Are ranged attacks by spells affected by the wind? In the amended 4E rules for Magic Missile, the spell always hits, so I suppose we can take the answer for that spell to be that no, the cover and wind are irrelevant.

What about other arcane missile attacks? Eldritch Blast, for example, requires a roll to hit versus the target's Reflex defense, implying that the target can leap out of the way of an aimed projectile. The roll, though, is based on Charisma or Constitution, used (possibly?) to channel arcane energy from the warlock's patron. If the blast is only magical energy, perhaps it too is unaffected by the wind.

An likely upcoming combat in what amounts to a wind tunnel has me wondering whether there is a clear answer to this question in the enormous corpus of D&D 4E rules, or even some other rule which seems to apply by analogy. In the absence of a rule finding or excellent argument, I am happy to simply make a ruling based on my whims — I'm just curious as to whether there is a more specific "official" rule.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I can say 100% that Magic Missile is not affected by wind, but as for Eldritch Blast or similar, that'd take a 4E person. \$\endgroup\$ – Phill.Zitt Sep 7 '12 at 15:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ yeah, unless you're making them make a con/acro/ath check to cast, MM won't be affected \$\endgroup\$ – wax eagle Sep 7 '12 at 18:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ If you can smell magic in the air, surely it packs punch \$\endgroup\$ – huseyin tugrul buyukisik Sep 7 '12 at 20:51

D&D 4th edition is not in the business of simulating reality. You probably aren't going to find a rule about wind or other specific environmental conditions.

A published adventure would probably keep it simple and say something like "Ranged attacks take a -2 penalty to attack rolls." This would rule out the wind affecting Magic Missile because it doesn't require an attack roll.

Your best bet is to come up with your own rule. Feel free to make it as simple or as complicated as you like, but I highly doubt there's anything official to be found. At least I've never seen anything like it in my years of 4e experience.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree, when you introduce environmental factors outside of the standard rules that calls for some special rulings. I'd be hesitant to apply anything larger than a -2/+2 as anything else might make the encounter very dicey \$\endgroup\$ – wax eagle Sep 7 '12 at 17:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ I wanted to provide some refutations, as I was sure, remembering, that I'd find some examples. At best, though, I found DCs for listening at doors and felt pretty sheepish. So I think I'm just projecting from older editions. Thank you! \$\endgroup\$ – rjbs Sep 9 '12 at 12:43

There are two solutions here.

The first as dpatchery mentioned is to straight up introduce a penalty to attacks. The reason this is good is because on a normal attack roll, normal wind conditions and all kinds of other things are factored in that means that adding an adjustment is probably a good idea.

The second is to allow your characters to make some kind of check to either cast, attack or attack without a penalty. The 4e trap from Dragon 189 "Gusting Wind" uses an acrobatics check to attempt to avoid some of the damage. I think that's a good call here as well, an acrobatics check (be mindful of how difficult you make this check as many characters neglect this skill) to either attack/cast or to do so without penalty. Other skill options include athletics (to grab onto something) or Endurance (sort of covers concentration). Again depending on how difficult you want to make the encounter, you can either have the penalty be an always on thing, or it be something that can be avoided with a check. (This is a common type of rule for traps).


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