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My players like to turtle in corridors, fighting enemies in sight before heading into the room. This often means the Defender is on the door, followed by several ranged characters. This also means the warlock isn't always looking at the whole room while cursing people.

Now, a Warlock's Curse can only be cast on the nearest enemy, and needs LoS.
There are two enemies in the room. NearNuisance is near to the wall where the door opens, out of sight of the warlock. FarawayFool is at the opposite side, fully in sight and farther than the first one no matter how you want to count distances (shortest path around walls or as the bird flies).
For simplicity's sake, let's say no hiding is involved and nobody is cursed yet. Walls block line of sight as well as line of effect.

The warlock player would want to curse someone. NN is Out of Sight. FF is not the nearest.
...but he's the nearest he can see / he's aware of.
I'd like to know what happens, by the rules, in these cases.

  1. Nobody has ever had line of sight on the nearest enemy. Yet the encounter was "activated" and everybody knows everybody's position (since NN is not hiding).
  2. Another PC has LoS on NN and tells the warlock there is an enemy.
  3. Another PC has LoS on NN and tells the warlock the position of NN.
  4. Another PC has LoS on NN but nobody tells the warlock (is this bad metagaming?).
  5. NN was in sight of the warlock, then dashed out of sight of everyone before the warlock could act.
  6. NN was in sight of the warlock, then dashed out of his sight. Somebody still sees it and tells the warlock where NN is.
  7. NN was in sight of the warlock, then dashed out of his sight. Somebody still sees it and stays silent.

I'm also interested in knowing in which cases we fall in (2 or 3? 5 or 6?) if the warlock makes a perception check and notices the presence of the enmy itslef. Does it also know the position? Can he choose not to roll the check to avoid knowing?

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1 Answer 1

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No, out-of-sight enemies are not a problem for a Warlock's Curse (unless, y'know, an out-of-sight enemy is the one you want to curse). Let's review the first sentence of the Warlock's Curse, which is the only one specifying who you can target:

Once per turn as a minor action, you can place a Warlock’s Curse on the enemy nearest to you that you can see.

In other words, you can curse the nearest enemy out of those enemies you can see. It is not "the nearest enemy to you, if you can see them." If there's a nearer enemy who you cannot see, ignore them completely for the purposes of determining a valid curse target.

You need Line of Sight to them, but not Line of Effect. You need to have Line of Sight at the point you try to curse them, which will be on your turn since it takes a minor action.

So, to your situations:

In all cases, FF is the only valid curse target. Out of all the enemies you can see, they're also the closest (kinda unavoidably), so you can curse them.

  • In case #1, NN is not in sight, so they're ignored for determining curse targets.

  • In cases #2-4, it doesn't matter if someone else can see NN. FF is still the only one the Warlock can see, and is thus the only valid curse target.

  • In cases #5-7, it doesn't matter if NN was, at some point, in sight. If they're not in sight at the time of casting, FF remains the only valid curse target.

You ask about the impact of the Warlock making a perception check to realise where NN is. This isn't an issue in these scenarios. According to the First Premise of Hidden Club, the Warlock already knows exactly where NN is, even if they're around a corner, unless NN is Hidden. If NN is Hidden, go ahead and try to discover them, because it has no effect on who you can curse in these scenarios.

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