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So is flanking foil considered to be overpowered by a lot of folks?


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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I agree that it should only apply to flanking SA.
Apart from that I like the feat. Not in a "I'm taking this" way but in a "interesting idea" way.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Okay, I am in the definitely "bigwhoopitydoo" camp.

I cannot envision a build that requires this feat.

Qadira RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, Contributor

It's a situational defensive ability. If a player has trouble with rogues in game this might be interesting. The only way I can see it being a problem is if you have an abusive GM who wants to punish a player. The solution there is get rid of the GM. You are certainly not going to see gobs of NPCs with this feat in pre-written adventures.


blackbloodtroll wrote:

Okay, I am in the definitely "bigwhoopitydoo" camp.

I cannot envision a build that requires this feat.

Could be worth it for a sword'n'board BSF who wants to maximise his AC and has to much feats in his hand. This feat also works well with Whirlwind Attack. Other than that...


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This is a poorly written and underpowered feat. No "real" PC or NPC would ever take this feat because it is so situational.

This feat is for GMs who want to throw in an occasional curveball to the group, in this case to mess with the group's rogue. I don't see a problem with that approach.


Quandary wrote:

right. how about: you hit a caster, their spells don't affect you for 1 round.

if they use a wand that would work because it's not their own spell/class ability.
no pre-req of course.

Let's compare:

Flanking Foil:
A feat that shuts down a single feature (remember, Rogues also get talents, trapfinding, skills and stuff like that*) from a single base class (out of 18), a single feature from a pair of base class archetypes (Vivisection is very popular, though sandman bard is virtually unknown) and roughly zero monsters that don't have levels of the aforementioned classes. And it's not as if Rogues are especially common. I think most people know they suck--that's why Vivisectionist is so popular.

Your proposition:
A feat that shuts down the primary feature of 6 classes (out of 18--that's 1/3), a very important-to-possibly-primary feature of 4 additional classes, and a major-but-rarely-critical aspect of 2 more (in all, it affects 2/3 of all classes to some degree), and a major-to-primary aspect of dozens upon dozens of monsters, including/especially iconic ones like dragons and liches. Plus I'm being generous and assuming equal distribution here--the non-magical classes get a big bump from including a class that practically nobody plays, like the Cavalier.

I think a much more comparable feat would be something that shuts down Channeling, Raging, Smiting, or Hexes. Would a feat that shuts down one of those things bother you? I mean, don't forget, the primary usage for feats is by players against monsters. You're not going to encounter, I don't know, displacer beasts with Flanking Foil for example. Only those with class levels would reasonably have said feat--and only then, if they were bad at picking feats or were a thug enforcer for a thieves' guild or something where you expect to face sneak attackers consistently.

Don't take this to mean I think it's a well designed feat or anything. In fact, I think it's terribly designed, because nobody will ever take it in a real situation. If anyone has this on their sheet as a feat they took while leveling rather than something put on a specific bad guy to screw with Rogues or as something you spontaneously add with a broken spell like Paragon Surge, I will eat my hat.

I'm just saying you should maybe move your righteous anger away from the Flanking Foil feat and Gms that don't ban it, and instead, move it where it belongs: at whoever designed a class as crappy as the Rogue that relies on a feature as crappy as Sneak Attack.

Flanking Foil feels like a slap in the face to those it affects, but only because they're already relying on a sucky ability to get stuff done. When Flanking Foil is a feat worth taking (i.e. when Sneak Attack is something people are afraid of enough to spend a feat to stop it), then we'll talk about fixing the feat. If things stay the same in regards to Sneak Attack and the feat gets nerfed, it will literally become a waste of ink, because nobody will bother to put it on niche enemies or even turn it on with Paragon Surge and features like that.

*Yes, I know that Rogues are pretty much all about Sneak Attack because their other features suck. But again, that's more about the general state of the Rogue--they're other features aren't supposed to be sucky, they just unfortunately are.


IMHO this feat is not OP, but I don't think that it's a waste of a feat either. It's not a good feat (at least, not Power-Attack good), sure, but it does have its uses.

It is strange how people in this thread are only criticizing the effectiveness of Flanking Foil on its ability to negate Sneak Attack (something that should not happen too frequently). I mean, is preventing one or more of your opponents from getting a +2 bonus on attack rolls against you without spending any kind of actions (because you were going to attack them anyway, right?) so bad? I guess it depends on the GM style. Do you fight only big solo monsters or do you get surrounded and flanked by mooks on a daily basis? If you are the only meleer in your party, chances are that you're going to be flanked more often than if you're in a group of 5 meleers.


Quandary wrote:

right. how about: you hit a caster, their spells don't affect you for 1 round.

if they use a wand that would work because it's not their own spell/class ability.
no pre-req of course.

Oh, you mean Spoiled Spellblast? Yeah, it is great for fighting spell casters and being Mage Hunter.


Just clarifying.
Begins rant
It shuts down SA for ONE TURN. If this is shutting down all your sneak attacks for the combat, that means:
YOU WERE GETTING HIT IN MELEE EVERY SINGLE TURN.

If at ANY point, you can NOT be hit by a melee attack, then your sneak attack is working just fine. Fight defensibly, get concealment, move to range, do something to change the situation. After ONE TURN of not being hit, you can sneak attack all you like.

calms down

ahem.... but if the DM is putting this on every monster and mook, and then chasing you around the battlefield, that means he is out to get you specifically. This is a problem all players can face, but it means you should talk to your DM. The feat is not the problem at that point.


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mplindustries wrote:

snip

Problem is, none of these other rogue abilities do anything in combat. The Witch still has spells when something is immune to her hex and channeling is NEVER done in combat (some variant channeling excepted) and the cleric has spells, and notice there IS a spell that shuts down a Barbarian's rage: It at least allows a will save, will likely hurt allies as well, and requires the caster concentrate (preventing him from casting spells) and it is STILL considered an amazing spell. Rogue has nothing to fall back on.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Again, at least for me, the issue isn't if it's balanced or not. The issue is the intention of the feat. When I first read it and was used against my rogue in a game I played, we had all assumed that it was only blocking sneak attacks from flanking. And with that, it was a pretty okay feat. Situational but not overpowered. I was still able to feint and sneak attack with my rogue. It just meant that I didn't get flank bonus and I had to work around the situation. And I'm alright with that. I like combat where I have to think and not have everything handed to me on a silver platter.

However, as Quandary pointed out, the case could be made that by RAW, it stops all sneak attacks. Whether it's from the Scout's movement ability, feinting, Dazzling Display, or any other non-flanking tactic to gain sneak attack, it'll stop it. I feel that this isn't the intention of the feat, since the feat is all about foiling getting surrounded. That's why I'd at least like a response from it, without bother James over in his thread over a rules issue. I personally am not a fan of no save, shut down abilities that don't give you any options of overcoming it (saves, AC, or just being a clever player). So I'm just looking to see if I'm right and honestly, I'm pretty sure that I am and that the intention was only for flanking sneak attacks.

Now take a drink for every time I said intention. :)

Qadira

So the npc/monster/pc has to attack the rogue and hit. Doesn't seem to be much of a prob, since rogues can get good AC with offensive defence or total defense or vanish or crane wing, or...... The monsters ignores the giant beat stick tearing it up that the rogue is flanking with.


StreamOfTheSky wrote:

Ok, when I said broken/overpowered, I meant it unbalances the game. I get that rogues aren't exactly a dangerous or common foe and thus taking the feat isn't a smart optimization move. I hope people can understand the difference.

It completely shuts down one of the already weakest classes in the game, the rogue.

PF massively nerfed ranged sneak attack opportunities because rogues were supposed to tumble into flanking for a dagger sneak attack. Or something. That's what I recall. Then Paizo goes and prints this feat, available at level 1, with no pre-reqs, that completely shuts the rogue down in melee. With no save or skill check or CMD or defense of any kind to resist. By giving an effect on par with Improved Uncanny Dodge, a mid level unique class feature to only a few classes.

That's kind of ****ed up, don't you think?

And that viewpoint is interpretting the feat as it was intended (not let you count as flanking for 1 round), not the strict RAW, which is even CRAZIER!

Read closely. Try to see what I'm talking about. Perhaps some bolding would help...

"...that opponent does not gain any flanking bonus on attack rolls while it is flanking you and cannot deal sneak attack damage to you."

Without adding, "by flanking" to the end of that sentence, strict RAW sounds to me like you just plain can't SA the guy by any means at that point.

In any case, there is no example of a primary class feature shut down that is both this intense, unavoidable/unresistable, AND available at such a low level and so easily. None. There's a fighter feat that requires 6 levels to add a measly +4 to concentration checks. There's anti-magic field, which isn't available till level 11 at the very earliest, has a good shot of messing up the person using it just as bad as his foe, and is restricted to a meager 10 ft radius around yourself, easy enough to run out of (and you can RAW toss Conjuration Creation effects into it from outside, iirc).
Even the Shapeshifter Foil feat has...

This isn't true. There is a save. Specifically, you have to hit the target for the feat to work.


Good thing attack always outpaced AC of even characters with a dedicated AC focus by a fairly huge margin and rogues were never high AC types.

Wait...


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
deuxhero wrote:

Good thing attack always outpaced AC of even characters with a dedicated AC focus by a fairly huge margin and rogues were never high AC types.

Wait...

Actually, even with fairly focused AC, the first attack of most fighter types can usually hit a creature. AC at later levels protects from the iterative attacks more often.


Which is what I just said.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Odraude wrote:
deuxhero wrote:

Good thing attack always outpaced AC of even characters with a dedicated AC focus by a fairly huge margin and rogues were never high AC types.

Wait...

Actually, even with fairly focused AC, the first attack of most fighter types can usually hit a creature. AC at later levels protects from the iterative attacks more often.

So this is something that applies after the first time you attacked it usually, unless the rogue is the front line ( has bigger problems than this feat). And even then, concealment, crane wing, scorpion styles feat chain just off the top of my head allows you to mitigate that to a reasonable degree.

The folks saying this feat is broken are really starting to sound like they are rabid fan boys. The kind who won't really listen to anything anyone says unless its agreement with them. I really hope that's not the case.

But seriously, its a weak feat, and its easily defeated multiple ways as has been stated, and most of those ways are not bad options for a rogue anyway and have far greater utility outside of just preventing the one feat.


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Axl wrote:
This is a poorly written and underpowered feat. No "real" PC or NPC would ever take this feat because it is so situational.

no real PC or NPC would ever have the War Domain? really?


Quandary wrote:
Axl wrote:
This is a poorly written and underpowered feat. No "real" PC or NPC would ever take this feat because it is so situational.
no real PC or NPC would ever have the War Domain? really?

That's different. It's still not taking the feat.

Something used only with that kind of ability is the definition of situational, not of overpowered.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Cards, Companion, Maps, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Every attack the opponent spends beating on the rogue is one more attack where he's ignoring the barbarian pounding him to death. Sucks to be the rogue, but it's probably a good result for the party.

The big problem comes if the rogue is the principal damage dealer, and depends on that sneak attack for most of the damage. That can happen (says the 'other half' of a rogue/monk pair; my extra damage comes from getting into flanking position for the rogue, with an occasional trip or stunning fist thrown in for good measure, and hoping we can stay upright long enough for the front-line heavy hitters to come and rescue us).


deuxhero wrote:
Problem is, none of these other rogue abilities do anything in combat. The Witch still has spells when something is immune to her hex and channeling is NEVER done in combat (some variant channeling excepted) and the cleric has spells, and notice there IS a spell that shuts down a Barbarian's rage: It at least allows a will save, will likely hurt allies as well, and requires the caster concentrate (preventing him from casting spells) and it is STILL considered an amazing spell. Rogue has nothing to fall back on.

Exactly. Let Witches/Sorcerors/Wizards/Clerics/Oracles use their (Su) Class Abilities. Last time I checked they get more of those than the Rogue. And since people brought up the idea of 'how many Rogues do you really encounter?', it actually seems pretty clear that the vast majority of NPCs are NOT casters. Mundane, including Rogues, are pretty much more common.

I think it would make more sense if it had the same level-based limit like Imp. Uncanny Dodge.


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double houserule it:

only prevents flanking sneak attacks (i agree this is the intention)

requires Combat Expertise (as Maerimydra points out it combos very nicely with Whirlwind Attack)

Qadira RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, Contributor

Odraude wrote:
Whether it's from the Scout's movement ability, feinting, Dazzling Display, or any other non-flanking tactic to gain sneak attack, it'll stop it.

It stops all sneak attacks for a round after you've hit them in melee... a scout's ability will never be affected. Similarly, there is a good chance you are using dazzling display when you aren't adjacent to the enemy. If you have total concealment, it's difficult to get hit, if you are sniping they can't hit you in melee, etc.

Saying it shuts down "All" sneak attacks ignores the very real limitation that you have to strike them in melee during the round.

As for intent, it's likely written the way it is for simplicity. Often it's better to ignore the edge cases and just write a more concise, simple rule.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Krigare wrote:
Odraude wrote:
deuxhero wrote:

Good thing attack always outpaced AC of even characters with a dedicated AC focus by a fairly huge margin and rogues were never high AC types.

Wait...

Actually, even with fairly focused AC, the first attack of most fighter types can usually hit a creature. AC at later levels protects from the iterative attacks more often.

So this is something that applies after the first time you attacked it usually, unless the rogue is the front line ( has bigger problems than this feat). And even then, concealment, crane wing, scorpion styles feat chain just off the top of my head allows you to mitigate that to a reasonable degree.

The folks saying this feat is broken are really starting to sound like they are rabid fan boys. The kind who won't really listen to anything anyone says unless its agreement with them. I really hope that's not the case.

But seriously, its a weak feat, and its easily defeated multiple ways as has been stated, and most of those ways are not bad options for a rogue anyway and have far greater utility outside of just preventing the one feat.

It's funny, because you guys are coming across a lot more like that with your dogpiling. Quandary and I aren't StreamoftheSky. We aren't calling people out (except when I did to RD).I just want the language cleaned up a bit and the intent known and both Quandary and I just want people to FAQ it so we can at least have a little insight on it. That's honestly it.

And I fail to see how Scorpion Style helps you not get hit, unless you meant to say Snake Style.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Dennis Baker wrote:
Odraude wrote:
Whether it's from the Scout's movement ability, feinting, Dazzling Display, or any other non-flanking tactic to gain sneak attack, it'll stop it.

It stops all sneak attacks for a round after you've hit them in melee... a scout's ability will never be affected. Similarly, there is a good chance you are using dazzling display when you aren't adjacent to the enemy. If you have total concealment, it's difficult to get hit, if you are sniping they can't hit you in melee, etc.

Saying it shuts down "All" sneak attacks ignores the very real limitation that you have to strike them in melee during the round.

As for intent, it's likely written the way it is for simplicity. Often it's better to ignore the edge cases and just write a more concise, simple rule.

Those are fair points honestly.


Quandary wrote:
Axl wrote:
This is a poorly written and underpowered feat. No "real" PC or NPC would ever take this feat because it is so situational.[/QUOTEno real PC or NPC would ever have the War Domain? really?

You seem to have screwed up the formatting. Is there a question directed to me?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Odraude wrote:
Krigare wrote:
Odraude wrote:
deuxhero wrote:

Good thing attack always outpaced AC of even characters with a dedicated AC focus by a fairly huge margin and rogues were never high AC types.

Wait...

Actually, even with fairly focused AC, the first attack of most fighter types can usually hit a creature. AC at later levels protects from the iterative attacks more often.

So this is something that applies after the first time you attacked it usually, unless the rogue is the front line ( has bigger problems than this feat). And even then, concealment, crane wing, scorpion styles feat chain just off the top of my head allows you to mitigate that to a reasonable degree.

The folks saying this feat is broken are really starting to sound like they are rabid fan boys. The kind who won't really listen to anything anyone says unless its agreement with them. I really hope that's not the case.

But seriously, its a weak feat, and its easily defeated multiple ways as has been stated, and most of those ways are not bad options for a rogue anyway and have far greater utility outside of just preventing the one feat.

It's funny, because you guys are coming across a lot more like that with your dogpiling. Quandary and I aren't StreamoftheSky. We aren't calling people out (except when I did to RD).I just want the language cleaned up a bit and the intent known and both Quandary and I just want people to FAQ it so we can at least have a little insight on it. That's honestly it.

And I fail to see how Scorpion Style helps you not get hit, unless you meant to say Snake Style.

Stupid tablet.

Yeah, I meant snake. Been a long day.

And I know your looking for clarification, but the way your going about it still seems like your screaming "the sky is falling" Could just be me. Might have to do with bringing up situations that this feat doesn't effect and acting like they do.

Meh.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

... I think you forgot to write something there ;)

EDIT There we go. Honestly, I don't think the sky is going to fall or the world is going to end. And I'm certainly not going to walk out of a GM's game for it.


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I like how everyone is looking at it as, "this feat would be a waste to any PC I could think of..." and think that makes it ok.

It's a feat that exists for a DM to **** over a rogue PC, hard.

And there's nothing wrong with having countermeasures. The problem is how stupidly GOOD this one is for the requirements. How is the rogue not getting hit in melee? By avoiding melee? Then how is he sneak attacking? If he is at range out of fear of thi feat and can't sneak attack, it's not really much better than being in melee and unable to sneak attack.
Even if he can reliably get sneak attacks from range, how is he keeping the foe off of him? Apparently Shroedinger's rogue has a reach weapon... Even then, it's an AoO and then he hits you. Pin Down is fighter exclusive, dazing assault is lolno high BAB requisite, and rogue has no chance in hell of tripping. You cannot stop the guy from closing with you.

This feat has zero pre-reqs. It automatically affects the rogue. "Needing to hit", whatever, like he wasn't trying to do that anyway. And again, similar abilities, like the Shapeshifter Foil feat (which ALSO has mildly tough pre-reqs!) requires you to do damage AND gives a save!

And it's superior to a mid-level unique class feature, it has no level limits like Imp. Uncanncy Dodge.

It is a broken feat. It is way too good and easily accesible compared to similar feats and abilities.

And there exist enough "gain a feat spontaneously" options in the rules that being so narrow is hardly a restriction, either.
(Why is it when people decry feats like the one that gives an extra +2 to keen senses for being so small and narrow, everyone jumps to defend it? Oh right, fan boys...like I'm being accused of being...)

It doesn't matter that there are other easy ways to screw over sneak attack (which I don't like, either). They CAN be countered. There is in fact a feat to sneak attack in concealment, as well as the Seeking bow property. And those abilities are easier to deal with. A smokestick? Seriously? It's like a 5 ft freaking square! Just engage the foe away from it. If he wants to keep wasting standards dropping more, let him. I can't believe that was an actual counter-argument...

It doesn't matter if it's not a useful feat for a PC build. It breaks game balance, and is plainly superior to similar abilities. And it targets a class that already is weak. Why ISN'T there a feat that if you hit a caster w/ a melee attack, he just plain can't cast spells against you next round? Why is melee combat potentially more dangerous to the rogue than the wizard? How the hell did that happen? Even grapple concentration checks, insane as they are, still offer some possible chance of resisting. (My favorite form of "concentration check in a grapple" is "I'm a Teleportation Wizard. Suck it.", of course)


Dennis Baker wrote:

It stops all sneak attacks for a round after you've hit them in melee... a scout's ability will never be affected. Similarly, there is a good chance you are using dazzling display when you aren't adjacent to the enemy. If you have total concealment, it's difficult to get hit, if you are sniping they can't hit you in melee, etc.

Saying it shuts down "All" sneak attacks ignores the very real limitation that you have to strike them in melee during the round.

As for intent, it's likely written the way it is for simplicity. Often it's better to ignore the edge cases and just write a more concise, simple rule.

a scout certainly can be affected... just because you are POSSIBLY still adjacent to them (of course, they could have moved after hitting you) doesn't mean you can't spend 10' of movement and then attack them. the same would apply to this dazzling display case - they aren't necessarily adjacent to you after hitting you. the wording prevents one from using (having cast on you) Invisibility AFTER they hit you, and getting Sneak Attack from it. getting hit while youre Invisible is pretty easy when your opponent has Blind Fight/Imp BlindFight and/or Scent... yet you would normally still be able to Sneak Attack them in that scenario. these aren't really all that corner of cases, any Rogue probably has several strategies to get Sneak Attack independent of Flanking. (you didn't comment on Feinting SA)

regardless, it's evading the issue: if the INTENT is to only affect flanking Sneak Attacks, what does it matter if it's 'rather rare' to get Sneak Attack from some other means? why can't the rules be good enough to cover 'rare' cases? is the RAW expressing intent or not, that is the issue. making this clear wouldn't make the Feat particularly more complicated, you just specify the SA that is negated as 'from Flanking'. 2 words. of 'Flanking SA'. 1 word more.

i find it very interesting that the Shapeshifter Foil, with an obviously parallel name, DOES have a Save.


Wait, there's people who actually like it negating all sources of sneak attack?!!!


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

ok, lets break this down in piecemeal.

Flanking Foil (Combat).
Fighting multiple foes is easy for you.
Benefit: Whenever you hit an adjacent opponent with a melee attack,

Ok, so part one, the rogue has to be adjacent. Not within reach, adjacent. So reach weapons don't do it, the giant with 20 foot reach hitting you at 20 feet doesn't do it. Adjacent. As in, next to. So...if your not adjacent, this feat has no effect Also, you have to be hit, so any of the myriad ways to avoid a hit will protect you. Miss chance, Crane Wing, Snake Styles feat chain, just a high enough AC (fighting defensively anyone?) can do it.

until the start of your next turn, that opponent does not gain any flanking bonus on attack rolls while it is flanking you and cannot deal sneak attack damage to you. It can still provide a flank for its allies.

Ok, so if your hit by an adjacent foe with this feat, you can't flank or sneak attack them. Just that one critter/person with the feat. Says nothing about you sneak attacking their allies, doing other actions, nothing.

So unless your the only one in melee (at which point, why is a DM using this except to hose you, and that has nothing at all to do with this feat) you have options even if you do get hit for other things to do.

Sounds like melee specialists in a ranged fight, casters vs golems, I mean, cmon, its not like other classes don't have counters as well, and a lot of times those are hard counters that don't require feats.

If your running into situations where every mob has this, its a DM issue. On the occasional mob, its not that bad, there are ways to avoid it (unless the mob is ignoring everyone else to go after you, and at that point, maybe your DM hates you, see above) which is a big reason I don't get the big deal.


StreamOfTheSky wrote:
I like how everyone is looking at it as, "this feat would be a waste to any PC I could think of..." and think that makes it ok.

That's not at all how everyone is looking at it.

StreamOfTheSky wrote:


It's a feat that exists for a DM to **** over a rogue PC, hard.

Yes, and used sparingly, it would work fine. It's no more powerful than Uncanny Dodge & Improved Uncanny Dodge. (Actually it's much less powerful.)


It's more powerful than Imp. Uncanny Dodge, it does not have its restrictions on level difference. And it does not require class levels or being above level 1 to even take.

There is no other effect that nerfs a single class so massively with such an utter lack of cost, requirement, or drawback. In the entire game.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion Subscriber
StreamOfTheSky wrote:

It's more powerful than Imp. Uncanny Dodge, it does not have its restrictions on level difference. And it does not require class levels or being above level 1 to even take.

There is no other effect that nerfs a single class so massively with such an utter lack of cost, requirement, or drawback. In the entire game.

Oozes, incorporeal undead, elementals.

/thread


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So spending a feat slot is no cost, requirement or drawback.

Needing to be adjacent and hit is not a cost, requirement, or drawback.

Stream, you have actually read the feat right? If you have, please, stop posting stuff that flat out isn't true.


Didn't SKR write an article about how absolutes are poor game design, and you should always try to design things so they work gradationally and don't just give complete immunity or completely shut things down. I know he's said in the past that it is one of the things he strives against, although it appears there's been lots of times where he has been unable to convince others at Paizo to follow the same design principles.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Cards, Companion, Maps, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Krigare wrote:

ok, lets break this down in piecemeal.

Flanking Foil (Combat).
Fighting multiple foes is easy for you.
Benefit: Whenever you hit an adjacent opponent with a melee attack,
until the start of your next turn, that opponent does not gain any flanking bonus on attack rolls while it is flanking you and cannot deal sneak attack damage to you. It can still provide a flank for its allies.

Ok, so if your hit by an adjacent foe with this feat, you can't flank or sneak attack them. Just that one critter/person with the feat. Says nothing about you sneak attacking their allies, doing other actions, nothing.

It does, however, say that you can't gain any bonus from flanking. That is not limited to attacks made on the opponent with the feat - if you attack somebody else, you're still denied a flanking bonus. I presume this is intentional, as specific mention is made of still providing a flank for your allies (plural, my emphasis), so when the rules were written the devs did take into account the possibility of you having multiple flanking partners.


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Krigare wrote:
So spending a feat slot is no cost, requirement or drawback.

No more than spending on any other feat or a spell is a cost, requirement, or drawback.

Let's go back to Antimagic Field, the best "screw casters" feature. It costs the spell slot you use to cast it, and possibly a spell known, depending on what sort of caster you are.

That is not it's drawback.

Its drawback is that it shuts off the magic for YOU, as well. And if you can use 6th or 8th level spells (depending on class) to cast it in the first place, you are absolutely facing a drawback there. This helps keep it from being crazy broken; most who can use it don't want to most of the time because it's simply not worth the drawback.
It also isnt available until 10 levels after this feat is.

Do you see the difference? AMF has a powerful effect, a high level requirement, and a powerful drawback. Flanking Foil has a powerful (albeit narrow) effect, a LOW level "requirement", and no drawback.

Krigare wrote:
Needing to be adjacent and hit is not a cost, requirement, or drawback.

No more than needing to be within 10 ft and staying on the person is a cost, requirement, or drawback of AMF, no. Obviously a melee brute is going to take this, not a dainty elf wizard. "Needing" to engage in melee is a pathetic drawback for a melee feat. And even if the guy has long natural reach, moving adjacent is a smart move. The PC can just 5 ft step in most likely anyway, and if you're further in your reach than its outer limit, you shut down Withdraw as an option ot disengage safely. When I DM, I basically always have my long reach monsters with some thinking power intentionally move in closer than they need to for just that reason... It's just good basic tactics to pin a guy to melee who doesn't want to be there.

Krigare wrote:
Stream, you have actually read the feat right? If you have, please, stop posting stuff that flat out isn't true.

Man, and people throw a fit when I'm just playfully sarcastic...


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

@John, no, it says the creature hit gains no bonus from flanking you. It can go flank someone else just fine. It still counts as being there for its allies if it doesn't move away.

@Stream: Look man, Its obvious you think the feat is overpowered, and nothing anyone says will change your mind. Yes, this feat totally shuts down a lone rogue, or a rogue that is trying to pretend to be a fighter who wants to stand and trade blows with something. It is one feat. A very situational feat that has to compete with feats that are much, much more useful and practical. To the point of being on par with monster feats, if your not one, and don't gain any monstrous abilities, they kinda aren't that great. So, again, if you as a player run into this a lot, it is an issue with the DM, not the feat. About like if the party full of casters runs into a lot of antimagic fields and golems.

And yes, in a game with limited feat slots, such a narrow focused feat is a limitation, not an advantage. Yes, having to be adjacent to you is a requirement, having to hit you is a requirement. This feat is no where near as powerful as your trying to make it seem. So no, I wasn't being sarcastic, I was being serious. I really do wonder if you read the feat.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

This has come up before. And I maintain what I said back then:

Ross Byers wrote:

Most foes won't have this feat.

If you don't get hit, you can continue to deal sneak attack damage.

Even if you do get hit, you can use some other sneak-attack enabling mechanism besides flanking, such as feinting or becoming invisible.

Ross Byers wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:

Rogues don't generally have great AC so hitting them is not that hard. Feinting is a standard action without feat, and becoming invisible is not that easy. It is also less effective at higher levels.

I understand what you are saying, and I know the feat is not one everyone will take, but it is one more dagger in the rogue's back.

Most feats are a dagger in somebody's back.

Look at all the stars that have to align for this feat to do anything:

  • The bad guy has to have the feat
  • He has to attack the rogue
  • He has to hit
  • The rogue has to succeed on his attack against the bad guy.

Basically, if your foes had other feats they'd like to take, or they decide the wizard is a bigger threat, or they cast spells instead of attacking, or they miss you, or they have a great AC so you're missing anyway, then it doesn't matter.

It only matters to a rogue who is standing adjacent and taking damage every turn. Last time I checked that's a bad time for a rogue even without this feat.

It doesn't invalidate rogues any more than fortification armor does. Or Disruptive and it's friends invalidate wizards. Or wind wall invalidates archers.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Cards, Companion, Maps, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Krigare wrote:
@John, no, it says the creature hit gains no bonus from flanking you. It can go flank someone else just fine. It still counts as being there for its allies if it doesn't move away.

It says more than that; it doesn't say the denial of flanking bonus is tied to my attacking a particular opponent, just that it is denied to me (although not to any flanking partners) while I am flanking that opponent.

Consider the following arrangement. In a straight line we have:


  • Ally "A"
  • Opponent "B" (with Flanking Foil)
  • Me
  • Opponent "C"
  • Ally "D"

Opponent B hits me, so the conditions for Flanking Foil are met.
On my turn I don't move, and I choose to try and hit opponent C.

By RAW, because I'm still flanking opponent B, I'm denied any flanking bonus on the attack.

Edit: Of course, if ally "A" moves away before my turn, I'm no longer flanking "B", so I would get the flanking bonus to my attack.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Cards, Companion, Maps, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

At this point I think I've convinced myself that the behaviour I describe above probably isn't RAI. But it is what RAW says.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
JohnF wrote:
Krigare wrote:
@John, no, it says the creature hit gains no bonus from flanking you. It can go flank someone else just fine. It still counts as being there for its allies if it doesn't move away.

It says more than that; it doesn't say the denial of flanking bonus is tied to my attacking a particular opponent, just that it is denied to me (although not to any flanking partners) while I am flanking that opponent.

Consider the following arrangement. In a straight line we have:


  • Ally "A"
  • Opponent "B" (with Flanking Foil)
  • Me
  • Opponent "C"
  • Ally "D"

Opponent B hits me, so the conditions for Flanking Foil are met.
On my turn I don't move, and I choose to try and hit opponent C.

By RAW, because I'm still flanking opponent B, I'm denied any flanking bonus on the attack.

Edit: Of course, if ally "A" moves away before my turn, I'm no longer flanking "B", so I would get the flanking bonus to my attack.

Yes, if you just stand there and don't alter the situation, it can screw you over. Its possible even in a melee like that for a 5 foot adjustment to invalidate this feat.

Its such a situational feat, you pretty much need to a) be the DM and b) really create a situation it can't be easily mitigated before this feat even starts to be as bad as so many people are making it out to be.

And it has been pointed out several times that DM's doing this as more than an oddball occurrence are the problem in those situations, not the feat itself.


After thinking about it, I think this feat is fine. It's suboptimal for a PC, which might be a problem. But for a DM, it's just another tool to balance encounters.

On one hand you might look at it as "There's already X, Y, Z abilities that negates sneak attack, why do we have to pile on another?" And if your DM is using all of them, then yes, adding on another is a problem. But say your DM wants to throw off your go-to tactic of flanking. Now, instead of looking at his options and saying "Hm, I guess I'll throw in a monster with all-around vision" he can instead go with this feat, which is at least conditional.

Though the feat really could use some errata. Besides reading as though the user cannot be sneak attacked at all by the target, it doesn't negate flanking bonuses other than the attack bonus and sneak attack. So if I had the ability to deal extra damage to a target while flanking, I'd keep that bonus, which I think goes against the intent of the feat.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ross Byers wrote:

This has come up before. And I maintain what I said back then:

Ross Byers wrote:

Most foes won't have this feat.

If you don't get hit, you can continue to deal sneak attack damage.

Even if you do get hit, you can use some other sneak-attack enabling mechanism besides flanking, such as feinting or becoming invisible.

Ross Byers wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:

Rogues don't generally have great AC so hitting them is not that hard. Feinting is a standard action without feat, and becoming invisible is not that easy. It is also less effective at higher levels.

I understand what you are saying, and I know the feat is not one everyone will take, but it is one more dagger in the rogue's back.

Most feats are a dagger in somebody's back.

Look at all the stars that have to align for this feat to do anything:

  • The bad guy has to have the feat
  • He has to attack the rogue
  • He has to hit
  • The rogue has to succeed on his attack against the bad guy.

Basically, if your foes had other feats they'd like to take, or they decide the wizard is a bigger threat, or they cast spells instead of attacking, or they miss you, or they have a great AC so you're missing anyway, then it doesn't matter.

It only matters to a rogue who is standing adjacent and taking damage every turn. Last time I checked that's a bad time for a rogue even without this feat.

It doesn't invalidate rogues any more than fortification armor does. Or Disruptive and it's friends invalidate wizards. Or wind wall invalidates archers.

Your post in that thread here actually answers my question fully. I had figured that it only stops sneak attacks from flanking and that you could use feinting, turning invisible, etc. So thank you, I am happy now. :)


Krigare wrote:

Its funny. The feat has a cost, a rogue can do things to help mitigate it or avoid it entirely but its still broken?

Sooo...basically...if anything shuts down a class feature its broken? Flying creatures shut down a fighters melee attacks, must be broken. Golems shut down offensive casters, must be broken.

Its one feat, it requires them to hit you, and if your playing a rogue you should be smart enough to think of ways to mitigate the annoyance of this feat. It really isn't anywhere as near as bad as some folks make it out.

Barring a DM giving it to every creature or specifically targeting the rogue when there are better/more logical choices to target. But even then, that's an issue with a DM gunning for a player, its not really the feat at that point.

A class's main feature should not be negated "so easily".

Fly is a terrible example because melee fighting is not a fighter's main gimmick. Doing damage is, and they do it very well with archery.
Golems don't shutdown my casters. :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
wraithstrike wrote:
Krigare wrote:

Its funny. The feat has a cost, a rogue can do things to help mitigate it or avoid it entirely but its still broken?

Sooo...basically...if anything shuts down a class feature its broken? Flying creatures shut down a fighters melee attacks, must be broken. Golems shut down offensive casters, must be broken.

Its one feat, it requires them to hit you, and if your playing a rogue you should be smart enough to think of ways to mitigate the annoyance of this feat. It really isn't anywhere as near as bad as some folks make it out.

Barring a DM giving it to every creature or specifically targeting the rogue when there are better/more logical choices to target. But even then, that's an issue with a DM gunning for a player, its not really the feat at that point.

A class's main feature should not be negated "so easily".

Fly is a terrible example because melee fighting is not a fighter's main gimmick. Doing damage is, and they do it very well with archery.
Golems don't shutdown my casters. :)

For the sake of giggles, at this point this thread is more funny than anything else to me.

I did say fighter's melee attacks, yes, a fighter can use archery(or even focus on it), and do it well enough if they can't melee, the point I was trying to make is that they do have alternatives to turn to, tactically. Rogues should be smart enough to not be a 1 trick pony in a fight, they do have some versatility built in to the class.

Same thing with the golems and offensive casters. While not all will be, a good number of golems are almost immune to magic. A purely blaster focused caster is going to get shut down at that point. A more versatile caster, not so much...they have other things to rely on other than blowing it up. Ditto with rogues.

Sometimes contributing to combat will just mean absorbing a blow once or twice a round and providing flanking bonuses. Is it less than ideal...eh, somewhat. But if every single fight, everyone played the hero and saved the day, ruins some of the challenge.

Yes, its easy to get this feat. Less easy to utilize it consistently. As I've said, that requires a DM setting it up that way, and a player doing nothing to try and actually mitigate it. So, for an occasional fight? No worse than anything else immune/partially immune to sneak attacks. All the time? Your DM is obviously hating on something, talk to him make sure it isn't you.


Melee attacks are also not a class feature, and if a player does not have a ranged weapon or a backup melee weapon for certain occasions I don't feel sorry for him. That is something he can bypass.

Now honestly unless the GM goes out of his way this feat won't ruin a rogue. I just don't like the way it was written, and I don't like the idea of a 1st level nobody being able to avoid a rogue's sneak attack. Reggie the 25th level rogue is mocked by some lowly level 3 rogue that got a lucky hit it. No SA for Reggie. Ok so Reggie can probably kill the other rogue without SA, but that is not the point.

If you make a purely blasting caster it won't take a golem to make you wish you had different spells.

PS: Your examples are based on bad choices by players. If you had said the fighter's bonus feats were shut down, or the caster's spells(all of them) were completely shutdown with little to no loss to the opponent that would be better.


I found the SKR articles

Fewer Absolutes: Part 1
Fewer Aboslutes: Part 2

This feat seems to fall within the area of problematic d20 mechanics that Sean identifies and bemoans in these articles.

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