So, typically, only the second, fourth etc can flank. Not only do I use flanking, I have also expanded the opportunity attack rule to be more like 3.5, in that if you move through an opponent’s reach, you incur an opportunity attack if the opponent has an available reaction. Remember that, fundamentally, combat is about. This is a big deal. The side with more creatures is already favored by the nature of combat itself, period, because the less numerous have to divide their attention, while the more numerous don’t. But after getting some negative feedback to my advocacy of the flanking rule (including one Reddit poster who went so far as to say that as far as he was concerned, it invalidated everything else I say! Use the stat blocks of these foul fowl with the Pigeon Tactics on this blog! So why is this optional rule, which seems like common sense, hated by so many players? Reckless Attack is not all-purpose, in the sense that there are cases—common ones—in which it’s clearly suboptimal. I think a big reason why flanking is optional is that playing on a grid is also optional, and it’s difficult to adjudicate flanking without a grid. What are your thoughts on flanking in #dnd? Website built with MkDocs.. Download the offline version of this site Aragorn is fighting six orcs (probably the max. Stick to the letter of the law. You never roll more than two dice because multiple advantage/disadvantage conditions don’t stack. It’s just giving them a way to occasionally be even more effective at it. +1 to hit and you should consider yourself lucky you get that. To be honest I haven’t DM’ed much at all in the last year or so, and my group has just played without any flanking rules (my DMs prefer easy quick play, with min. When in doubt about whether two friendly characters flank an opponent in the middle, trace an imaginary line between the two friendly characters’ centers. As far as competing with other bonus actions, what this does is give each player a meaningful choice. It’s well balanced and keeps high the tactical aspect of choosing if helping or doing other bonus actions. A creature is flat-footed (taking a –2 circumstance penalty to AC) to creatures that are flanking it. Beyond that, it has the ribbon benefit of making it easier to coax narration, rather than dictation in combat. I feel like that can be achieved by judicious use of special terrain that confers some kind of situational bonus from time to time. It's advantage if you are on opposite sides of the creature; but it's an optional rule. Is there a monster you’d like me to analyze that I haven’t looked at yet? For some reason, WordPress insisted on sticking my Gravatar on it.). There are a lot of mobility options in feats and spells which aren’t avaliable to most monsters and with the action economy as it is the only way for most monsters to get unflanked without taking oppertunity attacks is to spend their action on a shove. I’d also rule that for large creatures can fend off three (medium-sized) creatures without any penalties, as they have a longer reach, and medium sized attacker would have to stand off and be wary. A creature also can’t flank while it is incapacitated. Each orc gets +3 to their attack roll. Conversely, trained and disciplined NPC warriors should close ranks against PCs who might try to flank them. Bookshop Amazon Barnes & Noble TargetIndigo Kobo Google Play iBooks Audible. I've added some positions to the flanking script for large creatures that I had overlooked from the optional flaking rules on page 251 of the DMG. Here’s another idea… a creature is able to fend off two creatures without any penalties, but if a third joins, one of the three attackers gets advantage on their attack rolls. I wonder if just treating Flanking as a sort of “reverse cover” awarding +2 to attack rolls against a flanked target would make it more appealing. A huge creature, could fend off four medium sized creatures etc etc. If, on the other hand, they pay even a little attention to positioning and try to actively protect their back line, then combat will be dynamic. On the other hand, I can’t see how such a thing could happen without the DM’s aiding and abetting it. While flanking rules may seem good in certain situations, I definitely do not normally use them in my games. 5-Neal | Arcadia Wiki | Fandom. Note that I won’t be paying any attention to the direction the single combatant is facing, which I assume to be constantly shifting in battle. In lightly obscured areas – creatures have disadvantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight. It does require a theory of mind. It doesn’t require spell slots, additional actions, creative movement, hiding, spending superiority dice, or using other abilities at all, so taking all of these other mechanical skills into account, flanking is more efficient than all of them because it is essentially free to do at all times. ): Moving inside a creature's reach does not provoke AoOs. “Still, there’s one critique of the flanking rule that I can’t dispute: Other DMs used this rule, and these bad things happened to them. Remember that ranged attackers can’t make flank attacks, and that melee attackers must be on, Monsters are monsters, not metagamers. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of flanking, but it’s easier to flank in 5e than 4e and this should be considered in the analysis. Any additional attacker beyond the third would also get advantage. Check out a monk with the dodge ki power and movement. A pair of large ears rested on the sides of their bulbous heads. It’s not well balanced. That said, a custom reach weapon that allows finesse or a spiked chain is probably easiest. While yes, I do get sneak attack regardless, the ability to take those melee attacks at advantage (since cunning action lets me avoid staying out of line) is very nifty. Further, why disallow it in TotM style? If you’re worried that PCs will jump over the edge trying to maximize flanking, realize that they will stop when it inevitably backfires. Some people say it can break the game and make combat encounters way too easy. Starts to look like a PC blender set to “liquefy.”. “I found myself moving all the monsters going on the same initiative, then resolving their attacks, which is meta-game incorrect. Maybe they shouldn’t have happened, maybe they needn’t have happened, but they did. you need everyone to be perfectly positioned i.e. Yea flanking is horrible. becomes trivial and it's really too strong in my opinion unless the DM uses narrow corridors and other mechanisms to limit how easy flanking is to achieve. Speaking for myself, none of these arguments has convinced me that the optional flanking rule is a bad rule to opt into, and I’ll continue to recommend using it. It cuts both ways. A round represents about 6 seconds in the game world. If expected damage is close to 12 then you ko the fighter. Other than that, excellent blog. Not requiring confirmation of critical hits increases the randomness of damage output, a situation that favors the underdog, usually the monsters. I ask because I’m curious about the Alert feat and its feature: “Other creatures don’t gain advantage on Attack rolls against you as a result of being unseen by you.”. But the impact was the same fights began to feel very samey and advantage didn’t feel special when you were getting it more than you weren’t. I also don’t ever tell them “Roll Perception”. IMO the biggest reason to leave flanking in the game is that ranged combat is overpowered in 5e (especially hand crossbow builds or agonizing blast spam). For the last several days I have been working on making flanking work for Large size tokens as an actor, target, and ally. Attacking in the back gives advantage. If it works for you, use it. You know what people don’t do at those tables? This lapse on the designers’ part is actually helpful in this debate, because it lets us ask whether the benefit that flanking confers is equivalent in magnitude to negating half cover, equivalent to negating three-fourths cover, or something in between. Use them wisely! 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