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An opponent has moved adjacent up into a character's face and swung at them. On their turn, in retaliation, the character would like to attack back with their favoured cube area attack, made at the size of a 5 foot sized cube to be ergonomic. Oddly the rules as written (see below) seems to qualify this attack as a ranged attack even though the target is adjacent and every other area attack also containing the attacker would not. Is this an oversight, an intentional design decision, or is there anything I'm overlooking that makes this ruling invalid?

The rules leading me to this conclusion appears here:

Ranged Attacks in Melee

Any time you make a ranged attack and there is an enemy within melee reach of you, you have disadvantage 1 on your attack roll. Area attacks are considered ranged attacks if the area does not include at least one space adjacent to the attacker.

The 5 foot cube placed on the attacker's square does not include at least one space adjacent to the attacker but it does include attacker's square itself which intuitively feels like it shouldn't be a ranged attack as well as other area attacks. RAW however, this means it's a ranged attack and imposes disadvantage 1. To me a more intuitive ruling and writing of it would be:

Ranged Attacks in Melee

Any time you make a ranged attack and there is an enemy within melee reach of you, you have disadvantage 1 on your attack roll. Area attacks are considered ranged attacks if the area does not include the attacker or at least one space adjacent to the attacker. (changes italicized)

Are there existing rules or other evidence the designer's intention was for this scenario to be a ranged attack? If so, why only 5 foot cubes and not every other area effect (they have to include a square adjacent to the opponent as well)? Is there perhaps another mechanical reason I can't find that this attack should be considered ranged? Is the attack simply supposed to impose disadvantage 1 and being considered ranged is simply a byproduct?

In the case that it shouldn't be considered ranged (or only considered ranged for the purpose of disadvantage 1), I would like to revise this confusing wording. I have found the Open Legends repository and my intention is to submit a pull request if I understand the rules correctly and this ruling is against the RAI. However, I'm asking my question here first to gain assurance, as I know that I am very new to the system and may be overlooking something.

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You are misreading the "Ranged Attacks in Melee" quote. When it says "Area attacks are considered ranged attacks if the area does not include at least one space adjacent to the attacker.", you yourself - the caster who is launching the area attack - are "the attacker". The guy you're trying to hit with the spell is the target, not the attacker.

Thus, in the situation you describe, it is not considered a ranged attack, because the area of effect contains only one space, and that space is adjacent to the attacker.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I see! That makes a lot of sense, I was reading "attacker" and "enemy" as synonymous which led to this confusion. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 24 '20 at 17:11

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