Positioning walls up in the air


Rules Discussion


Hello everyone,

I have a question: Is it possible to make a Wall spell in the air?
For some of them, I'd say no because of gravity. But things like Wall of Fire or Blade Barrier are not much affected by gravity. Putting them a few feet above the ground would allow them to not affect your allies while affecting big enemies, so it'd be quite powerful.


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I think this comes down to the use of natural language.

I'm not much of a fan of "it doesn't say I can't" rulings, so I'm definite on that I would require the wall to be situated on a "floor" rather than in mid-air.


thenobledrake wrote:

I think this comes down to the use of natural language.

I'm not much of a fan of "it doesn't say I can't" rulings, so I'm definite on that I would require the wall to be situated on a "floor" rather than in mid-air.

They're magic. Why should they have to be on a floor?


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mrspaghetti wrote:
They're magic. Why should they have to be on a floor?

Okay, fine... I'll elaborate on why I don't like "it doesn't say I can't" rulings, and I'll add in a bit about why "it's magic!" doesn't exactly lead to good rulings either:

There are more things unsaid than there are things that are said by a rule. Wall of fire doesn't say it can't be in the air. It also doesn't say it doesn't perfectly cook all marshmallows and hot dogs within 20 feet. It also doesn't say you can't snort the wall of fire like a line of cocaine and develop a permanent ability to breath fire as if you are an adult gold dragon.

The text doesn't have any more - nor any less - support for any of those things, so we have to go somewhere besides the rules in order to determine what is on which side of the "no, can't do that" line. And I don't see a reason to bother with that process when we can just have the thing do the things that it says it does and nothing it doesn't say it does, even if it doesn't explicitly say it can't do those things.

Then we come to "it's magic" rulings: magic is fictional, and thus can do whatever we decide that it can and cannot do whatever we decide it can't. The only limitation is whatever we elect to use as a limit.

Which means that we either agree on what the limitations of magic are within a context (in the case of Pathfinder, those limitations are delivered via spell lists, spell levels, spell slots, and that spells do what they say they do) or we say "but it's magic!" and are thus making an argument that the agreed upon limitations shouldn't apply because we could - thanks to magic being fictional - invent a less restrictive set of limitations.

So questions like "They're magic. Why should they have to be on a floor?" are equally as valid as questions like "It's magic. Why should it require an attack roll?" or "It's magic. Why should it take more than a 1st level spell slot to do that much damage?"


Argumentum ad absurdum. It's not remotely the same as an attack roll, which would be specified in the spell.


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Sesquipedalian statement aside, you haven't refuted my actual argument.

Let me restate the argument, since the fun I had illustrating the argument has clearly distracted you: "It doesn't say I can't" cannot be the reason for allowing a ruling because it supports everything equally - regardless of how absurd it might be.


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This gets a bit more odd, as Wall of Stone points out that you can make a Bridge with it, which would mean that it can span a distance without touching the ground.

This tells me that it would be completely reasonable to allow a Wall of Stone to create an Arch, which would roughly fit the dimensions Superbidi would want, though I would personally require that the wall was anchored to the ground at either end, and if one of those anchor points is broken, the whole wall would "fall", creating rubble.

The real answer imho, is it's up to your GM and the situation at hand. Making a single hard and fast rule to stipulate exactly what a wall spell can do would limit creativity with those walls a bit too much for me. For instance: I would allow a Wall of Fire to be "anchored" to 2 opposite walls and span the distance, in a similar manner to what Superbidi wants to do.

To me the limitation on the height of the wall is strictly talking about the wall itself, not how high the wall can physically be placed, otherwise you would never be able to form a bridge with a wall of stone as the spell specifically tells you you can.


thenobledrake wrote:

Sesquipedalian statement aside, you haven't refuted my actual argument.

Let me restate the argument, since the fun I had illustrating the argument has clearly distracted you: "It doesn't say I can't" cannot be the reason for allowing a ruling because it supports everything equally - regardless of how absurd it might be.

"Hey GM, can I make my wall of fire green?"

"I'm afraid not, the spell doesn't say you can do that."

There is a GM in this game precisely because not everything can be reasonably specified in the rules. Judgement must be used to determine what makes sense in context, so IMO "it doesn't say I can't" is a perfectly good basis for a ruling sometimes. It's a game and people like to do fun things they think of. As long as those things don't clash with the spirit of the written rules as I see them, or significantly unbalance the game in some way, I'm usually inclined to allow them.


mrspaghetti wrote:
thenobledrake wrote:

Sesquipedalian statement aside, you haven't refuted my actual argument.

Let me restate the argument, since the fun I had illustrating the argument has clearly distracted you: "It doesn't say I can't" cannot be the reason for allowing a ruling because it supports everything equally - regardless of how absurd it might be.

"Hey GM, can I make my wall of fire green?"

"I'm afraid not, the spell doesn't say you can do that."

There is a GM in this game precisely because not everything can be reasonably specified in the rules. Judgement must be used to determine what makes sense in context, so IMO "it doesn't say I can't" is a perfectly good basis for a ruling sometimes. It's a game and people like to do fun things they think of. As long as those things don't clash with the spirit of the written rules as I see them, or significantly unbalance the game in some way, I'm usually inclined to allow them.

I'll side with the noble drake on your specific argument. The main reason to put the wall above the ground is to affect enemies but not allies. It's not a cosmetic modification of the spell but a functional one. It's closer to removing the spell attack roll than to make the fire green.

@nobledrake: What do you think of Blade Barrier? This one is not even called a wall, and is clearly a bunch of flying object. Would you allow a player to position it above the ground to only affect enemies?


SuperBidi wrote:
mrspaghetti wrote:
thenobledrake wrote:

Sesquipedalian statement aside, you haven't refuted my actual argument.

Let me restate the argument, since the fun I had illustrating the argument has clearly distracted you: "It doesn't say I can't" cannot be the reason for allowing a ruling because it supports everything equally - regardless of how absurd it might be.

"Hey GM, can I make my wall of fire green?"

"I'm afraid not, the spell doesn't say you can do that."

There is a GM in this game precisely because not everything can be reasonably specified in the rules. Judgement must be used to determine what makes sense in context, so IMO "it doesn't say I can't" is a perfectly good basis for a ruling sometimes. It's a game and people like to do fun things they think of. As long as those things don't clash with the spirit of the written rules as I see them, or significantly unbalance the game in some way, I'm usually inclined to allow them.

I'll side with the noble drake on your specific argument. The main reason to put the wall above the ground is to affect enemies but not allies. It's not a cosmetic modification of the spell but a functional one. It's closer to removing the spell attack roll than to make the fire green.

@nobledrake: What do you think of Blade Barrier? This one is not even called a wall, and is clearly a bunch of flying object. Would you allow a player to position it above the ground to only affect enemies?

Not an unreasonable stance. I guess it all depends where on the continuum between cosmetic and functional you feel like a given spell interpretation starts getting out of whack for the spell level. I don't see any game-changing effect for a wall of fire a few feet off the ground.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
mrspaghetti wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
mrspaghetti wrote:
thenobledrake wrote:

Sesquipedalian statement aside, you haven't refuted my actual argument.

Let me restate the argument, since the fun I had illustrating the argument has clearly distracted you: "It doesn't say I can't" cannot be the reason for allowing a ruling because it supports everything equally - regardless of how absurd it might be.

"Hey GM, can I make my wall of fire green?"

"I'm afraid not, the spell doesn't say you can do that."

There is a GM in this game precisely because not everything can be reasonably specified in the rules. Judgement must be used to determine what makes sense in context, so IMO "it doesn't say I can't" is a perfectly good basis for a ruling sometimes. It's a game and people like to do fun things they think of. As long as those things don't clash with the spirit of the written rules as I see them, or significantly unbalance the game in some way, I'm usually inclined to allow them.

I'll side with the noble drake on your specific argument. The main reason to put the wall above the ground is to affect enemies but not allies. It's not a cosmetic modification of the spell but a functional one. It's closer to removing the spell attack roll than to make the fire green.

@nobledrake: What do you think of Blade Barrier? This one is not even called a wall, and is clearly a bunch of flying object. Would you allow a player to position it above the ground to only affect enemies?

Not an unreasonable stance. I guess it all depends where on the continuum between cosmetic and functional you feel like a given spell interpretation starts getting out of whack for the spell level. I don't see any game-changing effect for a wall of fire a few feet off the ground.

You don't? I do. Like me and my buddies can walk under it fine while that giant has to crawl.


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For completeness here the wall spell definition out of the CRB.

CRB page 306 wrote:

Walls

Spells that create walls list the depth, length, and height of the wall, also specifying how it can be positioned. Some walls can be shaped; you can manipulate the wall into a form other than a straight line, choosing its contiguous path square by square. The path of a shaped wall can’t enter the same space more than once, but it can double back so one section is adjacent to another section of the wall.

A conservative reading would be that the spell text is telling you what you can do, and only what you can do, so no flying walls.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Ubertron_X wrote:

For completeness here the wall spell definition out of the CRB.

CRB page 306 wrote:

Walls

Spells that create walls list the depth, length, and height of the wall, also specifying how it can be positioned. Some walls can be shaped; you can manipulate the wall into a form other than a straight line, choosing its contiguous path square by square. The path of a shaped wall can’t enter the same space more than once, but it can double back so one section is adjacent to another section of the wall.
A conservative reading would be that the spell text is telling you what you can do, and only what you can do, so no flying walls.

I think that's the heart of the question here. With a lot of walls, the spell description doesn't say or imply anything about needing to be spaces adjacent to ground, and that wall spell definition doesn't give us a baseline assumption.

While I would have assumed walls must start at the ground, I don't see a general rule to support it, here.


Malk_Content wrote:
You don't? I do. Like me and my buddies can walk under it fine while that giant has to crawl.

I don't see that as game-changing in the sense that it either OPs or unreasonably nerfs the spell. If you walk under the wall the giant can melee you just as if it came to you. I'm sure it would be situationally great on rare occasions, but that could be said about almost any spell or feat.


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mrspaghetti wrote:

"Hey GM, can I make my wall of fire green?"

"I'm afraid not, the spell doesn't say you can do that."

This is the rules discussion forum. That means we discuss what the rules are, especially when the question that starts a thread is "do the rules say I can do this?" in nature.

A GM being able to allow things besides what the rules do isn't relevant.

And again, there is equal support from the book for turning the wall green as there is for it actually doing force damage or any of the other "absurd" things I brought up.

If this were the advice section of the forum and someone were asking about what they should allow outside the text of a spell, then I'd be giving answers on that topic like you currently are.

SuperBidi wrote:
What do you think of Blade Barrier? This one is not even called a wall, and is clearly a bunch of flying object. Would you allow a player to position it above the ground to only affect enemies?

The only art I've ever seen depicting the spell in the past was a flying ring of sharp weapons floating ominously around the caster... but I think the PF2 ruling comes back to natural language again since the description of the spell uses the word "wall" which, to me at least, implies a structure that runs from a floor to its top. Plus, as Ubertron has quoted, the book says wall spells are supposed to tell us of our specific positioning options - so not saying "can be put in the air" is the same, linguistically speaking at least, as saying "can not be put in the air"

Basically, I think it comes down more to what the word "wall" means in standard usage than anything else, since it's not a word the game re-defines for game purposes.


mrspaghetti wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
You don't? I do. Like me and my buddies can walk under it fine while that giant has to crawl.
I don't see that as game-changing in the sense that it either OPs or unreasonably nerfs the spell. If you walk under the wall the giant can melee you just as if it came to you. I'm sure it would be situationally great on rare occasions, but that could be said about almost any spell or feat.

With my reading of the spell, you put a wall of fire down between you an a larger enemy and you have to take damage from the wall to be in melee and the enemy is concealed from ranged attacks because they have to pass through the wall to get to it. Both the party and the large enemy are subject to the wall's effects.

With a reading that lets the wall be in the air, the larger enemy still has full effects of the spell applying to them - but the party can avoid the concealment and the damage while still being able to attack.

It might not be "OP" in the sense of being too much benefit for a spell of 4th level to provide, but it is clearly an increase in power compared to a conservative reading. And let's not forget that when there are two (or more) interpretations for a game element the game has a bit of text on page 444 about how we're meant to deal with that - and it's not "pick the one that's better."


mrspaghetti wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
You don't? I do. Like me and my buddies can walk under it fine while that giant has to crawl.
I don't see that as game-changing in the sense that it either OPs or unreasonably nerfs the spell. If you walk under the wall the giant can melee you just as if it came to you. I'm sure it would be situationally great on rare occasions, but that could be said about almost any spell or feat.

I've thought a bit about it and I tend to agree that it won't imbalance the game.

Still, with the proper party a flying Blade Barrier can be a grinding machine. Being able to keep your whole mobility around the enemy and knock it on the wall with feats like Knockdown or some critical specializations (Club, Polearm, Shield) can be quite efficient. Going through a wall does roughly 2/3rd of the average damage of a martial first attack. If you can do it multiple times per turn, you greatly improve your damage output.


beowulf99 wrote:

This gets a bit more odd, as Wall of Stone points out that you can make a Bridge with it, which would mean that it can span a distance without touching the ground.

This tells me that it would be completely reasonable to allow a Wall of Stone to create an Arch, which would roughly fit the dimensions Superbidi would want, though I would personally require that the wall was anchored to the ground at either end, and if one of those anchor points is broken, the whole wall would "fall", creating rubble.

The real answer imho, is it's up to your GM and the situation at hand. Making a single hard and fast rule to stipulate exactly what a wall spell can do would limit creativity with those walls a bit too much for me. For instance: I would allow a Wall of Fire to be "anchored" to 2 opposite walls and span the distance, in a similar manner to what Superbidi wants to do.

To me the limitation on the height of the wall is strictly talking about the wall itself, not how high the wall can physically be placed, otherwise you would never be able to form a bridge with a wall of stone as the spell specifically tells you you can.

I mean, I feel like this kinda answered the question, yet people continued to argue you shouldn't/should be able to :-P. If you can use Wall of Stone to build a bridge, then yeah... why not in the air? Maybe the sides need endpoint anchors, but it seems, at least from wall of stone, this should be sufficient, and maybe actually unnecessary for walls without physical mass.


An example of a spell being explicit about a special configuration option is evidence that spells without an explicit special configuration option don't get any - not evidence that you can do things outside those listed by the spell.

"If you can use wall of stone to build a bridge" <-a thing you can do because it specifically says that.

"why not in the air?" <-why in the air? Because the why not is "nothing in the text indicates that is possible - unlike building a bridge with wall of stone"


thenobledrake wrote:

An example of a spell being explicit about a special configuration option is evidence that spells without an explicit special configuration option don't get any - not evidence that you can do things outside those listed by the spell.

"If you can use wall of stone to build a bridge" <-a thing you can do because it specifically says that.

"why not in the air?" <-why in the air? Because the why not is "nothing in the text indicates that is possible - unlike building a bridge with wall of stone"

Well, Wall of Ice also does have wording that would allow for it's use as a sort of bridge if so desired. Or it could be used to "cap" a fissure or hole so that enemies can't climb out.

CRB PG. 382 "Wall of Ice" wrote:

You sculpt a barrier of ice that blocks sight and, once shattered,

freezes foes. You create either a 1-foot-thick wall of ice in a
straight line up to 60 feet long and 10 feet high (the wall doesn’t
have to be vertical, but it must be anchored on both sides to a
solid surface) or a 1-foot-thick, 10-foot radius hemisphere of ice.

Walls of Fire, Thorns and Wind do mention standing vertically, but that doesn't preclude them from creating an arch as Superbidi describes. And I see no reason that Wall of Wind couldn't be used in the air at all: it's made of air.

I suppose it comes down to what the GM is willing to allow. I personally am pretty open to canny uses of a spell. While I agree that special consideration should be taken when someone argues, "the spell doesn't say I can't do such and such," I don't feel like this is a situation that requires much restraint.


SuperBidi wrote:
mrspaghetti wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
You don't? I do. Like me and my buddies can walk under it fine while that giant has to crawl.
I don't see that as game-changing in the sense that it either OPs or unreasonably nerfs the spell. If you walk under the wall the giant can melee you just as if it came to you. I'm sure it would be situationally great on rare occasions, but that could be said about almost any spell or feat.

I've thought a bit about it and I tend to agree that it won't imbalance the game.

Still, with the proper party a flying Blade Barrier can be a grinding machine. Being able to keep your whole mobility around the enemy and knock it on the wall with feats like Knockdown or some critical specializations (Club, Polearm, Shield) can be quite efficient. Going through a wall does roughly 2/3rd of the average damage of a martial first attack. If you can do it multiple times per turn, you greatly improve your damage output.

The spells specifically say when it deals damage.

Blade Barrier wrote:
The wall deals 7d8 force damage to each creature that's in the wall's space when it is created, that attempts to pass through the wall, or that ends its turn inside the wall.

So we have 3 different ways this does damage.

-Upon creation. Great if you have multiple waves of enemies approaching, or if you have larger creatures. However, it's horrible in that casting it upon the enemy means they don't have to make a saving through to move through it.

-They attempt to pass through the wall. If they critically fail, then multiple attempts will be required, since a critical failure on the spell does shun them back out and requires another attempt to pass through. But otherwise, this only occurs once on the creature's turn. Forced movement like from shoving or other abilities would not warrant this because it's not an attempt to pass through the wall, though if they are shoved past the wall for some reason and attempt to go through again, it will certainly trigger the damage.

-They end their turn in the wall. A little difficult here for Medium or smaller creatures, because of the wall's dimensions (20 feet high by 120 feet long by 2 inches thick, which is at-best a line intersection on a square), but for larger creatures it's certainly possible if their square is enveloping the line the Blade Barrier envelops.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:


So we have 3 different ways this does damage.

-Upon creation. Great if you have multiple waves of enemies approaching, or if you have larger creatures. However, it's horrible in that casting it upon the enemy means they don't have to make a saving through to move through it.

-They attempt to pass through the wall. If they critically fail, then multiple attempts will be required, since a critical failure on the spell does shun them back out and requires another attempt to pass through. But otherwise, this only occurs once on the creature's turn. Forced movement like from shoving or other abilities would not warrant this because it's not an attempt to pass through the wall, though if they are shoved past the wall for some reason and attempt to go through...

Being shoved through the wall is an obvious attempt to go through it, just a forced attempt.

Also, walls don't have to follow the grid directions, so they can go through multiple squares.


beowulf99 wrote:
I suppose it comes down to what the GM is willing to allow.

As does everything, in the end.

However, I really don't get how people arrive at the reasoning that when:

A = wall of stone explicitly tells you it can be a bridge.
B = wall of fire doesn't.
C = wall of fire can build a bridge too.

That A+B=C

Might as well apply that same "reasoning" to flame strike and fireball to come out with the latter also only apply half a creature's fire resistance since "another spell that's somewhat similar says a thing" is being treated as enough reason to add extra functionality.


thenobledrake wrote:
beowulf99 wrote:
I suppose it comes down to what the GM is willing to allow.

As does everything, in the end.

However, I really don't get how people arrive at the reasoning that when:

A = wall of stone explicitly tells you it can be a bridge.
B = wall of fire doesn't.
C = wall of fire can build a bridge too.

That A+B=C

Might as well apply that same "reasoning" to flame strike and fireball to come out with the latter also only apply half a creature's fire resistance since "another spell that's somewhat similar says a thing" is being treated as enough reason to add extra functionality.

It essentially comes down to: Why not?

I tend to be pretty forgiving when it comes to spell use. You obviously don't. That's fine too.

For instance, I once let my party attempt to use Produce Flame and Gust of Wind to attempt to start a fire in a field, then spread it into a camp as a diversion. It didn't work, but I allowed it despite Produce Flame not being able to target "nothing".

And my reasoning I use to defend that decision is, Why not?

Wall of Fire does have to be vertical, but I see no reason why it couldn't be formed into an archway. Same with Wind Wall, Wall of Force, etc..

So long as it doesn't create a situation where the party is gaining an egregious advantage, I don't see a problem. In the case of creating a barrier that a Tall creature can't pass (without crawling anyway) that they can run through, I don't see an issue. I see an interesting use of a spell that otherwise is heavily restricted in use.

Edit: I also see no reason why it can't be suspended between 2 walls. Maybe I could see disallowing Wall of Fire in mid air, same with any of the walls that have "mass", but that's all based on what I think is fair in the end really.


"why not?" is perfectly countered by "Why?" though. It's not reasoning, and it's not an argument. It's skipping both of those things.

Especially when talking about Thing A says "yes" and Thing B says "not yes" and treating those as the same thing.

Especially when talking about a game which is written entirely in the style of things doing what they say they do - full stop.


thenobledrake wrote:

"why not?" is perfectly countered by "Why?" though. It's not reasoning, and it's not an argument. It's skipping both of those things.

Especially when talking about Thing A says "yes" and Thing B says "not yes" and treating those as the same thing.

Especially when talking about a game which is written entirely in the style of things doing what they say they do - full stop.

I'm not arguing that you should allow a wall to be placed in a way you don't think it should be placed, or that the spell doesn't tell you it can. I am arguing that you can if you want, and the spell itself doesn't specifically preclude you from it.

I actually tend to agree with you for the most part, in that actions and spells tend to only do what they say they do. But at the same time, I have come to realize that PF2 is at it's best when you allow for a bit of shenanigans. I won't say that your point isn't valid, I just don't agree with it.

Wall spells give you a base line way to use them, but then don't preclude you from placing them in interesting and clever ways either. So why not allow them to be used in such ways?

If you want spells and abilities that only do what they say they can do, and no more, maybe a video game version would be more to your liking. TTRPG's are about the moments where a player comes up with a canny strategy or unanticipated tactic. Being overly strict usually isn't good for the game.

So sure, you win. RAW, no you couldn't place a Wall of Fire off the ground. But I'd allow it.


beowulf99 wrote:
...the spell itself doesn't specifically preclude you from it.

When dealing with language that tells you what something does, not saying "you can" is the same as saying "you can't".

That's just how language works.


thenobledrake wrote:
beowulf99 wrote:
...the spell itself doesn't specifically preclude you from it.

When dealing with language that tells you what something does, not saying "you can" is the same as saying "you can't".

That's just how language works.

Sure. And if the rules were perfectly written, and never needed Errata for clarification, or a whole section on adjudicating the rules for the GM to follow, I would even agree.

I see that wall of fire itself cannot be larger than 60 feet long by 5 feet wide by 10 feet tall. I see that it stands vertically and can be of shorter length or height if desired. But I don't see any guidance on where it can be placed.

So then we can't place it at all then? Wall of Fire itself doesn't tell you where you can place the wall at all, so then we can't place it and the spell will fail then. If not saying you can is the same as saying you can't, then apparently Wall of Fire can't be placed.

The "Walls" section of Spells only says that Wall Spells, "list the depth, length, and height of the wall, also specifying how it can be positioned," but there is no mention of positioning in Wall of Fire is there?

CRB PG. 382 "Wall of Fire" wrote:

You raise a blazing wall that burns creatures passing through

it. You create either a 5-foot-thick wall of flame in a straight
line up to 60 feet long and 10 feet high, or a 5-foot-thick,
10-foot-radius ring of flame with the same height. The wall
stands vertically in either form; if you wish, the wall can be of
a shorter length or height. Everything on each side of the wall
is concealed from creatures on the opposite side. Any creature
that crosses the wall or is occupying the wall’s area at the
start of its turn takes 4d6 fire damage.

So where can you place that wall?


you can place it where walls could be, since "wall" is a word with a definition even though the game doesn't give it a special one.


thenobledrake wrote:
you can place it where walls could be, since "wall" is a word with a definition even though the game doesn't give it a special one.

Are you sure about that? Because Wall of Stone can be a bridge. But it's called a Wall. That's odd isn't it?

Edit: Also, would the Wall of fire then have to be placed according to the code of the land? Could a code compliance inspector swing by and make you Dispel it, because it wasn't permitted?

What if I wanted to place a Wall of Fire attached to an existing structure, but I don't want to run down to the county office and submit a permit and pay the tax and all that?

Also, what if it's a Ring instead, since you can arrange it as a ring? Where can rings be placed?


No, it's not, because it's not limited to being a bridge.

It's a wall, and is just like wall of fire can be put where a wall could be.

but it's also specifying that it can be placed differently than you would expect for a wall.


thenobledrake wrote:

No, it's not, because it's not limited to being a bridge.

It's a wall, and is just like wall of fire can be put where a wall could be.

but it's also specifying that it can be placed differently than you would expect for a wall.

So what you're saying is that rules have to tell you what they can and can't do, but only when you can't fill in the blanks with real world logic.

So logically, I can place the Wall of Fire where I think it's appropriate. And I think forming an arch would be perfectly appropriate.


No, what I am saying is that words have meanings.

Now... if arch and wall were synonyms...


thenobledrake wrote:

No, what I am saying is that words have meanings.

Now... if arch and wall were synonyms...

You are correct. Words have meaning. And I dont see any words directly informing the reader as to where you can place a Wall of Fire. I suppose you could say that walls must begin at floor level, but that's not true is it? Walls come in a variety of shapes, many of which incorporate arches, bends and turns, different angles and features. Wall of Fire specifies the dimensions, but little else. It tells us that it must be a straight line, but never mention that this wall must be an unbroken wall from floor to ceiling, or its maximum height, does it?


Gygax had a Wall of Fire in the air, which a flying enemy flew through.

While I'm agreeing on wall spells made of matter, the meaning of "wall" shifts IMO when talking about energy or weightless material. As in walls that need no grounding or wouldn't fall seem fine for aerial use (especially if its component parts are flying, like with Blade Barrier).

Taken too literally, as noted by others, some walls can't be placed at all due to lack of instructions.


beowulf99 wrote:
And I dont see any words directly informing the reader as to where you can place a Wall of Fire.

Think of where you have seen walls in real life. That's likely how the writers expected you'd know how and where wall spells could be placed. Because, as we agreed, words have meaning.

beowulf99 wrote:
I suppose you could say that walls must begin at floor level, but that's not true is it?

Seems pretty clear and intuitive to me.

beowulf99 wrote:
Walls come in a variety of shapes, many of which incorporate arches, bends and turns, different angles and features.

Notice how a lot of the words you just said are neither "wall" nor synonyms for "wall"? They are entirely different nouns. And those nouns, at least without special text like some of the wall spells do have, aren't inherent to the meaning of the word "wall"

Heck, look around you right now. You've probably got around 4 walls you can easily see. Just normal walls with not much special about them, probably (I know the ones I can see are nothing special). There are traits they all have in common - mine are all straight, around 8 feet tall I think, and around 12 feet long. Depending on whether you count just the sheet rock or the entire construction into consideration they are either 1" or about 8" thick.

A couple of them have doors in them - but that's a separate noun, and not a default part of a wall. I suppose we could ask if a caster can put a door into a wall of fire... I'd of course say "doesn't say that's possible, so it's not." Would you say "why not?"

What about a window so I can burn my enemies and try to keep them on the other side of the wall, but I can fire ranged attacks and more spells through without concealment? Again, I'd say "doesn't say that's possible, so it's not."

beowulf99 wrote:
Wall of Fire specifies the dimensions, but little else. It tells us that it must be a straight line, but never mention that this wall must be an unbroken wall from floor to ceiling, or its maximum height, does it?

It specifies its dimensions, that it is a wall (which has meaning), that it must be a straight line, yes.

And that it doesn't say the bit about being unbroken from floor to ceiling, or it's maximum height, is nice because that means it can be put on top of creatures and objects unlike some other walls which can't... but that's not the same as telling us we can make deliberate holes, or even that the result of laying it down where objects/creatures would be through it creates holes in the first place.


Alright. So then does Wall of fire follow the layout of the flooring that you place it?

I.E. Say that you are in an area that has especially rocky or broken geography.

Can you place a Wall of Fire in this situation? If so, does it:

Follow the curves of the ground.

Only allow a single span for whatever distance you select, but never leaving the ground.

Continue through such terrain features as though they aren't there, including any distance that would have it leave the ground.

In short, does any drop in elevation make it impossible to lay your Wall of Fire across it? Wall of Fire after all is not a "shapeable" wall, minus only the option of a Ring rather than the standard configuration.

Can it be placed over a 1 foot by 1 foot gap? A pothole so to speak?


SuperBidi wrote:
Also, walls don't have to follow the grid directions, so they can go through multiple squares.

I don't think you can, since the rules don't say you can't. It's linguistically the same as saying you can't.


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Gaterie wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
Also, walls don't have to follow the grid directions, so they can go through multiple squares.

I don't think you can, since the rules don't say you can't. It's linguistically the same as saying you can't.

Yeah, but the rules don't say you can follow the grid either, so you can't position them at all!


SuperBidi wrote:
Gaterie wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
Also, walls don't have to follow the grid directions, so they can go through multiple squares.

I don't think you can, since the rules don't say you can't. It's linguistically the same as saying you can't.

Yeah, but the rules don't say you can follow the grid either, so you can't position them at all!

You're right.

But look around yourself; I guess you're surrounded by 4 walls, and those walls are perpendicular one to another (and are touching themselves). Hence, a wall spell has to be cast adjacent and perpendicular to an existing wall.

Since existing walls usually follow grid directions, the wall you create using the above rule (which is totally the official rule) will usually follows grid directions as well.


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Gaterie wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
Gaterie wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
Also, walls don't have to follow the grid directions, so they can go through multiple squares.

I don't think you can, since the rules don't say you can't. It's linguistically the same as saying you can't.

Yeah, but the rules don't say you can follow the grid either, so you can't position them at all!

You're right.

But look around yourself; I guess you're surrounded by 4 walls, and those walls are perpendicular one to another (and are touching themselves). Hence, a wall spell has to be cast adjacent and perpendicular to an existing wall.

Since existing walls usually follow grid directions, the wall you create using the above rule (which is totally the official rule) will usually follows grid directions as well.

I'm currently surrounded by trees and flowers. So walls don't exist?

I should stop taking these pills...


SuperBidi wrote:
Gaterie wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
Gaterie wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
Also, walls don't have to follow the grid directions, so they can go through multiple squares.

I don't think you can, since the rules don't say you can't. It's linguistically the same as saying you can't.

Yeah, but the rules don't say you can follow the grid either, so you can't position them at all!

You're right.

But look around yourself; I guess you're surrounded by 4 walls, and those walls are perpendicular one to another (and are touching themselves). Hence, a wall spell has to be cast adjacent and perpendicular to an existing wall.

Since existing walls usually follow grid directions, the wall you create using the above rule (which is totally the official rule) will usually follows grid directions as well.

I'm currently surrounded by trees and flowers. So walls don't exist?

I should stop taking these pills...

or take the blue one instead of the red one


The problem is that the original question was whether the wall could be placed in the air... I'd agree, wall of fire couldn't be used to build a bridge, but the wording for the spell says nothing about it needing to be placed on the ground. In fact, it never says it *can* be placed on the ground... so yeah, this is a rules interpretation issue. When they say 10' high, do they mean from the ground, or from where you start the spell, which could be in the air. I see no reason not to allow the second, though others might.

EDIT: I acknowledge my previous argument was not the best... But yeah, I was more going for "we know wall of stone can potentially be in the air because it mentions bridges, the other spells can't be used for a bridge, but don't specify whether they need to be on the ground or not.

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