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


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fretgod99 wrote:
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.

What is the concept behind ganging up on someone in a fight? The concept is many people knocking one down and beating the hell out of him.That is where the term comes from.

Where do I expect you to know this from? Common sense? Modern Culture? Thirty seconds of internet research before arguing? Take your pick. Shooting at people twenty feet away is not ganging up on them, and breaks the spirit of the feat entirely.

As for the other part, I asked if you read the question of the Gang Up FAQ. You claim it states that you can not flank with a ranged weapon if you have the Gang Up feat. That is wrong repeatedly. First off, that is not the question. You're thinking about the answer to the question, although you are wrong about what it says as well.

The question was: "Does this feat (page 161) allow you to flank a foe with ranged weapons?"

I actually included this in the same post you responded to, and you still managed to rush over it and not grasp it. Let's put this into other terms for you.

Does your Appendix allow you to breathe? By your argument, if one answered no, then you would not be able to breathe. Suddenly you would forget how to, gasp for air, and die.

The question doesn't ask if ranged weapons can flank, so that question isn't answered. I merely asks if Gang Up allows you to flank with ranged weapons.

What's the difference? Well, our claim is that you flank when you are at an opponents edge with an ally on the opposite side, ranged attack and melee attacks make no difference. If Gang Up allowed ranged attacks to benefit, you wouldn't have to be at the opponents edge anywhere, you could be anywhere you want on the battlefield.

If that isn't completely counter to the picture of four guys kicking the hell out of one kid (the base concept behind the term Gang Up), then I don't know what is.

And of course, the answer that you bring back up doesn't say what you say it does. It says that ranged attacks do not benefit from the feat. It doesn't say they can't flank, only that this feat offers no benefit to them.

Gang Up is entirely problematic. I'm 60 feat away from the bad guy, but according to Gang Up, I'm considered flanking if two of my allies are threatening him. It doesn't matter what I'm doing, twiddling my thumbs, bashing someone else with a greataxe, pointing a bow, I'm flanking according to this feat. This is outside of just the ranged weapon question, it's into the at what range does the Gang Up flanking effect stop. It should just extend to the squares around the enemy, but it doesn't say that.

Gang Up is only non-problematic if flanking only exists at the time of an attack, but we already know that isn't true. Many abilities reference flanking outside of your turn, much less outside of a melee attack on your turn.


I know what the question was. As I stated in a recent post, I've explicitly repeated the wording of the question itself a number of times.

But now we're relying on internet research? Ok. Gang up means to make a joint assault. An assault is generally just attacking someone. You can also gang up with words. Does that mean that the Gang Up feat gives me a bonus to my Intimidate check? Seems like an appropriate flavor for the feat. So again, how is that necessarily exclusive of ranged attacks?

And mind you, once again you're relying on something well outside of the scope of the rules to say that this feat was clearly intended to be a melee only feat. I'm not seeing you reference anything actually in the rules to make that analysis. It's hard to see how your conclusion is in any way even remotely valid.

Gang Up is problematic if you divorce it from the ordinary context of flanking being melee. So yeah, it's problematic if you ignore context. If you don't, it's not. So no, Gang Up is not problematic.

Finally, as to being "on an opponent's edge", where is that a requirement for flanking? Your argument is that as long as you are in the correct position, you can flank; you don't have to be making a melee attack because the section about position (which is what creates the supposed flanking condition) does not reference melee attacks. As I mentioned on the last page, you know what else that section doesn't mention? Threatening. So why do you have to be "on an opponent's edge" to be considered flanking? If you're going to actually rely on that argument, why abandon it halfway through? If melee isn't relevant to the entire section on flanking, why is threatening?


Oddman80 wrote:
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

You can't just interchange words for their synonyms. For Example:

Specifically -> Definitely -> Easily -> Calmly -> Well -> Strong -> Big -> etc.

Extending your logic Big is the same word as Specifically.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Claxon wrote:
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.

You're wrong!

By which I mean I think that you're wrong that it would resolve this thread, not that you're wrong about your stance.


Welp, there we go. Round and round it shall go!

Hi, Mark!


Cevah wrote:
When it is wrong. When it is a summary. When it is an assumption.

Are you suggesting the PDT summarized or restated the rule incorrectly? That isn't my quote. That isn't my restatement. That is the PDT restatement of the rule in their official FAQ.

Cevah wrote:


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.

Please clarify this. You cited, and changed my example of restatement in regards to threatening and AoO's, and at the end stated when not threatening you can still take AoO's (which is not true). Did you mean to rephrase it into the flanking and are making a statement that you do not need to be threatening to flank?

Oddman80 wrote:


TLDR: Specifically =/= Exclusively

In the context it is being used in, yes it absolutely does.

If I say to my wife "I'm specifically asking about the $200 charge on the credit card at <pick your favorite clothing store>". Then I most definitely am not asking about the $20 charge at the grocery store. I am exclusively, singly, exactly, only interested in that one specific charge.

Using a thesaurus here are some words that are like specifically, I'll highlight a couple of significant ones
categorically
clearly
correctly
definitely
especially
exactly
explicitly (which is another way of saying exclusively)
individually
and others.


Mark Seifter wrote:
Claxon wrote:
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.

You're wrong!

By which I mean I think that you're wrong that it would resolve this thread, not that you're wrong about your stance.

I always enjoy when you visit a thread Mark.

I now feel like I have some sort of dark eldritch power to summon you. Would you mind signing this summoning contract? In blood?

I must use this power only for good though. I will try not to abuse it.


bbangerter wrote:


In the context it is being used in, yes it absolutely does.

If I say to my wife "I'm specifically asking about the $200 charge on the credit card at <pick your favorite clothing store>". Then I most definitely am not asking about the $20 charge at the grocery store. I am exclusively, singly, exactly, only interested in that one specific charge.

I am not sure what you are trying to prove here. In your example, there is a preceeding, unasked question that you are omitting... something along the lines of "What's with this charge on the card?"

to which she responds "huh?"

And then your follow up statement is made: "I'm specifically asking about the $200 charge on the credit card at Jake's Husky Emporium [sorry - cheap shot]"

So while there are other items you could have been asking about, this is the one of interest to the current conversation between you and your wife.

NOW - FAST FORWARD TO THE GANG UP FAQ

The response is not saying the only thing that flanking makes reference to is melee - obviously, there are other things it makes reference to (e.g. creature with a reach of 0, threatened squares, relative position to allies) but none of those things were the aspect of flanking that was of interest in the FAQ response. The only thing of interest, as the developers were trying to rein the feat back in to what they had intended, was that it makes reference to "melee" - YAY we now have an excuse to reel it in.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Gwen Smith wrote:

The opening phrase of Flanking is what stops you, here:

"When making a melee attack, you get a +2 flanking bonus

Everyone that believes they can get flanking bonus on ranged conveniently ignore this wording.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

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Oddman80 wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Ranged Flank is not a Paizo published item.
DAMMIT! that's the second time in 24 hours i mistakenly read something from d20pfsrd as 1st party when it wasn't... BAH! i do need to stop using them....

Stop using d20pfsrd. Use Archive of Nethys.


James Risner wrote:
Gwen Smith wrote:

The opening phrase of Flanking is what stops you, here:

"When making a melee attack, you get a +2 flanking bonus
Everyone that believes they can get flanking bonus on ranged conveniently ignore this wording.

NO ONE in this thread has been arguing that you can get a flanking bonus on ranged attacks. That has been explicitly clear from the first post of the thread.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

RumpinRufus wrote:
NO ONE in this thread has been arguing that you can get a flanking bonus on ranged attacks. That has been explicitly clear from the first post of the thread.

Some one in this thread is saying you get the benefit of flanking when not making a melee attack. I'm not talking about the bonus, I'm just saying Flanking is restricted to melee unless you can show it isn't and you can't because the rules about whether or not you are flanking are only discussing melee attacks.

So you are in undefined rules territory. You can claim RAW but also can the "melee only" crowd.


It's not an official answer, because it's not a FAQ or Errata post, but I'm just going to leave this here:

Spoiler:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Tels wrote:
Zark wrote:
Tels wrote:
I did mention Snap Shot for a reason, you know. With Snap Shot, you can flank with a bow as you now threaten squares around you with a bow.

Oh, I had missed that. :)

That is cool, but being close to a melee foe is risky since it is easy to sunder bows. Also Snap shot requires a lot of feats.

Well, it's feats you're already going to be taking as an archer anyway right? Point-Blank Shot, Rapid Shot, and then you just need Weapon Focus to qualify. It just won't be something you take until around 10th level or so, and that's when all of those teamwork feats really start kicking in and ramping up.

Also, Improved Snap Shot later on and now you're flanking from 15 ft. away. Plus there are items you can get to make it harder to break your stuff if you're worried about it.

@Flank build--as a huge fan of flanking and assisting other party members myself, I've used similar builds in the past, but if I'm not mistaken, that massive flank bonus is applying to everyone else but the archer in that scenario, due to this line:

Flanking wrote:
When making a melee attack, you get a +2 flanking bonus if your opponent is threatened by another enemy character or creature on its opposite border or opposite corner.
So the archer is threatening and definitely provides a flank. The other ally gets the flanking bonus, but the archer doesn't. Fortunately, this still does activate Enfilading (and there's a new teamwork feat in the ACG that would also work if you had a nice setup like this, for a net of a huge boost to the archer as well).

Like I said, not official. But as Claxon mentioned, the Developers have clued us in to how they feel about flanking from range. Do with that what you will. *shrug*


Only the flanking bonus is restricted to melee by RAW.

Here is what it comes down to. You get a flanking bonus with melee attacks. However, an opponent is flanked when people on each side of him threaten him.

So, when a rogue needs to flank, which does he need? Does he need the flanking bonus, or does he need the opponent to be flanked by him?

The sentence:
"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."

Your claim is that this is the definition of flanking. That it only exists during the melee attack getting the bonus.

Yet, if that is the case, most of the feats and abilities that speak about flanking will never ever work. For example, take Assault Leader: "Once per day, when the rogue misses with an attack on a flanked opponent, she can designate a single ally who is also flanking the target that her attack missed. That ally can make a single melee attack against the opponent as an immediate action."

Assault Leader is unusable if Flanking is defined in that manner. An ally can never be flanking when you miss, because the game uses turns. When you are attacking, no one else is.

So, how can you have an ally that is flanking when you miss? You can't by that definition.

In reality, that isn't a definition at all. It doesn't define what flanking is, it defines the flanking bonus and how to get it on a melee attack.

So, James, how does one ever use Assault Leader if you cannot be flanking when not making a melee attack?


Assault Leader uses an immediate action (interrupting the normal flow of action) to allow your flank buddy to make an attack. Your flank buddy makes an attack and now would be flanking. No problem.

That's if we really want to be rigid about that. Even if flanking is a condition, though, it only applies its bonuses to melee attacks. So if you want to conceptualize flanking as something that happens outside of the context of a singular attack, it's irrelevant as a condition unless the attacker is making a melee attack or has an ability that clues you to check the flank status of the defender (like Enfilading Shot or Coordinated Shot, for instance).


fretgod99 wrote:

It's not an official answer, because it's not a FAQ or Errata post, but I'm just going to leave this here:

** spoiler omitted **

Like I said, not official. But as Claxon mentioned, the Developers have clued us in to how they feel about flanking from range. Do...

So, the claim is that providing a flank is different than flanking bonus? So, in this scenario, what does a rogue need? He gets sneak attack when he flanks. Does he need be get a flanking bonus to flank, or does he need to provide a flank to flank?

We can already see its the last of those options. How, because how do we determine if he provides a flank? We look at his position and draw a line. There is no mention in the "When in doubt," about melee. Of course, the Designer confirmed in that quote that the archer flanks without getting the bonus.

It just says, "When in doubt about whether two characters flank an opponent…", and if two characters flank an opponent, one character flanks an opponent as the other character flanks the opponent.

If the rogue is providing the bonus to another character, as Mark's quote supported for a ranged character, then he is one of those two characters that flank the opponent. He flanks. The opponent if flanked. This is backed up by the designer's quote that you provided.

You've sunk the case. He clearly separated the flanking bonus from being able to flank. Getting the bonus is not crucial to being able to flank, and being in melee is only crucial for the flanking bonus.


Crash_00 wrote:
fretgod99 wrote:

It's not an official answer, because it's not a FAQ or Errata post, but I'm just going to leave this here:

** spoiler omitted **

Like I said, not official. But as Claxon mentioned, the Developers have clued us in to how they feel about flanking from range. Do...

So, the claim is that providing a flank is different than flanking bonus? So, in this scenario, what does a rogue need? He gets sneak attack when he flanks. Does he need be get a flanking bonus to flank, or does he need to provide a flank to flank?

We can already see its the last of those options. How, because how do we determine if he provides a flank? We look at his position and draw a line. There is no mention in the "When in doubt," about melee. Of course, the Designer confirmed in that quote that the archer flanks without getting the bonus.

It just says, "When in doubt about whether two characters flank an opponent…", and if two characters flank an opponent, one character flanks an opponent as the other character flanks the opponent.

If the rogue is providing the bonus to another character, as Mark's quote supported for a ranged character, then he is one of those two characters that flank the opponent. He flanks. The opponent if flanked. This is backed up by the designer's quote that you provided.

You've sunk the case. He clearly separated the flanking bonus from being able to flank. Getting the bonus is not crucial to being able to flank, and being in melee is only crucial for the flanking bonus.

You're ignoring one critical detail. The archer in the scenario provided has the snap shot feat, allowing him to threaten while using a bow. In order to flank you must threaten. The archer in the scenario therefore meets the requirements.


fretgod99 wrote:

Assault Leader uses an immediate action (interrupting the normal flow of action) to allow your flank buddy to make an attack. Your flank buddy makes an attack and now would be flanking. No problem.

That's if we really want to be rigid about that. Even if flanking is a condition, though, it only applies its bonuses to melee attacks. So if you want to conceptualize flanking as something that happens outside of the context of a singular attack, it's irrelevant as a condition unless the attacker is making a melee attack or has an ability that clues you to check the flank status of the defender (like Enfilading Shot or Coordinated Shot, for instance).

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

Yeah, no.

You have to designate the flanking ally before they can take their immediate action to attack (and become flanking by that definition). It cannot work that way. You are literally looking for someone that cannot exist by that definition of flanking.

Flanking only has one bonus, the flanking bonus. Flanking does not provide other bonuses. Other abilities provide bonuses when you are flanking. That isn't the same thing. Sneak Attack does not require a flanking bonus to be applied. It only requires that the rogue flanks his target. Likewise, Sneak Attack is not a flanking bonus, it is something that gets added, due to its own rules, when the rogue flanks a target.

You cannot base the definition of flanking on other abilities.

You see, the second paragraph really does tell us all we need in that first sentence. "When in doubt about whether two characters flank an opponent…" That is impossible under the definition that you are only able to flank during a melee attack. You can never have another person flank while you do in that scenario.

It fully separated the concept from the bonus right there.


No the archer provides a flank. The archer doesn't actually flank. The archer provides a flank (meaning the archer's buddy is flanking) because the archer threatens. That is different than what you claimed. It's actually pretty much what I've been claiming how it would work across more than one thread.


Oddman80 wrote:
bbangerter wrote:


In the context it is being used in, yes it absolutely does.

If I say to my wife "I'm specifically asking about the $200 charge on the credit card at <pick your favorite clothing store>". Then I most definitely am not asking about the $20 charge at the grocery store. I am exclusively, singly, exactly, only interested in that one specific charge.

I am not sure what you are trying to prove here. In your example, there is a preceeding, unasked question that you are omitting... something along the lines of "What's with this charge on the card?"

to which she responds "huh?"

And then your follow up statement is made: "I'm specifically asking about the $200 charge on the credit card at Jake's Husky Emporium [sorry - cheap shot]"

So while there are other items you could have been asking about, this is the one of interest to the current conversation between you and your wife.

The $200 (flanking) is all encompassing. I didn't ask if she bought a dress (got a +2 bonus) or a pair of shoes (gets sneak attack), or any other detail. When it says flanking, it means the whole kit and caboodle, unless they specifically tell us "the flanking bonus" or "sa granted by flanking" or some other specific aspect of flanking.

Remember, the original faq question is not 'Does the archer get a +2 flanking bonus' or 'Does the archer get SA from flanking' or any specific part. The question was, does the archer flank with this feat. Answer: No. Why is it no? Because flanking specifically (exclusively, solely, only) refers to melee. (Barring something like the later released snap shot feat providing a specific exception - in this case now the archer can suddenly threaten and meet the requirements for providing a flank).

Oddman80 wrote:


NOW - FAST FORWARD TO THE GANG UP FAQ

The response is not saying the only thing that flanking makes reference to is melee - obviously, there are other things it makes reference to (e.g. creature with a reach of 0, threatened squares, relative position to allies) but none of those things were the aspect of flanking that was of interest in the FAQ response. The only thing of interest, as the developers were trying to rein the feat back in to what they had intended, was that it makes reference to "melee" - YAY we now have an excuse to reel it in.

You are making the claim that the feat originally worked with ranged attacks, but they decided it was too powerful with that and so needed to be nerfed?

If they were reeling the feat in, as you are suggesting here, the FAQ answer would have also included something to the effect of.
"Errata: In the next printing the feat will include the text, this feat does not apply to ranged flanking."

The absence of that text is either an oversight on their part (possible), or much more likely, because it was not a change in rules. It is simply a clarification of the existing rules.


Two people are necessary to flank ordinarily. You only check that when a melee attack is made (ordinarily). Assault Leader allows a Rogue's flank buddy to make an attack as an immediate action.

The only really interesting question to me is what would happen if the flank buddy is allowing the Rogue to flank because the buddy has Snap Shot. Technically the buddy doesn't qualify as flanking when it makes its attack, though it is a valid flank buddy for the Rogue because it threatens.

Snap Shot lets you threaten. It doesn't change anything else about flanking (which is the basis of the quote above).

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Crash_00 wrote:

So, James, how does one ever use Assault Leader if you cannot be flanking when not making a melee attack?

Sneak Attack does not require a flanking bonus to be applied. It only requires that the rogue flanks his target.

A rogue can flank his target. With Snap Shot even.

But when making that attack against the target, if he makes a Melee attack he need to be Flanking or he needs to have the target denied Dex to get Sneak Attack dice. If he makes a ranged, you need to have the target denied Dex since flanking is a Melee only thing.


bbangerter wrote:


You're ignoring one critical detail. The archer in the scenario provided has the snap shot feat, allowing him to threaten while using a bow. In order to flank you must threaten. The archer in the scenario therefore meets the requirements.

You only have to threaten to provide the bonus by RAW. Seriously, check it out, by mentions of threatening are in direct reference to the Flanking Bonus, which was separated from the flank concept by a designer.

Now, I mention in my first post that it is implied that you need to threaten, and I still agree with that, but it isn't actually stated. Keep in mind, by RAW the person attacking doesn't have to threaten to get the bonus on his attack roll either.

Does a rogue, wielding a dagger in one hand and in the correct position flank his target while firing a hand crossbow according to Mark's quote? (Assuming someone is opposite him in the correct position)

Is he threatening the target?
Is the target flanked by him?

He doesn't get the flanking bonus, as we've made clear this whole time, but Mark makes it clear that he flanks to provide the bonus to others. That would mean that he flanks when checking his sneak attack as well, would it not?


Allowing others to flank is not the same as flanking yourself. You can allow your party members to flank and not actually benefit from it in any way yourself.

See: Snap Shot. In fact, two archers with Improved Snap Shot can allow a melee Rogue with Gang Up to flank, even though neither of the archers is actually flanking. You can provide flanking without actually being flanking. They are not one and the same.

There is still a question whether Snap Shot itself actually allows the flanking for the character with Snap Shot. It's certainly reasonable, but not clear. This has been stated a number of times. But if Snap Shot does allow flanking, it's because you're attacking with the threatening weapon.

Wielding a dagger and attacking with a separate ranged weapon is an entirely different concept.


fretgod99 wrote:

Two people are necessary to flank ordinarily. You only check that when a melee attack is made (ordinarily). Assault Leader allows a Rogue's flank buddy to make an attack as an immediate action.

The only really interesting question to me is what would happen if the flank buddy is allowing the Rogue to flank because the buddy has Snap Shot. Technically the buddy doesn't qualify as flanking when it makes its attack, though it is a valid flank buddy for the Rogue because it threatens.

Snap Shot lets you threaten. It doesn't change anything else about flanking (which is the basis of the quote above).

This is at odds with your other statement. There is absolutely no evidence that "providing a flank" is in the rules at all. If you provide a flank, you flank.

Look further at the quote you provided. "Fortunately, this still does activate Enfilading (and there's a new teamwork feat in the ACG that would also work if you had a nice setup like this, for a net of a huge boost to the archer as well)."

How does Enfilading Fire read? "You receive a +2 bonus on ranged attacks made against a [b]foe flanked by 1 or more allies with this feat."

He states that providing the flank activates this feat. What does it mean for a foe to be flanked? Well, that takes us right back to the paragraph that starts with, "When in doubt about whether two characters flank an opponent…"

One of those characters is providing a flank, the other is getting the flanking bonus, both flank the opponent. A character that provides a flank flanks the target. There is no other way for it to work.

Where is it stated that you only check for the flank in with a melee attack? You only check for the flanking bonus with a melee attack. Full Stop. The designer himself made it clear that flanks and flanking bonus are not the same thing.

As for James, you could not be more wrong.

A rogue is not required to be flanking, he is not required get a flanking bonus. A rogue gets sneak attack when "the rogue flanks her target." If flanking bonus and flank are separated, as a designer made clear, then the rogue is not restricted to melee to flank her target. She is only restricted to melee if she wants the flanking bonus.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Crash_00 wrote:
bbangerter wrote:


You're ignoring one critical detail. The archer in the scenario provided has the snap shot feat, allowing him to threaten while using a bow. In order to flank you must threaten. The archer in the scenario therefore meets the requirements.

You only have to threaten to provide the bonus by RAW. Seriously, check it out, by mentions of threatening are in direct reference to the Flanking Bonus, which was separated from the flank concept by a designer.

Now, I mention in my first post that it is implied that you need to threaten, and I still agree with that, but it isn't actually stated. Keep in mind, by RAW the person attacking doesn't have to threaten to get the bonus on his attack roll either.

Does a rogue, wielding a dagger in one hand and in the correct position flank his target while firing a hand crossbow according to Mark's quote? (Assuming someone is opposite him in the correct position)

Is he threatening the target?
Is the target flanked by him?

He doesn't get the flanking bonus, as we've made clear this whole time, but Mark makes it clear that he flanks to provide the bonus to others. That would mean that he flanks when checking his sneak attack as well, would it not?

I was going to just leave it with my silly little post, but if you're appealing to me here particularly, then no, it would not. What he is doing is providing a flank. That is not the same as flanking when it comes to the ranged attack. Flanking means what others here have described.


^^^ What he said.


fretgod99 wrote:

Allowing others to flank is not the same as flanking yourself. You can allow your party members to flank and not actually benefit from it in any way yourself.

See: Snap Shot. In fact, two archers with Improved Snap Shot can allow a melee Rogue with Gang Up to flank, even though neither of the archers is actually flanking. You can provide flanking without actually being flanking. They are not one and the same.

There is still a question whether Snap Shot itself actually allows the flanking for the character with Snap Shot. It's certainly reasonable, but not clear. This has been stated a number of times. But if Snap Shot does allow flanking, it's because you're attacking with the threatening weapon.

Wielding a dagger and attacking with a separate ranged weapon is an entirely different concept.

When a character flanks an opponent, there is no benefit other than flanking bonus. Seriously, it's nowhere in the text. Sneak Attack is not a flank bonus, it's a Sneak Attack Bonus.

The rogue is not benefitting from flank, he's benefitting from Sneak Attack.

That said, you absolutely cannot provide a flank without the target being flanked by you. If you provide the flank, you must flank. What are the rules for providing a flank? Where are they at? How does one provide a flank? The only rules are for when two character flank an opponent.

You cannot separate that. You flank or you don't. There is no halfway. You don't have to get the flanking bonus to flank, but you certainly must flank to provide a flank.

As for the other bit, you don't have to attack with a weapon to threaten with it. Does a two weapon fighter have to take an attack of opportunity with his main hand if that's the only one he attacked with on his turn? No. He threatens with both weapons. You have the same two hands of effort that everyone does, and can spend that effort as you wish.

If Snap Shot allows flanking, it's because the character threatens, not because he attacked with the weapon in question. You actually never have to attack to threaten. I can move my first turn, and hold actions the rest of combat, and I always threaten if I'm wielding a weapon that threatens. If I'm in the right position, I always flank under these circumstances. I can always take my AoO with any weapon that threatens.

There is no question that Snap Shot allows you to flank. It doesn't allow you to get a flanking bonus, but it does allow you to flank. Your own designer quote made this clear.

No, wielding a dagger as you use a separate ranged attack is no different. You threaten, you flank, you get no flanking bonus, you get a bonus from every ability that triggers when you flank your target.


And I've already described how Enfilading Fire works. Archer makes an attack. You check the target position relative to the allies of the Archer. Are they in position to flank were they making an attack? Then the Archer gets the bonus from Enfilading Fire.

Regardless of what you're talking about, when flanking is concerned you generally do two things:

1. Determine if the attack you're making is one that could benefit in some way from flanking (usually, it's a melee attack - Enfilading Fire, Coordinated Shot, etc. change this).
2. Determine if you and/or your allies are in the necessary positions to provide the relevant benefit (usually this is standing adjacent on opposite sides of an enemy - Gang Up, Enfilading Fire, Coordinated Shot, etc. change this).

Once you've resolved that, you can apply whatever relevant bonuses and benefits are to be applied. Usually it's +2 to your melee attacks. Rogues also get to sneak attack with their melee attacks. Archers can benefit if the requirements of Enfilading Fire, Coordinated Shot, etc. are met (though those bonuses are not flanking bonuses - which is important because the bonuses from those two feats actually do stack with each other, which is pretty great).

Run through that process whenever you have a question about flanking, and you shouldn't really have any problems. Unless you have a specific ability that mentions "flanking" and "ranged" (e.g., Enfilading Fire, Coordinated Shot), all you're concerned with is your melee attack.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Actually you can get flanking on ranged attacks, but you need the teamwork feat enfilading fire and a buddy with the same feat.
Best both of you also have improved snap shot and gang up^^

The wording of the feat is a bit unclear though unfortunately.
Improved Snap Shot and gang up help there.


Allowing sneak attack is a benefit derived from flanking. There's no other way to understand that. If an enemy is flanked, it is the flanking itself that allows the Rogue to apply sneak attack. Ergo, the flanking provided the benefit to the Rogue of being able to sneak attack in that instance. It very much is a benefit of flanking.

As for providing flanking being the same as flanking yourself, you likely missed Mark's comment above reaffirming that they are not the same.


Hayato Ken wrote:

Actually you can get flanking on ranged attacks, but you need the teamwork feat enfilading fire and a buddy with the same feat.

Best both of you also have improved snap shot and gang up^^

The bonus from Enfilading Fire is not a flanking bonus. It also doesn't mean the archer is flanking. Enfilading Fire provides a separate +2 bonus to the archer if the target is flanked by others (the same is true for Coordinated Shot, by the way - so take both and get +4!). Since neither Enfilading Shot nor Coordinated Shot provide actual flanking bonuses, they stack with each other.

But yeah, Imp. Snap Shot and Gang Up would definitely help open up opportunities for both Enfilading Fire and Coordinated Shot to apply (though I think we could have a separate discussion about when you qualify as your own ally for some of this).


Mark Seifter wrote:


I was going to just leave it with my silly little post, but if you're appealing to me here particularly, then no, it would not. What he is doing is providing a flank. That is not the same as flanking when it comes to the ranged attack. Flanking means what others here have described.

Then you'll need to explain where the rules for providing a flank come from. They do not exist in RAW outside of the statement of when two character flank.

Sneak Attack does no require flanking, it only requires that the rogue flank. So, where is this separate providing the flank rule, that isn't part of a flank?

If he were to attack with the dagger, would it be flanking? Why? Where does the difference come from? Does the rogue flank, or do attacks flank?

If attacks flank, then how do two characters ever flank at the same time?

What others have said is that you only ever flank at the time you are making a melee attack. The rules specifically reference that two characters flank. It's how you get the bonus. Those can't both be right. It requires something that can never be true (two characters flank, when flank only exists during an attack, of which only one character can do at a time), in order for the flank to exist.


bbangerter wrote:
Cevah wrote:
When it is wrong. When it is a summary. When it is an assumption.
Are you suggesting the PDT summarized or restated the rule incorrectly? That isn't my quote. That isn't my restatement. That is the PDT restatement of the rule in their official FAQ.

I do think the PDT are assuming no ranged flanking, while not actually supported by RAW. Without RAW support, the statement IS wrong. Some think RAW supports melee only. That would make the statement correct. Since there is STILL a difference of opinion about what RAW states, the PDT's clause is only an expression of RAI since it was NOT phrased as a rule. If they want to stop ranged flanking, they need to say so in an unambiguous way. Part of a sentence is not the way.

FAQs are rulings.
FAQs reverse themselves.
Example FAQ
PDT can change its mind.

bbangerter wrote:
Cevah wrote:

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.

Please clarify this. You cited, and changed my example of restatement in regards to threatening and AoO's, and at the end stated when not threatening you can still take AoO's (which is not true). Did you mean to rephrase it into the flanking and are making a statement that you do not need to be threatening to flank?

OK. Checked the PRD. I was misremembering the requirements for AoOs.

That does not change the lack of requirement for an attack to be flanking.

James Risner wrote:
Gwen Smith wrote:

The opening phrase of Flanking is what stops you, here:

"When making a melee attack, you get a +2 flanking bonus
Everyone that believes they can get flanking bonus on ranged conveniently ignore this wording.

No one is arguing for a +2. They are arguing for the condition of "Flanked", so that a class feature (Sneak Attack) can add extra damage. That class feature has rules, and one of the ways to satisfy it is to have an opponent "Flanked" by you. Those rules do not require a melee attack or a +2 flanking bonus. Is this an oversight? Maybe. Been there a long time without change. Does "Flanking Bonus" = "Flanking"? Some people say yes, some say no.

Edit: If the bonus listed by Sneak Attack came from Flanking, everyone who flanks would get the bonus from a general combat rule. Melee attacks DO get a +2 attack bonus as part of flanking. Sneak Attack, however is a class feature that uses a condition commonly known as "Flanking" to trigger a bonus.

James Risner wrote:
A rogue can flank his target. With Snap Shot even.

I so heard this in Snagglepuss's voice.

Mark Seifter wrote:
Flanking means what others here have described.

Some take it to mean melee only, some take it to mean position only. Your statement does not specify which you mean. :-)

/cevah


Crash_00 wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:


I was going to just leave it with my silly little post, but if you're appealing to me here particularly, then no, it would not. What he is doing is providing a flank. That is not the same as flanking when it comes to the ranged attack. Flanking means what others here have described.

Then you'll need to explain where the rules for providing a flank come from. They do not exist in RAW outside of the statement of when two character flank.

Sneak Attack does no require flanking, it only requires that the rogue flank. So, where is this separate providing the flank rule, that isn't part of a flank?

If he were to attack with the dagger, would it be flanking? Why? Where does the difference come from? Does the rogue flank, or do attacks flank?

If attacks flank, then how do two characters ever flank at the same time?

What others have said is that you only ever flank at the time you are making a melee attack. The rules specifically reference that two characters flank. It's how you get the bonus. Those can't both be right. It requires something that can never be true (two characters flank, when flank only exists during an attack, of which only one character can do at a time), in order for the flank to exist.

I'm not sure how you're differentiating "flanking" and that a Rogue "flank". I think it's fair to say based on the language of the rules, the relevant FAQs, and Mark's comment that the PDT views them as analogous. The Rogue has to "be flanking" to get sneak. That means making a melee attack.

Honestly, if you follow along the process I laid out here, you'll likely find you don't have any problems. Flanking requires a melee attack, absent a specific exception otherwise. While you've argued the rules are unclear, the FAQ supports that conclusion. And while you've disputed that, you now have a Developer telling you what we have been.

I understand frustration with rules not being as clear as you want them, but really, if you accept that the Developers do indeed intend for flanking to ordinarily be restricted to melee combat (that just positioning alone is typically not enough), there really aren't any issues here. It all actually comes together pretty well.


Cevah wrote:
Some take it to mean melee only, some take it to mean position only. Your statement does not specify which you mean. :-)

Well, he responded to someone who has been arguing that flanking only cares about position and that melee is only relevant to the flanking bonus. His response was it works like other people laid out. So I'm pretty sure that means flanking isn't just positional. ;)


Cevah wrote:
bbangerter wrote:
Cevah wrote:
When it is wrong. When it is a summary. When it is an assumption.
Are you suggesting the PDT summarized or restated the rule incorrectly? That isn't my quote. That isn't my restatement. That is the PDT restatement of the rule in their official FAQ.
I do think the PDT are assuming no ranged flanking, while not actually supported by RAW. Without RAW support, the statement IS wrong. Some think RAW supports melee only. That would make the statement correct. Since there is STILL a difference of opinion about what RAW states, the PDT's clause is only an expression of RAI since it was NOT phrased as a rule. If they want to stop ranged flanking, they need to say so in an unambiguous way. Part of a sentence is not the way.

If the PDT had been specifically addressing what constitutes a flank, it wouldn't have been a half sentence, but that half sentence still shows intent.

RAW, there are lots of differing opinions on a multitude of topics. But if RAI has been made plain (and does not directly contradict RAW such as the current discussion), then which opinion of RAW should we be following?


Crash_00 wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:


I was going to just leave it with my silly little post, but if you're appealing to me here particularly, then no, it would not. What he is doing is providing a flank. That is not the same as flanking when it comes to the ranged attack. Flanking means what others here have described.

Then you'll need to explain where the rules for providing a flank come from. They do not exist in RAW outside of the statement of when two character flank.

Sneak Attack does no require flanking, it only requires that the rogue flank. So, where is this separate providing the flank rule, that isn't part of a flank?

If he were to attack with the dagger, would it be flanking? Why? Where does the difference come from? Does the rogue flank, or do attacks flank?

If attacks flank, then how do two characters ever flank at the same time?

What others have said is that you only ever flank at the time you are making a melee attack. The rules specifically reference that two characters flank. It's how you get the bonus. Those can't both be right. It requires something that can never be true (two characters flank, when flank only exists during an attack, of which only one character can do at a time), in order for the flank to exist.

Those rules are in the CRB, you are just rejecting the explanation. I'll try and explain it a different way, but first, the rules for flanking.

PRD wrote:


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

When in doubt about whether two characters flank an opponent in the middle, trace an imaginary line between the two attackers' centers. If the line passes through opposite borders of the opponent's space (including corners of those borders), then the opponent is flanked.

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

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

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

That is the sum whole of flanking (barring exceptions from feats, etc).

ALL of that applies to flanking. Yes there are different paragraphs there, but combined they define what flanking is.

The separate paragraphs aren't isolated thoughts or rules, you combine them to arrive at the rules.

The "when in doubt..." paragraph isn't independent of the "When making a melee attack..." paragraph. If it were, I could argue that the last paragraph "Creatures with a reach of 0 feet can't flank an opponent." is wholly independent, at which point it then conflicts with the "When in doubt..." one. If position is all the matter then reach 0 not providing flank is nonsense.

So you've asked if flanking is the act of attacking or is it position? It's both. One person must be making a melee attack (the act of attacking). An ally must be on the opposite side (position) and threatening (usually meaning they have a melee weapon and are in range).

Just like AoO's for example have certain requirements to be met. A person might take a provoking action, but if there isn't someone in range to attack them, who hasn't used up their AoO's for the round, and who is threatening them at the time, then no AoO gets to get made. Even though there is a separate paragraph in AoO's that says "Performing a Distracting Act: Some actions, when performed in a threatened square, provoke attacks of opportunity as you divert your attention from the battle." That paragraph doesn't say anything about having used your AoO's for the round already, but we know that part of the rules still applies as well.


bbangerter wrote:

If the PDT had been specifically addressing what constitutes a flank, it wouldn't have been a half sentence, but that half sentence still shows intent.

RAW, there are lots of differing opinions on a multitude of topics. But if RAI has been made plain (and does not directly contradict RAW such as the current discussion), then which opinion of RAW should we be following?

When RAW is confusing, RAI works like you say.

When RAW calls out a specific test, it is not confusing.

bbangerter wrote:
PRD wrote:

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

When in doubt about whether two characters flank an opponent in the middle, trace an imaginary line between the two attackers' centers. If the line passes through opposite borders of the opponent's space (including corners of those borders), then the opponent is flanked.

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

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

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

That is the sum whole of flanking (barring exceptions from feats, etc).

ALL of that applies to flanking. Yes there are different paragraphs there, but combined they define what flanking is.

Agreed to this point.

bbangerter wrote:

The separate paragraphs aren't isolated thoughts or rules, you combine them to arrive at the rules.

The "when in doubt..." paragraph isn't independent of the "When making a melee attack..." paragraph. If it were, I could argue that the last paragraph "Creatures with a reach of 0 feet can't flank an opponent." is wholly independent, at which point it then conflicts with the "When in doubt..." one. If position is all the matter then reach 0 not providing flank is nonsense.

They are independent. That is what the whole concept of a paragraph is.

Note that the 0 reach paragraph is after the word "Exception". That means it is a specific exception to the above general rules.

/cevah


So exception in a previous paragraph makes all following paragraphs an exception? That doesn't follow the premise you've just made of "That is what the whole concept of a paragraph is."

If nothing else, please be consistent in what you are espousing.


The word "Exception", in italics and followed by a colon, is a subsection header, not part of the paragraph. You see this format time and again in skills, feats, spells, and so on.

Let's look at the "Only..." paragraph. It appears to be an exception to the "When in doubt..." paragraph, and as such, makes sense. You (medium or small sized) can have two people on the opposite side of a large opponent. Both people satisfy the "When in doubt..." paragraph, and thus are defined as making the opponent flanked. The "Only..." paragraph restates a need for an additional requirement for the +2 flanking bonus. This adds weight to flanking =/= flanking bonus.

If it is not linked as an exception, it has no reason to exist, since it merely repeats what was said in the first paragraph. Especially so, given the print space available mentioned so many times by Pazio.

/cevah

Edit: added "as an exception" to the last paragraph.


*shrug*

We've got a pretty good indication how things are supposed to work (now with some reaffirmation). The RAI we're talking about does not violate RAW. It violates one interpretation of RAW. It does not violate another interpretation of RAW. Thus, you go with the interpretation it does not violate.

You say RAW calls out a specific test. That is true. You claim it is a universal, stand-alone test. We claim it is a test done within the context of the rest of the rules. RAI (which have been clarified and reaffirmed) only makes sense if you conduct this test within the context of the rest of the rules.

So conduct the test within the context of the rest of the rules. I'm honestly not sure what else there is to say at this point.


To me, it's always made the most sense that this:

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.

Is simply a helpful explanation of the bolded here:

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.

Calling it a completely separate thought seems odd, since it's directly referencing terms that immediately precede it and it offers further explanation of those terms.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

[rolls will save]
Will Save: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (1) + 10 = 11
[reroll]
Will Save: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (3) + 10 = 13
[Looks like I succeeded]

I will avoid being drawn back in to this silly conflict.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Claxon wrote:

[rolls will save]

[dice=Will Save]1d20+10
[reroll]
[dice=Will Save]1d20+10
[Looks like I succeeded]

I will avoid being drawn back in to this silly conflict.

I'm sorry, but the DC is OBVIOUSLY much higher than 13...please continue. ;)


bbangerter wrote:


That is the sum whole of flanking (barring exceptions from feats, etc).

ALL of that applies to flanking. Yes there are different paragraphs there, but combined they define what flanking is.

The separate paragraphs aren't isolated thoughts or rules, you combine them to arrive at the rules.

The "when in doubt..." paragraph isn't independent of the "When making a melee attack..." paragraph. If it were, I could argue that the last paragraph "Creatures with a reach of 0 feet can't flank an opponent." is wholly independent, at which point it then conflicts with the "When in doubt..." one. If position is all the matter then reach 0 not providing flank is nonsense.

So you've asked if flanking is the act of attacking or is it position? It's both. One person must be making a melee attack (the act of attacking). An ally must be on the opposite side (position) and threatening (usually meaning they have a melee weapon and are in range).

Just like AoO's for example have certain requirements to be met. A person might take a provoking action, but if there isn't someone in range to attack them, who hasn't used up their AoO's for the round, and who is threatening them at the time, then no AoO gets to get made. Even though there is a separate paragraph in AoO's that says "Performing a Distracting Act: Some actions, when performed in a threatened square, provoke attacks of opportunity as you divert your attention from the battle." That paragraph doesn't say anything about having used your AoO's for the round already, but we know that part of the rules still applies as well.

Here is the issue.

The When in doubt paragraph must be separate from the previous sentence. Look at them carefully.

"When making a melee attack"
"When in doubt about whether two characters flank"

If the first part is telling the only point at which you flank (when making an attack), then how can two characters ever flank at the same time? How can any character ever flank when not actively making an attack?

We know that more than one character can flank, because the next paragraph starts by telling us how to determine when TWO characters flank. Since two characters cannot be making a melee attack at the same time, then something else has to be the key to flanking.

Now, in that second paragraph, it tells us how to tell when two characters flank. In this case, what is causing the characters to flank? If it isn't making a melee attack (which it can't be), then what is it? Is it threatening? Position?

This is why the "providing a flank" concept doesn't fly. In that second paragraph, it says two characters flank. It doesn't say a character makes an attack and the other provides a flank. Nothing says that Ranged Weapons can never flank. The only think that is ever defined using melee attacks is the bonus.

So, with the ranged character that Mark admitted would provide the flank, what makes him different than the melee character that provides the flank which the rules refer to as one of two characters that flank. There is no difference between providing a flank and flanking in the CRB.

Basically, there are three options here:
A.) Flanking only occurs when making a melee attack, paragraph two and it's reference to two character's flanking be damned.

B.) Flanking occurs when you meet the requirements of paragraph 2, paragraph 1 tells how to get a flanking bonus.

C.) To be flanking and to flank mean different things. Flanking is specifically during a melee attack and tied to the bonus, to flank is merely to provide the possibility for another character in the right position to get his flanking bonus. This is what Mark states to be "providing the flank," but the rules merely refer to as flank.

Rogues only require flank, not flanking, no matter how much the designers might want it to be different. B and C can work within RAW, they are valid interpretations. A is not a valid interpretation. It results in a contradiction with the very next part of the same rules.


So other than RAW in the CRB, an FAQ explicitly listing flanking as melee, and a Dev commenting in this very thread, what evidence do you have that can't flank with a ranged weapon?


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"No matter how much the designers want it to be different".

Yeah, I'm just going to go ahead and bow out at this point.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
James Risner wrote:
Crash_00 wrote:

So, James, how does one ever use Assault Leader if you cannot be flanking when not making a melee attack?

Sneak Attack does not require a flanking bonus to be applied. It only requires that the rogue flanks his target.

A rogue can flank his target. With Snap Shot even.

But when making that attack against the target, if he makes a Melee attack he need to be Flanking or he needs to have the target denied Dex to get Sneak Attack dice. If he makes a ranged, you need to have the target denied Dex since flanking is a Melee only thing.

except that isn't what it says. it simply says you need to be flanking, claiming otherwise is simply entirely false.

no where can i find mention of providing a flank, the flanking even goes on to say that an opponent is flanked when 2 people are flanking him. I do not see how you can say flanking only happens during a melee attack, and yes also can be an effect on opponents and multiple people. it is simply ludicrous. Several abilities make reference to the person also flanking your target.

so, I see no logical way the system makes more sense with limiting it to melee attacks, too much breaks down if you do this.

so, a rogue is flanking a target with a knife and then proceeds to cast a ray of frost at it. under sneak attack, it straight up says that because she is flanking the target, that her attack gains bonus sneak attack damage.

unless they errata to make it so specifically it calls out that ranged attacks can never trigger an ability that relies on flanking, then no where written is a rule that denies the above and makes the game better. it's just a huge gaping hole if it's left like that.

either people flank, or attacks flank, the game suggests the former(in that most wording describes people flanking or being flanked, and abilities requiring multiple people flanking at the same time) but tries to make it the later(in that a benefit "shouldn't" be provided from flanking outside of a singular moment).


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
fretgod99 wrote:

"No matter how much the designers want it to be different".

Yeah, I'm just going to go ahead and bow out at this point.

I agree though, too much of the game relies on a different interpretation than the one they want. THE GAME uses the people flank method, even if THE DEVS want it to use the attack method.

basically, someone can program something, but that doesn't mean the program has to do what the programmer wants if it has been programmed to do something else on accident.

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