D&D 4E Non-Euclidean Geometry in 4E?

DarkKestral

First Post
Mouseferatu said:
So why is the fireball any different? It's just another "object" that isn't really a square, but is abstracted to one.

Correct, but if we assume that it's moving, then it's managing to "be a square" because nothing else can be there. However, in the case of say... a 90' line of effect, it's hard for a player to not feel shortchanged when the wizard gets blasted for being 18 squares away diagonally, while the fighter is 19 but closer by all gameworld physics except for the artificial combat physics. Likewise, when someone says something is a sphere to us, but we see it as a cube, the normal person is going to be looking at the first like the first is a conman and is selling them the Brooklyn Bridge. The professional mathematician may say "in what sort of space and what topology?" but for most people, that is not their initial response, because the sorts of math that would make that claim rational and valid are not what they are familiar with.

Some people can adjust to the mental gymnastics, but it's NOT natural to a wide number of people, and it serves to deal a bad blow to any additional "immersion" we gained by "streamlining" rules for what I suspect is a large percentage of the market. In short, people may get used to it, in time, but I suspect that for many, it will be the cause of endless argument and complaints about "GM favoritism" and other complaints that have no basis in fact and full basis in the ruleset used.
 

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Plane Sailing said:
Have you come across "battleboards"? That was the old name for a system with offset rows of squares, and it actually includes in many ways the best elements of squares with the best elements of hexes

mapgrid_th.gif


It allows orthogonal movement with less shuffling than a hex grid, while allowing 1 movement point per square to make sense in terms of measuring distance.

Cheers

I like that, at the least it looks cool, but does it really address the long diagonal movement problem?

I still seems as though measured bits of string on top of any sort of grid so you can determine flanking and spacing is the only way to avoid special cases.

Aside, of course, from the fact that a cube let's 8 creatures surround you where the hex or off set cube system only allows 6.

Which is horrifically unfair since the fundamental right of any monster is the ability to surround a PC as totally as possible.

A vote for cubes is a vote for monster's rights.
 

keterys

First Post
it's hard for a player to not feel shortchanged when the wizard gets blasted for being 18 squares away diagonally, while the fighter is 19 but closer by all gameworld physics except for the artificial combat physics.

Is 19 but _further away_ by all gameworld physics. You had a mistake there.

19 squares is always greater than 18 squares, no matter how you measure them, and it's very easy for players to get that. Just like it was easy to understand you could avoid opportunity attacks by choosing to step at a diagonal than sideways, for a reverse example.

How many people who are complaining are complainingly purely from a 'My math is cooler than yours' sentiment rather than a 'I played in Diagonals = (1, 1.5, 2, (1 or 2 alternating), or (3 when normal squares are 2))' games setup.

I haven't played in 3/2 games, though I think that's a better setup, but I have played in the rest. The one I played least was 2 because we _tried it_ and it was just painful so we dropped it quickly. 1 and 1/2 alternating both have their own problems, but I honestly am more than happy to return to =1 at this stage in the game. Cut rules calculations from the game, and cut hard. They just get in the way of actual _play_. And this from someone who loves math and cheerfully calculates out probabilities for games and work.
 

Rechan

Adventurer
I like to think I'm intelligent, but this topic just has me squinting at my monitor and scratching my head.

1 square=1 square is fine to me.
 


KarinsDad

Adventurer
keterys said:
Hmm, apparently I'm explaining poorly. Don't change the math. Change the display. For example, you can display three dimensions on a two dimensional surface. In this case, diagonal distances are just displayed differently.

It does work. It's just not very human. It's fine for describing things though - unless, as noted, you really did think the horse was a 10 foot cube of flesh and the fireballs had jagged blocky angles, already.

But this is a game for people, not just advanced degree mathematicians.

The physics of the game should at least attempt to model real world reality to some extent so that it is easier for every player to understand, not just the smart ones. For example, gravity should make PCs fall, diagonal distance should take longer to move than non-diagonal distance, fireballs should be quasi-circular in shape, etc.
 

interwyrm

First Post
Plane Sailing said:
Have you come across "battleboards"? That was the old name for a system with offset rows of squares, and it actually includes in many ways the best elements of squares with the best elements of hexes

mapgrid_th.gif


It allows orthogonal movement with less shuffling than a hex grid, while allowing 1 movement point per square to make sense in terms of measuring distance.

Cheers

I *think* that those battleboards are actually just flattened hexes. They should work exactly the same as a hex grid, but I also think they are easier on the eyes than hexes.

Also... whoever posted that earlier guide on how to draw on hexes... that was pretty clever. I like it. I think it might be too much work for the average gamer though. It's just... easier... to make 90 degree angles and rectangular rooms.
 

Benimoto

First Post
Okay, now with images, here was always my problem with distances measured by the 3.5 method.

1-2-1-2.png


In the upper right, you see how reach should have worked, based on a logical interpretation of the 3.5 edition distance rule. Of course you can also see that by approaching the creature on the diagonal, you avoid any attacks of opportunity due to reach. So in the upper left, you see how 10-foot reach actually worked, based on the diagrams in the back of the DMG. You can also see how the creature with 10-foot reach can attack some creatures 15 feet away, but only along the diagonal.

The lower two pictures show my problem with 10-foot radius spells like antilife shell and circle of protection, based on how I think they were supposed to work, and how they actually ended up working, based on the radius rules in 3.5.

Cones in 3.5 also suffered from a problem. I don't feel like making any more pictures, but if you look at the diagrams of the 30-foot cone in the back of the 3.5 DMG, you'll see that the "straight out" cone covers more squares than the "diagonal" one. You'll also see that they got the 15-foot cone "straight out" cone wrong, and that based on a logical application of the rules it should cover 8 squares, as opposed to the 6 squares the diagonal one covers.

I'm not saying that the new rules are better. I don't like firesquare either. I'm just saying that if you're arguing for keeping the 3.5 method based on its logic and consistency, here is some refuting evidence.
 

KarinsDad

Adventurer
interwyrm said:
Also... whoever posted that earlier guide on how to draw on hexes... that was pretty clever. I like it. I think it might be too much work for the average gamer though. It's just... easier... to make 90 degree angles and rectangular rooms.

One doesn't have to do that though. Just draw. Whatever shape room one wants. If a hex is 50% or more visible, a PC can be in that hex. If a hex is 25% to 50% visible, a PC can squeeze in that hex. Less than 25%, it's too small of an area to fight in.

This is simple for everyone.
 

Yeah, 3.5 does have problems, which you have illustrated well.

I would like a solution which fixes them. Unfortunately, I think what WoTC proposes for 4E makes things worse.


Here's a quick thought. Unfortunately, I don't have the graphic skills of you guys, so I can't easily put up a picture, but:

What if, instead of using a template for a fireball or whatever that had jagged edges and was centered on a gridpoint and such, you used a template that was an actual circle, and had rules for what happened when only half of a square was included in a radius? Like the rules that we have now for cover; bonuses to saves and such. So, instead of two possibillities (in spell area or out of it) you'd have three (in spell area, out of it, or partially in spell area).

When the wizard cast his fireball or cone of cold, he would use something like the steel squire template, but instead of being jagged its edges would be smooth, and half-included squares would get the aforementioned bonuses.

Would this solve any of the problems cited here?

Ken
 

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