Back to the 15' cone.Could someone go through the rules of area effects for me and show how each of these x's are determined?
Pretty much covered that in a previous post. Its a hold over from 3.0 and 3.5
See previous post, several back. End of Story.
Unless you are wanting to bog down your own personal game to a 30 min debate everytime an area of effect spell is cast, use the templates. They are there for a reason, are a very reasonable approximation of areas on a square grid, work well enough (they have been around for three editions now, so i would think so), and make sense in a common sense and rules intent kind of way.
I just don't get why the huge debate on your cone. If you want a cone to look all weird, not be symmetrical (which to me is not at all a cone then), go for it. But it will cause problems with spell effects if you try redesigning them on a square grid.
It's the old proverb of trying to put a square peg in a round hole.