Tiny creatures and Flanking


Rules Discussion


Can a Tiny creature flank? I was specifically looking at the Jinkin, a tiny creature with sneak damage.


Why wouldn't a Tiny creature be able to flank?


They're not forbidden to flank, but they'll need something giving them non-zero reach to pull it off. You can't meet the definition of flanking someone if you're in their square.


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A Jinkin doesn't have a reach of 0, so it can indeed flank per the normal rules. What's less clear is if a tiny creature with a reach of 0 (like a Demilich) can do so.


Fumarole wrote:
A Jinkin doesn't have a reach of 0, so it can indeed flank per the normal rules. What's less clear is if a tiny creature with a reach of 0 (like a Demilich) can do so.

I missed that their reach is higher, that makes it easier for Jinkin at least. I guess Tiny creatures with reach 0 are just out of luck though.


By RAW, no, creatures with reach of 0' can't flank: "A line drawn between
the center of your space and the center of your ally’s space must pass through opposite sides or opposite corners of the foe’s space."

This was a problem with PF1 as well (assuming you think it's a problem...). I know some DMs adjudicated that if the creature acted last and moved into your square, it could be in a position to offer flanking to one side/corner, but that was literally just the GM trying to make things more realistic and not actual rules.

Exo-Guardians

CRB, pg 476: "To flank a foe, you and your ally must be on opposites sides or corners of the creature. A line drawn between the center of your space and the center of your ally’s space must pass through opposite sides or opposite corners of the foe’s space. Additionally, both you and the ally have to be able to act, must be wielding melee weapons or able to make an unarmed attack, can’t be under any effects that prevent you from attacking, and must have the enemy within reach. If you are wielding a reach weapon, you use your reach with that weapon for this purpose."

A creature with 0 Reach that is 5' away from you doesn't have you in reach, so can't Flank you.

A creature that is in your space can't draw a line that passes through opposite sides or corners of your space, so it can't Flank you either.

Therefore, creatures with 0 Reach can never Flank you. (Which is perfectly reasonable from a realism/common sense POV, in my opinion.)

Jinkins are Tiny, so they have a Reach of 0. Thus they can't Flank, however they can still use their Sneak Attack on you if you're Flat-Footed from another effect (and they're in your space).


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Saros Palanthios wrote:
Jinkins are Tiny, so they have a Reach of 0. Thus they can't Flank, however they can still use their Sneak Attack on you if you're Flat-Footed from another effect (and they're in your space).

They don't have reach 0 though. Reach other than 5' is called out in stat blocks. See other tiny creatures with 5' reach: aeon, cassisian, lyrakien, bloodseeker, cacodaemon, quasit and many more.


Fumarole wrote:
Saros Palanthios wrote:
Jinkins are Tiny, so they have a Reach of 0. Thus they can't Flank, however they can still use their Sneak Attack on you if you're Flat-Footed from another effect (and they're in your space).
They don't have reach 0 though. Reach other than 5' is called out in stat blocks. See other tiny creatures with 5' reach: aeon, cassisian, lyrakien, bloodseeker, cacodaemon, quasit and many more.

Are there any that do call it out?


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OK, so I looked it up on AoN. Out of the 20 tiny creatures listed there only 1 has an attack with a range listing of 0', the demilich. So, if what Fumarole says is true, only demiliches actually obey the general rules for tiny creature reach outlined in the CRB, and 18 others are exceptions to that general rule (hellcrown doesn't have a melee attack so doesn't count). That doesn't sound right to me.


Is there a part of the rules that hard-locks creatures to the grid or something? Because if not, a tiny creature even with a 0' reach could overlap their space in such a way that the center of it is just outside the edge or corner of their target's space while the edge is still 0' from the target - and then flanking is still possible, even while sticking strictly to the RAW.

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