Can you climb over a wall of force?


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As a note...it does say flat vertical plane, which would indicate 2d...


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Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

It's. A. Wall.

You can throw a grappling hook over it, you can hook your fingers over the lip, you can lean a ladder on it, etc. It's a wall. You can do anything to it you could with an ordinary wall.

Stop over thinking it. The spell really doesn't do any of the things you guys mention. If it could, it would have said so.

It's a vertical, invisible, nearly invulnerable WALL. Period.


Hama wrote:
Do not use physics on magic...it doesn't work. Also, i would love to see fingers fly when somebody grabbed a one dimensional edge of a wall. That thing is thinner then a molecule. Imagine the sharpness.

I think no. It's by-directional, but two-dimensional (in my interpretation/understanding). It has no effect from the sides - it's not "sharp", because it doesn't exist in that direction.

I used to think it did, but really that made less sense the more I thought about it. That's why it's a magical field of potential (disrupted by the disruptive energies of a "disintegration" ray which, may also be inaccurate in it's name/description*), rather than some substance called "force" or an omnidirectional, but micro-thin thing (otherwise they'd be making swords out of it).

Also the fact that it can be used on a ship** (but can also be used off of/against a ship) indicates that it's a relative frame of reference, instead of actually on the ship. Combined with the fact that we don't see any permanent "immovable" walls attached to blades with relative speeds to their owners indicates that this probably doesn't work very well.

One other thing in response to using them as sails: IF it is merely a two-dimensional wall immobile relative to a certain plane/field/substance/what have you, we do get into sticky situations. First, they'd be fairly terrible, as the wind wouldn't push off them the way it does sails, but second, could they be moved with the mast, or would they fall prey to moving forward only at the speed the boat was already going? In the latter case they'd make great (and terrible) perpetual motion machines... but they still wouldn't be that effective and would more tend to crash the ship than not.

* I may be wrong on that, but I'm not sure that "disintegrate" actually disintegrates - I think it just turns things into dust which isn't the same thing, if I recall. I'll have to look that word up when I don't have an infant kicking my arms away from the keyboard/mouse. This = haaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrd.

** I believe it's been used this way in a book, specifically a 3.X FR novel, though I'm not certain. While this is PF, not 3.X, the descriptive text comes from 3.X base and original intent. Further, if we ignore 3.X, we'd have to ignore Stormwrack, which may indicate non-relative movement, which makes no sense and severely limits the utility of the spell.


Ravingdork wrote:

It's. A. Wall.

You can throw a grappling hook over it, you can hook your fingers over the lip, you can lean a ladder on it, etc. It's a wall. You can do anything to it you could with an ordinary wall.

Stop over thinking it. The spell really doesn't do any of the things you guys mention. If it could, it would have said so.

It's a vertical, invisible, nearly invulnerable WALL. Period.

Questions:

1) What's its thickness?
2) What's its substance? (aka "force" needs definitions)
3) Does it fill up a space, or only a fragment of it?

The easiest would be to say it's actually a cube, so good luck getting a grappling hook into it: being made of force, it's either the most easily climbable thing ever (because nigh-infinite friction basically causes you to stick to the side) or the hardest (frictionless as the "force" only goes one direction: "away".

Also: but if we don't over-think it, who will, RD? Who. WILL.

Shadow Lodge

There is nothing in the description about the edges of the wall. The DM can describe it in any way he chooses.

However, such a DM would quickly find his players making offensive use of the now-sharpened edges of the wall, such as dropping enemies into a reverse guillotine.

Better, I think, to be unsharpened.


I know I would, as a player. I mean: why not?

Just set it up three feet high, horizontal, and cast invisibility on it (if necessary), then taunt bad guys. Proceed to win. It's not even making attack rolls!


There's also nothing in the rules about a wall of force being perfectly smooth (that I've been able to find), yet quite a few people are basing their arguments off of the premise that it is.


TOZ wrote:

There is nothing in the description about the edges of the wall. The DM can describe it in any way he chooses.

However, such a DM would quickly find his players making offensive use of the now-sharpened edges of the wall, such as dropping enemies into a reverse guillotine.

Better, I think, to be unsharpened.

I'd certainly play it that way but I can also see the otherside of the argument but mostly I say it's 2d because adding a 3rd dimension significantly reduces the effectiveness of the spell I wouldn't let it do anything it doesn't allow already. However if my characters managed to set up a situation where they could reverse guillotine opponents with it I might let them have it just for fun also because I think it would be hard to do.


Ashenfall wrote:

There's also nothing in the rules about a wall of force being perfectly smooth (that I've been able to find), yet quite a few people are basing their arguments off of the premise that it is.

My position that it has no friction has nothing to do with how "smooth" it is - it is, by description, neither smooth nor rough, simply flat (and "stationary", which doesn't function literally on Golarion).

My position is that it is solely a two-way "wall" (using the term loosely) that exerts and equal and opposite amount of force, but only in the "flat" sides of the bi-directional "plane" that it is described as.

This means that any direction other than ->I<- (where "I" is the "wall" of "force" in question) will have no effect. Ergo, no friction.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Tacticslion wrote:

I know I would, as a player. I mean: why not?

Just set it up three feet high, horizontal, and cast invisibility on it (if necessary), then taunt bad guys. Proceed to win. It's not even making attack rolls!

It must remain vertical, as per the spell. What's more, it is already invisible.

Better to stick a sword into a tree at neck height then cast invisibility upon it. Next you trick some poor sap into chasing you. He won't have time to wonder why you ducked nothing before being decapitated. :)

Ashenfall wrote:

There's also nothing in the rules about a wall of force being perfectly smooth (that I've been able to find), yet quite a few people are basing their arguments off of the premise that it is.

I've noticed that too. People are WAY over thinking it. You treat it like a wall in every respect, except where noted in the spell.

Personally, I like to think of it as a sheet of glass in terms of smoothness and edge. One could even walk along the top if they had good balance.


Again, RD, there's nothing in the spell description that indicates that. That makes it house rules... which is totally cool, 'cause mine are too. I'm just saying that one is no more inherently correct than the other. I just like mine and am explaining it better.

Also, walls vary greatly dependent upon how their made. Saying "it's exactly like a wall, except where noted" is like saying "water is exactly like generic liquid, except where noted". Walls don't have a monolithic "WALL" concept that all walls are beholden too, except as relatively flat surfaces that attempt to prevent passage through them. That's the sum set of things they've got in common. All else is up for grabs.

RE: invisibility/vertical. True. Kicking, screaming infant sometimes causes some forgetfulness over the details/inability to look things up. Its still relatively vertical, though.


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Hee Hee, mines 14 mos, and I promise you, she'd find a way to climb over that wall of force. :)


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You do not want to hand your players a razor of force with a perfectly sharp edge on top. They will trip things on top of it, turn it into the worlds fastest stone mill/sawmill, throw npcs on it for a guillotine, put it on the ceiling and cast reverse gravity, and do other unpredictable, horribly, nasty things to npcs, foes, the games economy, verisimilitude, the fourth wall, and kittens.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
You do not want to hand your players a razor of force with a perfectly sharp edge on top. They will trip things on top of it, turn it into the worlds fastest stone mill/sawmill, throw npcs on it for a guillotine, put it on the ceiling and cast reverse gravity, and do other unpredictable, horribly, nasty things to npcs, foes, the games economy, verisimilitude, the fourth wall, and kittens.

a 2d force could never be a razor. It has length and width. Absolutely 0 depth. That means if you fell on the edge it would be like falling through air. There would be nothing there.

What happens when your body is on either side of this 2d wall is another matter entirely for once you interact in either of the relevant 2dimensions your screwed unless the wall is dispelled before you interact with it.

Owner - House of Books and Games LLC

That's introducing a whole new mechanic and effect of wall of force. Now a wall of force can simultaneously hold any object captive (if it happens to fall onto it) and prevent anything from passing through. How does that trapped creature's blood flow? How does it breathe? So now you can suffocate someone by dropping their neck onto a wall of force?

I'm for the simple solution, and the one without a ton of additional ramifications: make it thin but not so thin it turns into a lethal monofilament-style cutting edge.


gbonehead wrote:

That's introducing a whole new mechanic and effect of wall of force. Now a wall of force can simultaneously hold any object captive (if it happens to fall onto it) and prevent anything from passing through. How does that trapped creature's blood flow? How does it breathe? So now you can suffocate someone by dropping their neck onto a wall of force?

I'm for the simple solution, and the one without a ton of additional ramifications: make it thin but not so thin it turns into a lethal monofilament-style cutting edge.

I don't include any of these things for Wall of Force. I treat it as a wall. Still I find any discussion in which I can apply science to some aspect of pathfinder fun.

Owner - House of Books and Games LLC

Oh! I see. You're suggestiong that "wall of force" could be treated as some kind of infinite discontinuity that doesn't allow things to pass. Kind of like a gravity diode or something.

Huh. A very curious interpretation. But it would still completely stop blood flow and would suffocate creatures even if it didn't cut them in half :)


gbonehead wrote:

Oh! I see. You're suggestiong that "wall of force" could be treated as some kind of infinite discontinuity that doesn't allow things to pass. Kind of like a gravity diode or something.

Huh. A very curious interpretation. But it would still completely stop blood flow and would suffocate creatures even if it didn't cut them in half :)

I agree it would still have all the effects you describe. But what a bummer to not hit that wall of force because you impacted on edge only to realize your blood vessels are inflating.

Or that hokey mage somehow manages to make his wall of force edge on so it is effectively invisible. Organics would walk into it and pass out like rag dolls suspended in mid air. Then send a golem after the wizard who would just ignore the wall of force edge on completely.

Owner - House of Books and Games LLC

Yes. All sorts of nasty and cool secondary effects that the PCs will now use in devious, heinous ways.

I think I'll stick with a classical definition :)

There's a funny related story about my RPG Superstar entry that I obviously can't quite tell yet :)

Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

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This is ultimately a DM call based on the situation, but yes the rules do not disallow you climbing a wall of force, but the face that it is smooth and invisible make it hard to adjudicate using the Climb rules. It clearly has defined boundaries though, and these boundaries are not so thin as to act like a razor, so I think that most GMs should come down allowing a rope and grapple to enable climbing, but the DC should probably be higher than the norm due to the unusual circumstances.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing


Thanks, Jason! Appreciate the more official answer!
(I still like the field of potential force, applied across a dimensional spectrum, though!)

EDIT: added tags and a word

Shadow Lodge

HA! Jason agrees with me!

Spoiler:
Not sure why I posted, since dev opinions don't hold weight with me. :/

Owner - House of Books and Games LLC

Marking your territory? Perhaps you thought this was an episode of Crocodile Hunter?

TOZ wrote:
Crikey! We've spotted the elusive Bulmahn! I'll just make my mark here an' move awn!

Shadow Lodge

I'm not grappling Jason. That would be awkward.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber

you mean you would lose... there's no way you can wrap your arms around his CMD... :)

Shadow Lodge

He is a pretty big guy. Got to have a Size bonus, at least.

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