Adjacency and diagonals?

General Discussion

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So, I just noticed in the rules for walls the following line:

Each square of the wall’s length must be adjacent with the square or squares next to it, so walls cannot be shaped to make a diagonal line.

So, diagonal spaces are apparently not considered adjacent.

Is this intended or was this some rogue editor? Because it means that, say, a fighter maneuver or spell or whatever that hits "adjacent targets" cannot hit two targets that are right next to each other but just happen to be diagonal to each other on the arbitrary grid map, rather than orthogonally north south east west to each other. It means that if you have the ability to protect an adjacent ally, they're out of luck if they're diagonal to you.

This makes no sense. The grid is entirely arbitrary. It could just as easily be oriented in an X instead of + and distances would be the same. What's up here?

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This is a good catch, Fuzzypaws. I searched for the word "adjacent" in the Playtest Rulebook and found three other instances where adjacent is used in an English-language meaning that does not exactly match the standard Pathfinder grid meaning.

To be precise, the difference is with the Pathfinder 1st Edition grid meaning. The Playtest Rulebook does not define the word "adjacent." The definition of adjacent in the PF1 Core Rulebook is in the combat chapter under Attacks of Opportunity, "Threatened Squares: You threaten all squares into which you can make a melee attack, even when it is not your turn. Generally, that means everything in all squares adjacent to your space (including diagonally). ..." The Playtest Rulebook instead explains this as "reach" on page 298, but does not relate it to the grid, so it does not mention squares, diagonal or not.

Page 198, Walls. As Fuzzypaws explains, adjacent in the walls paragraph means orthogonally adjacent and not diagonally adjacent. By the way, line effects, as illustrated on page 298, are allowed to be diagonal. What the rogue editor might have wanted to say is that on the grid any thick wall, such as 1-foot-thick Wall of Ice, must be connected by sides of squares rather than by corners of squares. In contrast, Wall of Force has no discernible thickness and could be connected by corners.

Page 207, Black Tentacles. It describes its area as a 20-foot burst adjacent to a flat surface.

Page 308, Seek. If you’re using Seek to search for hidden objects such as secret doors or hazards, you search up to a 10-foot square adjacent to you.

Page 390, Floating Shield. The shield is described as floating in the air next to you, but no mention is made of it moving to another square. Nevertheless, the next paragraph says, "While the shield is adjacent to you, you can grasp it with an Interact action, ending its floating effect."

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