archer flanking bonus


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7 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

I have a level 9 human fighter archer. i have combat reflexes, point blank master, and also snap shot. does this mean i can now, stand right next to the enemy and enable flanking bonus for the rest of the party?

That being said, do i, get the flanking bonus?

Wanted to find out before I brought it up to a gm just before a game. Thanks for any advice.


I believe the line you want to focus on is the following from snap shot.

"While wielding a ranged weapon with which you have Weapon Focus, you threaten squares within 5 feet of you."

I believe that states that you do create and benefit from flanking. I'm not 100% sure, but that's my take on it.

Scarab Sages

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Flanking is a bonus that is only applied to melee attacks. You enable a flanking bonus for your allies, but you do not benefit from flanking with snapshot.


thanks . trying to make my archer a little more party friendly. as in, keeping close to party members... I can do healing also...


Yeah, I just looked up the flanking rules and they only apply to melee attacks, no exceptions as far as I can tell. Sorry, no flanking with a ranged weapon.

Lantern Lodge

Wear a dwarven boulder helmet. (Advanced Race Guide)
It's an exotic weapon, so you won't be expecting to attack with it, but with it on you are considered wielding and threatening with a melee weapon.

It's a helmet and does occupies the head slot, so you can still use both hands to wield your bow.


It still won't give him a bonus to hit with his bow, because you can only benefit from flanking bonuses with a melee weapon. Providing flanking isn't his issue, he wants to benefit from it.


You could always just poke people with the arrows and receive flanking bonuses. *cue sarcasm alarm* I would also like to point out that technically all weapons ever in history were ranged weapons as the closest a weapon could ever get to its target is 3 plancks. *end sarcasm alarm, you may leave your fallout bunkers and resume your lives*


AwesomenessDog wrote:
You could always just poke people with the arrows and receive flanking bonuses.

Like this?

Dark Archive

Why wouldn't the archer benefit from flanking if he is threatening an adjacent opponent with an adjacent ally on the opposite side? Shouldn't this also allow him to take any attacks of opportunities that the opponent incurs?

It's mentioned earlier that flanking only applies to melee weapons. This is true unless a specific rule or ability indicates otherwise, such as snap shot. Specific instance almost always trumps general rules.


ckdragons wrote:

Why wouldn't the archer benefit from flanking if he is threatening an adjacent opponent with an adjacent ally on the opposite side? Shouldn't this also allow him to take any attacks of opportunities that the opponent incurs?

It's mentioned earlier that flanking only applies to melee weapons. This is true unless a specific rule or ability indicates otherwise, such as snap shot. Specific instance almost always trumps general rules.

Snap Shot lets you threaten, but that isn't enough.

CRB wrote:

Flanking

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

So your threat can help allies with melee weapons get a flanking bonus, but their threats don't help you get one.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
ckdragons wrote:

This is true unless a specific rule or ability indicates otherwise, such as snap shot. Specific instance almost always trumps general rules.

If the text of snap shot specifically said you get a flanking bonus you'd be correct that specific trumps general. It doesn't state or imply that however.


You must be melee to get the "+2 flanking bonus" to attack.
You are, however, in a flanking position, so things like sneak attack work*. Just not with an extra +2 BAB. Not sure about the other types of precision attack.

/cevah

*Not everyone agrees. See flanking threads for complete details.

Scarab Sages

Sneak attack does NOT work when you are flanking position when using ranged weapons. It's a perfectly valid house rule to allow it to, but by RAW, all flanking bonuses apply to melee attacks, and if you are not receiving a flanking bonus, you are not "flanking".


Because of technicality, no flanking does not provide range bonuses. New question, is it intended to allow, regardless of RAW?


AwesomenessDog wrote:
Because of technicality, no flanking does not provide range bonuses. New question, is it intended to allow, regardless of RAW?

We cannot know or pretend to know the intentions of the rules. If you want an answer to that, hit the FAQ button or get some other sort of official response.


Imbicatus wrote:
Sneak attack does NOT work when you are flanking position when using ranged weapons. It's a perfectly valid house rule to allow it to, but by RAW, all flanking bonuses apply to melee attacks, and if you are not receiving a flanking bonus, you are not "flanking".

"Sneak attack does NOT work when you are flanking position"

Sounds like you just satisfied the "flanking" requirement needed to gain sneak attack.

You do NOT get +2. Agreed.

As I stated before, not all agree. Please go to the flanking threads for argument.

/cevah


"flanking position" is when you're opposite of your ally against an enemy. And yes, in that position you don't get sneak attack since you aren't flanking. Flanking is determined by getting the +2 to your attacks. If you're not getting that, you aren't flanking and can't sneak attack.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

This is going to spiral down into an abyss.

The following points do not have a consensus of opinions:

Do you get the +2 Flanking bonus to attack when making a ranged attack?

Do you qualify for Sneak Attack when making a ranged attack without the +2 to attack?

There is no official answer and there are two strong opinions.


Official, Flanking is only Melee attacks.
Official, Sneak attack works when Flanking.

Just because there are two opinions doesn't make them equal and just because there's two opinions doesn't mean one isn't official.


It's alright James. Some people can't accept the fact that sometimes there just isn't a black and white answer, which is the case a surprising amount of times.


Also consensus doesn't mean everyone agrees just that there is a clear answer. RAW, no; RAI ?.

That said, often times it is rather easy to determine RAI, this one is more tricky but not impossible. It just takes discussion of the logical kind.


No, it takes a developer or the creator sharing what the I was for RAI when they made it. And the Creator's I is less important than the dev's I. Otherwise it's not RAI, but RA a bunch of people on the boards think it was supposed to be.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

AwesomenessDog wrote:
It just takes discussion of the logical kind.

Not everyone shares the same logic. So that simply isn't possible.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Chess Pwn wrote:
No, it takes a developer or the creator sharing what the I was for RAI when they made it. And the Creator's I is less important than the dev's I. Otherwise it's not RAI, but RA a bunch of people on the boards think it was supposed to be.

Barring an actual FAQ, you can start by looking at the wording they've used on related FAQs. So far, this is the most relevant one:

Gang Up: Does this feat (page 161) allow you to flank a foe with ranged weapons?


Chess Pwn wrote:
"flanking position" is when you're opposite of your ally against an enemy. And yes, in that position you don't get sneak attack since you aren't flanking. Flanking is determined by getting the +2 to your attacks. If you're not getting that, you aren't flanking and can't sneak attack.

Chess Pwn, you are arguing that Flanking =/= Flanking. You don't make sense.

James Risner wrote:

The following points do not have a consensus of opinions:

Do you get the +2 Flanking bonus to attack when making a ranged attack?

I think there is consensus that you do not get +2 with a ranged weapon.

/cevah


Flanking position =/= flanking.

If the archer does not have snap shot and recklessly finds himself right next to a bad guy with an ally directly opposite.

He cannot grant a flanking bonus as he does not threaten.
He cannot receive a flanking bonus as he doesn't have a melee weapon.

By any definition he cannot be said to be flanking, yet he is indisputably in a flanking position.


And you think:
Flanking = Flanking Bonus.

I don't.

/cevah


Quote:

Flanking

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

Thus the definition we have for if you are flanking is if you're getting the flanking bonus. If you're not threatening then even if you are in flanking position, you're not flanking. Since flanking is for melee weapons you can only be flanking with a melee weapon, but with this feat you can provide flanking to someone else though you can't take advantage of it yourself.

Scarab Sages

"dragonhunterq

Flanking position =/= flanking.

If the archer does not have snap shot and recklessly finds himself right next to a bad guy with an ally directly opposite.

He cannot grant a flanking bonus as he does not threaten.
He cannot receive a flanking bonus as he doesn't have a melee weapon.

By any definition he cannot be said to be flanking, yet he is indisputably in a flanking position."

This is not completely correct. The archer does not threaten with his bow yes but he can use the arrow as an improvised weapon to threaten and allow his ally to take the bonus and sneak attack.


You cannot benefit from flanking ever while using a bow.

If you have snap shot you may provide flanking to allies with your bow.

If you have some sort of melee attack available and are in the proper position that weapon would get flanking bonuses, such as the aforementioned arrow in hand. However, that requires Stabbing Shot or else you take improvised weapon penalties.


Chess Pwn wrote:
Quote:

Flanking

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

Thus the definition we have for if you are flanking is if you're getting the flanking bonus. If you're not threatening then even if you are in flanking position, you're not flanking. Since flanking is for melee weapons you can only be flanking with a melee weapon, but with this feat you can provide flanking to someone else though you can't take advantage of it yourself.

I bolded the definition. There is an explicit test. You have to somehow come up with a rule that changes the bolded text to deny the sneak attack.

The first paragraph is about getting an attack bonus, and the conditions needed to get it.

/cevah

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Cevah wrote:

There is an explicit test. You have to somehow come up with a rule that changes the bolded text to deny the sneak attack.

The first paragraph is about getting an attack bonus, and the conditions needed to get it.

/cevah

Same threads, always spirals into this.

The paragraph starts with "When making a melee attack" so arguing any of the paragraph is relevant when making ranged attacks is a RAW interpretation that conflict with the RAW interpretation flanking is restricted to Melee attacks.

We have an explicit Gang Up FAQ that explicitly says you can never gain flanking from a ranged attack. You must assert that FAQ is only relevant for Gang Up feat.

Lots of assertions. Lots of repeated assertions. This subject has never been result. We can join together to make a few new 700 post threads of:

yes you can

no you can't

yes you can

--------OR----------

You can agree with me, that the GM determines the RAW in his game and this is an ask your GM question.

Can you agree with me?

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Cevah wrote:
There is an explicit test.
Quote:

Flanking

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

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.

Another way to parse this would be:

When you make a melee attack check the following:
If flanked, +2 to hit and add Sneak Attack or other flanking bonuses.

For instructions on how to determine whether or not you are flanked, look for lines passing thru opposite borders of an opponent's space.


Gang Up: Does this feat (page 161) allow you to flank a foe with ranged weapons?

The Gang Up feat allows you to count as flanking so long as two of your allies are threatening your opponent. The feat makes no mention of ranged attacks being included, and since flanking specifically refers to melee attacks, ranged attacks do not benefit from this feat. (JMB, 8/13/10)


Brain in a Jar wrote:

Gang Up: Does this feat (page 161) allow you to flank a foe with ranged weapons?

The Gang Up feat allows you to count as flanking so long as two of your allies are threatening your opponent. The feat makes no mention of ranged attacks being included, and since flanking specifically refers to melee attacks, ranged attacks do not benefit from this feat. (JMB, 8/13/10)

The FAQ *assumes* that the lack of mentioning "ranged" means that it must only apply to melee. How many times has someone said "it only does what it says"? The feat gave a clear definition of what was needed to get a benefit. Melee was never part of the requirements.

RAI: It is clear they don't want Gang-Up to allow ranged flanking.

This FAQ *assumes* flanking is melee only. It does not actually change flanking to melee only. The use of "since" tells people that the following is assumed to be true. Here they are assuming melee only.
RAI: it is clear they want flanking melee only.

The reference to melee is part of a conditional that is itself only part of the section detailing Flanking. Another part of that same section gives an explicit test for flanking that makes no reference to melee. Do you make a ruling on only part of a rule, or do you use the whole rule?

To me, the rules of grammar and logic indicate that the Gang-up FAQ is poorly written, and is assuming things that in reality are not there.

Using the Gang-Up FAQ to prove Flanking goes like this:
1) Gang-up FAQ: Because Flanking is <whatever>, Gang-Up is <whatever>.
2) Flanking: Flanking is <whatever> because Gang-up is <whatever>.
Without agreement on what <whatever> is, the Gang-Up FAQ cannot be used to support Flanking.

/cevah


Secane wrote:

Wear a dwarven boulder helmet. (Advanced Race Guide)

It's an exotic weapon, so you won't be expecting to attack with it, but with it on you are considered wielding and threatening with a melee weapon.

It's a helmet and does occupies the head slot, so you can still use both hands to wield your bow.

Armor Spikes, Unarmed Strikes


Gisher wrote:

CRB wrote:

Flanking
When making a melee attack,

Drat!


The Stabbing Shot Feat lets you make a melee attack with arrows

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Cevah wrote:
melee is part of a conditional that is itself only part of the section detailing Flanking. Another part of that same section gives an explicit test for flanking that makes no reference to melee.

You fail to understand that the second part makes no mention of melee, because it doesn't need to do so.

The first part is all of the rules for flanking. The second part tells you an easy way to determine if something is flanked. But it is only relevant to the first part.


Cevah wrote:
Brain in a Jar wrote:

Gang Up: Does this feat (page 161) allow you to flank a foe with ranged weapons?

The Gang Up feat allows you to count as flanking so long as two of your allies are threatening your opponent. The feat makes no mention of ranged attacks being included, and since flanking specifically refers to melee attacks, ranged attacks do not benefit from this feat. (JMB, 8/13/10)

The FAQ *assumes* that the lack of mentioning "ranged" means that it must only apply to melee. How many times has someone said "it only does what it says"? The feat gave a clear definition of what was needed to get a benefit. Melee was never part of the requirements.

RAI: It is clear they don't want Gang-Up to allow ranged flanking.

This FAQ *assumes* flanking is melee only. It does not actually change flanking to melee only. The use of "since" tells people that the following is assumed to be true. Here they are assuming melee only.
RAI: it is clear they want flanking melee only.

The reference to melee is part of a conditional that is itself only part of the section detailing Flanking. Another part of that same section gives an explicit test for flanking that makes no reference to melee. Do you make a ruling on only part of a rule, or do you use the whole rule?

To me, the rules of grammar and logic indicate that the Gang-up FAQ is poorly written, and is assuming things that in reality are not there.

Using the Gang-Up FAQ to prove Flanking goes like this:
1) Gang-up FAQ: Because Flanking is <whatever>, Gang-Up is <whatever>.
2) Flanking: Flanking is <whatever> because Gang-up is <whatever>.
Without agreement on what <whatever> is, the Gang-Up FAQ cannot be used to support Flanking.

/cevah

You think whatever you want.

It's a nice houserule.


Cevah wrote:


Using the Gang-Up FAQ to prove Flanking goes like this:
1) Gang-up FAQ: Because Flanking is <whatever>, Gang-Up is <whatever>.
2) Flanking: Flanking is <whatever> because Gang-up is <whatever>.
Without agreement on what <whatever> is, the Gang-Up FAQ cannot be used to support Flanking.

/cevah

Or

Using the Gang-Up FAQ to prove Flanking goes like this:
1) Gang-up FAQ: Because Flanking is <melee>, Gang-Up is <melee>.
2) Flanking: Flanking is <melee> because Gang-up says flanking is <melee>.

Cevah wrote:
To me, the rules of grammar and logic indicate that the Gang-up FAQ is poorly written, and is assuming things that in reality are not there.

Or it could be that Gang-up is written fine and that the things it is "assuming" are actually there. Because if it's there, it's not assuming. If it's not assuming then it makes sense how it is written.

Gang-up : it's only melee because flanking specifies melee
Flanking : I specify melee, so if you are melee see if you are in a flanking position. Hence why the second part doesn't mention melee, I already defined that I was dealing with melee in the first sentence.

Cevah wrote:
The reference to melee is part of a conditional that is itself only part of the section detailing Flanking. Another part of that same section gives an explicit test for flanking that makes no reference to melee. Do you make a ruling on only part of a rule, or do you use the whole rule?

Exactly it's part of the conditional, if it's not true then it's all not true. If the other part is giving a second conditional that has to be met, if the first isn't met, then the entire condition isn't met. Do you make a ruling on only part of a rule, or do you use the whole rule, both parts?

Because the rule is saying,
If you're not using a melee you're not flanking. If you are, look to see if someone who threatens is opposite border or opposite corner. To check if you flank an opponent, meaning to check if you are indeed opposite border or opposite corner. like I just specified you needed to be in the previous sentence.trace an imaginary...

By reading it all together, and not just in parts, you see what it's saying. Lets make it a big run-on sentence to make it clear.
"When making a melee attack, you get a +2 flanking bonus if your opponent is threatened by another enemy character or creature that you can trace an imaginary line between your center and the other enemy character or creature center and that this line you just traced between centers passes through opposite borders of the opponent's space (including corners of those borders)."
Big run-on sentence, that if you split up to have each thought be it's own sentence would be written as it is currently written and mean the same thing as this.

Cevah wrote:
This FAQ *assumes* flanking is melee only. It does not actually change flanking to melee only. The use of "since" tells people that the following is assumed to be true. Here they are assuming melee only.

Or it could be that Flanking IS melee only. And when it uses the word "since" it synonymous with "because" turning the sentence to, "because flanking specifically refers to melee attacks, ranged attacks do not benefit from this feat" which itself is the same as "because flanking is only with melee attacks, ranged attacks don't benefit"


Chess Pwn wrote:

By reading it all together, and not just in parts, you see what it's saying. Lets make it a big run-on sentence to make it clear.

"When making a melee attack, you get a +2 flanking bonus if your opponent is threatened by another enemy character or creature that you can trace an imaginary line between your center and the other enemy character or creature center and that this line you just traced between centers passes through opposite borders of the opponent's space (including corners of those borders)."
Big run-on sentence, that if you split up to have each thought be it's own sentence would be written as it is currently written and mean the same thing as this.

The rules of grammar do not support you.

Each paragraph is a *separate* idea, not predicated upon the preceding one.

/cevah


Cevah wrote:


The reference to melee is part of a conditional that is itself only part of the section detailing Flanking. Another part of that same section gives an explicit test for flanking that makes no reference to melee. Do you make a ruling on only part of a rule, or do you use the whole rule?

/cevah

Repeating that it was melee only would be unnecessarily duplicitous. It has already specified flanking is melee only. Because you use the whole rule, not just part of it you are bound by the first part without a specific relaxation.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Cevah wrote:

The rules of grammar do not support you.

Each paragraph is a *separate* idea, not predicated upon the preceding one.

Got a link where that is proven? That no writer can ever violate that grammar rule?

Got a developer quote proving your interpretation is the only valid one?

Got any logic to support the concept that the description of how you know you are flanking is separate from the benefits of flanking?

Got anything?

Anything at all to support your asserted rules interpretation that conclusively proves that Gang Up was written by some person on the developer team that consulted the whole development team who none of them know anything about the rules? Well clearly the whole development team doesn't know the rules like you do. Amazing.


Cevah wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:

By reading it all together, and not just in parts, you see what it's saying. Lets make it a big run-on sentence to make it clear.

"When making a melee attack, you get a +2 flanking bonus if your opponent is threatened by another enemy character or creature that you can trace an imaginary line between your center and the other enemy character or creature center and that this line you just traced between centers passes through opposite borders of the opponent's space (including corners of those borders)."
Big run-on sentence, that if you split up to have each thought be it's own sentence would be written as it is currently written and mean the same thing as this.

The rules of grammar do not support you.

Each paragraph is a *separate* idea, not predicated upon the preceding one.

/cevah

And you can't see that this paragraph is explaining the situation from the previous paragraph?

... and if the enemy is being threatened from someone opposite you.
When unsure if two people are in position for a flank draw a line from you to them and if it goes through opposite borders you are opposite them and thus are in position to flank.

Again really using proper reading comprehension it should be clear.

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

Okay cool, this paragraph told us what flanking is and how you get it. Onto the next paragraph

"When in doubt about whether two characters flank an opponent in the middle"

Okay so this first bit tells us what this paragraph is talking about. This one is about making sure if two character flank one in the middle. Thus we refer back to the definition of flanking to understand what it is we're trying to make sure of. And the answer to that would be clarifying how to know "if your opponent is threatened by another enemy character or creature on its opposite border or opposite corner." We know it's referencing this because Flanking was already defined as a melee attack against an enemy being threatened opposite of your. And since we're referencing the two characters with the target between them it is about the part that involves the position of the characters in the flanking definition.

So now we know that what comes next is explaining how to determine if you're opposite of an enemy.

"trace an imaginary line between the two attackers' centers."
Okay, I feel that this hasn't clarified if you're in flanking position or not, this though must finish later.

"If the line passes through opposite borders of the opponent's space (including corners of those borders), then the opponent is flanked."

Hey look, this makes sense. It's clear we were correct in thinking it referred to the positioning mentioned in the first paragraph since it uses the same wording.

Flanking:".. by another enemy character or creature on its opposite border or opposite corner"

"If the (imaginary line between the two attackers' centers) passes through opposite borders of the opponent's space (including corners of those borders), then the opponent is flanked"

With out this clarifying paragraph the example picture one could say the fighter and cleric are not flanking as they are not exactly opposite of each other. Hence why we have a paragraph about deciding flank position.


Oogie wrote:

I have a level 9 human fighter archer. i have combat reflexes, point blank master, and also snap shot. does this mean i can now, stand right next to the enemy and enable flanking bonus for the rest of the party?

That being said, do i, get the flanking bonus?

Wanted to find out before I brought it up to a gm just before a game. Thanks for any advice.

The much easier way to do this is to just wear a cestus, which can always be threatening next to you with a longbow because the longbow can just be held in the other hand while not your turn, and a cestus specifically says it can wield other things while wearing it, so you can shoot arrows with it when it is your turn, too. No feats required, etc. Although you will of course probably do less accuracy and damage on the AoO than you would with your main weapon. But just saying.


As written, bows don't/can't grant flanking with ranged attacks...

At our table we allow it, if you have Snapshot. That is a houserule though.

Grand Lodge

alexd1976 wrote:

As written, bows don't/can't grant flanking with ranged attacks...

At our table we allow it, if you have Snapshot. That is a houserule though.

Bows cannot gain the flanking condition, as they are ranged attacks.

If you threaten with a bow, using Snap Shot or equivalent, your melee ally can gain flanking from you.


By RAW alone, if it isn't written, you cant do it. You can't by RAW, which is lame and I would never leave as is (threatening or no), earlier editions didn't have all around sight and "flanking" was based on positioning relative to facing meaning ranged attacks could "flank" from behind. Your always free to HR, but ranged flanking is not allowed by RAW.

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