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


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bbangerter wrote:
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:

Allies 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...

Thank you bbangerter, that is pretty much exactly what I was trying to express when I said decoupled from an attack. What you said is wayyyyyyyyyyyy more clear!


bbangerter wrote:

To be flanking you must be making a melee attack (and as such will receive the +2 flanking bonus).

now provide the RAW text that states that position.


Oddman80 wrote:


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.

I didn't look through all the entries you listed, but these two don't actually allow you to do something instead of a melee attack. They add a additional bonus to a flanking melee attack you are making.


Oddman80 wrote:
bbangerter wrote:

To be flanking you must be making a melee attack (and as such will receive the +2 flanking bonus).

now provide the RAW text that states that position.

It's already been provided. But I'll iterate it again.

"When making a melee attack..."

And from gang-up feat, as a general rule that explains why ranged attacks don't work with gang-up. "...since flanking specifically refers to melee attacks..."

If you don't accept either of those, there is nothing more to discuss.

EDIT: In contrast, can you provide any rule that overrules the "... since flanking specifically refers to melee attacks..."?


Imbicatus wrote:
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

Imbicatus wrote:
The first sentence limits the scope of the paragraph.

Correct. Same is true for the preceding paragraph.

Imbicatus wrote:
The opponent is only flanked by the two characters that are threatening the opponent,

Incorrect. The paragraph mentions attackers, not threatening attackers. Imagine two characters without IUS trying to beat up the bad guy. Are they not attackers? Can I not trace a line per the text? I meet the conditions, called out in this paragraph, to be flanking.

The preceding paragraph talks about threatening and about getting a bonus to your attack in melee. It's first statement limits its paragraph to being about said bonus.

Imbicatus wrote:
and only for the duration of each melee attack.

Where does this paragraph mention a duration?

Imbicatus wrote:
Flanked is never defined outside of the flanking bonus.

The whole point of this paragraph IS the definition of flanking.

/cevah


bbangerter wrote:


It's already been provided. But I'll iterate it again.

"When making a melee attack..."

And from gang-up feat, as a general rule that explains why ranged attacks don't work with gang-up. "...since flanking specifically refers to melee attacks..."

If you don't accept either of those, there is nothing more to discuss.

EDIT: In contrast, can you provide any rule that overrules the "... since flanking specifically refers to melee attacks..."?

If you can not see that "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 insufficient to define flanking given all of the other situations that flanking is referred to existing during, then yes - there is nothing more to discuss.

The statement is what it is - a set of rules that grants a melee attack a +2 flanking bonus... but that does not in an of itself limit flanking to ONLY that moment of that configuration.

As to the Gang Up FAQ - i too have previously mentioned the fact that when something "specifically refers" to some other thing, it does not mean it exclusively refers to that other thing. I do not have to argue against the Gang Up FAQ answer, because I have no problem with that statements made in the answer (aside from the fact that the melee attack comment was unnecessary to the rest of the answer, and could have had the same resulting meaning had it not been there.)

You are assigning meaning to Jason Bulmahn's words that are not inherent in his words.


Forseti wrote:
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.

I'm saying it takes two to tango. The person with Snap Shot is the flank buddy. They are flanking (colloquially speaking) because without specific exceptions, you don't flank alone. Because the s/he threatens, the Snap Shot PC is in position to allow the acting PC to flank.

Probably could have worded that better, apologies.


Forseti wrote:
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.

Right. It changes the positional aspect of what it takes to flank an enemy. The fictional assailants act as you flank buddies. But they're not actually there. So instead of actually having to stand across from an ally when making an attack, that part is automatic whenever you choose someone to attack.


Cevah wrote:
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.

The only thing the feat changes is the position necessary to flank. That's all. If one could flank with a ranged weapon without Gang Up, it is utterly nonsensical that one couldn't be better at flanking with a ranged weapon if they had Gang Up.

And the benefit of the feat is explicitly that you have more opportunities to flank. Why wouldn't ranged attacks benefit from the feat if you can ordinarily flank with them?

I've asked this question like eight times. Nobody has actually responded other than to concede the point.


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."

The part you're missing is, if you can already flank with a ranged weapon, why was there even a question that Gang Up wouldn't apply to ranged weapons? If all flanking is is a condition that is established by position of allies, the only thing Gang Up does is change where allies have to be standing. So why wouldn't this also apply to ranged weapons, unless you ordinarily cannot flank with ranged weapons?

Seriously, if you could already flank with ranged weapons, the Gang Up FAQ is completely beyond brain dead. It makes absolutely no sense, at all, if you can ordinarily flank with ranged weapons.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
bbangerter wrote:
Oddman80 wrote:
bbangerter wrote:

To be flanking you must be making a melee attack (and as such will receive the +2 flanking bonus).

now provide the RAW text that states that position.

It's already been provided. But I'll iterate it again.

"When making a melee attack..."

And from gang-up feat, as a general rule that explains why ranged attacks don't work with gang-up. "...since flanking specifically refers to melee attacks..."

If you don't accept either of those, there is nothing more to discuss.

EDIT: In contrast, can you provide any rule that overrules the "... since flanking specifically refers to melee attacks..."?

however, you simply need to flank, and with not necessarily with the weapon your using, to gain sneak damage, so is the rogue flanking the target? yes. did she make an attack against the target? yes. therefore, apply sneak damage.


Bandw2 wrote:
bbangerter wrote:
Oddman80 wrote:
bbangerter wrote:

To be flanking you must be making a melee attack (and as such will receive the +2 flanking bonus).

now provide the RAW text that states that position.

It's already been provided. But I'll iterate it again.

"When making a melee attack..."

And from gang-up feat, as a general rule that explains why ranged attacks don't work with gang-up. "...since flanking specifically refers to melee attacks..."

If you don't accept either of those, there is nothing more to discuss.

EDIT: In contrast, can you provide any rule that overrules the "... since flanking specifically refers to melee attacks..."?

however, you simply need to flank, and with not necessarily with the weapon your using, to gain sneak damage, so is the rogue flanking the target? yes. did she make an attack against the target? yes. therefore, apply sneak damage.

This is no more true than that TWF with a dagger of speed in one hand allows you to make an extra attack with your titan maulers grip falchion +5.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
bbangerter wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
bbangerter wrote:
Oddman80 wrote:
bbangerter wrote:

To be flanking you must be making a melee attack (and as such will receive the +2 flanking bonus).

now provide the RAW text that states that position.

It's already been provided. But I'll iterate it again.

"When making a melee attack..."

And from gang-up feat, as a general rule that explains why ranged attacks don't work with gang-up. "...since flanking specifically refers to melee attacks..."

If you don't accept either of those, there is nothing more to discuss.

EDIT: In contrast, can you provide any rule that overrules the "... since flanking specifically refers to melee attacks..."?

however, you simply need to flank, and with not necessarily with the weapon your using, to gain sneak damage, so is the rogue flanking the target? yes. did she make an attack against the target? yes. therefore, apply sneak damage.
This is no more true than that TWF with a dagger of speed in one hand allows you to make an extra attack with your titan maulers grip falchion +5.

we don;t care about the weapon though, we're dealing with the sneak attack class feature, which is very clear when it applies damage or not.


Oddman80 wrote:
bbangerter wrote:


It's already been provided. But I'll iterate it again.

"When making a melee attack..."

And from gang-up feat, as a general rule that explains why ranged attacks don't work with gang-up. "...since flanking specifically refers to melee attacks..."

If you don't accept either of those, there is nothing more to discuss.

EDIT: In contrast, can you provide any rule that overrules the "... since flanking specifically refers to melee attacks..."?

If you can not see that "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 insufficient to define flanking given all of the other situations that flanking is referred to existing during, then yes - there is nothing more to discuss.

By itself, it could be made more plain. The commentary in the gang up FAQ though makes it plain.

But flanking (the condition) is very plain. Creatures on opposite sides that are threatening result in flanking.

Oddman80 wrote:


As to the Gang Up FAQ - i too have previously mentioned the fact that when something "specifically refers" to some other thing, it does not mean it exclusively refers to that other thing. I do not have to argue against the Gang Up FAQ answer, because I have no problem with that statements made in the answer (aside from the fact that the melee attack comment was unnecessary to the rest of the answer, and could have had the same resulting meaning had it not been there.)

You are assigning meaning to Jason Bulmahn's words that are not inherent in his words.

What part of "since flanking specifically refers to melee attacks" could mean something other than that flanking only applies to melee attacks? I'm reading exactly what he is stating. That is the very plainest reading that could be made of his statement. This isn't a twisting of words. This isn't inserting meaning that isn't there. This is reading the ONLY meaning that is contained in those words.


Bandw2 wrote:
bbangerter wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
bbangerter wrote:
Oddman80 wrote:
bbangerter wrote:

To be flanking you must be making a melee attack (and as such will receive the +2 flanking bonus).

now provide the RAW text that states that position.

It's already been provided. But I'll iterate it again.

"When making a melee attack..."

And from gang-up feat, as a general rule that explains why ranged attacks don't work with gang-up. "...since flanking specifically refers to melee attacks..."

If you don't accept either of those, there is nothing more to discuss.

EDIT: In contrast, can you provide any rule that overrules the "... since flanking specifically refers to melee attacks..."?

however, you simply need to flank, and with not necessarily with the weapon your using, to gain sneak damage, so is the rogue flanking the target? yes. did she make an attack against the target? yes. therefore, apply sneak damage.
This is no more true than that TWF with a dagger of speed in one hand allows you to make an extra attack with your titan maulers grip falchion +5.
we don;t care about the weapon though, we're dealing with the sneak attack class feature, which is very clear when it applies damage or not.

Actually we do, because as noted numerous times already, flanking only applies to melee attacks. If you aren't making a melee attack, then are not both flanking/providing a flank/meeting the conditions to flank. The conditions are "your opposite ally is threatening and you are making a melee attack".


fretgod99 wrote:
Cevah wrote:
*The Gang Up FAQ...*

The only thing the feat changes is the position necessary to flank. That's all. If one could flank with a ranged weapon without Gang Up, it is utterly nonsensical that one couldn't be better at flanking with a ranged weapon if they had Gang Up.

And the benefit of the feat is explicitly that you have more opportunities to flank. Why wouldn't ranged attacks benefit from the feat if you can ordinarily flank with them?

I've asked this question like eight times. Nobody has actually responded other than to concede the point.

They do as you say, but that assumes ranged flanking exists. People have disputed this long before the feat. One camp said that the feat added flanking opportunities and did not require you to be in melee, thus allow ranged flanking additional opportunities. Another camp said no, flanking is melee only. Thus the question posed was "Does this feat allow you to flank a foe with ranged weapons?" and not "Can I flank with a ranged weapon?". The FAQ answers the question asked, not the one unasked. Some then assume it also applies to the unasked question.

Had the FAQ answered the second question, it would have covered Gang-Up. Instead, they left the question open.

fretgod99 wrote:
Seriously, if you could already flank with ranged weapons, the Gang Up FAQ is completely beyond brain dead. It makes absolutely no sense, at all, if you can ordinarily flank with ranged weapons.

The Gang-Up FAQ is not brain-dead. It is changing the feat to only apply to melee. Other FAQs have made rule changes. This is just another. Before the FAQ, people tried to use it to gain more opportunities for ranged flanking. They also tried to get ranged flanking without the feat. The FAQ shut down the additional positional opportunities in the feat seen by this crowd.

/cevah


bbangerter wrote:
But flanking (the condition) is very plain. Creatures on opposite sides that are threatening result in flanking.

So do non-threatening ones.

/cevah


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
bbangerter wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
bbangerter wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
bbangerter wrote:
Oddman80 wrote:
bbangerter wrote:

To be flanking you must be making a melee attack (and as such will receive the +2 flanking bonus).

now provide the RAW text that states that position.

It's already been provided. But I'll iterate it again.

"When making a melee attack..."

And from gang-up feat, as a general rule that explains why ranged attacks don't work with gang-up. "...since flanking specifically refers to melee attacks..."

If you don't accept either of those, there is nothing more to discuss.

EDIT: In contrast, can you provide any rule that overrules the "... since flanking specifically refers to melee attacks..."?

however, you simply need to flank, and with not necessarily with the weapon your using, to gain sneak damage, so is the rogue flanking the target? yes. did she make an attack against the target? yes. therefore, apply sneak damage.
This is no more true than that TWF with a dagger of speed in one hand allows you to make an extra attack with your titan maulers grip falchion +5.
we don;t care about the weapon though, we're dealing with the sneak attack class feature, which is very clear when it applies damage or not.
Actually we do, because as noted numerous times already, flanking only applies to melee attacks. If you aren't making a melee attack, then are not both flanking/providing a flank/meeting the conditions to flank. The conditions are "your opposite ally is threatening and you are making a melee attack".

we actually only care if the rogue "flanks" not if he is flanking(which requires an attack, and provides a flanking bonus). which the rogue is, so his class ability applies damage. it's really simple.

I mean if we're arguing pure RAW and not that the rogue can be flanking a target without making an attack, then since "flanks" isn't described in game terms the rogue should never be able to gain the bonus except when the enemy loses dexterity bonus.

edit: in fact grammatically "flanks" only works when you are talking about an opponent in relation to the rogue, not an attack. unless you say the attack flanks the opponent, in which case once again the rogue does not gain the ability to apply her class ability.


bbangerter wrote:
What part of "since flanking specifically refers to melee attacks" could mean something other than that flanking only applies to melee attacks? I'm reading exactly what he is stating. That is the very plainest reading that could be made of his statement. This isn't a twisting of words. This isn't inserting meaning that isn't there. This is reading the ONLY meaning that is contained in those words.

"since the text of the rules on flanking mention the attack bonus applies to melee attacks and doesn't mention ranged attacks"


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

so yeah RAW, since only melee attacks can flank, the rogue is never capable of flanking, and thus cannot apply sneak attack damage.

yeah! we found a way to make getting a sneak attack harder to perform.


bbangerter wrote:
What part of "since flanking specifically refers to melee attacks" could mean something other than that flanking only applies to melee attacks? I'm reading exactly what he is stating. That is the very plainest reading that could be made of his statement. This isn't a twisting of words. This isn't inserting meaning that isn't there. This is reading the ONLY meaning that is contained in those words.

That clause is phrased as a restatement of a rule, and not as a rule. However, as you have seen, there is no actual rule that states this. The closest is the rule about a flanking bonus, which is not the definition of flanking.

/cevah


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

otherwise if a character can flank, and not an attack, like most logic suggests, then so long as you flank, any attack(at least if it is within 30 ft) can net you sneak attack dice.


RumpinRufus wrote:
bbangerter wrote:
What part of "since flanking specifically refers to melee attacks" could mean something other than that flanking only applies to melee attacks? I'm reading exactly what he is stating. That is the very plainest reading that could be made of his statement. This isn't a twisting of words. This isn't inserting meaning that isn't there. This is reading the ONLY meaning that is contained in those words.
"since the text of the rules on flanking mention the attack bonus applies to melee attacks and doesn't mention ranged attacks"

Now that is reading more into his words than what he is actually saying. He doesn't say the flanking bonus only applies to melee attacks. He says flanking only applies to melee attacks.


Cevah wrote:
fretgod99 wrote:
Cevah wrote:
*The Gang Up FAQ...*

The only thing the feat changes is the position necessary to flank. That's all. If one could flank with a ranged weapon without Gang Up, it is utterly nonsensical that one couldn't be better at flanking with a ranged weapon if they had Gang Up.

And the benefit of the feat is explicitly that you have more opportunities to flank. Why wouldn't ranged attacks benefit from the feat if you can ordinarily flank with them?

I've asked this question like eight times. Nobody has actually responded other than to concede the point.

They do as you say, but that assumes ranged flanking exists. People have disputed this long before the feat. One camp said that the feat added flanking opportunities and did not require you to be in melee, thus allow ranged flanking additional opportunities. Another camp said no, flanking is melee only. Thus the question posed was "Does this feat allow you to flank a foe with ranged weapons?" and not "Can I flank with a ranged weapon?". The FAQ answers the question asked, not the one unasked. Some then assume it also applies to the unasked question.

Had the FAQ answered the second question, it would have covered Gang-Up. Instead, they left the question open.

fretgod99 wrote:
Seriously, if you could already flank with ranged weapons, the Gang Up FAQ is completely beyond brain dead. It makes absolutely no sense, at all, if you can ordinarily flank with ranged weapons.

The Gang-Up FAQ is not brain-dead. It is changing the feat to only apply to melee. Other FAQs have made rule changes. This is just another. Before the FAQ, people tried to use it to gain more opportunities for ranged flanking. They also tried to get ranged flanking without the feat. The FAQ shut down the additional positional opportunities in the feat seen by this crowd.

/cevah

Uh, no. It doesn't change the feat at all. It explains how it works. It doesn't indicate an errata or a new interpretation. It says, "This is what the feat allows."

The question was "Does Gang Up allow me to flank with a ranged weapon". If you could already flank with a ranged weapon, this wouldn't be a question. The question would be, "Does Gang Up also increase the situations in which I can flank with a ranged weapon". The wording of the question itself presupposes that you cannot ordinarily flank with a ranged weapon. If you could, there's nothing in the Gang Up feat that suggests it treats ranged weapons differently - it just refers to flanking, not flanking with a melee weapon. So if ranged flanking was already possible, that FAQ would indeed be beyond incomprehensibly stupid.

What in the language of Gang Up suggests that it doesn't apply to ranged weapons? Nothing. So then why would there be a need to clarify that a feat was now treating ranged weapons differently if, in that regard, ranged weapons were not ordinarily treated differently without the FAQ?


Cevah wrote:
bbangerter wrote:
But flanking (the condition) is very plain. Creatures on opposite sides that are threatening result in flanking.

So do non-threatening ones.

/cevah

What?

PRD wrote:


...if your opponent is threatened by another enemy character or creature on its opposite border or opposite corner.

I know you are going to come back and say the second paragraph doesn't list that requirement. It doesn't need to. The second paragraph is a further clarification of the first because they thought the first wasn't plain enough in its explanation. But the second does not remove the need for threatening.

"When in doubt..."

In doubt about what? Well what they just got through talking about in the first paragraph. That being whether or not you qualify for a flanking bonus and everything else associated with flanking (feats based on flanking, sneak attack based on flanking, etc).


Just so everyone knows, this is the thread that spawned that Gang Up FAQ. So the developers were keenly aware of the implications of sneak attack when they wrote that.

Note that the FAQ says "flanking" specifically refers to melee, not "flanking bonus".


Cevah wrote:
bbangerter wrote:
What part of "since flanking specifically refers to melee attacks" could mean something other than that flanking only applies to melee attacks? I'm reading exactly what he is stating. That is the very plainest reading that could be made of his statement. This isn't a twisting of words. This isn't inserting meaning that isn't there. This is reading the ONLY meaning that is contained in those words.

That clause is phrased as a restatement of a rule, and not as a rule. However, as you have seen, there is no actual rule that states this. The closest is the rule about a flanking bonus, which is not the definition of flanking.

/cevah

Except it is clearly the interpretation intended by the PDT. The interpretation intended is that ranged attacks do not benefit in any way from flanking (absent other specific abilities).


Cevah wrote:
bbangerter wrote:
What part of "since flanking specifically refers to melee attacks" could mean something other than that flanking only applies to melee attacks? I'm reading exactly what he is stating. That is the very plainest reading that could be made of his statement. This isn't a twisting of words. This isn't inserting meaning that isn't there. This is reading the ONLY meaning that is contained in those words.

That clause is phrased as a restatement of a rule, and not as a rule. However, as you have seen, there is no actual rule that states this. The closest is the rule about a flanking bonus, which is not the definition of flanking.

/cevah

Okay, that's rather confusing, how is a restatement of a rule, not actually the rule? I'm not seeing a distinction there.

If I say "You need to threaten an opponent to be able to make an AoO", then later say "You can make an AoO if you threaten an opponent." I've restated it - but the rule is still the rule, that only those that threaten can make an AoO.


Bandw2 wrote:
otherwise if a character can flank, and not an attack, like most logic suggests, then so long as you flank, any attack(at least if it is within 30 ft) can net you sneak attack dice.

So what you're saying then is that a Rogue with Gang Up armed with a short bow standing 20' away is flanking an enemy being threatened by two of the Rogue's allies. Because the character flanks if everybody is in the right position and that's all that matters.


bbangerter wrote:
What part of "since flanking specifically refers to melee attacks" could mean something other than that flanking only applies to melee attacks?

Well... Specifically is an adverb that modifies "refers to"

"to Refer" is defined as "to mention"
Specifically has synonyms such as clearly, or definitely...

So the sentence "flanking definitely mentions melee attacks" is a true statement... I agree with the statement. It is supported by the very entry we have quoted over and over again... but it is completely irrelevant to the first half and the last half of the sentence.

So... the FAQ as written:
. 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.

The FAQ rewritten with synonyms so people can see why the language people are so certain means everything - in fact - doesn't mean anything:
. The feat makes no mention of ranged attacks being included, and since flanking definitely mentions melee attacks, ranged attacks do not benefit from this feat.

All the FAQ needed to say to not confuse anybody:
. The feat makes no mention of ranged attacks being included, therefore ranged attacks do not benefit from this feat.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
fretgod99 wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
otherwise if a character can flank, and not an attack, like most logic suggests, then so long as you flank, any attack(at least if it is within 30 ft) can net you sneak attack dice.
So what you're saying then is that a Rogue with Gang Up armed with a short bow standing 20' away is flanking an enemy being threatened by two of the Rogue's allies. Because the character flanks if everybody is in the right position and that's all that matters.

oh god that feat's badly worded, i'm guessing under RAI, that no, you are not. I'm of the agreement that you have to be threatening someone to flank them. I mean gang up means that you even get it if you aren't threatening and next to them, so that unarmed commoner with just his fists, still flanks...


Oddman80 wrote:
bbangerter wrote:
What part of "since flanking specifically refers to melee attacks" could mean something other than that flanking only applies to melee attacks?

Well... Specifically is an adverb that modifies "refers to"

"to Refer" is defined as "to mention"
Specifically has synonyms such as clearly, or definitely...

So the sentence "flanking definitely mentions melee attacks" is a true statement... I agree with the statement. It is supported by the very entry we have quoted over and over again... but it is completely irrelevant to the first half and the last half of the sentence.

So... the FAQ as written:
. 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.

The FAQ rewritten with synonyms so people can see why the language people are so certain means everything - in fact - doesn't mean anything:
. The feat makes no mention of ranged attacks being included, and since flanking definitely mentions melee attacks, ranged attacks do not benefit from this feat.

All the FAQ needed to say to not confuse anybody:
. The feat makes no mention of ranged attacks being included, therefore ranged attacks do not benefit from this feat.

What? You lost me at synonym.

EDIT: What I mean is you can't interchange words for their synonyms. And if you were to do that, what you've replaced has changed the meaning of what they said. "flanking specifically refers to" and "flanking definitely mentions" mean completely different things.


Oddman80 wrote:
bbangerter wrote:
What part of "since flanking specifically refers to melee attacks" could mean something other than that flanking only applies to melee attacks?

Well... Specifically is an adverb that modifies "refers to"

"to Refer" is defined as "to mention"
Specifically has synonyms such as clearly, or definitely...

So the sentence "flanking definitely mentions melee attacks" is a true statement... I agree with the statement. It is supported by the very entry we have quoted over and over again... but it is completely irrelevant to the first half and the last half of the sentence.

So... the FAQ as written:
. 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.

The FAQ rewritten with synonyms so people can see why the language people are so certain means everything - in fact - doesn't mean anything:
. The feat makes no mention of ranged attacks being included, and since flanking definitely mentions melee attacks, ranged attacks do not benefit from this feat.

All the FAQ needed to say to not confuse anybody:
. The feat makes no mention of ranged attacks being included, therefore ranged attacks do not benefit from this feat.

If you could already flank with ranged weapons, why would the feat need to mention them for them to be included? That's sort of an important point here. If you could already do something, why would a feat that is completely silent on the issue all of a sudden exclude a thing that wasn't excluded before? That's the nonsensical part. Hence, the understanding that this FAQ reaffirms the position that you cannot flank with a ranged attack.


Oddman80 wrote:


The FAQ rewritten with synonyms so people can see why the language people are so certain means everything - in fact - doesn't mean anything:
. The feat makes no mention of ranged attacks being included, and since flanking definitely mentions melee attacks, ranged attacks do not benefit from this feat.

This is an entirely non-nonsensical sentence. Why include the parenthetical note of "since flanking specifically refers to melee attacks" if it actually has zero bearing on what idea they are trying to convey.

English is an imprecise language. Context is extremely important. The quoted phrase is setting the context correctly for everything else in the sentence.

Why does this feat not include ranged attacks? Now here is the context for understanding why it doesn't apply - because flanking is a melee attack thing. Not because it is making an exception to the rules.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
fretgod99 wrote:
Oddman80 wrote:
bbangerter wrote:
What part of "since flanking specifically refers to melee attacks" could mean something other than that flanking only applies to melee attacks?

Well... Specifically is an adverb that modifies "refers to"

"to Refer" is defined as "to mention"
Specifically has synonyms such as clearly, or definitely...

So the sentence "flanking definitely mentions melee attacks" is a true statement... I agree with the statement. It is supported by the very entry we have quoted over and over again... but it is completely irrelevant to the first half and the last half of the sentence.

So... the FAQ as written:
. 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.

The FAQ rewritten with synonyms so people can see why the language people are so certain means everything - in fact - doesn't mean anything:
. The feat makes no mention of ranged attacks being included, and since flanking definitely mentions melee attacks, ranged attacks do not benefit from this feat.

All the FAQ needed to say to not confuse anybody:
. The feat makes no mention of ranged attacks being included, therefore ranged attacks do not benefit from this feat.

If you could already flank with ranged weapons, why would the feat need to mention them for them to be included? That's sort of an important point here. If you could already do something, why would a feat that is completely silent on the issue all of a sudden exclude a thing that wasn't excluded before? That's the nonsensical part. Hence, the understanding that this FAQ reaffirms the position that you cannot flank with a ranged attack.

the error most people make is they think a FAQ is a change to the rules, when in fact they are clarifications on RAI, making them RAW.


Bandw2 wrote:


the error most people make is they think a FAQ is a change to the rules, when in fact they are clarifications on RAI, making them RAW.

Agreed. That is what is trying to be pointed out by myself, fretgod, Ssyvan and others.

The rule is flanking is a melee attack thing. The FAQ clarifies that ranged attacks don't benefit from the feat because 'flanking is a melee attack thing'. No rules were changed (or harmed) in the making of that FAQ. The FAQ provides no exceptions to existing rules. The original feat made no mention one way or another about ranged attacks benefiting, hence the question and resulting FAQ.


Bandw2 wrote:
fretgod99 wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
otherwise if a character can flank, and not an attack, like most logic suggests, then so long as you flank, any attack(at least if it is within 30 ft) can net you sneak attack dice.
So what you're saying then is that a Rogue with Gang Up armed with a short bow standing 20' away is flanking an enemy being threatened by two of the Rogue's allies. Because the character flanks if everybody is in the right position and that's all that matters.
oh god that feat's badly worded, i'm guessing under RAI, that no, you are not. I'm of the agreement that you have to be threatening someone to flank them. I mean gang up means that you even get it if you aren't threatening and next to them, so that unarmed commoner with just his fists, still flanks...

But the second section of the Flanking entry which everyone is relying on to say you can flank with a ranged weapon because it doesn't mention melee attacks also doesn't mention threatening.

The only parts that mention threatening refer specifically to the flanking bonus. So if we want to follow that logic through to the rest of this entry, you shouldn't even need to be threatening an enemy to flank. And neither should your ally standing on the other side of your enemy. Threatening isn't mentioned in the second line. So those two unarmed commoners would indeed be flanking, at least per the extended logic of those arguing flanking is only about position. I doubt anybody thinks that's either intended or frankly even a reasonabke interpretation, though. But why not?

If we're saying melee isn't relevant because it's only mentioned in a different part, why is threatening relevant when it, too, is only mentioned in a different part?


fretgod99 wrote:


The only parts that mention threatening refer specifically to the flanking bonus. So if we want to follow that logic through to the rest of this entry, you shouldn't even need to be threatening an enemy to flank. And neither should your ally standing on the other side of your enemy. Threatening isn't mentioned in the second line. So those two unarmed commoners would indeed be flanking, at least per the extended logic of those arguing flanking is only about position. I doubt anybody thinks that's either intended or frankly even a reasonabke interpretation, though. But why not?

It could be extended even further to say that two bowmen, standing 600' apart, on opposite sides of a enemy, are both flanking it, and therefore if both are rogues, should also get SA. It doesn't mention anything about adjacency either (melee has a built in requirement for adjacency, or in the case of reach, very close to adjacency).


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
bbangerter wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:


the error most people make is they think a FAQ is a change to the rules, when in fact they are clarifications on RAI, making them RAW.

Agreed. That is what is trying to be pointed out by myself, fretgod, Ssyvan and others.

The rule is flanking is a melee attack thing. The FAQ clarifies that ranged attacks don't benefit from the feat because 'flanking is a melee attack thing'. No rules were changed (or harmed) in the making of that FAQ. The FAQ provides no exceptions to existing rules. The original feat made no mention one way or another about ranged attacks benefiting, hence the question and resulting FAQ.

I still say RAI your character can flank, and thus the rogue shiz is possible BECAUSE it happens separate from the attack, but only if you hit.

in essence, it does not matter what you attack with, only that you are flanking and have made an attack on that target. you then later activate the rogue ability which adds precision damage dice.


bbangerter wrote:
fretgod99 wrote:


The only parts that mention threatening refer specifically to the flanking bonus. So if we want to follow that logic through to the rest of this entry, you shouldn't even need to be threatening an enemy to flank. And neither should your ally standing on the other side of your enemy. Threatening isn't mentioned in the second line. So those two unarmed commoners would indeed be flanking, at least per the extended logic of those arguing flanking is only about position. I doubt anybody thinks that's either intended or frankly even a reasonabke interpretation, though. But why not?
It could be extended even further to say that two bowmen, standing 600' apart, on opposite sides of a enemy, are both flanking it. It doesn't mention anything about adjacency either (melee has a built in requirement for adjacency, or in the case of reach, very close to adjacency).

Exactly. Which is why I'm curious that some are insisting upon divorcing the melee context when they aren't doing the same for threatening. The exact same argument can be applied to both, equally validly. I honestly think if you're espousing one, you really ought to be espousing the other.

Why does the rogue in the OP even need to be threatening?


bbangerter wrote:
Cevah wrote:
bbangerter wrote:
But flanking (the condition) is very plain. Creatures on opposite sides that are threatening result in flanking.

So do non-threatening ones.

/cevah

What?

PRD wrote:

...if your opponent is threatened by another enemy character or creature on its opposite border or opposite corner.

I know you are going to come back and say the second paragraph doesn't list that requirement. It doesn't need to. The second paragraph is a further clarification of the first because they thought the first wasn't plain enough in its explanation. But the second does not remove the need for threatening.

"When in doubt..."

In doubt about what? Well what they just got through talking about in the first paragraph. That being whether or not you qualify for a flanking bonus and everything else associated with flanking (feats based on flanking, sneak attack based on flanking, etc).

In doubt about whether two characters flank an opponent in the middle. Not in doubt about threatening or about being in melee. It addresses one portion of the above paragraph. It then calls out a test, and states "then the opponent is flanked". A clear statement about that one word. Not a statement about all the requirements to get a bonus.

fretgod99 wrote:
Except it is clearly the interpretation intended by the PDT. The interpretation intended is that ranged attacks do not benefit in any way from flanking (absent other specific abilities).

Sounds like RAI by PDT. As I said before, they did not answer the question about ranged flanking, but the one asked. If they actual answer the correct question, it all goes away, since it will be clear.

bbangerter wrote:
Okay, that's rather confusing, how is a restatement of a rule, not actually the rule? I'm not seeing a distinction there.

When it is wrong. When it is a summary. When it is an assumption.

Oddman80 said it better.

bbangerter wrote:
If I say "You need to threaten an opponent to be able to make an AoO", then later say "You can make an AoO if you threaten an opponent." I've restated it - but the rule is still the rule, that only those that threaten can make an AoO.

However, that rule you are referring to does not actually require

threatening. That is a case of a restatement being wrong.

EDIT: A -> B <> B -> A.
I don't need to threaten. Thus statement A is wrong. This does not invalidate statement B. When threatening, I can still take AoOs. When not threatening, I can still take AoOs.

bbangerter wrote:
English is an imprecise language. Context is extremely important. The quoted phrase is setting the context correctly for everything else in the sentence.

Then look up what the meaning of a paragraph is. It is a separate topic. Thus "When in doubt" is a separate topic to "When making a melee attack".

Bandw2 wrote:
the error most people make is they think a FAQ is a change to the rules, when in fact they are clarifications on RAI, making them RAW.

Except they actually do. Check out the SLA as Prerequisite FAQ.

fretgod99 wrote:
If we're saying melee isn't relevant because it's only mentioned in a different part, why is threatening relevant when it, too, is only mentioned in a different part?

Threatening is only relevant to the +2 Flanking Bonus. Not to Sneak Attack.

/cevah


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
fretgod99 wrote:
bbangerter wrote:
fretgod99 wrote:


The only parts that mention threatening refer specifically to the flanking bonus. So if we want to follow that logic through to the rest of this entry, you shouldn't even need to be threatening an enemy to flank. And neither should your ally standing on the other side of your enemy. Threatening isn't mentioned in the second line. So those two unarmed commoners would indeed be flanking, at least per the extended logic of those arguing flanking is only about position. I doubt anybody thinks that's either intended or frankly even a reasonabke interpretation, though. But why not?
It could be extended even further to say that two bowmen, standing 600' apart, on opposite sides of a enemy, are both flanking it. It doesn't mention anything about adjacency either (melee has a built in requirement for adjacency, or in the case of reach, very close to adjacency).

Exactly. Which is why I'm curious that some are insisting upon divorcing the melee context when they aren't doing the same for threatening. The exact same argument can be applied to both, equally validly. I honestly think if you're espousing one, you really ought to be espousing the other.

Why does the rogue in the OP even need to be threatening?

i'm of the opinion that gang up is a bad feat and shouldn't be used for any precedent.


Bandw2 wrote:
i'm of the opinion that gang up is a bad feat and shouldn't be used for any precedent.

+1/2: Good feet for swarm tactics. Bad feat for precedent.

/cevah


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Cevah wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
i'm of the opinion that gang up is a bad feat and shouldn't be used for any precedent.

+1/2: Good feet for swarm tactics. Bad feat for precedent.

/cevah

*badly worded

**a cancerous growth inside pathfinder's cerebellum


fretgod99 wrote:
]If you could already flank with ranged weapons, why would the feat need to mention them for them to be included? That's sort of an important point here. If you could already do something, why would a feat that is completely silent on the issue all of a sudden exclude a thing that wasn't excluded before? That's the nonsensical part. Hence, the understanding that this FAQ reaffirms the position that you cannot flank with a ranged attack.

It does nothing of the sort. It states that ranged attacks don't benefit from it. Can you deny that ranged attacks go against the entire flavor of the feat?

If a feat leaves an option in the same position it was before, has that option benefitted from the feat? No. Ranged attacks don't benefit from Gang Up, because gang up was meant to be a melee feat from the start.

Have you actually read the question being answered? "Does this feat (page 161) allow you to flank a foe with ranged weapons?"

If you already flank in a certain situation without a feat, has the feat let you flank in that situation? No.

All the Gang Up FAQ does is confirm that it's supposed to be a melee feat, not a feat to allow people to Flank from 30 feet away with ranged weapons.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Crash_00 wrote:
fretgod99 wrote:
]If you could already flank with ranged weapons, why would the feat need to mention them for them to be included? That's sort of an important point here. If you could already do something, why would a feat that is completely silent on the issue all of a sudden exclude a thing that wasn't excluded before? That's the nonsensical part. Hence, the understanding that this FAQ reaffirms the position that you cannot flank with a ranged attack.

It does nothing of the sort. It states that ranged attacks don't benefit from it. Can you deny that ranged attacks go against the entire flavor of the feat?

If a feat leaves an option in the same position it was before, has that option benefitted from the feat? No. Ranged attacks don't benefit from Gang Up, because gang up was meant to be a melee feat from the start.

Have you actually read the question being answered? "Does this feat (page 161) allow you to flank a foe with ranged weapons?"

If you already flank in a certain situation without a feat, has the feat let you flank in that situation? No.

All the Gang Up FAQ does is confirm that it's supposed to be a melee feat, not a feat to allow people to Flank from 30 feet away with ranged weapons.

all the FAQ confirmed is how s+*& a feat it is... just saying.

edit: the swearing mechanic is added on rendering the page not in saving the post, i find this hilariously inefficient.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

There is a lot of anger here.

Everybody needs to tone it back a bit.

Now, all the silly arguments can continue to be made and we can continue to fight over this. But no one is going to change their minds.

Both sides are clearly entrenched and screaming "I'm right" at the top of their lungs.

Unfortunately, one side is right, and I will not veil myself from siding. The developers in their direct discussion on the board have made it clear that ranged flanking is not something that want in the game.

Regardless of whether or not flanked or flanking is a condition or all the other s@@@ty b#%!#!$@ arguments in this thread. That is the reality. It is not intended. If you think you've found a way, you're probably wrong.

Lets just stop the thread here though, because nothing productive can come from this. At this point, the only thing that is going to resolve this thread is Mark Seifter himself coming in and telling a side that they're wrong.


Ssyvan wrote:

What? You lost me at synonym.

EDIT: What I mean is you can't interchange words for their synonyms. And if you were to do that, what you've replaced has changed the meaning of what they said. "flanking specifically refers to" and "flanking definitely mentions" mean completely different things.

If you think I have changed the meaning of the sentence by using words that mean the same thing as the words that were used… I think I have proven that you misinterpreted the original meaning of the sentence…

But as an exercise – let’s pretend the FAQ was for a completely different feat. I’m going to use the exact same sentence structure, the same words, and replace the feat and the part of combat it is referencing:

Hypothetical FAQ wrote:

Second Chance: Does this feat (Advanced Player’s Guide) allow you to make a full attack with a ranged weapon?

The Second Chance feat allows you re-roll a missed first attack while making a full attack. The feat makes no mention of ranged attacks being included, and since full attacks specifically refers to fighting with two weapons, ranged attacks do not benefit from this feat.

Now – does this make any sense? Nope – and neither did the Gang Up FAQ response. But if the Pathfinder Design Team decided to answer the question that way, the new Rule as Written for Pathfinder would be that you cannot used ranged weapons while benefiting from the feat. And I will just say this – is anyone actually surprised that Jason Bulmahn (the author of both the Core Rule Book and the response to the Gang Up FAQ) wrote something that doesn't make any sense? Think about it - if everything in all the books he has written made perfect sense, there would not be so many FAQ requests.

TLDR: Specifically =/= Exclusively


Crash_00 wrote:
fretgod99 wrote:
]If you could already flank with ranged weapons, why would the feat need to mention them for them to be included? That's sort of an important point here. If you could already do something, why would a feat that is completely silent on the issue all of a sudden exclude a thing that wasn't excluded before? That's the nonsensical part. Hence, the understanding that this FAQ reaffirms the position that you cannot flank with a ranged attack.

It does nothing of the sort. It states that ranged attacks don't benefit from it. Can you deny that ranged attacks go against the entire flavor of the feat?

If a feat leaves an option in the same position it was before, has that option benefitted from the feat? No. Ranged attacks don't benefit from Gang Up, because gang up was meant to be a melee feat from the start.

Have you actually read the question being answered? "Does this feat (page 161) allow you to flank a foe with ranged weapons?"

If you already flank in a certain situation without a feat, has the feat let you flank in that situation? No.

All the Gang Up FAQ does is confirm that it's supposed to be a melee feat, not a feat to allow people to Flank from 30 feet away with ranged weapons.

Did you seriously ask me if I've read the question being answered? I've restated it like four times in this thread. It states that you cannot flank with a ranged weapon if you have the Gang Up feat. And as I've stated, this question makes no sense if you can already flank with ranged weapons.

Now you're saying that Gang Up itself was only ever supposed to apply to melee situations. How am I supposed to know that the Gang Up feat is supposed to be a "melee" feat?

Gang Up wrote:

Gang Up (Combat)

You are adept at using greater numbers against foes.

Prerequisites: Int 13, Combat Expertise.
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.
Normal: You must be positioned opposite an ally to flank an opponent.

Where in any of that language does it say "only melee"? Hell, people are arguing that the melee link to flanking is tenuous at best, but you're trying to claim that this feat must be melee specific because of the feel of it? Where? At least Flanking uses the word somewhere in the entry. Using the words of the Gang Up feat, tell me what it says at all about the flavor of the feat. The only flavor it gives is "You are adept at using greater numbers against foes". That's it. Isn't shooting an enemy who is being attacked by three of your allies still "using greater numbers against" your foes? Seems like that's right up the feat's alley.

But ultimately, recognize that I agree with you - Gang Up is a feat that only benefits melee combat. Why? Because flanking is only relevant to melee combat.

However, if flanking itself is not melee-exclusive, then what in the actual language of the Gang Up feat says "This only applies to melee"? All it says it that it increases the possible ways you can flank. If flanking applies to ranged combat, why not this feat? And more importantly, where does this feat tell you that? The feat doesn't once mention either melee or ranged combat. All it says is (essentially) "You can flank more easily". Where is the flavor text clearly indicating it's only supposed to apply to melee? As I said, if flanking isn't melee-exclusive, this FAQ is nonsense.


Gang Up isn't a problematically worded feat. It only seems that way if you believe you should be able to get flanking with a ranged weapon. It makes perfect sense within the context of flanking being limited to melee combat.

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