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Ending movement with a Diagonal

Rules Questions

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Lets say you have a 20' movement.

You move forward, then diagonal then forward.

You've moved 15'

Does that mean you are not able to move diagonal with your last square of movement?

The first diagonal is only 5 feet. The second diagonal cost 10. So if you have only made one diagonal movement then you can make one more diagonal movement.

------
---C-- 20
--C--- 15
--C--- 10
--C--- 5
--x---

This represents a legal move 3 squares of straight movement and a single of diagonal

------
--C--- 20
---C-- 15
----C- 5
-----x

This represents a legal move 3 squares of diagonal movement. First move is 5, the second costs 10 and the third is back to 5... if there was a 4th diagonal it would cost 10.

Neither of those things answers my question.

Could you go -straight-straight-diagonal-diagonal-

Or, are you forced to go straight at the end because of the weird diagonal rules?

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In your example, it happened not to make a difference.

But if you had a move of 25 and were moving diagonally, the first square would be 5, then 15, then 20, then 30. So you wouldn't be able go that last diagonal square. You could still move, just not diagonally.

There is nothing that prohibits you from ending your movement with a diagonal, as long as you still have "feet of movement" to spend.

Doomed Hero wrote:

Neither of those things answers my question.

Could you go -straight-straight-diagonal-diagonal-

Or, are you forced to go straight at the end because of the weird diagonal rules?

Diagonals always come in pairs. If you go straight straight, that's 10. Diagonal diagonal is then 15 more. So that takes you beyond your 25. If you go straight diagonal, that's 10. Straight diagonal again is another 15. By the rules, first diagonal is 5, second is 10. Doesn't matter if you diagonal the first 5 feet, move 30 more feet, and then diagonal after that. Since it's the second diagonal in the pair, it's 10 instead of 5.

Seems odd to me, since you're not actually moving 10 feet to get into that last square.

You'd be moving 10 feet to get through it (if you had extra movement), but to simply end in that square, you're only going 5 feet further than you were in the last square.

So I guess the question becomes when does the second diagonal become 10 feet?

When you move into it?

Or when you move out of it?

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The first is 7.5 feet rounded down and the second diagonal is 7.5 feet rounded up. The second diagonal becomes 10 feet after you make your first diagonal.

Its a game abstract. Over thinking it won't get you to logic. A common house rule I've seen is Diagonals are only 5' so that may suit your games.

So, because of that abstraction, if you have a 20 foot movement, you can only make 1 diagonal during a standard move?

2 Diagonal moves. The first will cost you 5, the second 10 - 15 total, and leaves you a single straight move.

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Doomed Hero wrote:

Neither of those things answers my question.

Could you go -straight-straight-diagonal-diagonal-

Or, are you forced to go straight at the end because of the weird diagonal rules?

If you have a move of 20, you can't move two squares straight, and then 2 diagonally, as that would cost you 25 ft of movement.

Quote:

So, because of that abstraction, if you have a 20 foot movement, you can only make 1 diagonal during a standard move?

No, you could move 2 diagonal then 1 straight.

It's not abstract, it's just math. Squares are longer across the diagonal than they are on the edge. Take a ruler and try it out.

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Doomed Hero wrote:

Lets say you have a 20' movement.

You move forward, then diagonal then forward.

You've moved 15'

Does that mean you are not able to move diagonal with your last square of movement?

I'm not sure why this is being talked to death, it's an easy question and answer.

The answer to your direct question is no, you cannot move diagonal again in your example as that movement would cost you 10 ft and you only have 5 ft of movement left.

Every 2nd diagonal counts as 10 feet no matter if you moving into it or out of it.

In short you can you can 4 straight 4 times
You can also move diagonal twice and straight once.

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You can also move diagonally three times with a 20-foot move:

5'-15'-20'

Actually, yes, I messed that up in my response.

See it like this:
Moving diagonal is not 5 feet it's 7.5 (actually its a bit less, but sqrt(5^2+5^2) is just not a very nice number to use, so lets use 7.5).

Using 7.5 moving two squares is 15 feet. Using the 5-10 rule moving 2 squares is also 15 feet.

So the 10 is not actually a penalty on your second diagonal move, it simply balances out a discount you got on your first.

Or lets look at the exact numbers:
2 straight movement - 10 feet
1 diagonal - 17.5 ft
- 1 more straight - 22.5 - rounded down to 20, so it works.
- 1 more diagonal - 25 ft - not rounded and you can't move it.

just play with hexes

I can see it costing more to move through a second diagonal, but not into.

Kind of like how you don't provoke an AoO by moving into a square, only when you move out.

RAW for square movement = illegal move,

However, judge how 'fair' the move is. If the last diagonal is a positioning move (say, to skirt a pit or edge, move over to allow another character to engage the same large creature (and it wasn't a charge move by you) then allow it both to speed up play and enable more to take part.
If the move is, however, a deliberate attempt to avoid something that itself would raise dubious questions, such as cover rules against the dragon's breath attack you know will happen just after your movement then go with the 'rule of cool' (I dive to the side behind a rock to get out of the way: place me prone and I can avoid the damage perhaps?) or let the dice decide if you are hit or not (50/50 roll yes or no, old-school fairness).

Also, don't be afraid to get out a ruler and measure your movement in inches to see if the target square you wish to move to is within your move distance (if you can get the majority of yourself in the square then You make it, DM decision overrides) just remember whatever rule apples to one should apply to all in your campaign and DM has final veto always.

In this case, the issue came about because of a player trying to move in such a way as to avoid passing through a threatened square.

Doomed Hero wrote:

I can see it costing more to move through a second diagonal, but not into.

Kind of like how you don't provoke an AoO by moving into a square, only when you move out.

Almost. Its when you move out of a threatened square.

Doomed Hero wrote:

I can see it costing more to move through a second diagonal, but not into.

Kind of like how you don't provoke an AoO by moving into a square, only when you move out.

Whether you're moving in or out of a square is irrelevant. From center point of a square to center point of a square, you're moving the same distance. After all, when moving out of a square, you're simultaneously moving into another one.

Center point to center point, a nondiagonal movement eats up 5 feet. Center point to center point, a diagonal movement eats up ~7 feet. Ergo, two diagonal movements (center point to center point) is ~14 feet, rounded up to 15.

It doesn't matter whether you move fully across a square (because then you're actually moving again). Moving from one square to another uses up the movement, not moving out of the square you just entered. You're getting hung up thinking that it only counts if you move across the square to you use the whole movement. You're using the corner of the square, which is the wrong frame of reference if you want to think about this quasi-logically.

Doomed Hero wrote:
In this case, the issue came about because of a player trying to move in such a way as to avoid passing through a threatened square.

He's trying to move extra, then. If the second diagonal would place you over your maximum movement, you cannot move into it, just like you cannot move into another square straight ahead if that were to place you over your maximum movement. If your limit is 20', you don't get to move into that second diagonal if it would put you at 25'. Either move a different direction for the last 5', or you don't use that last 5'.

Thanks for the input folks. This is being house ruled.

 Contributor

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Doomed Hero wrote:

Lets say you have a 20' movement.

You move forward, then diagonal then forward.
You've moved 15'
Does that mean you are not able to move diagonal with your last square of movement?

Correct, and here's why, and here's why you shouldn't houserule it.

Here's a grid.

OOOOO
OOOOO
OOOOO
OOOOO
XOOOO

O's are grid squares. X is your starting position.

If the character moves north 4 times, he's moved 20 feet, to position A.
One diagonal as part of his northward movement can get him to position B, whether that diagonal is the first or last thing he does.
Two diagonals get him to position E or E.
H and K are the eastward equivalents of A and B.
What you're proposing (forward diagonal forward diagonal) is 25 feet of movement and would put you at M or M.

ABMOO
OOEOO
OOOEM
OOOOH
XOOOK

M is clearly farther than the speed 20 character could move using any other legal combination of straights and diagonals; it's clearly a 25-foot move. By allowing the character to move to M, you're basically allowing them a 25 foot move rather than a 20 foot move.

Using geometry, and rounding to the nearest tenth of a foot:
A is a move of 20 feet.
B is a move of 20.6 feet.
M is a move of 22.4 feet.
E is a move of 18.0 feet.

M is 12% more than a straight 20 move. If it were an attack roll, save, or skill check, that amounts to a free +2... by exploiting the grid.

If you allow that for characters speed 20, you should allow it for characters with move 30. You should allow it for creatures no matter what their speed is. Which means players are going to spend even more time on the grid counting squares to see if they can cheese out an extra 5 feet of movement beyond their actual speed if they do a diagonal on their last square instead of their next-to-last square.

The "every other diagonal" is in the game to reflect that grid movement shouldn't be 1:1 (otherwise you'd have square fireballs) but need using the grid to be fast enough that you can just count diagonals rather than counting the order or placement of diagonals.

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

A related question is if creatures with reach threaten and can strike their "corners".

Basically, if you have reach, which diagram is correct?
.

OTTTO
TOOOT
TOXOT
TOOOT
OTTTO

or

TTTTT
TOOOT
TOXOT
TOOOT
TTTTT

Where T is threatened, O is not-threatened, and X is our hero with reach. And TOOOT is an unfortunate coincidence.

In 3.5, apparently there was a diagram that showed you would threaten the corners (which would be 15' away by counting diagonals as you would in movement) but this diagram isn't in PF anymore, possibly because it wasn't in the SRD.

Or: are there any exceptions to the "diagonal rule"?

Right, in PF you don't threaten into the diagonals, which leads to absurd results like being able to avoid AoO against reach by attacking through those diagonals. I would imagine that's the most common houserule used in PF (being able to threaten those "15'" diagonals). Hell, most people don't even realize that rule changed in PF.

So, in reality the PF rule isn't an "exception" to the diagonal rule. The old 3.5 and common house rule is an exception to the diagonal rule, because you're allowing someone with 10' reach to threaten what technically amounts to a space 15' away. But because of the absurd result of not allowing an AoO if someone approaches a character with reach through the diagonals, that rule is often (probably more frequently than not for non-PFS games) changed.

 Contributor

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It's an artifact of the grid. The closest the rules come to addressing this is in Large, Huge, Gargantuan, and Colossal Creatures, which says:
Unlike when someone uses a reach weapon, a creature with greater than normal natural reach (more than 5 feet) still threatens squares adjacent to it. A creature with greater than normal natural reach usually gets an attack of opportunity against you if you approach it, because you must enter and move within the range of its reach before you can attack it.

So just because the grid has a square for "15 feet away" and a square for "5 feet away," but no square for "10 feet away," using that corner path doesn't mean you're magically teleporting from 15 feet to 5 feet; you are passing through a 10-foot-radius band around the creature, and therefore you provoke an AOO.

Jason admits it's not clear, and obviously it doesn't have the diagram in the 3E book to provide a non-textual example, but it's supposed to work as I described above.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Excellent. That's been popping up a few times lately. Thanks.

Cheapy:

Not only was there a diagram in 3.5 there was also a specific written exception.

3.5 PHB p137 Reach Weapons wrote:
For instance, a longspear-wielding human threatens all squares 10 feet (2 squares) away, even diagonally. (This is an exception to the rule that 2 squares of diagonal distance is measured as 15 feet.)

- Gauss

Thanks again for the clarifcation.

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Sean K Reynolds wrote:

It's an artifact of the grid. The closest the rules come to addressing this is in Large, Huge, Gargantuan, and Colossal Creatures, which says:

Unlike when someone uses a reach weapon, a creature with greater than normal natural reach (more than 5 feet) still threatens squares adjacent to it. A creature with greater than normal natural reach usually gets an attack of opportunity against you if you approach it, because you must enter and move within the range of its reach before you can attack it.

So just because the grid has a square for "15 feet away" and a square for "5 feet away," but no square for "10 feet away," using that corner path doesn't mean you're magically teleporting from 15 feet to 5 feet; you are passing through a 10-foot-radius band around the creature, and therefore you provoke an AOO.

Jason admits it's not clear, and obviously it doesn't have the diagram in the 3E book to provide a non-textual example, but it's supposed to work as I described above.

We would greatly appreciate the 3.5 reach weapon wording being reinstated. I'm relieved that you agree that charging a reach weapon wielder down the diagonal does provoke an AoO, avoiding the absurdity of the charger seeming to teleport from 15-feet to 5-feet.

The reason the wording should be changed is the way attacks of opportunity work. In order to take an AoO, you must threaten the square the provoking creature occupies at the moment it provokes! A reach weapon let's a medium creature threaten squares 10-feet away, but not 5-feet or 15-feet. If the wording is left unchanged, in which square would that AoO take place? The square 15-feet away? 5-feet away? There isn't a square 10-feet away!

Returning to the 3.5 definition of reach solves all these problems without issue. Not changing the wording results in new problems to solve.

BTW, we really do appreciate your input! : )

I plan on being permissive with my house rule.

Basically, I think you should be able to end your movement with a diagonal, even if that would take you slightly beyond your normal maximum, for the exact same reasons that reach weapons can (and should) be able to attack diagonally.

The grid is an abstraction, and as such, for my games I prefer the abstraction to be more permissive than restrictive.

If my players start abusing it, then I'll change that but I don't think it will happen.

How can they abuse it? Either you can move the distance or you can not.

PS:Not criticizing, just asking a question.

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Doomed Hero, I suggest that if you do not want the restrictions of a grid go to a gridless map. Rulers work just fine. I have played that way and with experienced players it works decently well.

- Gauss

Good idea. I'll try that.

Hmpf.
I thought my grasp of rules, mechanics and the English language was fair enough, but just to make the "threatening with reach issue" crystal clear:
Which of the diagrams Cheapy put in his post is the correct one (and I constrain myself from saying which one I think is correct)?

Ruyan.

The first one is the correct one as per Pathfinder rules.

The second one is correct back in 3.5 rules. While not RAW many people (including myself) continue to use the 3.5 version of Reach.

- Gauss

Ok.
So the clarification goes like this (just to have the arguments ready for my players):
You (as a medium player) do not threaten the second diagonal square with your 10 ft. reach weapon because the distance is counted as in land-based movement where the distance you would cover amount to 15 ft.

But you get an AoO if you're charged via this route, because the charging opponent at some stage is in a state where she closes from a 10 ft. distance to 5 ft., thus leaving a threatened square and provoking as normal.

Ruyan.

Another minor anomaly occurs when a character is being flanked along a diagonal. In this situation, the character can take a withdraw action to escape without provoking an AoO. Whereas if the flank is along a straight, the escaping character will provoke from at least one of the enemies.

This entire conversation is making me really hate the Diagonal grid rules.

Really, why in the world does it need to be this complicated? I never realized that there were so many issues with the "every other 5=10" rule. I knew it was a little wonky, but never realized there this many problems.

 Contributor

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It needs to be this complicated because the world doesn't fit nicely into 5-foot squares. And whatever you do, don't start thinking about how a cavern wall between two 5-foot squares should actually have some thickness that intrudes onto those squares instead of being a mathematically pure line on the grid with no width...

Doomed Hero wrote:
In this case, the issue came about because of a player trying to move in such a way as to avoid passing through a threatened square.

Sometimes you eat the bear, and sometimes the bear eats you. Stuff happens, and the game works the way it works.

Trying to rationalize or reason it out to seek some sort of change won't help, because, unless your GM just decides to allow it, there is no change forthcoming. This is how the rules work.

There simply are some situations in the game where, because of the options of race and encumbrance we have chosen, we find ourselves forced to make some kind of difficult decision. In this case, to move one way, or to change what we want to do to accommodate the situation we have created.

Thus, this thread may now die, as talking it to death with not make us all agree with you that the rule is now not the rule. The rule is. Your choices are laid out.

Good luck.

PS: I got our game off the grid years ago. We use tape measures and gaming templates to measure distance. 1 inch = 5 feet. All is well in our world.

Logic? What is this Algebra?

At least its simple for difficult terrain where every diagonal move costs the same 15 ft of movement.

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Oh how I wish Pathfinder used Hex grids. SOOOO much simpler.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So, basically, for reach attacks, to wrap it up, for Pathfinder...

1. If you have 10 ft. reach, you don't threaten the square diagonally from you because it is 15 ft. away, and therefore cannot make attacks on that square.
2. If someone passes from the 15 ft. square away to the 5 ft. square away and would normally provoke for moving through your threatened area, they do, and your can take you AOO as normal.

Is this correct?

Also, I have one more question.

3. When someone provokes in the way described in #2, and you decide to trip them and succeed, what square are they in? Technically the attack was provoked in between squares at the "10 ft. mark."

Just trying to make sure I have it all correct for when I play and GM PFS. These questions come up constantly, and no one can ever agree.

 RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

You've got #1 and #2 correct. As for #3... My best guess is that since the AoO resolves before the action that provoked it (same reason someone provoking by standing up is still considered prone and takes the -4 to AC but can't be re-tripped), they probably land in the 15ft space.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Yep, the 15' away space, for the reasons Jiggy said.

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