# Can you do a "diamond" shaped blast?

#### tafkamhokie

##### First Post
I had a situation come up in a recent game and I was not sure how to handle it.

The dragonborn cleric wanted to use his breath weapon on some orcs. The breath weapon is a blast 3. Normally, party positioning meant he would catch an ally in the blast.

But in the 4e spirit of "a square is a square is a square," he asked if he could have his 3x3 blast form on a diagonal. See .pdf attachment diagram where:

A = ally
C = cleric
O = orc
hatched squares = proposed blast area

The first diagram shows a conventional blast, which would catch all four orcs, but one party member too. The second diagram shows the blast he wanted to use...tilted 45 degrees to catch all four orcs but miss both allies.

The text of a blast attack says it fills an area adjacent to you that is a specified number of squares on a side. But it never specifically says the area must be a square (as opposed to a diamond).

This is a case where common sense would seem to say you can't do this, but RAW says you can.

#### Attachments

• Untitled1.pdf
21.4 KB · Views: 506

#### Andur

##### First Post
I thought it stated on blasts that is had to share a common side with a square you are in.

Don't have books in front of me, but if that is indeed the case, then the answer would be no.

#### lukelightning

##### First Post
No. For sake of speed and simplicity, you can't angle your blasts like that.

They are square, always.

#### Accersitus

##### First Post
Don't think you can do that, since this would in addition to increasing
the area of effect by 4 squares, remove some of the use for the
epic feat spell accuracy.

#### nckestrel

##### First Post
tafkamhokie said:
I had a situation come up in a recent game and I was not sure how to handle it.

The dragonborn cleric wanted to use his breath weapon on some orcs. The breath weapon is a blast 3. Normally, party positioning meant he would catch an ally in the blast.

But in the 4e spirit of "a square is a square is a square," he asked if he could have his 3x3 blast form on a diagonal. See .pdf attachment diagram where:

A = ally
C = cleric
O = orc
hatched squares = proposed blast area

The first diagram shows a conventional blast, which would catch all four orcs, but one party member too. The second diagram shows the blast he wanted to use...tilted 45 degrees to catch all four orcs but miss both allies.

The text of a blast attack says it fills an area adjacent to you that is a specified number of squares on a side. But it never specifically says the area must be a square (as opposed to a diamond).

This is a case where common sense would seem to say you can't do this, but RAW says you can.

Nope. Why? Look at your second example (the diamond) it is a 3x3 square, PLUS 4 more squares to make it a diamond. A 3 square by 3 square area should not have a length across that is 5 squares long. It can't partially meet the requirements and count. (IE. some lengths are 3 squares, but some are 5).

Tell him to spend more time on party cooperation and less on trying to break the rules. Don't stand in the way of the blast.

#### ExploderWizard

##### Hero
As others have stated, you are adding area of effect and range to the power with a blast shaped like the one in the drawing. This changes the dimensions of the power so no. I wouldn't have a problem with a diagonal that was still 3 x 3 squares in area. (Oh no! cutting across a square!)

#### WhatGravitas

##### Explorer
lukelightning said:
No. For sake of speed and simplicity, you can't angle your blasts like that.
Also, considering the non-euclidean geometry of 4E, the "square"-shaped blasts are actually circles. The diamond blast would look like a four-pointed star.

Cheers, LT.

#### Mort_Q

##### First Post
Andur said:
I thought it stated on blasts that is had to share a common side with a square you are in.

It only needs to have a minimum of one adjacent square.

So:
Code:
......
.XXX..
.XXX..
.XXX..
....C.
......

.... is legal too.

#### Andur

##### First Post
Thanks Mort, I didn't look at the pdf (dreadful connection in this airport), and was unsure if what you cited was an example given.

Like everyone above said, i your blast 3 isn't a 3x3 square, it isn't legal. (Mort's is a 3x3 diamond form the caster's point of view)

#### lukelightning

##### First Post
Given all the slip, slide, shift, and salsa powers and effects in the game, even a small amount of coordination with your party members will allow you to get a good shot at the baddies.

Of course, those same baddies will be using their powers to thwart you... but that's the fun of the game.

#### jaycrockett

##### Explorer
If you did want to allow cone-shaped blasts, they should encompass the same number of squares as a standard blast, in this case, 9. So you would just need to chop the taper off that cone diagram.

Personally I'd leave it alone because a square shaped blast is alot faster to adudicate than a cone, and a cone is probably just as likely to hit party members as a square. If you allow both then the player will be switching back and forth, trying to get the optimal coverage, and really bogging down play. With the square, you can tell at a glace if it will work without movement. In your example, it's clear that the dragonborn isn't on the front line so his blast isn't going to work.

##### First Post
It occurs to me that you could truncate your diamond blast at the third row. This would: 1) preserve the 9-square area; 2) hit the areas you want; 3) simulate the cone shape people have been missing from breath weapons.

In fact, you could easily house rule that characters could choose to shape their blasts such that: blast n be either an n x n square (as currently ruled) or as a "stepped pyramid" of n levels.

....x....
...xxx...
..xxxxx..

For any blast n <6 this will have area n-squared, just like the square shape. And is still a reasonable approximation for 6 or 7.

Hmmm, as I think about it, this might be a good feat, too -- the ability to shape the blast as either of those shapes. Dragonborn Improved Breath Control...

edited to properly define limits of analysis

#### erik_the_guy

##### First Post
According to the rules: No
According to the DM: ?

#### Mort_Q

##### First Post
erik_the_guy said:
According to the rules: No
According to the DM: ?

Well, the last part is true regardless of the answer to the first part.

Nobody has actually posted a rules quote that prevents this (so far).

So according to RAW, yes this is legal.

The number of squares is irrelevant. The shape merely has to be 3 squares on a side (which it is) and next to the caster (which it is).

Firecubes strike again!!!

#### Insignia

##### First Post
Nobody has actually posted a rules quote that prevents this (so far).

So according to RAW, yes this is legal.
Unless you interpret "a 3-square-by-3-square area" as an area which is 3*3 squares.

#### Lucas Blackstone

##### Explorer
A 3 square by 3 square area is 9 squares. The second shape shown in the attached file above is more then the 3 square by 3 square areas shown in the PHB as the amount of area covered. This is just a misunderstanding of how the blast area works.

#### Zaruthustran

##### The tingling means it’s working!
Nobody has actually posted a rules quote that prevents this (so far).

So according to RAW, yes this is legal.

The number of squares is irrelevant. The shape merely has to be 3 squares on a side (which it is) and next to the caster (which it is).
Firecubes strike again!!!

Pretty funny, but I think the diagram on page 272 shows exactly what happens when you shoot a blast 3 diagonally. It looks like a 3x3 box. It doesn't look like the diagram in that PDF.

Also, the rules specify (as you pointed out) 3 squares on a side. The area filled in that diagram does not have *any* sides; or rather, it's a collection of squares forming an area with a bunch of sides, each side 1 square.

Fails on (at least) two levels.

Zaruthustran said:

Pretty funny, but I think the diagram on page 272 shows exactly what happens when you shoot a blast 3 diagonally. It looks like a 3x3 box. It doesn't look like the diagram in that PDF.

Also, the rules specify (as you pointed out) 3 squares on a side. The area filled in that diagram does not have *any* sides; or rather, it's a collection of squares forming an area with a bunch of sides, each side 1 square.

Fails on (at least) two levels.

This is 3 squares on a side, the squares just happen to be turned 45 degrees.

The attached diagram is (literally) also 3 squares by 3 squares.

Still waiting for a rules quote folks.

.
.
.
.
.

Note: I know how WotC customer service will answer this and I understand the intent, but so far, nobody has posted actual rules to deny it. It's all been opinion and narrow interpretation.

#### Jhaelen

##### First Post
This is 3 squares on a side, the squares just happen to be turned 45 degrees.
Squares cannot be turned 45 degrees - they wouldn't be Squares anymore (notice the difference between squares and Squares).

In other words:
Trying to do this will create a temporary local dimensional disturbance which will suck the blaster into the far realms

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