Line of Sight is not explained anywhere!


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Zurai wrote:
Why? Is line of sight magically not relevant to non-battlemap fights?

Not usually. It's "Can I see him?" with a "yes/no" answer.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Skullking wrote:

Or the player can ask - can I see him and the DM can aswer yes or no.

If the DM says yes then you do have line of sight, if the DM says no then you don't.

Thanks for this response. I knew the moment I read it I could move on to other threads! Nicely put.


Lilith wrote:
Not usually. It's "Can I see him?" with a "yes/no" answer.

... And it's the same with battlemaps. I still don't see your point.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Bob Hopp wrote:
So, I would answer your questions by saying you must draw line of sight from any one corner of your space, and if any line from your chosen corner to any corner of the target's space touches or crosses something you can't see through, then you don't have line of sight.

So you would block Magic Missile (never misses) from working on a Troll that has one of his 8 squares covered by a rock? 88% of the Troll is visible (in sight) but he doesn't have line of sight?

I'm all for nailing down rules with better language, but I don't see the need to define line of sight when it is basically "if I can see any part of the creature/object I have line of sight."


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I think line of site, spell area affects, concealment, cover, i.e. anything that discusses range affects and how to determine if something can be done, or how to modify attack rolls, etc. can all benefit from a simple diagram. I also understand in any rulebook the text available is at a premium.

I have played D&D and related games for at least 20 years, and I am surprised sometimes when I go back to a rule or diagram only to discover I was making the wrong interpretation.

I was really disappointed by some of the responses, and I could see how a player new to game would think twice about asking a question again, even if most think the answer is obvious.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Uchawi wrote:

I think line of site, spell area affects, concealment, cover, i.e. anything that discusses range affects and how to determine if something can be done, or how to modify attack rolls, etc. can all benefit from a simple diagram. I also understand in any rulebook the text available is at a premium.

I have played D&D and related games for at least 20 years, and I am surprised sometimes when I go back to a rule or diagram only to discover I was making the wrong interpretation.

I was really disappointed by some of the responses, and I could see how a player new to game would think twice about asking a question again, even if most think the answer is obvious.

Agreed Uchawi. Its a good thing everyone who currently (or ever will) play Pathfinder knows better than to ask such stupid questions. They may get mocked relentlessly and then decide 4E is more to their liking. There's less questions there. I too am deeply disappointed by the reception this has received. Yes, I get that it could/should be obvious to most, but, as I think is at least equally obvious, its not out of the realm of possibility that someone may want to find an official definition for this. Yes, I get that it should be obvious. I'm sorry if this offends all of you geniuses.

This is why I say, what is the harm in having a few words in a glossary or common terms section that gives a simple mechanical definition for this?

Sigh. As I said, this is really disappointing. Sorry to disrupt the mocking, you may proceed.

The Exchange

James Risner wrote:
Bob Hopp wrote:
So, I would answer your questions by saying you must draw line of sight from any one corner of your space, and if any line from your chosen corner to any corner of the target's space touches or crosses something you can't see through, then you don't have line of sight.

So you would block Magic Missile (never misses) from working on a Troll that has one of his 8 squares covered by a rock? 88% of the Troll is visible (in sight) but he doesn't have line of sight?

I'm all for nailing down rules with better language, but I don't see the need to define line of sight when it is basically "if I can see any part of the creature/object I have line of sight."

I hate to post this, but the software engineer in me made me do it. This is exactly the reason why the rules could do with a pass through by a logician, rather than the talented creative dudes that normally write them.

I think that the two of you have read 'any corner ... any line ... any corner' as 'any one line' and 'the set of all possible lines' respectively. Reworded:

"Pick any corner of your space. If you can draw an unobstructed line from that corner to any corner of the space that the target occupies, then you have line of sight."

However, my preferred wording. "If it is not clear whether you have line of sight to a target, you have it if the DM says you do."

:)


brock wrote:


"Pick any corner of your space. If you can draw an unobstructed line from that corner to any corner of the space that the target occupies, then you have line of sight."

Actually that is right in there, under concealment.

As to some of the posts in this thread, when a guy comes in to help and gives an answer, then you jump back at him because he's not offical or some such nonsense (especially due to the fact the offical people are all off doing their offical jobs, and don't have time to just jump and give you an answer that's been had by others before) the guy that came to help might possibly get upset and terse in his responses.


Lilith wrote:
Discussions like these make me happy that I don't use minis or a battlemap.

Out of curiousity, Lilith (or anyone else who cares to pitch in), how do you handle some of the more "mechanical" combat-related feats, and particularly anything relating to AoOs?

I've done much more narrative combat under 1e and 2e, but 3e/3.5e - and probably PFRPG, I've only just got the book - seem to have quite a lot of things that don't seem to make any sense if you're not playing on a grid.

Is it a case of shaping the narrative based on the players having a greater likelihood of pulling off certain kinds of moves? Do you find it needs a certain type of player - someone look for what makes a good game (at the broader level) or story, over a strong tactical game? Are there any problematic areas of the rules you chop entirely?

Sorry to threadjack a little, but this is something that I'm struggling with in my own mind, should I ever manage to get a group together again...

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

brock wrote:
"Pick any corner of your space. If you can draw an unobstructed line from that corner to any corner of the space that the target occupies, then you have line of sight."

That wording won't work, since it would fail this test:

A wall between you and the opponent with a hole the side of a soccer ball that provides line of sight to the belly of the monster.

Your test would reject line of sight when clearly you had it.


Zurai wrote:
... And it's the same with battlemaps. I still don't see your point.

There wasn't one, just an opinion. I'm not fond of battlemaps because I feel they de-emphasize the "role" in roleplaying, and turn it into a complicated game of chess, which has never been what D&D has been about to me. Again, my opinion. I'm one of those people that learned to play without a map and minis (largely due to the fact that they just weren't around when I was growing up), and never felt a need to use them when I could find them and afford them.

Tim Franklin wrote:
Out of curiosity, Lilith (or anyone else who cares to pitch in), how do you handle some of the more "mechanical" combat-related feats, and particularly anything relating to AoOs?

I handle it on a case-by-case basis, for the most part. I try to get to know the characters my players have so I can present them with opportunities to let them use that nifty new feat they picked up. After all, it sucks mightily when you get a feat/class feature/spell that you've been yearning for since level one and then aren't presented with the opportunity to use it.

Tim Franklin wrote:

I've done much more narrative combat under 1e and 2e, but 3e/3.5e - and probably PFRPG, I've only just got the book - seem to have quite a lot of things that don't seem to make any sense if you're not playing on a grid.

Is it a case of shaping the narrative based on the players having a greater likelihood of pulling off certain kinds of moves? Do you find it needs a certain type of player - someone look for what makes a good game (at the broader level) or story, over a strong tactical game? Are there any problematic areas of the rules you chop entirely?

I do try to shape the narrative accordingly, and in my case, I am blessed with players that prefer it that way. This is not to say that my players don't like a tactical game - they do, but more on a "what's the layout of the area so we can plan a good entry into this building" rather than a round-by-round B&E session into the thieves' guild safe house.

As far as type of player, for my games it does tend to work out with players that prefer narrative. Not a bad thing, just a different thing.
I try not to chop rules wholesale - they're usually there for a reason, and I'm not one to say "we're not using it in this session" only to bring it back in wholesale for the next session.

Sorry about the threadjack folks!

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Do effects like invisibility or simply being in a dark tunnel without magical vision block line of sight? Does a successful "hide in plain sight" roll block line of sight?

Not line, of effect, no, but I would think that they would indeed block line of sight.

Contributor

If you can't see a target, you don't have line of *sight* to a target.


Chris Mortika wrote:

Do effects like invisibility or simply being in a dark tunnel without magical vision block line of sight? Does a successful "hide in plain sight" roll block line of sight?

Not line, of effect, no, but I would think that they would indeed block line of sight.

Lots of people have said this already, but if you can't SEE them, you don't have line of SIGHT to them.


EDITED for actual COVER rules block from Pathfinder SRD.

We ran into a similar situation in our last game session... Not sure if this is what the OP is having problems with exactly, but I'll throw it out there anyway. (No Line of Sight = Cover)

Quote:

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.

...

Cover and Attacks of Opportunity: You can't execute an attack of opportunity against an opponent with cover relative to you.

The book explains it, but lacks a diagram/picture. The picture in 3.5E PHB was of what we call "cornering", using a corner(wall) for cover in melee or ranged. Our group in particular, someone is always corner fighting in dungeon or urban environment.

--------------------------
BTW, when determining "line of sight" a piece of string/yarn is your best friend. (or the shadow of said string/yarn) Also works great for throwing 'Lightning Bolt-style spells'(AoE line) that don't follow the 1" map grid.

--------------------------
Then there's the google definition...
Line of Sight - Having an unobstructed view between two objects. This is important for spotting or targeting during game play. Trees, smoke, fog, hills, structures, contraptions, troops and other items/situations can prevent -or "block"- line of sight. Often abbreviated as "LOS", "LoS" or "LOS".

Bonus definition!!
Backpack (also called rucksack, knapsack, packsack, pack, bookbag or Bergen) is, in its simplest form, a cloth/leather sack carried on one's back and secured with two straps that go over the shoulders, but there can be exceptions. Light weight types of backpacks are sometimes worn on only one shoulder strap, or in the hand like an ordinary bag.

Sovereign Court

Lilith wrote:
...turn it into a complicated game of chess, which has never been what D&D has been about to me.

Lilith, you should feel free to jack anyone's thread. Without your cookies, they would have no virtual thread mana to begin with.

Its funny you point this out... I had 20 solid years without ever, EVAR, touching a grid-mini-or-tactical-thingy. Then, with the advent of v.3.5 I became interested. But my foundations of non-grid use lend themselves very easily to v.3.5. I now use battlemats, grids, flipmats, 1" paper, dungeontiles, combat-tiers, steelsquire templates and terrain elements of all varieties - and LOVE it.

There are aspects to the game that, overdone, become un-fun, like the "chess" you mention. That is truly possible with any ruleset that is 3rd ed or later. Yet, the true "art" of being a good GM doesn't rest in obssession with RAW and the science of measuring it. Like your games, it rests with the judicious use or non use of game elements at the intensity levels appropriate for the group. GMing is an art. IMHO, using the Pathfinder RPG ruleset, it is just as easy for a GM to rule about things that some folks think "require" a battle map. The human mind operates a million times faster than flipping through rules. So, I tend to conclude that its likely those who are a bit less comfortable dealing with ambiguity and trust, or difficulty with immersive suspension of disbelief through roleplay, that sometimes think the minis and mats are required. And, I do understand why they're led to think that, as not everyone is like your players, or have your GMing talent, or, conversely, they operate out of a need for definitions that exist outside the mind and description of the GM. In short, a fair and excellent GM can make the same Pathfinder RPG battle go just as well or better without the grid. Same goes for v.3.5, or any 3.x game.

Note: It might not feel that way at first, and creativity is needed to see through the veil of rules to the execute the intuitive "feel" of everything in the world. Such is the amazing job of the GM.

Grand Lodge

Arakhor wrote:
And you know what Freud said about the colour blue, don't you?

No, I don't know what he said about the color blue.

Would it explain my Smurf fetish?

SM


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber
Sean K Reynolds wrote:

If you can't see a target, you don't have line of *sight* to a target.

I read through this entire thread and I think Sean's comment pretty much sums up the confusion on the entire issue. The comment is totally backward. Everyone knows if you have Line of Sight, you can see the target. If you do not have Line of Sight, you cannot. The problem is we have to take the maps we are using and various other aspects and determine whether there is a line of sight from Character A to Monster B. Is the rough nature of that "line" due to it being a rough surface or a GM who drank too much coffee?

Where a lot of the confusion comes from is wargaming (miniatures on battlemaps as Lilith pointed out). Many good wargames have rules on Line of Sight because everyone want to be able to shoot the guys they don't like but not be shot by them. Wargames are also NOT roleplaying games and arbitrary decisions are discouraged, whereas in roleplaying if they advance the story and everyone's enjoyment can be actively encouraged.

Now, I have been houseruling and making decisions on rules since I started GMing. The best way to handle this, as Lilith ponted out, is on a case by case basis, but it would have been nice to have had a sentence or two mentioning the use of the ubiquitous 5' squares, such as whether you have to go from the center (as I would have almost always thought due to my wargaming background) or any corner, or can I lean over half way into the next square? Can I do that diagonally?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Kata. the ..... wrote:

I read through this entire thread and I think Sean's comment pretty much sums up the confusion on the entire issue. The comment is totally backward. Everyone knows if you have Line of Sight, you can see the target. If you do not have Line of Sight, you cannot. The problem is we have to take the maps we are using and various other aspects and determine whether there is a line of sight from Character A to Monster B. Is the rough nature of that "line" due to it being a rough surface or a GM who drank too much coffee?

Where a lot of the confusion comes from is wargaming (miniatures on battlemaps as Lilith pointed out). Many good wargames have rules on Line of Sight because everyone want to be able to shoot the guys they don't like but not be shot by them. Wargames are also NOT roleplaying games and arbitrary decisions are discouraged, whereas in roleplaying if they advance the story and everyone's enjoyment can be actively encouraged.

Now, I have been houseruling and making decisions on rules since I started GMing. The best way to handle this, as Lilith ponted out, is on a case by case basis, but it would have been nice to have had a sentence or two mentioning the use of the ubiquitous 5' squares, such as whether you have to go from the center (as I would have almost always thought due to my wargaming background) or any corner, or can I lean over half way into the next square? Can I do that diagonally?

My sentiments exactly. As I said, repeatedly, yes, certainly we can just say if you can see it you have line of sight to it, but when dealing with miniatures, squares, abstract motion in combat, walls, trees, clouds of smoke, intervening characters or other monsters, etc etc etc, one simple sentence doesn't seem so freaking unreasonable.

Maybe its just me, well me and a couple others. The vast majority seems to be on the complete other side on this so whatever.

Sovereign Court

jreyst wrote:
Maybe its just me, well me and a couple others. The vast majority seems to be on the complete other side on this so whatever.

It is. Jreyst - I love what you're doing with your Web site btw.

Line of sight is an expression, possibly a misnomer. We're referring to the character's ability to see, and ostensibly "sight" would have sufficed.

As for Line of Sight—this extended phrase helps the new gamer intuit that although one may have sight of an area, one must be able to see the target of the desired effect, hence a LINE must be able to at least be drawn from it to the target. The classic example is for evil NPCs who stand in a hall intersection. In the early days it was very important to simply distinguish between sight (an intuitive concept) and effect (something that was new to us when we began casting spells that permeated walls and such).

There was a time once, where gaming was an intuitive sport. And it seems now that the amount of tactical gaming aspects have been surgically defined to a science, its hard to put the genie back in the bottle for that last 5% of stuff that has been left to intuitive discretion. Understandibly so. I know many folks who flip out when everything on a page is okay except for one apostrophe, one semi-colon, a space here or there... Again, gamers are amazing folk, yet so determined and thorough to a fault.

Sovereign Court

encorus wrote:
Zurai wrote:

I already answered these: if the target does not have total concealment relative to you, you have line of sight to it. It's really that easy. I promise.

If it's really that easy how come that 3rd Edition, 3.5 and 4E all included a diagram and accompanying text to explain it?

...filler?

Sovereign Court

Lilith wrote:
Zurai wrote:
... And it's the same with battlemaps. I still don't see your point.
There wasn't one, just an opinion. I'm not fond of battlemaps because I feel they de-emphasize the "role" in roleplaying, and turn it into a complicated game of chess, which has never been what D&D has been about to me. Again, my opinion. I'm one of those people that learned to play without a map and minis (largely due to the fact that they just weren't around when I was growing up), and never felt a need to use them when I could find them and afford them.

I've actually seen this in action recently. I taught a group of players the game without maps and found that they were more focused on story and roleplaying, but once I introduced miniatures and battlemaps, they lost all interest in story and demanded more combat and less roleplay for all future games, since they preferred the "tactical" aspect of the game. I was very disappointed.


It is really not as easy as saying "you can see the target if you can draw a line from any part of your square to any part of his." Nor is it always true to "draw a line from the center of your square to the center of his".

Both of those options can have exceptions, such as this: You are walking down a 5' wide corridor. Ahead of you is an intersection with another 5' wise corridor at a 90 degree angle to your corridor. In that intersection, there is a kobold sentry on guard duty. He is standing just around the corner in the first "square" of that intersecting corridor. Now, from your position, you can see a sliver of his square. But he's a small kobold and the DM decides that no part of the kobold is in that sliver. So, no line of sight.

When you get very close to that intersection, in fact, you are in the last "square" before the intersection, you can actually draw a diagonal line from the center of your square to the center of the kobold's square. You have line of sight to exactly half of his square. But, he is a small kobold and the DM has made a perception check and knows that the kobold heard you and is crouching against the wall - no part of him is the the half of the square that you can see. Even though you can draw the line from the center of the two squares, you still have no line of sight to the kobold.

In both cases, the simple Pathfinder explanation that the kobold has total concealment relative to you is sufficient for the DM to easily rule that you cannot see the kobold. Putting in complex rules about drawing lines from square A to square B would only cloud those judgments.

Me, I like the rules the way they are (regarding this point, anyway).


In response to those making wargame analogies.

There is a HUGE difference between D&D and wargames.

In a wargame, Player A is trying to defeat Player B. That's what wargames are. Sometimes, it's Team A vs. Team B, but in a wargame, there is *always* an element of competition. Each side must strive to defeat the other side(s).

That is why wargames have very detailed specific rules that detail exactly what you can and cannot do. In order to win, you must defeat your opponent within this framework of rules. Period.

Such a set of tightly constraining rules prevents any one player from taking advantage of any other player - the rules are clear, concise, and inviolate.

D&D is nothing like that. There is no competition. The DM provides a challenge. There is nothing stopping him from winning by sending a tarrasque (ME!) to defeat his level one players, other than the fact that such a thing would be pointless. So he sets up challenges in advance that he knows the players will defeat.

That's the funny thing. It seems like the dragon is there to stop you from stealing his hoard, but, in reality, he is only there to provide you some entertaining combat until you vanquish him and gratify yourselves by taking his hoard. No competition at all.

The DM wants his players to win. The players want to win. Everyone wants to jointly create a compelling and interesting story of their adventures. There is no competition. There is no win. There is no defeating the other players.

Therefore, there is no need for a tightly constraining set of rules to keep one player from taking advantage of another. The rules need not be clear, concise, or inviolate, because we have a DM to analyze each situation and interpret the rules as they apply to the situation - and we don't need to worry about whether our DM is being fair or not, because he wants us to win; he's on our side.

That's why it's not necessary for Pathfinder to explain every little detail of every term and every possible situation.

Let the DM handle the details.

Sovereign Court

DM_Blake wrote:
Me, I like the rules the way they are (regarding this point, anyway).

Agreed.

The one point that has been touched on, is that of wargamer vs roleplayer. I learned D&D back in the day without battlemaps, etc. It was all description and DM calls. I have also played a fair number of tactical tabletop wargames over the years. The biggest difference is that one set of rules (wargamer) is written for two or more players playing against each other, whereas the other (roleplayer) is written for multiple players playing with each other; the GM is the arbitrator for any rules questions and does not exist in the wargamer system (hence the more in depth rules for LoS, etc).

I personally prefer having some measure of judgment call in the hands of the GM for issues such as this rather than have it be a matter of "on page 231 it clearly states that I can attack because I can draw a line from point A to point B".

My 2cp.


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James Risner wrote:
brock wrote:
"Pick any corner of your space. If you can draw an unobstructed line from that corner to any corner of the space that the target occupies, then you have line of sight."

That wording won't work, since it would fail this test:

A wall between you and the opponent with a hole the side of a soccer ball that provides line of sight to the belly of the monster.

Your test would reject line of sight when clearly you had it.

This is why the calculation should be done from a corner to any part of the target's space! In 4E:

Quote:
To determine whether you can see a target, pick a corner of your space and trace an imaginary line from that corner to any part of the target’s space. You can see the target if at least one line doesn’t pass through or touch an object or an effect—such as a wall, a thick curtain, or a cloud of fog—that blocks your vision.

Dark Archive Contributor

I think the biggest problem with any square-based rule for line of sight is that it has to have a list of exceptions. So the definition becomes:

Line of Sight- You have Line of Sight to a target if you can trace a line from any part of your square to any part of the target's square without crossing an object that obscures vision (an opaque wall, curtain, fog bank, etc.). Transparent objects, such as windows and Walls of Force, do not block Line of Sight, though they may block Line of Effect. If the target creature is hiding or invisible, this also blocks Line of Sight.

Isn't it easier (and more intuitive) to simply define Line of Sight as the ability to see the target?

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

encorus wrote:
This is why the calculation should be done from a corner to any part of the target's space! In 4E:

Which would fail if there are columns say 2 foot wide that obscured every corner, but not the line to the center?

Boxhead wrote:
Isn't it easier (and more intuitive) to simply define Line of Sight as the ability to see the target?

+1


DM_Blake wrote:

Such a set of tightly constraining rules prevents any one player from taking advantage of any other player - the rules are clear, concise, and inviolate.

D&D is nothing like that.

This is so single minded and arrogant I don't even know where to begin.

Since when are you the final arbiter of what D&D is and isn't?

DM_Blake wrote:

There is no competition. The DM provides a challenge. There is nothing stopping him from winning by sending a tarrasque (ME!) to defeat his level one players, other than the fact that such a thing would be pointless. So he sets up challenges in advance that he knows the players will defeat.

I don't know what game you're playing in, but this isn't true at my table. As a DM I have *no* *idea* in advance if the players will defeat my challenges.

I do not put my players in situations in which they insta-die, but if they see the dragon tracks, and they follow the dragon trail, and they are eaten by the dragon because they aren't powerful enough to defeat it, then that's on them, 'innit?

DM_Blake wrote:

That's the funny thing. It seems like the dragon is there to stop you from stealing his hoard, but, in reality, he is only there to provide you some entertaining combat until you vanquish him and gratify yourselves by taking his hoard. No competition at all.

The DM wants his players to win. The players want to win. Everyone wants to jointly create a compelling and interesting story of their adventures. There is no competition. There is no win. There is no defeating the other players.

I am having difficulty forming a cogent reply to this batch of thoughtless rhodomentade.

Players and I "win" at my table by having fun. The way we do that is play in a game where actions have real consequences and there is an actual penalty for failure.

I am *NOT* there to make sure my players win the encounter. I am an un-invested and impartial arbiter of events. If the players are smart enough to overcome the challenges and reach their goals for them - if they're not smart enough to beat the monsters and find all the treasure, then too bad. Sometimes they die.

You know what's a nightmare game for me? The one where the DM wants me to win, so I can't lose. What the heck am I playing a game for then? If there is no risk, and I know I'm going to win then combat is the single most boring thing you could possibly do because you already know the outcome. Not that you can't enjoy a movie you've already seen, but would you get together and sit down to play a boardgame against someone you always knew was going to throw the game? How many weeks, months or years would you show up to win against a person who was throwing a game of risk?

This point is even made explicit in the 1st edition dungeon masters guide - The impartiality of the DM and the nature of competition between the DM and the players is at the *core* of the very game you're playing.

You don't have to play it that way, but for you to not understand that and make claims like this is the height of ignorance and arrogance.

DM_Blake wrote:

Therefore, there is no need for a tightly constraining set of rules to keep one player from taking advantage of another. The rules need not be clear, concise, or inviolate, because we have a DM to analyze each situation and interpret the rules as they apply to the situation - and we don't need to worry about whether our DM is being fair or not, because he wants us to win; he's on our side.

That's why it's not necessary for Pathfinder to explain every little detail of every term and every possible situation.

*shakes head*

Yeah. I can't tell you how excited I'd be to sit down and play a game at a table where the DM whim decided how things worked.

As a player (and as a DM) it is *very* *important* that the people you are playing with are being fair. I don't want a cheating player, or a DM who says things work one way when it's to his advantage and to another when it's not all in the name of him deciding because of the arbitrary 'story' in his head. We are playing a "Role-Playing Game" That is a *game* where player's take *roles*. Story has about as much to do with it as the usefulness of teats on a boar.
-Campbell
P.S. The answer to whether you have line of sight to something is the same as the answer to the question "Can I see it?"
We run a very rule focused game, but we also know how to use the English language.


Before we even begin to consider Line of Sight, I think we need to define exactly what sort of line we are talking about. The rules do not clearly define whether we are using Euclidean or non-Euclidean Geometry in PFRG. Really James...what were you guys thinking?


Daniel Moyer wrote:

EDITED for actual COVER rules block from Pathfinder SRD.

We ran into a similar situation in our last game session... Not sure if this is what the OP is having problems with exactly, but I'll throw it out there anyway. (No Line of Sight = Cover)

Close but no cigar, since a fog bank or smoke does not provide cover but will provide concealment and block line of sight.

And +1 to Nexusphere for his post above.


The answer to the original question is to read the opposite of 'Line of Sight', Cover & Concealment. Everything NOT 'Line of Sight' is either COVER or CONCEALMENT as defined by 3.5E/PFCORE. Beyond that you need to make a judgment call as a DM.
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EDIT:

ZappoHisbane wrote:
Close but no cigar, since a fog bank or smoke does not provide cover but will provide concealment and block line of sight.

Yep, I missed Concealment. Someone else above mentioned Darkness and Invisibility as well, which are also forms of Concealment.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
nexusphere wrote:
As a DM I have *no* *idea* in advance if the players will defeat my challenges.

+1.

I present challenges, some well within the players (characters) ability to overcome, some about equal to their level, and some both slightly and some well above their level. In the more dangerous encounters they usually have an option of fleeing. If the PC's carelessly wander into a dragons lair and then aren't smart enough to get out, they will probably die. I am *not* there to guarantee they win. I view my job as presenting an interesting setting for them to explore. Its on them to make good decisions about what to fight and what not to.

nexusphere wrote:
I do not put my players in situations in which they insta-die, but if they see the dragon tracks, and they follow the dragon trail, and they are eaten by the dragon because they aren't powerful enough to defeat it, then that's on them, 'innit?

Agreed.

nexusphere wrote:
Players and I "win" at my table by having fun. The way we do that is play in a game where actions have real consequences and there is an actual penalty for failure.

Agreed.

nexusphere wrote:
I am *NOT* there to make sure my players win the encounter. I am an un-invested and impartial arbiter of events. If the players are smart enough to overcome the challenges and reach their goals for them - if they're not smart enough to beat the monsters and find all the treasure, then too bad. Sometimes they die.

While I do not intend/plan for the PC's to win every encounter, I do feel it is incumbent upon me to try to make sure everyone is having a good time. Too many people trade in the greater enjoyment in the long term for the shorter immediate enjoyment. What I mean is that some DM's think that players prefer to win every encounter, and so they "coddle" the players, they fudge every die roll in their favor, they intentionally have the monsters miss, they make sure the monsters fail their saving throws (it might make the mage player sad if his spell was useless), they go for the dramatic at every moment, trying to ensure a climactic, heroic battle with a singular outcome, player victory. They give the players that and take away the players sense of any real risk or danger. The players (or at least some of them) begin to realize they are invincible and come to the conclusion it doesn't matter what they do or what crazy risk they take, the DM will cover them. They slowly begin to lose interest in the campaign.

So the DM, in the interests of short-term player satisfaction, gives up the long term enjoyment. Now, if that's your style, and your players prefer it that way, go to town. However, its not my style, and not how I ever run a campaign. I present a world with real risks and real rewards. If the characters survive long enough to enjoy the fruits of their labors the players can rest easy knowing it wasn't a foregone conclusion, they earned every GP they have.

nexusphere wrote:
*shakes head* Yeah. I can't tell you how excited I'd be to sit down and play a game at a table where the DM whim decided how things worked.

Agreed. Which is why I fully believe in rolling the dice where the players can see them. You are not alive because I am babying you, you are alive because the fickle fate of the dice has not decided to take you yet.

In light of all of the genius things you said above I'll disregard the remainder of your post where you disagreed with me :)


This is for Nexusphere. Everyone else may want to skip it.

Spoiler:
nexusphere wrote:
DM_Blake wrote:

Such a set of tightly constraining rules prevents any one player from taking advantage of any other player - the rules are clear, concise, and inviolate.

D&D is nothing like that.

This is so single minded and arrogant I don't even know where to begin.

Since when are you the final arbiter of what D&D is and isn't?

Ooooh, so angry, so hostile, so full of vitriol...

You got me. I should have said mature players don't play D&D like that. We're not out to defeat each other like this is some tabletop wargame. It's not Risk, it's not Chess, and the DM is not the players' adversary.

One day, you too may see this is true.

nexusphere wrote:
DM_Blake wrote:

There is no competition. The DM provides a challenge. There is nothing stopping him from winning by sending a tarrasque (ME!) to defeat his level one players, other than the fact that such a thing would be pointless. So he sets up challenges in advance that he knows the players will defeat.

I don't know what game you're playing in, but this isn't true at my table. As a DM I have *no* *idea* in advance if the players will defeat my challenges.

Really?

So, you sit down to make a dungeon for 1st level characters, and you put an orc in room 1, and then a fire giant in room 2, maybe some trolls in room 3, how about a pit fiend in room 4...

No, you don't.

(Do you? I sure wouldn't want to make the mistake of being so arrogant as to assume I know how you play, so I suppose you might put that fire giant in room 2, but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and, for now, assume you don't. Pardon my arrogance.)

So, when you plan out your encounter, you absolutely do care if your players can defeat your challenge, right? Because if not, you won't have many players after they visit room 2...

So what I said is true (unless I was wrong about your ability to assess equitable challenges for your players in advance) for most any DM who knows how to DM: The encounters are designed to be defeated. The DM wants to create encounters that can be defeated by the players. The DM wants the players to win.

Sure, sure, exceptions exist. Always fun to have the players run into something that they can't defeat - but the clued-in DM gives them an alternative solution, like negotiation, or stealth, or a myriad of other ways to overcome the challenge without defeating it in combat.

nexusphere wrote:
I do not put my players in situations in which they insta-die,

Ahh, I see I wasn't too arrogant when I assumed that even you are capable of caring about the equitable challenge rating for your players and their characters.

So, evidently, you do want them to win. Else you would make every encounter be pit fiends and balor and great wyrms and tarrasques.

nexusphere wrote:
but if they see the dragon tracks, and they follow the dragon trail, and they are eaten by the dragon because they aren't powerful enough to defeat it, then that's on them, 'innit?

Absolutely.

But, if you put the dragon tracks there, and they aren't powerful enough to defeat it, then you do give them the info they need, right? You make sure the players understand that those tracks are huge, that this is no baby hatchling dragon, right? You do give them the information they need to decide not to mess with the unbeatable encounter, right?

(sorry if I'm arrogantly making assumptions about your DMing skill - I should accept the fact that you may, in fact, have no clue at all about skillful DMing and may give the players no such information at all; but again, I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt and assuming you give the players info they need).

If so, then again, you're demonstrating that my original assertion, that the DM wants the players to win, is still true. While you don't necessarily want them to defeat that particular dragon at this time, you do want them to find and understand the clues that will keep them alive (else you wouldn't give the characters the clues they need).

nexusphere wrote:
DM_Blake wrote:

That's the funny thing. It seems like the dragon is there to stop you from stealing his hoard, but, in reality, he is only there to provide you some entertaining combat until you vanquish him and gratify yourselves by taking his hoard. No competition at all.

The DM wants his players to win. The players want to win. Everyone wants to jointly create a compelling and interesting story of their adventures. There is no competition. There is no win. There is no defeating the other players.

I am having difficulty forming a cogent reply to this batch of thoughtless rhodomentade.

That's OK. Take your time. Use your words. Cogence will come to you in time. It takes practice to become cogent, you know, so stick with it.

nexusphere wrote:
Players and I "win" at my table by having fun.

Me too!

What a coincidence...

nexusphere wrote:
The way we do that is play in a game where actions have real consequences and there is an actual penalty for failure.

Totally in agreement with you. 100%.

nexusphere wrote:
I am *NOT* there to make sure my players win the encounter.

At the time the encounter begins, and the dice are hitting the table, nobody would expect you to be.

But every one of your players expects you to have the necessary DMing skills and understanding skills to make sure you set up encounters of appropriate challenge levels.

nexusphere wrote:
I am an un-invested and impartial arbiter of events.

You're kidding, right?

These players of yours, they are your friends right? Surely you're not totally un-invested in whether your friends succeed and have fun?

100% completely totally uninvested in your friends?

nexusphere wrote:
If the players are smart enough to overcome the challenges and reach their goals for them - if they're not smart enough to beat the monsters and find all the treasure, then too bad. Sometimes they die.

Fair enough. That's how it should be.

But the very fact that you set challenges and goals for them suitable to their characters' levels and capabilities says that you do, in fact, want them to win. At least at the time you write up their adventures. (Or was that arrogant of me to assume that you do this?)

Which is all I was arrogantly saying in the first place.

nexusphere wrote:
You know what's a nightmare game for me? The one where the DM wants me to win, so I can't lose.

My nightmare game is when my DM decides he's my adversary and there to beat me, so he puts fire giants in the 2nd room of the dungeon he sends my level 1 character to.

I expect my DM to challenge me, and to punish my mistakes and failures.

But he better damn well know how to set up winnable situations, and he better damn well know that he's not there to beat me.

nexusphere wrote:
What the heck am I playing a game for then?

I dunno. I wouldn't presume to be so arrogant as to guess at your motivations.

nexusphere wrote:
If there is no risk, and I know I'm going to win then combat is the single most boring thing you could possibly do because you already know the outcome.

I never said anything about no risk. Where on earth did you get the notion that I did?

Uh oh, who is being arrogant now? Or is this just your lack of cogence in your reply?

nexusphere wrote:
Not that you can't enjoy a movie you've already seen, but would you get together and sit down to play a boardgame against someone you always knew was going to throw the game? How many weeks, months or years would you show up to win against a person who was throwing a game of risk?

What's all this about throwing games of Risk?

I'm quite sure my original arrogant post, the one you so uncogently attacked, stated that boardgames are meant to be combative, player vs. player, adversarial games. Or did you miss that point entirely?

nexusphere wrote:
This point is even made explicit in the 1st edition dungeon masters guide - The impartiality of the DM and the nature of competition between the DM and the players is at the *core* of the very game you're playing.

Uh, did I make my post on the 1st Edition forums?

I'm not aware of this text in the rulebook to which these forums pertain. If it's there, please do me the honor of citing page reference so I can learn from your insight.

Until then, I'll keep arrogantly assuming that the DM is extremely partial when he designs our challenges.

I will cede your point that he should be impartial when those challenges are being resolved at game time, and I'll further cede that I didn't make myself very clear on this distinction in my original post.

I will not cede that you were justfied with all the name calling over this lack of clarity.

For shame!

nexusphere wrote:
You don't have to play it that way, but for you to not understand that and make claims like this is the height of ignorance and arrogance.

Ooooh, now I'm both ignorant and arrogant? Pardon me while I find a tissue to sop up the tears; your verbal abuse has cut me to the quick...

nexusphere wrote:
DM_Blake wrote:

Therefore, there is no need for a tightly constraining set of rules to keep one player from taking advantage of another. The rules need not be clear, concise, or inviolate, because we have a DM to analyze each situation and interpret the rules as they apply to the situation - and we don't need to worry about whether our DM is being fair or not, because he wants us to win; he's on our side.

That's why it's not necessary for Pathfinder to explain every little detail of every term and every possible situation.

*shakes head*

Yeah. I can't tell you how excited I'd be to sit down and play a game at a table where the DM whim decided how things worked.

Stop ranting for a moment and read what I wrote. Look carefully at it and then at your immediate reply.

"There is no need...to keep one player from taking advantage of another" - but you would not want to play at that table? So, you want to play at a table where players take advantage of each other? Yikes!

"We have a DM to analyze each situation and interpret the rules as they apply to the situation" - but you don't want to play at this table either. Clearly you prefer a RPG where the DM is incapable of understanding the rules. Are you such a DM?

"We don't need to worry about whether our DM is being fair or not" - again, you wouldn't play in such a game. It seems you prefer games where you have no idea whether your DM is fair, or whether he's taking advantage of you (well, we've established you prefer games where players take advantage of each other, so why not DMs too).

I feel pity for you that you prefer games where players and DMs are unfair to each other, take advantage of each other, and demonstrate failure to understand the rules.

*shakes head*
Yeah. I can't tell you how excited I'd be to sit down and play in a game such as these that you seem to prefer.

nexusphere wrote:
As a player (and as a DM) it is *very* *important* that the people you are playing with are being fair.

But wait!

You JUST said you didn't like this kind of game. This must be another case where your lack of cogence is confounding me...

nexusphere wrote:
I don't want a cheating player, or a DM who says things work one way when it's to his advantage and to another when it's not all in the name of him deciding because of the arbitrary 'story' in his head.

Neither do I. That's the worst kind of player/DM to play with.

Did you mistakenly believe I suggested that this is how the game should be played? Wouldn't it be awfully ignorant and arrogant of you to put these kinds of words in my mouth when I clearly didn't say them?

nexusphere wrote:
We are playing a "Role-Playing Game" That is a *game* where player's take *roles*.

Well said!

nexusphere wrote:
Story has about as much to do with it as the usefulness of teats on a boar.

Uh oh, you lost me here.

In once sentence you state, brilliantely, that "We are playing a "Role-Playing Game" That is a *game* where player's take *roles*." Maybe that's two sentences (your lack of cogence seems to have misplaced a period in there somewhere).

Then in the very next sentence you say that playing those roles is as meaningful as teats on a boar.

Clearly, you overestimate the usefulness of teats on boars. They're really quite redundant and useless, you know. Look it up.

How can you say that story in a roleplaying game is useless? What else is "ROLE" playing if it isn't about attending to the story of the game?

Or, did you mean this is a "Rollplaying" game, such as one where story is useless and all we do is roll dice to resolve encounters that are not in any way linked to any kind of story?

If so, then I would like to redefine my previously stated nightmare game. I found a worse nightmare.

But, thank you for indulging my ignorance and arrogance. I will attempt to mend my ways forthwith.


A more palatable response to Nexusphere, ZappoHisbane, and Jreyst.

I apologize. The onus is upon me. Mia culpa.

When I said the DM is on our side, I wasn't implying, nor did I wish anyone to infer, that the game should be without risk. Nor that the DM should coddle the players or that he should ensure that they succeed in all they do.

It was my lack of clarity that misled you to such inferences, and for that I apologize.

However, I daresay (at the risk of again being accused of ignorance and arrogance) that every DM does in fact make sure that every challenge he presents to his players is suitable to the characters' levels and capabilities.

If not, then the DM makes sure those players have the info (or at least the clues) in advance to forewarn them that they are getting in over their heads.

No DM in his right mind challenges the first level characters with an evil 20th level monk in rags who acts like a beggar and picks a fight with the characters then wipes the floor with them resulting in a TPK and new character generation all around.

(Exaggerated and silly, but illustrative.)

We all (I arrogantly assume) spend much time designing challenges suitable to the characters. We sweat the details in advance so that later, during the game, when the chips are down and the dice are rolling, the players have a chance.

If we don't, then we don't have players for very long.

And if we do, then we obviously care about the players. We're obviously on their side (as opposed to being against them, in which case, let's give our evil monk a dragon cohort or two to really make sure the job gets done).

We are making sure the players can win, regardless of whether they will or not.

This is what I had meant to say.

Sorry for the confusion.


brock wrote:
I hate to post this, but the software engineer in me made me do it. This is exactly the reason why the rules could do with a pass through by a logician, rather than the talented creative dudes that normally write them.

Forgive me but this is BS.

The rules are written by folks who recognize that the game is overseen by a GM who has a brain and imagination.

If you aren't sure you have line of sight you "ASK THE GM". Do I have line of sight?

There is no possible way the game system can take everything into account.

Perhaps there is a 3' tall obstruction and a halfling and a giant are behind it.... you have line of sight to one but not the other. Not because some stupid logician wrote iron tight rules but because the GM figures out in .005 seconds what's going on.

All these stupid micro managed rules do is give people the illusion that the system can handle everything. Trying to build a system where these kind of details are ironed out is a waste of pages at best.

Please, Please, Please, lets have gaming systems that assume the GM is a mature adult with a brain?


Sean K Reynolds wrote:

If you can't see a target, you don't have line of *sight* to a target.

+1...

Not sure why this is such a big deal.


Jared Ouimette wrote:


Fannypack: A pack that is not, funnily enough, worn on your fanny. Expect tourists to be wearing one during your stay in Fantasyland(tm).

The term fanny needs to be clarified further.

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
foot

What do you mean? The thing I have in my shoes, or the thing I have in my

Spoiler:
mouth
?
Bob Hopp wrote:


So, I would answer your questions by saying you must draw line of sight from any one corner of your space, and if any line from your chosen corner to any corner of the target's space touches or crosses something you can't see through, then you don't have line of sight.

I'd say it has to be from anywhere to anywhere in the spaces.

No, actually, I'd say "draw a direct line from your eyes to the enemy's body"

encorus wrote:

Wow, one of my favorite D&D 3.0 designers (yeh Sean, I'm looking at you) posting on my thread; how cool is that? :)

You get used to it after a while.


DM_Blake wrote:

This is for Nexusphere. Everyone else may want to skip it.

** spoiler omitted **...

4/10. Subtlety is key for bait.


A few points:

DM_Blake wrote:


So, when you plan out your encounter, you absolutely do care if your players can defeat your challenge, right?

So what I said is true for most any DM who knows how to DM: The encounters are designed to be defeated. The DM wants to create encounters that can be defeated by the players. The DM wants the players to win.

. . .The clued-in DM gives them an alternative solution, like negotiation, or stealth, or a myriad of other ways to overcome the challenge without defeating it in combat.

This illuminates the differences in play-styles. My players explore an environment that is pre-existing. There is no Room 1, Room 2 or any sort of order to anything - just a big wide world in which they may travel in whatever direction they wish.

I don't give the players anything, really. I have no plan for what they may do. There's an environment, and players with goals. They pursue them in the manner they wish, throughout my giant sandbox.

DM_Blake wrote:


But, if you put the dragon tracks there, and they aren't powerful enough to defeat it, then you do give them the info they need, right? You make sure the players understand that those tracks are huge, that this is no baby hatchling dragon, right? You do give them the information they need to decide not to mess with the unbeatable encounter, right?

Only if they have the skills to detect or identify the dragon tracks or do research in town or talk to people to find out there's a dragon there. If they don't, then they will die, and perhaps the next characters they make will be more skilled or played by smarter players. If they don't find the clues, it's either bad character design, or bad play.

It's irrelevant whether they go in that direction or not, because I have no preset plan or idea for anything they may or might not do.

DM_Blake wrote:


But every one of your players expects you to have the necessary DMing skills and understanding skills to make sure you set up encounters of appropriate challenge levels.

I don't gear my encounters to the party - I gear them towards what is actually there. If the party goes there or not is up to them. Travel is dangerous because they could run into anything from a random encounter - even a random ancient red dragon.

(I won't have the dragon just kill them - if they can't handle it, it'll probably ignore them. Just like a cop, he's probably got something else going on. But if they mess with it. . .)

If you're familiar with the GNS triangle, can you guess where my game lies? ;-p

DM_Blake wrote:
These players of yours, they are your friends right? Surely you're not totally un-invested in whether your friends succeed and have fun?

Their success is sweeter when they've earned it over the corpses of those who have failed to succeed. Because then, it really really *matters*.

DM_Blake wrote:
But the very fact that you set challenges and goals for them suitable to their characters' levels and capabilities says that you do, in fact, want them to win. At least at the time you write up their adventures. (Or was that arrogant of me to assume that you do this?)

Yes. This was the assumption you got wrong. This is not the way I play. There are a great many people who do not play this way.

I create a sandbox. Where they go, who they ally with, who they kill - there are no limits to their options - no preplanned ending or goal. Just the goals of the PC's. Their success is their own.

I do not take their group makeup, levels, or capabilities into account when setting up the environment. It's an environment and they can approach it with the class makeup and skillset they want.

DM_Blake wrote:
But he better damn well know how to set up winnable situations, and he better damn well know that he's not there to beat me.

I don't set up situations to be winnable or unwinnable, that's the players job. I don't care if they hire an army and send them down into the dungeon to kill everything, or pay an archmage to blast the person they want killed or whatever. It's up to them to win encounters in whatever way they want.

DM_Blake wrote:


nexusphere wrote:
Story has about as much to do with it as the usefulness of teats on a boar.

Uh oh, you lost me here.

In once sentence you state, brilliantely, that "We are playing a "Role-Playing Game" That is a *game* where player's take *roles*." Maybe that's two sentences (your lack of cogence seems to have misplaced a period in there somewhere).

Then in the very next sentence you say that playing those rolesis as meaningful as teats on a boar.

And here we come to the crux of your misunderstanding.

Story is quite simply only a description of what happens *after* the game when you're talking about it. When they sit down, there is no story - no plot, just the PC's and a giant sandbox world for them to accomplish their goals in. (relevant statements bolded for emphasis.)

A player, with goals and motivations has nothing to do at all with a story. He's just a dude, making choices and trying to survive. I have no plan for the players - no idea what is going to happen. I'll I know is where they are and who's around and what's going on. How they fit into it - what happens in the game is totally up to them.

D&D *is* like a wargame (it is in fact the child of one). There is competition in D&D; competition between players on our leaderboards (most eps, most damage), competition for survival in the world, competition between the players and the monsters they fight (me). I don't provide a challenge - the characters do that when they pick their goals. I do *not* set up challenges I know my players can defeat. I create situations, they are the deciders of their success and victory. I am an impartial arbiter of that. I do not want my players to win - I want to simulate the environment while they pursue their goals. I'm not telling or creating a story, they are with their actions.

I'm not saying this is the only way to play (though I think it's the best. :-) I'm saying it's important to remember not everyone plays like you.

And yes, the detail of whether or not they can see something (meaning they have line of sight) is *indeed* in the hands of the DM.
-Campbell

The Exchange

Dennis da Ogre wrote:
brock wrote:
I hate to post this, but the software engineer in me made me do it. This is exactly the reason why the rules could do with a pass through by a logician, rather than the talented creative dudes that normally write them.

Forgive me but this is BS.

The rules are written by folks who recognize that the game is overseen by a GM who has a brain and imagination.

If you aren't sure you have line of sight you "ASK THE GM". Do I have line of sight?

Ouch! Ok, harsh but fair.

The point that I was trying to make was that there are a number of areas where the wording of the rules could be made clearer by approaching them form a semi-formal logical direction. This is something that engineering-types tend to be good at.

Now, for my own personal preference, I like rules written in good clear english and then I'd like to rule on all of the edge cases myself. I think I said myself upstream that a good way to word it would be: "If it is not clear whether you have line of sight to a target, you have it if the DM says you do."

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

brock wrote:
The point that I was trying to make was that there are a number of areas where the wording of the rules could be made clearer

While I agree 100% with that statement, this is not one of those areas.

It doesn't get any more clear than "DM, do I have Line of Sight?"

I'd really prefer other fixes (like making heighten spell clear it cost a level adjustment) taking up additional work to hone the text than adding a definition of a real world concept that has no bearing on the rules and only serves to make the system more complex.


I am not sure how much clearing you can make "line of sight" sure ya can use 20 or 30 words saying "line of sight" in great detail, but why?

Sovereign Court

DM_Blake wrote:

It is really not as easy as saying "you can see the target if you can draw a line from any part of your square to any part of his." Nor is it always true to "draw a line from the center of your square to the center of his".

Both of those options can have exceptions, such as this: You are walking down a 5' wide corridor. Ahead of you is an intersection with another 5' wise corridor at a 90 degree angle to your corridor. In that intersection, there is a kobold sentry on guard duty. He is standing just around the corner in the first "square" of that intersecting corridor. Now, from your position, you can see a sliver of his square. But he's a small kobold and the DM decides that no part of the kobold is in that sliver. So, no line of sight.

When you get very close to that intersection, in fact, you are in the last "square" before the intersection, you can actually draw a diagonal line from the center of your square to the center of the kobold's square. You have line of sight to exactly half of his square. But, he is a small kobold and the DM has made a perception check and knows that the kobold heard you and is crouching against the wall - no part of him is the the half of the square that you can see. Even though you can draw the line from the center of the two squares, you still have no line of sight to the kobold.

In both cases, the simple Pathfinder explanation that the kobold has total concealment relative to you is sufficient for the DM to easily rule that you cannot see the kobold. Putting in complex rules about drawing lines from square A to square B would only cloud those judgments.

Me, I like the rules the way they are (regarding this point, anyway).

Good grief. Maybe it is that easy? Slivers of squares....really?


brock wrote:

Ouch! Ok, harsh but fair.

The point that I was trying to make was that there are a number of areas where the wording of the rules could be made clearer by approaching them form a semi-formal logical direction. This is something that engineering-types tend to be good at.

Now, for my own personal preference, I like rules written in good clear english and then I'd like to rule on all of the edge cases myself. I think I said myself upstream that a good way to word it would be: "If it is not clear whether you have line of sight to a target, you have it if the DM says you do."

If you try and make micro rules to cover every case then suddenly people ignore the fact that the GM's judgment is important and follow the letter of the rules even when it contradicts common sense.

The Exchange

Dennis da Ogre wrote:

If you try and make micro rules to cover every case then suddenly people ignore the fact that the GM's judgment is important and follow the letter of the rules even when it contradicts common sense.

I agree completely, with the normal caveat that common sense normally isn't that common :)

I just think that the rules that are there need a little more reviewing for clarity on occasion, as evidenced by two people getting different understandings of the lines to corners stuff above. Also with respect to whether a metamagiced cantrip can still be cast at-will - another discussion that ran and ran...

I think that review needs to be done by someone completely divorced from the creation of the text and ideally of a different personality type to the author.

Paizo's stuff tends to be good (not perfect) but there is some stuff out there where the wording makes me want to stab my eyes out with my mouse!

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32

brock wrote:
I think that review needs to be done by someone completely divorced from the creation of the text and ideally of a different personality type to the author.

Or maybe an editorial assistant who's trained in computer programming. *wink, wink, nudge, nudge* ;P

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