Imprecise areas? Making precisely-bordered fireballs more risky.


Homebrew and House Rules


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One complaint I often see is the ability of spellcasters to absolutely precisely land explosions in exactly the right place between a roiling melee of combatants such that it only hits enemies.

What if you could never be entirely certain of the precise radius of your effects? You could clip a nearby ally with that fireball.

How would this work?

Imprecise Areas
When determining which targets are affected by an instantaneous area effect, each target immediately adjacent to the edge of the area has a 50% chance to be affected as if it were inside the area.


I like it.


I've never heard this complaint ever xD seems like potentially a lot of bother.

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I've never heard of this complaint, ever.


Cyrad wrote:
I've never heard of this complaint, ever.

It was mentioned in the Dresden Files. Dresden, an actual wizard (in the context of the book), finds it preposterous that fireballs would have such precise borders.


Umbral Reaver wrote:

One complaint I often see is the ability of spellcasters to absolutely precisely land explosions in exactly the right place between a roiling melee of combatants such that it only hits enemies.

What if you could never be entirely certain of the precise radius of your effects? You could clip a nearby ally with that fireball.

How would this work?

Imprecise Areas
When determining which targets are affected by an instantaneous area effect, each target immediately adjacent to the edge of the area has a 50% chance to be affected as if it were inside the area.

This is basically what I use unless player takes a Precise Spell feat that allows the caster to control area of effect spells so that there is no spill over. I make it the prerequisite to the Selective Spell feat rather than spellcraft 10.

Also, fireballs/lightning bolts have not kept up with hp inflation and are really meh post 2nd ed. I allow casters to add their level to damage just to make it non-yawn inducing.


I've actually heard it called 'fireball tetris', but that may be a local variant.

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I played in a 3.5 campaign that had a DMPC eldritch knight that was sloppy with her AoE spells, and everyone hated it. I know I lost at least one animal companion to a sloppy fireball, and there might have even been the occasional PC death or dropped to negs, at least.

Not fun.

And not necessary. There was plenty of room. It wasn't like this was happening in a 30 by 30 room.


I like it. Although perhaps some kind of check would allow varying degrees of control.


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I've long had a house rule that precision area of effect spells required a Spellcraft check (though the DC was fairly moderate). It applied to both PCs and NPC/monsters of course, so it went both ways.

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