Adjacency and Rot Grub Swarm...

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ArcticNomad's picture
Adjacency and Rot Grub Swarm...

The concept of adjacency states: A creature is adjacent to itself and a square is adjacent to itself, by rules text.

The Rot Grub Swarm has a power:
Swarm Attack: Use at the start of an enemy's turn: If that enemy occupies a square this creature occupies, that enemy takes 5 damage for each swarm creature adjacent to it.

Here are my questions, and how I think it plays!

1. What if there are allied swarms of the enemy adjacent to it, does the "for each swarm creature adjacent" apply even if those swarm are 'allies' of the enemy creature? Card text doesn't distinguish enemy/ally swarms, so I'd have to say yes, even though I can see the arguement erupting for ally/enemy swarm.

2. IF the enemy is on/in the same square as the swarm (has to be for the power to trigger), and there is another swarm adjacent other than the triggering swarm, does that mean the enemy creature takes 5 damage from both swarms, the one 'under' it and the one in an adjacent square? Rules text says a square is adjacent to itself, so I'd say yes, 10 damage (5 from each of the adjacent swarms, and then the swarm in the same square as the enemy does its regular attack.)

Input please!

Ira's picture

1) It definitely includes any allied swarm creatures as well. They are fertile ground for a rot grub, I guess?!

2) Yes, 10 damage. As a minor nitpick, the Swarm Attack power does 10 damage (5 damage for each adjacent Swarm creature). That's slightly different than what you wrote where the target is taking 5 damage twice. It's just 10 damage all at once.

As a note, this power is called "Swarm Attack" and it happens at the start of an enemy's turn. By the Duplicate Power rule, if you also tried to stun the target creature with the Rot Scarab Swarm's power called "Swarm Attack," only one would have an effect.

ArcticNomad's picture

Hmmmmm.... (in reading your added note above...) but that means two swarms (or more!) would have to be in the same space, since those powers to stun or add 5 damage require the triggering creature to be in the same space as the swarm... is that a legal option for swarms? Can two allied swarms be in the same space as a single enemy? I know the power INFEST states that a swarm can enter a space occupied by non-swarm enemies, but I didn't think that two 'allied' swarms could be in the same space together... am I wrong in that or did I just miss something!! (That is quite possible for me!)

Ira's picture

Multiple swarm creatures can't be in the same square, as far as I know. But here are two things you might be missing:

1) The target creature could be large or huge. In that case, the target could have up to 4 or 9 swarm creatures underneath them. Eww!

2) For the Swarm Attack power of the Rot Grub Swarm, it checks for swarms adjacent to the target. Imagine this:


The target creature and the Rot Grub Swarm are both in the square marked "O." In all the spaces marked X, there are other swarms (enemy or allied). In that case, the Swarm Attack of the Rot Grub Swarm would do 45 damage. Smile

ArcticNomad's picture

Lol, I knew I was missing something! The size of the creature never occurred to me, hence why you are the rules guru and I ask the questions!

Thanks for the time and clarifications!

ArcticNomad's picture

A few questions: (well OK, 5... with subsections!)

1. Can creatures with Reach 0, Rot Grub Swarm, Demonweb Swarm, and Rot Scarab Swarm in this case, make charge attacks? I'd say no, since a charge ends adjacent to target creature, and that is in C3 from A3, and with Reach 0, the Rot Grub cannot attack the Troll from C3.

2. Can creatures with Reach 0 (Demonweb Swarm, F3) help provide combat advantage to allies (Rat Swarm, C4)? One can argue that knowing a creature can’t ‘Reach’ you from its current position (Demoweb Swarm at F3) should mean that the Troll is not hampered or affected by the Demonweb’s presence and therefore does grant combat advantage bonus to the Rat Swarm (C4).

3. As the Rot Grub Swarm (A3) moves into D3 (via charge or normal movement), does it not provoke an AoO from the Troll for leaving C3, a space adjacent to the Troll, as it enters D3?

4. Does the Rat Swarm (C4) get combat advantage from its ally Rot Grub Swarm (E4) (now in the Troll’s space) on making its attack on the Troll?

5. OK… let’s play this out… Round begins, Troll’s enemies go first… Rot Scarab Swarm (D2) shifts into Troll’s space (D3), but misses its attack.

Troll’s turn starts… It has ongoing 15 poison from a previous hit from the Rot Grub Swarm at E4, but no other damage.

There are now numerous “At start of turn” effects about to occur…

a) Ongoing 15 Poison…

b) Rot Scarab’s Swarm Attack (as Troll activates, it is Stunned)

c) Rot Grub Swarm’s Swarm Attack (same name as in (b) above but
different text), causes simultaneous 25 damage from all Swarms
adjacent to the Troll.

d) Troll has an immediate action of its own, allowing Regeneration 20
as soon as it takes damage.

What is the order of all these simultaneous attacks? (Can there be an order to simultaneous events?!)

I think the ongoing is first. BUT then, does the Troll get to use its Regeneration 20 immediately (Immediate, when this creature takes damage, Heal 20 HP) or is it already now Stunned because of the Rot Scarab Swarm’s Swarm Attack that occur’s (Immediate, as a creature activates, … activating creature is Stunned) OR does the Troll first take the Rot Grub’s Swarm Attack total of 25 damage (Swarm Attack: Use at start of enemy’s turn: … 5 damage for each Swarm creature adjacent to it)?

A little confused, if not stunned…!

skyscraper's picture

Here are my answers.

1. Charging: Yes it can charge, but must then end within the target's space.

From the collected rulings (which, I believe, quotes the rules):

Adjacent Squares and Creatures: A square is adjacent to all creatures and squares up to 1 square distant from it, including itself and creatures that occupy it. A creature is similarly adjacent to any creature that is adjacent to one or more of the squares in its space.

Since charging required ending adjancent to the target, a swarm can charge by ending within the target's space.

2. Flanking: no flanking possible for creatures with reach 0.


Must Be Able to Attack: A creature must be active, and have a basic attack action listed on its stat card appropriate to attack an adjacent enemy, in order to flank that enemy. reatures that cannot reach that adjacent enemy, or whose attack only causes damage the enemy is immune to, may not flank it.



Opposite Sides: To flank an enemy, a creature and an ally of it must be adjacent to that enemy and on opposite sides or opposite corners of that enemy’s space. To determine whether two allied creatures might be flanking an enemy trace a line between the centers of a square each allied creature occupies. If that line passes through opposite sides, or through opposite corners, of an enemy’s space, then those creatures are flankking it.

So, since the swarm creatures can't be on opposite sides of the target's space AND attack it since they then don't reach it, no flanking is possible.

3. OA? Yes. Nothing cancels the usual rule on OAs from occuring.

4. CA? No.


Combat Advantage: A creature has combat advantage against an enemy it flanks

Since reach 0 opponents can't flank, per #2 above, it can't get CA.

5. Start of turn sequence per the rules:

1.Determine Control. If a creature has an effect on it
which can cause the creature to be controlled by a player
other than its owner, those effects are now resolved.
A creatures that has a ‘start of turn’ saving throw power
resolves the save first; then Conditions that require
further die rolls (see page 12) are rolled as needed.

2. Take Damage. If a creature takes ongoing, or other start
of turn damage effects, it takes the appropriate damage.

3. Resolve Other Effects. The acting creature resolves any
pre-existing effects that occur at the start of the creature’s
turn. The acting player then declares any new or triggered
powers, and finnally the other player declares any new powers.
Declared powers are considered to resolve simultaneously.
The acting player decides the order in which they resolve.

So you're right that ongoing damage occurs first in your example. After that, everything else is under "resolve other effects". Per the above order of resolution, the acting player first resolves pre-existing powers and effects: there are no other than the ongoing poison. Then the acting player uses any new start of turn powers or effects, so the Troll regenerates. After that the opponent uses new powers and effects, to the swarms to their things.

Ira's picture

I agree with all of Skyscraper's answers and especially the thoughtfully quoted rules, with the following exceptions:

3) re: Opportunity Attacks. I think this was a trick question? Of course it would normally provoke an opportunity attack, but the Rot Grub Swarm has an ability called Million Maggots which says that it never provokes opportunity attacks. Smile So, for that particular creature, no, it wouldn't provoke an opportunity attack. Of course for a "normal" creature with Infest only, it would provoke an OA, as Skyscraper noted.

5) This is a good example of why simultaneous resolution within a single timing window (start of turn) can get confusing. If these effects were declared and resolved sequentially, it would be much more clear. Also, the sequence in the rulebook EDIT: has a confusing header of "Determine Control" that also includes making saves. isn't entirely right, because if a creature has a power to make saves at the start of its turn, it's design intent that it can save vs. the ongoing damage before taking the damage. As currently written, the rules don't allow that. You can see my proposal in a different thread re: future rules and sequential resolution.

Skyscraper's answer basically covered it, but it's important to note that the Duplicate Effects rule will come into play here. Specifically, the Troll can only be effected by one copy of the power "Swarm Attack" during the timing window of "start of turn."

tried's picture

As currently written, it DOES allow that, as listed in step 1, saving throw power.


Guildmaster Head of Organized Play

Ira's picture

Dwayne is totally right re: start of turn saves - my fault for missing it! I edited my previous post for correctness. I was fooled by the header "Determine Control," which also includes making saves. Sorry for adding confusion!

skyscraper's picture

The m
That i
Ra posted, where do yo
U see even the
Mirage of a
Political agenda?

ArcticNomad's picture

Thanks for the answers!

ArcticNomad's picture

Back to the Rot Grub Swarm (88pt) creature again...

When can the controlling player use the attack:

Million mouths: (Immediate action, reach Innocent automatic hit; 5 damage. RECHARGE as a minor action.

Rules state:

Immediate Action: An immediate action is generally taken in response to a specific trigger occurring, and may be taken even on another creature’s turn. Most immediate actions interrupt the current action and are resolved before the triggering action is resolved. Others resolve after the triggering event is fully resolved. A creature cannot take more than one immediate action on a given creature’s turn.

Is the Million Mouths action...

(a) ...only available as an immediate action while the controlling player is making attack actions?


(b) ...can the attack be used as if it were in the Power section of the creature's card, and if so, what would be the trigger for activating the Million Mouths attack action, (as immediate actions 'generally' require a specific trigger)?

I would think it can only be used while an attack action is being used by the controlling player, since no other trigger is mentioned.

skyscraper's picture

I don't think (a) is right. It is not an attack action; as such, there is no "time to make attack actions". You can make one attack action per turn, at any time during your turn.

This is an immediate action. In my opinion, you can use it at any time (see any time triggers).

Ira's picture

It is an immediate action that uses the Default Condition rule, since no other timing triggers are specified. That is, it can be used:
At the start or end of any creature's turn
When this creature declares an attack
When this creature is targeted by an attack
After this creature moves into a square

But remember that a creature can only take 1 immediate per turn, and since the power has a checkbox, the most this power could be used in normal circumstances would be:
- Use it at the start of this creature's turn (immediate action)
- Recharge using a minor action
- take some move action
- take some attack action (but not Million Mouths, because only 1 immediate action per turn)

Then, at the start of the next creature's turn:
- Million Mouth's immediate action (but now it's used and won't be able to be recharged again until the Rot Grub Swarm's turn)

So it can basically use the power twice per round, total. Overall, it's pretty weak (especially with reach Innocent, and the things that make the Rot Grub Swarm powerful in my opinion are Superinfest, Burrow 6, and Swarm.

ArcticNomad's picture

Thanks all!