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D&D General Martial/Caster balance and the Grease spell

Having played a Wizard from 3rd to 12 and who owned the spell Grease, I can attest that it scales pretty much equally through all levels. I have used it 0 times equally through all levels.

It's just not a great spell. IF they fail their save before they just walk out of the area, your melee people can't engage without having to save vs the effects and your ranged attackers get disadvantage. On the next round, the enemy stands up and walks out of the area. I have never run into a situation where I thought, "This is a perfect situation for Grease!". I've always had better options. I'd originally taken it because I thought it would be super-useful. And it probably has its uses - I just never ran into that situation.


If the fighter were to be able to pull Cuchulain or Hercules style feats this would be very different.

This.
 

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Shadowedeyes

Explorer
We got some use out of it in Curse of Strahd. We used it to create a chokepoint in a werewolf den with a cleric using Spiritual Guardians, and the barbarian blocking the way out of the grease.
 

MarkB

Legend
No, it only costs 1/2 your move in 5e rather than a full move, but Grease is an absolutely devastating spell at endgame against (a) plodders (b with bad Dex saves and (c) multiattack melee that they rely upon for their bulk of their threat. Plop it down at a chokepoint or in an open area to kite against Dex-deficient + melee dependent personnel, save your Concentration, and do other stuff.

My least fond memory of the spell was running an encounter where the PCs were getting some McGuffin in a Far Realm alien ship’s cargo bay (I was running the dungeon script for this railroad of a game that I intermittently GMed for this kid’s dad who would often flake on them).

It was level 18 (3 PCs) vs a wave encounter of ATST-like walker tanks w/ pilot + infantry personnel inside (get in room and deploy infantry while pilots man the tanks). First wave was low HP (basically mooks) drone flyers to soften them up. There were still some stray drones left up on round 3 when the ATSTs came. They were reskinned Fire Giants exactly as above; (basically tanks) meh Move + bad Dex Save + melee multi attack 10 reach + a plinky single attack ray (like a Boulder) + a 5, 6 Recharge big gun.

The Wizard had Grease down on the bay door they were streaming through straightaway and the next round had a Grease in the room for the team to move from cover to cover to kite and kill any ATSTs that made it out of the kill-box.

This was supposed to be a mega deadly encounter according to the CR budget the guy had put out there. The clustereff that actually ensued was titanic. It was a Benny Hill theme of action denial of melee multiattack and kiting around the cargo bay. Once the ATST’s spent their 5/6 recharge big gun, they were typically routed with their damage output per round decimated compared to what would be ideally realized.

Once out of the Grease, spending Dash to try to run around the Grease in the Bay to get to a PC or falling back on the crappy at-will ranged is utterly punitive. Eventually I just had both the infantry AND pilots leave the ATST’s to try to engage because while squishy fodder, at least they had the move + higher Dex save and there were more of them so I figured Bounded Accuracy would somewhat save the encounter (it didn’t save it, but the Benny Hill theme was at least turned off).

This has to be something people have experienced at endgame against things like the various Giants, a horde of Ogres/Undead, Golems in ancient tombs, etc. any Brute-like plodder w/ poor Dex save where action denial of their melee multiattack (primary threat) nerfs them significantly. It’s particularly devastating against choke points and in areas where you can kite. Dex is the worst physical Save in the game for monsters (only attack Int or Wis instead). Dinos, Treants, Zombies, Dire Animals. There are tons of low dex, reliance upon melee creatures that are easily kites or can have their action economy wrecked by Grease.

I looked into alternatives after this fight. Even if the GM would have reskinned a Stone Golem rather than Giant it would have been even worse because Advanatage on Saves doesn’t make up for the awful (even worse) Dex save + no actual ranged ability at all. Strategically placed Grease against this kind of enemy personnel + a Team PC that can even marginally kite (I’m not talking kitted out for kiting…just capable) is devastating to an up tiered CR encounter at endgame.

After my feedback to the guy, he tailored all future Mothership-as-Dungeon encounters around the Grease spell (no more ATSTs/Brute enemy personnel). I don’t love that as a solve, but whatever.
It's a 10 foot square. A re-skinned fire giant could practically step over it, let alone jump it.
 

Dessert Nomad

Adventurer
No, it only costs 1/2 your move in 5e rather than a full move, but Grease is an absolutely devastating spell at endgame against (a) plodders (b with bad Dex saves and (c) multiattack melee that they rely upon for their bulk of their threat. Plop it down at a chokepoint or in an open area to kite against Dex-deficient + melee dependent personnel, save your Concentration, and do other stuff.

"Plodder" is kind of an understatement isn't it? I mean, they need to have a move of less than 20' and a STR of less than 11 - otherwise they can just make a long jump over the patch of grease. Really low-STR, extra slow moving targets are kind of a narrow set of enemies. (RAW if you use the Xanathar's rules then their speed doesn't matter, they'll just be in the air until their next turn if the jump doesn't fit within their movement, but a lot of people house rule out that rule).

This has to be something people have experienced at endgame against things like the various Giants, a horde of Ogres/Undead, Golems in ancient tombs, etc. any Brute-like plodder w/ poor Dex save where action denial of their melee multiattack (primary threat) nerfs them significantly. It’s particularly devastating against choke points and in areas where you can kite. Dex is the worst physical Save in the game for monsters (only attack Int or Wis instead). Dinos, Treants, Zombies, Dire Animals. There are tons of low dex, reliance upon melee creatures that are easily kites or can have their action economy wrecked by Grease.

Giants, ogres, golems, dinosaurs, treants, and dire animals can all casually (no roll needed) long jump over a grease spell, a lot of them (those with 22+ STR) can standing jump over it. A lot of these can easily be kited by a PC with any extra movement or with a slowing effect (like 0-level ray of frost). Zombies are not really a high level threat, and the grease spell is pointless since with only a 20' move they can be casually kited by regular PCs who have a ranged attack if there's nothing stopping infinite retreat.

An 18' fire giant being unable to get past a 10'x10' grease patch without stepping in it is like a 6' person being unable to get past a 3' 4" wide grease patch without stepping in it - it pretty much just requires a long step, not even a real jump, and I'd describe the long jump over it that way.
 
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Dessert Nomad

Adventurer
We got some use out of it in Curse of Strahd. We used it to create a chokepoint in a werewolf den with a cleric using Spiritual Guardians, and the barbarian blocking the way out of the grease.

What purpose did the grease serve in the chokepoint? That is, if you just had the cleric standing around with spiritual guardians, and the barbarian blocking the way past, would the fight have been different?

Other than possibly causing some werewolves to lose their attack on the first turn on their way in (have to dash to stand up if they fail the save with less than half move remaining) or stay prone for a less effective attack (therefore attack at disadvantage and let the barbarian skip reckless attack for advantage), I don't see that grease has any effect on the fight you described. It sounds like the werewolves have nowhere to move after they engage the barb/cleric blockade, so on subsequent turns a failed save just means they spend half of their movement to stand which they weren't going to use anyway.
 

"Plodder" is kind of an understatement isn't it? I mean, they need to have a move of less than 20' and a STR of less than 11 - otherwise they can just make a long jump over the patch of grease. Really low-STR, extra slow moving targets are kind of a narrow set of enemies. (RAW if you use the Xanathar's rules then their speed doesn't matter, they'll just be in the air until their next turn if the jump doesn't fit within their movement, but a lot of people house rule out that rule).



Giants, ogres, golems, dinosaurs, treants, and dire animals can all casually (no roll needed) long jump over a grease spell, a lot of them (those with 22+ STR) can standing jump over it. A lot of these can easily be kited by a PC with any extra movement or with a slowing effect (like 0-level ray of frost). Zombies are not really a high level threat, and the grease spell is pointless since with only a 20' move they can be casually kited by regular PCs who have a ranged attack if there's nothing stopping infinite retreat.

An 18' fire giant being unable to get past a 10'x10' grease patch without stepping in it is like a 6' person being unable to get past a 3' 4" wide grease patch without stepping in it - it pretty much just requires a long step, not even a real jump, and I'd describe the long jump over it that way.

That isn't really how I've seen it deployed typically on chokepoints. On chokepoints I've seen it used (like in this case) > Ready and cast at creature's (tank in this case) feet when they have already spent enough move/action economy to make it punitive > Cast + failed Dex save (this Enchanter could Portent to ensure a failed save if the lead tank somehow miraculously saved) and stand from Prone on 1st monster = monster behind can't long jump over it due to the obstruction. That is what happened here. It effectively (as a 1st level spell) caused action denial by proxy of 4 tanks.

On a battlefield (like the Bay here), you typically have a bunch of other difficult/blocking terrain (cargo + pillars + ships in the scenario above) so you put Grease in a spot with adjacent blocking terrain so you can't just jump it (because you'll be ending in an illegal blocking terrain square). So effectively, you shut down a much larger area than you would otherwise, forcing creatures to move around the area...basically action denial/catch-22 by proxy of screwing with action/move economy via amplifying the screw-job of the existing terrain.

I couldn't tell you how much action denial/catch-22 by proxy it caused here. It screwed up one round of pursuit from a pair of tanks and then I bailed on their gambit (the Tanks HPs were precariously low at that point) and had the infantry/pilots eject and it basically turned into a Star Wars rifle fire from cover and double back/around the Grease/Blocking Terrain feature.
 

Shadowedeyes

Explorer
What purpose did the grease serve in the chokepoint? That is, if you just had the cleric standing around with spiritual guardians, and the barbarian blocking the way past, would the fight have been different?

Other than possibly causing some werewolves to lose their attack on the first turn on their way in (have to dash to stand up if they fail the save with less than half move remaining) or stay prone for a less effective attack (therefore attack at disadvantage and let the barbarian skip reckless attack for advantage), I don't see that grease has any effect on the fight you described. It sounds like the werewolves have nowhere to move after they engage the barb/cleric blockade, so on subsequent turns a failed save just means they spend half of their movement to stand which they weren't going to use anyway.
It's been awhile since that game, but I believe the set up was Grease, Barbarian in front, and cleric immediately behind with spiritual guardians. Which meant the grease and guardians overlapped, which made movement in there pretty difficult. Entering causes save vs prone, get up with half movement, and speed is halved from both being difficult terrain and from the guardians spell(which just halves the movement). Kept them from retreating efficiently and blunted the initial assaults(There were several waves of werewolves). Other than that, free advantage for the barbarian in subsequent rounds was still handy.

Did it completely change the fight? No, probably not. But it was useful.
 

MarkB

Legend
That isn't really how I've seen it deployed typically on chokepoints. On chokepoints I've seen it used (like in this case) > Ready and cast at creature's (tank in this case) feet when they have already spent enough move/action economy to make it punitive > Cast + failed Dex save (this Enchanter could Portent to ensure a failed save if the lead tank somehow miraculously saved) and stand from Prone on 1st monster = monster behind can't long jump over it due to the obstruction. That is what happened here. It effectively (as a 1st level spell) caused action denial by proxy of 4 tanks.
So, that's a very specific amount of movement to have been used, for the lead creature to have just enough movement left to stand up and become an obstacle, but not enough to actually move out of the way. Quite miraculously specific, in fact - even if the PCs saw how much movement the critters had used coming in from outside, how would they know this foe's movement speed?

And the creature could always choose to remain prone to allow its ally to leap past it.
On a battlefield (like the Bay here), you typically have a bunch of other difficult/blocking terrain (cargo + pillars + ships in the scenario above) so you put Grease in a spot with adjacent blocking terrain so you can't just jump it (because you'll be ending in an illegal blocking terrain square). So effectively, you shut down a much larger area than you would otherwise, forcing creatures to move around the area...basically action denial/catch-22 by proxy of screwing with action/move economy via amplifying the screw-job of the existing terrain.

I couldn't tell you how much action denial/catch-22 by proxy it caused here. It screwed up one round of pursuit from a pair of tanks and then I bailed on their gambit (the Tanks HPs were precariously low at that point) and had the infantry/pilots eject and it basically turned into a Star Wars rifle fire from cover and double back/around the Grease/Blocking Terrain feature.
So, there were cargo crates (and presumably cargo loaders) in this bay along with entire ships (which could potentially be powered up). So, instead of the grease, the players could just have shifted some spare crates or vessels into place to completely deny access to the bay until they were done. Or an enemy could climb or leap atop a crate, thus escaping the grease and gaining a height advantage against its foes.
 

It's been awhile since that game, but I believe the set up was Grease, Barbarian in front, and cleric immediately behind with spiritual guardians. Which meant the grease and guardians overlapped, which made movement in there pretty difficult. Entering causes save vs prone, get up with half movement, and speed is halved from both being difficult terrain and from the guardians spell(which just halves the movement). Kept them from retreating efficiently and blunted the initial assaults(There were several waves of werewolves). Other than that, free advantage for the barbarian in subsequent rounds was still handy.

Did it completely change the fight? No, probably not. But it was useful.

Yeah, this "jumping is the solution to Grease" answer doesn't do the work in play that is being proposed when Team PC is casting it strategically; Ready shenanigans on lead creature to eff up a conga line at a choke point or cast it adjacent to creatures/PC front line/blocking terrain configuration which can't be jumped over/into (thus amplifying existing terrain structures or basically imposing a "walk through this grease and suffer the consequence or we will range you to death where you stand" dynamic).

That is a beefy effect for a 1st level spell. If you're a clever, high level PC Enchanter, that is a great, low cost control choice vs Dex and then you use the rest of your suite of abilities to attack Wis + Int and loadout surveillance/utility.
 

So, that's a very specific amount of movement to have been used, for the lead creature to have just enough movement left to stand up and become an obstacle, but not enough to actually move out of the way. Quite miraculously specific, in fact - even if the PCs saw how much movement the critters had used coming in from outside, how would they know this foe's movement speed?

And the creature could always choose to remain prone to allow its ally to leap past it.

So, there were cargo crates (and presumably cargo loaders) in this bay along with entire ships (which could potentially be powered up). So, instead of the grease, the players could just have shifted some spare crates or vessels into place to completely deny access to the bay until they were done. Or an enemy could climb or leap atop a crate, thus escaping the grease and gaining a height advantage against its foes.

1) I don't understand what you're saying with the first part. Its pretty straight-forward to infer speed. Most every creature is 30-40 speed. And then...the player can pay attention to the action economy being spent by the monster/creature and the squares being counted in the spending? Its not clear to me how this is some sort of big deal.

2) You can't just leap over PCs or prone creatures of Large to Huge. You can't clear obstacles of 5 ft heigh/girth (or more) with a horizontal jump. So no, you can't just jump over prone tanks or 6 ft PCs.

3) Spending a giant amount of action economy to array a terrain configuration of a Ship's Bay might be a thing if you have tons and tons of time without scrutiny or random encounters. Its another thing entirely if you've just landed and now you're repelling the boarding force. In that case, you don't have the action economy/time you're expressing. You have a couple rounds to disembark from your pod that you used to get there and get ready for combat. In that case, the 1-action, action economy of something like Grease is very nice to have.
 

MarkB

Legend
Yeah, this "jumping is the solution to Grease" answer doesn't do the work in play that is being proposed when Team PC is casting it strategically; Ready shenanigans on lead creature to eff up a conga line at a choke point or cast it adjacent to creatures/PC front line/blocking terrain configuration which can't be jumped over/into (thus amplifying existing terrain structures or basically imposing a "walk through this grease and suffer the consequence or we will range you to death where you stand" dynamic).

That is a beefy effect for a 1st level spell. If you're a clever, high level PC Enchanter, that is a great, low cost control choice vs Dex and then you use the rest of your suite of abilities to attack Wis + Int and loadout surveillance/utility.
Sure, you can get a lot of use out of it in conjunction with the right set of terrain features, class features and strategic positioning. But in a case like that, is it really the grease that's doing the heavy lifting at this point? Or is it just the oily icing on the cake, adding an effect that could have been achieved almost as effectively by just strewing some caltrops or ball bearings across the area?
 

Dessert Nomad

Adventurer
That isn't really how I've seen it deployed typically on chokepoints. On chokepoints I've seen it used (like in this case) > Ready and cast at creature's (tank in this case) feet when they have already spent enough move/action economy to make it punitive > Cast + failed Dex save (this Enchanter could Portent to ensure a failed save if the lead tank somehow miraculously saved) and stand from Prone on 1st monster = monster behind can't long jump over it due to the obstruction. That is what happened here. It effectively (as a 1st level spell) caused action denial by proxy of 4 tanks.

I don't understand what the '4 tanks' are doing here, and especially why tank 1 just stands in the way of his friends. Why doesn't he either attack from prone (so not blocking a jumper) if he's next to a target, or stand up and then dash towards wherever he was going in the first place so that they're not all stuck behind him? You're talking about this like it's really super-amazing, and yet it seems like your fire giants could have really easily gotten around it.

I'll also point out that you've got an 18th level caster who can't have up a concentration spell and can't take reactions including counterspell (readying a spell as an action requires concentration and uses your reaction). You're also using up one of a Diviner's (I'm assuming Enchanter was a typo) three daily portent uses for this - you don't get to see if the tank 'somehow miraculously saves, "You must choose to do so before the roll". Since this fight didn't involve enemy casters that's not a big deal, but in a lot of fights designed to challenge 18th level parties not being able to counterspell is a huge risk.


On a battlefield (like the Bay here), you typically have a bunch of other difficult/blocking terrain (cargo + pillars + ships in the scenario above) so you put Grease in a spot with adjacent blocking terrain so you can't just jump it (because you'll be ending in an illegal blocking terrain square). So effectively, you shut down a much larger area than you would otherwise, forcing creatures to move around the area...basically action denial/catch-22 by proxy of screwing with action/move economy via amplifying the screw-job of the existing terrain.

If the grease is completely blocked by terrain on the other side, why would you try to move through it in the first place? If you can't jump across it without ending in 'adjacent blocking terrain' then you also can't walk across it without ending in 'adjacent blocking terrain, so there's no reason to try to cross the grease in the first place. Maybe for 1 square creatures it's some weird thing with diagonals at the edge, but fire giants are 3x3 and can at best squeeeze down to 2x2 - so I really don't see how you're going to create an area that can be blocked by 2x2 grease and that a 3x3 creature can walk through but couldn't possibly jump across. The geometry you're describing doesn't sound like something that's actually sensible.

Incidentally, if the whole area is crowded that the 3x3 huge creatures are constantly having to squeeze into 2x2 areas, you're already making the fight extremely disadvantageous to the 3x3 creatures since they're mostly going to be in what's effectively difficult terrain, attacking at disadvantage and giving you advantage. What you're describing sounds like the terrain is an overwhelming disadvantage to the fire giant tanks in the first place - though again, that's just a guess because the terrain description doesn't make sense to me.
 

Sure, you can get a lot of use out of it in conjunction with the right set of terrain features, class features and strategic positioning. But in a case like that, is it really the grease that's doing the heavy lifting at this point? Or is it just the oily icing on the cake, adding an effect that could have been achieved almost as effectively by just strewing some caltrops or ball bearings across the area?

Its absolutely about the strategic deployment of it, of course. Its not point-and-click like ridiculously powerful higher level spells that just outright end encounters. But that isn't the point. This can basically be used at-will. At endgame specifically, its effective deployment can be brutal for really no Team PC resource ablation.

At level 18, you're talking 19 DC for Grease. That is as close to a sure thing as it gets for 0 to +3 Dex Save creatures.

Caltrops cover 1 square (or 1/4 the area of Grease) and are only DC 15.

Ball Bearings cover 2 squares (or 1/2 the area of Grease) and are a measly DC 10.

Neither of those things are remotely worth the action economy for Fighters or Rogues at that level. Grease is profoundly better in Area of Effect and Save DC for team PC.


EDIT - @Dessert Nomad - These were 2 * 2 creatures in a long 10 ft hall entering a huge bay (they're just reskinned FGs in terms of stats/abilities, size-wise they're large). You can't just jump over obstructions like you're thinking. Large creatures w/ any girth/size or PCs in your landing spot or blocking terrain in your landing spot shut that down. The PC in question didn't have to use Portent as the likelihood of saving against was remote due to the creature having an, I think it was, 20 % chance of success on the Dex save (they just had it in their back pocket to ensure it if needed).

As far as amplifying punitive terrain configurations goes, I don't know what to tell you. Its pretty straight-forward. There are all kinds of blocking terrain +PC configuration battlefield setup that makes erecting a punitive 4 SQ area on a battlefield very punishing for a 2*2 creature/tank. In 4e, this was more gameable (intentionally) because of (a) all of the varying kinds of hazards that the battlefield would feature + (b) all of the Forced Move effects. But 5e battlemaps should absolutely feature blocking terrain (which PCs and cohorts effectively are) and difficult terrain.
 
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Grease is a lot less useful when you realize that
1) you only lose half your movement, assuming you even fail the save
2) most creatures can just jump over it if they move 10 ft towards it first
 

This thread prompted me to read the 5e Grease spell. Here's the core effect of the spell:

When the grease appears, each creature standing in its area must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw or fall prone. A creature that enters the area or ends its turn there must also succeed on a Dexterity saving throw or fall prone.​

To me, this seems a microcosm of the issues with balance in contemporary, non-4e, D&D play.

The effect is of (roughly) equal utility at all levels - being prone is a debuff that costs movement to overcome, and there is no general tendency of higher-level NPCs/monsters to have immunity to the debuff (eg flying) nor to have more of the resource used to overcome it (ie movement rate). (The fact that the 5e movement penalty to stand from prone isn't as severe as in some other editions doesn't change the fact that it is a penalty that facilitates mobility-based tactics on the player side, as well as an immediate debuff against close combat attacks.)

But the cost - the expenditure of a 1st level spell slot - reduces dramatically with level, particularly given Arcane Recovery, and at the highest levels of play Spell Mastery. (This is the contrast with 4e - an encounter or daily power is an encounter or daily power, and there is no particular class build that reduces this to a negligible resource cost.)

Meanwhile, at this level a Fighter can knock people prone at will (Shove action, shield master if he wants to get good at it) or several times per short rest with an attack (Pushing strike Maneuver)

The only advantage grease has is it effects an area, and sticks around creating a little area of difficult terrain.

It therefore seems to me that this ability is broken,

No. It isnt.
 


Dessert Nomad

Adventurer
EDIT - @Dessert Nomad - These were 2 * 2 creatures in a long 10 ft hall entering a huge bay (they're just reskinned FGs in terms of stats/abilities, size-wise they're large). You can't just jump over obstructions like you're thinking. Large creatures w/ any girth/size or PCs in your landing spot or blocking terrain in your landing spot shut that down.

At no point did I talk about jumping over obstructions, I talked about jumping over the grease effect itself and possibly a prone creature, which is generally less than 5' tall, especially if you're house ruling them to only large size instead of giant. Again, the problem with the obstructions you're describing is that if they shut down jumping to a square, they also shut down walking to the square, so there's no reason for the tanks to be walking there. If there are PCs in the area, aren't the giants going to want to stop to attack them?

Again, the geometry you're talking about doesn't make sense to me, and sounds like at best it's really tailored to making this specific tactic work, not something generally applicable.

The PC in question didn't have to use Portent as the likelihood of saving against was remote due to the creature having an, I think it was, 20 % chance of success on the Dex save (they just had it in their back pocket to ensure it if needed).

As I pointed out before, portent is not a 'back pocket' ability, you have to use it before you see the roll. It doesn't 'ensure if needed'

As far as amplifying punitive terrain configurations goes, I don't know what to tell you. Its pretty straight-forward. There are all kinds of blocking terrain +PC configuration battlefield setup that makes erecting a punitive 4 SQ area on a battlefield for a 2*2 creature/tank. In 4e, this was more gameable (intentionally) because of (a) all of the varying kinds of hazards that the battlefield would feature + (b) all of the Forced Move effects. But 5e battlemaps should absolutely feature blocking terrain (which PCs and cohorts effectively are) and difficult terrain.

It's not straight-forward at all, you've listed contradictory elements to the terrain - both that it is completely blocked on one side (so that someone can't simply jump over the grease effect) and that creatures for some reason want to walk across the grease to the other side. If all of the 'landing zones' are blocked, so are all of the 'walking to' zones.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
If the fire giant like enemies cannot get to the PCs then they should be doing their equivalent of throwing rocks. Yes, it’s not as strong but still very effective if focus fired.
 

@Dessert Nomad

For some reason we aren’t clicking. This is my last post and I’m out for the evening. Essential parts:

1) You can’t horizontal long jump over something 5 ft. For all intents and purposes they’re blocking terrain.

2) A prone tank in the Grease (who can’t move because they don’t have the action economy) is 5 ft or more of clearance. You can’t clear it. So you can’t jump over the prone tank.

3) Blocking Terrain or a PC (5ft +) on the other side of Grease can’t be jumped over in a horizontal jump.

4) You can’t land in a square of Blocking Terrain.
 

MarkB

Legend
@Dessert Nomad

For some reason we aren’t clicking. This is my last post and I’m out for the evening. Essential parts:

1) You can’t horizontal long jump over something 5 ft. For all intents and purposes they’re blocking terrain.

2) A prone tank in the Grease (who can’t move because they don’t have the action economy) is 5 ft or more of clearance. You can’t clear it. So you can’t jump over the prone tank.

3) Blocking Terrain or a PC (5ft +) on the other side of Grease can’t be jumped over in a horizontal jump.

4) You can’t land in a square of Blocking Terrain.
A prone, conscious team-mate isn't a terrain feature, they're an ally, and you can move through an ally's space so long as you don't end your turn there. Effectively, they're flattening down or scootching to one side of their space to let you get past them. Heck, there's no rule that you can't jump through their space even if they're standing up.
 

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