Shooting into a Melee Clarification Requested


Rules Questions

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Dark Archive

Nefreet wrote:
The black raven wrote:

The new rule is more elegant and clarifies things BECAUSE this thread clearly states that "10 feet away" is the same thing as "1 square away".

Previously, I (and my whole party) always saw "10 feet away" as meaning "2 squares away", because you know, 1 square = 5 feet, and thus 10 feet = 2 squares.

LOL, no, "10 feet away" is still "2 squares away". Nothing regarding spacing changed, just the ruling on shooting creatures engaged in melee.

One empty square between you and the enemy means he's 10 feet away. That has indeed been clarified.


Mergy wrote:
Nefreet wrote:
The black raven wrote:

The new rule is more elegant and clarifies things BECAUSE this thread clearly states that "10 feet away" is the same thing as "1 square away".

Previously, I (and my whole party) always saw "10 feet away" as meaning "2 squares away", because you know, 1 square = 5 feet, and thus 10 feet = 2 squares.

LOL, no, "10 feet away" is still "2 squares away". Nothing regarding spacing changed, just the ruling on shooting creatures engaged in melee.
One empty square between you and the enemy means he's 10 feet away. That has indeed been clarified.

No, that has not been "clarified." That was always clear to everyone but a tiny few. What has been clarified is that the rules for avoiding the -4 penalty for shooting into melee are being changed.

Dark Archive

Clarification certainly applies to SKR correcting people on how to interpret distance. I'm not sure why you would disagree on my word choice.

Some people were incorrect on how to measure distance, and using diagrams, SKR made it clearer. He clarified.


Mergy wrote:

Clarification certainly applies to SKR correcting people on how to interpret distance. I'm not sure why you would disagree on my word choice.

Some people were incorrect on how to measure distance, and using diagrams, SKR made it clearer. He clarified.

Fine, sorry. I just don't want people to think that it was an unclear issue to begin with, because it wasn't.

It is frustrating to me that I answered the question correctly within 7 minutes, even clarifying further right away. Then, despite that, this thread dragged on until SKR gave the exact same answer I gave at the beginning and suddenly it was "oh, thank you for clarifying the unclear text," even though the text is perfectly clear.

I'm not trying to criticize the original poster for misunderstanding it--misunderstandings happen and that's fine.

But for certain folk to act as if this was anything more than that--that the text was actually problematic and unclear because it took SKR before those asking were satisfied--is disingenuous at best. It's ok to be mistaken. It's not ok to be obstinate about it.

Dark Archive

One thing that might keep you a little happier is understanding that not everyone interprets the same words the same way. :)

I prefer to believe, unless given overwhelming evidence to the contrary, that people just didn't understand; it's a lot better than assuming they're wilfully ignorant.


mplindustries wrote:

Fine, sorry. I just don't want people to think that it was an unclear issue to begin with, because it wasn't.

It is frustrating to me that I answered the question correctly within 7 minutes, even clarifying further right away. Then, despite that, this thread dragged on until SKR gave the exact same answer I gave at the beginning and suddenly it was "oh, thank you for clarifying the unclear text," even though the text is perfectly clear.

I'm not trying to criticize the original poster for misunderstanding it--misunderstandings happen and that's fine.

But for certain folk to act as if this was anything more than that--that the text was actually problematic and unclear because it took SKR before those asking were satisfied--is disingenuous at best. It's ok to be mistaken. It's not ok to be obstinate about it.

It was an unclear issue until Jiggy took the time to actually quote some relevant rules. You simply stated the rules without any explanation. That's not helpful at all in making people understand.

The measuring stick that I mentioned earlier. In Pathfinder we always count each full square instead of border to border (as I learned from this thread) but in real life we always count distances from edge to edge:

IRL: I'm 5' away from a wall if there's room for a 5' stick between me and the wall. I'm not 5' away from a wall if I'm leaning on it.

Pathfinder: I'm 5' away from a wall if I bump into it. I'm more than 5' away from a wall if I can't lean on it.

To say that this isn't problematic is just ignorant. Any rules that are written for those that know the rules will always be unclear. This could easily be reworded to be much clearer:

"If your target is at least 10 feet away from the nearest friendly character"

to

"If your target is not adjacent to any friendly character"

or

"If your target is not within 5 feet of any friendly character"


Jacob Saltband wrote:
The black raven wrote:

The new rule is more elegant and clarifies things BECAUSE this thread clearly states that "10 feet away" is the same thing as "1 square away".

Previously, I (and my whole party) always saw "10 feet away" as meaning "2 squares away", because you know, 1 square = 5 feet, and thus 10 feet = 2 squares.

The fact that we are not native speakers probably contributed to the misunderstanding.

What has been clarified for me is that you have to include the squares that are occupied. I had always read it as 10' empty feet.

Jacob, I was in the same camp. The ruling they are removing reinforced the belief we both had. I made a really easy to read diagram in excel showing the relationship, but I could never show it here. I did try to illustrate it in words, probably poorly, by immediately afterwards SKR said the rule would change.

I think he understood me. I have a bit I pie on my face now, but it's not the first time, lol.


And it wasn't clear to me MPL. This was why we had the discussion. I think Mergy understands a bit better.

l do appreciate the attitude, nice to know people care :)


Anybody that talks about the rules for a long enough time will eventually be wrong.

Edit: Unless you're the GM! Hohohoh.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Does this affect combat with reach weapons in any way?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber
Hayato Ken wrote:
Does this affect combat with reach weapons in any way?

Nope, as reach weapons use the ranged rules for cover, but never referenced ranged attacking into melee.

The Exchange

TetsujinOni wrote:
Hayato Ken wrote:
Does this affect combat with reach weapons in any way?
Nope, as reach weapons use the ranged rules for cover, but never referenced ranged attacking into melee.

I think he was refering to two combatants that threaten each other with reach weapons, and firing into a melee.

For example, an Ogre with a large longspear, facing an enlarged barbarian with a longspear. Both have a 20' reach, so they combat each other at 20'. Along comes a goblin who shoots at the barbarian, who is 20 foot from his friend the Ogre... does he take the -4 for shooting into melee?
What if this is taking place at the entrance to a 10' wide tunnel, with the Barbarian 5' into the tunnel and ogre 20 into the tunnel. The goblin rounds the corner of a trail leading to the tunnel, only to see 5' of Barbarian sticking out of his home. He shots, does he have a -4 for shooting into a melee, 'cause he might hit his friend (who is around a corner and 25' down a tunnel)? When he not only couldn't hit his friend if he tried, but can't even see him?

The Exchange

Oh, and do we have a time line for when/if this rule is going to be changed? will it be in an errata for the CRB, or an FAQ?


nosig wrote:
For example, an Ogre with a large longspear, facing an enlarged barbarian with a longspear. Both have a 20' reach, so they combat each other at 20'. Along comes a goblin who shoots at the barbarian, who is 20 foot from his friend the Ogre... does he take the -4 for shooting into melee?

No. His target is at least 10 feet away from the nearest friendly character. (Unless the goblin is adjacent to the barbarian)

nosig wrote:
What if this is taking place at the entrance to a 10' wide tunnel, with the Barbarian 5' into the tunnel and ogre 20 into the tunnel. The goblin rounds the corner of a trail leading to the tunnel, only to see 5' of Barbarian sticking out of his home. He shots, does he have a -4 for shooting into a melee, 'cause he might hit his friend (who is around a corner and 25' down a tunnel)?

Still no, because his target is at least 10 feet away from the nearest friendly character.

nosig wrote:
Oh, and do we have a time line for when/if this rule is going to be changed? will it be in an errata for the CRB, or an FAQ?

SKR says here that the text will be revised. That generally means errata, not a FAQ (though they have altered rule text in the FAQ before). If it's an errata, it'll be released when the next edition of the core rulebook gets printed.


Player1 wrote:

If you shoot or throw a ranged weapon at a target engaged in melee with a friendly character, you take a –4 penalty on your attack roll. Two characters are engaged in melee if they are enemies of each other and either threatens the other. (An unconscious or otherwise immobilized character is not considered engaged unless he is actually being attacked.)

If your target (or the part of your target you're aiming at, if it's a big target) is at least 10 feet away from the nearest friendly character, you can avoid the –4 penalty, even if the creature you're aiming at is engaged in melee with a friendly character."

Large creature/reach weapon question.

It says if either threatens the other then they are in melee, so if my Large creature/man with a polearm is beating on your friend using reach are we classed as 'in melee' or not?

If we are in melee, then how does the 10' rule factor in? And if it does factor in then what was ever the point of saying if either threatens the other - because apparently the threat range of the enemy doesn't really count...


Perhaps because it's possible for two conscious enemies to be adjacent to each other and not threaten each other, say because both are unarmed and both are without the Improved Unarmed Strike feat? And so they want you to know that in weird edge cases like that, even adjacent foes don't count as in melee for purposes of the penalty.


That's cool, but it seems off then that it doesn't specify adjacent and can threaten, as opposed to simply that one can threaten the other.

How odd.

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