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Can a reach weapon threaten an adjacent large opponent?


Rules Questions

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Osirion

24 people marked this as FAQ candidate.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Cards, Companion Subscriber

My medium-sized character was using a reach weapon and a large creature was next to him occupying a 10'x10' area. The DM ruled that I didn't threaten the large creature and now I'm not sure if the answer is so obvious. I can see three outcomes that are justified but it would be good to know if there was anything official that could clear things up.

The three rulings I or the DM think are valid:

1) You don't threaten an adjacent large creature with a reach weapon. The weapon doesn't threaten adjacent targets irrespective of their size. It could also be argued you attack the nearest square of a creature.

2) You do threaten an adjacent large creature with a reach weapon. The large creature occupies a square you threaten so that creature is a valid target.

3) You do threaten an adjacent large creature with a reach weapon but it gets cover. The large creature occupies a square you threaten so that creature is a valid target but nearer squares are occupied (with the same creature, but still...), so they obstruct the attack, granting cover to the defender.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Core Rulebook wrote:


Melee Attacks: With a normal melee weapon, you can strike any opponent within 5 feet. (Opponents within 5 feet are considered adjacent to you.) Some melee weapons have reach, as indicated in their descriptions. With a typical reach weapon, you can strike opponents 10 feet away, but you can't strike adjacent foes (those within 5 feet).

Having looked for an exception, it would seem that RAW, as long as the large creature is adjacent to you, you may not use a typical reach weapon to strike it.

I'd personally house rule the creature has cover vs the attack, so long as at least one square the creature occupies is in the reach of the weapon. Unfortunately this won't help AoO, as you can't AoO a target with cover.

Andoran

By RAW, you threaten squares, not creatures. With a reach weapon, you threaten squares 10' away, but not adjacent squares. So, if you were adjacent to a large creature, you most certainly could attack that creature; simply 5' step so that you are corner-to-corner with it and attack it in the square 10' away. Nothing in the rules says a creature occupying multiple squares must be attacked in the square closest to the attacker.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

#1. The description for Reach weapons states: "you use a reach weapon to strike opponents 10 feet away, but you can't use it against an adjacent foe" (CRB, page 145).

It doesn't matter how big the creature is, if its right next to you, you can't hit it.

Andoran

The large creature is both adjacent to you AND 10' away...


I could see disallowing you to attack through it. However if you could attack one of its squares without having to go through an adjacect square to do so sure. This would only be a house rule not sure on actual intent.


This came up in my last game actually.

1) Can you attack the opposite side of a large creature when using a reach weapon?
Answer 1: No, nothing in the rules provide for this.
Answer 2: Yes, but you should apply the soft cover bonus.

I ruled answer 1 but could see it being answer 2.

Note: there is really no question on huge and greater creatures when you have a reach weapon. The side facing you should have a square 2 squares away to target.

Example: (H = huge creature, X = nothing, Y = you)
HHHX
HHHX
HHHY

Using this diagram if you have a 10' reach weapon you should be able to target the creature at its top right corner. It is 10feet away. If you are in the middle (see below) you can turn this to be upright (vertical) and it would look like the diagram above. This allows you to attack a high point on the same creature.

HHHX
HHHY
HHHX

- Gauss

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

DG, the reach weapon description specifically states "opponent" and whether or not the opponent is adjacent.

I see what your saying with regards to being on the corner, but I'm hesitant on accepting that interpretation. Even though part of the creature is 10 ft. away, it is still adjacent to you—which the reach weapon says you cannot hit.


Pathfinder Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
HangarFlying wrote:
DG, the reach weapon description specifically states "opponent" and whether or not the opponent is adjacent.

Yes, i agree. You cannot attack an adjacent opponent regardless its size with a reach weapon. The rules are very clear.

And i don't think it's a good thing to get the rules more complicated when they are simple.


HangarFlying:

The reach rules reference adjacent squares.

CRB p141 wrote:
Most reach weapons double the wielder’s natural reach, meaning that a typical Small or Medium wielder of such a weapon can attack a creature 10 feet away, but not a creature in an adjacent square.

Thus, you can target a huge creature you are standing next to by attacking a non-adjacent square. Unfortunately, this creates an absurd situation where you are attacking the opposite side of a creature. That is what I disallow in my games. What should not be in question is that people can target the same side when it is not adjacent squares (see diagram above).

- Gauss

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Cards, Companion Subscriber
HangarFlying wrote:

#1. The description for Reach weapons states: "you use a reach weapon to strike opponents 10 feet away, but you can't use it against an adjacent foe" (CRB, page 145).

It doesn't matter how big the creature is, if its right next to you, you can't hit it.

This seems to be an absolute by RAW and cannot be denied, but RAI may be that it is a simplistic explanation of how reach works assuming only creatures that take up a single square are involved. I think I'm reaching (ha!) here, but I just want to ensure rules are solid.

RAW is always the answer when the answer is fuzzy, so I will certainly be referencing this.


Horselord, HangarFlying's statement is not the whole story. CRB p141 uses squares as well.

- Gauss


ok the error here was the attack of oppertunity missed when whom ever moved into the threatened square of the other. they both threatened10 feet around them. its the point of having a spear.
-----
xx-y-
xx---
-----A

there should been a space between the too. both threaten 10 feet.

-----
-xxy-
-xx--
-----B

someone missed an AoO in diagram B.

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Cards, Companion Subscriber
Gauss wrote:

Horselord, HangarFlying's statement is not the whole story. CRB p141 uses squares as well.

- Gauss

It seems to be, even though it doesn't say it directly, that when you target a creature you target the closest square it occupies. The fact the CRB refers to creatures and distance rather than squares a creature occupies and distance validates this. If I am reading this correctly, it negates any argument about tactically selecting a square to target that the creature occupies.

CRB p141 wrote:
Reach Weapons: Glaives, guisarmes, lances, longspears, ranseurs, and whips are reach weapons. A reach weapon is a melee weapon that allows its wielder to strike at targets that aren’t adjacent to him. Most reach weapons double the wielder’s natural reach, meaning that a typical Small or Medium wielder of such a weapon can attack a creature 10 feet away, but not a creature in an adjacent square. A typical Large character wielding a reach weapon of the appropriate size can attack a creature 15 or 20 feet away, but not adjacent creatures or creatures up to 10 feet away.


Horselord:

Reach weapons partially use the ranged combat rules for what you can and cannot target (Cover and concealment etc.). The ranged rules show you can target a creature's specific square.

So it doesn't say it directly, but you can choose what square is the target.

Since it neither says you must target it's closest square nor that you can target any other square it occupies I will continue to use the ranged targeting rules for this. It really isnt unreasonable since a creature that is both adjacent to you AND 10feet away (see my earlier diagrams) from you qualifies as both.

Perhaps we should ask JJ's opinion, but I wont tonight. I have to get some sleep so I can GM tommorow.

- Gauss


Pathfinder Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Gauss wrote:

Horselord:

Reach weapons partially use the ranged combat rules for what you can and cannot target (Cover and concealment etc.). The ranged rules show you can target a creature's specific square.

So it doesn't say it directly, but you can choose what square is the target.

Since it neither says you must target it's closest square nor that you can target any other square it occupies I will continue to use the ranged targeting rules for this. It really isnt unreasonable since a creature that is both adjacent to you AND 10feet away (see my earlier diagrams) from you qualifies as both.

Perhaps we should ask JJ's opinion, but I wont tonight. I have to get some sleep so I can GM tommorow.

- Gauss

I think you search to turn round the rules where it doesn't need.

The rules are very clear, as they speak of target/opponent/creature which must not be adjacent.
If one of the square of a creature is adjacent to you, the creature is adjacent to you.
It doesn't matter which square you can or not hit.

And it's a nonsense that says a creature is at once adjacent and not adjacent.

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Cards, Companion Subscriber
Defraeter wrote:

I think you search to turn round the rules where it doesn't need.

The rules are very clear, as they speak of target/opponent/creature which must not be adjacent.
If one of the square of a creature is adjacent to you, the creature is adjacent to you.
It doesn't matter which square you can or not hit.

And it's a nonsense that says a creature is at once adjacent and not adjacent.

Hard to argue with that. A creature is either adjacent or it is not.

Except for cover, reach weapons (even the whip, though with specific rules) are only treated as melee weapons.

Below is every reference to reach weapons from the latest errataed version of the CRB. I find it curious that the wording refers to threatening squares or creatures, not squares occupied by creatures or the part of a creature occupying a square. It's a bit like on a standard attack roll you can't designate hit locations - I wonder if there is a connection...

CRB p141 wrote:
Reach Weapons: Glaives, guisarmes, lances, longspears, ranseurs, and whips are reach weapons. A reach weapon is a melee weapon that allows its wielder to strike at targets that aren’t adjacent to him. Most reach weapons double the wielder’s natural reach, meaning that a typical Small or Medium wielder of such a weapon can attack a creature 10 feet away, but not a creature in an adjacent square. A typical Large character wielding a reach weapon of the appropriate size can attack a creature 15 or 20 feet away, but not adjacent creatures or creatures up to 10 feet away.
CRB p145 wrote:
Reach: You use a reach weapon to strike opponents 10 feet away, but you can’t use it against an adjacent foe.
CRB p180 wrote:
Reach Weapons: Most creatures of Medium or smaller size have a reach of only 5 feet. This means that they can make melee attacks only against creatures up to 5 feet (1 square) away. However, Small and Medium creatures wielding reach weapons threaten more squares than a typical creature. In addition, most creatures larger than Medium have a natural reach of 10 feet or more.
CRB p182 wrote:
Melee Attacks: With a normal melee weapon, you can strike any opponent within 5 feet. (Opponents within 5 feet are considered adjacent to you.) Some melee weapons have reach, as indicated in their descriptions. With a typical reach weapon, you can strike opponents 10 feet away, but you can’t strike adjacent foes (those within 5 feet).
CRB p195 wrote:

Large, Huge, Gargantuan, and Colossal Creatures: Very large creatures take up more than 1 square.

Creatures that take up more than 1 square typically have a natural reach of 10 feet or more, meaning that they can reach targets even if they aren’t in adjacent squares.

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. This attack of opportunity is not provoked if you take a 5-foot step.

Large or larger creatures using reach weapons can strike up to double their natural reach but can’t strike at their natural reach or less.

CRB p195 wrote:

Cover: To determine whether your target has cover from your ranged attack, choose a corner of your square. If any line from this corner to any corner of the target’s square passes through a square or border that blocks line of effect or provides cover, or through a square occupied by a creature, the target has cover (+4 to AC).

When making a melee attack against an adjacent target, your target has cover if any line from any corner of your square to the target’s square goes through a wall (including a low wall). When making a melee attack against a target that isn’t adjacent to you (such as with a reach weapon), use the rules for determining cover from ranged attacks.


I think you just need a little wiggle room to maneuver in with that reach weapon.


HangarFlying wrote:

DG, the reach weapon description specifically states "opponent" and whether or not the opponent is adjacent.

I see what your saying with regards to being on the corner, but I'm hesitant on accepting that interpretation. Even though part of the creature is 10 ft. away, it is still adjacent to you—which the reach weapon says you cannot hit.

Some common sense needs to be interjected into this adjudication.

Would you want your game modeling combat to include the following:

PC: Yells :"Put a wall of stone between me and the bad guy SO I CAN HIT HIM."

Situation:
PC is adjacent to a huge creature. PC is wielding a reach weapon and can hit a tiny creature that is in one of the huge creature's squares.

If there were a wall of stone between the PC and the huge creature that caused them to no longer be adjacent then the PC would still be able to attack a square in which the huge creature resides.

DM Call: you may make the attack AS IF there were a wall separating you from the creature to which you are adjacent...

This avoids the polearm striking PAST the adjacent creature to hit a far square, but allows the situation I describe to not violate verisimilitude.

-James

Sczarni

Step 1: 5-foot step back
Step 2: Full-attack with reach weapon
Step 3: ???
Step 4: Profit


From a RAW interpretation, I would have to agree that you cannot attack a creature adjacent to you - no matter it's size and the other squares it occupies.

That said, this shouldn't normally be a problem. Even against a large or larger opponent, you can simply 5 foot step back and make your full attack. The situations in which you can't do this are somewhat rare - pinned against a wall, edge of a cliff, difficult terrain, etc. and I believe this is 100% intended to be the drawback of using a reach weapon. Also, shouldn't every character with a reach weapon also be carrying a non-reach weapon?

In addition, I agree with what Grimmy said - you need some room to maneuver a spear so that you can hit someone with the tip of it, instead of just trying to whack them with the side of it. Speaking of whacking them with the side of the spear, there's a fighter archetype that basically allows this exact thing (I think you actually use the other end of the reach weapon as a club), so allowing this to happen (even at the soft cover penalty) would essentially be taking away from this archetype.

Just my $0.02


My character uses a reach weapon, an is often enlarged, so ve had to look this up. The way I've been playing if a creature is adjacent. Is cannot be targeted with a reach weapon.. But if reach is increased past 10 feet (enlarged) you can potentually attack non-adjacent creature if you threaten any of its squares taking soft cover penalties if nessesary.

Mind you my table houseruled away soft cover (high powered game) so go reach weapons!

In any case you should have a light back-up weapon of some sort, a throwing weapon is great with quick draw.


Hmm after re-reading this thread, i`m thinking that when enlarged can't attack a creature 5 feet away at all with my bardiche, even if threaten some squares of a large or larger creature... Makes reach weapons less then optimal with large creatures because 5ft step then attack suddenly doesn't work well. Which is fair I guess but will change my strategies a touch!


I would definitely let you attack the big creature even though he's adjacent. RAW appears to not allow for it, though.

Which is really odd, given the rules for shooting into melee against a very large creature, you'd think you could target a far-off space the creature occupies to attack with a reach weapon, as you can with a ranged weapon (to avoid the melee penalty).

Grand Lodge

I fixed this whole problem with my character with one level of monk. Using a reach weapon and the lunge feat. I threaten everything 5 and 10 feet away with my knees as an unarmed strike and threaten 10 and 15 ft with my glaive.

But as for the current situation it seems like the rules are pretty clear and it says no. The only way around it i see is if it was a colossal sized legged creature in which there is nothing but air in the 5x5x5 square in front of you and you are striking up at 10 ft.

I feel this should work for even your situation just using common sense instead of trying to interpret the rules. No matter what the rules say i think you you have to think about trying to do it in real life and how the physics would apply. Attack the far squre when your weapon would have to pass through the adjacent square seems a little ridiculous on all levels, but given a 3D character i would see no problem in being 5feet away and attacking up to the higher level square. In real life you would easily be able to attack without chocking up on the weapon.

But this is just my ruling on common sense, the book seems to say no. In any event the GM is god. It doesn't matter how you interpret the rules. If the GM says no, the answer is no. The GM could allow reach weapons to attack even adjacent 5x5 creatures if he wanted and that becomes the rule. The books are just guidelines and the GM can throw out or enforce any rule he wants.


darth_gator wrote:
The large creature is both adjacent to you AND 10' away...

But you can't attack him because the rule forbids to attack an adjacent creature, which your foe is.

See it this way: you can use thi magic club to hit people with green or blue eyes. You can't use it to hit people with red hair. Could you use it to hit a guy who is redhaired and have green eyes?

Shadow Lodge

If you cannot stick glaive into the Ogres bellybutton because its too close, why would you expect to be stab him in the rump with it?


BigNorseWolf wrote:

If you cannot stick glaive into the Ogres bellybutton because its too close, why would you expect to be stab him in the rump with it?

rules and real life don't really blend well. I can't hit the titan toe with my ten feet pike if I'm only 5' away, but i could hit his calf. In your example, I might not be a le to hit the ogre belly button with my 10' pike, but I can probably target his face, which is 10+ feet high. With the rules, I can't, though


My answer (w/out knowing if it's RAW or houserule*) would be:

1) for tall opponents
3) for long opponents

reason: If the opponent is tall you can attack the upper part which is higher than you and as such not adjacent to you. If the opponent is long you can attack a part that is far enough away but the adjacent part would be in your way.

*that could change if we get a clarification.


Umbranus wrote:

My answer (w/out knowing if it's RAW or houserule*) would be:

1) for tall opponents
3) for long opponents

reason: If the opponent is tall you can attack the upper part which is higher than you and as such not adjacent to you. If the opponent is long you can attack a part that is far enough away but the adjacent part would be in your way.

*that could change if we get a clarification.

I wanted to ask what would happen if a creature adjacent was higher then the length of your weapon as you could reach his/her upper regions with a reach weapon without them having cover. I would give a penalty of -1 to attack for fighting upwards though.


Umbranus wrote:

My answer (w/out knowing if it's RAW or houserule*) would be:

1) for tall opponents
3) for long opponents

reason: If the opponent is tall you can attack the upper part which is higher than you and as such not adjacent to you. If the opponent is long you can attack a part that is far enough away but the adjacent part would be in your way.

*that could change if we get a clarification.

what if the long creature is huge? What if it is huge but serpentine?


You can choose which square a creature occupies for the purpose of things like spells. I think the text implies a large creature can be hit with reach weapons; it's just that it assumes a 1-square creature. That is, the "you can't hit adjacent foes" assumes they're 5' away and not also 10' away (which they are).

This might sound difficult to pull off, but that's part of being proficient with a weapon, I think.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I feel a yes or no answer is too simplistic. As with most things in the CRB, they assume humanoid creatures. It is probably safe to say they also assume medium creatures, with some special rules thrown in.

In that light, I would rule that if you can target a square that is 10' away, without passing through a square that the creature occupies, you should be good to go.

So a medium creature attacking a large one could not use a polearm. But, if he were attacking a gargantuan dragon, he could.


Komoda wrote:

I feel a yes or no answer is too simplistic. As with most things in the CRB, they assume humanoid creatures. It is probably safe to say they also assume medium creatures, with some special rules thrown in.

In that light, I would rule that if you can target a square that is 10' away, without passing through a square that the creature occupies, you should be good to go.

So a medium creature attacking a large one could not use a polearm. But, if he were attacking a gargantuan dragon, he could.

I don't quite understand your distinction. Is the Ogre 10-15' away or 5-10' away? What about the dragon?


I think in real life you could attack a large creature with a pike (probably easier than with a dagger, for that matter). But in the game, rules wise, you can't. It's a game, it doesn't model reality. And reach vs large creature is nothing compared to the weirdness of initiative


I disagree; I think it does model reality, and that's the point. It fails to do so in certain places where that would be too complex or difficult (turn-based system, HP), but it should seek to accommodate reality when possible, not discard it when possible. I don't see why a halberd-man couldn't swipe at the hind area of a knight's horse. It sounds difficult to do, but that's what weapon training is for - you learn how to fight with that weapon.

It's hard to consider because we consider sword fighting "easy". It's not. It requires practice, and training, which someone trained in pole arms would have. It might seem unrealistic that a character could know how to use ALL of these weapons, but "proficient in all simple and martial weapons", so...


BigNorseWolf wrote:

If you cannot stick glaive into the Ogres bellybutton because its too close, why would you expect to be stab him in the rump with it?

because there is no facing in pathfinder. That could very well be his face at that end. Hard to tell all big creatures are so ugly.

I am not sure why pathfinder never implment facing in pathfinder, it is crucial to any combat simulation game. It existed in 1st and 2nd edtion d&d. It would clear up a lot of issuse with reach weapons, flanking, sneak attack, this little cover bit.

per raw you can't threaten the large creature, because he next to you but you can still attack targets 10ft away, techical the creature is 10ft away. because there is no facing so there is no front of the creature so I don't think it could give yourself soft cover. the way it is that 10ft square could ribs or elbow of creature that stands 15ft tall. and you could very well hit that with a reach weapon. It those spots you could never hit with a sword or none reach weapon. So I would say it is a normal valid target at my table. But you would provoke and AOO for attacking that distance. Much like a whip.


Quote:
I am not sure why pathfinder never implment facing in pathfinder, it is crucial to any combat simulation game. It existed in 1st and 2nd edtion d&d. It would clear up a lot of issuse with reach weapons, flanking, sneak attack, this little cover bit.

Because D&D and Pathfinder are not combat simulation games; they are role-playing games. They are far more combat-oriented and rules-heavy than other RPGs, but they are not always played with miniatures on a grid - even when the rules supported it. 3.0 didn't even use the "squares" language at all to measure distance; that was added in 3.5.

At some point the combat rules need to be something you can just accomplish by declaring an action and rolling your dice. Making it too complicated is why Grapple rules are legendarily terrible in almost all RPGs, not just D&D.


Bizbag wrote:
Quote:
I am not sure why pathfinder never implment facing in pathfinder, it is crucial to any combat simulation game. It existed in 1st and 2nd edtion d&d. It would clear up a lot of issuse with reach weapons, flanking, sneak attack, this little cover bit.

Because D&D and Pathfinder are not combat simulation games; they are role-playing games. They are far more combat-oriented and rules-heavy than other RPGs, but they are not always played with miniatures on a grid - even when the rules supported it. 3.0 didn't even use the "squares" language at all to measure distance; that was added in 3.5.

At some point the combat rules need to be something you can just accomplish by declaring an action and rolling your dice. Making it too complicated is why Grapple rules are legendarily terrible in almost all RPGs, not just D&D.

what so hard about saying I am going to move to the targets rear and attack. it is the exact same thing, only diffirance is the target shield is not facing his rear. So he would not get shield bonus. Facing is very easy and usefull. you don't need a grid to use it. It allows you to attack down a 5ft diagnoal hallway with a reach weapon also. because the grid moves in the direction you are facing. We been useing it for years even before there where grids and squares. It becomes more imporant when you actual use a grid and squares and miniatures. which what 3.x and pathfinder has done.

yes it is a role-playing game, but it is more a combat simulation rpg then anything with feats and combat menauvers, ranged touch attacks, numberous ways to adjust your armor class. almost eveything in the game adjust combat in some way. I can't even think of a skill that does not have a use in combat other then craft/prof. All others have at least some use in combat.


Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

Facing has traditionally been a pain in the backside to deal with. Seen all the threads on line and cone areas? It's even worse with facing. I don't miss it at all.


Bizbag wrote:

I disagree; I think it does model reality, and that's the point. It fails to do so in certain places where that would be too complex or difficult (turn-based system, HP), but it should seek to accommodate reality when possible, not discard it when possible. I don't see why a halberd-man couldn't swipe at the hind area of a knight's horse. It sounds difficult to do, but that's what weapon training is for - you learn how to fight with that weapon.

It does not. If it were trying to model reality, it wouldn't have things like delaying initiative, which are completelly unreal, but usefull for a game.

The rulea try to be a game, not a reality model. The rule is that you can't attack large creatures for simplicity and balance reasons. Which is great.

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Tales Subscriber

Hard to visualize this in general, and it would be nice to have a ruling.

The simplest would be that attacking an adjacent large or larger creature with a reach weapon imposes a cover penalty.

This would be the case even at the corners (choose any corner of your square, a line will pass through part of the creature getting to the square you're wanting to target.

More complicated rule: I could see the far side of an adjacent (non-corner) creature to have both cover and concealment.


Quote:
It does not. If it were trying to model reality, it wouldn't have things like delaying initiative, which are completelly unreal, but usefull for a game.

It's actually more real that you're giving it credit for. It's allowing a person to wait until somebody else does something, as opposed to the alternative of "do nothing for 6 seconds".

And the whole point OF rules is to be, at least to some degree, a reality model. Why would we bother naming the types of effects, or have special bonuses, or vulnerabilities? Why are mindless creatures immune to mind-affecting affects? It's not because it's just a game, it's because it makes no sense that a creature that doesn't think could be cognitively tricked.

The game may not BE a simulation, but it should err on the side of such, rather than the other way around. Arguably, that's the whole point of D&D as opposed to Chainmail - it's more than just an abstract combat game.


Bizbag wrote:
Quote:
It does not. If it were trying to model reality, it wouldn't have things like delaying initiative, which are completelly unreal, but usefull for a game.
It's actually more real that you're giving it credit for. It's allowing a person to wait until somebody else does something, as opposed to the alternative of "do nothing for 6 seconds".

it is not.

I'm in front of a Troll. As the combat is simultaneous, I'm supposed to being attacked. I delay until my buddy moves into position to flank. He comes from 60 feet, he needs 6 full seconds to come to position, so I wait for him. Those full 6 seconds. What is doing the troll during those 6 seconds I have just spent in front of him, doing nothing but stare at him? He is gently waiting. Then I full attack the troll, my four attacks, which also take six seconds. And then the troll goes.

If we were modeling reality, me waiting dix seconds doing nothing until my flanking buddy moves 60 feet, should mean I wait six seconds foing nothing. Ie: I miss my turn. Not that I freeze the rest of the world until I warp 12 seconds of avtions into 6 seconds of delay.

But the game allows for delaying. Why? Playability. Because it's a game, not a simulator. You can't target the rear of a large creature for the same reason why you can only target square corners with your aoe spells and not the middle of it, or aanyothe point.


So you've come up with an example of when delaying would strain logic. Fine, but there's plenty of times where it doesn't.

You're (in real life) walking up to a door, but someone's coming out. Because of simultaneity, you know that when you get there, they'll be gone. If it was PRG, you couldn't move to that square. If you couldn't delay, you either end your move as if they were blocking you, or you give up your action. Delay allows you to let someone else go before you, which helps preserve simulation.

You're right, though, in that taking the rules to logical conclusions can strain credibility. That's why the game is a game, not a reality simulator. But, all else being equal, the game should seek to make decisions in favor of realism. There's something to hit 10' away with your halberd (perhaps a fat horse haunch), so you should be able to do it, generally. Arguing that you cannot because RAW is valid. Arguing that you cannot because realism doesn't matter; that I disagree with.


Delay only preserves simulation when only two people are involved, and not always (delaying vs a charge give ypu full round for example). Which is almost never in my experience, as most combats involve more than two combatants. It's there for gaming purposes, just like the must target square corners worth fireballs rule. And several others.


Player: I attack the ogre with my longspear.
GM: You can't. Your longspear has reach and the ogre is adjacent to you.
Player: Oh, no problem, I stab him in the butt.
GM: What?
Player: His butt isn't adjacent to me. It's 10' away. Perfect target for my longspear's reach.
GM: You can't really see the ogre's butt - he's front is in the way.
Player: No matter, I know where his butt is, so I stab him in the butt.
GM: You can't! Your spear is not curved, you can't simply make it bend around the ogre and stab him from behind.
Player: OK, give him soft cover.
GM: What?
Player: See, if that were 4 orcs standing in those squares, I could use my longspear to stab an orc in the back, but the orc in front of him would give him soft cover.
GM: So what, this is one ogre, not 4 orcs.
Player: So the ogre's big belly takes up the same square that the front orc would be in, so it acts the same way, soft cover for the ogre's butt.
GM: So you're stabbing the ogre in the butt THROUGH his belly?
Player: Yep!
GM: Ah, well, I can't find any RAW that says you can't. Roll your attack.
Player: I rolled a 13. Plus my bonuses, I got a hit, even with soft cover.
GM: Yep, you did.
Player: I think that auto-confirms a critical hit too. I mean, imagine, I completely skewered the ogre by stabbing my spear through his entire belly and coming out his butt - think about it, that's got to be a critical hit!
GM: grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!


DM_Blake wrote:

Player: I attack the ogre with my longspear.

GM: You can't. Your longspear has reach and the ogre is adjacent to you.
Player: Oh, no problem, I stab him in the face.
GM: What?
Player: His face isn't adjacent to me. It's 10' away, since ogres are 10' tall. Perfect target for my longspear's reach.
<snip>

Arm, shoulder, what ever.

The ogre occupies spaces that you can make an attack into (10' away). How you characterize attacking that space isn't particularly material.


DM_Blake wrote:

Player: I attack the ogre with my longspear.

GM: You can't. Your longspear has reach and the ogre is adjacent to you.
Player: Oh, no problem, I stab him in the butt.
GM: What?
Player: His butt isn't adjacent to me. It's 10' away. Perfect target for my longspear's reach.
GM: You can't really see the ogre's butt - he's front is in the way.

fun fact: ogres are 10 feet tall, but they aren't 10 feet wide.

So people is using a gamism (ogres "using" 2x2 squares of space in tge table) to attack them in the rear by claiming it's realist.

It's so funny when people try to make a game realist :). Everything you fix, it's two things you break

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