# Rail cannon (with adamantine rounds) vs cover

### Rules Questions

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Shaudius wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:

You do have line of effect to them. Raw you haven't decreased your hit box to increase your cover. You are still a 5 by 5 square occupying a spot behind the table and can be targeted as such.

You are still a 5 by 5 square behind a mountain as well. I'm not really sure how that's responsive. If you want say the table is 6 feet tall when flipped on its side, same result?

You cannot draw a line from any corner of your square on your side of the mountain to someone on the far side of the mountain without passing through the mountain.

A 5 by 5 table (or even 6 by 6 since we live in a world with a planck distance of 5 feet) cannot block line of effect on its own. The geometry of the game allows you to target ipseths corners around the table or over the top even if you're standing directly in front of the door by drawing a line from your bottom corners to his bottom corners or your top corners to his top corners no matter what.

The party invades a door factory. The workers have a slightly crooked table with two by fours nailed to it to make a lunch table. Ipseth kicks over the door turned table for some cover and drops prone behind it.

If ipseth picks up the table and puts it in the doorway is it a little weird you may not be able to shoot him with the minigun anymore? Yes. A little. But remember that while Ipseth is behind a table you can still see parts of him to shoot. When he's behind the door you can't. Should there be something in between +8 cover+prone penalty and impossible to attack when you just want to shoot through something? Or use concealment instead of cover? Or have cover and concealment? Maybe. But the game is simplified so we can resolve it without anything other than a d20.

Getting slightly more mileage out of being totally hidden than you should is not so weird that we should now make dungeons less than 100 feet thick killable from the welcome mat.

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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber

But you don't need to be aiming at a person with a line weapon. You just fire the damn thing in a direction and see if it his anything. If it happens to hit something dense enough to get stuck (aka fail to deal damage) the line stops, otherwise it runs until the end of it's increment.

Instead of aiming at Iseph behind the 6x12 makeshift door in the 5x10 doorway (because I'm assuming a 15 ft high room with 10 ft high doors), I'm just putting bullets through the door in the hope of hitting something behind it.

Iseph benefits from both 50% concealment and at least a +8 to AC from improved cover, because total cover only says you can't aim directly, I'm taking the highest amount in the rules that still has a value.

So, let's stop aiming directly at people behind walls in total cover with line weapons, and just have them be in the way of the speeding projectile?

Would that be more in line with adamantine projectiles fired from a rail cannon with the line property going through walls and potentially hitting enemies behind them?

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BigNorseWolf wrote:

The ineffective weapon rules are on a per substance basis. They really don't treat a 5 foot rock wall and a 30 foot rock wall any differently. Its pretty clear to see why, if you're mining through with a pick you have to damage 5 feet to damage 30.

OR you can just read the line rule the way I am. That the hardness thing is only applicable to its self imposed limit of stopping the line early. If you want lines to have a little more punch have them resolve their damage and attacks in order except all at once. No fiat needed no wonkiness introduced.

It's still pretty wonky if you can't shoot through a wooden wall, but you can shoot through a steel beam lying on the ground providing cover.

If something only provides cover you can shoot around it. An adamantine wall and a wood wall waist high provide the same cover bonus

BigNorseWolf wrote:
If something only provides cover you can shoot around it. An adamantine wall and a wood wall waist high provide the same cover bonus

But a 10' wooden wall connected to a ceiling, a floor and two additional walls provides total cover? I can't bring myself to rule these weapons that way.

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

BNW, you're preferred ruling relies on the idea that it is impossible to shoot through a vertical object with a vertical object behind it provided that there are two other vertical objects next to that object that are not even in the area of effect. But, on the other hand, it is possible to shoot through a horizontal object with a horizontal object behind it, provided there are not two horizontal or vertical objects next to it, which, again, are not in its area of effect. (because then it turns from an table to a doorway.)

I'm sorry but the idea that something that is 5 feet wide behaves differently based on the things next to that 5 foot line (objects which it doesn't affect because its a 5 foot line and couldn't go around in any case, since, again, 5 foot line) and whether they are vertical or horizontal is not a ruling that I can get behind in the slightest.

In other words, you're asking us to rule that wooden doors work differently than wooden tables. Given the choice between a ruling that doesn't lead to an absurd result, you can shoot through a wooden table but not a wooden door. And one that does lead to an absurd result, you can equally shoot through a wooden table and a wooden door. Why would I pick the ruling that results in something absurd?

Shaudius wrote:

BNW, you're preferred ruling relies on the idea that it is impossible to shoot through a vertical object with a vertical object behind it provided that there are two other vertical objects next to that object that are not even in the area of effect. But, on the other hand, it is possible to shoot through a horizontal object with a horizontal object behind it, provided there are not two horizontal or vertical objects next to it, which, again, are not in its area of effect. (because then it turns from an table to a doorway.)

No.

You are hung up on the idea of shooting through cover, as if your bullet passes through the table and hits Ipseth.

That is not how cover works in this system. Cover works because its in the way of your shot. There is simply no rules in the game for -I don't care about cover I'm just going to shoot through it-. You can ad hoc things that way (use concealment instead of cover) but thats what requires the fiat, not unblockable line weapons.

Pile of dirt? +4 cover
Concrete blocks? +4 cover
Adamantine anvil leggo formation? +4 cover

The chasis of the game is still based around an archer with a bow shooting at orcs behind a barrel.

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n other words, you're asking us to rule that wooden doors work differently than wooden tables.

No. that a wooden door and 2 walls work differently than a wooden table. Those are definitely different as you can magic missile one person and not the other.

Garretmander wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
If something only provides cover you can shoot around it. An adamantine wall and a wood wall waist high provide the same cover bonus
But a 10' wooden wall connected to a ceiling, a floor and two additional walls provides total cover? I can't bring myself to rule these weapons that way.

behind a wall is pretty much the definition of total cover.

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
BigNorseWolf wrote:

You are hung up on the idea of shooting through cover, as if your bullet passes through the table and hits Ipseth.

No I'm hung up on the idea that if I do enough damage to bypass hardness and completely destroy a door it does not continue and hit the person behind it because I didn't have line of effect to the person behind it when I shot my line, but if that same situation happens with a table the bullet passes through and hits them. I can't support a ruling that leads to that result because its absurd, wood is wood, and what happens to things behind wood should not be different based on what is around the wood outside of the area of effect.

I've even conceded your hardness + HP argument here(even though line effects only state they have to bypass hardness to move on to the next target) and even granting that the result becomes absurd.

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BigNorseWolf wrote:

You are hung up on the idea of shooting through cover, as if your bullet passes through the table and hits Ipseth.

That is not how cover works in this system. Cover works because its in the way of your shot. There is simply no rules in the game for -I don't care about cover I'm just going to shoot through it-. You can ad hoc things that way (use concealment instead of cover) but thats what requires the fiat, not unblockable line weapons.

That's not how cover works in this system, but that is how line weapons work.

Of course that could be extrapolated to line weapons bypassing any and all cover, which I do not think should be the case.

Shaudius wrote:

No I'm hung up on the idea that if I do enough damage to bypass hardness and completely destroy a door

Which is it? Do enough damage to bypass hardness or completely destroy the door? They're not the same thing and you can model them different ways. Very clearly just penetrating hardness does not destroy an object, thats why it has hardness and hit points. A door with a bullet hole in it is still a door.

I am open to the idea that a line weapon can blow through a door or a wall by going through its hit points: all you have to do is resolve the attack and damage to the wall before you resolve the attack and damage to the thing behind it, but only having to get through somethings hardness goes nuts fast.

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it does not continue and hit the person behind it because I didn't have line of effect to the person behind it when I shot my line, but if that same situation happens with a table the bullet passes through and hits them.

What is remotely absurd about it?

When you're shooting through a table at Ipseth you know where he is. You know his mohawk is there, his ankles are there, his center of mass is over here you pull the trigger. He has cover (probably) but you shoot for him behind the table- you're not just aiming at an area thats why you make an attack and your skill with the weapon matters. If you failed to penetrate the hardness then all the bullets stopped in the table. you're putting 100 bullets in a 2 by 2 section of ipseths center of mass.

When you're shooting through a door at Ipseth you DON"T know where he is. You're going to have to put the bullets EVERYWHERE to get rid of the door and try to hit him and in that process you're probably going to destroy the door and NEXT round you can shoot him. you need to blow through the entire 5 by 5 wall and thats going to soak up more bullets.

If that breaks when you have a holo projection of ipseth on a security camera behind the wall and a computer aided projection x ray system well something weird is going to break ANY rule.

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I can't support a ruling that leads to that result because its absurd

And the other way you have someone shooting a crossbow through a mountain or at the very least an off the shelf minigun through the asteroid.

You can't just pick apart A declare it absurd Therefore B without regard to their relative absurdities or how they break the game. You are treating a 1 inch stone wall the same way as 90 FEET of stone. That is far, FAR more absurd than taking an extra 6 seconds to shoot someone behind a door.

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Starfinder Charter Superscriber
BigNorseWolf wrote:
or completely destroy the door? They're not the same thing and you can model them different ways. Very clearly just penetrating hardness does not destroy an object, thats why it has hardness and hit points. A door with a bullet hole in it is still a door.

Its also incredibly clear you don't have to destroy an object for a line to get through it, but you're not willing to accept that line of reasoning (and direct rules citation) so here we are. does a door with a bullet hole in it block line of effect to a line weapon that shoots through that bullet hole?

BigNorseWolf wrote:

I am open to the idea that a line weapon can blow through a door or a wall by going through its hit points: all you have to do is resolve the attack and damage to the wall before you resolve the attack and damage to the thing behind it, but only having to get through somethings hardness goes nuts fast.

Sure, but then you're open to the idea of ignoring what line weapons say, which is that you only have to get through hardness to get to the next target, you're well into 'this is how I think the rules should work' versus 'what the rules say' territory.

BigNorseWolf wrote:

What is remotely absurd about it?

When you're shooting through a table at Ipseth you know where he is. You know his mohawk is there, his ankles are there, his center of mass is over here you pull the trigger.

Why do you know that, he is completely behind the table, his mohawk is not sticking out, his ankles are not sticking out. You no more know that Iseph is behind the table than you know that Iseph is behind the door, that's the whole point.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
When you're shooting through a door at Ipseth you DON"T know where he is. You're going to have to put the bullets EVERYWHERE to get rid of the door and try to hit him and in that process you're probably going to destroy the door and NEXT round you can shoot him. you need to blow through the entire 5 by 5 wall and thats going to soak up more bullets.

Again, why do you know where he is when you shoot through a table when you can't see him on the other side any more than you know where he is when you shoot through a door, both are solid objects, both completely obscure the target. What if its not Iseph but instead a diminutive stellifera, do you still know where they are behind the table but not the door, afterall their space is only 1 foot but the table is 5 feet.

I'm not why you've decided a door is somehow this magical construct that blocks line of effect when other objects of the same composition and size do not relative to what they are obscuring. The rules certainly don't say it. The rule specifically says "such as a wall, for most effects." what makes a table less of a wall than a door?

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Why do you know that, he is completely behind the table, his mohawk is not sticking out, his ankles are not sticking out. You no more know that Iseph is behind the table than you know that Iseph is behind the door, that's the whole point.

Cover does not block line of sight. You still see him there or it wouldn't be cover.

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How is there any debate here?

Lines are magic fantasy beams that attack everything in their area of effect (a line). They explicitly shoot through anything that takes damage. Period end of story; its right there in the line weapon property description.

If you roll more than the hardness of rock (or use adamantine rounds), then yes it goes through the mountain. Is that unrealistic? Yes, but its equally silly for a rail cannon's round to magically stop at 60 feet. Both of those things are RAW. You can apply whatever house rules you like to your own games.

For any target hit that has concealment miss chances apply - miss chances are added after a hit is confirmed from AC and the line property does not chance that.

For targets that have cover, they get their AC bonus as normal - the cover rules add to AC and nothing in the line property changes that.

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It’s because BNW mainly uses a rather creative mixture of rules and fluff for arguments (and, I assume, how the universe works in the BNW-game.)

Like, an overturned table is cover. There’s a rule.
“You can see parts of the target (Ipseth) above, around, and below the table.” I think that this is because a table is not total cover, therefore you have to be able to see at least part of the opponent you want to shoot. Which leads people who don’t care about the fluff of the matter, because it doesn’t affect anything, to have a hard time arguing with BNW. The other part is this near constant going back and forth between other line weapons, and non-line weapons, as examples of how the one specific example we were initially curious about can’t work, because it can’t be rectified vs every other weapon in the game.

And, of course, the whole gatling gun maze thing, or hover drone building thing. Which is… I mean, if the GM wants to put enough hover drones with adamantine bullet modified rail guns outside to truly make it dangerous, it’s going to be a fight way, way above APL. Unless there are line weapons that are not unwieldy? I didn’t check. If I’m wrong about that, then I recant this particular paragraph with apologies.

At any rate, I can’t distinguish if BNW is, or has been trying to argue something in good faith and doing a bad job, or if BNW is actually a fairly clever troll. In either case, one isn’t worth my time, and the other isn’t worth anyone’s time. You all have fun in the thread, I’ll catch you folks when (if) there’s a FAQ for this.

Wait, wait, wait. So, I'm trying to figure out exactly what you're arguing here. Let me just ponder aloud for a minute and then you can tell me if I'm missing some crucial bit of information.

*pointedly ignoring trolls*

A line stops when "an attack fails to damage a creature or obstacle hit in the line (typically due to damage reduction or hardness)." Also, they have a range, which isn't going to be as far across as a mountain.

So, with a 60-ft line weapon, your soldier shoots haphazardly through a wall. He has no idea what's on the other side, because, well, it's a wall and he can't see through it.

BNW, you're right that it doesn't really make sense that the line weapon keeps going unless it somehow burns or burrows a hole through the wall. But, if it bypasses hardness and does some damage (regardless of if said wall is destroyed) I think we can safely assume it leaves a hole of some kind large enough for the line to pass through.

Since our soldier can't see through the wall, does everything on the other side have total concealment? If it does, then it can't be targeted, correct? If it can't be targeted, can it still be hit with a line weapon?

Personally, I think if it's in range and the solider can overcome the hardness of the wall, door, mountain, whatever, and do damage to it, I'd let them roll concealment to see if they hit whoever is on the other side. Of course, this ruling means that they could also hit valuables... important NPCs...

And, in the case of ridiculous, out-of-hand, shenanigans, I can always rule-0 that this particular wall has 18 zillion hardness because it's made of Venusian Moon Diamonds! *handwaves* =p

/ponder

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Quote:
Why do you know that, he is completely behind the table, his mohawk is not sticking out, his ankles are not sticking out. You no more know that Iseph is behind the table than you know that Iseph is behind the door, that's the whole point.
Cover does not block line of sight. You still see him there or it wouldn't be cover.

And we're back to wondering if BNW has the same book as the rest of the class.

pyrotechNIC wrote:

Wait, wait, wait. So, I'm trying to figure out exactly what you're arguing here. Let me just ponder aloud for a minute and then you can tell me if I'm missing some crucial bit of information.

A line stops when "an attack fails to damage a creature or obstacle hit in the line (typically due to damage reduction or hardness)." Also, they have a range, which isn't going to be as far across as a mountain.

2 crucial bits of information.

That line is from the line weapon property, and it's mixed in with the rule that line weapons (not lines) stop when they hit a barrier who's hardness they can't penetrate.

The weapon hits all targets with an AC equal to or lower than the attack roll. However, if an attack fails to damage a creature or obstacle hit in the line (typically due to damage reduction or hardness), the path is stopped and the attack doesn’t damage creatures farther away

Andy the Wizard--> Blue dragon --->Red dragon---> White Dragon--> Wall.

So you have a general rule that lines Go from Point A to Point X

The weapon hits all targets with an AC equal to or lower than the attack roll: Pretty straight forward, it means that missing the blue dragon still gives you a chance to shoot red and white if they have lower AC's or something. Without that rule one might be lead to think that you hit blue and his armor stopped the bullets.

However, if an attack fails to damage a creature or obstacle hit in the line (typically due to damage reduction or hardness), the path is stopped and the attack doesn’t damage creatures farther away: This changes the way lines work. If Andy the Space Wizard had hit the blue dragon with a Lightning bolt it would do nothing, and then hit the red dragon behind him and then the white dragon behind him. When that doesn't work and he whips out the flame thrower, The flame thrower line weapon will hit the blue dragon, but because of this rule stops at the red dragon. (Andy has clearly been at the bar for a while)

Thats all I think the rule is supposed to do. Its not supposed to change where X stops and it doesn't have line of effect just because it exceeds the walls hardness by one hit point. Thats the context of the rule, its limited to overcoming its own restriction on lines stopping, not expand when they stop. If i have permission to extend my patio i still need to stop at the property line

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Since our soldier can't see through the wall, does everything on the other side have total concealment? If it does, then it can't be targeted, correct? If it can't be targeted, can it still be hit with a line weapon?

For things that require attack rolls (like most weapons and spells that have attack rolls) You can target things without line of sight. If you are shooting at an invisible wizard or someone on the other side of a fog cloud for instance. Fog blocks line of sight but not line of effect.

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And, in the case of ridiculous, out-of-hand, shenanigans, I can always rule-0 that this particular wall has 18 zillion hardness because it's made of Venusian Moon Diamonds! *handwaves* =

Party ignores dungeon, mines venusian moon diamonds, gets rich and retires to the umbrella drink in a coconut planet.....

Gosh darn those players! This is why we can't have nice things! =p

So the real question is... Does our door, mountain, coffee table block line of effect?

Doors Block Line of effect

Mountains block line of effect

coffee tables do not. Turned over coffee tables provide cover.

A Door needs to have about a one foot by one foot hole it it before it stops blocking line of effect.

Additionally, an otherwise solid barrier with a hole of at least 1 square foot through it may grant cover rather than total cover against an effect, at the GM’s discretion.

Even with large bullets and saying that it doesn't need to be continuous that is a LOT of bullet holes

Man, we really need to develop some kind of document/cheat sheet for cover, concealment, line or sight, and line of effect. *Adds to to-do-list*

I guess that's where the confusion comes in here then. I always thought of Line of Effect as a spells thing rather than a weapons thing. Hmm...

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
pyrotechNIC wrote:

Man, we really need to develop some kind of document/cheat sheet for cover, concealment, line or sight, and line of effect. *Adds to to-do-list*

I guess that's where the confusion comes in here then. I always thought of Line of Effect as a spells thing rather than a weapons thing. Hmm...

Its both, potentially, "If a weapon, spell, ability, or item requires an attack roll and has a range measured in feet, it normally requires that you (or whoever or whatever is using the ability) have a line of effect to the target to be effective (subject to GM discretion)."

What is subject to line of effect (or even what blocks line of effect) is GM discretion. All we have is "such as a wall." What is subject to line of effect at all is subject to GM discretion, per the above.

Very specific, much wow. =p

We can probably all agree you don't have line of effect on the other side of the mountain, you do across the coffee table, and we're split on the door, which becomes academic anyway since it's GM discretion.

Which means that pretty much anytime we want, we have the power as GMs to say to ourselves, "You know what? This player is getting out of hand with this line weapon." Nope, no line of effect there! Probably a good discretionary power to have, honestly.

So, if we (the GM) says that there is line of effect, our soldier can try to shoot their line weapon blindly through the theoretical door, right?

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
pyrotechNIC wrote:

Very specific, much wow. =p

We can probably all agree you don't have line of effect on the other side of the mountain, you do across the coffee table, and we're split on the door, which becomes academic anyway since it's GM discretion.

Which means that pretty much anytime we want, we have the power as GMs to say to ourselves, "You know what? This player is getting out of hand with this line weapon." Nope, no line of effect there! Probably a good discretionary power to have, honestly.

So, if we (the GM) says that there is line of effect, our soldier can try to shoot their line weapon blindly through the theoretical door, right?

The general consensus, if you want to go with that is that you don't need line of effect to things you use your line weapon against provided that you beat the hardness of the thing between you and the next target. Only BNW and perhaps 1-2 other people in this thread of at least a dozen people think otherwise.

People have disagreed about what kind of cover/concealment those creatures behind the walls have, but for the most part the majority believes you can go through walls with line weapons.

If you're looking for a way to not let certain line shenanigans happen its page 409: "Ineffective Weapons: Certain weapons can’t effectively deal damage to certain objects. Most low-level melee weapons have little effect on metal walls and doors. Certain pieces of equipment are designed to cut through metal, however."

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Not worried so much about the consensus, but good to know. Man, line of effect is a really wibbly wobbly rule unless I'm missing a clarification elsewhere.

Personally, the line special property doesn't seem, on its face, to negate the need for line of effect. Since it's discretion, I can see ruling that the rail canon has line of effect through a door because... it's a rail canon.

I'll probably play it conditionally. In the case of the rail canon in the title, I could see it punching through a door if it bypassed the hardness and did damage. I'll probably still call for concealment rolls on whoever was behind the door. Through a mountain? Not gonna fly.

I don't think it's wrong to say that it doesn't work either though. At least RAW.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
BigNorseWolf wrote:
A Door needs to have about a one foot by one foot hole it it before it stops blocking line of effect.

An idle thought: What about murder holes (like those found in dungeon adventures) that aren't 1 foot by 1 foot? You can clearly shoot through them (that's the whole point of murder holes), but do they still block line of effect?

Can I shoot the technomancer with impunity from behind it because the murder hole isn't big enough to grant line of effect for his spells?

Ravingdork wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
A Door needs to have about a one foot by one foot hole it it before it stops blocking line of effect.

An idle thought: What about murder holes (like those found in dungeon adventures) that aren't 1 foot by 1 foot? You can clearly shoot through them (that's the whole point of murder holes), but do they still block line of effect?

Can I shoot the technomancer with impunity from behind it because the murder hole isn't big enough to grant line of effect for his spells?

Murderholes/arrowslits/space arrow slits/gun ports are the ur example of improved cover.

Improved Cover

In some cases, such as when a target is hiding behind a gun port in a defensive wall, cover provides greater bonuses to AC and Reflex saves. In such situations, the normal bonuses to AC and Reflex saves are doubled (to +8 and +4, respectively).

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
A Door needs to have about a one foot by one foot hole it it before it stops blocking line of effect.

An idle thought: What about murder holes (like those found in dungeon adventures) that aren't 1 foot by 1 foot? You can clearly shoot through them (that's the whole point of murder holes), but do they still block line of effect?

Can I shoot the technomancer with impunity from behind it because the murder hole isn't big enough to grant line of effect for his spells?

Murderholes/arrowslits/space arrow slits/gun ports are the ur example of improved cover.

Improved Cover

In some cases, such as when a target is hiding behind a gun port in a defensive wall, cover provides greater bonuses to AC and Reflex saves. In such situations, the normal bonuses to AC and Reflex saves are doubled (to +8 and +4, respectively).

Hey, look: common ground.

AOE's Only Require line of effect to the origination point (271 line of effect)

only the other types of AOEs require line of effect from the origination point to creatures struck..line is specifically left out(271 line of effect, and supported by the rules of line weapon)

Both line effects(certain ones) and line weapons are capable of destroying a obstacle and continuing on afterward (rules of line weapon & specific rules of certain spells*).

*(if they say they damage objects they can destroy them, if you destroy a barrier it no longer blocks line of effect)

a cover bonus is a bonus to you ac provided by the fact that they have to shoot around the cover to hit you ...it is logically meaningless if your opponent can shoot threw cover and the special rules of line weapon tell you it does just that. Creatures and obstacles are what provide cover in this game. First line, line weapons "This weapon fires a projectile in a straight line that pierces through multiple creatures or obstacles."....followed by the rules on exactly how it works

line weapon effect is most definitely an aoe effect because you can not choose to exclude allies in the area from the attack....if it was targeted you could (line weapon rules & areas with targets Pg 268)

AOE's can require attack rolls in starfinder ...see grenade

a line weapon can strike 4 tiny creatures in a square for as many squares as you have range ...your not lining them all up before you take the shot ...your shooting the area

SEE AREAS WITH TARGETS PG 268

Concealment only describes its functions vs ranged attacks and melee attacks..(pg253)... LINE WEAPON IS A TARGETED AREA EFFECT NOT A RANGED ATTACK (pg268)

(I think a big part of the problem here is that some of the rules for line weapon fit the energy weapons better and some fit projectile weapons better ...maybe should have been two different types)

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There is no need to bring line of effect into this discussion at all for basic line weapons, because you aren't targeting creatures at all. You:

Draw line and roll attack --> check AC --> check if anything hit takes no damage and stops the line.

Thats it. No "targeting a creature" involved because with a line weapon you fire in a line through squares.

Creatures get the usual cover bonuses because you are comparing your single attack roll to AC, and the weapon property does not alter that AC.

Creatures get the usual concealment miss chance on a hit, because that takes place after a hit and nothing in the weapon property alters that.

If I overcome hardness, you bet I can shoot through a wall. I just first have to: 1) guess that the enemy is there 2) hit on AC + 8 3) get lucky on the 50% miss chance. Its... really not that effective anyways so I don't particularly see players abusing it.

So... if creatures are in a line, do they provide cover to creatures further down the line? Resistance to damage can stop the line after all.

If not, then wouldn't the line weapon also ignore cover provided by chest high walls?

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Line just doesn't say that it ignores cover: it just says to compare the single attack roll to the various creatures/objects AC. When calculating AC for your attack roll, cover adds a bonus.

So as weird as it sounds, line weapons don't ignore cover at all, so creatures give each other soft cover (either normal or partial depending on the specific squares/sizes involved). Even if the barrier is a piece of plastic with hardness 1 and hitpoints 1... its still cover (until its destroyed).

I am interpreting the words "relevant Armor Class" in the line weapon description to mean "EAC or KAC, depending on weapon type" - I think that is a reasonable interpretation, but I could be wrong.

Garretmander wrote:

So... if creatures are in a line, do they provide cover to creatures further down the line? Resistance to damage can stop the line after all.

If not, then wouldn't the line weapon also ignore cover provided by chest high walls?

Creatures are soft cover (Sorry Bob, your six pack abs are not THAT good) so they don't block line of effect or provide cover against AoEs.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Garretmander wrote:

So... if creatures are in a line, do they provide cover to creatures further down the line? Resistance to damage can stop the line after all.

If not, then wouldn't the line weapon also ignore cover provided by chest high walls?

Creatures are soft cover (Sorry Bob, your six pack abs are not THAT good) so they don't block line of effect or provide cover against AoEs.

Would you mind giving a citation for that? I'm seeing this for soft cover:

Quote:
Creatures, even enemies, between you and the source of an effect provide you with cover against ranged attacks, giving you a +4 bonus to AC. However, soft cover provides no bonus to Reflex saves, nor does soft cover allow you to attempt a Stealth check.

Which applies to reflect saves, not attack rolls. As the line weapon quality has an attack roll rather than a reflex save, there is no difference between cover and soft cover.

Thaago wrote:

How is there any debate here?

The question is does the bit about penetrating hardness/overcoming energy resistance/ shooting through everything apply to

1) all of the rules of the line
2) only to to part of the line weapon rules that talk about prematurely stopping the weapon.

If I hadn't skipped so much of the 5th grade I might be able to sentence diagram out why it's option 2, but I did and grammar arguments are about as objective as tassegraphy anyway

So i'm left comparing the relative merits of the different interpretations under the usual mix of rai comparative power levels, inanity and what is Bryan going to do with the interpretation (there's a reason why Bryan isn't allowed to have a fork anymore)

2 gets a little weird in the door factory. But If something should be +12? cover and a 50% miss chance instead of you can't attack at all those two aren't so far apart that I'm worried.

1 gets weird everywhere. You have flame throwers shooting through 40 feet of stone. You treat 1 inch of iron the same way as 4 feet of iron. You know someone's going to throw seeking on a line weapon (whoops, seeking won't work against total concealment never mind) and go to town from the door. Even just ignoring cover is such a powerful ability that I'm pretty sure its not meant to be the cake on top of the icing of attacking multiple opponents.

So the debate seems to be can you see the faces or the vases in the picture and if you can, which do you think is safer to stick a candle in.

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The starting point of all this contention is the misconception that you actively target anything at all with line weapons when in fact they are point, shoot in a direction, and roll to hit and damage whatever happens to be in the way of the line you shot. If it fails to damage anything that happens to fall in the line / path of the line weapon out to its range increment then the line stops. That is all that is necessary to understand the rules provided for this specific weapon which operates completely unique to any other weapon.

Beyond this the only other important point of contention is do targets in the way of this line benefit from cover and concealment and as it does not specifically say they do not I am of the opinion that they do however it would be nice to have it clarified.

The mind boggling part is despite it clearly saying it operates this way in black and white some still ignore what it says.

As others have pointed out you only need line of affect from the origin of the affect to the first object in its way. Under all normal circumstances if its a obstacle that would block line of affect the affect stops then and there. No other weapons in the game make any mention of them operating in any other way. Yet surprisingly one does. Which weapon does? line weapons do and they and only they provide a very specific exception to the rules how they circumvent normal rules and under what circumstances the normal rules apply (did it fail to damage what is in the way).

No, against line weapons creatures either provide Total cover(attack fails to beat its damage reduction) or no cover (attack penetrates) .....also soft cover only provides a ac bonus vs ranged attacks (pg253)....this is a targeted aoe(pg268) ...soft cover never provides a ac bonus vs it

Xoshak4545 wrote:
No, against line weapons creatures either provide Total cover(attack fails to beat its damage reduction) or no cover (attack penetrates) .....also soft cover only provides a ac bonus vs ranged attacks (pg253)....this is a targeted aoe(pg268) ...soft cover never provides a ac bonus vs it

I believe this could be a completely valid interpretation however when bringing the guy on the other side of the wall argument into the discussion it would seem that at the very least 50% miss chance would apply for total concealment. Normally for AOEs cover would provide a bonus to the reflex save so cover does affect AOEs it just provides its normal bonus in another ways. As this affect does not provide a reflex I dont think its out of the realm of possibility that cover was meant to be used but either way this whole issue could use some clarity.

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Xoshak, why does penetration effect cover at all? The line weapon special quality says to make attacks against everything in the line, with the caveat about being stopped on a hit with no damage. It makes no mention of cover or negating it. Even when the line is stopped, its not because of total cover; its because the line weapon description says its stopped.

The cover rules tell us to trace line from our square's corners to the target square's corners. Its still us making an attack roll, so I don't see why that doesn't apply. Compare the line weapon special quality to the blast weapon special quality, which specifically ignores concealment. Line doesn't have that language.

I can now see a potential argument: that the source of the attack on a given creature is from within its own square, and as such has no cover. But I don't think this is the case, as its not mentioned at all: the property says to make an attack roll, and without other language that means the firing character is the source.

This isn't a targeted aoe: its a specific rule as detailed in the line special weapon description.

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concealment only lists its function vs ranged attacks and melee attacks(pg253) ...line weapon is a targeted aoe

And a creture does provide cover....full cover ...if you don't get threw DR

Soft cover only gives a ac bonus vs ranged atacks... it does nothing vs Any AOE, including the ones that tell you they penetrate obstacles .

Xoshak4545 wrote:

concealment only lists its function vs ranged attacks and melee attacks(pg253) ...line weapon is a targeted aoe

And a creture does provide cover....full cover ...if you don't get threw DR

Soft cover only gives a ac bonus vs ranged atacks... it does nothing vs Any AOE, including the ones that tell you they penetrate obstacles .

I agree with this, mostly. I don't think creatures give total cover if you fail to beat dr, I think the line stops. That's pretty much the same net effect.

I agree that concealment doesn't factor into line weapons, because they aren't targeted attacks. Rolling for concealment is an abstraction of trying to hit something you can't see, which bakes in the assumption that you want to hit it. You don't get to choose which creatures or object in the line you hit, it goes in order, whether they're allies, enemies, or objects.

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Vexies wrote:
The mind boggling part is despite it clearly saying it operates this way in black and white some still ignore what it says.

Please don't be so disingenuous. We're not ignoring anything, merely interpreting it differently from you.

Ravingdork wrote:
Vexies wrote:
The mind boggling part is despite it clearly saying it operates this way in black and white some still ignore what it says.
Please don't be so disingenuous. We're not ignoring anything, merely interpreting it differently from you.

Fair enough I try to not let passion get in the way and I have conceded the very real possibility that the text is just a very poorly written rule. As is however, to me, it seems very cut and dry as to what it tells the player to do.

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So, I think part of the problem is the assumption that total cover prevents line-of-effect, when it is actually the other way around. You only have total cover if the enemy lacks line-of-effect to you. Line-of-effect is not the same thing as line-of-sight, so it is not determined by whether you can see a creature or not. The fact that you cannot see a creature on the other side of a wall does not mean that you cannot have line-of-effect to them, if you are using an effect that allows you to bypass walls.

The line weapon establishes an initial line-of-effect from the point of origin to the end of its range increment. This line-of-effect gets modified by something managing to "block" the line-of-effect via not getting damaged. Due to rule-wonkiness, any level of damage is sufficient for a line weapon to continue on to try and damage other creatures or objects within its line-of-effect.

So, creatures behind walls that are being shot with a line weapon have total concealment (due to being within line-of-effect but not line-of-sight), and so there is a 50% miss chance on top of the creature's AC. They may or may not have cover, because the line weapon property allows line of effect to penetrate through the obstacle, which negates the purpose of cover in the first place.

ParaheliZ

That is one way of looking at things, but not the rules, and is rather circular (you can't use superseding the hardness by 1 hp means it punches through to prove that superseding the hardness by 1 hp means it punches through)

They are ways of looking at things that get you very wonky results from the perspective of both game balance and simulation, which is a reason to think that they're not the best way to look at them. That line looks like it only applies to the line weapons own internal rules about stopping at cover or a creature it can't penetrate, not a global change to the way every rule works.

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It is the rules, that is why line-of-effect and line-of-sight are two distinct things.

The only thing that the line special weapon property affects is how line-of-effect is calculated for weapons with that property. For most weapons, the line-of-effect stops at cover or solid objects. This is not the case for line weapons, unless the cover or solid object has sufficient damage resistance or hardness to not take damage from the line weapon. Line weapons do not automatically stop at cover, and there is no justification in the rules to say they do.

This question doesn't require a global rule change on how cover works, just a recognition that cover is determined by line-of-effect, and not the other way around.

ParaheliZ wrote:
It is the rules, that is why line-of-effect and line-of-sight are two distinct things.

I'm not arguing they're the same (see above about fog clouds)

Quote:
The only thing that the line special weapon property affects is how line-of-effect is calculated for weapons with that property.

This is definitely not correct.

Line weapons have a number of changes from lines.

Lines do not stop at cover: if you lightning bolt the Operative behind the adamantine table he has cover, but the bolt keeps going. If you fire line weapon to hit the operative behind the adamantine table it probably stops.

Lines do not stop because something didn't take damage. Line weapons do. If you lightning bolt the blue dragon, the red dragon behind him and the white dragon behind him both take damage. If you used an electric line gun, the gun would stop at the blue dragon.

Both of those make the lines from a line weapon MORE restrictive, not less, than regular lines. It would be kind of weird if a line weapon has more restrictions on stopping and is more blockable than other line effects but then has a FAR easier time breaking through objects. A flame thrower can't get past a red dragon by shooting under his legs but it can shoot through a stone wall? A line weapon stops at the sixth level soldier with dr 6 but can chainsaw right through 60 feet of an overturned giant Sequioa? Even for this game thats a little weird.

Quote:
For most weapons, the line-of-effect stops at cover or solid objects. This is not the case for line weapons, unless the cover or solid object has sufficient damage resistance or hardness to not take damage from the line weapon. Line weapons do not automatically stop at cover, and there is no justification in the rules to say they do.

The rules justification is that the line about only needing to get 1 over hardness/energy resistance/Dr only applies to the additional restrictions on line weapons. It does not apply globally to all rules. It doesn't change the rules for cover, lines, or lines of effect. You need a 1 foot hole in a wall to provide line of effect, and just breaking through hardess doesn't get you that.

You absolutely can read the raw the other way but given the two competing interpretations I cannot see any rationale for having line weapons just mow through everything.

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
BigNorseWolf wrote:

ParaheliZ

That is one way of looking at things, but not the rules, and is rather circular (you can't use superseding the hardness by 1 hp means it punches through to prove that superseding the hardness by 1 hp means it punches through)

Its not circular, its logical with how things would actually happen.

Think about it this way, say you do have line of effect to the whole line, there's no walls, just a series of 10 statues. You shoot the first statue, you do enough damage to go through its hardness but not destroy it, the line then moves onto the next statue. To say the line would do anything besides punch through the statue if it hit it would be to say that the line, while doing hit point damage to the statute, went around the statue to move onto the next target. That doesn't make any sense, if that was how it happened why does it matter if you did hit point damage to the previous target at all?

If the designers intended for the line to attempt to hit all targets in the line regardless of what happened to the previous target, that might make sense but the fact that hardness of objects matters for what happens to the line moving forward when objects are hit that tells me they likely intended it to represent punching through the previous thing to move past it (or miss it completely).

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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Lines do not stop at cover: if you lightning bolt the Operative behind the adamantine table he has cover, but the bolt keeps going. If you fire line weapon to hit the operative behind the adamantine table it probably stops.

Where are you getting this idea from?

Area / Line wrote:
A line-shaped effects extends away from you in a line in the direction you designate. It starts from any corner of your square and extends to the limit of its range or until it strikes a barrier that blocks line-of-effect.

Any thing that blocks a line special weapon is going to block a line area effect, because again, blocking and cover is determined by line-of-effect, not the other way around.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Both of those make the lines from a line weapon MORE restrictive, not less, than regular lines. It would be kind of weird if a line weapon has more restrictions on stopping and is more blockable than other line effects but then has a FAR easier time breaking through objects. A flame thrower can't get past a red dragon by shooting under his legs but it can shoot through a stone wall? A line weapon stops at the sixth level soldier with dr 6 but can chainsaw right through 60 feet of an overturned giant Sequioa? Even for this game thats a little weird.

Your personal definitions of restrictiveness and weirdness don't apply, because it doesn't matter how strange you think the rule combinations are. It only matters what the rule combinations actually say. And like I said, the line weapon property only determines how the line-of-effect is established, by dictating what constitutes a "barrier that blocks line-of-effect" is for the weapon's attack.

ParaheliZ wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Lines do not stop at cover: if you lightning bolt the Operative behind the adamantine table he has cover, but the bolt keeps going. If you fire line weapon to hit the operative behind the adamantine table it probably stops.
Where are you getting this idea from?

Lines do not stop at cover

Cover

Cover does not necessarily block precise senses, but it does make it more difficult for enemies to hit you. To determine whether your target has cover from your 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. Cover grants you a +4 bonus to AC and a +2 bonus to Reflex saves against attacks that originate from a point on the other side of the cover from you. Note that spread effects can extend around corners and negate these bonuses.

If you fire a line weapon to hit the operative behind the adamantine table it probably stops:

From line weapon: However, if an attack fails to damage a creature or obstacle hit in the line (typically due to damage reduction or hardness), the path is stopped and the attack doesn’t damage creatures farther away.

Quote:

Any thing that blocks a line special weapon is going to block a line area effect, because again, blocking and cover is determined by line-of-effect, not the other way around.

You are deciding that something taking 1 hp is not longer blocking the effect, which is the interpretation I'm objecting to. You can't use that to show that line of effect has been changed by the ability to do 1 hp of damage.

I supppose the circularity of it on either side shunts the conversation right out of line of effect and mostly back to whether the 1 hp rule is global or local.

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