How does line of sight actually work?


Rules Questions


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

I cannot quite understand the rule for determining line of sight in page 457. The rule refers the reader to pages 476-477, but those pages simply give an example of Kyra having line of sight to an ogre despite blocking terrain being in the way. Determining line of sight seems to be based on tracing a line from any one of your corners to any of the target's corners, but the book does not actually say that.

If it is center of square to center of square, then how does Kyra have line of sight to the ogre?


Pg.457: Line of Sight = "Can Precisely Sense (pg. 464)" AND NOT "Blocked by a Solid Barrier (pg.476-477)". If you're unsure, 1 sq. ft. gap is enough to maintain Line of Sight.

Pg.464: "Can Precisely Sense" = NOT (Hiding OR Obscured) OR "Seek action >= Success"

Pg. 476-477: "Blocked by a Solid Barrier" = "A creature is ENTIRELY behind the wall or the like and cannot be targeted".
"Cover Or Greater Cover as determined by the line between the centers" != "Blocked by a Solid Barrier".

Colette Brunel wrote:
Determining line of sight seems to be based on tracing a line from any one of your corners to any of the target's corners, but the book does not actually say that.

It doesn't because it would not add clarity within a 2D representation of a 3D space. The image blocking the line on the map could easily have a 1-ft vertical gap somewhere, be at a different elevation between the subject and object, or be semitransparent, a mesh or the like. The actual wording in the book is much better than that.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

It is the example with Kyra and the ogre that is really confusing me. How does Kyra have line of sight to that ogre? Is there a one-foot gap somewhere in the map?

Sovereign Court

Colette Brunel wrote:
It is the example with Kyra and the ogre that is really confusing me. How does Kyra have line of sight to that ogre? Is there a one-foot gap somewhere in the map?

Are you confused about cover or the fact that the Ogre is a large creature? (they are tall and big, an Ogre is 10 ft tall on average), need to think in 3D a little bit.

It is the only reason that the ogre can be seen in this scenario.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

Are the buildings only 5 feet tall in this scenario?


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

Is there any more word on this?


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

For that matter, does there seem to be a definition of "blocking terrain" in the book? I cannot quite find it myself.


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It's defined right in the first sentence of the "Cover" paragraph, and then again at the end of that column ("any terrain or object that would block the effect").

If you will only take dev clarifications then flag your thread for FAQ or ask Mark Seifter on his Twitch stream or discord, and please stop flooding the boards.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

All that first sentence says is, "When you’re behind an obstacle that could block weapons, guard you against explosions, and make you harder to detect, you’re behind cover."

That is not, in fact, a definition of "blocking terrain," a rules term that page 477, the same page, often cites in its examples.

I have been going through the rulebook fairly meticulously. It is only natural that I would have a fair few questions to ask on how the game works. At the moment, we do not seem to have a formal FAQ-flagging function. Mark Seifter's word is not actually official; according to Mark Seifter himself on his Discord server, "our policy is that only posts by the Design Team account or FAQ updates are official."

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

p. 477 uses blocking terrain in the example, but it is not capitalized, in the rules text the actual phrase is "If that line passes through any terrain or object that would block the effect, the target has standard cover (or greater cover if the obstruction is extreme or the target has Taken Cover)."

Edited


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To be clear, I do not object to you asking questions on the boards, even though some of them, like this one, make me roll my eyes pretty hard.

However, I do believe that the intention of the boards is to ask questions to other users, and consequently accepting their answers on their own merits. If you specifically expect a response from the design team and have no other avenues to ask your question, I would humbly ask you to indicate it in the OP to save time for other users who would otherwise engage in discussion.

On the subject of the thread; I don't know what makes you think that "blocking terrain" is any more of a rules term than "passes through" or "obstruction is extreme". If the meaning of the word is not defined in a rulebook, it logically follows that it is used in the standard English dictionary meaning.

EDIT: okay to be super extra clear as I think my post can be misread as contradicting myself:

a. blocking terrain is a terrain feature that blocks, i.e. prevents the effect from affecting whatever's behind it from the point of origin. That is the dictionary definition.
b. "terrain or object that would block the effect" is used interchangeably with "blocking terrain" in the rulebook, they both implicitly refer to the dictionary definition and neither is a game term.
c. Cover (lesser, partial, greater) is a game term that comes from the interaction with blocking terrain and is explained in detail sufficient for a game that can be run entirely in collective imagination or in most cases on a flat board representing a 3D space.

I suspect that what you're really trying to ask is "where can I find a rule telling me which kind of terrain feature blocks a specific effect from a specific direction, and can there be special designations of this terrain on the map like on a blueprint", and that it further goes back to your playtest post stating that creatures can see/walk through walls if there is no rule explicitly preventing it. I find it hard to believe that this discussion can be had in good faith between people older than 10 or so and will leave it to others. My opinion is that this level of detail is best left to games like FATAL.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

For someone going through the book meticulously you seem to be failing to understand with exceptionally worrying frequency.


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Malk_Content wrote:
For someone going through the book meticulously you seem to be failing to understand with exceptionally worrying frequency.

It was a an interesting moment when I realized she actually wasn't trolling and they'd actually technically done the right thing not to ban her after the eighth consecutive "my whole party TPK'd, playtest is broken" post.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Colette Brunel wrote:
It is the example with Kyra and the ogre that is really confusing me. How does Kyra have line of sight to that ogre? Is there a one-foot gap somewhere in the map?

Looking at that picture on page 477, I wouldn't have let Kyra make attacks against the ogre at all. That building is blocking line of sight.

The only way the example works is if the angle of the roof is such that Kyra can get a headshot in, but I'm dubious.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Kasoh wrote:
Colette Brunel wrote:
It is the example with Kyra and the ogre that is really confusing me. How does Kyra have line of sight to that ogre? Is there a one-foot gap somewhere in the map?

Looking at that picture on page 477, I wouldn't have let Kyra make attacks against the ogre at all. That building is blocking line of sight.

The only way the example works is if the angle of the roof is such that Kyra can get a headshot in, but I'm dubious.

It works because by mechanics the Ogre takes up all 4 squares it's in, so for the purpose of seeing/attacking it may as well just be flat up against Valeros' face.

It's not an easy attack to make however, since it's got Greater Cover, but you can attempt it.

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