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 Dungeons & Dra.. 4e Rules Q&A questions about areas of effect
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Flag January 2, 2013 8:35 AM PST
Hi, everyone, I've been having some doubts about area of effects. As I understand it, they only work on one plane, meaning they wouldn't affect flying creatures. So, for example, if a power specifies that the area of effect is 5x5, it would only affect creatures standing on the ground. If this is correct, what would happen if the target square for the effect wasn't on the ground but in the air? Would it even be possible to target an imaginary square so that it only affects creatures flying at the same height? And what would happen when it's a close burst attack done by a flying creature? Would it affect only the ones at the same height or the ones in the ground too?
Flag January 2, 2013 9:04 AM PST
If 3D is employed (such as when using flying creatures at a different altitude than other combattant on the ground), then Area of Effects should also be employed in 3D.

That way Burst will extend in all directions, including above and below the user, and Blast will be a 3D cube instead of 2D square, in such way that a Blast 5x5 will now be a Blast 5x5x5 instead for exemple. Because a Blast used in 3D still fill an area adjacent to the origin square, it means one can be placed at altitude 1 for exemple, and not affect the squares on the ground at altitude 0.

See side view exemple of Close Blast 3:

Flag January 2, 2013 10:00 AM PST

Jan 2, 2013 -- 8:35AM, dirole2099dirole wrote:

As I understand it, they only work on one plane, meaning they wouldn't affect flying creatures.

From the forum FAQ, if desired:
"How do area effects function in a 3-D environment? Since vertical distances are measured the same as horizontal distances, they take on a cube shape. Discussed in the 5/10/10 podcast."

and

'What area do creatures occupy in a 3-D environment? A cube. RC p.200 says "A creature's space is the area, measured in squares, that the creature  occupies on the battle grid. This area represents the three-dimensional space that the creature needs to take part in an encounter, allowing it to turn around attack, fall prone, and so on. Despite the cubic shape of its space, a creature is not actually a cube (unless it's a gelatinous cube)".  Also, the 5/10/10 podcast states that medium (and small) characters occupy a 5'x5'x5' square regardless of their actual height'

Flag January 2, 2013 3:40 PM PST

Jan 2, 2013 -- 8:35AM, dirole2099dirole wrote:

Hi, everyone, I've been having some doubts about area of effects. As I understand it, they only work on one plane, meaning they wouldn't affect flying creatures. So, for example, if a power specifies that the area of effect is 5x5, it would only affect creatures standing on the ground. If this is correct, what would happen if the target square for the effect wasn't on the ground but in the air? Would it even be possible to target an imaginary square so that it only affects creatures flying at the same height? And what would happen when it's a close burst attack done by a flying creature? Would it affect only the ones at the same height or the ones in the ground too?

To add to the above, unless your entire game is going to be flat (no elevation of any kind ever, no flying monsters, no nothing) than "squares" are always actually cubes.

Flag January 2, 2013 5:12 PM PST
It is also important to note that this idea can be used to get around problems with positioning your allies in a group with large enemies.  You can start the blast above people's heads and still hit the enemies in the same area (If your friends are medium and the creature is large or larger) because they all take up 3D space.
Flag January 2, 2013 9:58 PM PST

Jan 2, 2013 -- 5:12PM, Matyr wrote:

It is also important to note that this idea can be used to get around problems with positioning your allies in a group with large enemies.  You can start the blast above people's heads and still hit the enemies in the same area (If your friends are medium and the creature is large or larger) because they all take up 3D space.

Which is something I, as a DM, would love to see my players try.
Player: "I aim up."

Perfectly legit method and thinking outside the box. (Which was meant as a bit of a pun...)

Flag January 3, 2013 3:56 AM PST
Indeed, if you're a medium creature being flanked by two Large creatures, you can send a close blast directly above you and hit them both with it.  Perfectly valid tactics.
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 Dungeons & Dra.. 4e Rules Q&A questions about areas of effect
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