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Cloudkill when you play it RAW

Ashrym

Explorer
That just sounds like try to rules lawyer a benefit that doesn't exist to me. UBU and I would never allow it. ;-)
 

Hawk Diesel

Explorer
1) How is it rules lawyering? I'm stating that as a DM, I would allow this and that it is a reasonable interpretation of the rules.

2) Very few rules in 5e, to my knowledge, reference or require knowledge of a character's facing. My understanding of the design goals and philosophy of 5e is to streamline play, use natural language (as opposed to more lawyer-like language), and increase the ability for the DM to adjudicate reasonable rulings and interpretation of the rules. As such, facing seems to be such a specific and complicating factor that it doesn't really fit the 5e design philosophy. To my knowledge 5e doesn't use facing, with the exception of optional rules such as flanking. Much more often you will hear phrases such as towards the player, away from the player, and line of sight, none of which actually reference a specifical direction a player must be facing. Even line of sight only implies that the player could reasonable see and have unobstructed view of something without needing any specific direction a player is currently facing.

So if you find that it is a more reasonable interpretation to include facing, then that is fine for you. But by RAW so far as I can tell, there is no argument that would place your ruling as more correct than mine.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Or what if the caster moves to a different plane of existence? Which direction is 'away' now?

I've never considered whether a caster could maintain concentration on an effect in a different plane... my instinct would be to say no, but then again, why not? I could see ruling yes if they were in the Ethereal plane, especially if they were still within the general proximity, so to speak, e.g. via blink.
There was sage advice on this one
You don’t need to be within line of sight or within range to maintain concentration on a spell, unless a spell’s description or other game feature says otherwise.​
As far as "away", I would rule that it just becomes stationary since direction is not really relevant.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I wouldn't say so. If A wizard casts the spell, and then turns around, it still would move away from them despite not moving away from the direction they are facing. "Move away" doesn't imply any facing rules. It there was a spell that pushed all creatures within 5ft of you 10ft away, they wouldn't all move in the direction you are facing, especially if one of those creatures is behind you as it would require the creature to go through you. Since a cloud of gas is not a single unit or cohesive whole, I don't think there is any issue with it spreading out in a donut shape. Especially since we know that gas can and does act this way. Additionally, if the caster is willing to take that initial damage from the spell and risk losing concentration (if not a conjurer), I would say the player earned it.
I would rule that it would be impossible to be at the exact center of the cloud since that would require the caster to occupy no space or to be a perfect sphere themselves. Nobody is perfectly symmetrical so pick a random direction for the cloud to move in.

Although if you rule differently can I play a wizard in your campaign? :rolleyes:
 

Hawk Diesel

Explorer
I would rule that it would be impossible to be at the exact center of the cloud since that would require the caster to occupy no space or to be a perfect sphere themselves. Nobody is perfectly symmetrical so pick a random direction for the cloud to move in.

Although if you rule differently can I play a wizard in your campaign? :rolleyes:
Eh, I don't think anything in 5e rules requires such a degree of exactness. I think if it is "good enough" it is reasonable to assume it will work. I mean, people generally do not occupy exact 5ft cubes of space, but it is a useful abstraction that makes it easier to run the game.

But do you play online? I may have a space opening up when I start running Descent into Avernus within a few months of it coming out.
 
I'd rule that it just travels in a direction the caster assigns when he casts the spell. After that, his concentration is used to maintain the cloud's integrity, not its direction.

I usually use previous editions as guidance for this kind of thing. In previous editions(3e, for example), it was based on point of origin, not specifically where the caster was stationed. Every round, the cloud spread based on point of origin not position of the caster.

It suffered a major nerf, so getting it to move around the battlefield, while cheesy, might make it better...
 
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oooh, doublepost....to edit my previous post. 2e cloudkill states:

"The cloudkill moves away from the spellcaster at 10 feet per round, rolling along the surface of the ground. A moderate breeze causes it to alter course (roll for direction), but it does not move back toward its caster. A strong wind breaks it up in four rounds, and a greater wind force prevents the use of the spell. Very thick vegetation will disperse the cloud in two rounds. "
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Eh, I don't think anything in 5e rules requires such a degree of exactness. I think if it is "good enough" it is reasonable to assume it will work. I mean, people generally do not occupy exact 5ft cubes of space, but it is a useful abstraction that makes it easier to run the game.

But do you play online? I may have a space opening up when I start running Descent into Avernus within a few months of it coming out.
For better or worse, I'm quite busy and have my hands full just trying to run my home game. So I appreciate the invite, but online games just don't work for me.

BTW there's nothing wrong with playing a (and I'm not sure how to phrase this because I don't want it to sound like a put-down) "shenanigans / exploit the rules" game as long as everyone is on board. While I try to encourage creativity I would just rule differently and not allow a donut-hole stinking cloud. Mostly because it would make my brain hurt.
 

Hawk Diesel

Explorer
For better or worse, I'm quite busy and have my hands full just trying to run my home game. So I appreciate the invite, but online games just don't work for me.

BTW there's nothing wrong with playing a (and I'm not sure how to phrase this because I don't want it to sound like a put-down) "shenanigans / exploit the rules" game as long as everyone is on board. While I try to encourage creativity I would just rule differently and not allow a donut-hole stinking cloud. Mostly because it would make my brain hurt.
No worries! And sorry if I was unclear. I'm not trying to say either ruling is better than another. I think they are all valid. Just providing my perspective/thought-process. Apologies if it came off any other way.
 

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