Movement and invisible foes


Rules Discussion


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

What happens when you try to move, whether by a stride action step action or other movement, into a square you think is open but is actually occupied by an invisible creature?

Does it end your movement in the previous square?
Does it cancel your movement so that you lose the action?
Is there any effect on the invisible creature you tried to move into or through?

Where can I find the rules reference on this point?


Moving Through a Creature’s Space
You can move through the space of a willing creature. If you want to move through an unwilling creature’s space, you can Tumble Through that creature’s space using Acrobatics. You can’t end your turn in a square occupied by another creature, though you can end a move action in its square provided that you immediately use another move action to leave that square. If two creatures end up in the same square by accident, the GM determines which one is forced out of the square (or whether one falls prone).


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I asked the question partially in response to another thread about unseen servants, which appear to actually occupy a space, and so open the can of worms on what happens when you move into its square.

But I realized that the question is much more far-reaching, since there are often fights with invisible foes, or invisible PCs who get stuck in the middle of maneuvering enemies.

The fact that it comes down to DM fiat is disappointing. Should a living, breathing creature force an unseen servant (with -4 STR!) into another square? What about a strong, massive creature vs a weak wizard? Should there be something like opposed STR checks? Or should the higher STR creature win the unexpected shoving match automatically?

The quoted rule doesn't answer. It's just "the GM determines". <sigh>


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The fact that it comes down to GM fiat prevents the rules potentially being completely sensible for 1 sort of circumstance, but absolutely ludicrous for another sort of circumstance.

Better to leave it to the GM, acknowledging not being able to consider literally every possible circumstance and write appropriate rules for each into the book, than to have rules that work right up until a player does something a writer hadn't considered - since that happens basically all the time.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Wheldrake wrote:


The quoted rule doesn't answer. It's just "the GM determines". <sigh>

It's amusing how people have problems with GM's making rulings, which is pretty much the entire purpose of the GM. <sigh>


So yeah, the invisible creature can willingly let the other pass.
And there'd be exceptions where the invisible creature can't (it's a cube) or won't (it's mindless and wasn't programmed to do so).

As for adjudicating what happens if the mover stops and the two now share a space, that had to be "the GM determines" because there are too many Rules Idolaters. When context varies so much and exceptions become the norm, it's best to officially give GMs this supporting text so they can make a reasonable decision without spinning off into a debate.
(Your choice to call it DM fiat hints at antagonism. DMs/GMs should be thoughtful and balanced, not arbitrary or opinionated as implied by "fiat".)

Paizo could base a rule around size, but many of these situations will involve two medium creatures. So then there's Strength or Fort Save (now often used for maneuver determination), but what about intent, spacing, or shape? Balance, terrain, & awareness?
One rules won't suffice and a GM should be able to process the situation far faster than some convoluted flow chart for corner cases that would still leave gaps (and give rope to rules lawyers).

As for the Unseen Servant, it typically will get shoved around, being weak and a non-combatant. Seems pretty obvious to both of us.
As for your questions, it sounds like you already know the answers that make sense, the ones which would work best for your table. Run with it.
And if you're not the GM, hopefully you've found one where the two of you don't need a Paizo ruling for every uncommon occurrence because those guys are just other GMs too.

Cheers


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Vlorax wrote:
It's amusing how people have problems with GM's making rulings, which is pretty much the entire purpose of the GM. <sigh>

Well why buy a CRB then if the GM can just make up everything on his own?


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Ubertron_X wrote:
Vlorax wrote:
It's amusing how people have problems with GM's making rulings, which is pretty much the entire purpose of the GM. <sigh>
Well why buy a CRB then if the GM can just make up everything on his own?

I'm not sure where you got "just make up everything on his own" from "making rulings".


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Vlorax wrote:
Ubertron_X wrote:
Vlorax wrote:
It's amusing how people have problems with GM's making rulings, which is pretty much the entire purpose of the GM. <sigh>
Well why buy a CRB then if the GM can just make up everything on his own?
I'm not sure where you got "just make up everything on his own" from "making rulings".

The thing is that this edition seems to be full of "GM-decides loopholes".

And while the general consensus is that this has been done in good faith, i.e. to not overburden the CRB with lots of special rules governing rare cases in order to provide extra flexibility, there also is the other opinion that this is exactly the kind of lazy "it is your own game, so make your own rules" game design mentality that seems to affect many modern games lately in order to cover up for a more or less incomplete ruleset.

D&D is comming from a boardgame and PF2 still plays like a boardgame (at least in encounter mode) so many players simply want a "waterproof" ruleset to begin with.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hey, didn't mean to tick anyone off with the expressions "DM fiat" and a deep sigh with "the GM determines".

I'm usually the DM in our group and so I get stuck having to "determine" most of the time. Maybe I'll do a flat check DC11 modified by the difference in STR and size. Anything to keep my players from assuming it's on a whim.

"Rocks fall, everybody dies" is not my idea of fun.


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A massive book full of concrete rules elements that cover the vast majority of circumstances that will come up in play... but a few strategically-placed "this is what the GM is for" rules and suddenly it's "lazy game design" and "incomplete rule-set"

And the real hilarity of this situation to me: Any time there is a concrete ruling presented that doesn't cover all the circumstances that a particular forum-using-GM thinks might come up, or handles such circumstances in a way that is viewed as "silly" there goes a post (or dozens) either saying the writer should have just wrote "the GM decides" or talking about house-rules... while peppering in "the writers suck" implications.

It's a real damned if you do, damned if you don't, situation.


thenobledrake wrote:

A massive book full of concrete rules elements that cover the vast majority of circumstances that will come up in play... but a few strategically-placed "this is what the GM is for" rules and suddenly it's "lazy game design" and "incomplete rule-set"

And the real hilarity of this situation to me: Any time there is a concrete ruling presented that doesn't cover all the circumstances that a particular forum-using-GM thinks might come up, or handles such circumstances in a way that is viewed as "silly" there goes a post (or dozens) either saying the writer should have just wrote "the GM decides" or talking about house-rules... while peppering in "the writers suck" implications.

It's a real damned if you do, damned if you don't, situation.

It is!

GM rulings are for Cx or Nx groups, Lx groups want their hardcoded rules! :P

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber

I would say the most logical GM rule of thumb would be for the invisible creature to quietly step aside (ie be pushed) into a neighbouring space.


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Ubertron_X wrote:
Vlorax wrote:
It's amusing how people have problems with GM's making rulings, which is pretty much the entire purpose of the GM. <sigh>
Well why buy a CRB then if the GM can just make up everything on his own?

There's an awful lot of space between a GM making rulings in ambiguous situations and a GM making up an entire gaming system.


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I don't think it's unreasonable. The first page of pretty much every RPGing system is how RPGs have rules so that arguments don't happen between players, unlike "Let's Pretend" games.

In a tactical combat situation it is especially important that the players know in advance what the results of their moves will be. Otherwise it's like saying we'll play Chess but change how the Queen moves in the middle of the game because it's too powerful.

It is a big deal if a level 1 spell can be used to arbitrarily obstruct movement for an entire battle. There's other issues with this too (I just read on Facebook someone asking that if he could use Mage Hand to drop a potion on someone, couldn't he also use it to drop an entire bandolier full of potions on them because both are Light) .

Plus, this and 3D were raised during the playtest which means they are being consciously ignored by Paizo, which isn't a good start.


hyphz wrote:


In a tactical combat situation it is especially important that the players know in advance what the results of their moves will be.

That doesn't really make sense in this context, because this entire scenario is predicated on someone moving into a square they didn't even know was occupied in the first place.


Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
The ShadowShackleton wrote:
I would say the most logical GM rule of thumb would be for the invisible creature to quietly step aside (ie be pushed) into a neighbouring space.

This is likely how I would rule it as well. Maybe with the Invisible creature would roll Sneak. In that case, if the roll was terrible, the creature would become Hidden, since it was Hearing that detected its movement. Something like that.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber

It’s not unreasonable to think of giving a perception check, but bear in mind there is a set action economy to the seek action so anything that undermines that may lead to characters running around all over the map to avoid having to seek. I had players try to claim they could do that in 1st edition as well.


The ShadowShackleton wrote:
It’s not unreasonable to think of giving a perception check, but bear in mind there is a set action economy to the seek action so anything that undermines that may lead to characters running around all over the map to avoid having to seek. I had players try to claim they could do that in 1st edition as well.

I had some players try that too, not realizing that creatures can let anybody they want through their space, not just allies.

"I step here."
"Okay."
"And here."
"Okay."
And so forth. It was funny when others pointed out the rule after the guy traversed the open spaces. Then even funnier when exasperated, the PC gave up yet ended up wanting to stop on the actual correct space.
"Nope, can't stop there."
And I would've let the boss step aside, but it was a poorly laid out map. He was trapped in a niche.

Anyway, if the invisible person is effectively getting a free Step to maintain their advantage, then the PC involved should get a roll (though maybe only that PC, depending.) Or does one subtract an action on the invisible person's next turn?

(And thank you to Paizo for not trying to GM blind such varied contexts.)


Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
The ShadowShackleton wrote:
It’s not unreasonable to think of giving a perception check, but bear in mind there is a set action economy to the seek action so anything that undermines that may lead to characters running around all over the map to avoid having to seek. I had players try to claim they could do that in 1st edition as well.

Aye, that is a good point. I'm thinking of a typical situation in which the movement ended in the same square as the invisible creature. If things would start to get meta-gamey, that would be a different matter.

If they were planning to move through the square, I would imagine the invisible creature would just let them pass, willingly.


The problem with all these varied contexts is that inevitably you run into consistency problems. For example, if it's a PC that's moved into, can other PCs walk into them to push them along to a desired place? Does their movement trigger reactions that apply when they move? If an enemy is against a wall on one side and a trap on the other, that they know about, and they are bumped from their space, are they obliged to move into the trap? If not, why can't they avoid moving when they just don't want to?

Sovereign Court

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That is precisely why they have left it up to the GM.


The enemy isn't obliged to move. They can resist an opponent entering their square in the first place.
The trouble is when they want to remain stealthy, and they may have to make a choice. If you've let an opponent into your space, and they don't decide to leave, you'd have the same issues whether or not you're invisible. Generally it's the person on the move that gets shunted, denied, or has to keep moving (even if it's an ally). That unfortunately is a signal you're there.

5' corridors get rough when allies try to navigate and you get strange instances there too. Generally I let them squeeze, though that's not always feasible with various sizes involved.
Now put an invisible enemy in that corridor or in any room w/ limited floor space, and you get a mess of hypotheticals, often involving furniture, traps, & whatnot. That's why I prefer a GM making a decision on the fly and keeping the game moving. If the GM can see an issue coming, all the better if they inform their players first for clearer decision making.

Varied contexts do lead to consistency problems because those contexts are inconsistent. That's the point. We can all imagine situations that a single solution won't solve. Paizo seems have seen this too, so leaves it in the hands of the person who can juggle all the factors involved.


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Except that there's always an edge case which can invalidate a spot judgment. If you rule that an enemy can slip out of the way if they want to be stealthy, but a PC who knowingly moves into the square of an invisible PC can't allow that other PC to move out of turn as a result, then you've ruled that the effect of stepping into a square depends on the intentions of the person doing it which ends up making no sense (so what if I charm someone into wanting to step into my square? Do they stop displacing me?)


Right. If the PCs see free Steps being passed out, does everybody get a variant of Goblin Scuttle for free now if invisible?

That's why I wondered if the mover should be charged a Step (so typically one action) on their next turn. There is supposed to be a degree of simultaneity.

And I actually do think intentions matter, more at the meta-level than what's in the character's mind. Finding a fix for an awkward moment shouldn't lead to people reenacting that awkward moment to exploit that fix. That's poor gamesmanship. It's a game of player-GM corroboration & cooperation, isn't it?


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To some extent, but the basis of the combat system and clearly defined level abilities is that there's a fixed and predictable rules base (even if there is hidden information addressed by those rules)

A degree of simultaneity doesn't work at all. Having that requires old school wargame-style declare-and-resolve initiative that is a massive pain in the ass in an RPG (well, in a wargame too, but at least there it can be 100% concentrated on)

I have nothing _against_ the style of play where what goes on in combat is all judgments and rule of cool, but I wouldn't use Pathfinder (either edition) for it. After all, 80% of character generation is picking Feats and the point of most of those Feats is to give unique and dependable action options.


hyphz wrote:

To some extent, but the basis of the combat system and clearly defined level abilities is that there's a fixed and predictable rules base (even if there is hidden information addressed by those rules)

A degree of simultaneity doesn't work at all. Having that requires old school wargame-style declare-and-resolve initiative that is a massive pain in the ass in an RPG (well, in a wargame too, but at least there it can be 100% concentrated on)

I have nothing _against_ the style of play where what goes on in combat is all judgments and rule of cool, but I wouldn't use Pathfinder (either edition) for it. After all, 80% of character generation is picking Feats and the point of most of those Feats is to give unique and dependable action options.

A narrative simultaneity, not a mechanical one. So if retold, the combat actions would blend more. Combat's too slow as it is to do otherwise!

The rules function well nearly all the time. Yet no rules can cover all contingencies, and I prefer Paizo stop when they realize issues are getting too particular (so they can give us more content elsewhere).
I like the language Paizo uses in PF2 of acknowledging the many instances when a GM should make the call or may make secret rolls on your PC's behalf or whatnot. That's already been a component of many games, so it's nice for Paizo to spell it out to avoid conflict over "GM fiat"...when it's just normal GMing.

Much like I think making a judgment in this instance is. I don't think anybody's advocated for all judgments, nor only cool.
Sometimes the chess pieces jump off the board!


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Castilliano wrote:
The rules function well nearly all the time. Yet no rules can cover all contingencies, and I prefer Paizo stop when they realize issues are getting too particular (so they can give us more content elsewhere). I like the language Paizo uses in PF2 of acknowledging the many instances when a GM should make the call or may make secret rolls on your PC's behalf or whatnot. That's already been a component of many games, so it's nice for Paizo to spell it out to avoid conflict over "GM fiat"...when it's just normal GMing.

My take on the issue is as follows:

Pathfinder is a game. A game follows rules. Rules are binding for both players and GM. However because it is an RPG the rules are only strictly binding for the players, the GM can bend or break rules if it helps in moving the game forward, either mechanically or narratively. If exceptions are singular occurances they are fully within GM fiat, if execptions to the same topic happen on a regular basis players and GM should agree on house rules in order keep things consistent. The ruleset for any game should be written in such a way to minimize the need to cover regular exceptions with house rules.

In short, everything that is bound to happen on a regular basis or reasonably often should be covered by the ruleset provided. If this is the case here may be open to debate, however if you'd ask me I'd say yes.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Wow! This discussion has really strayed off into left field. My original question was:

What happens when you try to move, whether by a stride action step action or other movement, into a square you think is open but is actually occupied by an invisible creature?

If I go back to those answers that were pertinent, I have to conclude:

- The RAW leave it up to the DM to decide what happens when two creatures end up in the same square "by accident".

- The invisible creature should be able to "step aside" to avoid the other creature, moving de facto into an adjacent square.

- If it doesn't want to, or has been instructed to stand in a specific place, a significantly smaller and weaker creature (like an unseen servant) is forced into an adjecent square. Given the physical contact involved, it seems like it would also become simply "hidden" rather than "unnoticed" to the creature that took its space.

- If the invisible creature is significantly larger and stronger, the moving creature would stop its movement in the previous space and lose its action. There could be some provision for allowing an Acrobatics check to move through the square anyway, and complete its movement.

Does this seem reasonable, and as close to the RAW as we can get?


Wheldrake wrote:
- The invisible creature should be able to "step aside" to avoid the other creature, moving de facto into an adjacent square.
CRB wrote:
You can move through the space of a willing creature.

The invisible creature could just let the other creature pass. Questions on ruling only arise if the creature stops in the invisible creatures hex or if the invisible creature does not let the creature pass.

My GM ruling on the issue would be as follows:

1) If you have sufficient movement and the invisible creature lets you pass then nothing really happens. The creature stays in its square and the player character ends his move in his target square.
2) If the invisible creature does not let you pass then your movement stops as you literally just ran into an invisible wall.
3) If for any reason you end up on the same square(s) as the invisible creature then make a GM call according to the creatures involved.
3.1) One creature is displaced, most likely the smaller / weaker opponent.
3.2) One or both creatures go prone, most likely the smaller / weaker opponent.

I would not let the invisible creature step aside as it is not its turn as I would also not let an invisible player character step aside if it is not his turn.

So lets take an invisible large creature and a typical medium sized player character.

a) Player character has enough movement to pass and the invisible creature lets him pass => PC simply passes.
b) Invisible creature does not let him pass => PC hits a "wall" and ends his move in front of the invisible creature (and possibly is most puzzled).
c) Player character ends his move on one of the squares of the invisible creature (whos intention was to let him pass) => Player is knocked back in the direction that makes the most sense until he is no longer colliding with the invisible creature and possibly (GM call) goes prone due to size/mass difference.

Edit:

So lets take an invisible small creature and a typical medium sized player character.

a) Player character has enough movement to pass and the invisible creature lets him pass => PC simply passes.
b) Invisible creature does not let him pass => PC hits a "wall" and ends his move in front of the invisible creature (and possibly is most puzzled).
c) Player character ends his move on the square of the invisible creature (whos intention was to let him pass) => Invisible creature is knocked back in the direction that makes the most sense until it is no longer colliding with the player character and possibly (GM call) goes prone due to size/mass difference.


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So I did a fair amount of thought about this and the problem is that pretty much all judgments end up confused in some cases or other. This means that it is very different for a GM to make a ruling that's consistent with other rules and with versimilitude, and that means that the book's failure to do so begins to look like a tactical omission rather than a conscious decision to acknowledge unique cases.

- The one thing that RAW determines is that an invisible creature can choose to be "willing" to permit another creature to move through its space.

- This is not on its own ideal, as it implies that a Huge creature occupying a 3x3 grid of spaces can permit a creature to pass through its centre. (A Huge creature is not three sizes larger than a Medium creature, so the rule about moving through larger creatures does not come into play.) That's acceptable for that but triggers some other issues below.

- What, however, if it chooses to prevent it? The only RAW is that the move cannot be made. There is no guidance about how the creature knows this, or whether or not it causes a move to fail or the action to be lost, which can be critical to the action economy.

- There is also silence on the effect of this on the Undetected / Hidden status of a creature. A reasonable RAI is that anything that reveals the location of a creature causes it to become Hidden, since the ".. has no idea what space [they] occupy.." statement will be false. However, this "common sense" interpretation of Conditions falls down in some other cases: for example, would you rule that if a PC is Wounded and low on hit points, and avoiding combat because they are afraid an enemy would kill them, then they gain the Frightened condition because they visibly are in fact frightened?

- Special effects in the case of stopping in a square with a creature also suffer from this problem. If you can accidentally stop in a square with an Undetected creature and have it pushed out of the way at the moment, what about a Hidden creature? If the answer is "no", then the next question is if a PC can consciously forget that they have seen a creature in a space, or if another PC can tell a PC or order a creature to move to a particular square without communicating that a creature is present there, in order to gain the additional tactical option that is provided by the creature being Undetected and denied when it is Hidden. If the answer is "yes" - that you can invoke any special displacement rules on a Hidden creature - then why not a Detected one?

- Shove is an action which takes a separate turn and has a failure chance. Essentially, the current RAW says that accidentally entering the square of an invisible creature triggers a free failure-proof Shove action for one of them, and so the judgment the GM makes potentially has a notable effect on the action economy. The GM could reasonably call for a Shove check (Athletics vs. Fortitude) to see who moves out of the square, but what if both fail?

- If a PC can pass through the centre of a Huge creature then they can also attempt to stop in the centre square of a Huge invisible creature. This creates a situation where no 5' movement can resolve the overlap. This potentially makes this option actually stronger than a free Shove.


hyphz wrote:

- There is also silence on the effect of this on the Undetected / Hidden status of a creature. A reasonable RAI is that anything that reveals the location of a creature causes it to become Hidden, since the ".. has no idea what space [they] occupy.." statement will be false. However, this "common sense" interpretation of Conditions falls down in some other cases: for example, would you rule that if a PC is Wounded and low on hit points, and avoiding combat because they are afraid an enemy would kill them, then they gain the Frightened condition because they visibly are in fact frightened?

- Special effects in the case of stopping in a square with a creature also suffer from this problem. If you can accidentally stop in a square with an Undetected creature and have it pushed out of the way at the moment, what about a Hidden creature? If the answer is "no", then the next question is if a PC can consciously forget that they have seen a creature in a space, or if another PC can tell a PC or order a creature to move to a particular square without communicating that a creature is present there, in order to gain the additional tactical option that is provided by the creature being Undetected and denied when it is Hidden. If the answer is "yes" - that you can invoke any special displacement rules on a Hidden creature - then why not a Detected one?

Having a technical background I tend to believe that even a magical universe has to obey some basic laws of physics which says that two objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time.

So if you round the corner and bump into the undeteced, hidden and/or invisible rogue you bump into the undetected, hidden and/or invisible rogue, end of story.

An automatic shove check via Athletics is a good idea however please note that only the moving creature would roll, so it is the only one that can fail and also keep in mind the shove size limits. If the invisible creature is too big I would simply rule that you have critically failed and go prone.


hyphz wrote:
If the answer is "yes" - that you can invoke any special displacement rules on a Hidden creature - then why not a Detected one?

You can evoke the special rule on an detected creature, however as per invisibility or hidden status you would need another ability that allows you to allow you to do so.

How about an enemy creature that is passing another enemy creature in order to get into a viable striking position but in that very moment is critically hit by a Monk using the Stand Still class feat?

And tada ... two detected creatures on the same square.

Exo-Guardians

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Ubertron_X wrote:

Having a technical background I tend to believe that even a magical universe has to obey some basic laws of physics which says that two objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time.

So if you round the corner and bump into the undeteced, hidden and/or invisible rogue you bump into the undetected, hidden and/or invisible rogue, end of story.

A 5' by 5' square is 25 square feet. Go grab a tape measure and mark out an area that size on your floor, and you'll see that even a very large person would have plenty of room to move around within such a space.

The 25-35mm miniatures we all use are NOT properly to scale with standard 1"=5' map grids. In real life, you could easily fit at least 8-10 ordinary human beings into a 5' by 5' area if they stood shoulder-to-shoulder. Of course, they couldn't FIGHT effectively while packed together like that, which is why in Encounter mode only one creature is allowed to permanently "occupy" each 5' square.

However, all that extra space in each square still exists, which is why the rules say "You can move through the space of a willing creature." All the willing creature has to do is step aside slightly (WITHIN its 25sqft square) to let you pass freely. No laws of physics need be broken or even bent.


Saros Palanthios wrote:

A 5' by 5' square is 25 square feet. Go grab a tape measure and mark out an area that size on your floor, and you'll see that even a very large person would have plenty of room to move around within such a space.

....

However, all that extra space in each square still exists, which is why the rules say "You can move through the space of a willing creature." All the willing creature has to do is step aside slightly (WITHIN its 25sqft square) to let you pass freely. No laws of physics need be broken or even bent.

Though I can not verify your decription regarding confined spaces, e.g. while riding elevators, where the people that should fit according to the sign is almost double the amount of people that actually fit in, the rules clearly state that two figures can't occupy the same hex. At least not if one of those figures ends it's movement in the square of the second. And thats what I was arguing about, not about letting one pass.

So where do we go from here?

Allow the invisible figure a free step? Allow the invisible figure to stay in the same square? What if the enemy is a galatinuos cube filling the complete square? What about if an ally stopped immediately in front of an invisible enemy and you try to pass him only to be blocked by said enemy? Using acrobatics can you tumble through an invisible enemies square if he will not let you pass as you could for a visible enemy (provided you know beforehanded in which square he is in)?

etc.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber

You can let them pass as was ably pointed out above.

If they stop in your square I would let the invisible creature move one space even though it is not their turn.

There is plenty of precedent for this. For example some abilities that let you push something give it the option of where it goes or even whether they move or just brace themselves and stay where they are with a penalty. There is a 2nd love fighter feat that works this way.

There are other instances in the game where things get displaced when it is not their turn. It is entirely up to the GM whether they allow you to notice the creature or not.


The ShadowShackleton wrote:
If they stop in your square I would let the invisible creature move one space even though it is not their turn.

I do not concur, however this does not matter as we will never mutually GM in the same game. It is ok to have different opinions.

However I have one example for you to consider:

There are two orcs standing right behind each other. In front of the first orc is a player character fighter. Behind the second orc is a player character mage.

The fighter uses the shove athletics action and succeeds. Orc number one is pushed back 5 feet, right into orc number two and a collision occurs. What however if the fighter would have critically succeeded his shove and pushed orc number one back full 10 feet? The mage simply steps aside an nothing happens? What would happen if the mage was not invisible or even a third orc? Quite inconsistent behavior I would say.

Liberty's Edge

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Ubertron_X wrote:
So where do we go from here?

The answer is clearly spelled out in the book, it's literally a rule and that rule says "The GM decides."

If someone wants a game that is 100% pure unadulterated mechanics with no flexible narrative component then they shouldn't be playing with other human beings. They should be playing with a computer.


Themetricsystem wrote:

The answer is clearly spelled out in the book, it's literally a rule and that rule says "The GM decides."

If someone wants a game that is 100% pure unadulterated mechanics with no flexible narrative component then they shouldn't be playing with other human beings. They should be playing with a computer.

I will think of you and your flexible narrative component next time the GM is asking me if AC30 hits my level 1 character when I respond: No, I dodged...

Exo-Guardians

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Ubertron_X wrote:

...

The fighter uses the shove athletics action and succeeds. Orc number one is pushed back 5 feet, right into orc number two and a collision occurs. What however if the fighter would have critically succeeded his shove and pushed orc number one back full 10 feet? The mage simply steps aside an nothing happens? What would happen if the mage was not invisible or even a third orc? Quite inconsistent behavior I would say.

The myriad of possible combinations of circumstances you describe are exactly why the rules say "the GM decides". No one rule could consistently cover all situations that might arise-- they'd need a whole page of complicated flowchart-style rules, and even then there'd be corner cases that broke the system. It's much more rational to simply leave it to GM discretion based on current in-game context, and save the wordcount for more important things.


The ShadowShackleton wrote:
That is precisely why they have left it up to the GM.

Leaving it up to the GM doesn't suddenly make the rulings consistent.

I am firmly in the camp that "GM decides" is a cop out and a necessity due to incomplete and contrived rules that form the foundation of the game. Ideally, nothing should need to be decided by the GM. All actions (given the same conditions) should have logical/predictable/repeatable outcomes, as it does in the real world. There should be nothing for the GM to decide.

However, the game is built on a bunch of contrived rules that create inconsistencies. It thus becomes impossible for Paizo to offer an accurate/correct way to resolve all outcomes. So instead of redesigning the game to avoid this outcome, they punt: "GM decides."

One of the reasons I started playing PFS is I got sick of GMs who don't really have any clue what they are doing, making arbitrary rulings that were nonsensical. What made it worse is knowing the GM would decide it one way for the players and another for the NPCs, so there was zero consistency.

Ubertron_X wrote:
However because it is an RPG the rules are only strictly binding for the players, the GM can bend or break rules if it helps in moving the game forward, either mechanically or narratively.

IMO and if I were designing the game, I would make this forbidden. As GM, I will absolutely not bend or break the rules to impose a narrative. For me as both a GM and a player, what is far more important than the narrative is that the rules are applied consistently. As a player, there is nothing that destroys my desire to play a game more, than GM fiat being used to invalidate my choices and my understanding of the rules.

As soon as I sense that my actions are not going to stop the GM from imposing whatever, I'm done. The game ceases to become a game and simply becomes the GM's narrative. I realize some GMs want that power and some players don't seem to care/like having outcomes imposed upon them. YMMV.

The flip side of this that is totally overlooked on these forums is that "GM decides" is actually stressful for newbie GMs. It actually makes the game less enjoyable and more difficult. As a GM, I want the players to understand and to believe that the outcomes are not based on my opinion, but on an objective enforcement of the rules. The more "GM decides" situations, the more conflicts can result. As someone remarked up thread, Paizo seems to have this naive attitude that "GM decides" is an improvement, it's not. The GM can ALWAYS decide. I would much rather that Paizo make the effort and give us rules. Even if the rules are nonsensical in some context, at least the players and GMs know the rule in advance and can agree to change it, rather than the GM being required to come up with something, whether or not that GM has the experience to do so.

Liberty's Edge

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N N 959 wrote:
I am firmly in the camp that "GM decides" is a cop out and a necessity due to incomplete and contrived rules that form the foundation of the game. Ideally, nothing should need to be decided by the GM. All actions (given the same conditions) should have logical/predictable/repeatable outcomes, as it does in the real world. There should be nothing for the GM to decide.

Please tell me you're being sarcastic... Dear Gods almighty I feel terrible for everyone you play with otherwise. This isn't a computer game, it's a social narrative one and it sounds like you've been doing far too much theory-crafting and not enough actual gameplay if you think this kind of thing can even EXIST in the real world.

I don't usually accuse people of bad-wrong-fun, but dude, what you want is literally against the spirit of the entire genre of tabletop RPGs and should be denounced as toxic.


Themetricsystem wrote:
Dear Gods almighty I feel terrible for everyone you play with otherwise.

I actually got a prize for being voted one of the best GMs during a PFS Gameday. So clearly something has been lost in translation for you.

Quote:
I don't usually accuse people of bad-wrong-fun, but dude, what you want is literally against the spirit of the entire genre of tabletop RPGs and should be denounced as toxic.

One of the foundations of process engineering is that when something goes wrong, you examine the process before you start blaming the people. A rules system which heavily relies upon "GM decides" to bail it out, is a process which sets young GMs up for failure. It's easy for an experienced GM or even a confident GM to think "GM decides" is a logical choice, but the fact is, and it is a fact, GMs aren't trained, vetted, or provided with any real guidance in making robust decisions, so the game suffers and players suffer. Then, GMs often go into denial about their poor choices.

IMO, Paizo should have put less burden on the GM and promoted a system which is more democratic in resolving the gaps in the ruleset. Insulate GMs from being the single point of failure, don't isolate them. But if you're experienced with RPGs, it's easy to see how you'd advocate a "GM decides" modus operandi. Most GMs on here think they are 100% qualified and able to make the correct decisions for their campaign.

Liberty's Edge

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N N 959 wrote:
Most GMs on here think they are 100% qualified and able to make the correct decisions for their campaign.

That's because they ARE qualified. You acting like you're better than everyone else because you believe that a core rulebook should have rules for literally every corner case, mechanics for every possible situation that could arise would make the thing be 2000 pages and it's downright absurd.

The only thing more rules in that vein do is alienate potential customers in order to appease folks like you who want everything in scripture. You say new GMs are stressed out by not having things written in stone but that is total and utter nonsense.

What stresses new GMs out is the feeling that they have to memorize tens of thousands of words of rules in order to sit down and have fun with their friends and elitist attitudes like yours where you talk trash about GMs who improvise to fit the story they're trying to tell only make it worse.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
N N 959 wrote:
Themetricsystem wrote:
Dear Gods almighty I feel terrible for everyone you play with otherwise.

I actually got a prize for being voted one of the best GMs during a PFS Gameday. So clearly something has been lost in translation for you.

Quote:
I don't usually accuse people of bad-wrong-fun, but dude, what you want is literally against the spirit of the entire genre of tabletop RPGs and should be denounced as toxic.

One of the foundations of process engineering is that when something goes wrong, you examine the process before you start blaming the people. A rules system which heavily relies upon "GM decides" to bail it out, is a process which sets young GMs up for failure. It's easy for an experienced GM or even a confident GM to think "GM decides" is a logical choice, but the fact is, and it is a fact, GMs aren't trained, vetted, or provided with any real guidance in making robust decisions, so the game suffers and players suffer. Then, GMs often go into denial about their poor choices.

IMO, Paizo should have put less burden on the GM and promoted a system which is more democratic in resolving the gaps in the ruleset. Insulate GMs from being the single point of failure, don't isolate them. But if you're experienced with RPGs, it's easy to see how you'd advocate a "GM decides" modus operandi. Most GMs on here think they are 100% qualified and able to make the correct decisions for their campaign.

Nobody cares about your award.

Just so I know what games to avoid, is there one that satisfies your "rules for every possible thing" criteria?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I think this thread must exist on every single RPG website! I think that games where GM's play as well as GM can cause some issues. We have 6 players and 3 GM's. I GM the most BUT i dont have the ability to change rules or say anything, what i do have is the ability to say this is how it is now for this session but we will decide (between the 3 GM's) what the ruling is thereafter. This has led us to a rulebook which we have used since 1e to help us out.
It should be said though that players want consistency, GM's generally what to make things fun, so park it and then decide later. Of course if the decision is a life and death one for your character this complicates matters and thats when you either trust your GM or not.....

Exo-Guardians

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Just came across this picture and think it's relevant to the discussion: a real-life 6'4" man in a 5' by 5' square.

Now obviously, some "Medium" size creatures are larger/smaller than this guy and will take up more/less space than he does. This is why the rules leave it up to the GM to decide on a case-by-case basis what happens when two creatures end up in or pass through the same square.


The explanation that i believe exists in one of the rulebooks is that a medium creature doesn't fill a square, but "tactically controls it." I think from that photo, we can easily see how someone can tactically control a 5x5 area.

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