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


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Scarab Sages

Darkfire142 wrote:

What about the Enfilading Fire feat as it gives the +2 flanking bonus to a ranged attack against enemies who are flanked by 1 or more allies with this feat.

Prerequisites: Point-Blank Shot, Precise Shot, one other teamwork feat.

Benefit: You receive a +2 bonus on ranged attacks made against a foe flanked by 1 or more allies with this feat.

Nothing. It was used as an (incorrect) example that people are flanking an opponent when they are not making an attack.


Shar Tahl wrote:

This seems like a lot of energy spent into trying to exploit wording to have a single sneak attack used via touch AC. There are clear precedents that call out flanking as melee attacks, clear intent to have said attacks while flanking be the same mode as the weapon causing the flanking. There is no need to errata or FAQ as far as I can tell.

Allowing this particular action would open up problems such as a rogue archer with a spiked gauntlet claiming to be threatening with the gauntlet and getting bow sneak attacks on all attacks. It sucks being wrong, but you have to suck it up and deal with it. It happens to everyone in life

I agree that there is not a need for a FAQ - the case being debated is clearly a corner case. On the other hand, errata would be welcome if for no other reason than the way the flanking section is currently written it is confusing and ill-formatted. A simple rewrite could solve all of these little side debates.

As to your second example - Unless that rogue has Point Blank Master, they are getting hit with an AoO every time they try this. So again, we are talking about a rogue that has invested 6 feats into being able to do this one thing (Point Blank Shot, Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization, Rapid Shot, Snap Shot, and Point Blank Master) only to be just slightly more versatile than a rogue that carries daggers and a bow... how is that "opening up problems"?

Additionally - this is a Rules Forum... yet people on here are so quick to jump to "I'm Right, and You are Wrong" the moment it becomes clear that there is differing opinon on a reading of the rules. I'm a little surprised that more threads like this aren't widely responded to with "This is a corner case to which the written rules are not very clear. As such it is up to your GM" Or even "I would rule _________ but the RAW is a little vague here so it would be up to your GM".


Oddman80 wrote:
I agree that there is not a need for a FAQ - the case being debated is clearly a corner case. On the other hand, errata would be welcome if for no other reason than the way the flanking section is currently written it is confusing and ill-formatted. A simple rewrite could solve all of these little side debates.

Have to agree on this: right now the rules can't seem to decide whether flanking is a condition inflicted on an enemy or a modifier on melee attack rolls.


Quote:

1. Are the parties in the correct positions?

2. Is the type of attack being made one that can benefit from the positions the relevant parties are in?

If the rogue is flanking he gets Sneak Attack, RAW. So yes, the attack should benefit from his position.

The only question remaining, RAW, is whether the rogue is flanking. The argument "flanking only exists while an attack is being made" has been repeated OVER AND OVER and has zero justification in the rules, and several places where the rules seem to contradict it.


ryric wrote:
You are only flanking when making a melee attack, it's not a state that turns on or off.

I see this as the answer.


The real thing here, is that it's clear the developers intend for flanking to be melee only.

Whatever else, that seems true. To that end, it seems like any combination that involves ranged and flanking immeadiately fails as flanking cannot be applied.

And this isn't a throw rogues a bone deal either, because there are now too many classes with sneak attack and options to get it. Options that would probably make ranged flanking too powerful when capable of being combined with Sneak Attack.

COuld the rogue use such a thing? Certainly, but if you open it up to everybody else it's just going to become too powerful. And everyone else will do it better.


Nicos wrote:
ryric wrote:
You are only flanking when making a melee attack, it's not a state that turns on or off.
I see this as the answer.

Many people seem to "see this as the answer", but we are in the Rules forum, not the House Rules forum. And the rules do not support this reading.


RumpinRufus wrote:
Nicos wrote:
ryric wrote:
You are only flanking when making a melee attack, it's not a state that turns on or off.
I see this as the answer.
Many people seem to "see this as the answer", but we are in the Rules forum, not the House Rules forum. And the rules do not support this reading.

Except the part where the rule says "when making a melee attack..."

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
RumpinRufus wrote:
And the rules do not support this reading.

I'm curious how many of your examples of the rules not supporting it come from non-CRB sources that were written after Pathfinder was updated from 3.5.


Darkfire142 wrote:

What about the Enfilading Fire feat as it gives the +2 flanking bonus to a ranged attack against enemies who are flanked by 1 or more allies with this feat.

Prerequisites: Point-Blank Shot, Precise Shot, one other teamwork feat.

Benefit: You receive a +2 bonus on ranged attacks made against a foe flanked by 1 or more allies with this feat.

It's not a flanking bonus, just an untyped bonus. All it does is give a +2 bonus on ranged attacks, it's not a flanking bonus of +2. Just because +2 bonus is the same as amount as a flanking bonus, it does not call out as a specific bonus just a flat untyped bonus.


RumpinRufus wrote:
Quote:

1. Are the parties in the correct positions?

2. Is the type of attack being made one that can benefit from the positions the relevant parties are in?

If the rogue is flanking he gets Sneak Attack, RAW. So yes, the attack should benefit from his position.

The only question remaining, RAW, is whether the rogue is flanking. The argument "flanking only exists while an attack is being made" has been repeated OVER AND OVER and has zero justification in the rules, and several places where the rules seem to contradict it.

If the Rogue is making an appropriate attack, s/he gets sneak attack.

Again, if you're arguing that flanking is purely positional, explain the Gang Up FAQ to me. If flanking is purely positional, that FAQ is utter nonsense.


Nicos wrote:
RumpinRufus wrote:
Nicos wrote:
ryric wrote:
You are only flanking when making a melee attack, it's not a state that turns on or off.
I see this as the answer.
Many people seem to "see this as the answer", but we are in the Rules forum, not the House Rules forum. And the rules do not support this reading.
Except the part where the rule says "when making a melee attack..."

And, the game's lead designer reiterating it in a FAQ response:

Quote:
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)


Nicos wrote:
RumpinRufus wrote:
Nicos wrote:
ryric wrote:
You are only flanking when making a melee attack, it's not a state that turns on or off.
I see this as the answer.
Many people seem to "see this as the answer", but we are in the Rules forum, not the House Rules forum. And the rules do not support this reading.
Except the part where the rule says "when making a melee attack..."

If you quoted the sentence in context, you would see that it is referring to when you get a +2 bonus on attack rolls.

TriOmegaZero wrote:
I'm curious how many of your examples of the rules not supporting it come from non-CRB sources that were written after Pathfinder was updated from 3.5.

There is simply nothing in the rules that says flanking only exists at the moment of a melee attack. And for the record, Enfilading Fire was published in Ultimate Combat.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
RumpinRufus wrote:
And for the record, Enfilading Fire was published in Ultimate Combat.

So, non-CRB. Do you have anything else that is CRB showing flanking as a condition?


Oddman80 wrote:

You are drawing more meaning form the Gang Up FAQ than is actually there.

The FAQ question does not say anything about threatening with a melee weapon, and then making a ranged attack, and so the FAQ answer does not raise that possibility. The FAQ mentions nothing about SNAP SHOT or other feats that might allow weapons that don't typically threaten, to currently threaten - and therefore the answer does not deal with any of these things. The fact that the base FAQ question was framed in a way to assume no other special circumstances were in play, the answer to the FAQ assumed no other special circumstances were in play.

That FAQ was written before Snap Shot existed. I've stated that in this and other threads. And as I've stated, there is at least an argument that with the Snap Shot chain, perhaps the intent was that one should be able to flank. As written, you cannot because Snap Shot only lets you threaten and Flank still references melee. Regardless, there is at least a plausible argument to be made.

The question posed was whether a person could flank with a ranged weapon if they had Gang Up. The feat lets you be considered flanking if two allies are threatening the same target. Literally the only thing Gang Up changes is where you need to be standing to flank an opponent. It changes nothing else about whether a person threatens with ranged weapons. But again, if your position is that flanking is only positional, then whether a person is threatening an opponent is irrelevant. All that matters is position. And yet you still cannot flank with a ranged weapon combined with Gang Up. That only makes sense if you cannot benefit from flanking with a ranged weapon.

How Snap Shot changes that is irrelevant. How Whip Mastery changes that is irrelevant. The argument presented is that flanking is positional, thus all you have to do is satisfy the position requirements of flanking and you flank, regardless of the weapon used. If that is the case, why can't you use Gang Up to flank with a ranged weapon?

Quote:

Furthermore, the Gang Up FAQ in NO way counters the litany of examples provided by RumpinRufus that clearly indicates that Flanking is a condition one can have outside of ones own turn order and that being Flanked is a condition that one can have outside of the moment in which one gets melee attacked by a flanking character.

The only argument supporting the position that all of those feats are wrong/poorly written/can't work by RAW, is the argument that the following line "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." is THE definition of flanking itself, and not simply a definition of how one can get a "+2 Flanking Bonus"... But that very argument is a divergence from RAW. It is making an assumption that "Flanking" and "Flanking Bonus" are the same thing.

I addressed Enfilading Fire and Coordinated Shot here.

Quote:

I will jump on the "Ambiguous" train. I agree that due to either sloppy writing or poor formatting, it is unclear (had the section talking about positioning been indented one step in from the first line, then the more conservative reading would be clear - but no set/subset of rules is established)- but my RAW reading is that if i have the sneak attack ability, and i am holding a lance in one hand while on a horse (establishing reach/threat for flanking), that i am on the opposite side of an enemy from an ally that also threatens that enemy, i can throw a dart with my other hand and while I would get no bonus to my attack roll for flanking, I would get sneak attack damage.

Now, WHY I WOULD WANT TO DO THAT is irrelevant, I believe I have met every requirement of RAW to get the sneak attack damage.

Then again, I ask you to explain the Gang Up FAQ. If flanking is positional only, and all Gang Up changes is positioning, why can't I flank with a bow if I have the Gang Up feat?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Chengar Qordath wrote:
Oddman80 wrote:
I agree that there is not a need for a FAQ - the case being debated is clearly a corner case. On the other hand, errata would be welcome if for no other reason than the way the flanking section is currently written it is confusing and ill-formatted. A simple rewrite could solve all of these little side debates.
Have to agree on this: right now the rules can't seem to decide whether flanking is a condition inflicted on an enemy or a modifier on melee attack rolls.

It's a melee situation which produces a flanking melee attacked modifier.


Darkfire142 wrote:

What about the Enfilading Fire feat as it gives the +2 flanking bonus to a ranged attack against enemies who are flanked by 1 or more allies with this feat.

Prerequisites: Point-Blank Shot, Precise Shot, one other teamwork feat.

Benefit: You receive a +2 bonus on ranged attacks made against a foe flanked by 1 or more allies with this feat.

No it doesn't. It gives a +2 bonus on ranged attacks against such an enemy; it does not say that you are flanking the enemy.

EDIT: Ninja'd


Sniggevert wrote:
Nicos wrote:
RumpinRufus wrote:
Nicos wrote:
ryric wrote:
You are only flanking when making a melee attack, it's not a state that turns on or off.
I see this as the answer.
Many people seem to "see this as the answer", but we are in the Rules forum, not the House Rules forum. And the rules do not support this reading.
Except the part where the rule says "when making a melee attack..."

And, the game's lead designer reiterating it in a FAQ response:

Quote:
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)

The text of the flanking ability does specifically refer to melee attacks, it says "When making a melee attack, you get a +2 flanking bonus ..."

The FAQ demonstrates reaffirms that you cannot get a +2 flanking bonus on ranged attacks. Which I have stated is not under contention from the very first post in this thread.


RumpinRufus wrote:
Sniggevert wrote:
Nicos wrote:
RumpinRufus wrote:
Nicos wrote:
ryric wrote:
You are only flanking when making a melee attack, it's not a state that turns on or off.
I see this as the answer.
Many people seem to "see this as the answer", but we are in the Rules forum, not the House Rules forum. And the rules do not support this reading.
Except the part where the rule says "when making a melee attack..."

And, the game's lead designer reiterating it in a FAQ response:

Quote:
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)

The text of the flanking ability does specifically refer to melee attacks, it says "When making a melee attack, you get a +2 flanking bonus ..."

The FAQ demonstrates reaffirms that you cannot get a +2 flanking bonus on ranged attacks. Which I have stated is not under contention from the very first post in this thread.

No it doesn't. It says you don't get to benefit from flanking while using a ranged weapon.

The question posed is literally "Can I flank with a ranged weapon". Notice that it is not "Can I get the +2 bonus to my attack with a ranged weapon". Even if flanking is a condition, as you claim, the Gang Up FAQ is then asking about the condition, not the bonus.

"Can I flank with a ranged weapon?"
No.


RumpinRufus wrote:
Sniggevert wrote:
Nicos wrote:
RumpinRufus wrote:
Nicos wrote:
ryric wrote:
You are only flanking when making a melee attack, it's not a state that turns on or off.
I see this as the answer.
Many people seem to "see this as the answer", but we are in the Rules forum, not the House Rules forum. And the rules do not support this reading.
Except the part where the rule says "when making a melee attack..."

And, the game's lead designer reiterating it in a FAQ response:

Quote:
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)

The text of the flanking ability does specifically refer to melee attacks, it says "When making a melee attack, you get a +2 flanking bonus ..."

The FAQ demonstrates reaffirms that you cannot get a +2 flanking bonus on ranged attacks. Which I have stated is not under contention from the very first post in this thread.

PRD Gang Up wrote:
Benefit: You are considered to be flanking an opponent if at least two of your allies are threatening that opponent, regardless of your actual positioning.

The FAQ is not reaffirming you don't get a bonus. It's reaffirming you have to be making a melee attack to flank at all.


Hey everyone, let's look at EVEN MORE evidence debunking the "flanking only exists during a melee attack" theory:

Improved Back to Back (Teamwork) wrote:
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.

It is a swift action to activate, meaning you can only use it on your turn, and it refers to "an ally who is flanked", meaning even on your own turn your ally is considered "flanked".

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Still not CRB. You're only proving that authors after the CRB were under the mistaken idea that flanked is a condition.

Scarab Sages

Yup. The assumption by all of these feats and abilities is that flanked is a condition that occurs when you have positional factors. That assumption is not supported by the rules and are handwaved by houserules to make them work. In order for these feats to work under the rules, Flanked needs errata to clarify that it is a condition.


RumpinRufus wrote:

Hey everyone, let's look at EVEN MORE evidence debunking the "flanking only exists during a melee attack" theory:

Improved Back to Back (Teamwork) wrote:
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.
It is a swift action to activate, meaning you can only use it on your turn, and it refers to "an ally who is flanked", meaning even on your own turn your ally is considered "flanked".

It's still not relevant. Even if flanked were a condition, it would only apply when using melee attacks.


Ok, you demand CRB? Well no problem.

Quote:
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.

It appears you are indeed in doubt about whether two characters flank an opponent, so the above quote is very convenient!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

And directly before that it says

Quote:
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.

So you need to show where it allows ranged attacks to benefit from flanking.

There is no need for hyperbole and sarcasm. This isn't a political policy discussion, it's a game discussion. There is absolutely nothing riding on either of us being right.


I'm sorry, I'm just getting frustrated that the idea of "flanking exists only during a melee attack" has no basis in RAW, and many counter-examples, but so many people are insisting on it anyway. Not giving any evidence, not giving rationale, just insisting that it's true.

The issue of whether an attacker receives a flanking bonus is separate from whether a creature is flanked. They are in separate paragraphs, and referred to differently throughout the rules.


RumpinRufus wrote:

I'm sorry, I'm just getting frustrated that the idea of "flanking exists only during a melee attack" has no basis in RAW, and many counter-examples, but so many people are insisting on it anyway. Not giving any evidence, not giving rationale, just insisting that it's true.

The issue of whether an attacker receives a flanking bonus is separate from whether a creature is flanked. They are in separate paragraphs, and referred to differently throughout the rules.

Still waiting for you to explain how the Gang Up FAQ makes any sense if flanking is a condition that is opened up for people with the Gang Up feat. Why doesn't it apply to ranged attackers, too, if flanked is a condition that is applied to the enemy combatant and it dependent only upon the relative positions of the attackers?


I will concede that by extrapolating from the Gang Up FAQ, there is an implication that ranged attacks do not benefit from flanking under any circumstances.


Triomegazero - And yet the line you quote as proving it must be melee does not actually say that that is the conditions that must be met to be considered flanking... Only to get the flanking bonus.

As far as why the FAQ says what it does, it's obvious to me that the author's intent for the feat was that it would only be used for melee, and so they answered it as best they could to limit it back to the intended design.

Quote:
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)

Notice he said "flanking specifically refers to melee attacks." That is a true statement. The rules for flanking does specifically call out melee attacks in parts of the text... But those parts of the text do not support his conclusion. Nonetheless, since Pathfinder FAQs are considered rules, the current rule is that Ranged attacks gain no benefit from Gang Up.

Now, had he said since "...flanking only happens while making melee attacks..." You would have s new broader rule that could then be applied to other feats.

But he didn't say that. His response would have been more honest if he had said "The feat makes no mention of ranged attacks being included, therefore ranged attacks do not benefit from this feat."

But as stands, what he did write is no different than had he written "The feat makes no mention of ranged attacks being included, and since flanking specifically refers to creatures with a reach of 0 feet, ranged attacks do not benefit from this feat.


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More proof that the concept of flanking and the +2 flanking bonus are separate entities:

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

It does not say the opponent stops flanking, it just says it doesn't get the flanking bonus on attack rolls.


RumpinRufus wrote:

I'm sorry, I'm just getting frustrated that the idea of "flanking exists only during a melee attack" has no basis in RAW, and many counter-examples, but so many people are insisting on it anyway. Not giving any evidence, not giving rationale, just insisting that it's true.

The issue of whether an attacker receives a flanking bonus is separate from whether a creature is flanked. They are in separate paragraphs, and referred to differently throughout the rules.

I do agree that they seem to commonly refer to being flanked (as in a condition on an opponent), but that is a different idea than when you are flanking.

I haven't double checked all of the sources brought up but Enfilading Fire, and Imp Back To Back all refer to something being flanked, but never do I see that a creature can be flanking unless they're making a melee attack.

I'd be interested to see anything referring to someone flanking when they're not making an attack.


Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber
Forseti wrote:

More proof that the concept of flanking and the +2 flanking bonus are separate entities:

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

It does not say the opponent stops flanking, it just says it doesn't get the flanking bonus on attack rolls.

But it doesn't. This says that 1) you hit and the target can't get the benefits of flanking, 2) the target is still considered to be threatening and in correct positioning for any of their allies to benefit from their position.

Neither of these things change the argument that flanking only applies during a melee attack.


j b 200 wrote:
Forseti wrote:

More proof that the concept of flanking and the +2 flanking bonus are separate entities:

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

It does not say the opponent stops flanking, it just says it doesn't get the flanking bonus on attack rolls.

But it doesn't. This says that 1) you hit and the target can't get the benefits of flanking, 2) the target is still considered to be threatening and in correct positioning for any of their allies to benefit from their position.

Neither of these things change the argument that flanking only applies during a melee attack.

He was refuting the "flanking = flanking bonus" argument. The Flanking Foil feat shows explicitly that a creature can be flanking even when receiving no flanking bonus.


j b 200 wrote:
Forseti wrote:

More proof that the concept of flanking and the +2 flanking bonus are separate entities:

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

It does not say the opponent stops flanking, it just says it doesn't get the flanking bonus on attack rolls.

But it doesn't. This says that 1) you hit and the target can't get the benefits of flanking, 2) the target is still considered to be threatening and in correct positioning for any of their allies to benefit from their position.

Neither of these things change the argument that flanking only applies during a melee attack.

You're contradicting yourself. For there to be "benefits of flanking" there has to be something called flanking. If the benefits of flanking are the same thing as flanking itself, none of it makes sense.

"that opponent does not gain any flanking bonus on attack rolls while it is getting a flanking bonus on attack rolls against you", that's a bit of a paradox.

Edit: another example of someone flanking while not attacking:

Elusive Target: At 5th level, as an immediate action, a flowing monk may spend 2 points from his ki pool to attempt a Reflex save opposed by an attacker's attack roll to halve damage from that attack. At 11th level and above, the flowing monk suffers no damage on a successful save, or half damage on a failed save. If the attacker is flanking the monk, the flanking opponent who is not attacking becomes the target of the attack.

Flanking is obviously something one can be engaged in even while not making an attack. The rules instances that imply this are numerous, and even appear in the CRB if one cares about that book being the primary source on the subject.


Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

You are forgetting that specific trumps general. This feat does not change how Flanking works, it modifies Flanking for this specific instance. Another example is that Combat Maneuvers provoke an AoO. They all do. But if you take Improved ______ feat then you alter how that combat maneuver works in that instance only. It doesn't change that Combat Maneuvers provoke an AoO, it just says the rule works slightly different for you. Flanking only occurs during a melee attack, and this feat doesn't change that, it only changes how Flanking works in this one instance.

This whole conversation starts with the OP not saying "this feat lets me do this" but that "the general rules say I can do this." Those are two very different conversations. Flanking Foil does not errata Flanking, it modifies it only for one instance.

Remember the OP question is about the general rule. By pointing out that a specific rule trumps it for all instances doesn't make sense. That's like arguing that since the Fly spell exists everyone can fly.


Forseti wrote:
j b 200 wrote:
Forseti wrote:

More proof that the concept of flanking and the +2 flanking bonus are separate entities:

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

It does not say the opponent stops flanking, it just says it doesn't get the flanking bonus on attack rolls.

But it doesn't. This says that 1) you hit and the target can't get the benefits of flanking, 2) the target is still considered to be threatening and in correct positioning for any of their allies to benefit from their position.

Neither of these things change the argument that flanking only applies during a melee attack.

You're contradicting yourself. For there to be "benefits of flanking" there has to be something called flanking. If the benefits of flanking are the same thing as flanking itself, none of it makes sense.

"that opponent does not gain any flanking bonus on attack rolls while it is getting a flanking bonus on attack rolls againt you", that's a bit of a paradox.

Not really. What it does is say that the struck target counts to help its allies flank you, but doesn't itself benefit in any way from flanking. Just like a character with Snap Shot is flanking an enemy for the purpose of the ally being able to get bonuses on its melee attacks and be able to sneak attack, but does not get any benefits from flanking on its own attacks.

Ultimately, whether or not flanking is a condition or simply positional (which is dubious), flanking still doesn't at this point apply any benefits whatsoever on someone making a ranged attack.


Bedeviling Aura (Su): At 8th level, you can emit a 30-foot aura that bedevils your enemies with phantasmal assailants. Enemies within this aura move at half speed, are unable to take attacks of opportunity, and are considered to be flanked. This is a mind-affecting effect. You can use this ability for a number of rounds per day equal to your wizard level. These rounds do not need to be consecutive.

Here we have creatures being considered flanked without even the presence of adjacent enemies. Not getting any less ambiguous.


Forseti wrote:

Bedeviling Aura (Su): At 8th level, you can emit a 30-foot aura that bedevils your enemies with phantasmal assailants. Enemies within this aura move at half speed, are unable to take attacks of opportunity, and are considered to be flanked. This is a mind-affecting effect. You can use this ability for a number of rounds per day equal to your wizard level. These rounds do not need to be consecutive.

Here we have creatures being considered flanked without even the presence of adjacent enemies. Not getting any less ambiguous.

So what you're saying is, this ability changes the positional aspect of what is required for a creature to be flanked and/or for the attacker to benefit from flanking, just like other abilities.

True, this isn't getting any less ambiguous. Because it's not particularly ambiguous. It's also not getting any more ambiguous.

And there's still no indication that ranged attacks can benefit from flanking.


fretgod99 wrote:
What it does is say that the struck target counts to help its allies flank you, but doesn't itself benefit in any way from flanking. Just like a character with Snap Shot is flanking an enemy for the purpose of the ally being able to get bonuses on its melee attacks and be able to sneak attack, but does not get any benefits from flanking on its own attacks.

You're confusing me now. I believe what you mean to say is that the Snap Shot user is threatening an enemy instead of flanking it, in order to provide its ally with a flanking bonus. If what you're saying is what you do mean to say, you're actually conceding the point that one can be flanking while not attacking.

fretgod99 wrote:
Ultimately, whether or not flanking is a condition or simply positional (which is dubious), flanking still doesn't at this point apply any benefits whatsoever on someone making a ranged attack.

That part actually doesn't interest me. I'm just in this to find out if flanking is something that's happening regardless of whether or not melee attacks are being made.


fretgod99 wrote:
Forseti wrote:

Bedeviling Aura (Su): At 8th level, you can emit a 30-foot aura that bedevils your enemies with phantasmal assailants. Enemies within this aura move at half speed, are unable to take attacks of opportunity, and are considered to be flanked. This is a mind-affecting effect. You can use this ability for a number of rounds per day equal to your wizard level. These rounds do not need to be consecutive.

Here we have creatures being considered flanked without even the presence of adjacent enemies. Not getting any less ambiguous.

So what you're saying is, this ability changes the positional aspect of what is required for a creature to be flanked and/or for the attacker to benefit from flanking

No, what I'm saying is, creatures can apparently be considered flanked regardless of positioning or even the presence of threatening enemies at all. Independently of all of that, creatures can be considered to be 'flanked', and for that to mean something, 'being flanked' has to be something that can exist without melee attacks being made.


FAQ:

Quote:
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)

The italics is a restatement of JMB's understanding of how flanking works. It is not phased as a changed to the rules. It is also, in my opinion, not RAW, due to the flanking test in the rules under flanking. [i.e. "When in doubt...".]

The bold is phased as a change to the feat only, since it has the text "benefit from this feat". Clearly, the FAQ applies only to this feat, and is not an expansion to other flanking rules.

Additionally, the sneak attack bonus is not a bonus on flanking, but a class feature that triggers on flanking.

Lastly, to those pointing out items in tables, remember, text trumps tables.

/cevah

PS: Click the FAQ requests at this and this post.


Got beat to it, but as Cevah pointed out, the Gang Up FAQ is far narrower than you want it to be fretgod.

The question was not "Can I flank with a ranged weapon," as you propose.

The question was:
"Does this feat allow you to flank a foe with ranged weapons?"

The response wasn't no. It was:
"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."

Everything was only in reference to that feat. It never states that ranged attacks can not ever be used to flank, it states that the feat does not benefit ranged attacks.

You want to push it as a wide rule across ranged attacks, while I maintain it is a narrow rule to fix a wrongly worded feat. The feat is clearly meant to let people swarm an enemy, not sharpshoot over the backs of a couple fighters.

j b 200, there is no specific vs. general rule issues here. Nothing is changing how flanking works in any of these cases. They reference that people need to be flanking, or flank, as a requirement. They don't allow any extra allowances for people to flank. So if flanking is not a condition, but literally a +2 bonus on melee attacks at the exact time of an attack, then none of them work.

The second paragraph of flanking makes it clear that opponents are flanked, meaning it is conditional, not just the acquisition of the bonus at a specific time.

Ssyvan, Assault Leader does just that. It references an ally that is flanking (at the time you miss an attack, so they can't be making one at that time), and it also references the enemy as flanked (meaning it is conditional). Both of which work with flanking being a condition, but neither works with flanking being just the bonus and nothing more.

Scarab Sages

The second paragraph of flanking does not make it clear that flanking is a condition, it makes it clear under what conditions you may apply a flanking bonus to melee attacks.


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Imbicatus wrote:

The second paragraph of flanking does not make it clear that flanking is a condition, it makes it clear under what conditions you may apply a flanking bonus to melee attacks.

Flanking 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.

I cannot reconcile these two statements.

/cevah

Scarab Sages

Cevah wrote:
Imbicatus wrote:

The second paragraph of flanking does not make it clear that flanking is a condition, it makes it clear under what conditions you may apply a flanking bonus to melee attacks.

Flanking 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.

I cannot reconcile these two statements.

/cevah

The first sentence limits the scope of the paragraph. The opponent is only flanked by the two characters that are threatening the opponent, and only for the duration of each melee attack. Flanked is never defined outside of the flanking bonus.


Crash_00 wrote:

Got beat to it, but as Cevah pointed out, the Gang Up FAQ is far narrower than you want it to be fretgod.

The question was not "Can I flank with a ranged weapon," as you propose.

The question was:
"Does this feat allow you to flank a foe with ranged weapons?"

The response wasn't no. It was:
"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."

Everything was only in reference to that feat. It never states that ranged attacks can not ever be used to flank, it states that the feat does not benefit ranged attacks.

You want to push it as a wide rule across ranged attacks, while I maintain it is a narrow rule to fix a wrongly worded feat. The feat is clearly meant to let people swarm an enemy, not sharpshoot over the backs of a couple fighters.

j b 200, there is no specific vs. general rule issues here. Nothing is changing how flanking works in any of these cases. They reference that people need to be flanking, or flank, as a requirement. They don't allow any extra allowances for people to flank. So if flanking is not a condition, but literally a +2 bonus on melee attacks at the exact time of an attack, then none of them work.

The second paragraph of flanking makes it clear that opponents are flanked, meaning it is conditional, not just the acquisition of the bonus at a specific time.

Ssyvan, Assault Leader does just that. It references an ally that is flanking (at the time you miss an attack, so they can't be making one at that time), and it also references the enemy as flanked (meaning it is conditional). Both of which work with flanking being a condition, but neither works with flanking being just the bonus and nothing more.

Let me think on that a bit. It certainly comes close. My issue with it is that it isn't completely decoupled from a melee attack, I was hoping for something more clean cut.

And for those that are curious, I started a thread on this last year which covers a lot of what has already been covered here.

All of that said, I still think the Gang Up FAQ makes it clear that you can only be flanking during a melee attack.


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^ Arrrggghhh - imbicatus, you keep saying that, but a statement of when you get a bonus to melee attacks is not a definition of that thing...

Here are all the examples I can find that go counter to this one (non- word meaning based) interpretTion of the flanking rules.

Amplified Rage (Pathfinder Companion - Orcs of Golarion):
Assumes flanking is purely positional, as it grants STR & CON bonuses to a flanking character, regardless of turn. Therefore flanking is not defined solely as an attack bonus received when making a melee attack in a particular configuration.

Assault Leader [i](Pathfinder - Advanced Player's Guide):
Assumes that your allies are able to be considered flanking when it is not their turn to act. Therefore flanking is not defined solely as an attack bonus received when making a melee attack in a particular configuration.

Coordinated Shot (Pathfinder - Advanced Player's Guide):
Assumes that your allies are able to be considered flanking when it is not their turn to act. Therefore flanking is not defined solely as an attack bonus received when making a melee attack in a particular configuration.

Dimensional Savant (Ultimate Combat):
Allows you to be considered as flanking from spaces you no longer are in

Shrewd Liason (Pathfinder Campaign Setting):
Establishes that it is possible to get sneak attack damage from flanking even when you don't get a flanking bonus. Therefore flanking is not defined solely as an attack bonus received when making a melee attack in a particular configuration.

Shrewd Tactician (Inner Sea World Guide):
Establishes that it is possible to get sneak attack damage from flanking even when you don't get a flanking bonus. Therefore flanking is not defined solely as an attack bonus received when making a melee attack in a particular configuration.

Stance of the Xorn (Dwarves of Golarion):
Establishes that it is possible to get sneak attack damage from flanking even when you don't get a flanking bonus. Therefore flanking is not defined solely as an attack bonus received when making a melee attack in a particular configuration.

Surprise Maneuver (Pathfinder-Advanced Class Guide):
Grants flanking-contingent bonuses (assuming position requirements are met) when you perform a trip combat maneuver. Hence it is possible to be flanking on your turn even when you do something other than a melee attack. Therefore flanking is not defined solely as an attack bonus received when making a melee attack in a particular configuration.

Topple Foe (Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Rival Guide):
Assumes that your allies are able to be considered flanking when it is not their turn to act. AND it grants flanking-contingent bonuses (assuming position requirements are met) when you perform a trip combat maneuver. Hence it is possible to be flanking on your turn even when you do something other than a melee attack. Therefore flanking is not defined solely as an attack bonus received when making a melee attack in a particular configuration.

Item: Knucklebone of Fickle Fortune (Ultimate Equipment ):
Establishes that a character can be flanking and do something other that make a melee attack.

Item: Ring of Swarming Stabs (Ultimate Equipment ):
Establishes that a character can be flanking and do something other that make a melee attack.


Crash_00 wrote:


The response wasn't no. It was:
"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."

Everything was only in reference to that feat. It never states that ranged attacks can not ever be used to flank, it states that the feat does not benefit ranged attacks.

Let's try this again. The feat does the following:

Allows you to get a flanking bonus so long as two of your allies are threatening.
Ranged attacks do not benefit from this feat.

So how does this match up with the general rules:
Normally you need a threatening ally opposite of you to get the flanking bonus.
And the second part, most importantly, "...since flanking specifically refers to melee attacks..." This is an explanation of why ranged attacks do not benefit. It is not a statement that they do not benefit only from this feat.

In regards to the arguing over whether flanking is a condition or not, here are some thoughts.
Flanked and flanking are not the exact same thing (though closely related to one another). If an ally is on the opposite side of the enemy from you and is threatening said enemy they are flanked. That is your ally has flanked the enemy (this for all intents and purposes is a condition). You, on the other hand, need to be flanking the enemy. To be flanking you must be making a melee attack (and as such will receive the +2 flanking bonus).

Yes that is a pretty fine parsing of words, but there is a distinction to be made there. An enemy being flanked does not necessarily mean you are flanking it - it simply means you have an ally in the appropriate position and capability of threatening such that if you can meet the other half of the requirements then you get the flanking bonus. The number one requirement of course being, you are attacking with a melee weapon, as noted both in the flanking rules, and re-emphasized as a general rule in the gang up FAQ.

EDIT: The word flanking is at times used to mean being in the flank position (or in other words you have flanked an enemy for your ally). But it's sufficiently clear to me that in order to derive any benefits from flanking you must be making an attack (which must be a melee attack) at which point you get the +2 bonus and can apply sneak attack.

Scarab Sages

All of those feats, abilities, and items do not work raw. They only work by creating a psuedo condition called flanked. That condition is not defined in the core rules as anything except the flanking bonus to melee attacks and the positions attackers must be in to apply that bonus.

This is my point. That condition should be clarified and defined.

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