Spell distances

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Spell distances

Postby J.C. » Wed May 11, 2016 9:18 am

Since I have been scrutinizing my spell list, one item has become somewhat of a concern for me. The spell Range.

I would like to know how strictly the DM/pDM-ship enforce or adhere to the Range distances listed for each spell, or how flexible the Ranges are for the spells.
Also, is this something that is a spell by spell adaptation, or a generalization?

I don't think that I would try to stretch the distances listed too much, but if there is any leeway that perhaps a 5ft stretch would be acceptable, it would be nice to know.

Obviously this doesn't apply to a "Personal or Touch" range, but a Close, Medium, or Long range would be in question.

IF there is strict adherence to the footage, this now becomes another reason for the use of Maps in the encounters. I know that when a map is used, I do count the squares to ensure that I am not over stretching the Range of the particular spell I would like to use, or that I can't hit the foe because the spell doesn't have the reach needed. The use of the Maps also allows me to move my character to within the range of the spell so I can use it to effect.

Just another random thought rattling around trying to escape the confinements of this addled brain.

J.C.
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Re: Spell distances

Postby Ian » Wed May 11, 2016 12:53 pm

It's basically a matter of: "If maps are in use, Range is strict. If maps aren't in use, Range is a looser concept."

Longer version: If maps are in use, it's perfectly clear exactly how far you are from things and what your line-of-effect is, so I at least don't give people any wiggle room there--it's pure math. However, if we're not using a map, I'm generally working on more of a free-form basis and vastly more willing to fudge stuff like range and AoE, because I know my mind's eye and yours don't see the same thing.

In this case, I'll generally expect you to ask questions like, "My Close range is 50 feet. Can I get into Close range of the orc without putting Bob in the path?" Or "What's the largest number of goblins I can fit into a fireball without hitting Bob?" In return, I'll typically be pretty generous with such questions, as I'm not thinking in terms of "You're 50 feet away," but "It's about 2 move actions, roughly Close range, but not Point-Blank/Sneak range." (Alternately, it's less "Where are you?" than "What can you do from there?")

I use the map when there's enough moving parts that I can't keep myself straight on positioning in even a fudgy way. I prefer not to use the map when the scene's sparser, because I prefer emphasizing dramatic convenience over absolute positioning. But I shift my DM style accordingly, and make it a point not to screw people over because they're 5 feet further way in my mind than in their own.

That make sense?
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Re: Spell distances

Postby Kemian » Wed May 11, 2016 3:33 pm

I am with Ian, When the map is in use there is zero wiggle room because everyone can see what is going on. When, Not using the map, asking the question, Can I hit the bad guys with a Close Range spell of X distance without hitting one of my team mates? Will go a long way.
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