D&D 5E Flanking

fuindordm

Adventurer
If you're worried about rogues, the sneak attack description says that they get the extra damage dice if an ally is within 5 feet of the opponent and the rogue does not have disadvantage on the attack.

So SA works even if the ally isn't actively helping, and they don't have to flank 3E style, just double-team.
 

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The_Gneech

Explorer
According to Mike Mearls, they removed flanking because there was too much confusion of how it worked with large+ creatures; given the desire to move to mapless encounters, it's also way too fiddly.

For the rogue, they added the "...if there's another creature hostile to your target within 5' of it" to the sneak attack language to cover the main thing that flanking was used for, and the Help action for those people who can't possibly hit the target so want to provide a bonus for someone else in the party who can.

So, no. No flanking (by that name) in 5E.

-TG :cool:
 

Joe Liker

First Post
My group plays most combats on a map now (though we initially played without when we started 5e), and we don't miss flanking at all.

It turns out, the constant quest for combat advantage was one of the things that slowed 4e combat to a crawl. Not the only thing, of course, but it was definitely a contributing factor.

We're much happier now that we mainly just worry about staying out of one another's way and keeping the squishies safe.
 


Wrathamon

Adventurer
I agree with Joe on flanking (and threating for OAs) was the main thing players fiddled with over positioning in 3rd and 4th imo. I dont miss it.

I do think the concept of using a Bonus action (since you only get 1) is interesting and has merit. When you are flanking you get a bonus action to give another player X. Whether that is advantage or a +1 or +2 to hit.
 

Thaumaturge

Wandering. Not lost. (He/they)
I like +1d4 for a generic, not quite advantage, bonus. People can see if the die roll included it, just by looking at the dice on the table. It averages ~2, and there's precedent in the system (bane and bless).

Thaumaturge.
 

frankthedm

First Post
Considering the HP monsters start getting, players don't need any more encouragement to gang up on foes to take them down one by one.
 


wedgeski

Adventurer
The cave troll scene in Fellowship of the Ring convinced me that flanking is meaningless in a dynamic fight. It's not a wargame about the Napoleonic wars.
A scene which gets better every time I watch it.

Flanking was there to add depth to the tactical layer: if there's no positional benefit to be gained, then you don't encourage people to move their PC's around the battle-mat. That's my POV on the subject, anyway. We've moved away from the battle-mat for 5E and don't really miss it.
 

LostSoul

Adventurer
Flanking was there to add depth to the tactical layer: if there's no positional benefit to be gained, then you don't encourage people to move their PC's around the battle-mat. That's my POV on the subject, anyway. We've moved away from the battle-mat for 5E and don't really miss it.

I agree that flanking adds tactical depth. I don't agree that you need a battle mat to make use of it.

I'm surprised that most of the commenters on this thread don't find it odd (and possibly immersion-breaking) that you can't attack someone from behind; or, if you can, that there is no benefit to it. Even in AD&D, when you couldn't specify the target of your attacks in melee, you gained benefits from flanking/attacking from the rear.
 

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