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Poll: Reach Weapons and the 2nd diagonal. Do you use the 3.5 exception?


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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d20pfsrd templates

The medium and large (long) purple-green templates are what changed.

- Gauss

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Ganymede425 wrote:
Do you have a justification for why this particular exception to a general rule is a bad thing? Do you feel people would be confused by it? Is the exception too complicated? Does it produce game-breaking unintended consequences?

When you're asking for an exception to established rules, the burden of proof falls on the asker needing to point out why such an exception is necessary.

I've given you my reason for denying it.. consistency and the fact that Pathfinder is not 3.5. I play Pathfinder with the explicit intention of leaving a lot of 3.5 behind.


Is it just me or is the Huge(Long) template wrong?


You are correct, Huge (long) should have a natural reach of 10feet and a reach weapon reach of 20feet. This would cut the corners of it's natural reach corners off.

- Gauss


Gauss wrote:

You are correct, Huge (long) should have a natural reach of 10feet and a reach weapon reach of 20feet. This would cut the corners of it's natural reach corners off.

- Gauss

Thought so...

Makes the ability to use a reach weapon within a shorter distance a lot more beneficial.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
LazarX wrote:
Ganymede425 wrote:
Do you have a justification for why this particular exception to a general rule is a bad thing? Do you feel people would be confused by it? Is the exception too complicated? Does it produce game-breaking unintended consequences?

[burden of proof]

When you're asking for an exception to established rules, the burden of proof falls on the asker needing to point out why such an exception is necessary.

I've given you my reason for denying it.. consistency and the fact that Pathfinder is not 3.5. I play Pathfinder with the explicit intention of leaving a lot of 3.5 behind.

Without the 3.5 version, you can charge a reach weapon wielder without provoking an AoO, if you charge on a diagonal, because no square is 10-feet away on the diagonal.

The rules for AoOs rely on 'threatened squares' and a reach weapon only threatens 10-feet away, not 5-feet, not 15-feet.

Movement provokes an AoO by leaving a threatened square. But the reach weapon does not threaten any square on that diagonal.

This means that charging the reach weapon wielder sometimes provokes an AoO and sometimes doesn't, depending on the artificial game construct of the square grid, which has no in-game reality. Without the grid, the direction of approach is irrelavent.

This creates a disconnect with reality. It means that the PF version is not fit for purpose. The 3.5 version has no holes to charge through. The concept that a reach weapon threatens all squares surrounding the squares adjacent to you is not a complex one, and does not lead to confusion.

The 'fix' offered by SKR was that moving from 15-feet to 5-feet diagonally would provoke an AoO from the 10-foot reach weapon, as if the weapon did threaten the 15-foot square, for this exact situation but did not threaten that square for things like making a ranged attack, is so much harder to get your head around, explain to newbies, adjudicate in corner cases, etc.

SKR himself thinks that the 3.5 version is simpler, as quoted near the beginning of this thread.

[/burden of proof]


LazarX wrote:
When you're asking for an exception to established rules, the burden of proof falls on the asker needing to point out why such an exception is necessary.

Whether or not this notion is true, when someone asserts an opinion, it is only tactful for that person to supply a compelling reasoning to back it up.

As I mentioned previously, an argument supporting the application of the exception was already articulated. The fact that a reasoned argument exists renders your accusation of arbitrariness moot and puts the ball in your court to explain why such an exception is a bad idea.

Quote:
I've given you my reason for denying it.. consistency and the fact that Pathfinder is not 3.5. I play Pathfinder with the explicit intention of leaving a lot of 3.5 behind.

You've given your reasons, but you've neglected to explain why they are compelling or even logical.

I'll agree that Pathfinder is not 3.5. That said, such is not a very compelling justification for any specific rule change. Differetiation for its own sake is simply a weak rationalle.

But regarding your assertion that rule consistency is an important goal, the rules have many exceptions to general principles. In this particuar case, do you have a justification for why this particular exception to a general rule is a bad thing? Do you feel people would be confused by it? Is the exception too complicated? Does it produce game-breaking unintended consequences?


I have it to where they threaten the Square only for movement purposes. Basically making it to where they threaten the intersection of the squares.

Does that make sense?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

There is no way in hell I'm using this "new version" in my games.


I want to thank everyone who has voted (even those that voted no). Hopefully we will get more votes.

- Gauss

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

SKR's ultra-specific exception makes more sense than I had expected, but I still think the 3.5 ruling is far easier to remember and there are other reasons than charging to want AoO at the diagonals for fairness and consistency. Consider, for example, a magus beginning spell combat in that square and 5-foot-stepping in.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I agree that the 3.5 exception is simpler, but I'll be using SKR's clarification, as it disallows sneaky diagonal AoO-free charges (my only problem with not using the 3.5 exception) but retains consistency with the diagonal square counting method in RAW (not that important to me, but as it was a deliberate decision by the design team, and makes sense, I'm going with it!).

Good poll Gauss.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I just make it to where the intersection is threatened.

Though my groups typically handle movement FFT-Style. We have no diagonal movement.

Does it short us on movement? Yes. Does it make it easier? Yes. Do we prefer easier? Heck Yes!

Cheliax

I feel cheated if not being able to attack diagonally 2 squares away when we are forced into diagonal tunnels, passages, corridors, ect. Even when in the open, I want that freedom. I wonder in the headache of using hex grids with 90 degree corners is worth it. Hmmn, considering how terrible most of Paizo's maps are with so many squares half terrain feature and half clear space, it would likely not cause any more a problem concerning 90 degree angles than all the 1/2&1/2 squares already do.


Raymond: Diagonal passages and this ability for creatures to be 15 then 5 feet away is what prompts me to want to do gridless gaming. Unfortunately, I have players who need the grid for a reference. Ahhhh well.

- Gauss

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I never thought of that!

In PF's version, including SKR's 'clarification', a reach weapon wielder in a 5-foot wide diagonal corrider cannot attack with his reach weapon! The adjacent square is 5-feet away, and the next square is 15-feet away! On his own turn, it's impossible to attack!

So, to summarise, using the PF rules, when using a reach whepon in a 5-foot wide diagonal corridors, there are two slight flaws in the rule:-

1. It is impossible to attack.

2. It is impossible to attack!

I realise that, technically, this is only one flaw, but I thought it was such a big flaw it was worth mentioning twice!

This is one reason why the 3.5 rule is better, the other is threatened squares and attacks of opportunity.

Sczarni

My DM uses the 3.5 exception, but likely only because he never bothered to re-read the rules about reach weapons. He's convinced himself that PF is 3.5 except with some new class abilities. I actually had to show him the part where characters now get a new feat every odd level.

He also only uses a grid at all because I asked him to. Before he houseruled that flanking means "spend an extra round moving to flank", turning around was a move action, and reach weapons were just outright banned because they were too confusing. He kept track of the action in his head, and we were supposed to guess where we all were. The addition of a grid let me actually play a polearm fighter, and I assumed that I didn't threaten the diagonal corners but the DM informed me that I did.

Prior to that, back in 3.5, I played with another group once where I wielded a duom (polearm that threatens adjacent). It actually disrupted our game because I'd move to the center of the battlefield, and then on the monsters' turn the DM would sit there staring at the board in frustration because he couldn't find any way for the monsters to avoid provoking an AoO!

Having played as a polearm fighter myself, I don't have a strong opinion either way. Having a "hole" in my zone of AoO's doesn't really bother me, since a concentrated reach AoO build is powerful enough and creates enough headaches for the DM that I don't mind it having a weakness. Besides, any smart reach-fighter will have armor spikes and probably Improved Bull Rush to push enemies back into the Danger Zone.


Cestuses/Gauntlets(Spiked or Normal)/Shield/Shortsword(or Gladius)

The last two are really great for a Phalanx Soldier.


I use the 3.5 ruling. :)


I use a hex grid, not a square grid. No need for a "every other diagonal square counts as 2" rule.

So I guess my answer is, I use neither Pathfinders version nor the 3.5 exception.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Jeraa wrote:

I use a hex grid, not a square grid. No need for a "every other diagonal square counts as 2" rule.

So I guess my answer is, I use neither Pathfinders version nor the 3.5 exception.

I use the Hex Grid for Natural areas and the Square Grid for Manufactured areas.

Thankfully I primarily use Natural Areas for my groups.


Starglim wrote:
SKR's ultra-specific exception makes more sense than I had expected, but I still think the 3.5 ruling is far easier to remember and there are other reasons than charging to want AoO at the diagonals for fairness and consistency. Consider, for example, a magus beginning spell combat in that square and 5-foot-stepping in.

This is huge. Similarly the wizard engaged diagonally by a large creature or other creature with both 5' and 10' reach can 5' step out and cast under the PF rule but not under the 3.5 rule.

All distance measurement should really use one of the simple algorithms. Square distance or Manhattan distance. It doesn't much matter which, but octagonal distance is just a pain to calculate. If you're going to use a grid in the first place ease of gaming should trump realism since realism died the moment you drew lines on the map.


Atarlost wrote:
Starglim wrote:
SKR's ultra-specific exception makes more sense than I had expected, but I still think the 3.5 ruling is far easier to remember and there are other reasons than charging to want AoO at the diagonals for fairness and consistency. Consider, for example, a magus beginning spell combat in that square and 5-foot-stepping in.

This is huge. Similarly the wizard engaged diagonally by a large creature or other creature with both 5' and 10' reach can 5' step out and cast under the PF rule but not under the 3.5 rule.

All distance measurement should really use one of the simple algorithms. Square distance or Manhattan distance. It doesn't much matter which, but octagonal distance is just a pain to calculate. If you're going to use a grid in the first place ease of gaming should trump realism since realism died the moment you drew lines on the map.

This is why my groups tend to handle distances the same manner as FFT and such games.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Raymond Lambert wrote:
I feel cheated if not being able to attack diagonally 2 squares away when we are forced into diagonal tunnels, passages, corridors, ect. Even when in the open, I want that freedom. I wonder in the headache of using hex grids with 90 degree corners is worth it. Hmmn, considering how terrible most of Paizo's maps are with so many squares half terrain feature and half clear space, it would likely not cause any more a problem concerning 90 degree angles than all the 1/2&1/2 squares already do.

The grid should be centred on the character, not based on the dungeon layout. For you character the tunnel isn't a diagonal, it is straight.

@LazarX
Practically all boardgames use hexagons, not squares. Wargames use a meter and no grid. The square grid has nothing to do with D&D roots into wargames.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

@Gauss @Gary is testing a poll system in the Off-topic discussion section. Maybe you can send him a e-mail ans have him test it here.


Thanks Diego. Unfortunately, it is probably a bit late. It would require people to revote.

- Gauss

Sczarni

I've never played on a hex grid. Surely it must have its own unusual/counterintuitive ways of working? What if you want to charge someone but the hex your in has a corner facing them instead of a side? How wide are cones on hexes?

Andoran

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
Diego Rossi wrote:
The grid should be centred on the character, not based on the dungeon layout. For you character the tunnel isn't a diagonal, it is straight.

Unfortunately that would mean the vast majority of Paizo's Map Packs and Flip Mats would lose a lot of their usefulness as everyone digs out a tape measure or carries a clear sheet with a grid on it that they hold over their miniature when moving it.


Silent Saturn wrote:
I've never played on a hex grid. Surely it must have its own unusual/counterintuitive ways of working? What if you want to charge someone but the hex your in has a corner facing them instead of a side? How wide are cones on hexes?

As to charging, rather than going across that corner line, you'll probably lean either left or right to your first step, and then go into the square that was directly between you and the target. repeat for intervening hexes. I have an example here.

As to cones, it's something of a GM call, but I usually pick one start hex and two lines the cone covers, the effect radiating outward, so you'll have two straight lines, plus the hexes in between. Burning Hands example here, two options the mage might cast depending where things are.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The major effect of a hexagonal grid would be that a target will have 6 adjacent hexagon and not 8 squares.
When making a charge you would check if there is something along the straight line between attacker and target to stop the charge and then move along the grid along the most direct path to see if you suffer from AoO and to see the distance you will move. It has been done for ages in boargames.

The main problem is adapting an hexagonal grid to a man made structure with straight walls and rooms. It can be done but it has a lot of interactions with other rules.

@Digitalmage
I usually draw the map on one of the erasable maps, so it is easier to adapt the grid to the battle location.

Silver Crusade

Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

I never thought of that!

In PF's version, including SKR's 'clarification', a reach weapon wielder in a 5-foot wide diagonal corrider cannot attack with his reach weapon! The adjacent square is 5-feet away, and the next square is 15-feet away! On his own turn, it's impossible to attack!

So, to summarise, using the PF rules, when using a reach whepon in a 5-foot wide diagonal corridors, there are two slight flaws in the rule:-

1. It is impossible to attack.

2. It is impossible to attack!

I realise that, technically, this is only one flaw, but I thought it was such a big flaw it was worth mentioning twice!

This is one reason why the 3.5 rule is better, the other is threatened squares and attacks of opportunity.

Ok, just catching up on this thread. I just made my first reach weapon wielder for Pathfinder Society, so this issue is important to me right now. I'm glad to see SKR's clarification, which I'll be printing out to bring with me whenever I play my guisarme tripping Lore Warden with Combat Reflexes, since it lets me make AoOs against enemies that approach diagonally.

But I want to respond to Malachi's concern about not being able to attack in a diagonal corridor, because it isn't correct.

You're correct that you can't attack the first square in front of you, because it's 5 feet from you (one diagonal square away). And you also can't hit two squares in front of you, because that's 15 feet (two diagonal squares away).

But you can attack the space in between those two diagonal squares, which will be taken up by a triangle "half square" on either side of the two squares directly ahead of you. Those are one diagonal square and one non-diagonal square from you, which is exactly 10 feet.

Or you could move into one of the half squares directly in front of you (a 5 foot step), so that the full square that is two squares diagonally in front of you becomes 10 feet away. Or move backwards into one of those half squares, so the squares that was one square diagonally in front of you is now 10 feet away.

Take a look at a diagonal 5 foot wide hallway on a grid map, and you'll see what I'm talking about.

It's still a little wonky, because you're trying to force human movement into a grid, which isn't very realistic, but it's acceptable for playing purposes, IMHO.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Fromper, at that point you are squeezing, which has its own issues. You could be in a half square with NOBODY around you, but because you are in that half square you are squeezing. This is the problem with diagonal corridors.

Ultimately, gridless fixes all of this. But, some people are not able to use gridless because they need a grid to see distances and count them out etc. Once, I tried gridless with my players and they disliked it. Then again, they are not wargamers like I am. They are not used to the red stick. :D

- Gauss


I just want to say: Wow! 47 votes yes to 4 votes no. I thought the 3.5 exception was popular but not this one sided. Keep it up folks!

- Gauss


We found out about this about a year ago, and after a brief discussion (by our standards) decided to continue with the 3.5 version.

The three major arguments in favor of 3.5 variant were:

-- Force of habit/consistency across systems. (We still have a long-running 3.5 campaign going)

-- Ease of rules adjudication. Determining opportunity attacks is hairy enough already. The passing-between-threatened-squares-provokes-but-only-when-they-are-threaten ed-by-the-same-critter rule is a bit too much.

-- Consistency with other reach rules and, yes, the movement rules.

Consider: A creature with 5' reach can attack into squares on their diagonal. But since the distance, per the movement rules, between the opposite corners of the two squares in question is 15 feet (1), the distance center-center of one square is 7,5 feet (2), and the distance center - far corner is 11,25 feet.

Since we are completely agnostic WRT exactly where in a square a creature is (3), it is NOT a stretch to say that: Letting a creature with 5' reach attack on the diagonals is basically granting it +5' reach on the diagonals.

Therefore, to be consistent with the rules for 5' reach, the rules for 10' reach should let creatures attack/threaten spaces that are 15' away (center-center) on the diagonals; OR the reach rules should prohibit creatures with 5' reach attacking into their diagonally adjacent squares.

-------

The counterargments were:

-- Them's The Rules!

-- It will be unbalancing; in particular it will make Enlarge Person more powerful.

But both of these cut both ways, so... meh.

--------

(1) Because it's equivalent to center-center of three squares.

(2) Of course, the distance between diagonally opposite corners of one square equals the distance center-center of two diagonally adjacent squares. Note that geometrically, the distance corner-corner on the diagonal of a 5' square is 7,07 feet. So the two-diagonal-squares-equals-three rule exaggregates the distance. (Which is a further, albeit weak, argument for extending reach on the diagonals).

(3) Imagine a bunch of Diminutive creatures in a square. Some will be at the near end, some in the middle, some at the far end of the square. A character with 5' reach in an adjacent square can attack all of them.


LOL Tark the Ork apparently misunderstood the concept of voting either yes or no. He voted both.

- Gauss


While the rules as written may exclude the 2nd diagonal as being threatened, every group I've played in has decided that the second diagonal should be threatened, thus it is in our games.

It doesn't seem intended to us - it just doesn't make sense for there to be a hole in your defenses if your enemy just happens to be at the "correct" angle. It's a problem resulting from using a square grid, but not a big one - easy to house rule around, so we do.


I vote yes


MechE, then by all means: Please vote by favoriting the second post in the thread. :)

As for intent I think (don't quote me) that somewhere a developer stated that was removed intentionally.

- Gauss


Yes, stick with the 3.5 ruling.


I wonder what the devs thinks about this "poll", and i wonder why nobody have made a poll about FoB.


Just a reminder folks, IF the developers ever look at this they will not count up the number of posts. If you want to vote, vote by favoriting either yes or no.

brvheart, favoriting the original post is not voting yes or no. :)

- Gauss


Nicos, I dont know what they will think of this. But considering that the voting has been so one sided hopefully they will realize this is something that is wanted.

- Gauss


Well voting has slowed and if we discount one voter who voted both yes and no we come up with 54 to 5. 91.5% of the vote is yes, 8.5% is no. Thanks folks. At least in my mind it is pretty clear. The majority continue to use the 3.5 exception.

- Gauss


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

(casts resurrect thread)

There's one other thing to consider - just as there's no facing in Pathfinder (or 3.5 for that matter), there's no "sub-footprint positioning." This is actually very relevant.

Consider how a medium creature has 5-foot reach, and yet threatens the entirety of a 15-foot by 15-foot area when wielding a dagger. Obviously in a true simulation this could not possibly be so - 15-feet is a pretty darn huge area.

Also consider a huge giant, which has a 15-foot by 15-foot footprint on the map. In the real world, if you were close by with a dagger, it would just stand at the 'back' of that footprint, stay out of reach and flatten you with a club. However, in Pathfinder, with no sub-footprint positioning, if you threaten any single part of its footprint (even just one square), you threaten it.

Now, finally, consider that pole arm. Straight out to the sides, it's easy. Since you're considered to be in any part of your square, you threaten the entire square at range 5-10. But how about the corners?

Sure, you can't quite reach that far side of the corner; it's nearly 15-feet away. However, you can quite handily reach that NEAR corner, which is just over 7 feet away. Thus, since whoever is in that square is assumed to be in all parts of the square, you threaten part of the square and thus all of it - just like how you threaten that huge giant with your dagger even though you might only be able to reach one of the nine squares in its footprint.

It really does make far more sense to threaten that corner square with a pole arm since you can reach part of it instead of saying you don't threaten it because you can't reach all of it.

(Technically, using that logic you would threaten both the near and far spaces. That certainly makes more sense than threatening no spaces, but threatening a single space makes the most sense.)

TL;DR Threatening the corner spaces with a pole arm not only makes more sense intuitively, it better fits the actual rules for threatened areas.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Thanks gbonehead. I couldn't have said it better myself. This is yet another area of the rules where Paizo has been inconsistent.

Lord knows, I am not going to be able to give SKR's explanation to my players. None of them will understand it! Even if by some miracle, I find a way to phrase SKR's ruling in such a way that my friends can comprehend it, none of them would accept such a non-nonsensical, verisimilitude destroying rule in a million years!

v3.5 had it right to begin with. A simple exception to the rule makes things SO much simpler in this instance.

The only people SKR's ruling actually pleases are diehard geometry loving mathematicians. It's been proven. Just look at this survey's numbers.


gbonehead I like your way of thinking.

- Gauss


Gauss wrote:

MechE, then by all means: Please vote by favoriting the second post in the thread. :)

As for intent I think (don't quote me) that somewhere a developer stated that was removed intentionally.

- Gauss

Done.

As for the intent, I recall reading just earlier today on an old thread that SKR said while medium creatures with reach do not threaten the 15 foot diagonal, an enemy DOES provoke an attack of opportunity when moving from that 15 foot diagonal to the 5 foot adjacent square since they pass through the 10 foot barrier. Something about not teleporting from the 15 foot square to the 5 foot adjacent and passing through the 10 foot threatened area. This was basically my interpretation (that the problem is the result of using a square grid) but for simplicity, I just go with the old 3.5e exception.


The "yes but no" about threatening that 2nd diagonal make things more compliated than they should be, IMHO.


MechE: I included the link to SKRs post (not so old) in the initial post of this thread.

- Gauss

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Yes, I use the exception.

I also count diagonals as 7.5 feet rather than the one-two rule.

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