A gelatinous Cube and a 10-feet corridor ...

Dessert Nomad

Adventurer
As others have said, the rule is you can't end YOUR turn in another's space. This seems to be a legacy of 3e/4e square-centric combat.

That's not true. The rule is that you can't end your move in another creature's space, it doesn't say turn IIRC. According to Jeremy Clarkson, the intent of the rule is that you can't choose to end any part of your move in another creature's space. https://www.sageadvice.eu/2015/09/17/attack-in-an-ally-occupied-space/

I don't really get the idea behind the 'let them ignore positioning' responses; the reason to use a battle map is so that you can track position. If the positioning of characters doesn't actually matter, why not resolve combat with TOTM and save the trouble of setting up maps and miniatures? What makes this fight interesting is that the characters are in a confined space and have to avoid the hazard of being engulfed, the more you softball that aspect of the fight the less memorable the fight becomes and the more it feels like just fighting a gelatinous cube on an open field. (Which is a pretty boring encounter).

IMO it's especially silly and pointless if you rule that a character trapped at the end of a hall 'teleports' to the nearest unoccupied space and ends up on the other side of the cube without any side effect (which is an actual suggestion) if there's nowhere for them to dodge to. I really have to wonder why you'd bother to set up a hall-blocking cube if you're not going to treat it as blocking the hall at all.
 

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delericho

Legend
It's not his turn when the cube tries to engulf him.

On his turn he will have to end it somewhere else.

Yep, that's how I'd rule this one.

Although...

I'd just house rule on the fly. I'd let him move 5 feet into an occupied square to avoid being engulfed but he'd fall prone.

I quite like this. Though I'd probably argue that both the Fighter and Wizard should be knocked prone, as the Fighter desperately backs away, right into the face of his ally.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I quite like this. Though I'd probably argue that both the Fighter and Wizard should be knocked prone, as the Fighter desperately backs away, right into the face of his ally.

He could fall prone, or we could call it disadvantage on Strength and Dexterity checks for both the fighter and wizard until the situation is resolved.
 

S'mon

Legend
That's not true. The rule is that you can't end your move in another creature's space, it doesn't say turn IIRC. According to Jeremy Clarkson, the intent of the rule is that you can't choose to end any part of your move in another creature's space. https://www.sageadvice.eu/2015/09/17/attack-in-an-ally-occupied-space/

I don't really get the idea behind the 'let them ignore positioning' responses; the reason to use a battle map is so that you can track position. If the positioning of characters doesn't actually matter, why not resolve combat with TOTM and save the trouble of setting up maps and miniatures? What makes this fight interesting is that the characters are in a confined space and have to avoid the hazard of being engulfed, the more you softball that aspect of the fight the less memorable the fight becomes and the more it feels like just fighting a gelatinous cube on an open field. (Which is a pretty boring encounter).

Jeremy Clarkson would know about getting into other people's spaces. :p

Personally, I ran my gelatinous cube fight theatre of the mind anyway. I don't expect it would have gone differently with minis, though.

clarksonprime.jpg
 

Nickolaidas

Explorer
Thanks for all the suggestions, guys!

So basically, it's yet another arbitrary situation where I have to be the final umpire and decide whether I want to punish the PCs for sticking together, or throw them a bone and let a successful save be a successful save.

*sigh* decisions, decisions ...
 
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Oofta

Legend
If something like this happens on a PC's turn (or if you just don't like the ruling above) you only have a few options. If PC A is forced to move into PC's B area:
  • PC A can't move in the B's square any more than they could move into a wall.
  • PC A and B both have to make dexterity checks or fall prone but end in the same square. Even if they don't fall prone, they're squeezed.
  • PC A pushes B back.


In addition, we've always ruled that if while two people occupy the same square they are squeezing. Or of course some combination of the above. Just try to be consistent on stuff like this.
 

That's not true. The rule is that you can't end your move in another creature's space, it doesn't say turn IIRC. According to Jeremy Clarkson, the intent of the rule is that you can't choose to end any part of your move in another creature's space. https://www.sageadvice.eu/2015/09/17/attack-in-an-ally-occupied-space/


RAW is:

"Whether a creature is a friend or an enemy, you can't willingly end your move in its space."


Key word in this situation, IMO: "willingly"

Being pushed back by any means is not the willing end of your move. So, yeah, the fighter and wizard can occupy the same space until one of their turns, then someone needs to move back (or forward!)
 

Nickolaidas

Explorer
RAW is:

"Whether a creature is a friend or an enemy, you can't willingly end your move in its space."


Key word in this situation, IMO: "willingly"

Being pushed back by any means is not the willing end of your move. So, yeah, the fighter and wizard can occupy the same space until one of their turns, then someone needs to move back (or forward!)

But the fighter isn't pushed; the Cube WANTS him to stay in its space - the Fighter pushes HIMSELF away from the Cube - ergo, it's a move he's doing willingly.
 

Dessert Nomad

Adventurer
So basically, it's yet another arbitrary situation where I have to be the final umpire and decide whether I want to punish the PCs for sticking together, or throw them a bone and let a successful save be a successful save.

Actually, you'd be 'punishing' the PCs for making the tactical decision to cluster tightly in a hallway when there's an acidic cube bearing down on them instead of leaving room to escape when gets close. They can still 'stick together' in the general sense of working together without forming a block that leaves the front people with bad options. Getting 'punished' for how you decide to move and fight during combat is kind of the point of the tactical part of the game, there's a reason having everyone clustered up is called 'fireball formation'.

Again, I don't understand why you'd set up a fight in a confined space using a formal map if you don't enjoy the tactical game and consider consequences for positioning to be a bad connotation of 'punishment'. It's less work and avoids you 'punishing' the players if you just use TOTM instead of a grid/hex setup.

Being pushed back by any means is not the willing end of your move. So, yeah, the fighter and wizard can occupy the same space until one of their turns, then someone needs to move back (or forward!)

The fighter can choose whether to be pushed back or not, and chooses the destination. I think it's perfectly reasonable to say that someone is willingly moving to a square if they get to choose whether to move and where to end up. If the cube was the one deciding where to push him, it would choose the 'stay in place and be engulfed' option. If the fighter was facing an Orc who took a 'shove' action to push him five feet, would you allow the Orc to choose to push him on the Wizard's square?

Jeremy Clarkson would know about getting into other people's spaces.

I was really confused by this and the picture until I realized my mistake. And it's been five years since I watched Clarkson in anything so I have no idea why his name popped up, Top Gear was my ex's show!
 

Stormdale

Explorer
Thanks for all the suggestions, guys!

So basically, it's yet another arbitrary situation where I have to be the final umpire and decide whether I want to punish the PCs for sticking together, or throw them a bone and let a successful save be a successful save.

*sigh* decisions, decisions ...

Yep, its called being the DM, not wanting to you know, decide stuff then maybe stick to the other side of the table. I'd be punishing players for a 10 x 10 formation anyway, they are too exposed to damage from various traps etc, at least a 5ft gap between each row. A couple of templates and they'll soon learn to put a 5 ft gap when appropriate between their rows- Napoleonic style orderly ranks went out of fashion on battle fields for a good reason you know.

This is not a campaign defining decision, the world is not going to end, decide whatever you want but be consistent. God help us if ever we get to stage where there are a dozen subclauses for specific possible reactions to each possible action again- because you'll never be able to rule for every one.

I have two rules when adjudicating as a DM:
1) Rule of logic- is it logical or feasible for the consistency of my campaign world then I go with that.
2) Rule of cool- often trumps rule 1 above if it is going to make the fun more entertaining, players more engaged or just simply so we all can have a laugh then we go with that- it encourages more creativity and engagement with the game.

As long as you earn the trust of your group with your decision making then no harm, no foul. Sometimes we do end up discussing rulings (after the game or before the next one begins) and come up with group consensus on how to play something in future, sometimes we just go with the DMs first ruling/instinct.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
But the fighter isn't pushed; the Cube WANTS him to stay in its space - the Fighter pushes HIMSELF away from the Cube - ergo, it's a move he's doing willingly.

But it isn't his move. His move only happens on his own turn, and it is the cube's turn.
 

77IM

Explorer!!!
Supporter
Thanks for all the suggestions, guys!

So basically, it's yet another arbitrary situation where I have to be the final umpire and decide whether I want to punish the PCs for sticking together, or throw them a bone and let a successful save be a successful save.

*sigh* decisions, decisions ...

Don't think of it this way! If you find yourself thinking in these terms ("punish PCs" vs. "throw them a bone") here are two easy outs:

1) What would be the more interesting outcome? "Fun" can be hard to pin down but "interesting" is usually easier to recognize. Forcing the players to make a decision is usually interesting. Presenting the players with a mystery, tempting unknown (the Big Red Button), or twist, is also usually interesting, but it's probably not applicable to this cube situation.

2) Let the dice decide! Have the fighter make an Athletics check, and on a success, he winds up somewhere helpful -- and on a failure, he's cube food. This way, the "logical but punishing" option is on the table, but the player still has a chance to get what they want.
 

But the fighter isn't pushed; the Cube WANTS him to stay in its space - the Fighter pushes HIMSELF away from the Cube - ergo, it's a move he's doing willingly.

Except for exactly what the GC stat block says:

“On a successful save, the creature can choose to be pushed 5 feet back or to the side of the cube. A creature that chooses not to be pushed suffers the consequences of a failed saving throw.”

Being pushed is not a move (nor is it something you do to yourself). Or are you telling players at your table that they have 5 less feet to move after getting pushed?
 


jasper

Rotten DM
Be pushed is not a willing movement it is forced movement, the monster is being neighborly by letting lunch choose. Who ever else next needs to spend 5 feet of movement to leave the square and back out of the way.
Now as an EVIL DM. I would drop 10 by 10 block of stone 5 feet behind the wizard. Then everyone is getting jelly!
 

guachi

Hero
I've had this situation actually happen. The PC got engulfed because she had nowhere to go. They defeated the gelatinous cube. She got her gelatinous cube sample she desperately wanted (it was a Ranger with "Oozes" as her favored enemy. We had more fun than is legal with that choice).

No complaints. The party moved on and learned a minor lesson in better tactical choices because so often it doesn't matter.
 

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