"Combat" section of swarm description says, it can occupy any four contiguous squares. What are contiguous squares? Should they touch each other with boarders? Should they go in a straight 20' line (if 10' square is insufficient)? Can I (if I control it by any means) place it diagonally in three squares (20' line)?

Thanks in advance!


1 Answer 1


Swarms are completely shapeable as long as the squares don't get separated. Contiguous squares are each adjacent to at least one other, and I think it's most sensible to use the game-definition of adjacent for this, so touching on corners is sufficient.

That does mean your four squares could cover 25 ft., by taking four squares along a diagonal; if you feel that it's important enough, you could houserule it only cover the squares in that configuration – but I wouldn't bother.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I normally require squares to be orthogonally adjacent for anything that uses this method of counting squares, to prevent RAW-abusing hijinks, but I readily admit that I have no citations to back that up; just what I do at my table. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 23, 2015 at 22:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ Agreed with gatherer818. You could argue that by adding the word squares they mean the squares need to be touching and not just a point but kryan's interpretation of the rule as written is solid. I thought webster.com might provide contradiction but in fact it backs up the point here. \$\endgroup\$
    – joedragons
    Jan 23, 2015 at 22:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ @gatherer818 What abuses did you have in mind? I can't think of any good ways to abuse it. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Jan 23, 2015 at 22:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ It strongly depends on your table. My group knows when I'm running a game that if I haven't set house rules in advance, then RAW is king. With this specific example, a player (or NPC, for that matter) could simply walk through a diagonal swarm without ever being affected by it, by taking one step in the other diagonal direction through the swarm and never entering its space. For combat purposes, it would be like there were 4 1-square swarms instead of a single 4-square swarm. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 23, 2015 at 22:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ @gatherer818 Ah, that makes sense. And actually, I went to cite this, and the line I remember about it being shapeable applies to larger-than-normal swarms; the default swarm is a square 10 ft. to a side. Which is really dumb seeing as it means that a larger swarm is more flexible than a smaller one... \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Jan 23, 2015 at 23:26

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