Shooting a fireball through a murder hole


Rules Questions

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Sovereign Court

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If you beat a horse enough, can it fit through an arrow slit?


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Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
If you beat a horse enough, can it fit through an arrow slit?

Yes, but only a little at a time.

Scarab Sages

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Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
If you beat a horse enough, can it fit through an arrow slit?

Druids Local 704 highly advises against it.

*sky booms*

Highly. Advises.


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Flutter wrote:
Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
If you beat a horse enough, can it fit through an arrow slit?

Druids Local 704 highly advises against it.

*sky booms*

Highly. Advises.

Many of the Druids Local chapters are lacking in official authority due to their inability to provide documentation in a language the clerks can actually read. I advise you to check on 704.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
wraithstrike wrote:
Anguish wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
That is not accurate because the caster is using rule specific to spells, and bow or crossbow shoot is not.
I disagree. A hole that is too small to use to perform an action is a hole that is too small to use to perform that action, regardless of what action one is talking about. Different actions will require different sized holes, but that's not the point.
I am telling you what the rules say. If you disagree provide rules to back your statement.

I... evidently have no idea what you're talking about then. So I don't know if I disagree with you, or if you disagree with me. 'Cuz I said a bunch of stuff, and you said something that took me out of context (I think), and I reiterated the context, and looking for rules somewhere. Dunno. Communications breakdown on this argument.

The Exchange

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Ravingdork wrote:

Here's a fun mental exercise for all you savvy rules lawyers out there:

So there is a murder hole in the door (really just a small barred window) which is just large enough for me to stick my arm through it. I want to shoot a fireball through it, but the GM says I don't have line of effect to do so, per the rules from the Magic chapter of the Core rulebook. Apparently you need a square foot in order to qualify for line of effect.

I knew this already, but a fireball bead streaks out from one's pointing digit/appendage, right? So if my arm (or even my finger) will fit, then I can effectively shoot a fireball through the aperture (since it will basically be created on the other side of the barrier), no?

My GM says no, since the opening is not big enough to qualify for line of effect. According to him, even though I can fit my arm through it, my character's space is still technically on the wrong side of the barrier and so the rule still applies.

What do you guys think?

My presumption would be that, considering that most spells have somatic components (I'm too lazy to look up if fireball is one of those with somatic components.), that wriggling your hand around the murder hole would not count as a somatic component, and therefore you would not be able to cast a spell by sticking your finger through the murder hole.

Now, however, this is where things get tricky.

If one of my players has the feat Still Spell, I, as a GM, would allow it.

Then another question arises if you really, really want to annoy your GM:

Can't I just make my hand into a gun-shape when I want to fire my spell?

Answer: It depends. A kind GM (or one whose to tired to look up your question,) may allow this. A GM who thinks this one over (especially if this was me) would most likely give it to you as well, albeit at a -4 penalty.

Bottom line, you should discuss this with your GM before doing the action, and he/she should look up the official ruling after the session has ended.

Hope that helps!
-Theliah Strongarm


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Rulebook Subscriber

In a slight detour into strange side questions, if you use the ectoplasmic metamagic feat on the fireball, does the bead become incorporeal?

And as a psychic bloodline sorcerer, none of your spells have somatic components, and you have eschew materials so can you still not do the whole point out the murder hole without an attack roll.


Cheburn wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
_Ozy_ wrote:
That's not how the ranged cover rules work, and if it was handled your way, the field of view for an arrow slit would be close to 0 degrees. Saying 'don't worry about the grid' is in direct contradiction to the cover rules which explicitly tell you to use the corners of your square.
Depend on how it is drawn on the map. If it is drawn as a straight hole through a 5' wall, sure. But that isn't the shape of a real arrowslit. Look the Wikipedia page I linked for the real shape.

That's how total cover works, from the Core Rulebook. Where do the rules say that ranged attacks don't follow these general rules?

To determine if a target has total cover, it's "any line" from a corner of your square to the target.* If you can't draw one, you can't attack. This automatically creates an attackable area, which will vary depending on the shape of your arrow slit. As Diego Rossi's link showed, if you have a reasonable shape for your arrow slit, you'll get a 30-40° field of vision out of it, using Pathfinder's rules. If your arrow slit has a 0° angle, and is 10 feet long, that's poorly designed on the part of the architect.

* You don't worry about following the squares on the grid with your line, which is what I meant, and is correct. I'm sorry if that's was not clear.

From the rules:

Quote:
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).

The border with the arrow slit provides cover. Therefore, the target of the archer also gets cover from the arrow slit. There's nothing in the rules that subdivides a border into open and closed areas with regard to cover, except that a solid barrier provides total cover. According to the rules, if the arrow slit provides cover for the attacker, then it provides cover for the defender.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber
_Ozy_ wrote:
The border with the arrow slit provides cover. Therefore, the target of the archer also gets cover from the arrow slit. There's nothing in the rules that subdivides a border into open and closed areas with regard to cover, except that a solid barrier provides total cover. According to the rules, if the arrow slit provides cover for the attacker, then it provides cover for the defender.

While there's nothing in the specific arrow slit rules about this, I'd be inclined to rule the target gets regular cover due to the very limited field of vision of the attacker, with the following caveat:

1) attacker gets improved cover i.e. +8 to AC, as per the arrow slit rules; and
2) target gets regular cover i.e. +4 to AC.

--> basically, advantage to the one behind the arrow slit.


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Agodeshalf wrote:

In a slight detour into strange side questions, if you use the ectoplasmic metamagic feat on the fireball, does the bead become incorporeal?

Ectoplasmic Spell just adds the ability to affect incorporeal creatures fully. It does not make the spell incorporeal; it still affects corporeal creatures and objects fully as well.

Liberty's Edge

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_Ozy_ wrote:
The border with the arrow slit provides cover. Therefore, the target of the archer also gets cover from the arrow slit. There's nothing in the rules that subdivides a border into open and closed areas with regard to cover, except that a solid barrier provides total cover. According to the rules, if the arrow slit provides cover for the attacker, then it provides cover for the defender.

There is some rule that say that an arrow slit should be drawn in the center of a square?

You can draw it so that it start on the corner of a square, so that the archer can fire trough it without problems.

PRD wrote:
Archers behind arrow slits have improved cover that gives them a +8 bonus to Armor Class, a +4 bonus on Reflex saves, and the benefits of the improved evasion class feature.

Now we can spend the next 2 hundred post discussing what is the meaning of behind in that phrase. You should be adjacent, or the guy on the other side of the arrowslit and 100' away is behind it?


Diego Rossi wrote:
_Ozy_ wrote:
The border with the arrow slit provides cover. Therefore, the target of the archer also gets cover from the arrow slit. There's nothing in the rules that subdivides a border into open and closed areas with regard to cover, except that a solid barrier provides total cover. According to the rules, if the arrow slit provides cover for the attacker, then it provides cover for the defender.

There is some rule that say that an arrow slit should be drawn in the center of a square?

You can draw it so that it start on the corner of a square, so that the archer can fire trough it without problems.

That absolutely doesn't matter. The cover rules say nothing about passing or not passing through an 'opening' in a boundary, but merely whether a boundary provides cover or not. The boundary with an arrow slit provides cover, no matter if the arrow slit is drawn in the center or starting at a corner.

And really, do you think the rules should change depending on how gridlines are arbitrarily aligned with the arrow slit construction?

PRD wrote:
Archers behind arrow slits have improved cover that gives them a +8 bonus to Armor Class, a +4 bonus on Reflex saves, and the benefits of the improved evasion class feature.

Now we can spend the next 2 hundred post discussing what is the meaning of behind in that phrase. You should be adjacent, or the guy on the other side of the arrowslit and 100' away is behind it?

Or the guy 5' away? or 10' away? or 20' away?

I agree that the rules should be similar to the 'low cover' rules where cover depends on who is closer to the obstacle.

But they aren't.

Liberty's Edge

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_Ozy_ wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
_Ozy_ wrote:
The border with the arrow slit provides cover. Therefore, the target of the archer also gets cover from the arrow slit. There's nothing in the rules that subdivides a border into open and closed areas with regard to cover, except that a solid barrier provides total cover. According to the rules, if the arrow slit provides cover for the attacker, then it provides cover for the defender.

There is some rule that say that an arrow slit should be drawn in the center of a square?

You can draw it so that it start on the corner of a square, so that the archer can fire trough it without problems.

That absolutely doesn't matter. The cover rules say nothing about passing or not passing through an 'opening' in a boundary, but merely whether a boundary provides cover or not. The boundary with an arrow slit provides cover, no matter if the arrow slit is drawn in the center or starting at a corner.

And really, do you think the rules should change depending on how gridlines are arbitrarily aligned with the arrow slit construction?

The rules about cover say a lot about passing on not passing through covering terrain and the effect of how the arrowslit is drawn. .

PRD wrote:
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).

1) You select the corner near the arrowslit.

2) it it is drawn as a straight line it almost sure the target benefit from cover, if instead is drawn in a way that show some width, the lines you draw to the corners of the target creature will probably connect all the creature square corners without touching the border of the arrowslit. If that is true the target has no cover.
Without cover he don't get the benefit of improved cover from the arrowslit.

Or more simply, you can assume that they are made to do their work, they restrict somewhat your field of fire, but don't give the targets cover.


That's not what the rules say. The border that contains the arrow slit provides cover, whether or not a particular line passes through the opening or not.

I mean, how else can a border 'provide cover'? If it passes a line without hitting a surface, then there is no cover, and if it blocks a line, then it provides total cover? If you have a set of bars along a border that provide 50% cover, depending whether any particular line hits a bar, or an opening between the bars says either no cover or total cover? No, that's not how it works. If the line crosses a boundary that provides cover (like an arrow slit, low cover, bars, etc...) then there is cover. How the line exactly intersects with the particular geometry of a border is irrelevant.

Once again, the fact that your situation depends on whether the arbitrary grid is exactly drawn aligned with an arrow slit, or whether the arrow slit is in the middle of the grid should clue you in that something is wrong with your analysis. Whether or not someone has cover shouldn't depend on whether the 'grid' is shifted 2.5' to the left.


Magic lightning bolt is magical.

Magic fireball is magical.

The fireball says "An early impact results in an early detonation."
It also says the caster must point. If you stick your hand through the the bars and point at the end of the spell casting, you are firing blind. You shouldn't get the save for half, but you do, if the door goes by-by. What happens to your hand if the door survives is up to the GM or Devs. May I suggest the caster takes 1D4 damage and the hand is disabled till healed?

Grand Lodge

I'd probably count it as arcane spell failure chance of 20%. Also if you lose line of sight I'd say you'd be dealing with blind fighting, but you know what 'square' you want; I'd roll a d8 and treat it like a splash weapon.


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

It seems I've created a monster (again). ;P

Liberty's Edge

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Ravingdork wrote:
It seems I've created a monster (again). ;P

Several, actually, there are at least a couple of daughter threads about arrowlits.

:D


wraithstrike wrote:

Now that I am at a computer:

Quote:
An otherwise solid barrier with a hole of at least 1 square foot through it does not block a spell's line of effect. Such an opening means that the 5-foot length of wall containing the hole is no longer considered a barrier for purposes of a spell's line of effect.

It doesn't say that sticking your hand in the hole stops the barrier from blocking line of effect. It just says that the barrier provides it unless the hole is a certain size, and no other exception is given.

So no, putting your hand in the hold per a strict reading of the rules does not allow you to ignore the barrier. If we are really going to go by RAW that is how it works.

Interesting. If I put a 1' wide hole in every room of the dungeon (say, air duct system, or a drain system in the floor), the BBEG can cast spells on the PCs from hundreds of feet away, having full LOE to them in the first room... wow. So the BBEG appears in room 1, using Project Image, hits them with fireballs and lightning bolts. Then vanishes into thin air. Room 2, repeat. Room 3, repeat, ad nauseum. LOL

Ravingdork wrote:
It seems I've created a monster (again). ;P

Well, I think this one is just because you keep it going RD. I have a lot of respect for you as I've been reading your posts on here for years and years, and I agree with most of what you say when it comes down to it. Though, it seems lately some of your threads are more argumentative than they used to be. Maybe it's the game you're in.

The fireball spell pretty much says you can do what you're trying to do, but the GM shut you down, probably because he doesn't want the player (you in this case) to hurt his precious NPCs. I get it. As a GM I sometimes cringe when an NPC I spent hours carefully crafting with stats, motivations, backstory etc, suddenly gets wiped without even getting a word out first. But it's not really 'your' game as the GM, it's shared between you and the players. There is a reason that roleplaying is called "interactive storytelling", it's the interactive part which requires cooperation. So as the GM you need to be willing to give as much as you take when it comes to control over how the game plays out, or else it's less fun for the players, and there will always be that adversarial overtone to the game which can really kill the fun. If that's a consistent theme in the game you're in now RD, I'd consider leaving that group.

A better way for your GM to react is to allow what you want to do, then think about the consequences of that action. Was the NPC on the other side of that door a minion of a more powerful bad guy? Will that bad guy want revenge? Will some shopkeeper hear about it via rumors and give RD a discount for killing that scumbag who collected the protection money every week? That is the job of a GM, to build story. Not to look for ways to shut down the PCs ideas.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Firelock wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:

Now that I am at a computer:

Quote:
An otherwise solid barrier with a hole of at least 1 square foot through it does not block a spell's line of effect. Such an opening means that the 5-foot length of wall containing the hole is no longer considered a barrier for purposes of a spell's line of effect.

It doesn't say that sticking your hand in the hole stops the barrier from blocking line of effect. It just says that the barrier provides it unless the hole is a certain size, and no other exception is given.

So no, putting your hand in the hold per a strict reading of the rules does not allow you to ignore the barrier. If we are really going to go by RAW that is how it works.

Interesting. If I put a 1' wide hole in every room of the dungeon (say, air duct system, or a drain system in the floor), the BBEG can cast spells on the PCs from hundreds of feet away, having full LOE to them in the first room... wow. So the BBEG appears in room 1, using Project Image, hits them with fireballs and lightning bolts. Then vanishes into thin air. Room 2, repeat. Room 3, repeat, ad nauseum. LOL

Note that square borders block LOS and LOE too. So if you have a 1' hole but your line of sight or line of effect cross a square border without a1' hole, it is blocked.

Essentially your BEEG need a straight line of holes 1' square large from his room to the target room. It can be done, but it open him to retaliation by any spellcaster or archer.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber
Ravingdork wrote:
It seems I've created a monster (again). ;P

Mission accomplished! We know how much you love to create monsters. :)


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Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
It seems I've created a monster (again). ;P
Mission accomplished! We know how much you love to create monsters. :)

Not exactly a secret, eh Herr RavenStein?


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Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
It seems I've created a monster (again). ;P
Mission accomplished! We know how much you love to create monsters. :)

*Coddles Monster Thread*

Eh, what was that?

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