Talk:Flatland's Abstraction (3.5e Maneuver)

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RatedNeutral.png DanielDraco is neutral on this article and rated it 2 of 4.
This is a fantastic concept, but the issues TF brought up do need to be addressed. On top of that, I feel that this is much too situational. Then again, I feel that way about pretty much the entirety of Occult Sovereignty. But fixing the issues TF mentioned will be enough to bump this up to a Like, at least.
RatedFavor.png Eiji-kun favors this article and rated it 4 of 4!
Ok, this... this is deliciously clever and awesome.


Some edge case questions:

  • Can you disarm / pickpocket / loot things from creatures in the AoE at different heights?
  • If you grapple a creature and end the stance, do either of you change height?
  • How does it work indoors / underground? Or in a building with multiple floors? Does it go down and get ground creatures as well as air ones?
  • Can other creatures in the AoE gain the same benefit?
  • Does a fireball or other 3d effect cast in the AoE affect creatures regardless of height?

And it probably doesn't need to be infinite, since you could use it to strike at things on the moon (or farther away) with a bit of setup. A 10 mile / end of atmosphere / ceiling height would probably get you all of the local flatness you wanted and avoid some of the above edge case weirdness. - Tarkisflux Talk 04:59, 21 November 2012 (UTC)

Yes, yes, works normally indoors, you're on the floor you're on, it doesn't get ground creatures, yes, and yes. --Luigifan18 (talk) 05:28, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
Rules as to what happens to the elevation of you and your target when the stance ends while you are grappling someone would be nice. As is, I have no idea where either creature ends up. Actually... rules as to what elevation a target has when you leave the stance or AoE at all would be nice. You mention an instantaneous rewriting of all elevations, which suggests anyone who enters it is just set to your ground level and doesn't get back their normal height when the effect ends or they leave, but it's not clear.
And now, new questions! You specify only objects that are in midair, not objects that are above you, as being moved down. So if you're on the bottom floor of a two story house, you might move a dragon flying above the house down into the room with you but you wouldn't get any creatures on the second floor? Or is the effect subject to line of effect limits, and would be blocked by the walls and ceiling?
Can you drop a flying thing directly above you, like a paratrooper or an airship, so that you and it would occupy the same square? If it's small relative to its space, like the paratrooper, does one of you get displaced or do you both just occupy the square for a moment? And if the object takes up the whole space, like the airship, are you displaced, crushed, or do you get to co-exist with the object? And what happens to things inside of a flatlanded object, like a box or an airship?
That may be just problems with the fluff though. A stance where you ignore a target's height and strike it based only on its horizontal distance from you is actually pretty awesome and easy to do. The part where you are moving other creatures has the weird stuff to resolve, and the more I think about it the less comfortable I am with that as a level 3 power. It's got some seriously hardcore reality bending fluff, and that stuff just doesn't happen at level 5. - Tarkisflux Talk 06:07, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
Actually, the reality bending is primarily fluff!!! This stance, in mechanical terms, simply allows you to ignore the target's height. It's level 3 because it's meant to be a counter to the fly spell. Line of effect doesn't block this (though it can stop you from attacking a target), but ceilings do block the effect. Yes, a paratrooper would displace you, and an airship would crush you. Everything returns to its original elevation when the stance ends. --Luigifan18 (talk) 12:54, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
The fluff that you use informs the function of an ability, and opens up "why can't I do 'X' if it says it works like 'Y'" discussions at play. The fluff you are using allows you to flatten an area of local space. The fluff also allows you to crush targets under airships, without save. Sure, it requires some setup, but whatever. The 'in world' effect is huge, and not a CR5 power IMO regardless of what the actual mechanical effect is.
You could instead just let any creature within the area focus on the zen "there is no z-axis" aspect of things. Instead of actually moving creatures, if you could instantaneously ignore vertical differences when determining distance to a target you get basically the same thing. You can melee anything directly above you. You can shoot anything regardless of how high it is. You can fireball 10 miles up, and it doesn't take up the whole vertical column. You don't need rules about who goes where or crushes who, because no one moves (unless you grapple someone, which would move you into their space like every other grapple, even if it is a few hundred feet directly above you). You don't need rules about ceilings or walls, because you can just strike at people you can see. There's still reality bending there, but it's not a sort that I think inappropriate for a 5th level character to be throwing around. If you don't agree with that, I'd like to know what you think is being lost in the translation (because I want to know what I'm missing).
Seriously, I like the intended effect, but the way it's fluffed up chafes. The idea that large scale reality bending weirdness is ok as long as it has a level appropriate mechanical effect is not a design position I can get behind because of its implications for setting and power design. If that's what you want here though, let me know and I won't argue against it any further. - Tarkisflux Talk 18:52, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
"It's just fluff" is justification for uncreative and unsatisfying fluff. It is not justification for fluff which leads to an inconsistent and incomprehensible reality. This stance's fluff leads to an inconsistent and incomprehensible reality. TF's solution seems effective -- just have the rules text say something like, "For the purposes of reach and range, vertical distances are treated as 0 ft." --DanielDraco (talk) 19:52, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
"The fluff also allows you to crush targets under airships, without save. Sure, it requires some setup, but whatever." As much as I'd like to allow that to happen (because it'd be Crazy Awesome), you're right that it's too much for 5th-level characters. I rewrote it so that reality isn't broken that badly. (And besides, the way it worked before, this stance could easily get you trampled by a flying dragon.) --Luigifan18 (talk) 23:51, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
Just in case you thought this had lost some of it's awesomeness, allow me to propose the following setup. You and a wizard friend are underground, about 400', beneath a road that you want to ambush some people on. You use this stance. Your wizard friend casts clairvoyance about 400' straight up, so he can see what's going on up there (assuming he has someone notify him when they get close), and then doesn't move from the spot. When the group gets within range, the wizard attacks them through your stance since he can see them with his remote divination. Successful ambush is successful. Drow and mindflayers are also more scary. - Tarkisflux Talk 05:01, 22 November 2012 (UTC)
Or just fly over someone, turn upside-down, and make stabbing motions.Fluffykittens (talk) 06:07, 22 November 2012 (UTC)

→Reverted indentation to one colon

*rofl* Okay, both of those are just hilarious. And as for dropping airships on people, well, Veles serpent can handle that with Graviza. (I might just make that into an actual spell...) --Luigifan18 (talk) 00:48, 23 November 2012 (UTC)

Line of Sight[edit]

So what happens when you try to affect a creature you can't perceive? Does this spell grant you the ability to perceive objects above you?Fluffykittens (talk) 02:26, 22 November 2012 (UTC)

No. But if you suspect something's above you and swing your weapon at the space it occupies, you'll hit it. Basically, clouds will still grant concealment (or total concealment if they're especially thick and dense).
Entertainingly enough, this maneuver does let you attack the clouds and try to carve them up with your weapon. Or something. ...Some weapons will be better-suited for that task than others. --Luigifan18 (talk) 02:41, 22 November 2012 (UTC)
Does this maneuver mean you interact with every single square in the column? (you stick your hand out to grab whatever is in the next square several miles up, it gets covered in bird shit) Does it require a conscious effort to gain the maneuvers benefits? (you grab your friends shoulder and accidentally grab a cruise missile)Fluffykittens (talk) 02:47, 22 November 2012 (UTC)
...Yep. You interact with every single square in the column. (I can hear the sadistic DMs scribbling notes right now...) But it requires a conscious effort to gain the maneuver's benefits. --Luigifan18 (talk) 03:53, 22 November 2012 (UTC)