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


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Canthin wrote:

It has been said on this thread more than once that if two ranged characters are on opposite sides of an enemy, they ARE flanking, but don't get the flanking bonus (they state that it is a separate thing). They use the second paragraph starting with "When in doubt" to prove that they are flanking, but since the first paragraph states the bonus is only with melee attacks, they just don't get a +2 when making their attack. These same individuals have not mentioned, however, how they run encounters with high level rogue or barbarian opponents. Since these characters have Improved Uncanny Dodge and "cannot be flanked" (no mention of bonus, just "flanked") then that would logically mean that no one could occupy a square opposite an ally. This makes the battle map very difficult to navigate, especially for any ranged character that would have to draw a line from the center of their square to the center of every ally's square and if the line passed through two opposite sides of any rogue or barbarian or elemental or swarm, etc. they would have to move (so they wouldn't be "flanking" anymore).

Heck, that would also mean that if you had Gang Up, you wouldn't be able to even attack a character with Improved Uncanny Dodge if two of your allies were attacking them already, since you would be considered flanking, but they can't be flanked and "flanked" apparently has nothing to do with bonus...

Well, *I* have yet to hit either a high level barbarian or rogue. :-)

That said, specific overrides general covers this quite well. Also, they *can* be flanked. By someone 4 levels higher with Improved Uncanny Dodge. Be sure to read all the rule text.

Edit:

Canthin wrote:
Which would mean you can "flank" with a whip (gain the bonus) and do Sneak Attack damage (as long as the target doesn't have +1 armor bonus or +3 Natural Armor bonus in which case it deals no damage) because it is a melee attack.

Use a scorpion whip instead.

/cevah


RumpinRufus wrote:
Did you read the FAQ post in the link from my post? It's literally the design team stating how many times Scorching Ray (a ranged touch attack spell) can receive extra damage from Sneak Attack (their ruling is that it benefits once.)

The FAQ post did not note a permissive state, only what happens if you did have sneak attack bonuses on magical attacks (such as with the Arcane Trickster ability).

Basically, it was telling you how this WOULD work, not telling you that you're allowed to do it. This is what hits me as weird, because you're reading THIS as permissive somehow, but refusing to see the obvious permissive statements in sneak attacks on ranged weapons that are quite clearly printed. It's willful ignorance, as far as I'm concerned.


I'm a little confused as to what you're saying, so I'll hit this one point at a time and try to be clear.

Canthin wrote:
I was (poorly) trying to point out to the people that said "flanking" wasn't tied to a bonus, but was solely dependent on positioning. That if flanking = position, then if you can't flank, you can't be in that position. (which I find ridiculous because me and my players DO treat "immune to x" as "x doesn't effect you")

Yes, it was poorly. Even in your explanation I cannot tell how you feel this should be handled and why.

Canthin wrote:
Maybe it's just "English" vs "Game term". To me as a GM when someone says "Am I flanking" I use the game term to determine if the answer is yes or no, not the English language term of position. Is the player making a melee attack? - Yes. Is there an ally on the opposite side that is threatening the opponent? - Yes. Is the opponent immune to flanking? - Yes. Then the answer is no, you aren't flanking.

Well, as far as English vs Game Term, it's really not that hard - if the game has implicitly defined something (such as in the 'terms and definitions' section at the beginning of the CRB), then we use the given Game Term; otherwise, we use the language the game was written in.

Think about it this way: the CRB in no way defines the term 'enemy'; if I was to tell you that 'enemy' referred only to my Uncle Dave, then any rule that specifically refers to an enemy can only apply if 'enemy' is replaced with 'my Uncle Dave' and is still valid. As an example, flanking requires a target be threatened by another ENEMY on the opposite side - if my Uncle Dave isn't standing there with a truncheon, you can't flank.

As you can see, it is imperative that we at the very least agree that the standard English definitions of terms apply, unless otherwise noted. Otherwise, all logic goes out the window and the entire concept of rules is meaningless.

Canthin wrote:
I just don't understand the "Yes you are flanking by the legal English definition, but you aren't flanking by the rules because the target can't be flanked. But you can apply sneak attack because the rules only state that you have to be flanking, not that you need to have a bonus to flank" mentality that is out there.

You misunderstand. No one said that you should be able to apply sneak attack damage to a foe immune to flanking - that would be an effect granted by the flanking status, and a foe immune to such effects would thus be immune to sneak attacks derived from this particular state.

What I am saying is that the rulebook (and basic logic) strongly supports the ability to flank with a ranged weapon and apply sneak attack damage - without the melee-only 'flanking bonus', of course.

I don't understand how so many people can look at such irrefutable logic and continue to be obstinate on the matter. The rulebook is clear on this issue.


Cevah wrote:
bbangerter wrote:
Cevah wrote:

If it is untyped, then you can stack it. For example: you face a large opponent. Just on the other side are two of your friends. Paragraph 2 shows each of the two friends is flanking. With an untyped bonus, you now get +4 on your attack. For a huge opponent, you can get +6.

No. Untyped bonuses from the same source do not stack. In this case the source is 'flanking'

I have two sources of Flanking +2 bonus. Lets say I had instead two sources of Aid Another +2 bonus on the attack. This is also untyped. So you can only be aided by one of them? I don't think so.

/cevah

Aid Another wrote:
Multiple characters can aid the same friend, and similar bonuses stack.

The bonuese from multiple Aid Anothers stack because you're specifically told they stack. It's an exception to the "untyped bonuses from the same source don't stack" rule.


MadMage wrote:
RumpinRufus wrote:
Did you read the FAQ post in the link from my post? It's literally the design team stating how many times Scorching Ray (a ranged touch attack spell) can receive extra damage from Sneak Attack (their ruling is that it benefits once.)

The FAQ post did not note a permissive state, only what happens if you did have sneak attack bonuses on magical attacks (such as with the Arcane Trickster ability).

Basically, it was telling you how this WOULD work, not telling you that you're allowed to do it. This is what hits me as weird, because you're reading THIS as permissive somehow, but refusing to see the obvious permissive statements in sneak attacks on ranged weapons that are quite clearly printed. It's willful ignorance, as far as I'm concerned.

Why on Earth do you think you can't apply sneak attack on a ranged attack spell? It functions just like any other ranged weapon. Pretty much whenever you can get sneak attack with a bow you can with something like Acid Arrow. If the spell requires an attack roll, you can crit with it and you can potentially apply sneak attack with it. The Arcane Trickster capstone simply expands the types of spells you can apply sneak attack with.

Magic wrote:
Ray: Some effects are rays. You aim a ray as if using a ranged weapon, though typically you make a ranged touch attack rather than a normal ranged attack.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
MadMage wrote:
RumpinRufus wrote:
Did you read the FAQ post in the link from my post? It's literally the design team stating how many times Scorching Ray (a ranged touch attack spell) can receive extra damage from Sneak Attack (their ruling is that it benefits once.)

The FAQ post did not note a permissive state, only what happens if you did have sneak attack bonuses on magical attacks (such as with the Arcane Trickster ability).

Basically, it was telling you how this WOULD work, not telling you that you're allowed to do it. This is what hits me as weird, because you're reading THIS as permissive somehow, but refusing to see the obvious permissive statements in sneak attacks on ranged weapons that are quite clearly printed. It's willful ignorance, as far as I'm concerned.

ray attacks are basically weapons though, just saying, they behave in almost every regard the same a hand crossbow.

you get get weapon specialization with ray attacks for the extra damage for instance. oh, and on a 20 that confirms they deal double damage.


MadMage wrote:
RumpinRufus wrote:
Did you read the FAQ post in the link from my post? It's literally the design team stating how many times Scorching Ray (a ranged touch attack spell) can receive extra damage from Sneak Attack (their ruling is that it benefits once.)

The FAQ post did not note a permissive state, only what happens if you did have sneak attack bonuses on magical attacks (such as with the Arcane Trickster ability).

Basically, it was telling you how this WOULD work, not telling you that you're allowed to do it. This is what hits me as weird, because you're reading THIS as permissive somehow, but refusing to see the obvious permissive statements in sneak attacks on ranged weapons that are quite clearly printed. It's willful ignorance, as far as I'm concerned.

Ok, if the FAQ doesn't convince you, there's also the Sneak Attack ability.

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.

A spell like Scorching Ray is an attack (you must make an attack roll to complete it,) and so as long as the proper conditions are met, i.e., the target is denied Dex (or arguably if they're flanked) and the rogue is within 30 ft., the rogue gets Sneak Attack on the Scorching Ray. This is clear and uncontroversial, excepting the flanking aspect.


Wow, what a long thread. I guess this means this topic is FAQ worthy...

Anyway, as many, many people have pointed out, you can only gain the benefits of flanking on melee attacks, although you can sometimes provide a flank via various methods other than wielding a melee weapon.


Byakko wrote:

Wow, what a long thread. I guess this means this topic is FAQ worthy...

Anyway, as many, many people have pointed out, you can only gain the benefits of flanking on melee attacks, although you can sometimes provide a flank via various methods other than wielding a melee weapon.

"Asserting" is different than "pointing out". Because to point something out, you need something to point to. In this case, rules would be the preferable thing to point to. If you feel like bringing up new evidence, please go ahead. If you would like to make baseless assertions, we've had quite enough of that already.


PRD wrote:

Flanking

When making a melee attack


What are you getting so upset for? There's plenty of evidence in this thread already; I don't see a need to rehash it.

It's all down to interpretations now, and I am expressing mine... which happens to align with many other posters' here.


Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
PRD wrote:

Flanking

When making a melee attack

Ah, the ol' out-of-context game. Two can play at that.

PRD wrote:

Speed

when wearing medium or heavy armor (except dwarves, who move 20 feet in any armor).

Therefore, obviously no one has a speed at all without medium or heavy armor (except dwarves, who also have a speed even in light armor.)


RumpinRufus wrote:
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
PRD wrote:

Flanking

When making a melee attack

Ah, the ol' out-of-context game. Two can play at that.

PRD wrote:

Speed

when wearing medium or heavy armor (except dwarves, who move 20 feet in any armor).
Therefore, obviously no one has a speed at all without medium or heavy armor (except dwarves, who also have a speed even in light armor.)

So you see those as two equal examples?

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Cevah wrote:
Do check the spelling on my name.

I'm unsure why Oddman88 misspelled your name? Want a cookie?

Cevah wrote:

Gang-up FAQ's comment on ranged flanking is a reference to rules elsewhere, so it does not add to the rules on flanking.

it seems to me that is an indication it is not clear

The Gang Up FAQ effective makes a rule if you assert it isn't clear in the book, then it is abundantly clear. There doesn't have to be a line that makes it clear, since they use FAQ as Errata and shorthand.

As for being clear, if you would like to agree there is confusion on the matter and back off the "Only I'm right" mantra, I'll join you. I don't have a problem agreeing it isn't clear. I just can't accept "I'm right and you wrong" stances.


fretgod99 wrote:

Why on Earth do you think you can't apply sneak attack on a ranged attack spell? It functions just like any other ranged weapon. Pretty much whenever you can get sneak attack with a bow you can with something like Acid Arrow. If the spell requires an attack roll, you can crit with it and you can potentially apply sneak attack with it. The Arcane Trickster capstone simply expands the types of spells you can apply sneak attack with.

Magic wrote:
Ray: Some effects are rays. You aim a ray as if using a ranged weapon, though typically you make a ranged touch attack rather than a normal ranged attack.

Do me a favor and read back a few posts? I already admitted that I needed to read into this more, and was not aware that rays were handled as ranged weapons, essentially.

THIS response you're quoting is basically telling the guy who just pointed to the FAQ when I asked as if it held some knowledge I had missed that the FAQ said nothing of the sort.


RumpinRufus wrote:

Ok, if the FAQ doesn't convince you, there's also the Sneak Attack ability.

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.
A spell like Scorching Ray is an attack (you must make an attack roll to complete it,) and so as long as the proper conditions are met, i.e., the target is denied Dex (or arguably if they're flanked) and the rogue is within 30 ft., the rogue gets Sneak Attack on the Scorching Ray. This is clear and uncontroversial, excepting the flanking aspect.

While I get your point, again, what I'm looking for isn't covered in just the 'Sneak Attack' section - what I would need is to see where spells that require 'ranged attack rolls' are actually counted as 'ranged weapons' and not just spells that use 'ranged attack rolls'.


Pathfinder Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

MadMage, if you look up flanking in the CRB, it has you turn to page 196-197 and under the heading of "Flanking" it starts with "When making a melee attack,..." this is defining "Flanking". It even has a diagram with characters in different positions to help illustrate the topic.

In this diagram, it says that Merisiel is NOT flanking the ogre. Merisiel is DIRECTLY across from Seoni, but Seoni is 5' away from the ogre. If RANGED flanking was possible, didn't require threatening, and had nothing to do with the bonus, Merisiel would be flanking the ogre with Seoni. Assuredly it should reference that Seoni is flanking (if Ranged flanking was possible) since Merisiel DOES threaten the ogre. Also, it says specifically that the ogre is flanking Seoni because it has reach. "If the ogre didn't have reach to Seoni, though, he AND the goblin would not be flanking her."

NO WHERE in any of the examples does it say anything about bonuses. It only says "IS flanking because..." or "IS NOT flanking because..."

They drew us a picture, labeled the section "Flanking", and put it in the Index, but "Flanking" isn't a game term that means something? Wow. Just wow.

EDIT: I think that if they updated the diagram to include Gang Up, and Improved Snap Shot, it would demonstrate that if Merisiel had Gang Up, she would be flanking. It would also point out that if Seoni had Improved Snap Shot (and a ranged weapon), Merisel would be flanking because Seoni threatens, but that Seoni herself would not be flanking because she is using a ranged weapon.


MadMage wrote:
RumpinRufus wrote:

Ok, if the FAQ doesn't convince you, there's also the Sneak Attack ability.

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.
A spell like Scorching Ray is an attack (you must make an attack roll to complete it,) and so as long as the proper conditions are met, i.e., the target is denied Dex (or arguably if they're flanked) and the rogue is within 30 ft., the rogue gets Sneak Attack on the Scorching Ray. This is clear and uncontroversial, excepting the flanking aspect.
While I get your point, again, what I'm looking for isn't covered in just the 'Sneak Attack' section - what I would need is to see where spells that require 'ranged attack rolls' are actually counted as 'ranged weapons' and not just spells that use 'ranged attack rolls'.

You mean like in the quote that you responded to here?

"You aim a ray as if using a ranged weapon."

Is that not sufficient? You can take "Weapon Focus: Ray". You can take "Weapon Specialization: Ray". Rays count as weapons for many effects that augment weapon damage. And there's also the previously mentioned FAQ regarding Surprise Spells.

Do you need more information on this? If so, we can try to provide it, but I'm not sure what else it would take to convince you if you haven't been at this point.

Liberty's Edge

RumpinRufus wrote:
Byakko wrote:

Wow, what a long thread. I guess this means this topic is FAQ worthy...

Anyway, as many, many people have pointed out, you can only gain the benefits of flanking on melee attacks, although you can sometimes provide a flank via various methods other than wielding a melee weapon.

"Asserting" is different than "pointing out". Because to point something out, you need something to point to. In this case, rules would be the preferable thing to point to. If you feel like bringing up new evidence, please go ahead. If you would like to make baseless assertions, we've had quite enough of that already.

Your response is especially cute considering the same can be said about your "argument".


Canthin wrote:
MadMage, if you look up flanking in the CRB, it has you turn to page 196-197 and under the heading of "Flanking" it starts with "When making a melee attack,..." this is defining "Flanking". It even has a diagram with characters in different positions to help illustrate the topic.

These sections explain how concepts work - they do not define terms. If they did, I guarantee I could break some other aspect of the rules. See, this is where you're making assumptions - the rulebook never implicitly tells you that these are anything more than explanations of how common concepts (which need no re-defining) are handled in a game, and assuming otherwise is 'making things up'.

Canthin wrote:
In this diagram, it says that Merisiel is NOT flanking the ogre. Merisiel is DIRECTLY across from Seoni, but Seoni is 5' away from the ogre. If RANGED flanking was possible, didn't require threatening, and had nothing to do with the bonus, Merisiel would be flanking the ogre with Seoni. Assuredly it should reference that Seoni is flanking (if Ranged flanking was possible) since Merisiel DOES threaten the ogre. Also, it says specifically that the ogre is flanking Seoni because it has reach. "If the ogre didn't have reach to Seoni, though, he AND the goblin would not be flanking her."

Well, this is again where you are mistaken. First off, the diagram cannot encompass all possibilities. Second, in order for Seoni to assist Merisiel in getting any benefit from flanking, she must be threatening with a melee weapon - that much is true and is even addressed in the diagram. The diagram does not, however, address whether or not Seoni gains a benefit from flanking, as Merisiel WOULD be threatening with a melee weapon thus meeting the only known criteria. The problem there, however, is that Seoni has no way to take advantage of this using a ranged weapon, making it a moot point.

Canthin wrote:

NO WHERE in any of the examples does it say anything about bonuses. It only says "IS flanking because..." or "IS NOT flanking because..."

They drew us a picture, labeled the section "Flanking", and put it in the Index, but "Flanking" isn't a game term that means something? Wow. Just wow.

I would way 'wow' to your 'wow'. Look, 'game term' is a pretty simple concept to understand: did the rulebook IMPLICITLY re-define the term as having a definition other than that used in standard language? Then it's not a game term. It's a term used by the game; the difference is pretty simple and I again accuse you of being obstinate as this is the entire crux of your argument. While the difference between explaining a concept and defining a term might be a bit subtle for some, I suspect that you're simply reaching to make the rules adhere to your ideas of how it should work. Wiggling, as someone else put it.

I will say it again, if I can make assumptions as to when the book is re-defining words I can very easily break this game; it would not be hard to just find every implied definition that suits my needs and insist that the terms work to my benefit because a paragraph was titled with them.


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I'm just going to leave this here. Again.

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)

Emphasis mine.

How exactly doesn't that answer the question at hand?

We have a FAQ that clearly explains why Gang Up does not function.

It doesn't function for two reasons.

1. Gang Up makes no mention of ranged attacks.
[Why would Gang Up be required to mention ranged attacks if the OP reading of the rules was correct?]

2. The second reason the feat doesn't work that why is because "flanking specifically refers to melee attacks".

Why exactly doesn't that clear everything up?


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Because some people don't want it to settle the 'debate'. Until Jason Bulmahn personally comes to their gaming group and tells them the answer, it will be unresolved in their eyes.

Here's some text from a former-Pathfinder Design Team member, about a forum post regarding how many times per round sneak attack can happen. You'll note more than one similarity between these posts.

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Peter Kies wrote:
Thanks for the quick replies, but I am still requesting an official response.

By the way, that's not how we do things here, Peter. Our message board community has many people who really understand the rules, so when they are in agreement, you should trust their interpretation and not insist on an "official answer" from someone on the staff.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Brain in a Jar wrote:
Why exactly doesn't that clear everything up?

Because it doesn't say they can't.

Until they have a FAQ that says "Can you flank with a Ranged weapon with Greater Snap Shot? Answer: NO" they will keep saying they can. They will also start saying that you shouldn't take Greater Snap Shot, because you would lose the ability to flank so you should just stick to Improved Snap Shot. Because this theoretical FAQ doesn't mention Improved Snap Shot so it still wouldn't say I can't.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber
Cheapy wrote:

Because some people don't want it to settle the 'debate'. Until Jason Bulmahn personally comes to their gaming group and tells them the answer, it will be unresolved in their eyes.

Here's some text from a former-Pathfinder Design Team member, about a forum post regarding how many times per round sneak attack can happen. You'll note more than one similarity between these posts.

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Peter Kies wrote:
Thanks for the quick replies, but I am still requesting an official response.

By the way, that's not how we do things here, Peter. Our message board community has many people who really understand the rules, so when they are in agreement, you should trust their interpretation and not insist on an "official answer" from someone on the staff.

I agree with Sean's response on a personal level, but please note that his response may or may not be indicative of the opinion of the company, its staff and its policies. This is after all, a game, and while most game manufacturers will not see such a level of rules nitpicking, it is a core customer service duty to answer questions about how the game works, especially when the core product is a book of game rules.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber

addendum: I am not aware of internal work processes and standard operating procedures, and I suppose such systems are surely in place, but if a certain thread is FAQ'ed multiple times and generates hundreds of posts, it should probably be put on a response priority list. What I may suggest for Paizo: relax, this is just a game and do not be so fearful or cautious in providing answers. The Pathfinder RPG should be as much if not more malleable than comic books in terms that it can undo previous rulings/events with newer releases, etc. The fear of human error has because a pervasive paralytic force in most organizations these days: Paizo, please allow your people to be frank, opinionated, and make mistakes. I know where Sean might have been coming from with the quoted comment (i.e. pressures on product designers / devs / authors to come up with official answers may not be nice or detract from their busy schedules) but I already recall a simpler time when Pathfinder was young and answers came more readily...

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

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Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
answer questions about how the game works, especially when the core product is a book of game rules.

The problem is that there is a large minority of people who need to have their specific questioned answered, and won't accept guidance from FAQ that are not directly answering the question (but indirectly do like Gang Up.)

Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
I suppose such systems are surely in place, but if a certain thread is FAQ'ed multiple times and generates hundreds of posts, it should probably be put on a response priority list.

I can tell you that is not remotely like how it works for Paizo and this game product. There are FAQ with way more posts that don't have answers. There are FAQ with hundreds of clicks, with very contentious positions, and will likely stay unanswered for a long time.

It is my experience that most FAQ that get answered touch on new subjects and are less contentious. So I'd be surprised if another FAQ addressed ranged flanking because the Gang Up feat covers that subject. I'd also be surprised if they answered this question because both sides seems entrenched and the "pro" side has already threatened to blow up a sand storm if the "changed the rules".

TL;DR - Don't expect this to be in a new FAQ and if anything it will get "Answered in FAQ" referring to the Gang Up FAQ.


bbangerter wrote:
No. Untyped bonuses from the same source do not stack. In this case the source is 'flanking'
fretgod99 wrote:
The bonuese from multiple Aid Anothers stack because you're specifically told they stack. It's an exception to the "untyped bonuses from the same source don't stack" rule.

I just went searching for that "rule". Could not find it. Closest was this from the PRD:

stacking wrote:
Stacking refers to the act of adding together bonuses or penalties that apply to one particular check or statistic. Generally speaking, most bonuses of the same type do not stack. Instead, only the highest bonus applies. Most penalties do stack, meaning that their values are added together. Penalties and bonuses generally stack with one another, meaning that the penalties might negate or exceed part or all of the bonuses, and vice versa.

It has no mention of "source", and that "typed" bonuses do not stack.

Can one of you provide the link for the rule quoted?

/cevah


James Risner wrote:
Cevah wrote:

Gang-up FAQ's comment on ranged flanking is a reference to rules elsewhere, so it does not add to the rules on flanking.

it seems to me that is an indication it is not clear

The Gang Up FAQ effective makes a rule if you assert it isn't clear in the book, then it is abundantly clear. There doesn't have to be a line that makes it clear, since they use FAQ as Errata and shorthand.

As for being clear, if you would like to agree there is confusion on the matter and back off the "Only I'm right" mantra, I'll join you. I don't have a problem agreeing it isn't clear. I just can't accept "I'm right and you wrong" stances.

I don't think referring to something makes that something real. Many people refer to the Federation ship USS Enterprise. That does not make it a real ship. [yet]

The FAQ is clear that Gang-Up won't help you get additional positional options for ranged flanking, only melee.

The FAQ is referring to a rule. I want to see the rule it is referring to. Is that too much to ask? I expect they will point to the text on flanking, which means it does not change what that text actually states. Without changing the text, that faq becomes irrelevant to the discussion.

As to a "stance", I think I have backed up every one with reasons why I think the way I do. I have also, several times, agreed there is difference in opinion about the rule. I have asked for a FAQ. I even have a FAQ Request. If my stance was "you're wrong", why would I be asking for a FAQ? Some here have that attitude and say a FAQ is not needed. Not me.

/cevah


Canthin wrote:

MadMage, if you look up flanking in the CRB, it has you turn to page 196-197 and under the heading of "Flanking" it starts with "When making a melee attack,..." this is defining "Flanking". It even has a diagram with characters in different positions to help illustrate the topic.

In this diagram, it says that Merisiel is NOT flanking the ogre. Merisiel is DIRECTLY across from Seoni, but Seoni is 5' away from the ogre. If RANGED flanking was possible, didn't require threatening, and had nothing to do with the bonus, Merisiel would be flanking the ogre with Seoni. Assuredly it should reference that Seoni is flanking (if Ranged flanking was possible) since Merisiel DOES threaten the ogre. Also, it says specifically that the ogre is flanking Seoni because it has reach. "If the ogre didn't have reach to Seoni, though, he AND the goblin would not be flanking her."

NO WHERE in any of the examples does it say anything about bonuses. It only says "IS flanking because..." or "IS NOT flanking because..."

They drew us a picture, labeled the section "Flanking", and put it in the Index, but "Flanking" isn't a game term that means something? Wow. Just wow.

EDIT: I think that if they updated the diagram to include Gang Up, and Improved Snap Shot, it would demonstrate that if Merisiel had Gang Up, she would be flanking. It would also point out that if Seoni had Improved Snap Shot (and a ranged weapon), Merisel would be flanking because Seoni threatens, but that Seoni herself would not be flanking because she is using a ranged weapon.

The bold text is the best argument I have seen yet.

So how do you square that with the text of the second paragraph on flanking? They contradict each other. When a table and the text contradict, precedent has been set that text wins. I don't know if they have precedent for sidebars.

/cevah


James Risner wrote:
Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
I suppose such systems are surely in place, but if a certain thread is FAQ'ed multiple times and generates hundreds of posts, it should probably be put on a response priority list.

I can tell you that is not remotely like how it works for Paizo and this game product. There are FAQ with way more posts that don't have answers. There are FAQ with hundreds of clicks, with very contentious positions, and will likely stay unanswered for a long time.

It is my experience that most FAQ that get answered touch on new subjects and are less contentious. So I'd be surprised if another FAQ addressed ranged flanking because the Gang Up feat covers that subject. I'd also be surprised if they answered this question because both sides seems entrenched and the "pro" side has already threatened to blow up a sand storm if the "changed the rules".

TL;DR - Don't expect this to be in a new FAQ and if anything it will get "Answered in FAQ" referring to the Gang Up FAQ.

+1

The Rules FAQ

Quote:

In a long discussion thread about a question, which post should I FAQ-click?

The FAQ system treats each post (not each thread) as its own unique entity, so make sure you click the FAQ for the post with the question you want answered. Clicking a different post in that thread doesn’t help get the question answered.

/cevah


Cevah wrote:
Canthin wrote:

MadMage, if you look up flanking in the CRB, it has you turn to page 196-197 and under the heading of "Flanking" it starts with "When making a melee attack,..." this is defining "Flanking". It even has a diagram with characters in different positions to help illustrate the topic.

In this diagram, it says that Merisiel is NOT flanking the ogre. Merisiel is DIRECTLY across from Seoni, but Seoni is 5' away from the ogre. If RANGED flanking was possible, didn't require threatening, and had nothing to do with the bonus, Merisiel would be flanking the ogre with Seoni. Assuredly it should reference that Seoni is flanking (if Ranged flanking was possible) since Merisiel DOES threaten the ogre. Also, it says specifically that the ogre is flanking Seoni because it has reach. "If the ogre didn't have reach to Seoni, though, he AND the goblin would not be flanking her."

NO WHERE in any of the examples does it say anything about bonuses. It only says "IS flanking because..." or "IS NOT flanking because..."

They drew us a picture, labeled the section "Flanking", and put it in the Index, but "Flanking" isn't a game term that means something? Wow. Just wow.

EDIT: I think that if they updated the diagram to include Gang Up, and Improved Snap Shot, it would demonstrate that if Merisiel had Gang Up, she would be flanking. It would also point out that if Seoni had Improved Snap Shot (and a ranged weapon), Merisel would be flanking because Seoni threatens, but that Seoni herself would not be flanking because she is using a ranged weapon.

The bold text is the best argument I have seen yet.

So how do you square that with the text of the second paragraph on flanking? They contradict each other. When a table and the text contradict, precedent has been set that text wins. I don't know if they have precedent for sidebars.

/cevah

By not skipping over the first paragraph?

Liberty's Edge

Cevah wrote:

The bold text is the best argument I have seen yet.

So how do you square that with the text of the second paragraph on flanking? They contradict each other. When a table and the text contradict, precedent has been set that text wins. I don't know if they have precedent for sidebars.

/cevah

They do not contradict each other. Very simply, you are making that second paragraph to be more than it is meant to be.

I discussed this upthread. Click under the spoiler for "Flanking".


HangarFlying wrote:
Cevah wrote:

The bold text is the best argument I have seen yet.

So how do you square that with the text of the second paragraph on flanking? They contradict each other. When a table and the text contradict, precedent has been set that text wins. I don't know if they have precedent for sidebars.

/cevah

They do not contradict each other. Very simply, you are making that second paragraph to be more than it is meant to be.

I discussed this upthread. Click under the spoiler for "Flanking".

PRD, 2nd paragraph wrote:
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.

Upthread:

HangarFlying wrote:
A number of people have quoted this paragraph as proof that just because two characters are on opposite sides of a target from one another, this means that they are "flanking". This is not true.

You maintain this when it states:

Quote:
then the opponent is flanked

?

I am given a clear test, with a clear answer. The second paragraph starts with "when", just like the first paragraph. The first paragraph describes a bonus using the standard convention of placing a "type" word between the "+2" and the "bonus". This means this paragraph is about the bonus, and therefore not the condition. Change it to a different type of bonus, and it no longer makes remote sense as a definition of flanking.

/cevah

Liberty's Edge

You miss the first part of the paragraph that says "when in doubt..." When in doubt about what? When in doubt about your position to determine flanking per the first paragraph.

You are still making the 2nd paragraph to be more than what it is supposed to be.


Cevah wrote:


It has no mention of "source", and that "typed" bonuses do not stack.

Can one of you provide the link for the rule quoted?

/cevah

Magic section of the CRB (pg 208). There are also one or two FAQ entries that refer back to this.

PRD wrote:


Bonus Types: Usually, a bonus has a type that indicates how the spell grants the bonus. The important aspect of bonus types is that two bonuses of the same type don't generally stack. With the exception of dodge bonuses, most circumstance bonuses, and racial bonuses, only the better bonus of a given type works (see Combining Magical Effects). The same principle applies to penalties—a character taking two or more penalties of the same type applies only the worst one, although most penalties have no type and thus always stack. Bonuses without a type always stack, unless they are from the same source.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Cevah wrote:

I want to see the rule it is referring to. Is that too much to ask? I expect they will point to the text on flanking

Some here have that attitude and say a FAQ is not needed.

I expect they will point to that also, the difference is that you feel that line can't be interpreted to limit to melee only. I think it does limit to melee.

I think this thread makes it clear a FAQ is needed. I don't think it should be, because I see it answered via the Gang Up.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

The real question is "was this ever a question before the APG, UC, ACG, etc came out"? Because, to me, people are using things from these sources to muddy perfectly clear waters.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

the gang up faq doesn't apply because we're not arguing you flank with a ranged attack.

you flank with melee, and then use your flank to trigger sneak attack dice on your ranged attack.

the constant misconstrution that we're saying ranged attacks flank, is really annoying.

they do not flank with ranged attacks, however the rogue can still benefit from flanking while making a ranged attack. you could use that one teamwork feat to get the +2 bonus to AC, and make a range attack that round. THIS is what i am arguing, that flanking doesn't end when you make a ranged attack, but you still flank via melee. NOTHING ELSE.


HangarFlying wrote:
The real question is "was this ever a question before the APG, UC, ACG, etc came out"? Because, to me, people are using things from these sources to muddy perfectly clear waters.

Advanced Player Guide: First printing August 2010

Ultimate Combat: First printing August 2011
Question Asked: December 2009
Game with ranged flanking: January 2010

This was asked, and used, before those books.

/cevah

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Cevah wrote:
This was asked, and used, before those books.

In 3.5 everyone thought for ever that Ring of Sustanence allowed you to memorize spells 9 times a day and get 8 copies of your daily spells per day. Mostly because there wasn't a definition of "per day" and what it means in game. So prior to the FAQ there were a lot of confusion on the rule.

I wish this would get answered, but I don't have hope because it is already answered in the Gang Up FAQ. Maybe we can get an addendum to that FAQ saying it is applicable to all ranged situations.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Bandw2 wrote:

the gang up faq doesn't apply because we're not arguing you flank with a ranged attack.

you flank with melee, and then use your flank to trigger sneak attack dice on your ranged attack.

the constant misconstrution that we're saying ranged attacks flank, is really annoying.

they do not flank with ranged attacks, however the rogue can still benefit from flanking while making a ranged attack. you could use that one teamwork feat to get the +2 bonus to AC, and make a range attack that round. THIS is what i am arguing, that flanking doesn't end when you make a ranged attack, but you still flank via melee. NOTHING ELSE.

Sorry, there's a lot of short-handing going on in the discussion, mostly because the same things are being said over and over again.

My position is the same as yours, with one single exception: I believe that ranged attacks cannot benefit from flanking (in terms of sneak attack and other rider effects) unless the ability specifically allows it.

I am fully aware that there is some ambiguity in the rules (specifically that sneak attack seems to allow ranged sneaks through flanking with another weapon), but I discount them under the reasonableness test:

Would a non-gamer who was not trying to parse the rules as legalese believe that a section of the book which starts with "when making a melee attack" can actually apply to ranged attacks?

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Chemlak wrote:
Would a non-gamer who was not trying to parse the rules as legalese believe that a section of the book which starts with "when making a melee attack" can actually apply to ranged attacks?

Well said. +1

Liberty's Edge

Bandw2 wrote:

the gang up faq doesn't apply because we're not arguing you flank with a ranged attack.

you flank with melee, and then use your flank to trigger sneak attack dice on your ranged attack.

the constant misconstrution that we're saying ranged attacks flank, is really annoying.

they do not flank with ranged attacks, however the rogue can still benefit from flanking while making a ranged attack. you could use that one teamwork feat to get the +2 bonus to AC, and make a range attack that round. THIS is what i am arguing, that flanking doesn't end when you make a ranged attack, but you still flank via melee. NOTHING ELSE.

That's the rub. That you have a melee weapon in hand at the time you make a ranged attack is irrelevant. The discussion isn't about whether you provide flanking for someone else. Nor is it a discussion about whether two or more characters provide flanking for you to trigger an ability. It is a discussion on whether or not you are considered flanking when you make an attack with a ranged weapon.

But no matter. It's apparent by now that you're unwilling to see the argument from my point of view. I've said all that I can say on this subject, and I don't think there is much left to argue.

Go forth and game.


James Risner wrote:
Chemlak wrote:
Would a non-gamer who was not trying to parse the rules as legalese believe that a section of the book which starts with "when making a melee attack" can actually apply to ranged attacks?
Well said. +1

The real rub here is that it really doesn't matter what we think about the issue - Pathfinder (and all other P&P games) have the built in benefit of a rules arbiter in the form of the GM/DM, and as such the CRB itself even states that these are GUIDELINES on how to handle things, not 'written in stone' rules. This is less a game due to the lack of actual competition and more an experience.

I come from a background of many years of playing Magic and lots of Warhammer 40k, so when I see something called a Core Rulebook I tend to look at it from a perspective of legalese as a second nature because Warhammer is a competitive game without an arbiter and a LOT of complex rules to cover that have to be perfectly clear - I mean, would you play Chess with someone who didn't know how Rooks worked, or worse: used them incorrectly?

Bottom line is we can go back and forth on this all day and all that will matter is how the GM feels about it - personally, I think that two things are relevant when making the decision:

1. Does it make sense? Of course it does; your buddy has an opponent distracted, giving you a chance to take a gruesome attack from outside the enemy's range of vision.

2. Does it break the mechanic? Hardly. The set-up on getting behind an opponent with a ranged weapon alone is worthy of gaining some benefit (and, again, makes sense), and without an innate to-hit bonus the only thing you gain is sneak attack damage that scales to your level.

My third point is that it opens up OPTIONS; arbitrarily limiting a rogue to melee weapons only to use one of the core class skills despite it being a class that is inherently skilled with ranged weapons cuts players off from using a build they might enjoy - and isn't the most important rule to have fun?

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

MadMage wrote:

1. Does it make sense?

2. Does it break the mechanic?
3. it opens up OPTIONS

All three irrelevant. The real bottom line is there is a GM and how he wants to run it is all that matters. For rules discussion, we have two ways to read the rules being highlighted. One way says you can't get the benefit of flanking when making a ranged attack and we have Developer that agrees and a FAQ that makes it abundantly clear the rules don't allow for ranged flanking. The other way (the way you assert) isn't supported by the Developer or the FAQ on Gang Up. Which one should be used on the forum when instructing people how the rules work?

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