SODWA Game Mechanics
SODWA is a tactical turn-based strategy game. Gameplay takes place on a grid of square tiles, much like a game of Chess. Battles are typically 1v1 between online human opponents. Each player gets to assemble a team out of our roster of awesome characters. As the game progresses, the players get to assign actions to their characters, like moving across the battlefield, attacking an opponent, or even using crazy abilities like Teleportation and Telekinesis. The goal is to wipe out your opponent’s team before they wipe out yours.
If you’ve ever played Final Fantasy Tactics, X-Com, Shining Force, or Heroclix, you’ll feel right at home with SODWA.
The Point System
All characters and teams in SODWA are assigned point values to indicate how powerful they are. A very weak character would have a low point value while a very powerful character would have a high point value.
The point value of a team of characters is the sum of each of their individual point values. For instance, a team consisting of three 50-point characters would be a 150-point team.
Battles in SODWA are arranged by team point values. For instance, if you were to play a “400-point game”, that would mean that each player can use teams that cost as much as 400-points. You don’t have to use the maximum number of points available, but it’s always a good idea to come as close to the point cap as possible.
All characters possess attributes that dictate how well they perform on the battlefield. Every character in SODWA possesses the following Attributes:
Health Points determines how much damage a character can take before it is defeated.
Evasion raises a character’s defense against any attacks it is aware of. Typically, if an attack originates from within the character’s “Line-of-Sight”, the character is aware of the attack. This means that attacking a target from behind is usually easier than from the front or sides.
Initiative determines how quickly a character regenerates its Initiative Points (IP). IP will be covered in the Turn System section below. For now, just know that a higher Initiative score allows your character to take turns more frequently.
Move determines the maximum number of tiles a character may move through in a single turn.
Range determines how far the character’s Basic Attack can reach.
Damage Reduction lowers the value of incoming Physical, Energy, and Magical damage.
“Attack Attributes” are divided into Melee and Ranged. When attacking an adjacent target, the Melee attributes are used. Otherwise, the Ranged attributes are used.
Accuracy is the primary attribute used to determine how easy it is for a character to hit its targets.
Defense is the base difficulty for how hard a character is to hit. Most standard-sized characters have a Defense of 100. Smaller characters usually have a higher Defense, while larger characters usually have a lower Defense.
Damage determines how much damage is inflicted by the character’s Basic Attack.
“Saving Throws” determine how difficult it is for the character to be affected by certain special attacks and effects. There are three Saving Throws:
Fortitude: Allows the character to shrug off most kinds of tangible effects through sheer strength or endurance. Examples include resisting Bio Damage and resisting being frozen by an ice attack.
Reflex: Allows the character to avoid certain attacks and effects through feats of agility and quick reactions. Examples include diving to safety to avoid an explosion or remaining standing while traversing icy terrain.
Power: Allows the character to resist most intangible effects through pure force of will or the use of special abilities. Examples include resisting being Mind Controlled or resisting being thrown with Telekinesis.
Abilities represent special skills, powers, or equipment that either enhance a character in some way or allow that character to do something other characters are unable to do. Character Abilities are grouped into the following categories:
These abilities either alter the way a character’s Basic Attack functions or allow for completely new methods of damaging enemy characters and terrain. Examples include Homing Attack, Immolate, and Piercing Attack. If the ability deals damage or enhances the character’s Basic Attack, it is an Attack Ability.
These are abilities that augment the character that possesses them. Examples include health regeneration, invisibility, flight, and teleportation. Some enhancement abilities are activated like normal, while others are passive. If the ability affects only the character possessing it and does not affect that character’s Basic Attack, it is an Enhancement Ability.
These abilities allow a character to temporarily enhance one or more friendly characters or hinder one or more enemy characters. Examples include Healing, Mind Control, and Immobilize. Support abilities can increase already-present attributes like Health, Move, and Damage, or they can grant a brand-new effect, like Health Regeneration or Stasis. If the ability affects a character directly but does not deal damage, it is a Support Ability.
These abilities allow a character to manipulate the battlefield to benefit its team or hinder the enemy team. Such abilities include Barrier, Portal, and Flood. If the ability affects the map in some way, it is a Battlefield Control ability.
You’ll need to assign your characters to Teams to use them in battle. When you assign a character to a team, that character’s point value gets added to the team’s point value. When you’re finished adding characters to your team, your team’s point value will be the sum of all assigned characters.
Once you have your characters assigned to a team, you’ll need to decide how you want them to enter battle. You’ll do that by arranging your characters on a grid and saving that arrangement as a Team Formation. You’ll be able to save several different formations per team, choosing which one you would like to use at the beginning of each battle.
When you begin a battle in SODWA, each team is loaded into their starting zones on the battlefield. Each character then receives a turn during which they can perform several different actions, from moving across the map to slamming an enemy into a wall with Telekinesis.
The Turn System
The “Battle Clock” is a kind of timer that counts upward with every turn. When the clock advances, this is known as a “tick”. It starts every game at 0 and increases by 1 tick at a time. It continues to advance until one or more characters get a turn. Once all turns are resolved for that tick, it resumes advancing.
At the beginning of the game, all characters start with 0 Initiative Points (IP). Characters gain IP equal to their Initiative attribute once per tick. Once a character reaches 1,000 IP, it becomes that character’s turn. If no character has at least 1,000 IP, then the Battle Clock continues advancing and all characters continue to gain their Initiative value in IP until at least one character has at least 1,000 IP.
When a character’s turn comes up, 500 IP is automatically deducted from its current IP total. Move Actions and Attack Actions each use up 250 additional IP. Special Actions have varying IP costs. Regardless of the number of IP possessed by a character, it may not take the same type of action more than once per turn, unless it has some ability or effect that says otherwise.
Once all characters with at least 1,000 IP have completed their turns, the Battle Clock resumes ticking, and all characters continue regenerating IP. Once a character’s IP becomes equal to or greater than 1,000, that character receives another turn.
If multiple characters each reach 1,000 IP at the same time, a few different things can happen:
If the characters have different IP totals, then the character with the highest IP total gets to take their turn first. So, if two characters both broke 1,000 IP in the same turn, resulting in Character A having 1,001 IP and Character B having 1,002 IP, then it would be Character B’s turn.
If there is a tie (as in, multiple characters break 1,000 IP with the exact same value), then:
If the characters tied are on opposite teams, the character on the team that has not taken the most recent turn gets to take their turn. So, if a character on Team A took a turn, and then a character on Team A and a character on Team B both gained enough IP to put them at 1,002 IP each, the character on Team B would get to take its turn first.
If the characters are on the same team, the player gets to decide which character gets to go first.
Finally, if both teams have multiple characters that are tied, this results in the following scenarios:
The team that has not taken the most recent action gets to go first. They can choose which of their tied characters get to act, but then it becomes the other team’s turn, since now this team is the one that took the most recent action.
When multiple characters break 1,000 IP, their actions are considered to take place simultaneously, even though they still technically take place in sequence. The Battle Clock doesn’t resume ticking until all applicable characters have completed their turns.
There are 4 different types of actions in SODWA:
Free Actions: These are instant actions that a character can do that have no IP cost. Some Free Actions are even useable during the opponent’s turn.
Move Actions: These actions primarily involve moving across the map. However, Move Actions also cover several actions that aren’t free, but don’t count as Attack or Special actions, such as picking up objects and using certain Abilities.
Attack Actions: These actions cover the use of a character’s Basic Attack.
Special Actions: These actions are typically associated with certain Abilities and can have varying IP costs.
A character can take a Move Action and an Attack Action in the same turn. If a Move is used first, the Attack Action receives a penalty. If the Attack Action is used first, the character may only move a quarter of its normal Speed value afterwards (rounded down to a minimum of 1). Special Actions usually have specific rules that determine whether or not they can be used in combination with Move and Attack Actions.
Line of Sight (LoS)
For a character to affect a non-adjacent target, it must usually have Line-of-Sight (abbreviated as LoS) to the target. LoS is determined by drawing a straight imaginary line from the middle of the active character’s tile to the middle of the target’s tile. If this imaginary line crosses any tiles of Obstructing Terrain or any tiles occupied by characters, then LoS is blocked and that action cannot be made.
Any character that is adjacent to one or more enemy characters may only target the adjacent enemy characters, though it may still be the ranged target of other non-adjacent characters.
If the LoS to a targeted character passes through one or more tiles or borders of Impeding Terrain, the roll becomes more difficult for the attacker.
If a grounded character targets an elevated character, the roll becomes more difficult for the grounded character. If an elevated character targets a grounded character, the roll becomes easier for the elevated character.
Attacking and Defending
All chance-based actions, such as attacking a target, use a percentage-based system. When attempting a chance-based action, the player rolls two 10-sided dice consisting of numbers 0-9; one dice represents the ten’s place and the other represents the one’s place. So, a roll of 0 and 6 would equal 6%. 7 and 7 would equal 77%. 0 and 0 would equal 100%, not 0%.
When both dice roll the same number, this is known as rolling Doubles. This will usually modify the action in some way, such as causing the target to get knocked back by a ranged attack, or causing the attack to apply a special status effect.
To make an attack, the attacking character must select a target within a number of tiles equal to the attacker’s Range attribute. The attacker must usually be able to draw LoS to the target. LoS is blocked by characters, Obstructing Terrain, and can be blocked by Elevated Terrain depending on the locations of the characters. The difficulty of the attack can be affected depending on the tiles the LoS passes through. For example, if LoS passes through a tile of Impeding Terrain, the difficulty of the attack increases by 20%.
If the target is adjacent to the attacking character, the attack is considered a Melee Attack. Otherwise, it is considered a Ranged Attack. LoS is not required for Melee attacks, though Melee Attacks do require that the attacking and defending characters are adjacent to one-another.
To make an attack roll, take the defending character’s Defense, add Evasion (if applicable), and apply any relevant modifiers, such as those provided by terrain. This total is the Total Defense Value. Then, take the attacking character’s Accuracy and apply any relevant modifiers. This total is the Total Attack Value. Then, subtract the Total Attack Value from the Total Defense Value. The result is the difficulty of the attack. To succeed, the attacking character must make an Attack Roll that equals or exceeds the difficulty rating.
For example, Character A, with an Accuracy of 40, attacks character B, with a Defense of 100. They are both on clear terrain with no other modifiers to apply. So, character A must roll a 60% or better to succeed.
A roll of 01 (1%) is always a failure, regardless of difficulty. A roll of 00 (100%) is always a success and counts as rolling Doubles.
While the essence of the SODWA combat system is quite simple, there are many factors that can enhance or diminish a character’s Total Attack Value or Total Defense Value.
Moving makes it harder to aim your weapons, but also makes you a harder target to hit, so any time a character takes a Move Action it receives a penalty to its Accuracy and a bonus to its Defense until the beginning of its next turn.
Impeding Terrain can make characters harder to hit. If an attacking character’s LoS passes through Impeding Terrain, the difficulty of the attack is increased.
Characters enjoy an Accuracy bonus against characters on a lower elevation, and characters at a lower elevation have a more difficult time attacking characters at a higher elevation.
Finally, many Abilities alter the way these modifiers work, and sometimes bestow unique modifiers onto characters.
The Karma System
Each team has a Karma Pool, which is a number of points starting at 0. Whenever a player attempts an action with a difficulty less than 50%, but the roll fails, they gain Karma Points equal to the difference between the action’s difficulty and 50%. So, if you fail an attack roll with a difficulty of 30%, you would gain 20 Karma Points (50% – 30% = 20).
Each Karma Point is equal to 1% difficulty. Whenever you fail an action roll, if you have enough Karma Points to increase your roll enough to succeed, the points will automatically be used to do so. So, let’s say you have 20 Karma Points. You make an Attack Roll with a difficulty of 70% but roll a 60. You would automatically use 10 Karma Points to bring that roll up to a 40, thus ensuring its success.
Karma Points are deducted from the Karma Pool when used.
The Karma Points of opponents cancel each other out before being added to the Karma Pool. For example, if Player A has 10 Karma Points when Player B earns 25 Karma Points, 10 of Player B’s Karma Points would be used to negate Player A’s Karma Points before the remaining 15 are added to Player B’s Karma Pool. This means only one player at a time has access to Karma Points.
The idea of the Karma System is to reduce the overall effects of randomness on the battle as a whole, while still allowing chance and uncertainty to play a pivotal role in combat. Some characters will also have special abilities that are directly related to the Karma System, such as growing more powerful as the Karma Pool grows or altering the Karma Pool of a player.
The Battle UI
(All images are based on our early test build of the game. These images do not reflect the final art style of the game.)
Once you’ve selected your team and entered a battle with your opponent, you’re greeted with the following screen (click the image to view the full size):
This is the SODWA Battle UI. It may look like a lot, but it’s broken down into the following bite-sized sections:
1) The Character Panels
When a character’s turn comes up, their information is loaded into the bottom left Character Panel. You’ll see their name, their “Action Shot”, which is a special picture of the character, and all of their attributes. The character’s HP and Damage Reduction are both displayed over its Action Shot. In the example image, the HP value is numerical, but in the final build, the HP will be represented by red bars.
The attributes are divided into 4 sections. The upper-left section is the Combat section. The upper right is the Character Info section. The bottom left is the Initiative section. And the bottom right is the Saving Throws section.
The Combat Section contains the Defense, Accuracy, and Damage attributes, and they’re divided into Melee and Ranged. This means a character might be very effective at Melee combat, but not very good at Ranged combat. The Melee attributes fall under the red Sword icon, while the Ranged attributes fall under the red Reticle icon.
The Character Information Section shows the Cost of the character (as in, how many points it cost to add the character to the team). This is usually a good indication as to how powerful the character is. Then you can see the character’s Move, Range, and Evasion attributes.
The Initiative Section shows everything you need to know about the character’s Initiative, including their current amount of Initiative Points (IP) and how many ticks until they get another turn.
And finally, the Saving Throws Section displays the character’s Fortitude, Reflex, and Power attributes.
Whenever you click on a character who is not the active character, that character’s information will be loaded into the bottom right Character Panel.
2) The Battle Information Panel
The area at the bottom middle of the screen, between the two Character Panels, is the Battle Information Panel (BIP). This is where you’ll see all kinds of useful information, like attack difficulties, battle logs, terrain descriptions, and just about any other kind of information you can think of.
When you select an Attack Action and then select a target, the BIP will show you the kind of attack being performed (Melee or Ranged), your Total Attack Value (which is your Accuracy plus any relevant modifiers), the target’s Total Defense Value (which is their Defense plus any relevant modifiers), how much damage they’ll ignore, and what you’ll need to roll to succeed and how much damage you’ll deal if you do succeed. Once you view this information you can either confirm or cancel the attack.
Once the attack is confirmed, you’ll see the Attack Difficulty (what you need to roll to succeed), your roll result (01 to 100), how much damage was dealt, and how much HP the target has left if they weren’t defeated by the attack.
3) The Turn-Sequence Bar (TSB)
Along the top of the screen is the Turn-Squence Bar (TSB). The TSB shows the projected turn order of all active characters. It also displays how many ticks need to pass before the character gets to act. The character portraits in the TSB are clickable, allowing you to select targets from the TSB instead of having to locate them on the battle grid.
After a character has completed their turn, they’ll have a specific number of IP available. The TSB can easily calculate how many ticks it will take before they receive their next turn, based on their Initiative attribute. However, until they take their next turn, it has no way of knowing if they will pass (losing 500 IP), take a half action (losing 750 IP) or take a full action (losing 1,000 IP). When it needs to make predictions like this, it always assumes the character will pass, meaning their following turn is predicted to occur as quickly as possible. This, of course, is rarely accurate, but it allows the players to see a prediction of future turn order in a way that a character will never get to act sooner than predicted by the TSB. Phew, that sounds pretty confusing, but once you start playing and paying attention to the TSB, it becomes very intuitive.
Battlefields, or maps, in SODWA are made up of various types of terrain. Terrain is one of the most important aspects of SODWA because it influences everything that takes place in the game, from moving to attacking to using special actions.
“Terrain” describes the status of any given tile on the map and how it affects gameplay. Terrain can include a naked tile, a tile occupied by an object or item, or a tile being affected by a special ability. Characters aren’t considered to be “terrain”, though they do affect how a tile continues to function, since a character can’t occupy a tile already occupied by another character.
Terrain affects movement, LoS, and tile adjacency. There are 6 general types of terrain, which are detailed below: Clear, Impeding, Obstructing, Liquid, Difficult, and Elevated. There are also many “special” types of terrain. For example, an ice-based character might be able to create patches of Icy Terrain, or a toxic-themed character might be able to create tiles of Corrosive Terrain.
Each type is indicated on the map with a colored border (other than Clear Terrain, which has no special border). Multiple tiles within the same border are part of the same “terrain group”. For example, 3 adjacent tiles of Impeding Terrain would all be surrounded by a single border.
Every LoS or path of movement you can draw is either clear, impeded, or blocked. Clear is less restrictive than impeded, which is less restrictive than blocked. If a line or path crosses multiple terrain types, then the most restrictive has priority. For instance, if LoS crosses both Impeding Terrain and Obstructing Terrain, the Obstructing Terrain would take precedence and the LoS would be blocked.
Since SODWA takes place on a map composed of square tiles, there can be intersections where diagonally adjacent tiles meet. If the diagonal tiles are of the same terrain type, then they are considered to be contiguous. If they are of different terrain types, then the least restrictive type governs the effects on the LoS or movement. I.e. Consider a block of 4 tiles (1:1, 1:2, 2:1, and 2:2). Tiles 1:1 and 2:2 (upper left and bottom right) are Impeding and Obstructing respectively. Tiles 1:2 and 2:1 (upper right and bottom left) are clear. If LoS moved through those tiles of Clear Terrain across that intersection where 1:1 and 2:2 meet, that intersection would be considered Impeding Terrain. If this was movement instead of LoS, then the character would have to stop after passing the intersection, as per the rules for Impeding Terrain on movement. If 1:1 and 2:2 were both Obstructing Terrain, then any movement or LoS through that intersection would be considered blocked, as if the Obstructing Terrain was a solid wall across those tiles.
Some terrain types can exist as a Border or as a Tile. A Border of terrain is just a straight line on the map, existing between tiles. A Border of terrain doesn’t actually occupy space on the map, it only affects the relationship of the tiles it separates, along with any LoS or path of movement that crosses it. For example, a brick wall might be represented by a Border of Obstructing Terrain. Characters could occupy the tiles on either side of the wall but would be unable to interact with one another. A fence might be represented by a Border of Impeding Terrain. A character could move into an adjacent tile without issue, but if they wanted to cross the fence, they would suffer the effects of crossing into Impeding Terrain.
A Tile of terrain exists on the game map and may be occupied by a character, object, or effect (except for Obstructing Terrain, which may not be occupied). A LoS or path of movement that crosses into a Tile of terrain has the same effect as if it crossed a Border of that terrain (since a Tile of terrain is essentially just 4 borders forming a closed link).
Obstructing Terrain is represented on the map with a thick black line.
Obstructing Terrain prohibits movement and LoS. Obstructing Terrain can exist as a Border or as a Tile. Tiles on opposite sides of an Obstructing Terrain Border are not considered adjacent. A Tile of Obstructing Terrain may not be occupied by a character, object, or effect. This means a character may never end their movement on a tile of Obstructing Terrain or be placed there by any game effect.
Obstructing Terrain can be destroyed by taking 3 or more damage. If a Border of Obstructing Terrain is destroyed, the tiles on either side become Difficult Terrain (as they become covered in rubble from the destroyed Obstructing Terrain). They also become Adjacent, since they are no longer separated by the Obstructing Terrain. If a Tile of Obstructing Terrain is destroyed, that tile becomes Difficult Terrain.
Eventually there will be two kinds of maps: Outdoor and Indoor. Obstructing Terrain is classified as Indoor Obstructing Terrain and Outdoor Obstructing Terrain. This only affects certain abilities, like Flight. A character can fly over Outdoor Obstructing Terrain but would be unable to fly over Indoor Obstructing Terrain since it is considered to rise from the floor to the ceiling.
Impeding Terrain is represented on the map with a thick yellow line. It may exist as a Border or as a Tile. If LoS crosses Impeding Terrain, the target gains a bonus modifier of 20% to its Defense. If a character moves into a Tile of Impeding Terrain or crosses a Border of Impeding Terrain, they must end their movement. If they start their turn occupying a Tile of Impeding Terrain, their Move attribute is halved but they may move through any contiguous tiles of Impeding Terrain without ending their movement. This movement penalty is always applied before any additional movement penalties, since it should be applied the moment the character’s turn starts. If the character exits the Impeding Terrain and then enters a new Tile of Impeding Terrain or crosses a Border of Impeding Terrain, they must end their movement.
Difficult Terrain is identical to Impeding Terrain, except that it does not affect LoS. It only affects movement. It is represented on the map with a thick gray line.
Liquid Terrain is identical to Difficult Terrain, except that it imposes several modifiers on targets that occupy it. These modifiers will be created later.
Elevated Terrain describes tiles that are at a higher elevation than the base game map. A tile of Elevated Terrain can contain other terrain types. Any character not occupying Elevated Terrain is considered to be Grounded. Any character occupying Elevated Terrain is considered to be Elevated. Characters at the same elevation as one another are considered to be Level.
Elevated Terrain can only exist in Tile form and is represented by a red border. It is also easy to see on the map because it rises higher than standard terrain.
For Grounded characters, Elevated Terrain is considered to be Obstructing Terrain for movement and LoS purposes, in relation to Grounded characters, objects, and effects. Thus, if two Grounded characters are separated by a tile of Elevated Terrain, their Line of Sight to each other would be blocked.
Elevated Terrain can contain any other type of terrain. Elevated Terrain is just like regular terrain, only it’s considered to be on a different elevation, so all tiles of Elevated Terrain will be Clear, Impeding, etc.
Characters, objects, and effects that exist on different elevations are not considered to be adjacent. A character can still be adjacent to a tile of Elevated Terrain, just as they would be adjacent to a tile of Obstructing Terrain, they just aren’t considered adjacent to the characters, objects, or effects occupying that tile of Elevated Terrain. This is explained more in-depth in the section of Elevation.
To transition between tiles of different elevation, a character must pass through a Transition Border or Transition Tile (which is represented by gaps in the Elevated Terrain border). These borders and tiles are considered to be Difficult Terrain, meaning once a character has passed over the border, they must end their turn. If the border is part of a transition tile and the character starts its turn in that tile, its movement is halved like normal but it does not need to end it turn after passing through the transition border.
The tiles on opposite sides of a Transition Border are considered to be Adjacent, even though they exist at different elevations.
As you can see in this example, the robot character occupies a tile of Elevated Terrain while the barbarian character occupies a transition tile of Terrain (which is highlighted in green). Although they are at different elevation, the border between them is a Transition Border, meaning the two characters are considered to be adjacent to each other.
Elevated Terrain LoS
LoS is affected by Elevated Terrain in the following ways. The red borders denote sections of Elevated Terrain, so Purple, Green, and Blue are all occupying Elevated Terrain. The yellow borders denote tiles of Impeding Terrain, so Orange is occupying a tile of Impeding Terrain.
- Elevated characters ignore all grounded characters for LoS purposes, as seen below in Green vs. Blue.
- Grounded characters ignore other grounded characters, grounded objects, and grounded Impeding Terrain when drawing LoS to elevated characters (Yellow vs. Green).
- Characters on Elevated Terrain ignore grounded objects and grounded Impeding Terrain (Green vs. Yellow) unless the character they are targeting occupies a tile of Impeding Terrain, in which case the elevated character’s LoS is still considered to be impeded (Green vs. Orange).
- Tiles of Elevated Terrain are considered to be Obstructing Terrain. While this has no effect on the LoS of two elevated characters (Blue vs. Green), Elevated Terrain will obstruct the LoS between grounded and elevated characters (Blue vs. Red, Yellow, and Orange).
- Characters occupying the same terrain type (Grounded or Elevated) are considered to be “level”, and their LoS to each other follows all standard rules (Purple vs. Green and Blue; Red vs. Yellow and Orange).
The above diagram shows how LoS is affected by Elevated Terrain.
The colored dots indicate either clear, obstructed, or impeded LoS (clear is the color of the target, Impeded is the color with an “I”, and obstructed is the color with an “X”).
The following section describes in detail how each of the characters are affected by LoS:
Purple: The Purple character only has LoS to the Green character. His LoS to the Blue character is obstructed by the Green character because they are all level to one another, and his LoS to the Red, Yellow, and Orange characters are obstructed by the tiles of Elevated Terrain between himself and those characters.
Green: The Green character has LoS to every other character. Because he and the Blue character both occupy Elevated Terrain, their LoS to each other is not affected by any grounded Impeding Terrain or grounded characters. His LoS to the Yellow character is able to ignore the grounded Red character and the grounded Impeding Terrain between them. Because the Orange character actually occupies a tile of Impeding Terrain, the Green character’s LoS is still affected by that tile of Impeding Terrain.
Red: The Red character has LoS to the Green, Yellow, and Orange characters, though its LoS to the Yellow and Orange characters is impeded by terrain. It’s LoS to the Blue character is obstructed by the tiles of Elevated Terrain between them.
Yellow: The Yellow character has LoS to the Green, Red, and Orange characters, though its LoS to the Red character is impeded by terrain. Because the Yellow and Orange characters are adjacent, their LoS to each other is unaffected by the Impeding Terrain.
Orange: The Orange character has LoS to the Green, Red, and Yellow characters, though its LoS to the Red character is impeded by the terrain between them, but not by the Orange character’s occupied tile. This means if the tile between the Orange and Red characters was clear terrain, the Orange character would have unimpeded LoS to the Red character, but the Red character would still have impeded LoS to the Orange character.
Blue: The Blue character only has LoS to the Green character. His LoS to the Purple character is obstructed by the Green character, and his LoS to every other character is obstructed by the tiles of Elevated Terrain between them.
The rules concerning Elevated vs. Grounded LoS are based on the fact that elevated characters can see over grounded obstacles. Because elevated characters are above such obstacles, they can in turn be seen by grounded characters. If an elevated character isn’t at the edge of elevated terrain, he can neither see nor be seen by grounded characters.
Obstructing Terrain Elevation
Obstructing Terrain will always obstruct the LoS if at least one of the characters occupies the same elevation as the Obstructing Terrain. It will not obstruct LoS if both characters are at a higher elevation. So, if there was a wall of Obstructing Terrain between the two groups of Elevated Terrain in our example (let’s say, between the Red character and the Impeding Terrain), that wall would exist on the lower elevation. It would obstruct the LoS between the lower-elevation characters and the higher-elevation characters, but it would not obstruct the LoS from one high-elevation character to another high-elevation character, since they could “see over” the wall to each other. So, it wouldn’t obstruct Blue to Green, but it would obstruct Red to Yellow.