Too many characters in a pit

Three characters have jumped/fallen into a 10' by 10' pit (depth 10', but not relevant). Two skeletons want to jump in with them. First one jumps down. The pit is now full. What happens when the second skeleton jumps into the pit?

The issue here is, of course, that the pit consists of 4 squares and 5 (let us say medium) characters would occupy 5 squares. Still, it is completely plausible for the skeleton to jump in, and completely unreasonable for it to be teleported up to the previous empty square it occupied due to invalid movement.

I am interested in rules as written (my present understanding is that "moving into illegal space" is the relevant rule here, but I would love to be wrong) and in reasonable house rules or interpretations.

In actual play we (the group) ruled that it is okay for the skeleton to jump down and try to land on someone sword first without any specific consequences; since it was about to be destroyed immediately with high probability, this was an easy choice to make. In the long run a solution more consistent with the other rules would be nice.

• The first two sentences here made me think the rest was going to be a joke of the form: "A priest, a rabbi, and a preacher walk into a bar..." – BlackVegetable Feb 28 '17 at 0:58

It seems to me that the squeezing rules are a good choice here. They do not ordinarily allow a creature to end its turn in an enemy’s space, but in the case of a confined area like this, it seems reasonable to allow it as a houserule.

Squeezing

In some cases, you may have to squeeze into or through an area that isn’t as wide as the space you take up. You can squeeze through or into a space that is at least half as wide as your normal space. Each move into or through a narrow space counts as if it were 2 squares, and while squeezed in a narrow space, you take a –4 penalty on attack rolls and a –4 penalty to AC.

When a Large creature (which normally takes up 4 squares) squeezes into a space that’s 1 square wide, the creature’s miniature figure occupies 2 squares, centered on the line between the 2 squares. For a bigger creature, center the creature likewise in the area it squeezes into.

A creature can squeeze past a creature while moving but it can’t end its movement in an occupied square.

To squeeze through or into a space less than half your space’s width, you must use the Escape Artist skill. You can’t attack while using Escape Artist to squeeze through or into a narrow space, you take a –4 penalty to AC, and you lose any Dexterity bonus to AC.

Note, however, that for this to work well, I think the second skeleton should have to squeeze in with the first, since you are generally not allowed to move into an enemy’s space unless that enemy is helpless. Unfortunately, the rules do not include any way to force your way into an enemy’s space or force them to squeeze to make room for you (even if you are squeezing). Some kind of combat maneuver probably makes the most sense, but it’s awkward to invent new ones. Maybe use a bull rush check? A grapple check? User’s choice?

• Regarding ways to push opponents to the same square: can't the jumping skeleton use a bull rush maneuver to push one PC into another PC's space? – G0BLiN Feb 27 '17 at 18:21
• @G0BLiN You can only push creatures away from you with bull rush. But by definition, no direction in this pit is 3 squares long, so there is no way someone could get on the side of one of the PCs to push them into another one. – KRyan Feb 27 '17 at 18:37
• Good point - I guess I'd allow something like a 'diving charge' so the skeleton can jump in and bull rush (effectively attacking from a space above a PC), but there's nothing in the rules to support that... – G0BLiN Feb 27 '17 at 18:48
• @G0BLiN Oh, I had assumed the pit was too deep to really allow for that but I suppose it could be plausible in some cases. – KRyan Feb 27 '17 at 18:53
• OP mentioned "depth 10', but not relevant" - so this can be taken into account or ignored... – G0BLiN Feb 27 '17 at 18:55