Flanking with ranged weapons


Rules Discussion

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I think I missed something, but the flanking rules don't prevent flanking with a ranged weapon as long as you can make melee attacks (so no bow flanking, but sling flanking is fine). What have I missed?


If you're in appropriate position holding a bow when your ally attacks, you're flanking and the target is flat footed.

If nothing changes but now it's your turn and you are trying to shoot the target with your bow, you're not flanking because at that time you are not wielding a melee weapon or able to make an unarmed attack by strict reading of the fist weapon entry (1 hand listed), unarmed trait, and free-hand trait descriptions.

If you are, however, in the right circumstances to be flanking and attacking with a ranged weapon, it is important to remember that reloading takes Interact actions and those have the manipulate trait which can trigger reactions. Careful choice of which enemies to do this next to is advised.


I don't think you've missed anything. There seems to be no rule that says you can only benefit from a flank with melee attacks. As long as you have the ability to make a melee strike against your target, you can flank it and it's flat-footed against your attacks, even if those happen to be ranged attacks.

Guess that's one way to finally make ranged rogues viable :D

Could also be interesting for casters. An enlarged caster with a longspear could pull this of at 15 ft range. A flanking Disintegrate sounds like fun - as long as the enemy can't take any AoOs.


Quote:
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.

Guess you could you a hand crossbow with a flickermace on the other hand.

You will get the flanking because of the melee weapon, even at reach, then you can shot with your hand crossbow.


The wording on Flank actually may allow flanking attacks with a Bow.

CRB pg.476 wrote:
Additionally, both you and the ally have to be able to act, must be wielding melee weapons or able to make an unarmed attack,
CRB pg.279-280 "Hands" wrote:
A few items, such as a longbow, list 1+ for its Hands entry. You can hold a weapon with a 1+ entry in one hand, but the process of shooting it requires using a second to retrieve, nock, and loose an arrow. This means you can do things with your free hand while holding the bow without changing your grip, but the other hand must be free when you shoot. To properly wield a 1+ weapon, you must hold it in one hand and also have a hand free.

So long as you are within melee range of your unarmed "punch" you can technically make a flanking attack with your bow. Dangerous position for an Archer to be in, but it is an option apparently.

At least that's my interpretation. What do you guys think?


That it is implicit that you need to perform anything with a melee attack. Even what I suggested before for fun.

It is clear because of the statement about reach weapons that ranged attacks don't benefit from flanking.


K1 wrote:

That it is implicit that you need to perform anything with a melee attack. Even what I suggested before for fun.

It is clear because of the statement about reach weapons that ranged attacks don't benefit from flanking.

It's definitely not. The only thing that statement makes clear is that if you have a reach weapon, you use that weapons reach to determine whether you qualify to flank.

So if say a rogue is dual wielding a whip and a hand crossbow, I see no reason why they couldn't attack with the hand crossbow and benefit from flanking. It even makes sense. If a person is aware that they can be attacked imminently from multiple sides they are considered flanked, the logic being that their attention is divided. Why wouldn't you be able to capitalize on that with any weapon you have available?


To me it is.

It states in any possible way unarmed and weapon, plus the possibility to act, the melee reach ( if you assume the reach is also for ranged weapon is not a rule problem ) WITH THAT WEAPON FOR THIS PURPOSE.

So, definitely meant for melee attacks which could be

Unarmed attack
Weapon attack
Reach weapon attack


K1 wrote:

To me it is.

It states in any possible way unarmed and weapon, plus the possibility to act, the melee reach ( if you assume the reach is also for ranged weapon is not a rule problem ) WITH THAT WEAPON FOR THIS PURPOSE.

So, definitely meant for melee attacks which could be

Unarmed attack
Weapon attack
Reach weapon attack

In PF 1 the flanking rules made the very clear distinction that flanking applied to melee attacks. PF2 makes a clear distinction between melee and ranged attacks. PF2 Flanking does not tell you what kind of attack does or does not qualify. It only states that you must be in range to potentially make a melee attack. If you are said rogue with that whip and hand crossbow, what is the difference between the two actions?

You may very well be right, that the rules intention is not to allow a Legolas-esque character to use their longbow in combat to make flanking attacks. But that doesn't make much sense. PF1 allowed "ranged" flanking with the Enfilading Fire teamwork feat after all. They decided not to include Teamwork feats in PF2 (yet), so perhaps instead they are allowing for the possibility of a ranged flank in this manner.


To me anything else seems an exploit ( regardless what was the rule in a earlier version ).

You are wielding a bow, so you are not elegible.

But I could eventually use it as an improvvised melee weapon.

So you are planning to smash your bow on his back?

No, I said that I could, in order to get the flanking benefits. I obviously intend to shot an arrow.

Stuff like this.


K1 wrote:

To me anything else seems an exploit ( regardless what was the rule in a earlier version ).

You are wielding a bow, so you are not elegible.

But I could eventually use it as an improvvised melee weapon.

So you are planning to smash your bow on his back?

No, I said that I could, in order to get the flanking benefits. I obviously intend to shot an arrow.

Stuff like this.

What is being exploited? Is a longbow or hand crossbow stronger than a sword? I'm not saying you should be able to flank from across the room.

Picture this:
You are the ace archer of your group. You find yourself backed into a corner, probably not your fault, and in combat with a nasty beast. Luckily your barbarian friend sees your predicament and rushes to your aid. You can't escape the rapscallion so you decide to go on the offensive.

Your trash at punching the guy, but you have that longbow that you are MUCH better at using, and you know that it will hurt more than your fist. Why wouldn't you use the bow? And why wouldn't it count as flanking with the barbarian? Isn't the enemies attention split the same way as if you were wielding a sword? Doesn't common sense prevail in this scenario?

Edit: Second question, so let's say you are correct and you couldn't use the longbow to benefit from flanking. For the sake of argument, let's say that is the case. Do you count for the Barbarian's flank? You "could" punch the enemy, so shouldn't the Barbarian gain a flanking bonus? But you only have a ranged weapon. So you don't get the bonus but he does? Or you don't qualify and he doesn't get flank?


The only thing which leaves a doubt toward rules is about what is stated on the prone condition.

Quote:

Prone

Source Core Rulebook pg. 621
You’re lying on the ground. You are flat-footed and take a –2 circumstance penalty to attack rolls. The only move actions you can use while you’re prone are Crawl and Stand. Standing up ends the prone condition. You can Take Cover while prone to hunker down and gain cover against ranged attacks, even if you don’t have an object to get behind, gaining a +4 circumstance bonus to AC against ranged attacks (but you remain flat-footed).

If you would be knocked prone while you’re Climbing or Flying, you fall (see pages 463–464 for the rules on falling). You can’t be knocked prone when Swimming.

Even if you don't have an item to get behind, you gain +4 circ AC against ranged attacks...

... But you remain flat-footed

What would be the point of stating again that you are flat footed?

The only thing I could think of, even though as said previously it's still not Clear, is to say that the +4 ac is parrially countered by the flat footed status, in order to give ranged weapon users a -2 on ranged attack throw.

But seems different, because you get the flat footed regardless your positioning or weapon. Flanking could be different and only for melee attacks. Or at least it seems just the logical outcome to me.


If u use a ranged weapon as a club it is perfectly fine. I was simply arguing about the possibility vs the chosen action.


K1 wrote:

If u use a ranged weapon as a club it is perfectly fine. I was simply arguing about the possibility vs the chosen action.

You can punch someone while holding a bow. That is an unarmed attack which does make you qualify for flank. No need to ruin your trusty bow with a bash attack.

The important thing in my mind with flank is the intention of the rule. As long as you are in a position to split an enemies attention with a party member/other ally you should gain the benefit of flank regardless of what you actually use to attack the target.

It seems to me that instead of using a word like Engagement or something similar that other games would use, PF2 has opted to state that you must be within the range of one of your melee options to count as splitting that attention. That's fine. But they never state absolutely that you must use one of those options to benefit from Flank. I would love to see the Flanking Disintegrate at some point. If you can pull it off, more power to you.


beowulf99 wrote:

So long as you are within melee range of your unarmed "punch" you can technically make a flanking attack with your bow. Dangerous position for an Archer to be in, but it is an option apparently.

At least that's my interpretation. What do you guys think?

No, you can't, because you have to be able to make a melee attack. So, you are flanking while holding your bow. But the second you start your attack, you use your both hands to wield it and no more can make melee attacks (with your hands).

I have a mixed feeling about this rule. RAW, it seems clear you can. Considering how flanking rules are important, I have hard time thinking the devs forgot the word melee in its description.
Also, I really like it, as it's a dangerous move for an archer with a nice bonus if you do it. It's interesting to play with this rule, in my opinion, and I don't think you can really abuse it.
But, on the other hand, I agree with K1: it's not very logical...


As I understand the flanking rules, you only need to fullfill the first part:

FLANKING page 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.
"

The second part is acomplished by everyone who is able to act (exceptions applied):

FLANKING page 476
"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.
"

Because everybody can make unarmed or improvised weapon atacks:

UNARMED ATTACKS
"Table 6–6: Unarmed Attacks lists the statistics for an
unarmed attack with a fist, though you’ll usually use the
same statistics for attacks made with any other parts
of your body. Certain ancestry feats, class features, and
spells give access to special, more powerful unarmed
attacks. Details for those unarmed attacks are provided
in the abilities that grant them.
"

If you can´t use your hands, you can smash with your leg, knee, head... (the GM could apply a penalty like if you are using an improvised weapon if you really try to hit). But as general rule, you are always "able to make an unarmed attack", so as long as you are in melee range, you always count for flanking.


SuperBidi wrote:
beowulf99 wrote:

So long as you are within melee range of your unarmed "punch" you can technically make a flanking attack with your bow. Dangerous position for an Archer to be in, but it is an option apparently.

At least that's my interpretation. What do you guys think?

No, you can't, because you have to be able to make a melee attack. So, you are flanking while holding your bow. But the second you start your attack, you use your both hands to wield it and no more can make melee attacks (with your hands).

I have a mixed feeling about this rule. RAW, it seems clear you can. Considering how flanking rules are important, I have hard time thinking the devs forgot the word melee in its description.
Also, I really like it, as it's a dangerous move for an archer with a nice bonus if you do it. It's interesting to play with this rule, in my opinion, and I don't think you can really abuse it.
But, on the other hand, I agree with K1: it's not very logical...

It's pretty logical from the right point of view. Enfilading fire (not the aforementioned feat) is a thing. IRL you would be just as worried about the archer 40 feet from you as you would be about the sword bearing warrior 5 feet from you. This doesn't provide that archer with much of a benefit, as you are just as small of an overall target. The swordsman on the other hand gets the benefit of you splitting your defensive attention between the ranged threat and the close threat.

This changes when you move a ranged weapon close to the target. It's unwieldy sure, but that is handled with the Volley rules on the longbow anyway. If your target is still having to split their defensive attention between you, the 5 foot bowman and your friend the Barbarian, he will be an easier target. Hence Flanking bonus. The Fighter even gets point blank shot to show that he isn't afraid of using his bow in closer than normal circumstances. This is the one scenario where I see allowing a "ranged" weapon flank being unbalanced: It gives a Point Blank Shot Fighter with anything other than a longbow a total of +4 to his attack, which is pretty huge. Well +2 Circumstance from Point Blank with the foe taking -2 circumstance to their AC.

This is the only rules issue I can see with allowing ranged weapons to benefit from flanking, and only because of the benefit it gives the player, not because it actually conflicts with any rules.


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Aswaarg wrote:
If you can´t use your hands, you can smash with your leg, knee, head... (the GM could apply a penalty like if you are using an improvised weapon if you really try to hit). But as general rule, you are always "able to make an unarmed attack", so as long as you are in melee range, you always count for flanking.

So why do the flanking rules specify that you have to be able to make an unarmed attack if you are always able to do so?

I'm having an issue with this story of bow flanking. It looks too much like a case the flanking rules want to forbid.


In short, by RAW, an enemy you flank by the definitions provided above is flat-footed to you, meaning it takes a penalty to AC. You'd get that on anything that targeted AC.

There might be an argument that you need to have a free hand to attack to do this (I don't think this is true, though I've seen the argument regarding "fist" being the only natural attack listed that by default that's what you get). There also might be an argument that this wasn't the intention. However, by RAW, there's no question that if you are a caster for example with two free hands and cast a spell against a flanked target, they will be flat-footed to that spell.

EDIT: Personally, I like it. It provides an interesting option to archers that isn't strictly better (you place yourself in greater danger to get a bonus to attacks), and it's more realistic (I'm going to be pretty distracted by someone next to me aiming a bow at my face.


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A kid holding a bow and kicking at my shin is going to do a pretty decent job of distracting me from his big axe-wielding barbarian friend.

I suspect the only time you wouldn't aid with flanking is when you can't make an attack (not even an unarmed attack) such as when you're tied up, for example.


Awaarg wrote:
But as general rule, you are always "able to make an unarmed attack", so as long as you are in melee range, you always count for flanking.

This.

If you read the flanking rules and unarmed attack rules, it's clear that anyone in position to flank, who can act, provides a flanking bonus. It seem irrelevant whether you are holding a bow, crossbow, etc, as you can clearly make an unarmed attack with a foot. Note, this is the same as PF1.

K1 wrote:

To me anything else seems an exploit ( regardless what was the rule in a earlier version ).

You are wielding a bow, so you are not elegible.

Except, this isn't how the earlier version worked either. It's a mentality adopted by GMs who wanted to promote some arbitrary notion about fairness: bow users can't attack in melee.

Except, this is false. Not only do both versions allow Unarmed Attacks to occur with any part of the body. PF1 went as far as to add the cestus to the equipment which allows a bow user to use a weapon attack with the free hand (and avoid the AoO) with no penalty to firing a bow.

I'll also add that PF2 substantially nerfs ranged combat and got rid of the feat tax for Unarmed Attacks. Both of these pave the way for someone using a bow to still provide and and make flanking attacks, without it even costing an Interact.


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SuperBidi wrote:
So why do the flanking rules specify that you have to be able to make an unarmed attack if you are always able to do so?

Because if you're mezzed, or tied up, or have some barrier between you and the target, or any other extant or future condition that prevents you from being able to attack, then you can't flank.

Quote:
I'm having an issue with this story of bow flanking. It looks too much like a case the flanking rules want to forbid.

1. You're not "bow flanking." The bow isn't the reason why you can flank. The bow is irrelevant. 2. There is nothing in the rules that suggest wielding a bow prevents you from flanking. That mindset is from RPGs of a bygone age.


SuperBidi wrote:
beowulf99 wrote:

So long as you are within melee range of your unarmed "punch" you can technically make a flanking attack with your bow. Dangerous position for an Archer to be in, but it is an option apparently.

At least that's my interpretation. What do you guys think?

No, you can't, because you have to be able to make a melee attack. So, you are flanking while holding your bow. But the second you start your attack, you use your both hands to wield it and no more can make melee attacks (with your hands).

I have a mixed feeling about this rule. RAW, it seems clear you can. Considering how flanking rules are important, I have hard time thinking the devs forgot the word melee in its description.
Also, I really like it, as it's a dangerous move for an archer with a nice bonus if you do it. It's interesting to play with this rule, in my opinion, and I don't think you can really abuse it.
But, on the other hand, I agree with K1: it's not very logical...

You don't need a free hand to make an unarmed strike. There's nothing stopping you from making a kick.


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N N 959 wrote:
If you read the flanking rules and unarmed attack rules, it's clear that anyone in position to flank, who can act, provides a flanking bonus. It seem irrelevant whether you are holding a bow, crossbow, etc, as you can clearly make an unarmed attack with a foot. Note, this is the same as PF1.

Not quite. Unarmed strikes didn't threaten in P1E, and thus did not allow for flanking. You'd have to possess a natural attack or the Improved Unarmed Strike feat to be able to threaten the squares around you whilst unarmed (and thus be able to make attacks of opportunity).


Ravingdork wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
If you read the flanking rules and unarmed attack rules, it's clear that anyone in position to flank, who can act, provides a flanking bonus. It seem irrelevant whether you are holding a bow, crossbow, etc, as you can clearly make an unarmed attack with a foot. Note, this is the same as PF1.
Not quite. Unarmed strikes didn't threaten in P1E, and thus did not allow for flanking. You'd have to possess a natural attack or the Improved Unarmed Strike feat to be able to threaten the squares around you whilst unarmed (and thus be able to make attacks of opportunity).

"Note, this is the same as PF1." Refers to being able to kick someone while having your hands full. I don't believe I stated anywhere that in PF1, you threatened with unarmed attacks.


SuperBidi wrote:
Aswaarg wrote:
If you can´t use your hands, you can smash with your leg, knee, head... (the GM could apply a penalty like if you are using an improvised weapon if you really try to hit). But as general rule, you are always "able to make an unarmed attack", so as long as you are in melee range, you always count for flanking.

So why do the flanking rules specify that you have to be able to make an unarmed attack if you are always able to do so?

I'm having an issue with this story of bow flanking. It looks too much like a case the flanking rules want to forbid.

I would imagine mostly they just want to ensure that you aren't qualifying for a "flank" from a great distance. Since the game has no Engagement or Threatening system that I can find, the easiest way to do this is to state that you could make a melee attack against them.

Why does it look like something the flanking rules want to forbid? They never even mention ranged combat or ranged weapons, so can't be intentionally trying to forbid it after all.


Strill wrote:
You don't need a free hand to make an unarmed strike. There's nothing stopping you from making a kick.

Do you have a rules quote for that? I ask because the weapon table listing 1 hand, and the unarmed trait seem to expect you have to have a hand free to make a fist Strike even if that is representing a non-fist part of the body.


thenobledrake wrote:
Strill wrote:
You don't need a free hand to make an unarmed strike. There's nothing stopping you from making a kick.
Do you have a rules quote for that? I ask because the weapon table listing 1 hand, and the unarmed trait seem to expect you have to have a hand free to make a fist Strike even if that is representing a non-fist part of the body.
CRB Pg. 278 "Unarmed Attacks" wrote:

Unarmed Attacks

Almost all characters start out trained in unarmed
attacks. You can Strike with your fist or another body
part
, calculating your attack and damage rolls in the
same way you would with a weapon. Unarmed attacks
can belong to a weapon group (page 280), and they
might have weapon traits (page 282). However, unarmed
attacks aren’t weapons, and effects and abilities that
work with weapons never work with unarmed attacks
unless they specifically say so.
Table 6–6: Unarmed Attacks lists the statistics for an
unarmed attack with a fist, though you’ll usually use the
same statistics for attacks made with any other parts
of your body. Certain ancestry feats, class features, and
spells give access to special, more powerful unarmed
attacks. Details for those unarmed attacks are provided
in the abilities that grant them.

Looks good to me.


"Table 6-6: Unarmed Attacks lists the statistics for an unarmed attack with a fist, though you'll usually use the same statistics for attacks made with any other parts of your body." seems to state that without something else saying otherwise the 1 hand requirement shown is still necessary.

Probably not intended to need a hand free to Strike someone with your foot, but it does appear to be how the rules are currently written.


Blave wrote:
Guess that's one way to finally make ranged rogues viable :D

Actually, if you mean getting to use sneak attack, you just need a couple feats and some team work. There are no restrictions on what kind of ranged weapon (vs some restrictions to thrown) on sneak attack damage. All you need is for your target to be flat footed. Doesn't matter who, how, or why they are. One of the rogue feats already sets everyone flat footed to you round 1 already. The door is definitely their for a sniper rogue regardless of how you play flanking. ;)


On Bows, their 1+ Hand rating means "while actually firing them" you need 2 hands,
so even if you were threatening / flanking with Unarmed previously, knocking the arrow to fire it occupies that hand.
Some characters can have other options though, like Bite attacks, possibly non-Fist UAS (not sure there technically), etc.
Bite attack would be pretty clear way to still threaten/flank with melee weapon while wielding Bow in 2H.


Quandary wrote:
On Bows, their 1+ Hand rating means "while actually firing them" you need 2 hands.

Doesn't matter. The point is that you could attack with the free hand without having to change your grip. Contrast that with a greatsword where you literally don't have a free hand without releasing your grip. Threatening only requires that you could attack in the next round.


thenobledrake wrote:

"Table 6-6: Unarmed Attacks lists the statistics for an unarmed attack with a fist, though you'll usually use the same statistics for attacks made with any other parts of your body." seems to state that without something else saying otherwise the 1 hand requirement shown is still necessary.

Probably not intended to need a hand free to Strike someone with your foot, but it does appear to be how the rules are currently written.

Using the same statistics just means that they have the same weapon traits and damage die of a fist, regardless of whether you kick or head butt. It does damage as a fist.

It is silly to say that you can't kick while holding something with your hands. And the rules do not support that interpretation.


The rules say "1" in the "Hands" column of the rules for how a fist works.

That's a statistic.

The rules say you'll usually use the same statistics for attacks made with any other parts of your body.

The rules absolutely support the interpretation that means you can't kick somebody while holding something in both your hands.

Yes, that is silly to stick with while playing the game - but that doesn't make it not what the rules in the book actually say.


thenobledrake wrote:

The rules say "1" in the "Hands" column of the rules for how a fist works.

That's a statistic.

The rules say you'll usually use the same statistics for attacks made with any other parts of your body.

The rules absolutely support the interpretation that means you can't kick somebody while holding something in both your hands.

Yes, that is silly to stick with while playing the game - but that doesn't make it not what the rules in the book actually say.

The key word is usually. I read that as: "We are not putting every kind of unarmed atack in the table. If you want to kick someone ask to your GM about how it works..." So the GM will say, ok you don´t need a hand free, but you need a leg free.


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Yes, well if one interpretation seems to follow the rules and makes conceptual sense in the game and is fun for everyone, and the the other interpretation seems to follow the rules but doesn't make much conceptual sense in the game and isn't likely to make things fun for everyone involved, then well, I think I'd have a pretty good idea of which interpretation is the correct one.


Aswaarg wrote:
The key word is usually. I read that as: "We are not putting every kind of unarmed atack in the table. If you want to kick someone ask to your GM about how it works..." So the GM will say, ok you don´t need a hand free, but you need a leg free.

That could be what they meant by using that word... or they could just be referencing that sometimes you will be provided with other statistics to use instead - such as by the feats that are available to some ancestries to give them teeth/claws, and the monk feats that provide new unarmed strike options.

Options which, interestingly, don't list a number of hands needed to use them.

And for those that seem unclear on this, there are two topics being discussed here: 1) what the rules actually say (which there is some disagreement on), and 2) how any reasonable GM will likely ignore what the rules say and do what makes sense (which there is no disagreement on).

Please don't get confused and think that I'm saying the intent of the rules is to prevent kicking while wielding a crossbow or other similar circumstances.


thenobledrake wrote:
Aswaarg wrote:
The key word is usually. I read that as: "We are not putting every kind of unarmed atack in the table. If you want to kick someone ask to your GM about how it works..." So the GM will say, ok you don´t need a hand free, but you need a leg free.

That could be what they meant by using that word... or they could just be referencing that sometimes you will be provided with other statistics to use instead - such as by the feats that are available to some ancestries to give them teeth/claws, and the monk feats that provide new unarmed strike options.

Options which, interestingly, don't list a number of hands needed to use them.

And for those that seem unclear on this, there are two topics being discussed here: 1) what the rules actually say (which there is some disagreement on), and 2) how any reasonable GM will likely ignore what the rules say and do what makes sense (which there is no disagreement on).

Please don't get confused and think that I'm saying the intent of the rules is to prevent kicking while wielding a crossbow or other similar circumstances.

That is an interesting point of view to take. Maybe there should be a "Leg" clause stating that kicks don't care about free hands but instead free legs. And elbows could have a "joints" clause, because knees are important too. Just joking with you. That would be ridiculous.

Still don't feel like there is any reason you couldn't reasonably kick or even punch while holding a bow. Also don't see why that possibility wouldn't hinder your opponent's defenses for you and your flanking ally.

A ruling would be nice on this, but I feel like there is enough information in the rules for everyone to decide how they wish to run it. And as Ravingdork stated, depending on your point of view, neither is really wrong.


The usually is pure flavor, cmon.

Imagine a monk being limited to fists.
Or even during a tavern brawl a character not be allowed to use helbows, kicks and even bites!

You are forcing this too much by trying to interpretate hidden meanings, while everything else points out that it's not what the whole system was meant for.

In my opinion their fault was not to separate RAW rules and flavor text ( even if I still say that something like this leaves no room for doubts ). But it is not the first time this happens, and it won't be the last.


beowulf99 wrote:


Still don't feel like there is any reason you couldn't reasonably kick or even punch while holding a bow. Also don't see why that possibility wouldn't hinder your opponent's defenses for you and your flanking ally.

There are two things: whether your ally gets flanking bonus on their turn (which I think they totally should, you can punch or kick), and whether you get flanking bonus when shooting your bow at a melee target because (the argument goes) you could kick them simultaneously while you are also shooting your bow at them. I would say that you lose your threatened area during your bow attack (per losing the hand with the 1+ rule) and thus, during that narrow window of time, cannot flank. I think claiming your character can threaten someone with a kick in the middle of shooting a bow at them is an interesting mental image, if nothing else.


BellyBeard wrote:
beowulf99 wrote:


Still don't feel like there is any reason you couldn't reasonably kick or even punch while holding a bow. Also don't see why that possibility wouldn't hinder your opponent's defenses for you and your flanking ally.
There are two things: whether your ally gets flanking bonus on their turn (which I think they totally should, you can punch or kick), and whether you get flanking bonus when shooting your bow at a melee target because (the argument goes) you could kick them simultaneously while you are also shooting your bow at them. I would say that you lose your threatened area during your bow attack (per losing the hand with the 1+ rule) and thus, during that narrow window of time, cannot flank. I think claiming your character can threaten someone with a kick in the middle of shooting a bow at them is an interesting mental image, if nothing else.

I'd agree in general with your framing of the question. I'm of the opinion that you don't need a free hand for an unarmed attack, but I can totally understand the interpretation that you do. Do you agree that if you're using something like a Hand crossbow you'd get the flanking bonus?


As far as I can tell from the discussion you can almost always provide flanking unless you are prevented from making a melee attack.

Since unarmed attacks no longer require anything special to threaten (threatening doesn't really exist in PF2 anymore) and since you can make unarmed attacks with any part of your body you can pretty much always make an unarmed attack against any opponent in your reach. So it doesn't matter if your hands are full.

So pretty much everyone can provide flanking all the time, assuming you meet the positioning requirements, and assuming there isn't some other condition that would prevent you from making attacks.

The thing that is unclear to me is whether or not ranged attacks benefit from flanking in PF2.


Claxon wrote:

As far as I can tell from the discussion you can almost always provide flanking unless you are prevented from making a melee attack.

The thing that is unclear to me is whether or not ranged attacks benefit from flanking in PF2.

Can you cite anything in the rules as to why the last part is unclear to you? I realize there's "tradition" here, in that they didn't threaten in 1e, but if we didn't have 1e, there'd be no rules basis for ranged attacks not considering an opponent flat-footed that I can find.


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tivadar27 wrote:
I'd agree in general with your framing of the question. I'm of the opinion that you don't need a free hand for an unarmed attack, but I can totally understand the interpretation that you do. Do you agree that if you're using something like a Hand crossbow you'd get the flanking bonus?

Yes, I would say any ranged weapon you can shoot one-handed would allow you to flank. Still would be weird but that is clearly allowed by rules to me.


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tivadar27 wrote:
Claxon wrote:

As far as I can tell from the discussion you can almost always provide flanking unless you are prevented from making a melee attack.

The thing that is unclear to me is whether or not ranged attacks benefit from flanking in PF2.

Can you cite anything in the rules as to why the last part is unclear to you? I realize there's "tradition" here, in that they didn't threaten in 1e, but if we didn't have 1e, there'd be no rules basis for ranged attacks not considering an opponent flat-footed that I can find.

Only because it makes reference to requiring melee attacks to create flanking, and the precedent from PF1.

I'm not advocating that it's this way, and I don't want it to be. Benefiting from flanking with ranged weapons would be nice (though I think you'd still have to be standing next to them, unless you threaten them with a greater reach somehow, Giant Instinct barbarian with a bow?).

I wish they could have made the language a little more clear about whether or not ranged attacks benefited.


i have this question also.

here is the situation,

1 i have an allie on on the opposite side of the target weilding a melee weapon and within range of that target.
2 i have a melee weapon in hand. in this case a mace. and on the opposite side of the target from my allie. there for full filling the requirments of flanking.
3 im a rogue with magical trickster. lets me sneak attack with spells that have a strike effect and deals damage.
4 on my turn i cast a ranged strike spell. (yes im open to oppertunity attacks)

the question is am i still flanking and get sneak attack on the spell attack?


Yes.


I'm still not convinced thats true, as I'm still not convinced about whether ranged attacks in general benefit from flanking (and would still require you to be adjacent [well actually within your threat range] to fulfill flanking).


I do agree.

In my group we are ruling out you can't benefit from flanking if you are using ranged weapons.

If you have a hand crossbow and a free hand ( or a weapon in the other hand ), you can benefit from flanking but only with your melee attacks.


something that may have been missed if you think this is op.
a rogue casting a spell to sneak attack with magical trickster is only trained in spells untell lvl 12 and takes the appropriate feat to become expert. and there are very few spells that are melee touch strikes that do damage to qualify for the magical trickster. its severly hampered as is. as for a full caster being in melee and casting a spell to get flanking? well he must have a death wish for being in that position to take a posible reacionary attack and a possible full round of attacks.

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