Avoiding sneak attacks by ignoring opponents?


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Shadow Lodge

I am all for the players, or rather the defender being able to defend against sneak attack. That has always been one of my biggest complaints about the 3E Rogue, that essentually the target can't do anything to get away from sneak attack. By that, I mean that any target, commoner or high wizard, should have some option to defend themselves. Sure, there are things some people can do like obs. mist, but that really isn't a good solution most of the time.

So, what do you think about anyone, just as a simple combat option, being able to ignor one attacker. The Ignored target continues to get the flank bonus, and also gets a +10 on all attacks, but does not count as flanking for other individuals. Another option might be to make it +5, and the other flanking creatures only get 1/2 or 1/4 of their bonus precision based damage, like Sneak attack. In either case, the Rogue, can make a special sort of feint, (or even a normal one) to overcome this, but it reduces their attack down to a single attack, regardless of success at the feint.


I responded before in an "old rules" perspective. In a nutshell, here's what I think:
Rules don't allow it because it's unfair to Rogues (again, cry me a river). Although, it's an absolutely realistic combat option. It's difficult though, because instinct would force a combatant to react to real or perceived danger. So . . .

House Rule: Allow it, but require a special Concentration check with a DC equal to 15 + 2 for each additional threat ignored. Doing so provokes an attack of opportunity from each ignored threat, the same way making a ranged attack when threatened does. If successful, a character can ignore the threat(s) and focus on a single creature. All ignored threats treat the character as flat-footed.

The second you think this can be abused, pit the character against two rogues and see what happens.

I don't think this approach would be unfair. There are already abilities in the game that give immunity to flank attacks and sneak attack (Barbarian, I'm talking about you). If a character can force him/herself to avert their gaze while fighting medusa, they can focus on one target.

Shadow Lodge

I agree. I don't think it is all that devistating to the rogue, and is certainly realistic, at least in my book. It adds another dimension to combat, and is easy to mix things up for those players that either metagame or use it to often.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

What's this thread doing in the rules questions forum? Its obviously discussing a house rule.

Dark Archive

Zurai wrote:
voorhees wrote:
It would mean your character is continually turning on the spot watching 360 degrees around him
This is the basic assumption of the 3rd edition combat rules. There is no facing in D&D. If a character were surrounded by 8 medusas, they would have to make 8 saves against the petrifying gazes (unless they averted their gaze or shut their eyes, of course). Since they take the penalties of having 360 degree vision, they also get the benefits of 360 degree vision -- one of which is being able to ready an attack against an invisible foe.

Exactly; now, unless 3.5 or PF RPG changed this (and somebody please quote the rules if this *has* changed), there is indeed no facing (AD&D had it, if I recall correctly after all these years, and it was a real pain to keep track of).

And, an invisible character or monster becomes visible when he/she/it attacks, before any rolls are made. So, to my knowledge, you *can* ready an attack against an invisible or ethereal creature by saying "I'll hit the Phase Spider/invisible rogue when attacks me and becomes visible" because there is no facing -- as long as you meet the conditions (it turns visible and is within range) you get a single attack before it attacks you. Just as you could ready an attack against an archer who uses 'Shot on the Run' (to pop around the corner, shoots, and then returns to the safety of full cover; practically invisible to you). The invisible attacker does *not*, by my understanding, catch you "off guard" (unless it flanks you and you don't have Uncanny Dodge), because you're trading your full attack for a readied standard action, i.e. you are "on guard" and actively looking for any signs of the unseen attacker (and waste a full attack if the enemy does something else than you've specified).


Lathiira wrote:
Thanks for the clarification. Mind you, I thought free actions for the most part could only be taken on your turn . . . .

This is correct. Free actions can only be taken on your turn, although the book suggests allowing free actions to talk out of turn. After all, in 3.5 core, quickened spells were free actions. Only immediate actions and speaking are allowed outside of your turn.

Liberty's Edge

kyrt-ryder wrote:
That is basically what some of us have been suggesting, except we offered an attack of opportunity and flatfootedness for as long as ignored as opposed to a 'surprise round' The only real difference is that the AoO eats one of your attacks of opportunity for the round. Your choice how you handle it.

I somehow missed the suggestion of using AoO for this situation...so thank you for pointing that out.

In thinking on it more, I do agree with you. An AoO does makes more sense than an extra 'surprise round'.

If a PC blatently ignores a monster during a round, the monster is granted the option to take an AoE. At that instance, the PC is considered to have the flat-footed condition to the monster for one round. If the monster also has an ally in the correct flanking position, the monster (but not the ally) both gain a +2 flanking bonus.

Sounds like a winner to me.


Dennis da Ogre wrote:
Except, you are completely ignoring Chris Self's argument that the value of a flanker is much greater than the actual threat he presents individually.

That's it; I'm done. If people have nothing better to do than troll me and be insulting to me and lie about me, all because I posted a house rule, then there's no reason for me to continue in this thread. No one appears interested in a civil discourse, instead just demonizing me. Fine, have your "Zurai is a devil!" party all by yourselves.


Jabor wrote:

This appears to be answered satisfactorily by Blake's houserule.

If the monkey attempts to disarm you, you can either stop ignoring it as a free action and prevent it grabbing your sword (while opening you up to sneak attacks from the rogue), or just keep ignoring it and let it take it (presumably auto-hit-and-critical-threat also applies to combat maneuver success), while stopping the rogue sneak attacking you.

You need to look up the word SYNERGY.

Player: "I ignore the monkey"
GM: "The monkey misses"
GM: "The monkey misses"
GM: "The monkey misses"
GM: "The monkey misses"
GM "The monkey is pulling the sword out of your hand"
Player: "Oh well I un-ignore him"

So basically the only time the monkey has any effect on combat is when he would actually do some significant harm. You completely discard any synergy the two allies should gain and allow the defender to treat the threats individually rather than as a team.

Weaksauce.

I'll stick with RAW which is both simpler and frankly a better model of the situation (generally a rare thing).

PS: If the flanker is such a non-threat to the defender then why doesn't he take one or two attacks out of a full attack action to eliminate it?


Dennis da Ogre wrote:
Jabor wrote:

This appears to be answered satisfactorily by Blake's houserule.

If the monkey attempts to disarm you, you can either stop ignoring it as a free action and prevent it grabbing your sword (while opening you up to sneak attacks from the rogue), or just keep ignoring it and let it take it (presumably auto-hit-and-critical-threat also applies to combat maneuver success), while stopping the rogue sneak attacking you.

You need to look up the word SYNERGY.

Player: "I ignore the monkey"
GM: "The monkey misses"
GM: "The monkey misses"
GM: "The monkey misses"
GM: "The monkey misses"
GM "The monkey is pulling the sword out of your hand"
Player: "Oh well I un-ignore him"

So basically the only time the you discard any synergy the two allies should gain from flanking and the defender only has to worry about the flanker when he would actually do some significant harm. Totally ignoring the whole teamwork aspect of flanking.

Weaksauce.

I'll stick with RAW which is both simpler and frankly a better model of the situation (generally a rare thing).

Well, the RAW is good...

But, if Jet Li is about to cut my head off with a sword while a chihuahua humps my leg, I think I will ignore the mutt...

The RAW should only give flanking when both attackers are a credible threat to the creature they are flanking. Technically, RAW lets you throw a trained cockroach (no, not giant cockroach, just a normal one) behind me while you attack from the front and suddenly you (and the cockroach) get a flanking bonus when you attack me.

I don't think too many DMs would let you get away with the trained attack cockroach. What about a chihuahua? What about a ferret? Monkey? Dog? What if I am a tarrasque, does your CR 1 dog grant you flanking bonus when it cannot possibly penetrate my DR even on a max critical hit? What about a CR 1 farmer with a pitchfork? Or even a CR 4 city guard with a +1 sword? None of them can even hurt a tarrasque (I should know) so why would any of them grant you a flanking bonus?

Where do you draw the line?

As for me, I draw the line at whatever the defender believes is not a credible threat. If the defender wants to ignore it, then it doesn't grant flanking. Maybe it really is a non-threat. Maybe it will spend the whole fight chipping its teeth on the tarrasque's armored toes. If so, then the defender was right to ignore it. Then again, maybe it really is a credible threat and it will take advantage of those automatic critical threats and do some real damage - that will teach the defender to be more picky about who or what he ignores next time, if he survives.

Whatever your dog, or farmer, does, it surely will not crawl up the tarrasque's leg, climb up onto its head, burrow in through an armored eardrum, tunnel into the tarrasque's armored brain, and administer a coup de grace from the inside out - not even a really well trained dog or farmer would be able to do that.


Jabor wrote:

This appears to be answered satisfactorily by Blake's houserule.

If the monkey attempts to disarm you, you can either stop ignoring it as a free action and prevent it grabbing your sword (while opening you up to sneak attacks from the rogue), or just keep ignoring it and let it take it (presumably auto-hit-and-critical-threat also applies to combat maneuver success), while stopping the rogue sneak attacking you.

Plus, giving any enemy a free natural 20 on the first hit is a dangerous thing for us. We use the 3.x critical death alternate rule where two natty 20s and a confirm is instant death. Our full plate and shield dwarf got his throat ripped out by a goblin dog during the first adventure a couple of weeks ago.

This would also solve the two Rogues problem. Giving one of the Rogues a free pass to grapple, trip or disarm you is not putting you in a better position. If the ignored flanker is a 1st level Persistant Blade spell (SPC) or something similar that doesn't have the ability to perform combat manuevers on you then, yeah, free possible crit, roll to confirm with +2 (I'd probably go +4) and an attack of opportunity (if capable) would certainly be too dangerous for anyone to attempt in out game unless they were absolutely desperate. If the ignored flanker rolled a natural 20 on any of his confirm crits, all he'd need to do it hit your AC with a +4 bonus on his attack and you're dead dead deadski.

Navdi wrote:
What's this thread doing in the rules questions forum? Its obviously discussing a house rule.

It started out a rules question. It gravitated towards what others have done to take this situation into account (i.e. house rules).

Zurai wrote:
Dennis da Ogre wrote:
Except, you are completely ignoring Chris Self's argument that the value of a flanker is much greater than the actual threat he presents individually.
That's it; I'm done. If people have nothing better to do than troll me and be insulting to me and lie about me, all because I posted a house rule, then there's no reason for me to continue in this thread. No one appears interested in a civil discourse, instead just demonizing me. Fine, have your "Zurai is a devil!" party all by yourselves.

Just so you know, I've got no problem with you or your house rule even though I might've given you a hard time about it. I'm in the boat of feeling that it's a bit too extreme but as you see (if you read the first part of this post) the house rule I'd bring to the table wouldn't be a much safer option. As always, it's your game and do what works for you. Nothing wrong with that. I really hope this thread doesn't break down into a flame war like my last one did. In fact, I think I'll wait until tomorrow to see how bad I'm getting scorched over there. :)


DM_Blake wrote:

Well, the RAW is good...

But, if Jet Li is about to cut my head off with a sword while a chihuahua humps my leg, I think I will ignore the mutt...

You are missing the entire point. A chihuahua humping your leg will either make you kick it off or throw off your balance. Exactly the sort of thing Jet Li has special training to take advantages of.

Even though that chihuahua is completely harmless by itself. Heck maybe you are ignoring the chihuahua and you STEP ON IT which creates an opening.

If you want to talk about attack cockroaches and making a special exception to ignore a creature more than 2 size categories smaller than you, I am fine with that.

If you want to model ignoring someone then how do you treat a blindsided body check? Oh wait... somehow you sense him body checking you and take a free action to un-ignore him. Ultimately you are not talking about 'ignoring' the flanking threat at all you are just writing it out of the rules... and nerfing a class in the process. When you talk about being able to un-ignore something as a free action you are not actually ignoring it.

Liberty's Edge

A chihuaha has a reach of zero (similar to normal familiars, for example) and thus does not threaten any opponent. Thus it cannot provide flanking.

Or were you talking about the Dire chihuahua ?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
The black raven wrote:

A chihuaha has a reach of zero (similar to normal familiars, for example) and thus does not threaten any opponent. Thus it cannot provide flanking.

Or were you talking about the Dire chihuahua ?

What size handbag would a vapid celebrity need for one of those?

Liberty's Edge

Paul Watson wrote:


What size handbag would a vapid celebrity need for one of those?

I guess it depends on their druid level.


Paul Watson wrote:
The black raven wrote:

A chihuaha has a reach of zero (similar to normal familiars, for example) and thus does not threaten any opponent. Thus it cannot provide flanking.

Or were you talking about the Dire chihuahua ?

What size handbag would a vapid celebrity need for one of those?

Hewards Handy Handbag of course.

Scarab Sages

Paul Watson wrote:
The black raven wrote:

A chihuaha has a reach of zero (similar to normal familiars, for example) and thus does not threaten any opponent. Thus it cannot provide flanking.

Or were you talking about the Dire chihuahua ?

What size handbag would a vapid celebrity need for one of those?

A handbag of holding?


Have you seen a woman's purse? Aren't they all like that?
My wife's handbag certainly holds far more than it seems it should...

Scarab Sages

Kaisoku wrote:

Have you seen a woman's purse? Aren't they all like that?

My wife's handbag certainly holds far more than it seems it should...

See? ;)


Zurai wrote:
Nope, that's not how it works. You become visible the moment of the attack. "If the subject attacks ... it immediately becomes visible", not "If the subject attacks ... it becomes visible upon completion of the attack". And before anyone says anything, it does matter. If you know there's an invisible being in the room, you can ready an action to attack it the instant it becomes visible. That makes the order of operations very important because readied actions interrupt the action they're readied against, so if that attack kills the previously-invisible critter its attack never happened.

I disagree. While it doesn't say "If the subject attacks ... it becomes visible upon completion of the attack", it doesn't say either If the subject attacks ... it becomes visible before his attack actually begins".

As for the helpless solution to the problem, I don't think it would be coherent with the system. It would imply that if you don't know about your opponent it can coup de grace you. That means when it surprises you, when he's invisible, hiding....
That would make this situations much more powerful (but I'm sure some could enjoy the idea)


In 3.5 at least, I might have been tempted to allow a character to focus entirely on one opponent (thus negating Flanking for that opponent, but essentially granting the other full concealment/making you flat footed against their attacks) by making a Concentration check.. oh but wait, there was never any use for that other than for casters, eh? <grumbles>

Sorry, pet peeve of mine.

Dark Archive

selios wrote:
Zurai wrote:
Nope, that's not how it works. You become visible the moment of the attack. "If the subject attacks ... it immediately becomes visible", not "If the subject attacks ... it becomes visible upon completion of the attack". And before anyone says anything, it does matter. If you know there's an invisible being in the room, you can ready an action to attack it the instant it becomes visible. That makes the order of operations very important because readied actions interrupt the action they're readied against, so if that attack kills the previously-invisible critter its attack never happened.

I disagree. While it doesn't say "If the subject attacks ... it becomes visible upon completion of the attack", it doesn't say either If the subject attacks ... it becomes visible before his attack actually begins".

Actually, I think invisible beings *DO* become visible ("phase" into view) before any attacks are resolved; if they didn't, you couldn't ready any attacks against invisible/unseen opponents (such as my example of using 'Shot on the Run' above) which would, in my opinion, make Readying a lot weaker and Invisibility a lot stronger than intended by the rules. Improved Invisibility is another matter, naturally.

Liberty's Edge

Asgetrion wrote:


Actually, I think invisible beings *DO* become visible ("phase" into view) before any attacks are resolved; if they didn't, you couldn't ready any attacks against invisible/unseen opponents (such as my example of using 'Shot on the Run' above) which would, in my opinion, make Readying a lot weaker and Invisibility a lot stronger than intended by the rules. Improved Invisibility is another matter, naturally.

IMO, your interpretation opens a few problems.

If your readied attack treats the invisible attacker as now being visible, how come he is still considered invisible for his own attack which happens later ?

In fact, that is part of a problem with readied attacks based on conditions which instantaneously change an opponent's status.

Ergo, if you ready an attack against an opponent "as soon as he is flanked", the attack must in fact come after the generating event (in this case an ally's move), otherwise your opponent is not flanked when you make your attack.

Does anyone know an official explanation/rule about this ?


The black raven wrote:
Asgetrion wrote:


Actually, I think invisible beings *DO* become visible ("phase" into view) before any attacks are resolved; if they didn't, you couldn't ready any attacks against invisible/unseen opponents (such as my example of using 'Shot on the Run' above) which would, in my opinion, make Readying a lot weaker and Invisibility a lot stronger than intended by the rules. Improved Invisibility is another matter, naturally.

IMO, your interpretation opens a few problems.

If your readied attack treats the invisible attacker as now being visible, how come he is still considered invisible for his own attack which happens later ?

In fact, that is part of a problem with readied attacks based on conditions which instantaneously change an opponent's status.

Ergo, if you ready an attack against an opponent "as soon as he is flanked", the attack must in fact come after the generating event (in this case an ally's move), otherwise your opponent is not flanked when you make your attack.

Does anyone know an official explanation/rule about this ?

I am to tired to argue this point, but now this thread will be dotted for me tomorrow.

The short answer is that it does does past the test of what is reasonable, but due to the wording of ready action being able to interrupt another action it still works.


Asgetrion wrote:


Actually, I think invisible beings *DO* become visible ("phase" into view) before any attacks are resolved; if they didn't, you couldn't ready any attacks against invisible/unseen opponents (such as my example of using 'Shot on the Run' above) which would, in my opinion, make Readying a lot weaker and Invisibility a lot stronger than intended by the rules. Improved Invisibility is another matter, naturally.

I don't find anything that says an invisible character becomes visible before attacks are resolved. I wouldn't let the interruption of the invisibility-canceling action. I don't think that allowing someone to interrupt an invisibility-canceling action weakens Readying in any significant fashion nor make invisibility a lot stronger.


Asgetrion wrote:

Actually, I think invisible beings *DO* become visible ("phase" into view) before any attacks are resolved; if they didn't, you couldn't ready any attacks against invisible/unseen opponents (such as my example of using 'Shot on the Run' above) which would, in my opinion, make Readying a lot weaker and Invisibility a lot stronger than intended by the rules. Improved Invisibility is another matter, naturally.

Nope, it has been clearly stated in the 3.5 FAQ, you still gain the benefit of invisibility on your first attack. It is even mentioned in the Player's Handbook with a reference to the table of adjustments in combat.

If you are invisible, and make a full attack, you have the advantage of invisibility on your first attack only.
The spell doesn't go off because you are going to attack, but because you actually attack and make an attack roll.
I don't know if PRPG has changed anything on this, but it's how it worked in 3.5. The 3.5 FAQ is still available on WotC's site.

Dark Archive

The black raven wrote:
Asgetrion wrote:


Actually, I think invisible beings *DO* become visible ("phase" into view) before any attacks are resolved; if they didn't, you couldn't ready any attacks against invisible/unseen opponents (such as my example of using 'Shot on the Run' above) which would, in my opinion, make Readying a lot weaker and Invisibility a lot stronger than intended by the rules. Improved Invisibility is another matter, naturally.

IMO, your interpretation opens a few problems.

If your readied attack treats the invisible attacker as now being visible, how come he is still considered invisible for his own attack which happens later ?

In fact, that is part of a problem with readied attacks based on conditions which instantaneously change an opponent's status.

Ergo, if you ready an attack against an opponent "as soon as he is flanked", the attack must in fact come after the generating event (in this case an ally's move), otherwise your opponent is not flanked when you make your attack.

Does anyone know an official explanation/rule about this ?

It means he doesn't get the benefits from invisibility against *that* defender, because he traded a full action to take a single a standard action so he wouldn't be caught by surprise (which may not even happen, if the enemy targets someone else). Effectively it's almost the same as being Slowed, only without the minuses.

My interpretation of readying is that it happens just before the triggering conditions take place (we've even joked about "And mere milliseconds before the Phase Spider attacks, you slash at it with your sword..."). Think of it as an immediate response to something, whether it's "When he tries to cast a spell" or "When he turns visible and tries to attack me". If readying didn't happen (just) before the triggering event, you could *not* even use it to disrupt spellcasting, because the spell would be resolved first and the attack only after it (i.e. this would make Readying completely useless).

I've never had anyone determine the triggering condition as "When I become flanked", but I think it would work the same as above; just as you're becoming flanked, you get a single attack -- if it kills the enemy, you won't be flanked; if it doesn't, you'll be flanked, and the enemy gets his/her/its attacks against you.

Liberty's Edge

I think most of us have house rules, me included. As long as they are minor rules that don't break or unbalance the rules they are ok. Sometimes though a G.M. has to be strong enough to say no to a player request. Ignoring flanking opponents I.M.O is one of those times. It's easy for me to say i'm going to ignore that person totally but in reality it's virtually impossible because your mind would be thinking what are they up to now seeing as i'm not watching him/her? If someone threw something at my head (even if it was just a ball of paper) in real life i would like to say i won't flinch but the mind does not always make the connection that it is only paper and reacts. It would be the same in a flanking situation.
Some of Zurai's groups house rules that he has mentioned on this thread worry me because they seem to be on a whim with no thought to whether they have consequences. The strength of Pathfinder/D&D has always been options, i wonder whether making all the changes you do is necessary.

Dark Archive

Bill Dunn wrote:
Asgetrion wrote:


Actually, I think invisible beings *DO* become visible ("phase" into view) before any attacks are resolved; if they didn't, you couldn't ready any attacks against invisible/unseen opponents (such as my example of using 'Shot on the Run' above) which would, in my opinion, make Readying a lot weaker and Invisibility a lot stronger than intended by the rules. Improved Invisibility is another matter, naturally.
I don't find anything that says an invisible character becomes visible before attacks are resolved. I wouldn't let the interruption of the invisibility-canceling action. I don't think that allowing someone to interrupt an invisibility-canceling action weakens Readying in any significant fashion nor make invisibility a lot stronger.

I think it does; here's what the rules (PRD) say about Readying:

Readying an Action: You can ready a standard action, a move action, a swift action, or a free action. To do so, specify the action you will take and the conditions under which you will take it. Then, anytime before your next action, you may take the readied action in response to that condition. The action occurs just before the action that triggers it. If the triggered action is part of another character's activities, you interrupt the other character. Assuming he is still capable of doing so, he continues his actions once you complete your readied action.

So, if you say "I'm readying an attack against that Phase Spider and I'll slash with my sword the second he appears within melee range of me" would be a legit condition and take place before the Phase Spider attacks (i.e. when it becomes visible). If you won't allow this, my example of 'Shot on the Run' (around corners) or an invisible rogue using 'Greater Invisibility' and 'Spring Attack' would mean that "melee" characters are almost helpless against them (and ranged characters couldn't ready any actions against them, either). It makes Readying significantly weaker, and invisibility/etherealness/unseen enemies a lot stronger. There *is* already a caveat in Readying; you only get a standard action and *only* if the conditions are met -- if the Phase Spider decides to attack the wizard, you lose *all* your actions for the round.

It would be nice to get an official ruling on this... Jason? James? Erik? :)

Dark Archive

selios wrote:
Asgetrion wrote:

Actually, I think invisible beings *DO* become visible ("phase" into view) before any attacks are resolved; if they didn't, you couldn't ready any attacks against invisible/unseen opponents (such as my example of using 'Shot on the Run' above) which would, in my opinion, make Readying a lot weaker and Invisibility a lot stronger than intended by the rules. Improved Invisibility is another matter, naturally.

Nope, it has been clearly stated in the 3.5 FAQ, you still gain the benefit of invisibility on your first attack. It is even mentioned in the Player's Handbook with a reference to the table of adjustments in combat.

If you are invisible, and make a full attack, you have the advantage of invisibility on your first attack only.
The spell doesn't go off because you are going to attack, but because you actually attack and make an attack roll.
I don't know if PRPG has changed anything on this, but it's how it worked in 3.5. The 3.5 FAQ is still available on WotC's site.

So, how does that work against someone who readied an action against you? You get one attack, he gets his attack, then you get the rest of your attacks if you're still alive?

I know I *may* be wrong here; I've mostly played 3.0, and I can't recall how we handled invisibility in AD&D anymore.

Hmmm...


Asgetrion wrote:

So, how does that work against someone who readied an action against you? You get one attack, he gets his attack, then you get the rest of your attacks if you're still alive?

I know I *may* be wrong here; I've mostly played 3.0, and I can't recall how we handled invisibility in AD&D anymore.

Hmmm...

The ready action has always been troublesome sometimes, and I don't really know how I will handle this. I don't have check the FAQ for ready action though. This situation is a gap in the rules as written.

It's the same as when you ready an action to attack someone who moves through a door, or when he approaches you. He has begun his action, since he's moving, but you have readied an action to interrupt him when he comes close, or though the door you're aiming at. I'd said that you interrupt his action, when the condition of you ready action is met. Next round, your initiative will nevertheless be better than him and you will act before him. That's maybe not the best solution, but it's the one I can come up with now.

As for invisibility, yes I think I will let the first attack go, and the ready action comes next before the rest of the full attack. Next round, you will act before the opponent who was invisible.


Any attack made by ignored oponent is an automatic "coup de grace" IMO.

So go ahead and ignore him.

Grand Lodge

wraithstrike wrote:

One of the game designers on the WoTC website also believed it should be possible, but the downside is that you are flat-footed against that character if you use his houserule.

I think it make sense common sense wise, but I dont think its fair to the rogue.

I remember this comment too and found the link to it...

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/rg/20040309a

Personally I'd never allow the rule without some serious consideration.

Fistly I'd consider how much the player is ignoring the flanker.

If you where trying to concentrate your efforts against one foe even though someone flanking you could still hurt you, I would allow a character to partially ignore an opponent trying to flank.

Partially ignoring works as the WotC designer describes above with one drawback. if the person you are ignoring hits and damages you, all attacks for the remainder of that turn against you are treated as if you where flanked. This gives rogues to option to delay their attacks so that they wait for that moment when their opponent is hit (and distracted) to enable them to land that all important sneak attack.

If you choose to completely ignore an opponent however, the flanker automatically hits you, threatens a critical (roll normally) and deals maximum damage.

A creature would have to be completely immune to a creatures attacks to ignore it entirely - example would be incorporeal undead flanked by someone without magical weapons. Even damage reduction isnt enough to ward off attacks completely.

what concerns me about the WotC designers ruling is that its aimed so heavily towards the hack and slash mentality of D&D. For me even the small goblin can prove hazardous if completely ignored via combat maneuvers.


So some of you guys are actually trying to tell me that you can ready an attack against a enemy with improved invisibility and because you "readied" it, you get to go first?

Sorry, no dice if I'm DMing. If you ready an attack against someone or something that you can't possibly react to fast enough, you're going to get attacked first and then get your swing in.


Ok over the weakend we had a situation were my PCs were flanking a foe who didn't know he was flanked. Similar but to what we are talking about here.

Let me set up the situation. The Stone Giant guards were engaged by the dwarven fighter and human cleric. The party ranger was invisibile and stealthing around past them fight to hit the giants from the back. The ranger's stealth roll was silly high like 35 or some craziness, the giants had no prayer of spotting or even knowing he was there. He moved into range and waited till the next round so he could get his full attack action. Clearly the players knew he was flanked, the giant was in truth flanked, but he didn't know he was flanked. All those who say ignoring a flanking oppenent should give you a CDG full round action, would you apply it here for the ranger, and if not why would you do that for a rogue or anyone being ignored as a flanker?

The giant was flat-footed against the attack of the ranger and flanked. The giant lost his dex bonus to AC and the ranger was +2 to hit for having a foe flanked. If the ranger decided to trip the giant I would not have allowed the giant his dex to resist (CMD) since he was caught flat footed it seems fair. But the giant isn't helpless, he's vulnerable but not tied up and helpless.

That all said the party rogue has had a heck of a time getting his SAs off, either through bad luck or poor choices for him. I don't think the rogue is over powered if the DM doesn't just grant him stupidly easy targets. Giants get slammed once by a rogue will bullrush the little jerk into a wall to keep him from hurting them so much, they will shift and move to deny flanks, and they will focus their anger on them if they can't in hopes of putting them down before they themselves drop.

Liberty's Edge

Late to the dance again...

I would tend to agree with the flat footed option since you're just choosing not to actively defend yourself against the ignored foe (trusting your armour to protect you). I also wouldn't consider it out of line to say that you provoke attacks of opportunity from the ignored foe every time you act. Doing something that tactically unwise should have consequences.

Grand Lodge

Thurgon wrote:


The Stone Giant guards were engaged by the dwarven fighter and human cleric. The party ranger was invisibile and stealthing around past them fight to hit the giants from the back. The ranger's stealth roll was silly high like 35 or some craziness, the giants had no prayer of spotting or even knowing he was there. He moved into range and waited till the next round so he could get his full attack action. Clearly the players knew he was flanked

The Giant isnt flanked by this situation because the ranger does not threaten his opponent in melee until he makes his first attack. Being unaware of an opponent isnt the same as ignoring an opponent. (altough the ranger may still choose to take attacks of opportunity against the giant if he provoked them at which point the ranger joins the melee and flanks normally)

The same would be applied if the fighter chose to shoot a range weapon at the giant while the ranger was standing behind him. the ranger is in the giants threaten space but because he is unaware neither are considered to be in melee and the fighter would not suffer -4 to hit for firing into melee.

However, if the ranger had improved invisibilty, after that first attack the giant would be aware of his invisible foe and suffer flanking normally.


I'm going to throw in my vote as such:
If you choose to "ignore" an opponent, you are choosing to be "blind" to the opponent. If you are blind, that makes everything effectively "invisible". Since in this case, you are only blind to one creature, you have elected to make it invisible. This negates the flanking bonus the other creature had, but now you face the mess of penalties an invisible attacker has. (You are NOT helpless though.)

If your flanker happens to be a caster, she can safely cast spells directly upon your back.
She gains +2 on attack rolls and ignores the opponents Dex bonus to AC.

Hmm, if you're a Dex 11 or lower character, you win more out of this deal if you are flanked by rogues. (One sneak attack instead of two.)

IMarv


Quijenoth wrote:
Thurgon wrote:


The Stone Giant guards were engaged by the dwarven fighter and human cleric. The party ranger was invisibile and stealthing around past them fight to hit the giants from the back. The ranger's stealth roll was silly high like 35 or some craziness, the giants had no prayer of spotting or even knowing he was there. He moved into range and waited till the next round so he could get his full attack action. Clearly the players knew he was flanked

The Giant isnt flanked by this situation because the ranger does not threaten his opponent in melee until he makes his first attack. Being unaware of an opponent isnt the same as ignoring an opponent. (altough the ranger may still choose to take attacks of opportunity against the giant if he provoked them at which point the ranger joins the melee and flanks normally)

The same would be applied if the fighter chose to shoot a range weapon at the giant while the ranger was standing behind him. the ranger is in the giants threaten space but because he is unaware neither are considered to be in melee and the fighter would not suffer -4 to hit for firing into melee.

However, if the ranger had improved invisibilty, after that first attack the giant would be aware of his invisible foe and suffer flanking normally.

Actually the ranger does threaten the giant in melee without ever making an attack. He's there in melee, he isn't flat footed, and he has weapons drawn. That is all that is needed to threaten and as you said if that giant had decided to do something that would draw AoO attacks then the ranger would be allowed to attack.

Grand Lodge

Thurgon wrote:
Actually the ranger does threaten the giant in melee without ever making an attack. He's there in melee, he isn't flat footed, and he has weapons drawn. That is all that is needed to threaten and as you said if that giant had decided to do something that would draw AoO attacks then the ranger would be allowed to attack.

Yes he still threatens but he is not "engaged in melee" thus does not provide a flank. In addition both the fighter and the cleric would have to be aware of the rangers locaton to gain a flank bonus. They can do this via perception checks or having some way of penetrating the rangers invisibility otherwise they are just as unaware of his participation in the melee as the giant is.


Quijenoth wrote:
Thurgon wrote:
Actually the ranger does threaten the giant in melee without ever making an attack. He's there in melee, he isn't flat footed, and he has weapons drawn. That is all that is needed to threaten and as you said if that giant had decided to do something that would draw AoO attacks then the ranger would be allowed to attack.
Yes he still threatens but he is not "engaged in melee" thus does not provide a flank. In addition both the fighter and the cleric would have to be aware of the rangers locaton to gain a flank bonus. They can do this via perception checks or having some way of penetrating the rangers invisibility otherwise they are just as unaware of his participation in the melee as the giant is.

In this case both the cleric and fighter could see through his invisibility, the invisibility was limited to giants only. I know not normal but they used basically a poorly worded limit wish to get it, asking to be invisible to the giants in the fort, so I granted it as it was worded, it meant they were not invisible to each other or as they would find out the orcs working with them.

But their awareness of the ranger's possition isn't what determines the giant being flanked, the ranger could remain invisible (improved version) and the cleric could still not know the ranger was there and the giant would still be flanked by both of them. Even after the ranger attacks it is concievable he missed with his attack (and had improved invis on) the cleric with his super low perception still doesn't know the ranger is there and yet the giant is still flanked and the cleric would recieve a +2 to hit for flanking. At least in the rules I find nothing that says you need to be aware of your allie flanking your foe to get the bonus to hit for flanking.

Dark Archive

Frogboy wrote:

So some of you guys are actually trying to tell me that you can ready an attack against a enemy with improved invisibility and because you "readied" it, you get to go first?

Sorry, no dice if I'm DMing. If you ready an attack against someone or something that you can't possibly react to fast enough, you're going to get attacked first and then get your swing in.

No, I don't think that is what people said; I personally said that I think Readying should work against invisible creatures using 'Invisibility' (not 'Greater Invisibility' or abilities equivalent to it) and unseen opponents ,such as those using 'Shot on the Run' or 'Spring Attack' to attack from total cover (for example). If it doesn't work against Invisible opponents (either first or directly after the first attack roll; whatever is the "correct" interpretation), it makes 'Invisibility' as spell and ability much more powerful than intended.


Thurgon wrote:
But their awareness of the ranger's possition isn't what determines the giant being flanked, the ranger could remain invisible (improved version) and the cleric could still not know the ranger was there and the giant would still be flanked by both of them. Even after the ranger attacks it is concievable he missed with his attack (and had improved invis on) the cleric with his super low perception still doesn't know the ranger is there and yet the giant is still flanked and the cleric would recieve a +2 to hit for flanking. At least in the rules I find nothing that says you need to be aware of your allie flanking your foe to get the bonus to hit for flanking.

Agreed, as per RAW.

According to
PRD wrote:

Flanking

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.

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.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

I was sure there was a Sage Advice or errata article on just this flanking subject. It has not come up too often in all my time GMing but my apparent house-rule was based on something I thought I read officially.
The article referred to Defensive Disregard.
A character can choose to ignore an opponent, becoming flat-footed to that opponent, but denying that enemy the ability to provide flank for others. This was not the main focus of defensive disregard though, as giving a creature the ability to ignore certain threats allowed the creature to deny the Power Attacking fighter with the ghost-touch battle axe to stack crazy amounts of +2 from his I attack to annoy as I can not hit it party members.


DM_Blake wrote:
If Jet Li is about to cut my head off with a sword while a chihuahua humps my leg, I think I will ignore the mutt...

While you were assessing the four-legged threat behind you, Jet Li cut your head off.

What? You were wearing metal neck-armor and you survived the first hit, barely?

Okay. Something just bit your Achilles' Tendon. Maybe it's bad news, maybe it's just that stupid dog. It is just a dog, right... not a shape-shifting druid that's now a mastadon, or a balor that used a potion to disguise itself? Hrrrm. It's probably just the dog. Better take a quick glace because damn that ankle hurts.

Ooops, looks like Jet Li cut your head off again.

The point here is that in a fight, trained fighters don't disregard their surroundings. Situational awareness is king. You ignore elements of the battlefield at extreme peril. That's pretty much why barbarians get away with ignoring flakers; they're untrained, undisciplined, and unpredictable. Wild psychotic swings, focused anger, the whole deal.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Anguish wrote:
Situational awareness is king. You ignore elements of the battlefield at extreme peril.

I couldn't agree more, but if Situational awareness is king and Wisdom is defined as a characters awarness of his suroundings, why is it a dump stat for tanks?


I like DtO's interpretation of this situation the best. Simply stated you cannot ignore a flanker's synergistic effects just like you cannot ignore an attacker's higher ground bonus. The RAW works fine here for me.

But if, for some reason, a houserule were to be allowed then I would vote for Zurai's version. Completely ignore would be just as good as helpless to me in that situation and the bunny rabbit (with lunge) would be able to rip your head off.

Look at the bones man!!!

Dark Archive

selios wrote:
Asgetrion wrote:

So, how does that work against someone who readied an action against you? You get one attack, he gets his attack, then you get the rest of your attacks if you're still alive?

I know I *may* be wrong here; I've mostly played 3.0, and I can't recall how we handled invisibility in AD&D anymore.

Hmmm...

The ready action has always been troublesome sometimes, and I don't really know how I will handle this. I don't have check the FAQ for ready action though. This situation is a gap in the rules as written.

It's the same as when you ready an action to attack someone who moves through a door, or when he approaches you. He has begun his action, since he's moving, but you have readied an action to interrupt him when he comes close, or though the door you're aiming at. I'd said that you interrupt his action, when the condition of you ready action is met. Next round, your initiative will nevertheless be better than him and you will act before him. That's maybe not the best solution, but it's the one I can come up with now.

As for invisibility, yes I think I will let the first attack go, and the ready action comes next before the rest of the full attack. Next round, you will act before the opponent who was invisible.

Yes, sometimes it's all about wording; I've seen a DM ignore a player's Readied action because he felt it was either too silly or obscure or encompasses too much (I personally try to avoid this as a GM; if the intended condition is met, I'll let the player have his attack). I think this whole thread is actually about Rules-As-Intended vs. Rules-As-Written, and how everyone intreprets the (occasionally) vaguely written rules.

I fully agree with you on what you wrote above; and that's more or less how we do it (e.g. my example of readying against an archer "popping" around the corner to shoot at you). The only difference is that we don't allow invisible creatures the advantage of the first attack if you ready against them, and the reason for this is that the invisible creature still gets the full action while readying PC only gets a standard action (i.e. you're at a disadvantage anyway); it really makes a difference in situations in which you're down to your last HPs and regardless of readying the other guy *still* gets to go first.

As I already said, I'd like to have an official ruling on this one. :)


Darrien wrote:
Anguish wrote:
Situational awareness is king. You ignore elements of the battlefield at extreme peril.
I couldn't agree more, but if Situational awareness is king and Wisdom is defined as a characters awarness of his suroundings, why is it a dump stat for tanks?

I just figured I'd throw in another take on the whole thing. As a DM I go with the "automatic 20" for all attacks AND COMBAT MANEUVERS by ignored opponents, plus they are treated as invisible and get attacks of opportunity. So, they automatically get a threat if they attack, and they get a free attack when I attack the real threat.

This has worked so far, because it allows characters to ignore those few situations in which an opponent is literally not a threat AT ALL. If I have DR 10 and the Monster Summoning I creature that does 1d3(x2) is behind me, I can decide to give him all of those "being ignored" advantages to focus on the 12th level rogue; I know he can't possibly hurt me. On the other hand...if that creature is intelligent enough to try and trip me, it gets an automatic 20 on its attempt.

So - if I am facing a kobold, or a *really really smart* chihuahua, I won't be ignoring it anytime soon, because if I do, it basically gets to trip me automatically, which leaves me in even worse shape for the rogue. On the other hand, there has to be at least some credible danger present for a flank to occur.

Just another opinion.


cmaczkow wrote:

So - if I am facing a kobold, or a *really really smart* chihuahua, I won't be ignoring it anytime soon, because if I do, it basically gets to trip me automatically, which leaves me in even worse shape for the rogue. On the other hand, there has to be at least some credible danger present for a flank to occur.

Just another opinion.

Well if it's a war trained riding chihuahua then it gets a free trip attempt on a successful hit so you are in deep trouble.

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