Sneak Attack Flanking Question (Yet Another)


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I may have missed it in the forums, but I've searched for a few days and didn't see it in the threads I saw. My question is somewhat particular, and I would like to know the answer.


Sneak Attack:
Sneak Attack: If a rogue can catch an opponent when he is unable to defend himself effectively from her attack, she can strike a vital spot for extra damage.

The rogue's attack deals extra damage anytime her target would be denied a Dexterity bonus to AC (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), or when the rogue flanks her target. This extra damage is 1d6 at 1st level, and increases by 1d6 every two rogue levels thereafter. Should the rogue score a critical hit with a sneak attack, this extra damage is not multiplied. Ranged attacks can count as sneak attacks only if the target is within 30 feet.

With a weapon that deals nonlethal damage (like a sap, whip, or an unarmed strike), a rogue can make a sneak attack that deals nonlethal damage instead of lethal damage. She cannot use a weapon that deals lethal damage to deal nonlethal damage in a sneak attack, not even with the usual –4 penalty.

The rogue must be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot and must be able to reach such a spot. A rogue cannot sneak attack while striking a creature with concealment.

I noticed that it doesn't insist the sneak attack would have to come from the threatening weapon that provides the flank.

Let's say the rogue wields two daggers and is flanking. Could the rogue choose to throw one of the daggers as a ranged attack and still benefit from SA for flanking, since they still have a melee weapon that threatens and was threatening with a melee weapon before the attack was made?

It's not optimal, probably, but can it be done? Let's say he's a thrown weapon specialist and wants to SA in combat regularly without having to feint every other turn he attacks (if feint succeeds). Or doesn't want to feat tax to improved feint. Or wants to have this option for a Full Attack with thrown weapons, in melee.

Let's say the throwing specialist rogue is Large, and so threatens in ten feet with their daggers. They are flanking, and have the enemy at reach, so not adjacent to them. Would they get the sneak attack for the ranged dagger throw since they are flanking in melee even if the sneaked attack is ranged?

Additionally, if the rogue is wielding one dagger, and so threatens and flanks the creature, can the rogue use a ray of frost or other ranged touch spell to get a sneak attack? Of course provoking or defensive casting applies, but they are still flanking and threatening with a melee weapon. What if they are Large and cast at ten foot reach (much safer)?

In essence, my question is does the sneak attack have to come from the threatening weapon, or is it good enough that they are threatening?

If there's a specific rule or errata that clarifies this, I'd appreciate being pointed there. I tried to cover all the corner cases about this particular rule.
Thanks in advance.


You are only flanking in melee attacking with a ranged weapon doesn't gain the flanking bonuses because it isn't melee.


You do not have to be attacking to be flanking. You only have to be there and threatening. You can stand around not attacking and your fighter friend will get flank on the enemy because you are flanking and threatening.

The ranged weapon will not get the flanking bonus, I know that.

My question is, will it be sneakable? Please refer to my post above.


Quote:

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.

I'd argue since you don't get the +2 bonus for using your ranged weapon, then you're not getting a flanking bonus, and therefore don't qualify for any other bonuses that flanking gives (like being able to sneak attack)

This is obviously the intention of the rules, but the RAW simply wasnt built with your corner case in mind.


Nigrescence wrote:

You do not have to be attacking to be flanking. You only have to be there and threatening. You can stand around not attacking and your fighter friend will get flank on the enemy because you are flanking and threatening.

The ranged weapon will not get the flanking bonus, I know that.

My question is, will it be sneakable? Please refer to my post above.

No because you only flank when making a melee attack -- without a melee attack you are not flanking. What you threaten doesn't really matter since the melee attack is the primary mover.

Without a melee attack you never even check for flank.


Weables wrote:

I'd argue since you don't get the +2 bonus for using your ranged weapon, then you're not getting a flanking bonus, and therefore don't qualify for any other bonuses that flanking gives (like being able to sneak attack)

This is obviously the intention of the rules, but the RAW simply wasnt built with your corner case in mind.

I didn't think it was built with this case in mind, which is why I am asking. It would be helpful to get some authority feedback on this, which is why I tried to outline the corner case very well.

Flanking

There is a flanking bonus while attacking, and then there is the state of being flanked. The Sorcerer in the diagram in the PRD is being flanked. The Ogre and goblin would get a flanking bonus if they make a melee attack. But even if the Ogre attacks the Cleric instead, the Ogre is STILL flanking the Sorcerer with the Goblin. So I think it stands to reason that you do not have to be attacking the flanked creature to even qualify as flanking. Along with the fact that you can just stand in place and still have the creature be flanked even though you are not attacking.

Again, you simply have to be in a flanking position and able to threaten in order to flank.

So can you sneak attack in the cases I outlined?
I understand these are odd/hard questions, but I think they're important corner cases.


Abraham spalding wrote:
Without a melee attack you never even check for flank.

Flanking is a state, based on the position of other combatants. Being flanked is a state, based on the position of other combatants. A flanking bonus is what you get for a melee attack against a creature that you are causing to be flanked.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Using logic here...

Premise 1 :Flanking attacks are melee.
Premise 2 :You gain sneak attack bonus when making flank attacks.

Conclusion: flanking sneak attacks are melee attacks.


Shar Tahl wrote:
Flanking attacks are melee. You gain sneak attack bonus when making flank attacks. Thereby, using logic, flanking sneak attacks are melee attacks.

This is an assumption. Please read my quoted/spoiler text above, with the bolded emphasis.

I'll repeat it here so it's easier to find.

Sneak Attack PRD wrote:
The rogue's attack deals extra damage anytime her target would be denied a Dexterity bonus to AC (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), or when the rogue flanks her target.

It does not say you gain sneak attack when making flank attacks. It says you gain sneak attack when the rogue flanks her target.


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Nigrescence wrote:
Abraham spalding wrote:
Without a melee attack you never even check for flank.
Flanking is a state, based on the position of other combatants. Being flanked is a state, based on the position of other combatants. A flanking bonus is what you get for a melee attack against a creature that you are causing to be flanked.

No it is not a state:

Flanking wrote:

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.

People treat it like a state but it isn't -- it is specifically a special bonus you get when making a melee attack against an opponent in a specific situation.

Please note that the very first part of the flanking rules is when making a melee attack.

Are you making a melee attack?

No. You do not get the flanking bonus and as you didn't get the flanking bonus you don't get sneak attack for flanking.

When do you flank? When making a melee attack.


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My god. The intent is crystal clear. Let me guess, the next topic will be how SA can be used against creatures immune to precision damage since the ability doesn't say it's precision damage.


Abraham spalding wrote:

People treat it like a state but it isn't -- it is specifically a special bonus you get when making a melee attack against an opponent in a specific situation.

Please note that the very first part of the flanking rules is when making a melee attack.

Are you making a melee attack?

No. You do not get the flanking bonus and as you didn't get the flanking bonus you don't get sneak attack for flanking.

When do you flank? When making a melee attack.

No, it says when making a melee attack you get a +2 flanking bonus. It does not say that you only flank while you attack, or the person on the opposite side would not flank with you unless you attacked at the same time.

A flanking bonus != flanking.

Please stop assuming things.

Cheapy wrote:
My god. The intent is crystal clear.

Evidently not.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

LOL. you just need to take it up with your GM. I am confident this circumventing of the rules by twisting wording will not fly.


Cheapy wrote:
My god. The intent is crystal clear. Let me guess, the next topic will be how SA can be used against creatures immune to precision damage since the ability doesn't say it's precision damage.

No such thing. There are already clear rules outlining that Sneak Attack damage is Precision Damage.

One Such Example

Please stop insulting me for no reason. And, if you will insult me, at least use insults that have some actual backing to them.


Nigrescence wrote:
Abraham spalding wrote:

People treat it like a state but it isn't -- it is specifically a special bonus you get when making a melee attack against an opponent in a specific situation.

Please note that the very first part of the flanking rules is when making a melee attack.

Are you making a melee attack?

No. You do not get the flanking bonus and as you didn't get the flanking bonus you don't get sneak attack for flanking.

When do you flank? When making a melee attack.

No, it says when making a melee attack you get a +2 flanking bonus. It does not say that you only flank while you attack, or the person on the opposite side would not flank with you unless you attacked at the same time.

A flanking bonus != flanking.

Please stop assuming things.

Show me the flanked condition.

Bleed
Blinded
Broken
Confused
Cowering
Dazed
Dazzled
Dead
Deafened
Disabled
Dying
Energy Drained
Entangled
Exhausted
Fascinated
Fatigued
Flat-Footed
Frightened
Grappled
Helpless
Incorporeal
Invisible
Nauseated
Panicked
Paralyzed
Petrified
Pinned
Prone
Shaken
Sickened
Stable
Staggered
Stunned
Unconscious

There isn't one.

Why? Because the only time there is flanking is specifically when a melee attack is made.

You are threatened by more than one person -- but that isn't being flanked until there is a melee attack being made.

You are arguing for a condition that doesn't exist.

Prove the existence of the condition you claim exists. You won't be able to since it doesn't exist as a condition by RAW.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

We can assume the intent is crystal clear since this has been in the rules since Pathfinder's inception and there has been no misunderstanding.

you need to be flanking or have a flatfooted opponent to make a melee sneak attack.

You need a flatfooted opponent to make a ranged sneak attack, provided you are within 30 feet.

Paizo staff will not make this a FAQ issue.


Just because someone can twist words to go against the intent does not mean the intent isn't clear.


Anyways, there's a FAQ that touches on what it is to be flanking.


Cheapy wrote:
Anyways, there's a FAQ that touches on what it is to be flanking.

Yes, the FAQ addresses whether or not you can flank with a ranged weapon. I saw that before I posted this. I care not a whit whether or not you can find a way to flank with a ranged weapon.

I care about whether you can flank with a melee weapon and attack with a ranged weapon to get Sneak Attack. That is my question. It has little, if nothing, to do with that FAQ.

Sorry for the double post. I felt like these two posts really should be separate.


You said 'state' you are correct.

However there isn't a flanked state either.

You are threatened (more specifically standing in a threatened square) by two opponents (generally on opposite sides of you). When one of the attacks you with a melee weapon then they flank you for a bonus -- but only the one attacking does.

There is no flanking without a melee attack.

Flanking only happens with a melee attack. There is no flank without that attack.


Nigrescence wrote:
You only have to be there and threatening.

You don't need to be threatening. The person who is helping you get a flanking bonus needs to be threatening.

FAQ Gang Up: Does this feat (page 161) allow you to flank a foe with ranged weapons?

"The Gang Up feat allows you to count as flanking so long as two of your allies are threatening your opponent. The feat makes no mention of ranged attacks being included, and since flanking specifically refers to melee attacks, ranged attacks do not benefit from this feat. (JMB, 8/13/10)

—Jason Bulmahn, 08/13/10"

Since flanking specifically refers to melee attacks, if you're not making a melee attack, you're not flanking.

If you're standing there with armor spikes or whatever, but you attack with a ranged weapon or take no action, you're not flanking. You can still be helping someone else get flanking, but you are not flanking unless you are making a melee attack. And since you're not flanking, whatever ranged attack you are making cannot benefit from sneak attack unless the target is denied dex.


I think the OP has an argument.

The rules intended answer is obvious, but the author is not interested in the rules intended answer.

Let's take the flanking section:

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.

This section is clear. One receives a bonus when melee attacking an opponent who is threatened on its opposite border. It does not really delineate who exactly can be named to be "flanking", however, simply who gets a bonus and when. One can imply that one who gets a bonus when melee attacking is the only one who can be considered to be flanking, but one could just as easily imply that the one threatening from the opposite border is considered flanking as well.

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.

This section seems to be purely demonstrative, and not definitive, as it makes no mention of threatening, and is thus partially contradictory. Obviously though, in context, we understand the meaning linguistically. Regardless, this lack of clarity leaves this section unhelpful.

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

This is similar to the above, and thus irrelevant.

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

This section is much like the first, speaking purely of a bonus designated "flanking bonus". The obvious implication is that one who receives a flanking bonus is flanking, but it is not directly stated. One can still not be sure if it is a "if an only if" statement.

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

This is unfortunately not helpful.

From this section, it is unclear, through purely grammatical interpretation, whether one needs to be currently making an attack with a melee weapon or simply threatening with a melee weapon to be a flanker. It is obvious, however, that one only receives a +2 bonus when attacking with a melee weapon.

So, when rules are unhelpful, the expectation is that your GM can figure it out. I'm guessing he will say no.

I'm also guessing that any developer response would yield a "no". Honestly, I doubt the developers would waste their time when the situation is patently ridiculous. Realistically, if you were afraid of not getting the flanking bonus, you could simply stab at the guy. It may be more relevant when two weapon fighting with a loaded pistol or hand crossbow, but this case is so... trivial that I still doubt it would get answered.

Fun to look at how much people pull from experience and linguistic interpretation, though. :)


Abraham spalding wrote:

You said 'state' you are correct.

However there isn't a flanked state either.

You are threatened by two opponents (generally on opposite sides of you). When one of the attacks you with a melee weapon then they flank you for a bonus -- but only the one attacking does.

There is no flanking without a melee attack.

Flanking only happens with a melee attack. There is no flank without that attack.

Outflank

"Whenever you and an ally who also has this feat are flanking the same creature..."

Precise Strike
"Whenever you and an ally who also has this feat are flanking the same the creature, you deal an additional..."

Funny, are you going to insist that these feats demand you to both be attacking the same creature at the same time? After all, you must both be flanking the same creature.

Of course, I know that you know that both characters must not be attacking the same creature, only that they must be flanking the same creature, which refers to how they are positioned on the battle board, not referring to whether they are attacking or not.

You can have two characters flank a third character while NOBODY is attacking. As long as they are standing in the right place and threatening with a melee weapon, they are flanking.

I implore you to quit making assertions that assume what you state are FACT and actually back them up with a rule.


The section where the Flanking rules are talked about is Combat Modifiers. It is crystal clear that such rules apply on a per-attack basis:

Quote:
A number of factors and conditions can influence an attack roll. Many of these situations grant a bonus or penalty on attack rolls or to a defender's Armor Class.

This means that Flanking is specifically relative to an individual attack roll.

Flanking defines itself as solely for melee attacks.

Read as written, the answer is no.
Read as intended, the answer is no.
According to the developers, the answer is no.


I would be inclined to allow the sneak attack in the given situation, if the character attacked with both the melee dagger and the ranged dagger in the same round. After all, if the melee dagger isn't a part of the attack, then it also doesn't threaten the defender at the time, so no flanking would occur.


flanking wrote:
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

Seems quite clear... You get the "flanking" bonus when making a melee attack. If and only if there is an opponent threatening on the opposite side.

The person on the other side is considered "threatening" the opponent.

In other words.. you provide the flanking bonus to your buddy because they are melee attacking. Your buddy does not provide you a flanking bonus because you are making ranged attacks.


Grick wrote:

"The Gang Up feat allows you to count as flanking so long as two of your allies are threatening your opponent. The feat makes no mention of ranged attacks being included, and since flanking specifically refers to melee attacks, ranged attacks do not benefit from this feat. (JMB, 8/13/10)

—Jason Bulmahn, 08/13/10"

Since flanking specifically refers to melee attacks, if you're not making a melee attack, you're not flanking.

If you're standing there with armor spikes or whatever, but you attack with a ranged weapon or take no action, you're not flanking. You can still be helping someone else get flanking, but you are not flanking unless you are making a melee attack. And since you're not flanking, whatever ranged attack you are making cannot benefit from sneak attack unless the target is denied dex.

Again, you are merely assuming that you must be attacking to be flanking. As I have explained, you do not have to be attacking the creature to count for another character to be flanking. You do not have to have anyone attack to be flanking. If you do, you get a flanking bonus, sure, but you are still flanking.

Also, I'm not trying to say in any way that the ranged attack is flanking. It is clear in the rules that ranged weapons cannot flank. That is not my question.


Are wrote:

I would be inclined to allow the sneak attack in the given situation, if the character attacked with both the melee dagger and the ranged dagger in the same round. After all, if the melee dagger isn't a part of the attack, then it also doesn't threaten the defender at the time, so no flanking would occur.

Except you don't have to attack to threaten someone. Just being in reach and with a weapon wielded is enough to threaten. You do NOT have to attack to threaten. If you do not attack, you can still make an Attack of Opportunity because you are still threatening.

Otherwise if you do anything but attack someone in that round you would not be able to make an Attack of Opportunity, because you're not threatening. Obviously. At least by your interpretation.

We all know that this is wrong.


Merely assuming? Nope -- we are reading the rules.

As for the feats -- hey looks like someone needs a readied action or to be an inquisitor -- sucks when developers don't make their feats well huh?


Abraham spalding wrote:

Merely assuming? Nope -- we are reading the rules.

As for the feats -- hey looks like someone needs a readied action or to be an inquisitor -- sucks when developers don't make their feats well huh?

You are merely assuming. You have yet to provide any place in the rules that backs up your assumption.

This is not as cut and clear as you are pretending that it is, hence my creation of this thread.
I'm still waiting for that "threatened" and "adjacent" condition.


Nigrescence wrote:
As I have explained, you do not have to be attacking the creature to count for another character to be flanking.

Define flanking.

For most of us, flanking is defined as it is in the flanking section of the combat chapter: A bonus on melee attack rolls against a foe who is threatened on the opposite side.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Rogue in melee range wearing a chain shirt with armor spikes or with a spiked gauntlet cannot have a shortbow and rapidshot two sneak attacks, just because he says he is threatening with his armor.

This is the exact same situation and just as wrong

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Grick wrote:
Nigrescence wrote:
As I have explained, you do not have to be attacking the creature to count for another character to be flanking.

Define flanking.

For most of us, flanking is defined as it is in the flanking section of the combat chapter: A bonus on melee attack rolls against a foe who is threatened on the opposite side.

This!

The threatening aspect is referring to the guy on the other side who is not currently up in initiative! Once it is your turn, the other person is threatening and you may make you flank attack, which must be melee


Grick wrote:
Nigrescence wrote:
As I have explained, you do not have to be attacking the creature to count for another character to be flanking.

Define flanking.

For most of us, flanking is defined as it is in the flanking section of the combat chapter: A bonus on melee attack rolls against a foe who is threatened on the opposite side.

I linked the flanking combat chapter section above (and just now).

As you can see, it describes when to characters are flanking, as well as the bonus to a melee attack they get for flanking.

It defines flanking well enough for us all to see. Flanking is about positioning. The flanking bonus is about the specific mechanical benefit you get for a melee attack with such positioning.

As I said, the specifics of this complicated relationship are not well-defined, which was the whole point of my initial question.


I have no reason to define something as something it is not when I never claimed it was the thing it isn't.

Your insistent need to try and compel me to do so is an attempt at distraction from the fact that your whole argument is predicated on something that doesn't exist in the way you want it too.

The funny thing is you presume to know how the state of being flanked is achieved but fail to provide proof.


Shar Tahl wrote:

This!

The threatening aspect is referring to the guy on the other side who is not currently up in initiative! Once it is your turn, the other person is threatening and you may make you flank attack, which must be melee

The other person does not ever have to have attacked the creature for you to both flank it.

Your melee attack gets a flanking bonus if you are flanking. There is no "flank attack". There are attacks which get a flanking bonus, when you are flanking the creature you attack.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

I removed some posts. Please don't insult each other.


Abraham spalding wrote:

I have no reason to define something as something it is not when I never claimed it was the thing it isn't.

Your insistent need to try and compel me to do so is an attempt at distraction from the fact that your whole argument is predicated on something that doesn't exist in the way you want it too.

I will kindly ask you to deal with the actual argument rather than attempt to abuse a red herring coupled with pointless insults.

You still seem to insist, for some unknown reason, that "flanked" must be an explicit condition, yet content with the fact that "adjacent" and "threatened" are not.

Do you have any idea why, exactly, "adjacent", "threatened", and "flanked" are not conditions like "paralyzed" or "dazed"?

I'll give you three guesses, and the first two don't count.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

Nigrescence:

Let me see if I am getting what you are asking about.

So, let's say, we have a rogue(r) flanking a monster (M), with a buddy(b).

So to start, the battlefield looks like this:

_____
_rMb_
_____

But the Monster has a Friend(F). Who, is, say, standing a little ways away. So the battlefield looks like this:

_____
_rMb_
____F

Now, we can all agree, the rogue is flanking the Monster with the buddy. And I think we all agree that if the rogue makes the Monster the target of her sneak attack in melee, the rogue will deal sneak attack damage to the Monster if she successfully hits it.

But if the question is can you flank M while sneak attacking F? No, because you're not flanking F. You're flanking M, and the wording of sneak attack says very clearly that you must be flanking your target, and if F is the target of your sneak attack, you are not flanking him.

On the other hand, if your question is can you throw a weapon at M and still deal sneak attack damage since you are in a flanking position --- I would say that literally, yes you can. But I'm not sure why you would want to, since it would provoke an attack of opportunity for making a ranged attack in a threatened area, and you would need precise shot since M is likely at least in melee with b if not you or take a penalty to hit. Not to mention, you just gave up one of your weapons when you're standing right next to a monster, which seems unwise.

For dealing regular ranged sneak attack damage, you're better off finding clever ways to deny your target its Dexterity bonus to AC, like using the Shatter Defenses feat (up the Dazzling Display tree), surprising, being invisible, and so on.


DeathQuaker wrote:

Now, we can all agree, the rogue is flanking the Monster with the buddy. And I think we all agree that if the rogue makes the Monster the target of her sneak attack in melee, the rogue will deal sneak attack damage to the Monster if she successfully hits it.

But if the question is can you flank M while sneak attacking F? No, because you're not flanking F. You're flanking M, and the wording of sneak attack says very clearly that you must be flanking your target, and if F is the target of your sneak attack, you are not flanking him.

On the other hand, if your question is can you throw a weapon at M and still deal sneak attack damage since you are in a flanking position --- I would say that literally, yes you can. But I'm not sure why you would want to, since it would provoke an attack of opportunity for making a ranged attack in a threatened area, and you would need precise shot since M is likely at least in melee with b if not you or take a penalty to hit. Not to mention, you just gave up one of your weapons when you're standing right next to a monster, which seems unwise.

For dealing regular ranged sneak attack damage, you're better off finding clever ways to deny your target its Dexterity bonus to AC, like using the Shatter Defenses feat (up the Dazzling Display tree), surprising, being invisible, and so on.

Yes, I agree that we are flanking M, and I agree that I am not flanking F. That is clear alone from the combat section I linked above explaining flanking.

My question is if I can throw a weapon at M if I have two daggers and throw one, since they are melee weapons and I am flanking and threatening but not getting the flanking bonus but still get a ranged sneak attack since I am flanking, as the SA ability describes a way for me to get a SA.

I gave up one weapon, but still have one.

I understand that the situation does not seem ideal, but I'm not concerned with it being the "best" course of action or the strongest option. I'm concerned with it qualifying for a sneak attack.

Yes, I know there are other, likely better ways to get a sneak attack, and other, better ways to get a ranged sneak attack.

My point in asking is curiosity and for clarification.

Liberty's Edge

There are only certain times the game checks to see if a person is flanked. That time is not "when making a ranged strike." You can say "they're flanked" but the game itself doesn't care, nor check to see if they're flanked as flanking has no benefit to ranged strikes.

Your best bet is to give up trying to twist the rules to mean something they obviously (to everyone in this thread but you) don't mean and just talk to your DM. A rogue using ranged attacks at flanking range isn't going to break the game even if he gets sneak attack.


Nigrescence wrote:
Shar Tahl wrote:

This!

The threatening aspect is referring to the guy on the other side who is not currently up in initiative! Once it is your turn, the other person is threatening and you may make you flank attack, which must be melee

The other person does not ever have to have attacked the creature for you to both flank it.

Your melee attack gets a flanking bonus if you are flanking. There is no "flank attack". There are attacks which get a flanking bonus, when you are flanking the creature you attack.

This is not an accurate description of how flanking is written. You only are flanking when making a melee attack, What you just described is not how RAW describes flanking.

Nowhere does it say the person that is not attacking is considered flanking. The flanking description describes the opposite person as just "threatening". He is "flanking" only happens when you make a melee attack, while another person "threatens" from the opposite side.


ShadowcatX wrote:

There are only certain times the game checks to see if a person is flanked. That time is not "when making a ranged strike." You can say "they're flanked" but the game itself doesn't care, nor check to see if they're flanked as flanking has no benefit to ranged strikes.

Your best bet is to give up trying to twist the rules to mean something they obviously (to everyone in this thread but you) don't mean and just talk to your DM. A rogue using ranged attacks at flanking range isn't going to break the game even if he gets sneak attack.

I know flanking has no benefit to ranged strikes, not for a flanking bonus. Again, as I have stated many times, I don't care about the flanking bonus. I care about the sneak attack, which you get when the rogue is flanking her opponent. Sneak attack doesn't insist that it be melee. And aside from people inventing how you don't flank unless you attack (with as of yet absolutely no justification from the rules, merely asserting that the rules say so), there is nothing demanding that you must attack melee to be flanking. Merely that you be positioned right and threatening with an ally. If you make a melee attack while flanking, you get a flanking bonus.

I'm not trying to twist rules at all. I'm trying to resolve this ambiguity. The people twisting rules are insisting that rules say this or that yet providing nothing to actually show that rules say this or that. And I'm supposed to just accept them declaring it to be so? Nonsense.

And I'm not alone who sees the problem. It's just that everyone seems so ingrained in thinking this must obviously be the case that they don't bother providing reasons or arguments for what they declare to be a solid fact.

As I said from the start, I'm curious about this corner case.

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Nigrescence wrote:
DeathQuaker wrote:

Now, we can all agree, the rogue is flanking the Monster with the buddy. And I think we all agree that if the rogue makes the Monster the target of her sneak attack in melee, the rogue will deal sneak attack damage to the Monster if she successfully hits it.

But if the question is can you flank M while sneak attacking F? No, because you're not flanking F. You're flanking M, and the wording of sneak attack says very clearly that you must be flanking your target, and if F is the target of your sneak attack, you are not flanking him.

On the other hand, if your question is can you throw a weapon at M and still deal sneak attack damage since you are in a flanking position --- I would say that literally, yes you can. But I'm not sure why you would want to, since it would provoke an attack of opportunity for making a ranged attack in a threatened area, and you would need precise shot since M is likely at least in melee with b if not you or take a penalty to hit. Not to mention, you just gave up one of your weapons when you're standing right next to a monster, which seems unwise.

For dealing regular ranged sneak attack damage, you're better off finding clever ways to deny your target its Dexterity bonus to AC, like using the Shatter Defenses feat (up the Dazzling Display tree), surprising, being invisible, and so on.

Yes, I agree that we are flanking M, and I agree that I am not flanking F. That is clear alone from the combat section I linked above explaining flanking.

My question is if I can throw a weapon at M if I have two daggers and throw one, since they are melee weapons and I am flanking and threatening but not getting the flanking bonus but still get a ranged sneak attack since I am flanking, as the SA ability describes a way for me to get a SA.

I gave up one weapon, but still have one.

I understand that the situation does not seem ideal, but I'm not concerned with it being the "best" course of action or the strongest option. I'm concerned with it...

Then like I said, yes, I think it does. (The "melee attack" line clearly refers to getting the +2 to attack, which I know you're not assuming.)

Of course, I am not your GM. If he or she disagrees, you may still be at square one.


Nigrescence wrote:

I linked the flanking combat chapter section above (and just now).

Flanking is about positioning.

Just to completely grind this down:

1)
The section you mentioned is under "Combat Modifiers" this means flanking is a combat modifier.

"The modifier is the number you apply to the die roll when your character tries to do something related to that ability."

Flanking is therefore a combat modifier, which is a number you add to the roll.

Thus, flanking IS the +2 bonus to attacks. That is all. Without the bonus, there is no flanking.

2)
"When in doubt about whether two characters flank an opponent in the middle, trace an imaginary line between the two attackers' centers."

If you do not attack, you do not get the bonus. If you do not get the bonus, you are not flanking.

3)
"flanking specifically refers to melee attacks" this means if you are not making a melee attack, you are not flanking. Even if you are helping someone else get flanking.

Even if you are in a position to flank, even if the creature is threatened on the opposite side, you are not flanking unless you make a melee attack.


Dr Grecko wrote:
Nowhere does it say the person that is not attacking is considered flanking. The flanking description describes the opposite person as just "threatening". He is "flanking" only happens when you make a melee attack, while another person "threatens" from the opposite side.

"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."

Nowhere?


Grick wrote:

...The section you mentioned is under "Combat Modifiers" this means flanking is a combat modifier.

...
Flanking is therefore a combat modifier, which is a number you add to the roll.

Thus, flanking IS the +2 bonus to attacks. That is all. Without the bonus, there is no flanking.

You're already wrong. Guess what else is in the "Combat Modifiers" section?

Concealment and cover.

Being under/behind cover or in concealment is a position as well as a bonus. It's in the combat modifiers section because such a position provides certain bonuses. Combat bonuses. Combat bonuses which provide modifiers.
That are based on the environment or position, not skills or abilities. Though some skills/abilities (like spells) can provide cover or concealment because they change position or the environment.

Imagine that. You inadvertently gave me more backing to my argument. Thanks.

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