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Sneak Attack With Reach


Rules Questions


Hi folks, and thanks ahead of time for the responses. I just have a question about sneak attack with reach weapons and the lunge feat. This might be a bit of a challenge to describe without a picture but I will do my best.

In another thread I discussed with several players the creation of a str based rogue using a long spear and lunge in combination. But this build brings up some questions on flanking and when it should or aught to apply.

On page 196 of the core book it describes flanking with reach and it states you must be able to draw a line through the target from one flanker to the other. Thats fairly simple. However, with lunge and a reach weapon that grants the rogue effectively 15' reach (some penalties apply when using this of course). My question would be, so long as the rogue threatens a square that would "draw a line from one flanker to the other" should that not also count as a flank?

At some point fairly soon we will need a house rule for this I am sure. I love this build and I am having a lot of fun playing it but I certainly don't want to break the game so to speak.

In total, if my math isn't wrong, then I believe this would grant the rogue a total of 11 different squares to flank from on a medium sized enemy.

Shadow Lodge

Krallek wrote:
My question would be, so long as the rogue threatens a square that would "draw a line from one flanker to the other" should that not also count as a flank?

If I understand your question, which Im not sure I do, the answer is no. You still must have the enemy directly between you and your ally to be able to flank. Reach weapons do not change this... I think you may need a diagram, for I am having trouble visualizing what you are proposing.


Krallek wrote:

Hi folks, and thanks ahead of time for the responses. I just have a question about sneak attack with reach weapons and the lunge feat. This might be a bit of a challenge to describe without a picture but I will do my best.

In another thread I discussed with several players the creation of a str based rogue using a long spear and lunge in combination. But this build brings up some questions on flanking and when it should or aught to apply.

On page 196 of the core book it describes flanking with reach and it states you must be able to draw a line through the target from one flanker to the other. Thats fairly simple. However, with lunge and a reach weapon that grants the rogue effectively 15' reach (some penalties apply when using this of course). My question would be, so long as the rogue threatens a square that would "draw a line from one flanker to the other" should that not also count as a flank?

At some point fairly soon we will need a house rule for this I am sure. I love this build and I am having a lot of fun playing it but I certainly don't want to break the game so to speak.

In total, if my math isn't wrong, then I believe this would grant the rogue a total of 11 different squares to flank from on a medium sized enemy.

You must be threatening the target to be flanking, along with being able to draw a straight line.

I am assuming you and your buddy are on opposite sides of the enemy.


""My question would be, so long as the rogue threatens a square that would "draw a line from one flanker to the other" should that not also count as a flank?"

No.

If that was the case, then regular flanking could be achieved from any one of five squares around the target.


Quote:

Flexible Flanker (Ex)

At 9th level, a polearm master may choose any square adjacent to him and treat that square as his location for determining who he is flanking, even if that square is occupied by a creature, object, or solid barrier.

This ability replaces Weapon Training 2.

Quote:

Gang Up (Combat)

You are adept at using greater numbers against foes.

Prerequisites: Int 13, Combat Expertise.

Benefit: You are considered to be flanking an opponent if at least two of your allies are threatening that opponent, regardless of your actual positioning.

Normal: You must be positioned opposite an ally to flank an opponent.

As far as I'm aware these are the only way to flank without actually being in a flanking position.


Right. Besides the stuff that Abe mentioned, or any other optional material that changes the Flank rules,
the ´valid Flanking line´ never changes, you always must be on opposite sides of the opponent.
The only thing that Reach changes is how far away you can be on that line...
I think there is also SOME ´flexibility´ in valid squares that still count as being on opposite sides,
and Reach (along with being Large or bigger, i.e. occupying multiple squares) increases that flexibility somewhat,
but you still have to follow the same rule: on opposite sides of the enemy.
The crux is not where you threaten (though you need to threaten the target), but where you yourself are located.


Actually this is what flanking requires:

Quote:

When making a melee attack, you get a +2 flanking bonus if your opponent is threatened by another enemy character or creature on its opposite border or opposite corner.

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

Exception: If a flanker takes up more than 1 square, it gets the flanking bonus if any square it occupies counts for flanking.

Only a creature or character that threatens the defender can help an attacker get a flanking bonus.

Creatures with a reach of 0 feet can't flank an opponent.

So you don't have to cross through the center of the flanker -- only opposite borders, and corners count as both boarders.

So if I have a case of:
Aooo
oEEo
oEEo
ooAo

Where o = empty squares
E = large opponent
and A equals both attackers.

We have a flanking solution.

There is a diagram here of possible flanking -- the fighter isn't flanking with the rogue because the fighter isn't at the corner -- if he was he would be flanking with the rogue.


Abraham spalding wrote:

Actually this is what flanking requires:

Quote:

When making a melee attack, you get a +2 flanking bonus if your opponent is threatened by another enemy character or creature on its opposite border or opposite corner.

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

Exception: If a flanker takes up more than 1 square, it gets the flanking bonus if any square it occupies counts for flanking.

Only a creature or character that threatens the defender can help an attacker get a flanking bonus.

Creatures with a reach of 0 feet can't flank an opponent.

So you don't have to cross through the center of the flanker -- only opposite borders, and corners count as both boarders.

So if I have a case of:
Aooo
oEEo
oEEo
ooAo

Where o = empty squares
E = large opponent
and A equals both attackers.

We have a flanking solution.

There is a diagram here of possible flanking -- the fighter isn't flanking with the rogue because the fighter isn't at the corner -- if he was he would be flanking with the rogue.

So...

Aoo
oEo
oAo

is a flank?

What about...

Aoo
oEo
Aoo

Both pass through corners of opposite borders. If so, that opens a lot more opportunities for flanking than I thought existed.

Edit: NM. I was a bit confused there for a moment. The trick is [b]lines drawn from the center of the attackers have to pass through opposite sides.

My examples aren't flanks, but then, neither is Abe's example above.


Yeah I know -- the RAW on it is a bit odd but it's different wording than what was used in 3.5... I'm not certain that's what's intended but it's certainly what's stated in the rules.


I just realized the error we both made. The trick is lines drawn from the center of the attackers have to pass through opposite sides.

Even if you're standing in the corner, unless your ally is in the opposite corner, the line from your center will pass, not through the corner, but the side of your square.


The group I'm in is slightly sloppy, but we use the center of any square the flankers occupy.

AA_
AA_
_XX
_XX
___
_BB
_BB

Would be valid because a line from the center of the top right corner square of B to the top right corner of A goes through X even though the line from the center of A to the center of B doesn't go through the center of X.


Atarlost wrote:

The group I'm in is slightly sloppy, but we use the center of any square the flankers occupy.

AA_
AA_
_XX
_XX
___
_BB
_BB

Would be valid because a line from the center of the top right corner square of B to the top right corner of A goes through X even though the line from the center of A to the center of B doesn't go through the center of X.

No.

AAoooo
AAoooo
ooEEoo
ooEEoo
ooBBoo
ooBBoo

is not a flank.

The line must go from the exact center of attacker A to the exact center of attacker B.

Edit: Erf.

Exception: If a flanker takes up more than 1 square, it gets the flanking bonus if any square it occupies counts for flanking.

So yeah, it's a flank.


Quantum Steve wrote:

I just realized the error we both made. The trick is lines drawn from the center of the attackers have to pass through opposite sides.

Even if you're standing in the corner, unless your ally is in the opposite corner, the line from your center will pass, not through the corner, but the side of your square.

That's fine -- it still passes through opposite sides of borders since corners count too.

It doesn't have to pass through the defender at all, just opposite sides of its border with corners counting too.


This entire thread is interesting. Indeed, I think we should have a faq about this. For flanking counts the square where you are or the square where you can land your attack? This can be legit. I will post a better example tomorrow.


AlecStorm wrote:
For flanking counts the square where you are or the square where you can land your attack?

This is already covered.

1) you must threaten the potentially Flanked target, otherwise you don´t exist for purposes of Flanking.
2) the line between your position and your flanking partner´s position must pass thru opposite sides/corner.

the other possibilities for lines between allies (which don´t qualify as Flanking) are:
line passes thru adjacent(touching) sides, and line doesn´t pass thru sides of target at all


Abraham spalding wrote:
Quantum Steve wrote:

I just realized the error we both made. The trick is lines drawn from the center of the attackers have to pass through opposite sides.

Even if you're standing in the corner, unless your ally is in the opposite corner, the line from your center will pass, not through the corner, but the side of your square.

That's fine -- it still passes through opposite sides of borders since corners count too.

It doesn't have to pass through the defender at all, just opposite sides of its border with corners counting too.

It can't possibly pass only through the defender's border. You have to draw a line from the center of one square to the center of another. Since it neither starts nor ends along the border of a square, this line can't run straight along a border of any square.

Aooo
oEEo
oEEo
ooBo

A straight line drawn from the center of A to the center of B does not pass through any of the corners of E. Nor does it pss through opposite sides.
If the line started at one of the corners of A and continued to one of the corners of B (like for determining cover) then it could pass through a corner and an opposite side. But that's not how the line is drawn.

Aooo
oEEo
oEEo
Booo

A straight line drawn from the center of A to the center of B does not touch the border of E at all. Despite that both A and B are adjacent to corners on opposite sides of E, the straight line drawn from the center of A to the center of B does not touch those corners.


It doesn't have to pass through any corners of E. It only has to pass through the borders on opposite sides, including corners.


Don´t the rules for cover say you can use any corner you want for determining cover only for Reach weapons?
At the least, it would make sense to unify the rules so at least Reach Weapon Flanking used that rule as well.
Besides actual changes to game-play, unified rules for stuff based around the same idea is just a good idea.

The example does show how finnicky the current rules are with regards to diagonal Flanking.
I think using Hexes removes that inequality re: corners vs. sides, but as pointed out, if the end-points of the line are more flexible then even square grids no longer have that inequality.

-----------------------

EDIT:

Quote:

Aooo

oEEo
oEEo
Booo

A straight line drawn from the center of A to the center of B does not touch the border of E at all. Despite that both A and B are adjacent to corners on opposite sides of E, the straight line drawn from the center of A to the center of B does not touch those corners.

So the point there is that the corners they are next to are not opposite corners, but adjacent corners... even though each corner touches an opposite side of the target, the sides aren´t crossed by the line.


Quandary wrote:

*

*
*
Quote:

Aooo
oEEo
oEEo
Booo

A straight line drawn from the center of A to the center of B does not touch the border of E at all. Despite that both A and B are adjacent to corners on opposite sides of E, the straight line drawn from the center of A to the center of B does not touch those corners.

So the point there is that the corners they are next to are not opposite corners, but adjacent corners... even though each corner touches an opposite side of the target, the sides aren´t crossed by the line.

The point is that the line doesn't even touch the enemy. The line can't cross any sides if it doesn't even touch them. A and B both touch the enemy, but the LINE doesn't.

Abe:

Aooo
oEEo
oEEo
oooB

This is the ONLY configuration in which A and B (both medium creatures with 5' reach) flank if A stands in that square. If B moves, the line between them no long crosses opposite sides (even if you count corners of those sides.)
Agreed?


The line doesn't have to touch the enemy. It only has to pass through is borders by RAW and the borders include the corners, as per the rules quote I provided, it doesn't say that corners have to pass through both opposite borders, only anopposite border.

Now what you say does make sense, but it doesn't hold up to the if then statement of flanking.


Abraham spalding wrote:

The line doesn't have to touch the enemy. It only has to pass through is borders by RAW and the borders include the corners, as per the rules quote I provided, it doesn't say that corners have to pass through both opposite borders, only anopposite border.

Now what you say does make sense, but it doesn't hold up to the if then statement of flanking.

It does follow the if/then statement for flanking. I just can't seem to get my point across clearly.

In this example

A and B don't flank because the line doesn't pass through opposite borders. The line passes through adjacent borders (left and bottom.)

In this example

A and B don't flank because the line doesn't pass through opposite borders. The line doesn't even touch the enemy's squares.

In this example

A and B do flank because the line does pass through opposite borders. As you point out, corners count as part of the border.


I think our differences is that I could the corner square as the corner, as that means the border is four squares long instead of two for a large creature (3 squares long for a medium creature..

I can see how that might not be the way it is supposed to be though.


Abraham spalding wrote:

I think our differences is that I could the corner square as the corner, as that means the border is four squares long instead of two for a large creature (3 squares long for a medium creature..

I can see how that might not be the way it is supposed to be though.

If you count the whole square as the corner, you can't not flank a medium creature as long as you're both adjacent to it, since any orthogonal border would actually be the border of 3 different sides.

It's possible that you can't not flank a medium creature as long as you both threaten it (I haven't worked out all the possibilities of reach.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Quantum Steve wrote:
It's possible that you can't not flank a medium creature as long as you both threaten it (I haven't worked out all the possibilities of reach.

...which is why the so-called border is not the set of squares surrounding the creature, but the outline of the occupied squares... what is exactly what you suggested.

Still, flanking when having reach can lead to some... interesting tactical setups (my old Iron Kingdoms group was given the GM nightmares; one acrobatic (Satyxi) fighter/rogue with spiked chain (which had reach in 3.5), one large (ogrun) character with an exotic polearm granting him 15' reach, still threatening all closer squares, plus another rogue... Yeah for flanking!

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Paizo should engage a lawyer for exact wordings hehe.

I still think flanking is about drawing a straight line between two haracters and the oponent has to be on that line to be flanked.
In some of the above examples that line looks more like a concave one.

axxx........axx
xoob........xob
xoob........xbb
xbbb

b shows the position for a possible flanking partner for a.

Corners in this case means more like it don´t has to be the exact opposite behind the oponent, but it can be inside a corner of him.
The line has to go through the oponent directly though i guess.

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