As I mentioned at the end of last week, I’m going to go through some of the DS FAQ this week. Rather than just dump it into the file, I’m going to post these additions up as discussion articles for a few days first. This is partly because I like discussing stuff with you guys, but mostly because I’ve not played a lot of DS from the printed rules, and it’s the printed rules we need to check rather than what I remember or might have written in one of the many pre-production versions.
FYI, I’m using the Adventurer’s Companion version of the rules as reference because that’s what I can find.
So, without further ado, Line of Sight (LOS).
The intent with DS was to make it fairly liberal, and also to avoid needing to decide where the centre of the squares were. The LOS rule could be rephrased as follows:
To find out if there is a clear LOS to your target, answer this question:
Can you can trace an unblocked straight line from any part of the shooter’s square to any part of the target square?
If yes, then you can shoot. If no, then you cannot.
Note that if you can trace any unblocked line then you answer yes to this question. It doesn’t matter if some lines are blocked and others not, as long as some are not.
I think this is simple enough so far.
What constitutes blocked then? Going through the middle of a square with a model, wall, or piece of furniture in seems obvious. The question really seems to be whether a blocked square blocks its edges and corners as well as its centre, or whether you can skirt around this. Actually, the photo on page 22 shows this must be blocked because Madriga cannot see the Zombie behind the bookcase. This gives us the ruling that:
A square containing a model, wall or other obstacle completely blocks any LOS that touches that square, including those that go exactly along an edge or touch a corner.
Again, that seems reasonably simple to implement.
The note on page 28 explains that some furniture is short enough to shoot over. The modifier for this only applies if there was no LOS that avoided crossing the obstacle. Always assume that the clearest LOS is the one the shooter is using.
While I think this resolves the queries I’ve seen, there is one related question that does not, strictly, involve LOS (because it’s not about shooting). Can I fight an enemy that is diagonally adjacent to me when both orthogonally adjacent squares to either side of him are blocked? The answer here is yes, you can. A fight is a fast and fluid thing, not like our static models at all. You’re also right up close (whereas shooting is always further back). For this reason I think it reasonable that a combatant can sneak a quick stab in against an opponent that is adjacent to him, regardless of the artificial grid we have imposed for ease of movement. Speaking of movement, this would be blocked, like shooting. Easier to sneak a blade through a gap than a whole Dwarf 🙂