D&D 4E Non-Euclidean Geometry in 4E?

Geron Raveneye

Hussar said:
Oh, I don't deny that people are getting up in arms about it. I just find it very ironic that in a combat system that is abstract from beginning to end, THIS is the "cinder block" that squishes the camel, to quote ByronD.

We ignore and hand wave all sorts of abstractions in combat. And the thing to remember is that the battle map is ONLY used in combat. Movement rules, even in 3e only apply during combat. There is no squeezing outside of combat for example. Outside of combat, we handwave pretty much everything.

So, we have an abstract system for combat. The battlegrid is a rough approximation of distance - we handwave the fact that nothing comes in discrete 5 foot distances, or a man on a horse suddenly exists in a quantum state that covers all four squares. But, changing the rules that, at best, is an abstract approximation, to another abstract approximation suddenly causes the downfall of civilization?

So, yeah, I find it ironic that people get so immersed in this. It's abstract. It always has been abstract. Getting bent out of shape over a different abstract is ironic to me. YMMV and all that.

Sure, D&D is abstract in a lot of places...and there's enough people that already have a problem with hit points as an abstract concept of character combat durability, or with cyclical initiative as a core concept, or the weird way some creatures fill a square area while in combat. (By the way, living in a room tiled with 1' square tiles, I can easily see myself fill a 5' square while holding a weapon and maybe a shield, or a staff, and trying to move out of the way of incoming attacks. About that gelatineous horse, though...well, I never liked that kind of abstraction either, which is why I never adopted 3.5 :lol: )

But on a whole, those are just that...abstractions. This thing now is simply a step further. It's not an abstraction to say that a diagonal between two 5' squares is the same length as the side of one of the squares, it's simply wrong. And the few ways how it can be "explained away" (because nothing else is done with hit points and other abstractions) are completely bypassing anything resembling even a shred of real-world experience (space being anisotropic? :confused: ), or simply based on intentionally ignoring the problem outright.

That's why it's rubbing so many people wrong. Make sense? :)

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Reaper Steve said:
Also, I think that 'first diagonal is 2, rest 1' is not a good solution and is worse than 1-2-1-2 because at least with the latter the 1st diagonal is 1, which I see as crucial for balance.

I agree with you here, but there's nothing stopping someone from implementing a convention that the _second_ diagonal costs 2 and all others cost 1, if that's what they choose.



Sorry BryonD my bad. Was typing without looking. :)

But until now we don't intentionally inject added error into the game.

Really? Then how can I move 10 feet on a diagonal in 3.5 edition?

1-2-1 doesn't negate errors. I move five feet then suddenly teleport 10 feet then move another 5 feet. Like I said about rotating huge monsters 45 degrees - suddenly my sides aren't 15 feet, they're 20 feet. Oh, but, wait, I can't actually do that. Why not? Because the battle grid is abstract and I can't rotate myself 45 degrees, I have to make full 90 degree turns, no matter what and make sure that my "base" fits into the squares.

GR said:
or simply based on intentionally ignoring the problem outright.

Bingo! There's the reason. It doesn't matter 99% of the time, so, why bother having rules for it? Gaining an extra 10 feet of movement, only during combat, will have very little impact.

They're not saying that if you draw out your dungeon, that this suddenly has to be accounted for when you describe the rooms. Why bother? Do you now tell the diagonal dimensions of a room? So what if Bob moves a bit further than normal this round? It simply isn't going to have much of an effect.

Except now, my players will maybe be able to move their proper distances instead of me constantly having to count squares for them. Now, if they'd just do something about that running in a straight line rule....

Geron Raveneye

Well, at least we can agree to disagree (I know that works because we did it in the past already. ;) ), because that's basically the only thing we'll agree on with this topic, then. :)


First Post
Just to make things even clearer:


Feet measurement doesn't matter because rules are in squares.
The second diagram is a larger space in an euclidian world, but not in the 1-1-1-1 world.

Both rooms have the same size in squares considering the 1-1-1-1 rule.

I see people trying to explain this inconsistency using euclidian rationalization, but it doesn't apply here, the rule is simply wrong and it assumes something that we can't accept because we live in an euclidian world.

Another point I saw here is that its was better to be the Blue dot on the second diagram because it's simply a larger space. But it's not. The Blue dot can use any 6 square range power (like Point Blank Shot) on the X dot in both situations, but the X dot can only reach the Blue dot in one round on the 1st situation. It's un unfair advantage that comes from a broken rule.

It breaks the game because we use a square grid. Get used to it or use a hex grid.


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Jeff Wilder

First Post
Just as an experiment, try this (no, really, try it):

Draw a 12-square by 8-square room (60-feet by 40-feet, in game) on a battlemat orthogonally.

Now draw a 12-square by 8-square room (60-feet by 40-feet, in game) on the battlemat diagonally.

Which one's bigger?

Which one looks bigger to the characters?

Which 12-square by 8-square room can contain 24 fighting hill giants?

Which 12-square by 8-square room can contain 39 fighting hill giants? (Plus 16 orcs?)

This rule isn't an abstraction. It's not just a simplification for the ease of play, like 5-foot squares and cyclical, turn-based actions. This rule is an actual warping of space -- observable and provable -- from the perspective of the characters. A fighter, in the game, can (and should!) actually observe that a 40-foot by 60-foot room can sometimes, somehow, be about twice as much fighting space. (The diagonal room is exactly twice as big, but some half-squares are probably unusable for combat.)

And that's not a fluke. Any room using the 1-1-1-1 rule is fully twice as big when drawn on the diagonal.

If that's not weird enough to convince people, just how much would it take? Would triple-sizing of a room, when it's drawn on the diagonal, be enough to say "enough"? Quadruple-sizing?

For me, the character-perspective observable fact that a room is twice as large when it's drawn on the diagonal is easily enough for me to reject this rule.

Steely Dan

ainatan said:
The Bag of Rats also didn't break MY game because nobody ever used that, but it surely did break THE game.

...What game?

Are you saying that if people actually use the diagonal 1 for 1, then D&D breaks?

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