[RPG] Can the Fog Cloud spell effectively increase archer range by canceling disadvantage at long range


Longbow archers can attack targets (that are not in fog cloud) up to 600 feet away, but would do so at disadvantage for targets greater than 150 feet away.

However, if the archer first walks into a fog cloud and then shoots, they would roll normally because advantage and disadvantage cancel out, according to this question:
Since advantage and disadvantage caused in a heavy obscured area cancel out, what effect does it have in combat?

It seems weird that one could quadruple the standard range of archers by casting fog cloud on them. Is that really RAW?

(Next round, the archers would probably have to walk out of the fog cloud to reacquire their target and walk back into it with their movement, otherwise they may be targeting the wrong square.)

Best Answer

Yes, that is the rules-as-written.

It's worth noting, additionally, that there's actually no need for the archer to step out of the fog cloud in most circumstances: despite being effectively blinded, per the rules of the game, a creature would still know the location of another creature they cannot see, so long as that creature does not take the Hide action and roll a Dexterity (Stealth) check high enough to beat the archer's passive Wisdom (Perception) score (subtracted by 5, due to disadvantage conferring a -5 penalty on passive checks). Once the targeted creature hides, it would only then become necessary for the Archer to step out of the fog cloud to find their target again—or they could simply take the Search action to make a Wisdom (Perception) check (with Disadvantage) to try to locate the creature from within the Fog Cloud.

But so long as the Archer knows the location of their target, then from Disadvantage (from not seeing the target and attacking at long range) and Advantage (from the target being unable to see the archer) the Archer would get normal attack rolls up to their maximum long-range distance.

"But that seems kind of dumb."

Yes, which is why at my table, I use a houseruled "fix" to this specific issue, that in order for being "unseen" to confer advantage on your attack rolls, you must also be able to see the target. The general consequence of this change is that it causes attack rolls inside Fog Clouds, Darkness, etc., to generally all have Disadvantage, as opposed to the RAW circumstances which would instead cause attacks to be made normally. To me, this seems like an appropriate fix because it properly causes blinded combat to diegetically feel clumsy and confusing.