Tiny flying rogue requests advice.


Advice


The short story is that I've built a tiny Unchained Rogue who can fly, and I'm not certain whether I have done a good job. You can skip the next two paragraphs if the details don't interest you.

--Skip this if you like--

I play with a weekly Pathfinder group every Saturday, Society usually, Runelords when that fails due to lack of materials or what have you. Last week though, RUNELORDS failed due to lack of players, we only had three plus GM, so GM decided to send us on a very strange adventure with very strange restrictions.

Since we were somewhere around the dawn of man (presumably) we could not use arcane spellcasting, as that had not been discovered yet (racial spelllikes were fine, and nearly inevitable for the following reason) and we could not play as any race which is Small or larger at adulthood, only Tiny or smaller creatures. This left us with a fairly small list, which got even smaller once he eliminated all the "usually evil" races and races with a high level adjustment. I rolled randomly and got a race called "Conshee," apparently some kind of mining fairy type thing. Between the high DEX, the flying, and the 2/day Invisibility, I thought Unchained Rogue looked pretty good, so I went with that.

--Skip to here--

I spent my two feats and two rogue talents all on ranged combat feats - Point Blank, Precise Shot, Combat Trick: Deadly Aim, and Weapon Training (Weapon Focus) Shortbow. It seemed like a good idea at the time, being tiny in a world that I suspect will contain many foes bigger and stronger then me, I want to stay away from them as much as possible, but in the one combat of our session (it was short, and we spent a long time lost in the damn forest) the enemy managed to stay up in our business the whole time, and I never even saw an opportunity to fire even one arrow. I DID strike for heavy damage with my shortsword - 22 DEX and Finesse Training mixed with 2d6 Sneak Attack was VERY effective - which is great and all, but it's got me wondering if I shouldn't rebuild for melee combat while I can.

I'm still fairly new at Pathfinder, I've only been playing for about 8 or 9 months, and I've never played D&D or any other tabletop roleplaying games like this. So far I've played a Wizard, a Cleric, and a Bard, so this is my first nonmagical character to date. I've been trying to find some guides, but all of the rogue guides seem woefully outdated - most of them recommend picking up Weapon Finesse, which.... is intrinsic to the Unchained. :/

If it matters, my other two party members are a brass dragon Oracle with the Child curse, and an Atami Oracle who is diminutive. I can't speak much for their abilities, since they never cast a spell or used their mysteries, nor did they do much out of combat or strike for very good damage in the fight. The Atami claimed to be able to strike Sneak Attacks as a racial ability, but he never saw fit to move into a flank position. I suspect the dragon is going for a support magic build, and the Atami is going for a brawling build, but I'm not certain.


Rogues are bad at archery in the first place since it's hard to get sneak attack on ranged attacks. Flanking doesn't work, so you have to find some other way to deny them their dex to AC while using a ranged attack (hint there aren't any particularly good ways to do this).

In that sense, yes your character would be better suited to a melee build.

However, it is worth noting if you weren't aware that tiny creatures don't threaten squares and don't have any reach. You have to enter your opponent's square to attack (which provokes an AoO) and cannot flank an enemy (which denies one common method of sneak attack). So you probably did a lot less damage than you think you did if you followed the rules.


Claxon has it right - you cannot easily flank because of your size and because you need to enter your opponent's space which disallows flanking, and you cannot flank with a ranged weapon.

You could use sniping rules (Stealth skill) to get one sneak attack per round, but then, you could do that even better if you weren't tiny (more damage, less Stealth, maybe it's about even).

You could try using a reach weapon. Your tiny rogue could use a longspear, perhaps. This allows you to reach an adjacent square so you don't have to enter the enemy's space and so you can flank (which means you can sneak attack if you can get your oracle buddies to flank with you). Of course, there aren't many finesse weapons with Reach, so you'll be using your STR to hit them, not your DEX.

Side note: some GMs don't think a tiny creature with reach can attack an adjacent square. The rules are a bit fuzzy. See this post or even better see this post for two responses by James Jacobs - not official (he's always saying he's not official) but his answers are consistent with the rules and should go pretty far to convincing GMs to let your tiny longspear reach into an adjacent square.

You could try getting the Long Arms spell (maybe one of your oracles can learn it, or just get a wand of it). This might be the best option since you can stay in your space, with flanking (when your oracles help), and attack your adjacent enemies with finesse (and an appropriate light weapon). Of course, this requires that you have the spell in every combat - maybe you want to just make a custom item, Sleeves of Long Arm so it can be active all the time; it should only cost about 2,000gp.

Lantern Lodge

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The swashbuckler Mouser archetype seems ideal for this kind of campaign.


Of course if the world is focused on diminutive and tiny, it might be sensible to be playing with a smaller grid, basically have dim = small and tiny = medium as far as the rules/grid are concerned. Each square would be 2.5 feet or so instead of 5.


The Scout archetype gets ranged sneak attack at 8th level at the cost of moving 10'.

/cevah


Dave Justus wrote:
Of course if the world is focused on diminutive and tiny, it might be sensible to be playing with a smaller grid, basically have dim = small and tiny = medium as far as the rules/grid are concerned. Each square would be 2.5 feet or so instead of 5.

+1 to this. I occasionally change the scale of the grid to suit the circumstances.


I only got one sneak attack during that fight, and not because of flanking, because I was invisible. As for whether I could reach, we weren't even using the actual grid. I just told the GM "I'm moving up and attacking," so presumably he just put me in the enemy's square.

From what I can gather, there's going to be a lot of combat between us and creatures of Small or Medium size, and maybe a little bit of combat between us and creatures of our own size.

As I said, we're presumably pretty far back in history, so lots of established magic and magic items are not really available yet. GM didn't even give us any gold, he just gave us a handful of level-appropriate gear that suited our characters. (though that may also have been due to how fast and loose we were doing things. it was fairly hasty and borderline improv on the GM's part.)

So, it's sounding like being a Rogue was a terrible idea, since I can't flank, and being an ARCHER Rogue is an even WORSE idea. That 2/day Invis spelllike isn't gonna save me if I ever need to fight three battles in a day. Maybe I should remake as a Ninja for the Vanishing Trick..... I'd have to rebuild for better Charisma though, and I can't remember my racial ability modifiers. What a mess. :/

I'd rather not just throw out my character, because he's a lot of fun to RP, but his personality is very very "rogue."


AntipodeF wrote:
I only got one sneak attack during that fight, and not because of flanking, because I was invisible. As for whether I could reach, we weren't even using the actual grid. I just told the GM "I'm moving up and attacking," so presumably he just put me in the enemy's square.

That's fine if he wants to play that way, but every time he "just put you in the enemy's square" you provoked an AoO. If he didn't do that, then he's playing by a house rule (or just misunderstanding the actual rule). Either way, if he keeps doing that, then you're not playing by the actual rules.

Which makes it hard to give advice. Just about EVERYTHING said so far in this thread was about how you could reach enemies without provoking and/or while still flanking, but if you're using house rules to ignore that problem, then all this advice is meaningless in your home brew rules.

AntipodeF wrote:
From what I can gather, there's going to be a lot of combat between us and creatures of Small or Medium size, and maybe a little bit of combat between us and creatures of our own size.

Irrelevant. The rule that you provoke when you enter their space applies at all sizes. The rule that you don't flank when you're in their square applies at all sizes.

AntipodeF wrote:
As I said, we're presumably pretty far back in history, so lots of established magic and magic items are not really available yet. GM didn't even give us any gold, he just gave us a handful of level-appropriate gear that suited our characters. (though that may also have been due to how fast and loose we were doing things. it was fairly hasty and borderline improv on the GM's part.)

This also makes it hard to give advice. WHAT magic is unavailable? How do we suggest "get a wand of Long Arm" if Long Arm doesn't exist in your homebrew campaign?

AntipodeF wrote:
So, it's sounding like being a Rogue was a terrible idea, since I can't flank, and being an ARCHER Rogue is an even WORSE idea.

True and truer.

AntipodeF wrote:
That 2/day Invis spelllike isn't gonna save me if I ever need to fight three battles in a day.

In fact, if it's Invisibility and not Greater Invisibility, it only lasts until your very first attack. It won't even "save you" for one whole fight - unless you use your second one to turn invisible and run away. If not, then you get the benefit of it once at the start of each fight.

AntipodeF wrote:

Maybe I should remake as a Ninja for the Vanishing Trick..... I'd have to rebuild for better Charisma though, and I can't remember my racial ability modifiers. What a mess. :/

I'd rather not just throw out my character, because he's a lot of fun to RP, but his personality is very very "rogue."

No answer for that.

Talk it over with your GM. Tell him that you seem to have made a class choice that is just awful at your size and you would like his help making it not awful. He's already making things up and as you said, "playing loose" so he just may make house rules for you, or provide special treasure for you, or whatever, to make your class choice viable.

Dark Archive

You could look to convert to something that would make Archery more viable like a Slayer or a Ranger. Slayer would allow you to keep your rogue-ish feel without being dependent on Sneak-Attack so much. You will also have the feats to pull it off.

If you switch to a Melee build I would suggest the Spring Attack tree to get you into melee range. Invisibility can help out with landing those sneak attacks but as you mentioned that only goes so far in helping. Normally I would suggest a series of spells and magic items to help, but again we are running into a wall. My only suggestion here is to get an ally to CC for you a lot. Knock enemies prone, dirty tricks to Blind them, whatever you have to do in order to make them loose their Dex bonus to AC and fire off Sneak Attack damage.

The last melee option I will suggest is going U.C. Rogue 3 (for that Dex damage on a rapier) and switching to Fighter. Maybe even build towards Duelist. This build gives you a ton of Feats and build options and again doesn't rely as heavily on Sneak Attack but keeps you a rogue for the purposes of feel and role play. Lots of fun options for feats after Combat Expertise is taken as well, just be careful because your CMB will have taken a nose dive from being Tiny.


Todd 3465 wrote:
If you switch to a Melee build I would suggest the Spring Attack tree to get you into melee range. Invisibility can help out with landing those sneak attacks but as you mentioned that only goes so far in helping. Normally I would suggest a series of spells and magic items to help, but again we are running into a wall. My only suggestion here is to get an ally to CC for you a lot. Knock enemies prone, dirty tricks to Blind them, whatever you have to do in order to make them loose their Dex bonus to AC and fire off Sneak Attack damage.

Spring Attack doesn't provoke, but entering the enemy's space does provoke (even if you Spring Attack) so this is not going to avoid that AoO - in fact, it guarantees you provoke each time you use it, so you're better off just moving in one time and then staying there.

Knocking enemies prone doesn't deny their DEX so it doesn't help with sneak attacks. In fact, if you're still trying to use ranged attacks, having your targets become prone is a bad idea; it makes them even harder to hit.

Blinding them is a great idea, but far better than Dirty Tricks would be to get your oracle allies to learn spells that cause blindness for you. It's a great debuff (blinded enemies are less dangerous) and it lets you sneak attack them with every attack.

Dark Archive

I don't know. I would rule that moving into your opponents square with Spring Attack would count as part of your movement that wouldn't provoke AoO. And yes I think the whole thread has agreed that using spells could help but OP specifically asked for magic-less solutions. So asking the caster to Blind enemies is a stretch.

Another way to go is Teamwork feats. Feint Partner and Improved Feint Partner coming from one of your allies could really help. But Overwhelm could make this for you! It sounds like exactly what you need. You and your fighter enter the opponents square and you can sneak attack as though you are flanking, without an actual flank.

Lastly talk to your GM. The game is putting real restrictions on the party. All Tiny with little to no magic is very unbalancing. Using CR ratings of beasties will be misleading because PF is written with the idea that magic gear and spell casters will be involved. So ask him to make some concessions and house rules to make the game more playable. Simply shrinking the grid perspective could do that.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Rogue + Ranged = Sniping

If you're tiny that's a +8 to stealth. Fly back 100' and that's another +10 (i.e. +1/10' perception penalty) against being spotted. Throw in things like; Greater Sniper Goggles, Expert Sniper feat, Master Sniper feat, Stealthy Sniper talent, Greater Sniping weapon enchantment, high bluff to create a distraction to hide, dimension door to get away if spotted, et cetera.

Basically, you should easily be able to get to the point where you can make a sniping attack every round without ever being detected. Master Sniper let's you get two attacks per round. If you can find a means of one-way concealment (e.g. Tiny Hut, Greater Invisibility, Fog Cloud plus Mist Sight, Darkness plus See in Darkness, et cetera) then you can make full attacks and get sneak attack bonuses on each. Greater Sniper Goggles give +2 damage per sneak attack die at any range.


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Todd 3465 wrote:
I don't know. I would rule that moving into your opponents square with Spring Attack would count as part of your movement that wouldn't provoke AoO.

Have you read the recent FAQ (and the ensuing forum debate argument about using 5' Step to enter an enemy's space? Paizo says it's two separate provocations, one for the 5' Step which doesn't provoke and one for entering the occupied space which does provoke.

I don't see any reason that Spring Attack is different. Both 5'Step and Spring Attack have rules saying they don't provoke an AoO but Paizo has said that only stops 1 of the 2 provocations when 5'Stepping into an occupied space so it's a precedent that sets the rule for all other methods of entering an occupied space such as Spring Attack.


DM_Blake wrote:


Have you read the recent FAQ (and the ensuing forum debate argument about using 5' Step to enter an enemy's space? Paizo says it's two separate provocations, one for the 5' Step which doesn't provoke and one for entering the occupied space which does provoke.

In all fairness, that FAQ opened up as many questions as it answered. I honestly have no idea if 'spring attack' would work or not, since the logic they use in the FAQ isn't actually logical.

All we really know from the FAQ is that a 5' step provokes. Beyond that, expect table variation.

Dark Archive

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The wording of Spring Attack makes me think differently than the 5' step ruling. Direct quote,

"As a full-round action, you can move up to your speed and make a single melee attack without provoking ANY attacks of opportunity from the target of your attack."

I interpret the way this as written as preventing your opponent from making the AoO against you rather than just you not provoking. The feat doesn't limit it's text to movement provokes, meaning you could even make an unarmed attack without Improved Unarmed Strike without provoking (your target only) as well.

Either way it only helps the first round. Second round the opponent shifts out of its square and you will be forced to chase, shifting in and provoking 1 AoO.


Dave Justus wrote:
DM_Blake wrote:


Have you read the recent FAQ (and the ensuing forum debate argument about using 5' Step to enter an enemy's space? Paizo says it's two separate provocations, one for the 5' Step which doesn't provoke and one for entering the occupied space which does provoke.

In all fairness, that FAQ opened up as many questions as it answered. I honestly have no idea if 'spring attack' would work or not, since the logic they use in the FAQ isn't actually logical.

All we really know from the FAQ is that a 5' step provokes. Beyond that, expect table variation.

I expect table variation on the 5'Step rule too, but that's not the point. I agree, their logic was illogical, but that's not the point either.

They made the FAQ and in doing so they made it clear that entering an occupied square is its OWN event that provokes its own AoO. Any method you use of moving might or might not provoke an additional AoO based on whatever rule is used for moving, but the existence or lack thereof of an AoO for your means of moment has no bearing on the existence of the AoO for entering an occupied psace - they are separate, and negating the movement AoO does not also negate the entering AoO.


DM_Blake wrote:
They made the FAQ and in doing so they made it clear that entering an occupied square is its OWN event that provokes its own AoO. Any method you use of moving might or might not provoke an additional AoO based on whatever rule is used for moving, but the existence or lack thereof of an AoO for your means of moment has no bearing on the existence of the AoO for entering an occupied psace - they are separate, and negating the movement AoO does not also negate the entering AoO.

Not exactly. They made it clear that it would provoke. They said it was because it was a second instance, but also said that it was part of the general 'movement provokes' group.

Why the 5' step provokes remains entirely unclear, we only know that it does.

In my personal opinion, the only way to square the logical inconsistencies, is if 5' step only prevents the first attack of opportunity from movement (like the withdraw action). In all cases I can think of except entering an opponents square, the first is also the last, so it almost 'never' provokes as the rule on 5' step says. If this is correct, then spring attack would still work, but it is only a guess.

Main point is that if the logic of a FAQ is inconsistent or not spelled out, then you can't really use it a precedent for anything else.

Dark Archive

The RAW and the RAI support using Spring Attack this way. The feat is worded to work this way and the flavor text, "You can deftly move up to a foe, strike, and withdraw before he can react." does as well.

The point of Spring Attack is that you do a whole bunch of crap that normally provokes but your opponent is denied those attacks. And if the opponent is denied his AoO rather than you avoiding it, how many times you provoke or how you provoke is irrelevant.


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Todd 3465 wrote:
The point of Spring Attack is that you do a whole bunch of crap that normally provokes but your opponent is denied those attacks. And if the opponent is denied his AoO rather than you avoiding it, how many times you provoke or how you provoke is irrelevant.

No, you don't do "a whole bunch" of provoking stuff. You do ONE provoking thing (or two, if the enemy has reach) and Spring Attack makes it not provoke. With spring attack you can, as a full round action, move up to an opponent (this never provokes unless he has a reach weapon), attack him once (this never provokes), then leave his threatened space to continue your movement (this should provoke but Spring Attack prevents it).

But if use Spring Attack to enter an enemy's space, you are adding an additional thing that always provokes. Spring Attack doesn't necessarily shield you from this one (maybe yes, maybe no, gray area) but the 5'Step rule sets precedence that it's a separate provocation and therefore should provoke.

In short, talk this over with your GM before you assume you can spring attack into an enemy's space without provoking.

Lantern Lodge

Spring Attack's specific phrasing "without provoking ANY attacks of opportunity from the target of your attack" seems very strong to me, and I initially was in favor of the strong reading negating any AoOs during the attack.

But upon further consideration, it does not seem clear that it is intended to shield against AoOs that come from things beyond Spring Attack's ordinary usage, i.e. leaving a threatened square even multiple times.

It would seem to be an overextension of Spring Attack to render the attacker totally immune to AoOs during the attack, which can come in an incredible number of ways.

Entering an opponent's square?

Enabling the use of any and all combat maneuvers, AoO-free, without the feats normally needed to do this?

Fail a trip by 10 or more, knock yourself prone adjacent to someone with Vicious Stomp and avoid the AoO?

Safely Spring Attack someone with Broken Wing Gambit going?

I won't expect to be able to do all these things, even though the wording of the feat could be interpreted that way.


I kind of feel like what's going to happen is the GM is going to say Tiny is the new Medium, so now everything can flank except Fine creatures. He might even say DIMINUTIVE is the new Medium and EVERYTHING can flank. I can't say for sure, but the fact is, he let me be a Rogue. Either he isn't aware of the rule, he has CHANGED the rule, or, least likely for this GM, he's screwing with the newbie and letting me be a Rogue even though that's an awful idea. He isn't like that.

(btw, the one Sneak Attack I struck was because I was Invisible, not because of flanking. The creature didn't get an Attack of Opportunity on me as I entered whatever square I entered. Normally he would have.... but I was invisible. :P)

The whole point of this was to get advice on playing as a tiny flying Rogue in a world that I suspect to be populated by Medium sized creatures. For the sake of argument, let's assume flanking works different for this campaign, because if it doesn't, then the answer is always going to be "Don't be a Rogue you fool."

I'm used to using guides at this point, but none of them seem fit to advise me in such a strange case. Does it still make sense to put a lot of ranks in Acrobatics? Is Ranged combat suddenly a much better option, due to how dangerous melee fighting against de facto Huge creatures could be? What normal options no longer make sense, and what new ones open up?

I definitely think Spring Attack might be a weird choice when Flyby Attack is also open with no prerequisites. If I'm depending on moving in, attacking, and moving out without provoking, Mobility is worthless to me.


Flyby Attack is indeed a better choice for you.

I would indeed probably drop the bow feats. Keep the bow around, if you fly and they don't you can plink them to your hearts content, but don't spend feats on it. Where you need help and an advantage is when you are in melee.

If the Atami has a sneak attack their are some good teamwork feats for flanking partners, but if you don't know if he will reliably enter melee combat that can be an issue.


Hmm..... come to think of it, what exactly am I so afraid of? Tiny creatures don't have less HP or smaller hit dice, and Conshees don't take a racial penalty to CON, so if anything, I'm BETTER at surviving then a Medium-sized counterpart due to my increased AC. I'm still a Rogue, and I should still try to avoid direct combat, but only as much so as any other Rogue. After all, I DID take three or four hits from that weird half-snake person thing.

So then, what I'm thinking right now is, Flyby Attack and Skill Focus (Stealth), for the feats, Slow Reaction and Fast Stealth for the Rogue Talents. The plan is to spend about half of the fight hiding and setting up sneak attacks, so I really want my Stealth to be as good as it can get. Slow Reaction is mostly because AoOs hit my team pretty hard last time, which makes sense, given our size. Might switch for Combat Trick: Two Weapon Fighting if I can convince my fellow Sneak Attacker to flank with me a little better. (not counting on it, he's notorious for doing his own thing and not working with the party much.)

I'm also thinking, since Sneak Attack and Finesse Training are where 90% of my damage is coming from, why not go for Knife Master? Tiny Daggers do d2 instead of the Shortsword's d3, but the Sneak dice go from d6 to d8. Even at level 1, that's a strict increase, and it's only gonna go up from there. I do lose trapfinding, but eh. We're tiny, we can fly. I'm not worried.


Second the Mouser archetype - even if only for a dip.


Mouser looks like exactly what I wish someone ELSE would be. If someone could help me flank, that would be great, but my Atami friend is an Oracle by trade with only 1d6 sneak attack dice.

EDIT: Ooookay, I completely read that wrong. :P

Mouser looks like something that would be absolutely necessary to dip a level in.... IF the GM rules that it's not possible to flank at Tiny size, which he may not. If he does, I guess it's nice to know that I have an option. I'm a little hesitant to multiclass though, I'm still new at this game, I'd rather try and stick with single classes for a while if I can help it.


AntipodeF wrote:
IF the GM rules that it's not possible to flank at Tiny size, which he may not.

You meant to say: "If the GM makes a house rule allowing me to flank when tiny" - because the fact you cannot flank is a simple core rule - you need an ability like Mouser (which is why that exists) or you need your GM to create house rules, or you use some other ideas in this thread like reach weapons or the Long Arms spell. Or you don't flank.


There is another nice way to get sneak attack. If you have high bluff and stealth ranks, you can basically yell, "Look over there!" and disappear. Using the bluff skill you make a distraction, and then you disappear. If your GM allows retraining feats I would take it.


MageHunter wrote:
There is another nice way to get sneak attack. If you have high bluff and stealth ranks, you can basically yell, "Look over there!" and disappear. Using the bluff skill you make a distraction, and then you disappear. If your GM allows retraining feats I would take it.

No, you also need to actually go somewhere to get cover or concealment AFTER you make that bluff check (at -10). You don't just stand in one place and disappear - if you want that, get a ring of invisibility, or at least some form of Hide in Plain Sight and/or Hellcat Stealth. Which means you really can't do this Bluff/Stealth/Attack trick every round, since you're using actions to Bluff and to move into cover/concealment so you usually won't have actions left for attacking in the same round.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
DM_Blake wrote:
No, you also need to actually go somewhere to get cover or concealment AFTER you make that bluff check (at -10).

Yes. Though at tiny size, hiding behind a large leaf can qualify as total concealment. Which is why I still suggest sniping. You don't have to bluff and run for cover every round. Just get behind cover and start shooting.


DM_Blake wrote:
AntipodeF wrote:
IF the GM rules that it's not possible to flank at Tiny size, which he may not.
You meant to say: "If the GM makes a house rule allowing me to flank when tiny" - because the fact you cannot flank is a simple core rule - you need an ability like Mouser (which is why that exists) or you need your GM to create house rules, or you use some other ideas in this thread like reach weapons or the Long Arms spell. Or you don't flank.

Whatever? I get that there's technically a difference between "the GM ruling something" and "the GM making a houserule," but I can't see a situation other then extremely strict bookkeeping where it's relevant.


AntipodeF wrote:
DM_Blake wrote:
AntipodeF wrote:
IF the GM rules that it's not possible to flank at Tiny size, which he may not.
You meant to say: "If the GM makes a house rule allowing me to flank when tiny" - because the fact you cannot flank is a simple core rule - you need an ability like Mouser (which is why that exists) or you need your GM to create house rules, or you use some other ideas in this thread like reach weapons or the Long Arms spell. Or you don't flank.
Whatever? I get that there's technically a difference between "the GM ruling something" and "the GM making a houserule," but I can't see a situation other then extremely strict bookkeeping where it's relevant.

The difference maybe a technicality, but it's a pretty big one:

Making a ruling: "Gosh, this is confusing. I'm not sure exactly how it works. I will make a ruling for it so we can get on with the game". It applies when the existing rules are unclear so the GM makes a decision, usually on the spot, to clarify the ambiguity. Note that this is not just because the GM misunderstands the rule, but because sometimes rules are just unclear, especially when two rules interact in strange ways.

Making a house rule: "I understand the rule fully but don't like how it works, so I'm making a house rule to change it." It often happens when the GM dislikes a certain rule or when there is no existing rule at all so the GM makes one up, usually not on the spot.

The third case, where a rule exists and there is no ambiguity, but the GM just doesn't know about it or doesn't understand it, so he makes up something else, is still a house rule, not a ruling, because it's replacing an existing rule. But, doing this through ignorance of the real rules is generally regarded a bad way to make up house rules.

It sounds like this could be the case.

I would always recommend coming to the forums and searching for answers or asking for answers when a GM is not sure how a rule works. Then, if he doesn't like it, he can make informed house rules to his heart's content.


Okay, it's cool that you have logically segregated three different varieties of things like that, but if you understood what I meant - and you indicated as such immediately - then I don't see the point in correcting me.

In any case, the GM has declared "Normally, tiny or smaller creatures cannot flank, but since we're working on a smaller scale, you take up more squares on the grid then normal, and creatures of all sizes can flank." So, being a Tiny Rogue, while normally a terrible idea, works just fine here.

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