Can you flank with a non-ally?


log in or register to remove this ad

Hypersmurf

Moderatarrrrh...
el-remmen said:
I don't see why you wouldn't get the bonus in that case.

So with AC 8, and the +2 from Flanking, I need a 6 to hit him.

If he falls unconscious, he stops moving, his AC drops to 7... and since I no longer get the +2, I need a 7 to hit him.

Does common sense require that someone gets harder to hit when they stop moving?

-Hyp.
 

airwalkrr

Adventurer
According to RAW, on page 153 of the PH, it is pretty clear that the creature has to be at least friendly towards you.

Now a simple house rule that lets any creature that threatens allowing flanking is reasonable.
 

el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
Hypersmurf said:
Does common sense require that someone gets harder to hit when they stop moving?

-Hyp.


Nope. that's why I'd give the player a +2 circumstance bonus for the trog being knocked out and call it a day. . . ;)

Circumstance Bonuses: For when the rules get wonky. . .
 

phindar

First Post
Rules tend to break at the extreme high and extreme low end of the system. Its okay to me that it might wonk a bit in the case of characters with a +0 attack bonus fighting a Dex 1 enemy who then passes out. (If only because very few combats continue on after the enemy has passed out, and when they do, its usually just the players saying "We beat him to death.") The situation is rare enough that I'd be fine with however the GM adjudicated it, either with a circumstance bonus, or just by following the RAW and making an unconscious guy slightly harder to hit than the conscious, crippled and flanked guy.

To me it comes down to what you consider "flanking" to be. Does the bonus derive from two allies coordinating their strikes to minimize the opponent's defenses (say, with one striking high while one strikes low), or is it something that happens to the defender when he has to split his attention in two directions? If you rule its the former (which the PHB seems to), then only allies can flank. If you rule its the latter (which is understandable), then its something two unallied attackers could do to a third.

Even if you rule attackers must cooperate in order to provide flanking bonuses, there's no reason why two enemies beset by a third couldn't agree to work together. I'd rule if two characters are seeking flanking on a third, they'd get it, even if they weren't allies. (I also could see two characters in a slow 5' step chase around a larger creature, taking their flanking bonuses each round but waiting to get back to the business of killing one another when the third opponent drops.) On the other hand, say in the case of a fighter trying to kill a rogue who are attacked by an ogre, I could see the fighter denying flanking just to make the rogue's life harder (or shorter). To me, this would be funnier if the fighter had to 5' step out of flanking every time the rogue moved into it, which is why I'm leaning towards the second interpretation of flanking.
 

Hypersmurf

Moderatarrrrh...
phindar said:
The situation is rare enough that I'd be fine with however the GM adjudicated it, either with a circumstance bonus, or just by following the RAW and making an unconscious guy slightly harder to hit than the conscious, crippled and flanked guy.

As I see it, 'following the RAW' still leaves the unconscious guy easier to hit, because there's no reason flanking stops working.

I'm making a melee attack on him, and a creature friendly to me and directly opposite threatens him. I'm flanking and get a +2 bonus, whether he's conscious or not.

-Hyp.
 

Kahuna Burger

First Post
phindar said:
To me it comes down to what you consider "flanking" to be. Does the bonus derive from two allies coordinating their strikes to minimize the opponent's defenses (say, with one striking high while one strikes low), or is it something that happens to the defender when he has to split his attention in two directions? If you rule its the former (which the PHB seems to), then only allies can flank. If you rule its the latter (which is understandable), then its something two unallied attackers could do to a third.
I disagree that the PHB rule is that the allies are cooperating in a flank, except by the "friendly" language. All you have to do to flank is threaten. The two characters do not have to be attacking the flanked foe. If you had a battle line that looked like : A - 1 - B - 2 where A and B were allies and 1 and 2 were allies, B could be full attacking 2 while fighting defensively and declaring 2 his dodge 'target' and he would still provide flanking to A in A's attack on 1. Technicly I'm not even sure he has to know A is there, as long as he is threatening 1.

Also, the improved uncanny dodge allows you to not be flanked. Unless its by a rogue who has 4 more rogue levels than you have uncanny dodge providing levels. But there's no indication that the high level rogue can grant the flanking benefit to the person on the other side too. This indicates that flanking is mostly a function of the flanked individual - he can train himself out of the distraction and lowered gaurd that comes from having people on both sides of you - but a person can be so good at flanking that she can still take advantages of the tiny loss of focus that remains.
 

Laurel

First Post
2 attacking middle = flanked

If all three are attacking each other (10 ft. reach) then no flanking bonus.

If 2 are attacking the middle character reguarless of friend status then flanking applies. Though it would not be hard to say for the sake of those rounds the characters are friendly as they are working together for a common goal -kill the middle character.
 

mvincent

Explorer
javcs said:
"The enemy of my enemy is my friend."
Agreed. Note that the glossary says:
"flank
To be directly on the other side of a character who is being threatened by another character. A flanking attacker gains a +2 flanking bonus on attack rolls against the defender. A rogue can sneak attack a defender that she is flanking."
 


RigaMortus2

First Post
Would now be a good time to ask if a "flanking bonus" is essentially the same thing as flanking? Are they seperate things, a "flanking bonus" and being "flanked"?

And, can you flank with a ranged weapon? I know you wouldn't get a flanking bonus, that is only if you make a melee attack

When making a melee attack, you get a +2 flanking bonus...

But let's say I am 10 feet away from an opponent, and I have a bow out, and the opponent is being threatened by a character or creature friendly to me on the opponent's opposite border... Is he still considered flanked? I am not making a melee attack, so I don't get the +2 flanking bonus.... BUT, all other criteria match, right?

;)
 

Jhulae

First Post
RigaMortus2 said:
Would now be a good time to ask if a "flanking bonus" is essentially the same thing as flanking? Are they seperate things, a "flanking bonus" and being "flanked"?

And, can you flank with a ranged weapon? I know you wouldn't get a flanking bonus, that is only if you make a melee attack



But let's say I am 10 feet away from an opponent, and I have a bow out, and the opponent is being threatened by a character or creature friendly to me on the opponent's opposite border... Is he still considered flanked? I am not making a melee attack, so I don't get the +2 flanking bonus.... BUT, all other criteria match, right?

;)

Ranged attacks don't threaten, one reason why someone armed with a ranged weapon cannot make an attack of opportunity.
 

Hypersmurf

Moderatarrrrh...
Jhulae said:
Ranged attacks don't threaten, one reason why someone armed with a ranged weapon cannot make an attack of opportunity.

Note that it's the creature friendly to you who is required to threaten the opponent...

-Hyp.
 


RigaMortus2

First Post
green slime said:
I'm lost again! Why do we need DMs? :p

To run the adventure and enforce the rules... or to change the rules if he feels they do not make sense, but always making the players aware of this ahead of time... :)
 

RigaMortus2

First Post
Now I just have to convince my DM to read the rules literally so I can make a ranged-based Rogue so I can Sneak Attack w/ a bow via flanking... Not sure he'll go for it tough, may have to plead my case (he's more of a "spirit of the rules" kinda DM, hard to get one by him :)).
 

mvincent

Explorer
RigaMortus2 said:
Now I just have to convince my DM to read the rules literally so I can make a ranged-based Rogue so I can Sneak Attack w/ a bow via flanking
The rules say:
"The rogue’s attack deals extra damage any time her target would be denied a Dexterity bonus to AC (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), or when the rogue flanks her target."

So you could get a flank bonus when say, using a whip, but a rogue would you would need to be the one flanking in order to get sneak damage.

Note, as written: a rogue could threaten someone with say, armor spikes, in order to sneak attack them using a ranged weapon. This would usually be sub-optimal (i.e. the rogue wouldn't get the flank bonus and would provoke an AoO), but it could allow say, easy sneak attacking with acid vials (using TWF'ing and rapid shot even). This is against RAI, but not RAW.
 
Last edited:

RigaMortus2

First Post
mvincent said:
The rules say:
"The rogue’s attack deals extra damage any time her target would be denied a Dexterity bonus to AC (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), or when the rogue flanks her target."

So you could get a flank bonus when say, using a whip, but a rogue would you would need to be the one flanking in order to get sneak damage.

Ok, that's a good point... So it doesn't matter (for Sneak Attack) if the target is flanked, it matters if the Rogue is the one flanking the target. Makes sense.

But how do you know if the Rogue is flanking the target or not?

When in doubt about whether two friendly characters flank an opponent in the middle, trace an imaginary line between the two friendly characters’ centers. If the line passes through opposite borders of the opponent’s space (including corners of those borders), then the opponent is flanked.

Such a line could be traced if the ranged Rogue is 10 or more feet away from the target, with a friendly creature on it's opposite side. So does that mean a Rogue would be flanking it's target after all?
 



An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top