Area damage vs size


Rules Questions

101 to 130 of 130 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>

I did my due diligence and read this whole post, but since you blatantly acknowledged that you didn't read my response in its entirety, I will ask the questions you ignored again.

What does this fix?

How does it improve the game?

I have yet to see a single shred of evidence suggesting that this proposed method of dealing with area effects is in any way conducive to enhancing the overall experience of the game.

Spellcasters don't need ANY extra help.
Area effect spells don't need any help, either.

I don't know anyone who wants to sit around waiting for someone to roll their 10D6, 16 times, or whatever cube's worth of volume the target occupies.

This is a janky, nonsense, overcomplicated and above all else, completely unnecessary change... in my opinion.


Shinoskay wrote:
Burning hands uses line of effect, you literally can't get a whole cone to hit all at once because line of effect would be quickly blocked for rear targets (you are jetting fire out, not generating it at each individual square). Most gm's dont use blocked line of effect because its not as simplified as just saying 'ok, everything in cone rolls for damage'. Who wants to track all that line of effect for a simple level 1 or 2 spell?

Creatures don't block line of effect.

Paizo Employee Customer Service Representative

Removed some posts. Don't get upset with people because they have different thought processes or interpretations of information than you. Keep your replies respectful.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
N N 959 wrote:
Claxon wrote:
Maybe I should have made my statement more clear, it's a terrible f!#$ing idea.

No, it's not a terrible idea, it's actually a very good one. If I have 10 people outside in a hail storm, they all take damage. Why would should a creature that occupies the same space take 1/10 the damage?

The problem is the game isn't set up to use this type of model. It's a lot simpler to say "per creature" than "per square." What the game should provide is a damage multiplier based on size. So yes, being large is a huge disadvantage if the attack is an AoE.

Whether it is a terrible or terrific idea depends on what you want.

It's a realistic idea: the more body you have, the more body you have to be damaged. The more of your body that suffered horrible burns, the more damaged you are.

That's why elephants and blue whales are not the most dominant creatures in the world. Gigantic creatures are just as vulnerable as small creatures, in some ways moreso. What would really happen if someone cloned T-Rexes and unleashed them into the world? We'd shoot them, and they'd be extinct again.

But we already live in the real world. Golorian is a fantasy world, and it's a game world. Because it's a fantasy world, we don't want our magnificent levaithans to be hunted into extinction by illiterate poachers trying to feed starving families by sellig irory or powdered horn to international billionaires. Because it's a game world, the laws of physics are dictated by game balance and fairness rather than by laws resembling the real world which rarely resemble any concept like "fair."


MrCharisma wrote:

Yeah there are a lot of places in this game where realism vs easy gameplay comes in, and thankfully easy gameplay got the win almost every time.

Say you missed your target with an arrow, but there's a guy behind him, what are the chances that it hit him? What do you roll for that since you wouldn't add your attack bonus (you weren't aiming for him)?

The answer is Nobody cares. You missed, realism isnt't as important as fun, it's the next player's turn, move on.

The same is true of this thread: The troll takes normal damage, realism isn't as important as fun, nobody cares, it's 5 years since this argument ended, move on.

(Sorry if that sounded harsh. I'm not trying to be mean, I can write that in a nicer way after work if you like.)

That does sound a little harsh. If people think it would be more fun to houserule in favor of realism, let them have their fun. Not your fun, it seems, and not my fun, but let's not yuck others' yum.

It is my opinion that other game systems mirror realism better than Pathfinder, but again, I think it can be made to work, and we all have our reasons for doing things.

I wish them all joy, and you.


Yeah it was a bit harsh.

I was trying to say that the rules don't care because Paizo made the decision that this level of detail isn't necessary.

But yes I realised that my turn of phrase wasn't the most friendly, so appologies if anyone was offended.


Scott Wilhelm wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
Claxon wrote:
Maybe I should have made my statement more clear, it's a terrible f!#$ing idea.

No, it's not a terrible idea, it's actually a very good one. If I have 10 people outside in a hail storm, they all take damage. Why would should a creature that occupies the same space take 1/10 the damage?

The problem is the game isn't set up to use this type of model. It's a lot simpler to say "per creature" than "per square." What the game should provide is a damage multiplier based on size. So yes, being large is a huge disadvantage if the attack is an AoE.

Whether it is a terrible or terrific idea depends on what you want.

It's a realistic idea: the more body you have, the more body you have to be damaged. The more of your body that suffered horrible burns, the more damaged you are.

That's why elephants and blue whales are not the most dominant creatures in the world. Gigantic creatures are just as vulnerable as small creatures, in some ways moreso. What would really happen if someone cloned T-Rexes and unleashed them into the world? We'd shoot them, and they'd be extinct again.

But we already live in the real world. Golorian is a fantasy world, and it's a game world. Because it's a fantasy world, we don't want our magnificent levaithans to be hunted into extinction by illiterate poachers trying to feed starving families by sellig irory or powdered horn to international billionaires. Because it's a game world, the laws of physics are dictated by game balance and fairness rather than by laws resembling the real world which rarely resemble any concept like "fair."

Realism has next to no place in a game with dragons and magic.

It's a terrible idea that would make large enemies virtually irrelevant by virtue of any AoE effects making them a non-threat.

The smaller something is the more dangerous it would become (assuming you made size reductions decrease damage in parallel to size increases increasing damage).


I think it's an interesting idea, but I don't think you could include it in pathfinder as an after thought. You'd need to include size as part of your game's baseline of combat stats since it would dominant ability and weapon selection.

The best way to tack it on would be through the DR system rather than the damage system. Giving larger creatures DR against attacks that don't hit a minimum number of squares would be sort of cool, you'd need to come up with rules for how many squares certain weapons hit, and make some abilities that vary effective squares of penetration, but that's much easier than rewriting all the HP blocks and rebalancing all the damage numbers.

I sort of like the idea of needing a reach weapon or explosive magic to deal serious damage to larger creatures, it could be cool.


Claxon wrote:
Scott Wilhelm wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
Claxon wrote:
Maybe I should have made my statement more clear, it's a terrible f!#$ing idea.

No, it's not a terrible idea, it's actually a very good one. If I have 10 people outside in a hail storm, they all take damage. Why would should a creature that occupies the same space take 1/10 the damage?

The problem is the game isn't set up to use this type of model. It's a lot simpler to say "per creature" than "per square." What the game should provide is a damage multiplier based on size. So yes, being large is a huge disadvantage if the attack is an AoE.

Whether it is a terrible or terrific idea depends on what you want.

It's a realistic idea: the more body you have, the more body you have to be damaged. The more of your body that suffered horrible burns, the more damaged you are.

That's why elephants and blue whales are not the most dominant creatures in the world. Gigantic creatures are just as vulnerable as small creatures, in some ways moreso. What would really happen if someone cloned T-Rexes and unleashed them into the world? We'd shoot them, and they'd be extinct again.

But we already live in the real world. Golorian is a fantasy world, and it's a game world. Because it's a fantasy world, we don't want our magnificent levaithans to be hunted into extinction by illiterate poachers trying to feed starving families by sellig irory or powdered horn to international billionaires. Because it's a game world, the laws of physics are dictated by game balance and fairness rather than by laws resembling the real world which rarely resemble any concept like "fair."

Realism has next to no place in a game with dragons and magic.

It's a terrible idea that would make large enemies virtually irrelevant by virtue of any AoE effects making them a non-threat.

The smaller something is the more dangerous it would become (assuming you made size reductions decrease damage in parallel to size increases increasing...

Yeah, that's pretty much what I was saying.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

That's Argumentum ad Fireballum; the presence of fantasy elements does not completely negate the need for consistent physical laws.
Dragons exist, but they need to breathe air and eat food to survive.

And again, I'll ask: DOES this idea actually make sense? Does a horse take four times the damage a human being does from area spells and effects? I don't think so. Does a horse really burn 400% faster than a human being? Can't see how. Or how about the other way around? Does a fly engulfed in flames only take 1/1,000th of the damage a human does?

I'm open to someone showing me the math, but I just don't see it. More mass = more injury, sure. But more mass = more ability to absorb injury.


Quixote wrote:
I'm open to someone showing me the math, but I just don't see it. More mass = more injury, sure. But more mass = more ability to absorb injury.

That's how my group always justified it. Sure, bigger enemies would take more surface area damage (from area attacks), but they have more volume as well. So we just call it a wash in terms of how that would affect damage taken.


Well, we could try to build a more realistic system from scratch:
(1) HP is roughly proportional to mass.
(2) Damage from area effect spells is proportional to the surface area of the creature affected.
(3) Creatures are easier to hit in proportion to their cross-sectional area...


Matthew Downie wrote:

Well, we could try to build a more realistic system from scratch:

(1) HP is roughly proportional to mass.
(2) Damage from area effect spells is proportional to the surface area of the creature affected.
(3) Creatures are easier to hit in proportion to their cross-sectional area...

No reason to limit it to spell or area effects.

1" cut is much more severe to a human than it is to a cloud giant.

And that's when you realize, nothing in the game is done proportionally, and if you did attempt to do...well larger creatures should have the advantage. The square cube law tells us that.

That is to say, while surface ratio will increase by the square of Length2/Length1, it's volume will increase by the cube of L2/l2.

Which is to say A2=A1(L2/L1)^2 vs V2=V1(L2/L1)^3.

So while they will get easier to hit, the amount of hp they should gain will outstrip that.


What would be the point of developing an entirely new rules system?

What "problem" are you trying to "fix" with your new system?

How does the implementation of this new system enhance the experience of the game?


Quixote wrote:


I'm open to someone showing me the math, but I just don't see it. More mass = more injury, sure. But more mass = more ability to absorb injury.

Reading a couple papers on wound recovery, all I can really say for sure is that wound survival and recovery isn't similar enough between large and small creatures to work within the same model. Small creatures like mice typically close wounds with contraction of the skin, they can continue moving with broken bones and sprained joints, and will eventually recover. Heavy animals are easily wounded if their legs or ribs are attacked. Burns are pretty interesting, recovery time seems pretty universal based on the degree of the burn regardless of size, but anything that would burn a horse would cook a cat. That said, large animals will be extremely weakened if they take 3rd degree burns over a large portion of their body, as they're losing a substantial amount of liquid and are spitting out calories to recover and fight infection.

I suppose you could make larger creatures fatigued when they take large area damage. I think I still prefer an attack size based DR for large creatures though.


VoodistMonk wrote:

What would be the point of developing an entirely new rules system?

What "problem" are you trying to "fix" with your new system?

How does the implementation of this new system enhance the experience of the game?

Also this. Any attempt to hack a game should be made while you're focused on actual game play. I can't count the number of times I've seen a complex, tedious houserule offered up "because it just makes more sense."

But if someone suggests such a change and I think I've got a perfectly sound argument to why it does not, in fact, make more sense, then I'll lead with that. It usually seems easier to stay in the arena that they started in than to try pulling them into another.


I think it really boils down to. Do you want a simulation or do you want a game?

If you want a simulation then you absolutely should modify things so that they are as realistic as possible. Hitpoints should probably be the first thing to go.

There was a pencil and paper tank simulation game I played. It was cool and fun for about the 1st hour. After that I think the glossiness wore off and the whole thing became quite tedious. The reason is that it used a hit box system. Sure you had miniatures on a map and tanks had to roll against an "AC" of sorts to see if you hit. But on a hit.... that's when things got tedious.

First you looked at the orientation of the miniature vs the location of the attacking tank in order to determine which of the tank's six sides got hit. If it was a corner you rolled to see what side it hit.

Then you rolled to see which square along that edge got hit. If you rolled too high or too low (in the case of very small tanks) then your hit was converted to a miss. Assuming you hit a valid square you would take the appropriate damage template for the attack it got hit with. You would then take the tank's damage sheet and center the damage template on the square that got hit and fill in all of the squares on the template.

Each tank had it's own pre-printed damage sheet to represent how much armor plating it had as well as the location of it's internal systems and how much room those took up.

If an internal system took damage as a result of the hit you rolled a die to see if that system was still functioning or if it had become disabled.

At the end of the round each tank that took damage that round would have to be evaluated. If any of it's armor was "detached" from the rest of the tank that armor would then be shaded in to represent it simply falling off. If all of the parts of an internal system were shaded in that system was considered to be destroyed which affected the performance of the tank moving forward. This could be anything from "you can no longer paint targets" to "the driver has been killed so you can't move" to "the tank explodes".

There were things in the game that did Area damage. These were represented simply with a radius and a number. (eg. area 10, dmg 3) The way these worked was similar to a hit. You would determine if the tank was in the area of effect and if it had been hit. If it was determined to have been hit you would determine the side. Then you would start with the outer most square. count inward a number of spaces equal to it's damage and then shade in ALL of the squares on that side at that depth.

Landmines were particularly devastating as they targeted the bottom of the tank (which always has the least amount of armor) and did this. A light tank hitting a mine could get destroyed or it was lucky it would just lose half it's systems.

Now you finally start the round over.

There's no reason the system I described couldn't be used in pathfinder. You could replace HP with a damage template for each creature laying out where it's internal organs are as systems. Now area effects do in fact do "more damage" to larger enemies because they will cause more squares to be shaded out. The bigger you are though the thicker your natural armor is likely to be.

If you just want something that's fun. Hit Points are more fun because it takes far less time and it makes the game feel more like an action movie. Action movies aren't realistic but they are fun.

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.

You just described what nerds are forced to play when they die and end up in hell.

Simulations are for computers. Games are for people.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Rulebook Subscriber

Bottom line is that there have been pen and paper role playing game systems that tried to make the combat more realistic, hit point distribution over the body, parry and strikes to specific locations, loss of use of limbs due to damage, etc. If you like that then the simplifications of pathfinder, and the even greater simplifications of DnD 5th edition are not for you. It is always a compromise between realism vs ease of use. And at the end o the day, one can always home rule where the basic game gets something wrong that you don't like. But a framework allows people to come together and play, and we live with the warts that come from simplifying things or we play a different game


LordKailas wrote:
There was a pencil and paper tank simulation game I played...

What was that called?

I always thought the Deadlands system was a decent mix of elegant and realistic.

Damage was allocated to a part of the target's body, divided by it's size and received that many wounds. Once a section of the body took 5 wounds, it was permanently disabled.
For most targets, a disabled head or upper/lower guts equaled death. At point-blank range, two barrels of a 10-gauge shotgun did 5d6 each. So, assuming both shots hit and the target couldn't dodge, your average person (size 6) would be dead or maimed.
A size 20 Mojave Rattler, on the other hand, might not be wounded at all.

Dynamite, nitro and similar things simply applied their damage to every area caught in the blast.

If the system had actually been complete, comprehensible and not shoehorned into the framework of a game of poker, I'd probably recommend it.


Quixote wrote:
LordKailas wrote:
There was a pencil and paper tank simulation game I played...

What was that called?

Centurion.


thorin001 wrote:
Quixote wrote:
LordKailas wrote:
There was a pencil and paper tank simulation game I played...

What was that called?

Centurion.

Yep, specifically this one

looking over the damage sheets I might be wrong about being able to miss if you rolled too high or too low on location. I remember this happening but it was probably due to another mechanic of the game. It's probably been 30 years now since I played it.

I notice the website only has pictures of the generic damage sheets. The pre-printed ones looked like This and This.

My brother only had the basic set, so all the miniatures were these little cardboard boxes with slots in the bottom so you could put them on stands to mark different elevations.


Those damage sheets...

What a nightmare.

I suddenly really appreciate HP and AC, and I will never complain about either ever again.


thorin001 wrote:
Centurion.

Cool, thanks. I know some people who love to wade deep down into some crunchy numbers, and I imagine they might actually enjoy this, or at least appreciate it.

Unfortunately, the people I know who'd like this stuff are also not the strongest in the mathematics department, so I doubt I'd enjoy sitting down to the 7-7-hour slogfest such a game would inevitably become.

Shinoskay wrote:
Try again.

To bring the subject matter back around, I would ask: Shinoskay, what is your stance in regards to this thread, exactly? Are you saying that the rules currently support the idea of rolling damage per square, or that you think a houserule should be made to enable rolling per square, or simply that such a houserule has it's merits, or something else?

This thread has gotten pretty muddy and confusing, so a little clarification would be helpful.

I'd ask everyone to put any hostility or negativity on the shelf, at least for the time being, in the name of the truth and honest, civil discourse.


Those look like awful versions of the Battletech record sheets. I'm sure there's a better balance point out there between hit points and and progressive crippling injuries.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

For the sake of "6 second" rounds... there is no substitute, can we please just move on?

I will not sit around waiting for spellcasting classes to roll MORE f!ck!ng dice than they already do... f!ck that! It's plenty tiresome already.

Nobody else ever gets 10D6, why should you roll yours multiple times?

GTFOH!!!

Not at my table...
Never...
Takes so long it's literally stupid...


VoodistMonk wrote:
...can we please just move on?

Sure, absolutely. No one's forcing you to read these posts or comment on them.

And also, I agree with your stance. But in the name of decency and good, honest, clear communication, I want to see exactly what Shinoskay is trying to say, prove or argue.


We're way past Rules Questions at this point and well into Homebrew.


It went to homebrew after the first person said "damage is per target" five years ago. And still the post needed a moderator.

101 to 130 of 130 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Rules Questions / Area damage vs size All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.