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View Full Version : Cone-shape effects (and other circuler AoEs)

WindStruck
2013-02-24, 05:54 PM
I don't really like how many effects in d&d that use cone shapes or even circular shapes look so clunky. I mean, they kind of work, but then again, they're off. For instance, why does a cone-shaped AoE facing up, down, left, or right have a random extra space next to the caster?

Don't know what I'm whining about? Ok fine, whatever, let me just share these modified shapes.

30-foot cones:

o......
.######
.######
.#####.
.#####.
.####..
.##....

..#####..
#########
.#######.
..#####..
...###...
....#....
....o....

60-foot cones:

o............
.############
.############
.############
.###########.
.###########.
.##########..
.##########..
.#########...
.########....
.#######.....
.#####.......
.###.........

.....#######.....
...###########...
.###############.
#################
.###############.
..#############..
...###########...
....#########....
.....#######.....
......#####......
.......###.......
........#........
........o........

Now, here are some statistics regarding the 60-foot cones.

The old way prescribed to shape them affects far more squares if used in a non-diagonal fashion. Used this way, you get to affect 11.8% more squares. With these new shapes, it's reduced to only 3.6% more squares.

Also, the shapes more closely fit the real area of a circle now. In d&d, a cone is just a quarter of a circle. For a 60 foot cone, it amounts to 113.097 squares.

The old method, when firing diagonally, gives you only 93 squares, meaning only 82.2% of the real area is covered. This method will get you 110 squares, covering 97.3% of the real area. Likewise when fired straight, you would only get 104 squares, or 92.0% of the area. This new method also improves on that, and you get 100.8% of that area.

So how does it work? Seriously, that's easy though. Use the Pythagorean theorem to determine the distance from caster to targets. Also, give a leeway such that anything less than or equal to 2.5 extra feet away counts as in the AoE. For a 60-foot cone, anything within 62.5 feet is fair game. For a 30-foot cone, 32.5 feet. And of course, anything outside the lines that define sides of the cone are safe. They're easy to draw anyway.

Also, if you want to make a circular AoE, it's the same sort of calculation. You can even piece together pieces of a 60-foot cone to make a circle - but try not to get confused. While the distance from the source to the edge of the cone is 60 feet, the actual radius of this circle increases by 2.5 feet.

Oh, and another thing I just realized: you could use these math calculations to make more precise cones that are not just limited to 8 different angle configurations. All you'd have to do is make sure the targets are still within range, and then check to see if the widest angle created between targets is less than or equal to 90 degrees.

Another homebrew rule regarding AoEs: once you are a certain distance away from the source of an AoE, the DC decreases by 4, damage is halved, and all characters at that distance are treated as having the evasion feat. Characters that already have evasion are treated as having improved evasion. Characters that already have improved evasion lower the DC further by 2 and can't fail on rolling a 1.

Let's say the threshold is at 90% of the AoE's range. Just do a similar thing as above, only the exact cut-off point is: <range>*.9 + 2.5 It would look something like this then:

30-foot cones:

o......
.#####x
.#####x
.#####.
.####x.
.###x..
.xx....

..xxxxx..
x#######x
.#######.
..#####..
...###...
....#....
....o....

60-foot cones:

o............
.###########x
.###########x
.##########xx
.##########x.
.##########x.
.#########x..
.########xx..
.#######xx...
.######xx....
.#####xx.....
.##xxx.......
.xxx.........

.....xxxxxxx.....
...xxx#####xxx...
.xx###########xx.
xx#############xx
.###############.
..#############..
...###########...
....#########....
.....#######.....
......#####......
.......###.......
........#........
........o........