Ranged attack requires clear ruling.


Rules Questions

101 to 126 of 126 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>
Sovereign Court

meatrace wrote:


It's not a matter of my allies though, I'm giving the specific example of dungeon crawls where there are usually tight, windy hallways and cramped caves and very limited movement. Even if my allies are considerate enough to move tactically specifically for my benefit, I'm doubting my enemies will be so cordial. I'm also speaking to the very specific way you have to determine cover, which means pretty much unless you and your ally are perpendicular to the enemy, your ally will provide cover. In a party of 6 adventurers, in an encounter against 6+ enemies, and a maybe 50x50ft cave, and mechanically needing to be near the rear and away from melee threats, soft cover will come into play a vast majority of the time. Perhaps not every round, but enough that your choice is either a)accept a significant penalty to your attacks (20%) b)move so much that you cannot get a...

I'm guessing your character is a specified archer ranger? Why not suggest to your GM to include more wilderness based adventures, where you will be able to excel more. I try to balance wilderness and dungeon adventures so that those such as my druid player get some time to shine. Our 1-2nd Ed. game was was heavily devoted to the idea of a dungeon because it was easier for the GM to populate dungeons than vast stretches of wilderness, but it doesn't have to be time consuming, there's always clever encounters that the GM can devise for this style of game play. Also, he doesn't need to map out every square inch of empty terrain. I tend to draw out a good set of wilderness maps for use in random encounters that I can use during a combat situation.

Or your GM could build larger scale dungeons with chambers big enough to do all kinds of clever archery tricks. Think of the Moria trip in the Lord of the Rings movie. Those chambers were huge.

Just a thought. Legolas didn't appear to have problems with soft cover by his allies. I know it was a film but the spaces were massive.


meatrace wrote:
It's not a matter of my allies though, I'm giving the specific example of dungeon crawls where there are usually tight, windy hallways and cramped caves and very limited movement. Even if my allies are considerate enough to move tactically specifically for my benefit, I'm doubting my enemies will be so cordial.

To this I say: ready action or better yet, delay to shoot after your ally moves out of the way, but before the target gets to move to some sort of cover.

Quote:
I'm also speaking to the very specific way you have to determine cover, which means pretty much unless you and your ally are perpendicular to the enemy, your ally will provide cover.

Again, this is simply not true. I've once again experimented with models on a battle grid… assuming no immediate obstacles (walls, other foes, etc.), your ally has 7 possible spaces he can move into when engaged with a medium sized creature. I can guarantee you, moving into at least one of these spaces will allow your ally to open up the firing lane. Sometimes it's only 2 of the spaces, other times, it's 6 out of the seven. It even works if your target is large, but your ally has 6 possible spaces he can move into. Try it on a diagonal in relation to the battle grid. Try it in line with the battle grid. It works regardless of orientation to the battle grid.

Quote:
In a party of 6 adventurers, in an encounter against 6+ enemies, and a maybe 50x50ft cave, and mechanically needing to be near the rear and away from melee threats, soft cover will come into play a vast majority of the time. Perhaps not every round, but enough that your choice is either a)accept a significant penalty to your attacks (20%) b)move so much that you cannot get a full round attack off and potentially put yourself in immediate harms way.

So I just laid out a 50'x50' room with 6 foes and 6 enemies (I assumed all 5 of your allies engage in melee with the foes): In the opening rounds I can guarantee that there can be open lines of fire, barring obstacles in the room. You will have problems once your side starts winning and outnumbering the foe, which usually results in your allies surrounding the remaining foes. I'm beginning to gather that your melee allies are deliberately placing themselves between you and your foe, to prevent them from getting to you. So what's the problem? you get to plink away at the enemy in relative safety (at a soft cover penalty) with no retaliation. Or your option is to get a line of fire but, at the risk of the foe now having a clear path to close with you. Seems fair to me, especially when you consider the possible AoOs the foe will draw if he ignores your ally to get to you.

I remember the ranger in our group. The enemy would close at times and he would just 5-foot step away and full attack. Sometimes he would do it even if the foe had reach… he'd just eat the AoO and full attack.

Quote:
I of course admit that in an open area the archer will near dominate, but this seems to be a much less common scenario for published adventures. That's my only argument on this point though, and obviously YMMV, but in my experience playing archers clear shots are the exception not the rule.

This seems to be an admission that rules-wise, ranged combat lends itself to more open battlefields and melee is better suited to cramped quarters.


Marcus Aurelius wrote:
meatrace wrote:


It's not a matter of my allies though, I'm giving the specific example of dungeon crawls where there are usually tight, windy hallways and cramped caves and very limited movement. Even if my allies are considerate enough to move tactically specifically for my benefit, I'm doubting my enemies will be so cordial. I'm also speaking to the very specific way you have to determine cover, which means pretty much unless you and your ally are perpendicular to the enemy, your ally will provide cover. In a party of 6 adventurers, in an encounter against 6+ enemies, and a maybe 50x50ft cave, and mechanically needing to be near the rear and away from melee threats, soft cover will come into play a vast majority of the time. Perhaps not every round, but enough that your choice is either a)accept a significant penalty to your attacks (20%) b)move so much that you cannot get a...

I'm guessing your character is a specified archer ranger? Why not suggest to your GM to include more wilderness based adventures, where you will be able to excel more. I try to balance wilderness and dungeon adventures so that those such as my druid player get some time to shine. Our 1-2nd Ed. game was was heavily devoted to the idea of a dungeon because it was easier for the GM to populate dungeons than vast stretches of wilderness, but it doesn't have to be time consuming, there's always clever encounters that the GM can devise for this style of game play. Also, he doesn't need to map out every square inch of empty terrain. I tend to draw out a good set of wilderness maps for use in random encounters that I can use during a combat situation.

Or your GM could build larger scale dungeons with chambers big enough to do all kinds of clever archery tricks. Think of the Moria trip in the Lord of the Rings movie. Those chambers were huge.

Just a thought. Legolas didn't appear to have problems with soft cover by his allies. I know it was a film but the spaces were massive.

Maybe you just missed it but I did say I was running a published series of adventures. Age of Worms (which is great btw). Funny enough when I play or run campaigns or adventures that were created by the DM wilderness encounters are much more common. But no, I'm actually playing an arcane archer (sor 1/ftr 6/aa 1 right now).


midnight756 wrote:

Ranger ended up missing by 2 so in 3.5 he would have hit his animal companion.

A clear ruling on the scenario would be great. (Display proof if able)

Thank you in advance

Actually that rule was removed when D&D went from 3.0 to 3.5. It was a rule in 3.5 (mind you it was augmented by the 'cover's' DEX bonus so that a +4 dex bonus would mean they would never get hit by errant fire).

Its a level of abstraction that doesn't go well with D&D. Furthermore modeling it is not worth the effort. What would the chance to really hit the cover be? Should it factor in how good a shot the person who missed is? In favor of hitting the cover or against it? Most people will model that one wrong silly as it sounds.

Anyway, 3.0 had such a rule but it was removed when we moved on to 3.5. Pathfinder to my knowledge has not resurrected it.

-James


anthony Valente wrote:
stuff

I'm not even sure what to say any more. You keep using examples contrary to mine to "prove" your point. In the situation described before, YES your ally can 5-foot and be perpendicular to you...in theory. But that assumes there are also NO OTHER INTERVENING CREATURES and that your ally CAN move in those other spaces. I myself am speaking in regards to what the archer himself can do proactively. This does not happen often, where my allies are nicely spread out over the board and so are the enemies, paired up like couples at prom. More likely there's one big clusterf!*$ in the middle, near the entrance to the room, in which at least half my potential targets have soft cover. Also, I still think you're confused as to the cover rules. As written, you have to be at a 90+ degree angle from your buddy to get a clear shot, otherwise ONE of those lines you draw will cross his square at least a bit, giving your target soft cover, and that's still just an example of 3 creatures in a chaotic battlefield.

And yes, again, that IS an admission that ranged combat lendds itself more to an open field. I've said that from the beginning, but noted that the majority (in my experience thus far) of encounters in published adventures are NOT on a flat, featureless plain but rather a dungeonscape full of tight, windy tunnels or at best a small clearing littered with trees or other cover. Of course it's a situational penalty, but it's an exceedingly common situation. I can't tell you how often it's been a 10' wide corridor with my allies fighting the enemies 2 by 2 and me stuck in the back, completely unable to avoid cover.

In the end this disagreement is just your experience vs. mine, but I have a strong suspicion that you have more experience with outdoor encounters, were perhaps not aware with how strict the rules for cover are, or had a DM like many that handwave soft cover.

Regardless of the specifics, I still think that both logic and balance are on my side. Unless soft cover compounds for each intervening creature, then the penalties for firing into melee and soft cover both have the same logical basis, and precise shot should eliminate them both IMO. I've made my position clear, that the penalty seems unnecessarily punitive, and we'll have to agree to disagree.


I'm certainly not confused with the cover rules. You and a buddy do not need to be 90+ degrees in relation to one another vs. a foe to get a clear shot. The four lines from a corner of your choice from your square simply cannot pass through your buddy's space when drawing them to your target's four squares. They can touch your buddy's square, but they cannot pass through them.

Anyway, your experience is one I've already had. I've GMed the Age of Worms start to finish, and I just haven't experienced the same situation as you are. That said, I WAS the GM and I only hand waived soft cover if it's silly to follow the rules (such as if the smallest smiggen of a line was drawn through some cover). On the contrary, the player playing the archer would at times argue against me giving him cover penalties to hit when he's trying to shoot through TWO of his allies.

As for fighting in so many 10' corridors where your allies are clogging the firelanes… yeah, can't help you there:)

I'm not convinced logic or balance are on your side: firing into melee will encompass the situation where your target is between you and your ally for instance. Obviously, your ally isn't granting soft cover, but the firing into melee penalty simulates the care the archer would take to not hit his ally if his shot misses his mark. Likewise, the cover rules cover all instances where an ally may be in the way, but not engaged in melee. I can see where you can see some overlap in concept between these two, but each certainly represents certain situations that the other cannot.

No disrespect to you personally Meatrace, but I'm just not sympathetic to your POV, when I've seen several close quarters fights that also grant cover against melee attacks as well (fighting through doors, around corners, pillars, across barrels, through allies, etc), let alone the certain dungeon areas in that adventure path that provide upper ledges for foes in which the melees can't even immediately reach said foes.

So yes, agree to disagree ;)


anthony Valente wrote:
I'm certainly not confused with the cover rules. You and a buddy do not need to be 90+ degrees in relation to one another vs. a foe to get a clear shot.

You're going to have to show your work with this assertion. With DMB's diagram earlier, all but one position was given cover, or do you dispute that?


meatrace wrote:
anthony Valente wrote:
I'm certainly not confused with the cover rules. You and a buddy do not need to be 90+ degrees in relation to one another vs. a foe to get a clear shot.
You're going to have to show your work with this assertion. With DMB's diagram earlier, all but one position was given cover, or do you dispute that?

Let's see:

DM Blake wrote:

It's hard to diagram that with text, but maybe this will help:

T^^^^^^1
A^^^^^^2
3^^^4^^5

T = target. A = your ally in melee with the target. 1,2,3, 4, and 5 = five different archers. And the ^ represents empty squares.

If you lay all this out on a battlemat (or a chessboard) it will become more clear.

The target (T) has soft cover from the ally (A) against archers 2, 3, 4 and 5. Even Only archer 1 has a clear shot. Even archer #2 has to fire through a little bit of his ally's square (if you choose the upper right corner of 2, then draw the four lines, you will see that the line that goes to the lower left corner of T just nips through the edge of A).

Of course, all five archers also suffer a -4 penalty for firing into melee unless they have Precise Shot.

Note: I don't rule it this harshly in my game when I DM. I usually just eyeball it, but my "official" rule is that if you can hit three corners without cover, then you can disregard the 4th corner (your target is 3/4 exposed to you so he doesn't get soft cover). Which means that only archer #3 would have to deal with cover in my diagram (and any archer standing on those three empty spaces between #3 and #4 would also have to fire through the soft cover as well). But this is just a houserule.

Yes, I dispute this vehemently. It doesn't take into account movement on each player's turn. All of these archers can avoid the soft cover penalty if they or the ally take a 5-foot step. The only way to disrupt the line of fire is the target moving on its turn back into soft cover.

I'll use compass directions to illustrate, and assume a wall to the north and west of the diagram.

Archer #1: Has no problems

Archer #2: Has no problems. He can draw a line from the NW or NE corner of his space and it will not pass through his ally's space. Two lines will touch the N border of his space, but will certainly not pass through it.

Archer #3: Has problems. His ally must move for him to get a clear shot. The ally has three possible choices: 5-foot step NE, E, or SE. The archer can then pick any of his corners and the resulting lines will not pass through his ally's space. He may want to delay until just after his ally moves to get a full attack.

Archers #4 & #5: Have problems. Either the ally must move or the archers must move. The ally has two possible choices: 5-foot step S or SE. The archers have 3 possible choices: 5-foot step NW, N, or NE.

To be honest, I don't judge the soft cover rules harshly either. For instance, if archer #5 decided to remain in his space on his turn, such a small portion of his lines pass through his ally's space that I'll handwaive it in that situation. I try to let common sense prevail. This debate illustrates one of the hindrances of using the battle grid/rules to the letter actually: that if you do it too accurately, you feel more like you're playing a glorified chess match. That's not something I'm striving for when I run a session.

P.S: With respect to my statement that you and your ally don't need to be 90+ degrees in relation to your target: Look at the relationship between T, A and 3. If you move A directly one space East, then you are technically at a 45 degree angle in relation to the foe, and your ally doesn't block your line of fire (3 can choose the NW square of his space to absolutely prove this).


Not sure if this is covered in the rules directly, but it seems that you should be able to teach your animal companion to duck or move 5 out of the way....

Especially if you play an archer build.....

Count that as a trick that you train them if you must, nut your critter should duck if you say duck or down or whatever it is....

A prone companion should negate the softcover (unless you aim for the ground in front of you (ie roll a 1)......

Sovereign Court

meatrace wrote:


Maybe you...

Yes I did miss it, sorry. I haven't played Age of Worms, but I'll look it up. Still even as an arcane archer you would benefit from wilderness/huge dungeon settings if only you could persuade your DM. Take some skills in Diplomacy, and add the Persuasive feat to your real life self :)

Sovereign Court

meatrace wrote:

Of course it's a situational penalty, but it's an exceedingly common situation. I can't tell you how often it's been a 10' wide corridor with my allies fighting the enemies 2 by 2 and me stuck in the back, completely unable to avoid cover.

Ah the old 10' wide corridor. It's so ubiquitous in this game. Nevertheless, 10' is quite a lot of room. The only reason, the 5ft per (M) character was introduced for combat was because in early D&D it was the minimum space for a character to fight with his weapon without obstruction or possible hits on his opponent by accident. In fact you could probably fit six medium sized creatures side to side in 10'. Sure, wielding weapons other than spears (or other thrusting weapons) would be impossible without the chance of lopping off the arms of your allies by accident.

In fact the more I think about this the more I realize the rules these days have forgotten why a character was constrained to the 5' square.

It makes me remember the ancient battle techniques used by hand to hand melee combatants, where they would form up into a phalanx(Greek) or a maniple(Roman - after Gaius Marius's battle reforms). Where each combatant was literally touching his comrade and using his own shield to shield his adjacent comrade whilst himself being shielded by the next. The Roman gladius (broadsword) was not used for slashing but for thrusting (back/forth action in a straight line).

The way we play it in RPGs is more open, and more like the battles portrayed by Homer in the Iliad where each combatant fought for himself with no thought to combat formation. I would call this loose fighting. I'm not making this up either, the traditional combat formation fighting was developed much later than the time of Bronze Age Greece, though sadly I cannot reference the historical articles because I'm quoting purely from the memory of reading them

So that being said the 2 fighters in front per ten feet width would not necessarily mean full cover at all, and partial cover at best. This is something we ought to think about as I believe it was a Gygax idea, and Gygax knew his history, and started out by playing wargames long before he created D&D with Dave Arneson. I sincerely believe that the rule I am mentioning was forgotten in 3.5/PF, but it was there for good reason.


anthony Valente wrote:

Dude stop already, you're refusing to play the cards dealt you. You say that these hypothetical archers have no troubles, then insist oh well all their ally has to do is move. That's not the discussion. The discussion is the battle map as it lies. Read my posts before responding just this once, I beg of you. I'm not talking about where my ALLY can move, I'm talking about where the archer can move.

Furthermore, all the moves you suggest put the archer, ally, and target at 90 degree angle in relation to one another. Even archer 2 who you say has a clear shot is at a 90 degree angle from him>ally>enemy. Your solutions for archer 3 also results in this angle, you might want to check it again, or your ally removing himself from melee. In fact two of your solutions for archers 4 and 5 include your ally actually leaving melee with your target, which to me is unacceptable.

Even if your movements did open up lines of fire, that's AGAIN only an example with one ally and one enemy. The battlefield is likely to be littered with combatants like this. I'm not saying it's impossible on any turn to find A target you can fire at, only that ANY such target that has no soft cover would also have a clear line of charge to you.

Then you go on to admit that you don't judge cover too strictly, which is an explanation I posited earlier and you denied. Which is perfectly fine, you DM how you want, but I'm duscussing a strict interpretation of the rules and how restrictive they are, as well as how illogical your ally providing cover in some of these situations is.


meatrace wrote:

Dude stop already, you're refusing to play the cards dealt you. You say that these hypothetical archers have no troubles, then insist oh well all their ally has to do is move. That's not the discussion. The discussion is the battle map as it lies. Read my posts before responding just this once, I beg of you. I'm not talking about where my ALLY can move, I'm talking about where the archer can move.

Furthermore, all the moves you suggest put the archer, ally, and target at 90 degree angle in relation to one another. Even archer 2 who you say has a clear shot is at a 90 degree angle from him>ally>enemy. Your solutions for archer 3 also results in this angle, you might want to check it again, or your ally removing himself from melee. In fact two of your solutions for archers 4 and 5 include your ally actually leaving melee with your target, which to me is unacceptable.

Even if your movements did open up lines of fire, that's AGAIN only an example with one ally and one enemy. The battlefield is likely to be littered with combatants like this. I'm not saying it's impossible on any turn to find A target you can fire at, only that ANY such target that has no soft cover would also have a clear line of charge to you.

Then you go on to admit that you don't judge cover too strictly, which is an explanation I posited earlier and you denied. Which is perfectly fine, you DM how you want, but I'm duscussing a strict interpretation of the rules and how restrictive they are, as well as how illogical your ally providing cover in some of these situations is.

Now you are beginning to come off as insulting. You asked me to show my work and I did so using Blake's diagram. First off, no disrespect to DMB, but his explanation of his diagram is not accurate. Forgive my if I'm rehashing a little here, but he stated that (taking his diagram as is) only 1 of the 5 archers has a clear line of fire to the target. In fact, according to the cover rules, there are 2 of the 5 archers that have a clear line of fire: 1 & 2. If you cannot see this, there is no more that I can say to convince you (i'm not sure if you've acknowledged this in your previous post). Second, I think you are not reading my posts thoroughly, as in my explanation, only one of the 5 archers had to rely on his ally moving: 3 (and even this archer can get a clear shot by taking a move action) I stated quite clearly that archers 4 & 5 could move on their own (but for completeness sake also said the ally could move). So please stop telling me I'm always talking only about the ALLY moving. In addition, if you really want to parse the cover rules, archers 4 & 5 (if they stay where they are) would only take a -2 to hit based on the partial cover rule, due to being more than half visible. Third, all this diagram ultimately does is illustrate that in any given scenario, there will be spaces which if you are in them you will have to contend with cover. It does not acknowledge that each individual can, on its own turn move. So why should I take the diagram at face value and completely ignore this fact? Obviously, archers 3-5 will have to contend with cover, if they stay there or if they move there. But why would they in a real combat? And yes, THEY can be proactive and MOVE.

Furthermore, all the moves I suggest do not put the archer, ally, and target at 90 degrees in relation to one another:

T^^^^^
^A^^^^
^^^^^^
1^^^^^
This is not a 90 degree angle. This is a 45 degree angle. Notice the ally does not provide cover.

TA^^^^
^^^^^^
^^^^^^
1^^^^^
This is a 90 degree angle.

^A^^^^
T^^^^^
^^^^^^
1^^^^^
This is a 135 degree angle.

T^^^^^
A^^^^2
^^^^^^
^^^^^^
This is not a 90 degree angle. I'll have to get my protractor out for this one, but I assure you it's less than 90 degrees. Notice the ally does not provide cover.

Maybe you're misinterpreting what I'm saying, but in all cases, the target is the point of the angle.

This scenario applies to multiple allies and foes as well. Not just singles.

Obviously, in a 10' foot hallway, and through doors, there isn't room for an archer to get in the action on an equal footing. But that is not a fault of the rules. And again I am not sypathetic to letting the Precise Shot feat allow you to shoot at a target with an ally directly in the way at no penalty (and through a door no less). That's what Imp. Precise Shot is for. I know you feel that is begotten too late, but I'd be more sympathetic if you were pushing for meeting the prereqs sooner.


Anthony is making very good points about soft cover and ranged attacking. I suggest you carefully read his descriptions, as they may end up helping you maneuver in combat to effectively avoid soft-cover.

Beyond that, you seem to be advocating for the removal of soft-cover as an obstacle to ranged attacking. Now, if you are the GM of your game, go ahead, it's your game, run it how you like. If, however, you are trying to convince your GM that the rules as they stand are patently unfair to you, I think you are probably beating a dead horse. If your GM has been reading this thread, and has not taken up your point of view, then he will not, and continued argument along these lines are unlikely to sway his opinion. I suggest that you take your GM's ruling on the cover rules with some level of aplomb, try to work within them, or, failing that, make a different sort of character that does not depend on ranged attacking if you just can not live with the way your GM handles soft cover.

Scarab Sages

nerd..rage...RISING...

Ferrigno SMASH!!!

Just saying. :)


anthony Valente wrote:
meatrace wrote:
You're going to have to show your work with this assertion. With DMB's diagram earlier, all but one position was given cover, or do you dispute that?

Let's see:

DM Blake wrote:

My stuff, including this:

T^^^^^^1
A^^^^^^2
3^^^4^^5

Yes, I dispute this vehemently. It doesn't take into account movement on each player's turn. All of these archers can avoid the soft cover penalty if they or the ally take a 5-foot step. The only way to disrupt the line of fire is the target moving on its turn back into soft cover.

I'll use compass directions to illustrate, and assume a wall to the north and west of the diagram.

Archer #1: Has no problems

Archer #2: Has no problems. He can draw a line from the NW or NE corner of his space and it will not pass through his ally's space. Two lines will touch the N border of his space, but will certainly not pass through it.

Archer #3: Has problems. His ally must move for him to get a clear shot. The ally has three possible choices: 5-foot step NE, E, or SE. The archer can then pick any of his corners and the resulting lines will not pass through his ally's space. He may want to delay until just after his ally moves to get a full attack.

Archers #4 & #5: Have problems. Either the ally must move or the archers must move. The ally has two possible choices: 5-foot step S or SE. The archers have 3 possible choices: 5-foot step NW, N, or NE.

To be honest, I don't judge the soft cover rules harshly either. For instance, if archer #5 decided to remain in his space on his turn, such a small portion of his lines pass through his ally's space that I'll handwaive it in that situation. I try to let common sense prevail. This debate illustrates one of the hindrances of using the battle grid/rules to the letter actually: that if you do it too accurately, you feel more like you're playing a glorified chess match. That's not something I'm striving for when I run a session.

P.S: With respect to my statement that you and your ally don't need to be 90+ degrees in relation to your target: Look at the relationship between T, A and 3. If you move A directly one space East, then you are technically at a 45 degree angle in relation to the foe, and your ally doesn't block your line of fire (3 can choose the NW square of his space to absolutely prove this).

For the record, I never stated, implied, or assumed that these archers couldn't move to improve their angle, or that the ally couldn't move either. Almost everything you said is correct. A little adjustment by the Ally or some varying adjustments by the archers can very easily eliminate the soft cover.

My illustration was simply to explain what is and is not affected by soft cover - tactics to circumvent the soft cover were deliberatly not covered since that didn't, then, seem to be the flow of this this thread.

I disagree with your point about Archer #2. Geometry teaches us that a line has no thickness (it exists in only one dimension, having length, but not depth or breadth). The line that runs horizontally between Target and Ally (the same line that runs between Archer #1 and #2) has no thikness at all. Therefore, a line from the most optimum corner of Archer #2's square (upper right) will actually pass through the Ally square on the way to the lower left corner of the Target square. Barely, but it will.

Of course, this is assuming we believe our geometry teachers, or maybe we consult Euclid to measure our lines for soft cover. I'm quite sure that if you measure it out on a real battlemat with lines that are a milimeter thick, you'll find that your answer is correct too.

Of course, given our Euclidian measurements, it would mean that Archers #3 and #4 must move more than 5' to eliminate the soft cover, since a 5' move would give them even a worse (though only barely worse) angle than archer #2.


@DM_Blake

I'm sorry, but you are wrong about ranged cover. It is not about geometry, but about the rules of the game, and right in the core rulebook there are more than one diagram illustrating anthony's point. The diagrams are not in the prd online, but in the printed core rulebook, it is in the combat section. To illustrate:

T^^^^^^
A^^^^^1
^^^^^^^
^^^^^^^

T is the target, A is your ally, 1 is the archer.

1 does not have to move at all, nor does A, for 1 to not suffer from soft cover. To further illustrate, by your logic, this would also give the target soft cover:

A^^^^^^
T^^^^^1
A^^^^^^
^^^^^^^

As you said, a line has no thickness, etc... thus, if you draw a line from any one of 1's corners, defining cover the way you have, the line would intersect one or the other of the allies' squares.

In any case, I can not illustrate it better, and there is a much better illustration in the combat section of the core rulebook entirely supporting anthony's position on how cover is determined for ranged attacks.


Mabven the OP healer wrote:


T is the target, A is your ally, 1 is the archer.

A^^^^^^
T^^^^^1
A^^^^^^
^^^^^^^

As you said, a line has no thickness, etc... thus, if you draw a line from any one of 1's corners, defining cover the way you have, the line would intersect one or the other of the allies' squares.

In any case, I can not illustrate it better, and there is a much better illustration in the combat section of the core rulebook entirely supporting anthony's position on how cover is determined for ranged attacks.

No, not at all. Such lines would run exactly parallel with the lines on the battlemat, and would begin entirely in square 1 and end entirely in square T without crossing any horizontal battlemat lines - never entering into either A square.

However, in further thinking my original Ecucidian problem, I have come to realize that my initial assumptions were wrong, and that Archer #2 would not have to worry about soft cover. The fulcrum of the line (where it crosses the horizontal battlemat line) is more than one square away from the Ally, so it wouldn't nip the corner of the ally's square. If Archer #2 moved directly to his left until that there was only a single empty space between him and his Ally, then the geometry would work as I initially described.

Sorry for the confusion. Consider this my errata.


anthony Valente wrote:
Maybe you're misinterpreting what I'm saying, but in all cases, the target is the point of the angle.

Which is not what I'm saying, I have been saying that if the angle is drawn Archer>Ally>Target the angle has to be 90 degrees OR MORE. All your examples have only proven me right. I'm sorry you misunderstood me when I brought up angles, but this is what I meant. I think we've found the root of our confusion.

Let's look at a more realistic battle map.

T^^^^^^^^
A^^^^^^^^
^^TAT^^^^
T^^^A^^^1

One clear shot, without moving at least 3 squares. Let's take side out of this, let's assume that this is fine and this is okay. All I'm saying is the actual situation is that anywhere you have an open shot, your opponent can just jump you, which negates the only mechanical benefit archery has over melee. One benefit, not being able to be sliced to ribbons IN MELEE, as opposed to the tons of drawbacks which I've already catalogued. I feel that the system, as written, is too punitive for this one benefit.


Meatrace,

This is an issue you need to take up with your GM. The rules as written do not work the way you want them to, and there is nothing anyone on this message board can do to make them better for you. But your GM can. I would not suggest that he do it, because I personally feel the rules are just fine as they are, but I do not run your game, and it is not my call. If your GM agrees with you, then great, that's how your game will be run. If he does not agree with you, then you either need to accept the ranged combat rules as he dictates them, or you need to choose a different character type, one that does not suffer so much from the rules as your GM interprets them.


meatrace wrote:
All I'm saying is the actual situation is that anywhere you have an open shot, your opponent can just jump you, which negates the only mechanical benefit archery has over melee. One benefit, not being able to be sliced to ribbons IN MELEE, as opposed to the tons of drawbacks which I've already catalogued. I feel that the system, as written, is too punitive for this one benefit.

This I completely agree with.

Although, maybe not "too" punitive. It might be nearly balanced. Hard to say. I don't expect absolutely perfect balance, but two presumably viable combat styles should be at least "nearly" balanced. Maybe they are.

Remember, in addition to some degree of safety from attacks, archers also benefit from being able to choose pretty much any target on the battlefield, from being able to successfully attack pretty much any target on the battlefield, and from being able to use their full attack progression more often than the front-line meleeist.

Those are all worth considering when looking at the balance, though it's hard to say if balance is achieved. My gut, and my gaming experience, says the balance still favors melee too much.

Which is why I always join these threads and argue against the idea of adding houserules that cause the (IMO) already disadvantaged archers to injure their allies, reduce party resources, and lessen party surviveability, all when their melee companions (who IMO are already overly advantaged compared to archers) have no similar chances to hurt their allies.

Realistic or not, it destroys the mechanical viability of ranged combat to such an extent that no sane adventurer would even try it (and neither would any sane bad guy, monster, or minion).

You (that's a general "you" not a specific one) almost might as well just houserule that our game worlds never invented bows, crossbows, javelins, spears, throwing daggers, or any other imaginable projectile weapon. Such things don't exist and neither do the combat mechanics to enable them.

Rule the "hit your ally" rule, or the "never invented" rule, and either way, you will almost never see any sane combatant using a ranged attack. Well, maybe if he doesn't have any allies...

p.s. As far as "realism", since I brought it up: If I were determined to enter realism into the game, I would give both archers and meleeists significant chances to hit their allies in combat. That would put a whole new spin on the healer trying to get into touch range to heal that injured barbarian with power-attacking greatsword.

Shadow Lodge

meatrace wrote:
One clear shot, without moving at least 3 squares. Let's take side out of this, let's assume that this is fine and this is okay. All I'm saying is the actual situation is that anywhere you have an open shot, your opponent can just jump you, which negates the only mechanical benefit archery has over melee. One benefit, not being able to be sliced to ribbons IN MELEE, as opposed to the tons of drawbacks which I've already catalogued. I feel that the system, as written, is too punitive for this one benefit.

Seems to me that what you are saying is melee is better than ranged combat at very short ranges and that is true; it also happens to be good game design.

Under 3.5 archers were solid and a viable option, under Pathfinder they are really crazy good. Their damage is often more than the damage dealt by their melee counterparts and they can often do tons of damage even in semi melee by playing the 5' step game which is often still viable even with the step up and lunge feats available. Stack favored enemy smite, or the inquisitor's judgement (or bane) on top and you are cranking out a ton of damage.

The fact that archers are at a (often slight) disadvantage in close range is a serious balancing factor. Now if only there were other viable ranged weapons to get rid of the archer monoculture.


DM_Blake wrote:
Although, maybe not "too" punitive. It might be nearly balanced. Hard to say. I don't expect absolutely perfect balance, but two presumably viable combat styles should be at least "nearly" balanced. Maybe they are.

I agree, they nearly are. Shooting through throngs of enemies to get the boss at the back is less a realism issue as a cheese issue and is rightfully stopped. My solution would be only +2 soft cover from allies, because we're already assuming they're bobbing and weaving all over the place, if they're aware you're there and willing to help a brutha out, they should duck when you yell duck.

I think that would be a simple solution and shut me up which seems to be all people want now :P


DM_Blake wrote:


For the record, I never stated, implied, or assumed that these archers couldn't move to improve their angle, or that the ally couldn't move either. Almost everything you said is correct. A little adjustment by the Ally or some varying adjustments by the archers can very easily eliminate the soft cover.

I know, and again, no disprespect to You. It just so happened that you were the one who laid out a diagram (and a helpful one at that) for use to discuss with. ;)


meatrace wrote:
anthony Valente wrote:
Maybe you're misinterpreting what I'm saying, but in all cases, the target is the point of the angle.

Which is not what I'm saying, I have been saying that if the angle is drawn Archer>Ally>Target the angle has to be 90 degrees OR MORE. All your examples have only proven me right. I'm sorry you misunderstood me when I brought up angles, but this is what I meant. I think we've found the root of our confusion.

I think I understood what you were saying. And it is true taking your POV. But your interpretation and my interpretation differ in that my interpretation keeps the point of the angle fixed on the target and the point on the angle changes to whatever model would make the angle 90 degrees or more using your interpretation. Anyway… I think we can agree this is ultimately of little consequence.

Let's look at a more realistic battle map.

T^^^^^^^^
A^^^^^^^^
^^TAT^^^^
T^^^A^^^1

One clear shot, without moving at least 3 squares. Let's take side out of this, let's assume that this is fine and this is okay. All I'm saying is the actual situation is that anywhere you have an open shot, your opponent can just jump you, which negates the only mechanical benefit archery has over melee. One benefit, not being able to be sliced to ribbons IN MELEE, as opposed to the tons of drawbacks which I've already catalogued. I feel that the system, as written, is too punitive for this one benefit.

Here's my take. I'm not trying to be rude or snarky:

Be a hero! If you want the clear shot, you're going to have to be willing to take the risk. This is a good tactical dilemma set up by the game rules IMO. If you've got allies in melee with your targets, (which I'm assuming is a common occurrence in your games), then at the very least, they will often suffer an AoO to go after you. As it stands, most situations favor you:

1) You can attack at range
2) You have the option of a meatshield (but take a penalty to hit)
3) You can move to an open shot (and often still full attack)
4) If your target chooses to engage you, it will often suffer an AoO in doing so if your meatshield is around
5) Unless the target who engaged you has reach, you can 5-foot step back and full attack anyway, otherwise, you can eat the AoO and full attack anyway

If I remember correctly, did you say you were an Arcane Archer (someone said they were I think)? If so, have you considered thinking in 3 dimensions? What I'm implying is that levitate/fly/spiderclimb would add a whole new world to your Archery Fu. Obviously, it may still be cramped in dungeons, but it's not uncommon for chambers to have ceiling heights of 15' or more. Otherwise, slippers of spider climbing would be really nasty if you could get your hands on a pair.


meatrace wrote:

I agree, they nearly are. Shooting through throngs of enemies to get the boss at the back is less a realism issue as a cheese issue and is rightfully stopped. My solution would be only +2 soft cover from allies, because we're already assuming they're bobbing and weaving all over the place, if they're aware you're there and willing to help a brutha out, they should duck when you yell duck.

That sounds like a feat that would lie between Precise Shot, and Improved Precise Shot. I wouldn't have a problem with that if I were GMing:

Improved Precise Shot
Prerequisites: Dex 17, Point-Blank Shot, Precise Shot, base attack bonus +6.
Benefit: Targets of your ranged attacks only receive a +2 bonus to AC from cover and +1 AC from partial cover. If your base attack bonus is +11 or more, your ranged attacks ignore the AC bonus granted to targets by anything less than total cover, and the miss chance granted to targets… (the rest of the actual Imp Precise Shot text).

101 to 126 of 126 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Rules Questions / Ranged attack requires clear ruling. All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.