Outflank feat


Rules Questions

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

How does the Outflank feat work with more than two of you flanking? I'm playing a Divine Commander Warpriest.

Outflank wrote:
Whenever you and an ally who also has this feat are flanking the same creature, your flanking bonus on attack rolls increases to +4. In addition, whenever you score a critical hit against the flanked creature, it provokes an attack of opportunity from your ally.

If I grant Outflank to my party via Battle Tactician and enemy E is flanked by 2 pair of attackers A and B:

0 A 0
B E B
0 A 0

I read Outflank as granting the Outflank bonus and AoO to any ally flanking the same creature, regardless of whether that ally is the receiving the flanking bonus from me.But the feat is also written in the singular, so could apply to the single ally on the opposite side of the creature from me.

If A1 scores a critical hit, who gets an AoO? A2, or A2 and B?

Grand Lodge

I believe only A2 will get the AoO as they are the only one flanking with A1.

Lantern Lodge

All allies get the +4 flanking bonus, but only A2 gets the AoO. If you want everyone to join in the AoO fun, they need to get Paired Opportunists somehow.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Thanks for your answers.

Deadmoon, can you explain why you parse it that way? I hadn't even considered that as a possible interpretation. The language is so similar between the two benefits I was only thinking that either all flankers would get both benefits, or only the person opposite you would get both benefits.

Why do you think "ally" in the first sentence would mean anyone flanking the same creature as you, while in the second sentence "ally" would be restricted to the person who is actually positioned to provide you with the flanking bonus?


I read it as one ally. You AND AN ally. As in, singular ally that is flanking with you.

That's how Um reading it.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
TomParker wrote:
Why do you think "ally" in the first sentence would mean anyone flanking the same creature as you, while in the second sentence "ally" would be restricted to the person who is actually positioned to provide you with the flanking bonus?

It is restricted to the person who is actually positioned to provide you with the flanking bonus in both sentences.

The reason that all four attackers get the +4 bonus is that all four of them are flanking the target... just with different flanking partners.

That said, I WOULD allow multiple allies to get the +4 bonus AND the attack of opportunity if they were positioned correctly;

0 0 0 B
A E 0 B
0 0 0 B

In this example A is flanking E with EACH of the Bs (who are assumed to be using reach weapons). If A then gets a critical hit all of the Bs would get an AoO. If one of the Bs got a critical then only A would get an AoO.

Obviously, this positioning is difficult to set up w/o reach or a large enemy.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
CBDunkerson wrote:

It is restricted to the person who is actually positioned to provide you with the flanking bonus in both sentences.

The reason that all four attackers get the +4 bonus is that all four of them are flanking the target... just with different flanking partners.

Ah, I understand that interpretation. That was very dense of me.

I do appreciate all the responses. I'm really not trying to game the system or play semantics; I genuinely feel it's unclear. In my example, A & B are both "flanking the same creature," they're just not receiving flanking bonuses from each other.

I started thinking along these lines because I'd actually ruled differently in the past for the game I GM. It wasn't a case where they all had Outflank, but they were positioned as shown and A1 and B1 had the feat. A1 scored a critical and I gave the AoO to B1.

So is this commonly understand, that anytime we reference an ally who is flanking we are only talking about the ally who is actually providing the flanking bonus?


TomParker wrote:


So is this commonly understand, that anytime we reference an ally who is flanking we are only talking about the ally who is actually providing the flanking bonus?

Yes.

Rules tend to only reference those directly involved unless opened up by some wording equivalent to "all allies flanking" (in this example).

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Fair enough. Thanks so much for the help, everyone.

Grand Lodge

Um, all wrong.
In situation like this
OAO
BXC
ODO

Where O = empty squares A-B are Allies and X is an enemy creature.

If A and B both have Outflank, they both get the +4 bonus, even if C and D do not.

If at least two of the allies have Outflank and one of them scores a critical hit then everyone who has Outflank can take an AOO.

It only specifies that You and an Ally that are both flanking the same creature have to have the feat, it does NOT say that the ally has to be the one providing the flank to you.

When a Teamwork feat refers to Your Ally, it refers to anyone else also benefiting from the same teamwork feat.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Thanks for weighing in. That's how I originally read it and ruled on it, too.

I do think it's unclear and both interpretations are reasonable as written.


I believe the implication of the Outflank feat is that it is relevant to the ally providing you with flanking, not other allies who might happen to be flanking as well.

Gang Up would make this scenario rather interesting, though.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Flanking is, by definition, two characters working together (although their can be more than one pair, and a single person can even be part of one pair.) So an ally who is 'flanking' in relation to you is one who is receiving a flanking bonus from your position compared to his (and the target creature of course.)

While two separate pairs of flankers can all be flanking position to the same creature, unless something unusual is going on (size, reach special feats etc.), they are each only flanking with one other person.

Similarly 'Flanked' is something that is determined when an attack is made, not a persistent condition. The target creature is 'flanked' by me and my partner when I attack him, but he isn't 'flanked' by another pair, even if they are in proper position to flank for each other, since at the moment neither of them are attacking.

So the first responses to the thread were correct.


The singular wording, I think, is because you are usually only flanking with one other person. (In comparison, most "adjacent" teamwork feats use words like "all adjacent allies" because up to 8 people can be adjacent to you simultaneously.)

In those cases where you can be flanking with more that one person (Gang Up, Pack Flanking, Mouser Swashbuckler's Underfoot Assault, mounted characters, certain configurations with reach weapons, etc.), you have to decide how to interpret the feat in each case. I think Drake's assessment is pretty clear and easy to apply to any odd situation.

Gang Up is probably the most complicated case.
If two or more allies are threatening the same target, you are considered flanking, but there's nothing that says you have a "flanking partner" or provide flanking for your allies. If your allies are not themselves in flanking position, they are not flanking.

============

Take this configuration:

OAO
BXC
OOD

(Where O = empty squares A-D are Allies and X is an enemy creature.)

B and C are flanking the creature.
A has Gang Up, and so is considered to be flanking the creature.
D does not have Gang Up, nor does he have a flanking partner, so D is not flanking the creature.
All allies have Outflank from D's Tactician ability.

Drake's assessment should still hold true here:
1) Does another ally threatening the creature have Outflank? (if no, stop here)
2) Are you flanking the creature?
3) Is your ally with Outflank flanking the creature?

If any two allies can answer all three questions "Yes," then Outflank should apply.

So for each ally, the answers are
A: 1) Yes; 2) Yes (because of Gang Up); 3) Yes for allies B and C, No for D
B: 1) Yes; 2) Yes; 3) Yes for A and C, No for D
C: 1) Yes; 2) Yes; 3) Yes for A and B, No for D
D) 1) Yes; 2) No; 3) Yes for A, B, and C

- So A, B, and C will all get the +4 for Outflank. D will not.
- If B (or C) scores a critical hit, C (or B) will certainly get an AoO. I would say A also gets one because A is considered flanking the same creature. I would also say that D will not, because D is not flanking.*
- If A scores a critical hit, B and C will likewise get an AoO each. D will not.
- If D scores a critical hit, A, B, and C all get an AoO.

--------------

This is the trickiest configuration I can come up with:

OAC
BXO
OOD

(Where O = empty squares A-D are Allies and X is an enemy creature.)

A has Gang Up, and so is considered to be flanking the creature.
B, C, and D do not have Gang Up, nor do they have flanking partners, so B, C, and D are not flanking the creature.
All allies have Outflank from D's Tactician ability.

So for each ally, the answers are
A: 1) Yes; 2) Yes (because of Gang Up); 3) No for allies B, C, and D
B: 1) Yes; 2) No; 3) Yes for A, No for C and D
C: 1) Yes; 2) No; 3) Yes for A, No for B and D
D) 1) Yes; 2) No; 3) Yes for A, No for B and C

In this case, nobody gets the Outflank bonus, because only one ally with the feat is flanking the creature (so the condition "you and another ally with this feat are flanking the same creature" does not apply).

Note that if C also had Gang Up, then A and C would get the Outflank bonus and AoO.

============

*I can see people reading this as "the creature is flanked, even if D is not the one flanking, so A, B, and C would all get critical hits. I don't think that is the intent, though. (Passive participles are hard to parse: does "the flanked creature" mean "the creature that is flanked" or "the creature that you are flanking"? That's completely up to the reader, but I read it as the second one since the paragraph starts with "you are flanking a creature".)

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