Monday, October 28, 2019


Had some great gaming over the weekend with new friends.

A four-way Frostgrave game meant... 
...a lot of magic flying around but also failing to go off.
...junior crossbowmen dropping infantrymen and knights with shots to the head.
...wizards being lit up like disco-balls with the "Glow" spell - and then becoming human pin-cushions.

"Grenade front" by geremology is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 

Overall, fun, fun, FUN, BUT:
there was a rules discussion, both from the point of view of RAW and RAI, about the Enchanter "Grenade" spell. So this spell basically allows the wizard to conjure a magic grenade, which can then be pointed at a target, explode, and do damage to everyone within 1.5 inches.
Does the target and those unfortunates around the target get a cover save from the exploding grenade?

Before I go on, I can admit to being a bit drunk by this point in the gaming day, so I may not accurately reflect the opinions of both sides of the discussion below as they happened between the players (or even that I remember all the points raised!)

Let's start with what the spell says:

"The spellcaster takes an object, commonly a simple rock, imbues it with magic energy and throws it at his target, whereupon it explodes into hundreds of fragments. The caster picks a target point within 12". Every figure, including allies, within 1.5" of that point immediately suffers a +3 shooting attack."

The questions we had were:
a.) if the target of the spell (let's say an archer) is partially obscured from the spellcaster's point of view by intervening terrain (such as a wall), and the spell is successful, does that target model get a cover save from the grenade when it explodes? 
The wizard can see the target, but not completely.

b.) do other models standing behind or around the target model get a cover throw of some kind? How does that work?

To my mind, for "a"...
the archer wouldn't get a saving throw. 
Although there is intervening terrain between the wizard and where the spell goes off, the grenade itself is exploding out in the open ON the archer (if the wizard chose the archer himself as the target), and the archer will take the full force of the blast. The spell doesn't mention about any kind of question around whether the grenade goes where you want it.

As to "b":
It seems logical that because it is a grenade, when it explodes the fragments will move outwards from that detonation point (e.g. the target archer). If the grenade is exploding ON the archer, then I would think the poor fellow (or lady) absorbs some of the blast and anyone behind him or next to him might get some kind of saving throw. Anyone behind THEM might get a better saving throw as there is someone else between them and the archer where the grenade exploded.

Note, according to errata docs, you roll the shooting attack for each victim around the grenade, which makes sense. 

The other opinion might be along the lines of: 
It is a shooting attack, as is clearly stated in the spell, and therefore as is noted on "Modifiers to shooting" in the rulebook "Every piece of intervening terrain between the shooter and the target gives +1". 
-The wizard can see PART of the archer but NOT the whole archer, so the wall is intervening terrain.
(In the case of our wizard and archer, neither of them is in CONTACT with terrain so no light cover or heavy cover rule applies.)
-This spell involved throwing a rock imbued with magic, therefore there IS a chance that the rock will hit the wall or be impacted by the intervening terrain in some way, hence the intervening terrain cover save mechanic is justified.

I don't disagree with the logic above, it makes sense according to the shooting rules and common sense. However the spell says:
"Every figure...within 1.5" of that point immediately suffers a +3 shooting attack." (emphasis mine) so I THINK that a shooting attack mechanic is worked out for all models "within 1.5 inches of that (grenade target) point". Anything before where that grenade goes off does not apply a modifier (e.g. intervening terrain.)

So what to do?
1. Target the ground.
I think the easiest way to solve this is to target a point on the ground the wizard can see, ideally not a person, so that you can maximize catching targets. The wizard player then can say "I'm not targeting the archer who is partially obscured from my view - I'm targeting a point on the ground that I can clearly see and isn't obscured."
In this case, the target archer wouldn't get a cover save because the grenade is going off right in front of him (he catches all those "hundreds of fragments") at a point on the ground that the wizard can see in full but others within 1.5 inches still might, depending on where they are standing.

2. Roll-off like good sports.
In the end, we basically had two opposing views on this grenade conundrum, so we rolled a D20 to choose one interpretation or another. Problem solved in-game, short term, with no hard feelings.

This seems to be a common situation - Rules as Intended, Rules as Written, rules DECIDED in a friendly way! The game continued, treasure was grabbed, warbands were annihilated, and a good time was had by all.

Does anyone have a different interpretation? If so please share.



p.s. If I have incorrectly remembered the various arguments on the day, apologies in advance to my fellow players who should definitely feel free to discuss below so that their perspectives are completely laid out and we aren't relying on my faulty memory, bias (and tipsy state at the time!) Thanks to all for a great game.

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