How does the 10 feet wide line affect areas in terms of squares in front of me if I am shooting directly forwards?

The square I am in is 5' wide, so the row of squares directly in front of me will be affected. But how does a 10' wide line work with the squares on either side of that row?

Do I get the rows on both sides of it? Or just the row on one side, so it's lop-sided? If it's lop-sided, how do I know which row it affects?

symmetrical vs lop-sided

  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm a bit confused with what you're asking. Why wouldn't it affect three line blocks? And is the gust 10 ft wide or 15 ft wide? You say it is both in two different sentences. \$\endgroup\$
    – user27327
    Commented May 20, 2017 at 9:47
  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ I think he is asking how a 10ft. wide area is centered on him. If his character occupies a 5ft square, then the 10ft. wide gust will affect the line of squares in front of him and one to the side (so its 10 ft). But to what side? Is it not symmetrical? If it were 15ft, it would be symmetrical and affect 3 blocks. This way, does he get to choose which side the gust is affecting? \$\endgroup\$
    – BlueMoon93
    Commented May 20, 2017 at 10:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ Are diagonals out of the scope of the question? \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 20, 2017 at 21:29

1 Answer 1


In the DMG about playing on a grid we find:

The area of effect of a spell, monster ability, or other feature must be translated onto squares or hexes to determine which potential targets are in the area and which aren't. Choose an intersection of squares or hexes as the point of origin of an area of effect, then follow its rules as normal. If an area of effect is circular and covers at least half a square, it affects that square. (DMG p251)

Thus you will have to choose one of the 4 corners of the square you control as the point of origin. This effectively means that it can only cover a 2 square wide area in all cases and you get to choose to aim it right or left.

I would like to note that I personally would rule that you can aim it straight ahead, but would give those creatures whose squares are only half covered by the area Advantage on the saving throw.

  • \$\begingroup\$ half-squares as saves with advantage: Exactly how I handle it. \$\endgroup\$
    – aramis
    Commented May 21, 2017 at 19:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ Note that the variant rules in Xanathar's Guide to Everything, Template & Token, have the origin centered on an intersection as well, but give diagrams showing how they work as they treat some situations differently based on shape. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 19, 2021 at 18:15

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