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Subject: Hero/Monster in a pit blocks LOS? rss

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Mark McG
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Sounds a bit odd, so I thought I'd check this interpretation.

1. Heroes/Monsters block LOS
2. Heroes and Monsters in a pit can be seen 'normally'.

Ergo: A Hero/Monster in a pit blocks LOS.

From a RAW perspective, this seems correct.
 
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Günter Immeyer
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Mark McG wrote:
1. Heroes/Monsters block LOS

Correct.

Mark McG wrote:
2. Heroes and Monsters in a pit can be seen 'normally'.

Correct.

Mark McG wrote:
Ergo: A Hero/Monster in a pit blocks LOS.

Nope. Neither (empty) pits nor figures in pits block line of sight.

Mark McG wrote:
From a RAW perspective, this seems correct.

Yes, but this is "Descent" after all, so the normal laws of logic don't apply here...

Maybe you can think of pits as being beneath the normal surface level, so you can always look over pits (no matter what's in them) and always look down into pits!?
 
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Jeremy Lennert
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Miraculix wrote:
Nope. Neither (empty) pits nor figures in pits block line of sight.

What's your source/resasoning for this conclusion?
 
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Scott Lewis
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It may not be explictely stated, but I think it is strongly inferred:

- Pits do not block line of sight
- Heroes fall "into" pits.
- Heroes in pits cannot see out
- Other figures may trace line of sight to in-pit figures (though "may" might not be intended to be viewed as an optional type thing, but it could be).
- Boulders roll OVER pits without affecting those in it.

Thus, putting all those together, I think it's a pretty safe inference. While Descent doesn't always follow logic with some of the rulings, I think this is a case where common sense can be used. I'd certainly allow it in any game of Descent I played.
 
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Günter Immeyer
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Antistone wrote:
What's your source/resasoning for this conclusion?

Err, the rulebook?! Page 4:

"Pits deal damage to heroes or monsters that move through them, but they do not block line of sight."

And on page 16:

"... the figure falls into the pit. The figure immediately suffers one wound that cannot be reduced by armor. A figure in a pit may climb out for two movement points, and is then placed adjacent to the pit in any legal, empty space(s) the owner chooses."

Have a look at the emphasized words in bold: just like Scott, I deduced that pits must actually have a certain depth (I would reason: at least 1 to 2 average hero lengths - otherwise, a hero would not get hurt by falling into one and would not need to climb to get back out of it). Now if a pit is at least as deep as the size of a hero (even if it were only half as deep, a possibility that can well be excluded with a bit of logic), the line of sight of another hero peering over that pit will not be impaired in any way.

So that's what my reasoning was: it doesn't really matter if a pit is completely empty or a hero (or something else) has fallen into it: in any way, other figures will still be able to see what's behind the pit.

Ruling that heroes in pits block line of sight would lead to extremely strange and inconsistent visual relations, imagine this example (* being an empty space):

hero C
*
hero B (in pit)
*
hero A

Hero A could see hero B down in the pit, hero C could see hero B down in the pit, hero B could neither see A nor C (because he's too deep down in the pit), but A and C could still not see each other because B blocks their line of sight?

Hardly imaginable...
 
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Scott Lewis
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Miraculix wrote:
Antistone wrote:
What's your source/resasoning for this conclusion?

Err, the rulebook?! Page 4:

"Pits deal damage to heroes or monsters that move through them, but they do not block line of sight."

Strictly speaking, the "they" in that quote is referring to the pits, not the heroes IN the pits.
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Günter Immeyer
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Scott wrote:
...the "they" in that quote is referring to the pits, not the heroes IN the pits.

Yes, I was aware of that. I only wanted to show a proof first for the rule that pits generally don't block line of sight.

Jeremy is right of course in hinting at the fact that there is no explicit mention in the rulebook or FAQ on how (or rather: whether) figures in pits affect LOS, but like I explained earlier: I cannot see it being handled any other way.
 
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Stephen Williams
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The pit itself does not block LoS, but figures in general do. The pit does not have any effect on figures other than the one(s) inside it, and "figures inside a pit stop blocking LoS" is not a listed or errata'd effect of the pit, so far as I know. Per RAW, which was the original question, the OP is 100% correct.

The fact that a figure blocks LoS is not optional, ever. If the figure lies between you and your target, he blocks your LoS. This is true of Soaring figures even though they are supposedly "very high above the ground" and that ruling has been supported in the official FAQ, IIRC. I don't see any reason why a figure in a pit should be held to a higher standard of logic than a Soaring one, especially in this game.

I agree it's a silly ruling, and I wouldn't blame anyone who wanted to house rule otherwise, but that's RAW plain and simple. Saying such a figure doesn't block LoS is inferring rules that don't exist.

While we're at it, a figure in a pit will still block movement for enemy figures as well, up to and including jumping over the pit, as far as I can tell. You can't move through Soaring creatures either. The third dimension is not well represented in Terrinoth.
 
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Stewi wrote:
I don't see any reason why a figure in a pit should be held to a higher standard of logic than a Soaring one, especially in this game.

Personally, Soaring is one of the reasons why I think the RtL rules are stupid (apart from it taking a 4 hour game and turning it into a 70 hour game).

I agree that "as written" it probably works that way, but as with a lot of Kevin's stupid rulings for this game, it makes no sense, and I would not play that way (and would not play with any Overlord who tries to enforce such a ruling). There comes a point when playing the "exact letter of the rules" takes away from the fun and theme of the game - this would be one of those situations.
 
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Patrick G.
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sigmazero13 wrote:
Stewi wrote:
I don't see any reason why a figure in a pit should be held to a higher standard of logic than a Soaring one, especially in this game.

Personally, Soaring is one of the reasons why I think the RtL rules are stupid (apart from it taking a 4 hour game and turning it into a 70 hour game).

I agree that "as written" it probably works that way, but as with a lot of Kevin's stupid rulings for this game, it makes no sense, and I would not play that way (and would not play with any Overlord who tries to enforce such a ruling). There comes a point when playing the "exact letter of the rules" takes away from the fun and theme of the game - this would be one of those situations.

I agree there are some rulings which make no sense thematically. We play figures in pits and soaring figures don't block line of sight. We also play monsters don't block monsters and heroes don't block heroes LOS.
 
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Phil
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Since you can't move over enemy figures that are in pits (except you are a big stone boulder) you can't look past them.
 
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Harlekin wrote:
Since you can't move over enemy figures that are in pits (except you are a big stone boulder) you can't look past them.

The thing is... no matter what the official rule is most people have already decided this for their group.. and 50% of won't change it anyway even if we are wrong because the answer we came to was a consensus anyways.
 
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Phil
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corkysru wrote:
Harlekin wrote:
Since you can't move over enemy figures that are in pits (except you are a big stone boulder) you can't look past them.

The thing is... no matter what the official rule is most people have already decided this for their group.. and 50% of won't change it anyway even if we are wrong because the answer we came to was a consensus anyways.



From the FAQ:
"Q: If a hero or monster is in a pit, may a large monster
walk harmlessly over that figure or even seal it into the
pit, as a rolling boulder does?
A: No."

No moving over a char in a pit. Therefore it is still blocking somehow. And if you can't move through it you most likely can't see (or at least shoot) through it.




But in the end there is AFAIK no ruling about the blocking of line of sight, so normal rules apply.

Of course everyone is free to use whatever rules they like. It is only a game after all.
 
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Harlekin wrote:
corkysru wrote:
Harlekin wrote:
Since you can't move over enemy figures that are in pits (except you are a big stone boulder) you can't look past them.

The thing is... no matter what the official rule is most people have already decided this for their group.. and 50% of won't change it anyway even if we are wrong because the answer we came to was a consensus anyways.



From the FAQ:
"Q: If a hero or monster is in a pit, may a large monster
walk harmlessly over that figure or even seal it into the
pit, as a rolling boulder does?
A: No."

No moving over a char in a pit. Therefore it is still blocking somehow. And if you can't move through it you most likely can't see (or at least shoot) through it.




But in the end there is AFAIK no ruling about the blocking of line of sight, so normal rules apply.

Of course everyone is free to use whatever rules they like. It is only a game after all.

Thematically not being able to move over them makes perfect sense.
Thematically not being able to see over them(in general) DOES NOT make perfect sense.
That's my Point.
Maybe roll a second primary attack die to increase miss chance(only counting it's result if it is an "X") for the off chance the person in the pit throws something up to block your shot.

But for general LOS i see no reason something in a pit should block it.
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Phil
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Then for general LOS a kobold shouldn't block LOS too, because they are small and the dragon behind them is waaaay bigger.
 
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Harlekin wrote:
Since you can't move over enemy figures that are in pits (except you are a big stone boulder) you can't look past them.

You can't move over water, either, but you CAN look past water. That analogy doesn't work.
 
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Patrick G.
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Harlekin wrote:
Then for general LOS a kobold shouldn't block LOS too, because they are small and the dragon behind them is waaaay bigger.

Actually my group plays that friendly figures DON'T block LOS precisely to solve this issue.(Yeah.. it's wrong.. but we like it.)

Where as we assume all enemy figures do block LOS for the sake of simplicity... thematically excused by the assumption that the little guys would be jumping around distracting you from being able to shoot the big f-ing dragon behind them.
 
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Mark McG
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corkysru wrote:

Actually my group plays that friendly figures DON'T block LOS precisely to solve this issue.(Yeah.. it's wrong.. but we like it.)

Where as we assume all enemy figures do block LOS for the sake of simplicity... thematically excused by the assumption that the little guys would be jumping around distracting you from being able to shoot the big f-ing dragon behind them.


having started this, IF I was writing rules on this, I'd consider two types of LOS effects, Obstacles and Hinderances.

Obstacles (e.g. rubble, walls etc) block LOS for all purposes.

Hinderances (e.g. heroes, monsters) do not block LOS (including spawning), but reduce the effectiveness of ranged and magic attacks. Off the cuff, something like range is increased by 1 per hinderance square (so shooting through 2 hinderances would add 2 to the range).

Creatures in Pits and Creatures Soaring would not be a hinderance.

You could probably also have a 'Tall' ability that allows you to ignore non-Tall hinderances (and conversely, allow non-Tall creatures to ignore non-Tall hinderances in their attacks).

Slightly more complicated, but generally more intuitive..

 
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Minedog3 wrote:
corkysru wrote:

Actually my group plays that friendly figures DON'T block LOS precisely to solve this issue.(Yeah.. it's wrong.. but we like it.)

Where as we assume all enemy figures do block LOS for the sake of simplicity... thematically excused by the assumption that the little guys would be jumping around distracting you from being able to shoot the big f-ing dragon behind them.


having started this, IF I was writing rules on this, I'd consider two types of LOS effects, Obstacles and Hinderances.

Obstacles (e.g. rubble, walls etc) block LOS for all purposes.

Hinderances (e.g. heroes, monsters) do not block LOS (including spawning), but reduce the effectiveness of ranged and magic attacks. Off the cuff, something like range is increased by 1 per hinderance square (so shooting through 2 hinderances would add 2 to the range).

Creatures in Pits and Creatures Soaring would not be a hinderance.

You could probably also have a 'Tall' ability that allows you to ignore non-Tall hinderances (and conversely, allow non-Tall creatures to ignore non-Tall hinderances in their attacks).

Slightly more complicated, but generally more intuitive..


That is actually quite an awesome idea.
 
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Mark McG
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corkysru wrote:
That is actually quite an awesome idea.


borrowed heavily from ASL, so reasonably playtested in an external environment. Needs some tweaking (at least)
 
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sigmazero13 wrote:
Harlekin wrote:
Since you can't move over enemy figures that are in pits (except you are a big stone boulder) you can't look past them.

You can't move over water, either, but you CAN look past water. That analogy doesn't work.
Sure it does. Because you can't shoot past enemies who block movement. As long as the a figure blocks movement it also (but not only then) blocks LOS regarding firing (not spawn).

The "can't move over it" part is strange though since boulders can still roll over them. But that is another point.
 
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Günter Immeyer
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...and getting back to the original question/issue:

Mark McG wrote:
1. Heroes/Monsters block LOS
2. Heroes and Monsters in a pit can be seen 'normally'.

Ergo: A Hero/Monster in a pit blocks LOS.

I still strongly disagree with the "ergo..." part. From the "Rules As Written", we only have assured knowledge of two rules:

a) pits don't block LOS
b) figures (monsters AND heroes) do block LOS

Now when a figure ends up in a pit, it is (in my eyes) neither legitimate nor logical to draw the conclusion that this figure now still blocks LOS. This would clearly imply that the above rule b) takes precedence over rule a)! But since we're analyzing RAW, I'm afraid there is no proof/no point in the rules which is explicitly saying that.

The facts are: the pit is still there, the figure is in the pit (so it is also there), they are both in the same space, ERGO: we have a conflicting situation between rule a) and rule b)! It could be the case that figures still block LOS (and cancel the pit effect), it could just as well be the other way around (pits don't block LOS and cancel the figures' effect) or there could be some special rule where neither a) nor b) applies and the situation is handled completely different. But in the absence of the latter (and no clear statement or even hint at one of the first two options), you need to let common sense do the reasoning here.

Therefore, I am still convinced that the concept of pits should take precedence over that of figures blocking LOS in the given situation. "Descent" is (at second sight) a very complicated game with loads of very fiddly rules and lots of tricky situations where the basic concepts don't take effect. Simply put: the rule book just can't list all those exceptions/situations where some of the rules need to be looked at at a slightly different angle and not by a literal reading of a rule's words. So my common sense (and obviously that of several other people here in this forum) tells me that figures in pits DON'T block LOS, and my game group will always play it that way. Period.

Just my opinion. Take it or leave it.

PS: My take on "Descent" (after having played it about 50 times) tends to go more and more in the direction that it's a nice game with some nice ideas in principle, you can even have a certain amount of fun when playing it with open-minded people sometimes (especially if they won't start discussions over rule details during a running game and agree to common sense house rule decisions at certain points in the game).

But when you try to play it "seriously", try to cover all the rules and take into consideration all special effects of scenarios, cards, etc. (maybe even expansions): forget it! Simply not a feasible task. I believe that the designers started a quite complicated project here, but failed at pinpointing the rules in a fool-proof way or rather: didn't succeed in completing the (overwhelming?) task of impressing a working set of clear/manageable rules on this game.

Guess I'll pull out my good old "Zombies!!!" game out of the closet and play that instead a few more times in the future...
 
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Miraculix wrote:

Guess I'll pull out my good old "Zombies!!!" game out of the closet and play that instead a few more times in the future...

Sure if you want something that is dreadfully boring.

Yes. Descent has a some rules problems because special situations can arise out of special situations. But most competent groups of gamers can debate and decide on a way to fix it(if you can't roll a die to decide). But the fact is it is a helluva a great tactiical dungeon crawl. You can't have that level of complexity(In an Ameritrash game) without running into problems.
 
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Phil
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If in doubt the OL can buy "his ruling" for some threat or the heroes could buy "their ruling" with some of their quest markers. Just do some bidding until the other site gives up. Then make up some roleplaying gibberish to explain that and continue playing.
 
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Miraculix wrote:

I still strongly disagree with the "ergo..." part. From the "Rules As Written", we only have assured knowledge of two rules:

a) pits don't block LOS
b) figures (monsters AND heroes) do block LOS

Now when a figure ends up in a pit, it is (in my eyes) neither legitimate nor logical to draw the conclusion that this figure now still blocks LOS. This would clearly imply that the above rule b) takes precedence over rule a)!


No, it doesn't imply any such thing. Your reasoning is fundamentally flawed in assuming that only one of the rules can be in effect at a time.

It is very simple.
The pit does not block LOS. The figure does block LOS. Both rules are still in effect and both are still followed.
This is the only logical (following RAW that is) conclusion because it is not necessary, we are not instructed and it does not follow they way other rules work, that one rule cancel the other in this case.
The other fail you made that does not make your reasoning 'logical' (in a RAW context) is that you have forced an equate between "the figure is in the pit" and "the figure is the pit", at least for LOS purposes. And of course, no such rule exists.

This is similar is some ways to a hero with precision (ignore one obstacle or figure for LOS purposes when attacking) trying to shoot through a figure in a tree. He can't - a figure in a tree is two things that block LOS and he can only ignore one.

Thematically there are arguments either way. It is extremely stupid that a figure in a pit can be seen and targeted (with no defensive bonus) from anywhere, yet can only see adjacent spaces. Obviously the figure has it's 'eyes' in it's boots...

But go ahead, house rule it. IIRC we play with only adjacent LOS into pits anyway, as a houserule.
 
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