = block it with cape / shield / whatever into a glancing blow (lots of HP means that the fighters are more adapt at that).
Dodge means dodge, partially or completely depending on the level of your evasion skill and your reflex roll.

ocdscale
2010-01-14, 09:06 PM
Well the thing presumably being that fireballs only remove HP so for evasion the character merely has the ability to be fireballed in a way that does not appreciably deplete the characters ability to take physical punishment and turn serious blows into less serious ones.

Agree 100%

People forget that HP is an abstraction.
A Rogue that avoids all damage from a Fireball doesn't necessary have to avoid getting hit, he just avoids getting hit seriously enough to require depleting hp.

taltamir
2010-01-14, 09:15 PM
so the high con fighter can only block it with his shield a few times a day, but the high dex rogue can do it all day long?

Flickerdart
2010-01-14, 09:20 PM
Anyone wishing to avoid fire must grow ridiculous eyebrows, so that when they are scorched off by the flames and the character is safeguarded by the Rule of Funny (it wouldn't be very funny if their eyebrows were burnt off along with the rest of their face). Alternately, one could wear goggles and remove them after the strike, with their face covered in soot save for the goggles' outline. Either way, the character in such a situation never suffers actual bodily harm.

RebelRogue
2010-01-14, 10:03 PM
How about we just say it's a gamist thing?
Noooooo! Then the terrorists 4e supporters have won! :smalltongue:

Tinydwarfman
2010-01-14, 10:46 PM
The real question is how do you dodge a steady streaming cone of electricity (yellow dragon?) and your friends don't when you make the save.

taltamir
2010-01-14, 10:49 PM
The real question is how do you dodge a steady streaming cone of electricity (yellow dragon?) and your friends don't when you make the save.

its a well known fact that electricity does NOT travel the path of least resistance, it travels as a random branching arc. Thus if you jump up, it "misses" you. [/sarcasm]

this is just a case of WOTC editors failing physics forever.

Deth Muncher
2010-01-14, 10:52 PM
Now I have the image of a small human monk with six dots on his forehead in an orange gi throwing Fireballs...

Leon
2010-01-14, 11:28 PM
Rogue Space.

The shared pocket pocket dimension that is used to avoid these things - sometimes is quite busy and you cant get all the way in and have to suffer some of the effects.

2xMachina
2010-01-15, 12:49 AM
Wait, so, it's a Firedisk?

Alternatively, you evade/dodge to the future past! Didn't you know, since 2d objects have an edge on it's height dimension (where it has a width and length), thus a 3d object have an edge on it's time dimension! Thus you dodge to when the fireball didn't exist, and come back!

ShippoWildheart
2010-01-15, 03:10 AM
Evasion is a secretly a form of player fiat/munchkinism.

Pass the reflex save with evasion? You hax your character by taking no damage no matter where you are, even if you're bound and gagged to the ground if you pass your Reflex save even bondage can't stop the power of hax. :smalltongue:

Rainbownaga
2010-01-15, 03:13 AM
Years ago I saw an explanation where only the edge of the fireball dealt damage. By moving through this or using a "duck and cover" you reduced the damage you took, while a monk or rogue could jump through the shell so quick as to avoid damage.

For a while I was tempted to make a houserule where you actually moved out of the path of an AoE, but I think that is needlessly complicated in a game that doesn't make overlymuch sense anyway.

RebelRogue
2010-01-15, 03:15 AM
Pass the reflex save with evasion? You hax your character by taking no damage no matter where you are, even if you're bound and gagged to the ground if you pass your Reflex save even bondage can't stop the power of hax. :smalltongue:
You can't make Reflex saves when you're helpless as far as I recall. A naked rogue could evade a nuke, though...

Tackyhillbillu
2010-01-15, 03:18 AM
Evasion is a secretly a form of player fiat/munchkinism.

Pass the reflex save with evasion? You hax your character by taking no damage no matter where you are, even if you're bound and gagged to the ground if you pass your Reflex save even bondage can't stop the power of hax. :smalltongue:

Nah. You see, when you evade something, all you are doing is hiding one of the suckers party members..

If there's nobody else, thats when the Rogue gets really creative. He hides behind himself.

SethFahad
2010-01-15, 03:23 AM
Evasion and Imp. Evasion are extraordinary abilities.
Rules Comp. says:

Evasion and Improved Evasion
Evasion and improved evasion allow the target of an area attack to leap or twist out of the way. If a creature that has evasion is subjected to an attack that allows a Reflex save for half damage, it takes no damage on a successful save.
Improved evasion is like evasion, except that even on a failed saving throw a creature that has improved evasion takes only half damage. A creature must have room to move to evade. A bound creature or one squeezing through an area canít use evasion.Evasion and improved evasion are reflexive abilities. A creature that has one of these abilities need not know that the attack is coming to use the ability.
Sometimes a creature that has evasion or improved evasion canít use the ability while wearing medium or heavy armor.
This is true only if the abilityís description says so.

Same book

EXTRAORDINARY ABILITIES
Extraordinary abilities arenít magical, though they might break the laws of physics. These abilities canít be disrupted in combat, as spells can, and they usually donít provoke attacks of opportunity. Effects or areas that negate or disrupt magic have no effect on extraordinary abilities. They arenít subject to dispelling, and they function normally in an antimagic field. Using an extraordinary ability is a free action unless otherwise noted.

ShippoWildheart
2010-01-15, 03:25 AM
If there's nobody else, thats when the Rogue gets really creative. He hides behind himself.

That explains absolutely everything! The character hides behind himself, which is why he/she doesn't take damage even if the room is compact and locked. As long as we ignore the idea of a Time Paradox happening it makes perfect sense. :biggrin:





"Extraordinary abilities arenít magical, though they might break the laws of physics.

So......... every time I were to play a Tome of Battle character (which I will), I will be slaughtering hundreds of catgirls? :smalleek:

taltamir
2010-01-15, 03:33 AM
So......... every time I were to play a Tome of Battle character (which I will), I will be slaughtering hundreds of catgirls? :smalleek:

Iya Iya Catgirl Slaughter.

Bavarian itP
2010-01-15, 03:49 AM
"Extraordinary abilities arenít magical, though they might break the laws of physics.

So......... every time I were to play a Tome of Battle character (which I will), I will be slaughtering hundreds of catgirls? :smalleek:[/QUOTE]

Why? Breaking the laws of physics doesn't kill catgirls. Discussing them does. Or not? I'm a little unclear on the rules, 'cause I think catpeople suck and can go die in whatever way they want.

ShippoWildheart
2010-01-15, 03:55 AM
"Extraordinary abilities arenít magical, though they might break the laws of physics.

So......... every time I were to play a Tome of Battle character (which I will), I will be slaughtering hundreds of catgirls? :smalleek:

Why? Breaking the laws of physics doesn't kill catgirls. Discussing them does. Or not? I'm a little unclear on the rules, 'cause I think catpeople suck and can go die in whatever way they want.

Try to explain without magic how your just Iron Heart Surged the sun, or how a magic-less character heals himself with every strike and can keep on going, or how a monk-styled character can Blink. It's not spell-like abilities, it's extraordinary abilities, which in these examples DO break the laws of physics and any attempt to explain them without using "magic" as a plausible excuse will result in said slaughtering.

Steelblood
2010-01-15, 06:41 AM
how about lots of small "balls" / jets / etc flung out from the center, you dodge between them matrix style
or multiple small explosion the area preceded by "blinks" half a second before each eruption (so you have some warning where they would be and can dodge)

I think having a "bent disk of the elemental plane of fire" is a bit complicated to conjure, second if a thin part of your body interacts with a chunk of another plane you have bigger problems to worry about beside the burns.

J.Gellert
2010-01-15, 07:47 AM
Or simply, if you want to get really wacky about this, you may recall that damage/HPs isn't a 1:1 representation of hits/misses on your character.

Therefore, a rogue who 'evades' the fireball is still getting burned, just not so badly, like the barbarian whose DR negates a goblin's dagger.

Incidentally, the rogue who makes his evasion for 0 damage is not much different than the fighter who makes his save against a 5d6 spell and takes 8 damage. Especially if the fighter had 80 hps and the rogue had 50.

"You 'completely dodged' the fireball, I got 'burned a little'. But I can still take more punishment than you can, puny rogue."

I am too bored to explain in detail, but you must see my point...

Asgardian
2010-01-15, 08:03 AM
As explained in my group

"Tongues of flame lash out out from the bead in a roughly spherical area

Since its not a solid ball of fire, its possible to dodge the individual flames"

Knaight
2010-01-15, 08:03 AM
Try to explain without magic how your just Iron Heart Surged the sun, or how a magic-less character heals himself with every strike and can keep on going, or how a monk-styled character can Blink. It's not spell-like abilities, it's extraordinary abilities, which in these examples DO break the laws of physics and any attempt to explain them without using "magic" as a plausible excuse will result in said slaughtering.
Iron Heart Surge: Wotc being incompetent, we all really know this just represents shrugging off the heat or some such.

Healing with every strike: I do believe that is a crusader stance. The crusader is magical. Otherwise, morale.

Monk Blink: Swordsage, they are supposed to be magical. Which also explains the entire Setting Sun discipline, as there is no way you do half of that without telekenisis.

Two of these aren't even ex, the other is an error, so it hardly proves that the rogue is supposed to have anything special for evasion. Although I personally like the "evasion space" explanation, particularly given the UMD most rogues have.

Oslecamo
2010-01-15, 08:09 AM
You're not thinking hard enough.

The rogue steals the flames around him, hides them on his pocket and sells them later for profit.

Leon
2010-01-15, 08:27 AM
You're not thinking hard enough.

The rogue steals the flames around him, hides them on his pocket and sells them later for profit.

It's too hot to fence

GolemsVoice
2010-01-15, 08:52 AM
I think Fireball specifically says that it does NOT create a blast wave like a real explosion would, so once youre out of the flames (by jumping, or just whatever) you will NOT be inconvenienced at all.

term1nally s1ck
2010-01-15, 09:23 AM
It's too hot to fence

:smallbiggrin::smallbiggrin::smallbiggrin::smallbi ggrin:

You made a funny.

taltamir
2010-01-15, 02:58 PM
I think Fireball specifically says that it does NOT create a blast wave like a real explosion would, so once youre out of the flames (by jumping, or just whatever) you will NOT be inconvenienced at all.

real explosions kill you with the blast wave, which would be "sonic" / "force" damage in DnD terms.
At max range the vibrations shred your internal organs in points of contact between liquid and solid, or semi solids (aka, intestines, blood vessels, etc). You end up dead with not a single external sign of trauma.
At close range it can crush bones, shred flesh, etc...
At even closer range your shattered bits will be burned by the flame. But the flame has a significantly smaller "radius" of deadliness then the actual shockwave.

A fireball is not an explosion. According to WOTC it is "flash fire"...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_fire
however this just shows they did not do their research. Because they proceeded to describe flash fire and its effects and got them completely wrong. IRL flash fire is explosion like, it causes significant shockwaves.

ocdscale
2010-01-15, 03:04 PM
so the high con fighter can only block it with his shield a few times a day, but the high dex rogue can do it all day long?

Hmm? Fireball is a reflex save. So yes, the high dex Rogue manages to react in time and mitigate the fireball damage more often than the not-so-high dex fighter.

taltamir
2010-01-15, 03:40 PM
The rogue steals the flames around him, hides them on his pocket and sells them later for profit.

you win a cookie


Hmm? Fireball is a reflex save. So yes, the high dex Rogue manages to react in time and mitigate the fireball damage more often than the not-so-high dex fighter.

this mixes up fluff and crunch in ways they should be mixed... also it forms circular logic.

Tyrmatt
2010-01-15, 04:03 PM
Can I just point out, it's FireBALL. Not firefrisbee or firepizza. The very name defines a spherical shape... or at least something resembling a rugby ball.

Another_Poet
2010-01-15, 04:06 PM
I had an idea that can explain how fireballs work, rather then creating a "sphere" of fire, it creates a 2d circular plane of fire, the plane wobbles and is not perfectly parallel to the ground. You can "dodge" it by jumping above it, or ducking below it (or sideways depending on the exact wobble angle and your location.
Only the most nimble (evasion) can dodge it entirely, most just make it hit a less painful spot

this also explains the odd damage patterns. you are not engulfed with fire, but get a swath of fire across your body at one spot.

Finally, the wobble is slightly "tracking", you can dodge it, but in conditions where you are not allowed a reflex save it will always hit you right on.

Thoughts?

I always pictured it like hundreds of tiny bursts of flame within the spherical area of effect. Like 500 bottle rockets zipping around in one room. You can hit the deck and avoid most of them. Or even just dodge some while staying on your feet.

Your idea works too.