Does Sneak Attack apply to ranged attacks when you are flanking?


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Kryzbyn wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:


It does not override the melee attack requirement for a rogue's sneak attack, however.
Why do you think it should?

because sneak attack has no such requirement?

why do you think it has a requirement?

Because:

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.

What is flanking?

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.

I thought this had already been pointed out...

i'll just direct you to my post above yours.


So then, your argument is that even though it's initially defined as a melee attack, the second paragraph removes this requirement somehow?


Bandw2 wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:

Sorry, reading comprehension is assumed here. My apologies.

Book says "melee attack", not "during the round in which you use a melee attack". No way around that.

Now that you've brought it up though, perhaps I've stumbled into the "I'm Gonna Argue Till I Get My Way" forum...

Hmm, saves me some time then. Thank you!

we've found that rare guy actually arguing that you have to be making a melee attack to flank?

he must REALLY hate rogues, they'll never get a flank off in his game.

??

They can always flank if they use a melee weapon to do so...? Oh I see.
I used the same phrasing twice. How silly of me.

And also, a mage using a touch spell is considered armed, and threatens, and can flank.
He does not flank with a ranged touch spell, nor does he get SA with it (if he also has the sneak attack or similar class ability).

no i mean the wizard with a dagger, is flanking for the rogue on his turn even though he used and is only planning on using spells, which i guess should have been ray of frost to hit the point home.

and snap shot allows you to threaten with a bow or whatever, do you still not flank? it's pretty obvious you don't get the +2, but i still say that that is the only portion that "when making a melee attack" is referring to.

because if you can only flank during a melee attack, then you can never be considered flanking when it isn't your turn, which flies in the face of most of the rules on flanking and most of the material using flanking.

I asked that very same question a couple pages back.


Kryzbyn wrote:
So then, your argument is that even though it's initially defined as a melee attack, the second paragraph removes this requirement somehow?

i'm saying that it initially defines how you gain a +2 bonus from flanking, it then goes on to define flanking in general.

since you are still generally flanking with your dagger while you make your ray of frost attack, you apply sneak attack as that is exactly all you need to do.

basically you need to prove there is a difference between providing a flank and flanking and why sneak attack only works on flanking.

sneak attack's wording is more like when you need to provide a flank.


What I get out of the rules:
To provide flanking, you merely need to threaten an opponent, and be in an appropriate position to an ally (on the other side of an opponent, along an opposite edge, etc.).
To be flanking, you must use a melee weapon/attack.

Snap Shot counters the first point. It does not counter the second.


Bandw2 wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:
So then, your argument is that even though it's initially defined as a melee attack, the second paragraph removes this requirement somehow?

i'm saying that it initially defines how you gain a +2 bonus from flanking, it then goes on to define flanking in general.

since you are still generally flanking with your dagger while you make your ray of frost attack, you apply sneak attack as that is exactly all you need to do.

basically you need to prove there is a difference between providing a flank and flanking and fly sneak attack only works on flanking.

Ahh.

I can not definitively counter that argument. I don't believe it's accurate, due to RAI, but I can't counter it with RAW.

Unfortunately, either interpretation is equally valid, as far as PFS is concerned, without a FAQ.


Kryzbyn wrote:

What I get out of the rules:

To provide flanking, you merely need to threaten an opponent, and be in an appropriate position to an ally (on the other side of an opponent, along an opposite edge, etc.).
To be flanking, you must use a melee weapon/attack.

Snap Shot counters the first point. It does not counter the second.

i'll just ask again as you might not return unless there is a new post (i edited my previous while you posted)

explain where the rules make a separation between flanking and providing a flank? and then why sneak attack wants you to "flank" when it is worded like how other feats consider "providing a flank", such as assault leader.

basically, why is sneak attack, if there is a difference, requiring a you to flank and not simply need you to provide a flank? there really isn;t one written down, which is why i don't think the game ACTUALLY makes a distinction between the two.


Also see:
Another thread on this subject


Bandw2 wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:

What I get out of the rules:

To provide flanking, you merely need to threaten an opponent, and be in an appropriate position to an ally (on the other side of an opponent, along an opposite edge, etc.).
To be flanking, you must use a melee weapon/attack.

Snap Shot counters the first point. It does not counter the second.

i'll just ask again as you might not return unless there is a new post (i edited my previous while you posted)

explain where the rules make a separation between flanking and providing a flank? and then why sneak attack wants you to "flank" when it is worded like how other feats consider "providing a flank", such as assault leader.

basically, why is sneak attack, if there is a difference, requiring a you to flank and not simply need you to provide a flank? there really isn;t one written down, which is why i don't think the game ACTUALLY makes a distinction between the two.

It's relative to the person using the flanking bonus.

EDIT: I need to step away till tomorrow possibly.


Relevant bit from that other thread:

That other thread wrote:


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"


Kryzbyn wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:

What I get out of the rules:

To provide flanking, you merely need to threaten an opponent, and be in an appropriate position to an ally (on the other side of an opponent, along an opposite edge, etc.).
To be flanking, you must use a melee weapon/attack.

Snap Shot counters the first point. It does not counter the second.

i'll just ask again as you might not return unless there is a new post (i edited my previous while you posted)

explain where the rules make a separation between flanking and providing a flank? and then why sneak attack wants you to "flank" when it is worded like how other feats consider "providing a flank", such as assault leader.

basically, why is sneak attack, if there is a difference, requiring a you to flank and not simply need you to provide a flank? there really isn;t one written down, which is why i don't think the game ACTUALLY makes a distinction between the two.

It's relative to the person using the flanking bonus.

EDIT: I need to step away till tomorrow possibly.

a person provides a flank, as a condition as some conditions simply need you to flank the target (that rage one for instance) and not be making an attack, even though it is your turn. that isn't a qualifier the game actually uses, or has written down anywhere.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Kryzbyn wrote:

Also see:

Another thread on this subject

Ye gods, it's this thread with different players!


I love it when tabletop fantasy turns into tabletop judicial process. Just ask your DM to make a ruling. If you don't like it, DM your own game.


c sage wrote:
I love it when tabletop fantasy turns into tabletop judicial process. Just ask your DM to make a ruling. If you don't like it, DM your own game.

no, you must murder him an assume his life and then GM his game. it's the only way.

Shadow Lodge

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Bandw2 wrote:
no, you must murder him an assume his life and then GM his game. it's the only way.

Huh, that explains why I haven't seen my old GM around...

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

1 person marked this as a favorite.
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:

Also see:

Another thread on this subject
Ye gods, it's this thread with different players!

There is another thread on the same subject I don't remember. So this isn't something that just comes up rarely.

We have:

  • Developer saying you can't Sneak with ranged to gain dice from being "flanking".
  • Gang up makes it clear ranged flanking isn't something in the rules.
  • The rules talk just about melee attacks, in two paragraphs.

Yet despite overwhelming evidence, some people still reject that to keep their "pet" interpretation.

There is no fix for this but an answer in the form of FAQ clearly saying you can't take advantage of the benefits of flanking if you make a ranged attack.


James Risner wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:

Also see:

Another thread on this subject
Ye gods, it's this thread with different players!

There is another thread on the same subject I don't remember. So this isn't something that just comes up rarely.

We have:

  • Developer saying you can't Sneak with ranged to gain dice from being "flanking".
  • Gang up makes it clear ranged flanking isn't something in the rules.
  • The rules talk just about melee attacks, in two paragraphs.

Yet despite overwhelming evidence, some people still reject that to keep their "pet" interpretation.

There is no fix for this but an answer in the form of FAQ clearly saying you can't take advantage of the benefits of flanking if you make a ranged attack.

where did the devs say anything about it? in this thread we just have a dev being neutral.

the other 2 posts we've countered easily enough.

in fact i feel the evidence for sneak attack is overwhelming but people just obstinately keep bringing up that first line in flanking thinking it's the be all end all of flanking.

for instance, you're not taking advantage of the benefits of flanking by using sneak attack, because sneak attack merely checks if you are flanking or not. likewise it isn't part of your attack, but an effect added to your attack.


I really miss a "ignore" button in this forum...

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

You can just hide the thread you know.

If that isn't enough, here.


Thanks, buddy.


TOZ wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
no, you must murder him an assume his life and then GM his game. it's the only way.
Huh, that explains why I haven't seen my old GM around...

Don't give up hope. Maybe he's just on an extended Mexico vacation.


Just going to leave these here...

Sneak Attack 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. 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.

And from the APG

Rogue Talents wrote:
Sniper's Eye (Ex): A rogue with this talent can apply her sneak attack damage on ranged attacks targeting foes within 30 feet that benefit from concealment. Foes with total concealment are still immune.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
HannahJ 08 wrote:
Just going to leave these here...

Yeah, but you aren't going to get sneak attack on a ranged attack when the target isn't flat-footed in my game.


HannahJ 08 wrote:


Rogue Talents wrote:
Sniper's Eye (Ex): A rogue with this talent can apply her sneak attack damage on ranged attacks targeting foes within 30 feet that benefit from concealment. Foes with total concealment are still immune.

The important part is ignore partial concealment, like a poor man version of the Shadow Strike. You still need to get the target Flat-Footed, that's why sniping is a almost useless tactic to get Sneak Attacks.


Kryzbyn wrote:
What is flanking?

Flanking is attacking an opponent from two opposing directions.

Flanking is NOT a bonus granted to melee combatants while flanking, as this definition would require circular logic (I'm flanking because I receive a bonus for flanking!).

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Bandw2 wrote:
where did the devs say anything about it? in this thread we just have a dev being neutral.

This link

But he is admitting that people just don't care what developer thinks.


James Risner wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
where did the devs say anything about it? in this thread we just have a dev being neutral.

This link

But he is admitting that people just don't care what developer thinks.

ah yes that. I have been arguing that sneak attack wants this ascribed "providing a flank", since it's written identically to every conceivable use of the "providing a flank".

seriously now, you need so many exceptions and hoops to jump through to make sneak attack not apply that it is plainly a better solution to just allow it.


Yes, a developer invented an unwritten rule to explain why RAW is clear.

There is no such thing in RAW as "providing the flank."

"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."

The rules just call both characters in involved, the one attacking and the one not attacking, characters that flank. According to the rules, providing the flank and making an attack while flanking are both considered flanking.

This means that, yes, a character making a melee attack in this case is flanking. However, a character threatening while doing nothing is also flanking in this case.

The developer wants the second character to suddenly be "providing the flank" instead of flanking. The rules do not support that. The rules say that the character flanks just as mud has the one making the attack.

If you can flank while not making a melee attack, then the first sentence cannot be the definition of flanking.


Quote:

Yes, a developer invented an unwritten rule to explain why RAW is clear.

There is no such thing in RAW as "providing the flank."

No, what he did was describe a concept on how the rules should be applied in game in a distinct manner that proved that not only does RAW prove that you are wrong, but RAI says so as well.

Just rule it the way you want to...it's your game at your table. If you don't like how the rules work, do it your own way.

No game is 'purer' because it adheres to one way of doing things that is different than another.


Gang Up. You very much can provide flanking without actually flanking. It's not a made up rule, but a very real consequence of the rules on the page. And this isn't even one that's up to interpretation. It is very possible to provide flanking without benefitting from it.

It is also possible to benefit from flanking without providing it - two characters standing opposite an enemy. One has a dagger, the other is unarmed. The unarmed combatant gets to flank, the other doesn't, because there's no ally threatening the enemy on the other side. The armed combatant can also be seen here providing flanking without benefitting from it.

I know you'll disagree with the latter example. That's fine. Just like you would with a Snapshot example. But you absolutely cannot with the Gang Up situation. It is undeniably possible (and even rules-mandated) that a character can provide flanking without actually being flanking. It is not, in anyway, a made up thing.

EDIT: I responded to you specifically before when you made this point. I even provided an illustrative example to show precisely how this concept is not made up, despite your protestations.


fretgod99 wrote:

Gang Up. You very much can provide flanking without actually flanking. It's not a made up rule, but a very real consequence of the rules on the page. And this isn't even one that's up to interpretation. It is very possible to provide flanking without benefitting from it.

It is also possible to benefit from flanking without providing it - two characters standing opposite an enemy. One has a dagger, the other is unarmed. The unarmed combatant gets to flank, the other doesn't, because there's no ally threatening the enemy on the other side. The armed combatant can also be seen here providing flanking without benefitting from it.

I know you'll disagree with the latter example. That's fine. Just like you would with a Snapshot example. But you absolutely cannot with the Gang Up situation. It is undeniably possible (and even rules-mandated) that a character can provide flanking without actually being flanking. It is not, in anyway, a made up thing.

EDIT: I responded to you specifically before when you made this point. I even provided an illustrative example to show precisely how this concept is not made up, despite your protestations.

So much this.

Here's a fun mind bender. In your scenario of gang up and assault leader, since you are considered to be your own ally and there are no other candidates that qualify as flanking other than you, can the rogue designate himself as the recipient of the free immediate attack?


Take a better look at what Gang Up says:
"You are considered to be flanking an opponent if at least two of your allies are threatening that opponent, regardless of your actual positioning."

No one else is "providing the flank." It flat out considers you flanking if two other people are threatening the creature. It replaces the standard position requirement with two other people threatening. This completely replaces the normal rules, as the Normal section calls out.

In the next case, when the armed combatant makes the attack, both characters are considered flanking by the rules. They aren't immediately afterward, but by the rules two characters must flank for one to get the bonus. Both are flanking when that happens.

Nothing requires you to benefit from flanking to be flanking.

You're taking a concept the rules don't support and using it to explain why the rules work. You've said it before, you'll say it again, it still doesn't work.

When you attack, whoever is helping you flank is also flanking at that time. Two characters flank.

What you are trying to say, is that when only one person gets the benefit, the other is providing the flank rather than flanking. Where do the rules state this? They don't. Instead, the rules say that they aren't flanking, until they are briefly, then they aren't flanking again (until they are again, rinse and repeat).

There is no third, providing the flank situation, there is simply flanking or not flanking at any given time.

"When in doubt about whether two characters flank an opponent…"
Does this not specifically call out two characters flanking a target?

If only one character flanked, it would call out two characters. It would read similar to:
"When in doubt about whether a character flanks an opponent, trace an imaginary line between the the character's center and his ally's center. If the line passes through opposite borders of the opponent's space (including corners of those borders), then the opponent is flanked."

Then, you could argue that only one character flanks at a time, and that providing the flank is a real thing. The rules don't read that way though. They specifically make it clear that both characters just flank. There is no heightened priority to the attacker over the non-attacker.


"Providing flanking" is just another way to say that you are in the correct position to allow an ally to benefit from flanking. That is precisely what the allies are doing in the Gang Up scenario - they are in the requisite positions to allow the Rogue to flank. Hence, they are "providing flanking". And they are not themselves flanking.

So again, it's not even remotely a made up concept.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

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Bandw2 wrote:
seriously now, you need so many exceptions and hoops to jump through to make sneak attack not apply that it is plainly a better solution to just allow it.

Translation: I can keep saying it might be RAW and as long as I do, I get to do what I want despite a developer saying I'm wrong, a FAQ saying I'm wrong, and others quoting RAW saying I'm wrong.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Bandw2 wrote:
James Risner wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
where did the devs say anything about it? in this thread we just have a dev being neutral.

This link

But he is admitting that people just don't care what developer thinks.

ah yes that. I have been arguing that sneak attack wants this ascribed "providing a flank", since it's written identically to every conceivable use of the "providing a flank".

seriously now, you need so many exceptions and hoops to jump through to make sneak attack not apply that it is plainly a better solution to just allow it.

Well, this FAQ by Jason Bulmahn was telling:

The FAQ wrote:

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"

Emphasis mine. So, I think it's safe to assume that the interpretation that involves not being able to flank with a ranged weapon was the correct one.

Continuing to argue otherwise would be intentionally obtuse, imho.


9 people marked this as a favorite.

Remember that time that one of the designers came in here and said that he thought that even if he gave the answer, it wouldn't stop the debate?

And then he gave the answer.

And it didn't stop the 'debate'?

I remember that. Good times.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Who do the devs think they are, telling us how the game works?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Cheapy wrote:

Remember that time that one of the designers came in here and said that he thought that even if he gave the answer, it wouldn't stop the debate?

And then he gave the answer.

And it didn't stop the 'debate'?

I remember that. Good times.

Pepridge Farm Remembers


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Claxon wrote:
Cheapy wrote:

Remember that time that one of the designers came in here and said that he thought that even if he gave the answer, it wouldn't stop the debate?

And then he gave the answer.

And it didn't stop the 'debate'?

I remember that. Good times.

Pepridge Farm Remembers

Told you the DC was higher than 13... =p


Sniggevert wrote:
Claxon wrote:
Cheapy wrote:

Remember that time that one of the designers came in here and said that he thought that even if he gave the answer, it wouldn't stop the debate?

And then he gave the answer.

And it didn't stop the 'debate'?

I remember that. Good times.

Pepridge Farm Remembers
Told you the DC was higher than 13... =p

Eh, you have to roll the save each day. I rolled another nat 1 and didn't have more rerolls.

Besides, I am here for the funny. Not for the argument. I know who is right and who is wrong. No need to argue, when I know the other side wont be convinced. Why waste my breath...errr...keystrokes?


Quintain wrote:
Quote:

Improved Back to Back (Teamwork)

Benefit: While you are adjacent to an ally who is flanked and also has this feat, you can spend a swift action to gain a +2 bonus to AC against all flankers until the start of your next turn.
Explanation: If an opponent has a +2 bonus to hit when making a melee attack against you as a result of a flank, you can use a swift action to gain a +2 to AC, negating the typical flanking bonus.

This explanation makes no sense.

The feat is referring to a flanked ally, not you being flanked.

Quintain wrote:
Quote:

Enfilading Fire

Benefit: You receive a +2 bonus on ranged attacks made against a foe flanked by 1 or more allies with this feat.
If your teammates are on either side of an opponent (using the non-technical definition of the term "flanking" -- meaning to the side of (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/flanking?s=t). They provide you a +2 bonus to hit.

You explain by switching to a non-game-defined term? Sounds like failed logic to me.

Quintain wrote:
Quote:
While the mouser is within her foe's space, the foe takes a –4 penalty on all attack rolls and combat maneuver checks not made against the mouser, and all of the mouser's allies that are adjacent to both the foe and the mouser are considered to be flanking the foe.

This is a positional description wherein the mouser provides flanking to all of her teammates and they provide flanking to her provided she qualifies for it.

If the mouser were to wield a ranged weapon while in the same square as her opponent, the fact that she is attacking with a ranged weapon would negate both her bonus to attack as well as the ability to sneak attack with it. Simply because of rule number one of flanking "When making a melee attack".

This feat does not require the mouser to wield a weapon.

Without threatening, however, no +2 flanking bonus.

Quintain wrote:

If you want to put it into "computer ese", the test of making a melee attack is one big if block that surrounds all of these little exceptions unless there is an explicit exception provided in the rules.

If [ Attack_Form = "Melee" ]; then
...
conditional exception, conditional exception, etc
...
Else # Ranged weapon tests go here

fi

It's not hard to understand.

My parsing is:

if [ Attack_Form = "Melee" ] then
__if [ Ally_Opposite = true AND Opponent_Threaten = true] then
____Apply +2 Flanking Bonus
__fi
fi
if [ Doubt = true ] then
__if [ Ally_Opposite = true ] then
____Apply Flanking state
__fi
fi

Quintain wrote:

Here is the rules quote definition of "providing a flank":

Quote:
Only a creature or character that threatens the defender can help an attacker get a flanking bonus.
Pg. 197, Right column, 1st sentence.

Really? Looks to be like a condition needed to get a typed bonus.

It sais nothing about providing a flank.

---

Both the first and second paragraphs start with the word "When". Why does one "When" act at a different level than the other "When"?

Every place where you have +# <word> bonus the <word> is a type qualifier for stacking purposes. What if we changed the type to XYZZY? Here's the new text:

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

Now there is no longer any reference to flanking, only by being threatened on its opposite side.

Looking at this way clears the separation between the two paragraphs even more.

/cevah

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Cevah wrote:

My parsing is:

if [ Attack_Form = "Melee" ] then
__if [ Ally_Opposite = true AND Opponent_Threaten = true] then
____Apply +2 Flanking Bonus
__fi
fi
if [ Doubt = true ] then
__if [ Ally_Opposite = true ] then
____Apply Flanking state
__fi
fi

We are fully aware of how it is being parsed.

We just don't parse it that way, the developers don't parse it that way in this thread, the developers lay out in the Gang Up feat FAQ that it isn't parsed that way.

Quote:

Correct parsing is:

if [ Attack_Form = "Melee" ] then
__if [ Ally_Opposite = true AND Opponent_Threaten = true] then
____Apply +2 Flanking Bonus and Apply Flanking state
__fi
fi


I'm waiting for the "screw Jason Bulmahn! He's wrong!" because that's what every argument after posting the FAQ sounds like to me.


Problem with the Gang-up FAQ, is that they use a parenthetical clause, i.e. between the commas, to detail the sentence about the feat. Rules of grammar means it only applies to the feat. However many treat that part of a sentence as a rule. It only refers to rules, and does so incorrectly in my opinion, because the rules it refer to is, as I read them, RAI.

You want to take RAI as RAW, that is up to you. I don't.

/cevah


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If you know how a rule is intended to function, why would you play it otherwise? Seems to me RAI is much more helpful than sticking to another interpretation of RAW, particularly when that interpretation is one that you know contradicts what is actually intended.

In that case, I'd much rather play RAI than a version of just RAW. Why you'd want to ignore RAI, I have no idea.


fretgod99 wrote:

If you know how a rule is intended to function, why would you play it otherwise? Seems to me RAI is much more helpful than sticking to another interpretation of RAW, particularly when that interpretation is one that you know contradicts what is actually intended.

In that case, I'd much rather play RAI than a version of just RAW. Why you'd want to ignore RAI, I have no idea.

QFE


It still boggles my mind how nobody ever actually imagines these scenarios during rule debates. There is a bit of minutiae that is forgotten.

Combat rounds are drawn out over 6(?) seconds. Not everything happens in the blink of an eye. Characters in combat aren't just standing still playing Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots. They are moving, looking around, talking and anticipating their opponents actions. Combat is a dance. Flanking is a condition, a state, almost like a stance, you either exist in it (as the enemy) or you don't.

Ever been in a street fight? Bar/alley fight? Your opponent's buddy comes up behind you and you know he's there? Congratulations, you are currently flanked. Your attention is now split between defending yourself on two sides, and if either of them attacks they receive a +2 to kick your ass.

Either of them a Rogue? Now they only need to wait for that moment you look away towards their buddy to slip that dagger between your ribs. Even face to face: Congratulations, you've been Sneak Attacked thanks to being flanked.

Are these guys straight across from each other? When their third pal shows up with Gang Up; he gets to stand anywhere he wants and get his +2 to kick your ass, even if he's side by side with one of the other two. Just because you can see him doesn't benefit you because you're now attempting (and failing, thanks to Gang Up) to anticipate his attacks also.

Did his buddies decide to move, maybe circle around you and break that side to side requirement they needed for their +2 bonus? Sucks to be them, but not that third guy; thanks to Gang Up he still gets his +2 bonus because his two pals still threaten you.

Now say he wanted to shoot you instead of stab you:

Sneak Attack 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. Ranged attacks can count as sneak attacks only if the target is within 30 feet.
Gang Up wrote:
You are considered to be flanking an opponent if at least two of your allies are threatening that opponent, regardless of your actual positioning.

Not only can he shoot you in the face, he can stand anywhere within 30 feet and do it; adding Sneak Attack. However, he doesn't get the +2 bonus because the gun isn't a melee attack, and still accrues the standard penalties for shooting into melee combat (which you are still engaged in with his pals.)

One more twist: Does our gunman also have Assault Leader?

Assault Leader wrote:
Once per day, when the rogue misses with an attack on a flanked opponent, she can designate a single ally who is also flanking the target that her attack missed. That ally can make a single melee attack against the opponent as an immediate action.

Notice how it only says "an attack" and doesn't define it? If he missed that gun shot he could designate one of the other two guys for a single melee attack. (assuming they still have you in the middle, before my circling example.)

In normal, 99.9% gameplay, you will never ranged flank, nor will you apply Sneak Attack damage to your ranged attack due to flanking.

My opinion on Flanking:
Flanking would make a lot more sense if it was a Condition like Shaken or Confused, and you simply lost 2 AC due to your attention being split between two+ enemies you can't concentrate on because of their positioning. Anything with the Flanked Condition then would qualify to be hit with Sneak Attack damage. You simply cannot defend yourself from all angles of attack. It really should NOT matter if you specifically are one of the two flankers directly across from each other, distracted is distracted.


fretgod99 wrote:
Why you'd want to ignore RAI, I have no idea.

Because this is the Rules forum, not the Advice forum. :-)

/cevah

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

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Cevah wrote:
You want to take RAI as RAW, that is up to you. I don't.

You are not "ignoring RAI", you are interpreting RAW to suit your desired outcome and ignoring the interpretation of RAW that matches RAI.


FrozenLaughs wrote:
It still boggles my mind how nobody ever actually imagines these scenarios during rule debates. There is a bit of minutiae that is forgotten.

You're assuming two things here: 1. That the rules in all capacities are intended to be pure analogs of the Real World. 2. That nobody has attempted to imagine how these scenarios might play out in a more realistic setting.

FrozenLaughs wrote:
Not only can he shoot you in the face, he can stand anywhere within 30 feet and do it; adding Sneak Attack. However, he doesn't get the +2 bonus because the gun isn't a melee attack, and still accrues the standard penalties for shooting into melee combat (which you are still engaged in with his pals.)

You're trying to get sneak attack on a ranged attack via Gang Up.

Gang Up wrote:

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)

You cannot use Gang Up (on this at least everybody is uniformly in agreement) to flank somebody at range. The same is relevant for Assault Leader. With Gang Up, you cannot flank with a ranged attack.

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