PDA

View Full Version : A Flanking Fix



Trog
2007-12-05, 10:38 AM
Okay. Flanking in D&D. Here's the problem I have with it.

With two people combating one person it works just fine. Each person gets a +2. Because fighting on two fronts is more difficult. But then a third person comes in. They get no bonus.

Why?

Surely fighting 3 is more difficult than 2. And would make it even harder to defend against. And even if a third opponent has another buddy join and they flank the opponent as well all combatants receive only a +2 each. Meaning it is as easy to defend yourself against 4 as it is 2 and easier than 3?

Strange. Well anyway my solution is a simple one: Once flanking is achieved give each opponent on the foe a +1 per ally. So 3 people would get a +3 bonus, 4 a +4 etc.

This gives the advantage to the side with the greater numbers, yes, but it also explains the use of the phalanx. Having a row of combatants which do not allow a foe to get into flanking position is a great advantage. It also explains why when someone gets jumped by tons of foes that he/she is defeated, captured, etc. So 8 1st level Warrior guards jump a PC they each get a +8 to hit.

Makes sense to me. Thoughts?

brian c
2007-12-05, 10:46 AM
Your idea makes sense. In most situations, it's very unlikely that more than 3 individuals can flank the same creature though, if just for size restraints. Again, it's a good idea you have, but in most games it wouldn't come up very often at all.

Toliudar
2007-12-05, 10:49 AM
I immediately think of Gulliver's Travels, specifically his experiences with the Lilliputians. Effectively, a bunch of (relatively speaking) diminuitive people taking down a collossal creature.

With a 40' size, a colossal spider could be swarmed by 320 pixies, plus any that choose to tumble into one of its squares. Giving each pixie a +320 on their attack rolls.

Even using a more probable example, a large group fighting a dragon, you could easily have a dozen people flanking. I'd essentially say that after the first couple attackers, the flankee is effectively distracted.

The main benefit of the third flanker is, of course, that the flank is maintained when the flankee abruptly disembowels one of the flankers.

AmberVael
2007-12-05, 10:49 AM
I've always thought that needed fixing, and it does come up for me quite a bit.
I'd use this.

Trog
2007-12-05, 11:00 AM
I immediately think of Gulliver's Travels, specifically his experiences with the Lilliputians. Effectively, a bunch of (relatively speaking) diminuitive people taking down a collossal creature.

With a 40' size, a colossal spider could be swarmed by 320 pixies, plus any that choose to tumble into one of its squares. Giving each pixie a +320 on their attack rolls.
Er... well yes I suppose so. But running a battle in d20 with more than 20 combatants, as the DMG sorta points out, makes for a non-challenge (say, a 20th level PC wades through a bazillion 1/2 hit dice creatures, for example)

Hmm... perhaps there could be an upper limit to the bonus? Not sure.

Thorguy
2007-12-05, 11:02 AM
I really like this. In a standard 4 person party, it's always a question: who's the odd one out and doesn't get a flanking bonus? Fighter, Cleric, or Rogue?

How about capping it at +1 per side? This would mean that 3 people all attacking an enemy from the front wouldn't get a bonus, and you would also avoid the "Army of commoners attacking the Tarrasque for +200 to hit" problem.

O is enemy, * is attacker. Ignore _'s
OO is large enemy.
OO

*O +0 to hit

*
*O +0 to hit (one side)
*


*O* +2 to hit


*O* +3 to hit
_*

_*
*O* +4 to hit
_*

***
*O* +4 to hit (only 4 possible sides)
***

****
*OO* +4 to hit (still only 4 possible)
*OO*
****

Prophaniti
2007-12-05, 11:03 AM
Seems entirely reasonable to me, I know from my own limited experience in martial arts that fighting more than one person is rather difficult. The trick is to get them to react to you, if they all come in at once there's really nothing you can do... So no, I wouldn't see a problem with increasing the bonus by the number of people.

Basically I would say that as long as the target is flanked by at least one pair of enemies, they all get the accumulated bonus, that way there's a good incentive to guard your back. Unless, of course, you're a Barbarian. Then you wait a few rounds for them to gather around, so you can cleave them all at once:smallbiggrin:

This would also open the way for some homebrewed flanking-related feats, such as some for a fighter that increase the bonus they get, or decrease the bonus others get against them, lets say - Brawling: Ex- Enemies flanking you recieve a bonus 2 less than normal, but not less than 2, or there must be two flanking pairs to recieve a bonus against you, or something like that.

I like it. Goes in my list of interesting rules to try.

Reinboom
2007-12-05, 11:06 AM
Well... with a swarm of anything, it sort of makes sense.
And look at swarms that just hit.

In order to handle larger creatures in comparison, I think these rules for flanking work perfectly as is (Mama's rules, that is).
Just, rules for swarms need to be adjusted.. er.. so that if you get enough medium creatures around a, say, collosal, you could make a 'swarm' of medium creatures.


-edit-
Army of commoners vs tarrasque-
It would make sense for the army of commoners to be able to massively hit the tarrasque. They just won't get through the fast healing or DR.. so I think it still works.

-nother edit-
Feat
Inverse Ninja Law
Requirements: At least 1 level of Ninja
Benefit: Whenever a creature would get a flanking bonus for having more than 2 creatures surround you, they get a penalty equal to the bonus they would've gained instead.

AmberVael
2007-12-05, 11:17 AM
:smallbiggrin:

Reina, that feat makes me giggle, and it is awesome.

Prophaniti
2007-12-05, 11:32 AM
Inverse Ninja Law, lol, I am so taking that feat! :smallbiggrin:

Matthew
2007-12-05, 11:41 AM
I use something similar to this for my AD&D game. The lack of simultaneous action in D20 makes it slightly more annoying during the initial stages of contact and to keep track of, but I like it better than the standard rules. Since you can get eight medium sized opponents around a single character, I would be inclined to cap the bonus at +4. Basically, it would look like this:



For every two opponents attacking a character in melee, each opponent gains +1 AB against that character. Any opponent who gains +2 AB or more from this is considered to be Flanking the character for purposes of Sneak Attack, etc... The exception to this is when two opponents are on opposite sides of a character, as they are always considered to be flanking him and gain a minimum of +2 AB.


Larger and Smaller opponents relative to the character should count for proportionally more or less.

Azerian Kelimon
2007-12-05, 11:43 AM
Don't forget the other quintessential Ninja Feat:

Ninja Attack
Requirements: Ninja level 1
Benefit: Whenever some other poster would make a post similar to yours, you are allowed a post of oportunity. If the post succeeds, the ninjaee's post is disabled.

Roderick_BR
2007-12-05, 11:55 AM
That sounds good. Giving a basic +1 for each flanker sounds fine.
The only benefit the new guy gets usually is a to partake on the static +2, so making it easier for everyone makes it worth risking oneself.
I'd allow more than 4 to swarm a target, just make it that creatures with reach can't stack bonuses from adjacent ones when attacking from the same spot.

Btw, I think I read something about tiny or smaller creatures not gaining flanking bonuses, or was that attacks of opportunity? It was something like, if you need to enter it's square, as in, reach 0 (zero), then you can't get some bonuses.

There's a feat that enhances the base +2 bonus to +4. Would this just be an additional +2 to the person with the feat?

Citizen Joe
2007-12-05, 11:57 AM
The problem stems entirely from the no facing rules in the current version of DND.

Here's a simpler solution. If you get flanked, your AC drops by 2 rather than granting attack bonuses to the attackers.

Azerian Kelimon
2007-12-05, 11:58 AM
Adaptable/Vexing flanker, you mean? Hmm....I'd houserule only you get the bonus, but that EVERYONE benefits from the other feat in the chain that allows you to treat all squares as flanked.

Draz74
2007-12-05, 04:01 PM
The problem stems entirely from the no facing rules in the current version of DND.

Here's a simpler solution. If you get flanked, your AC drops by 2 rather than granting attack bonuses to the attackers.

Oooh, I like this fix.

Deepblue706
2007-12-05, 04:09 PM
I think the best solution is +2 to attack for simply being flanked, and the subject being flanked should lose 1 point of DEX-to-AC per additional flanker. If using +1 per flanker, you could have 8 commoners punching out (or kicking, whatever) a level 1 warrior in full plate in a round. If they grappled him to the ground, had some farming tools, and stomped on him and stuff, yeah, okay, commoners probably win. But with someone in full plate standing, and only against unarmed damage-based attacks from commoners? Something seems wrong with that.

Trog
2007-12-05, 08:55 PM
I think the best solution is +2 to attack for simply being flanked, and the subject being flanked should lose 1 point of DEX-to-AC per additional flanker. If using +1 per flanker, you could have 8 commoners punching out (or kicking, whatever) a level 1 warrior in full plate in a round. If they grappled him to the ground, had some farming tools, and stomped on him and stuff, yeah, okay, commoners probably win. But with someone in full plate standing, and only against unarmed damage-based attacks from commoners? Something seems wrong with that.
Keep in mind first of all that the warrior in plate would get an attack of opportunity for any unarmed attacks up to his combat reflexes max (or 1/rnd w/o the feat) first of all. Plus cleave if he has it and drops a combatant.

Also keep in mind that the commoners actually would have a BETTER chance of taking down the 1st level guy in full plate if one grappled him and the other 7 assisted rolling against AC 10 to grant a cumulative +2 bonus per successful aid (potential +14). Which is by the rules as is and technically would be smarter.

So its really not that much of a boon for unarmed commoners staging a revolt against Joe Platemail, you see.

As I see it your complaint seems to be with the way armor is done in DnD. Playing with variant rules that uses armor as soaking up a certain amount of damage vs. increasing the difficulty to hit would be more your style it sounds like.

Deepblue706
2007-12-05, 09:08 PM
Keep in mind first of all that the warrior in plate would get an attack of opportunity for any unarmed attacks up to his combat reflexes max (or 1/rnd w/o the feat) first of all. Plus cleave if he has it and drops a combatant.

Also keep in mind that the commoners actually would have a BETTER chance of taking down the 1st level guy in full plate if one grappled him and the other 7 assisted rolling against AC 10 to grant a cumulative +2 bonus per successful aid (potential +14). Which is by the rules as is and technically would be smarter.

So its really not that much of a boon for unarmed commoners staging a revolt against Joe Platemail, you see.

As I see it your complaint seems to be with the way armor is done in DnD. Playing with variant rules that uses armor as soaking up a certain amount of damage vs. increasing the difficulty to hit would be more your style it sounds like.

I should have been more specific: Let's use a human warrior with basic array: STR 13, DEX 11, CON 12, INT 10, WIS 9, CHA 8. Not likely he has his hands on some full plate, but it's hypothetical. Fighter works too. If he has no positive dex modifier, he has one attack of opportunity a round. If his dex happens to be as high as 15 (how high power do you wanna take this? Tanks usually won't have more than that at low levels), he'll have 3 AoOs with combat reflexes, if he has the feat. 5 flankers remain, all getting a +5 each to attacks. These commoners will still put far more hurt into the armored warrior than they should. If he has cleave, then he must have power attack as well. This could work, but this doesn't change the fact that unarmed strikes will beat him if he didn't choose all three of his feats thusly.

I did keep the grappling in mind. Didn't I allude to that being a better idea? My problem is the potential for this absurdity to happen, and that's why I suggested a different approach.

Yeah, I do think armor in D&D was done poorly - but what I was trying to illustrate was the capability of unarmored and unarmored foes against someone wearing a suit of steel. Fists and feet don't really hurt someone in a suit of full plate. It might be distracting for 8 farmers to be bashing their knuckles into your helmet (for as long as they could keep that up), but a lower-dex warrior shouldn't be so easily thwarted - unless they all happen to monks, because they're magically good at hitting or whatever.

itliaf
2007-12-05, 09:16 PM
The interesting thing about changing flanking to a flat -2 penalty to ac is that it benefits the ranged attackers as well, and it get points from me for making some real world sense.
Imagine if the rules of hockey were changed to have two pucks on the ice at all time. A goalie might have his hands full with two wings trying to score from just outside the blue ring no-man's-land around the goal, he's going to have a hard time paying attention to the center with the second puck waiting to open up with a slap shot, but the center has a tougher shot to make since the open net space is reduced by the two wings (which is already accounted for in the cover rules)

An even harsher change might be that flanked characters (w/out uncanny dodge) are considered flat-footed vs. ranged attacks. This would only work in a group where soft cover rules are strictly enforced, since you can't sneak attack someone with cover. The rogue/ninja would still have to line up a clear shot to bring out the big dice. It would make improved precise shot and shot on the run much more viable choices for ranged sniper rogues.
Of course, my group nearly always ignores the rules for soft cover, so this rule is pure speculation on my part.

P.S. to heck with commoners v. lone knight, if it can't be illustrated by steroid-fueled professional masochists, it needs more consideration.

Gwyn chan 'r Gwyll
2007-12-05, 09:17 PM
That seems like an ok fix. I never really relized how little sense that made until now.

Trog
2007-12-05, 10:20 PM
These commoners will still put far more hurt into the armored warrior than they should.
I disagree. 1st level characters are weak. I see no problem 5 guys taking down a lowly 1st level fighter through superior numbers. If we were talking a mid to high level fighter instead then I could see your point.

Your argument is fist vs. armor and that's not what I am discussing.

John Campbell
2007-12-05, 10:21 PM
Yeah, I do think armor in D&D was done poorly - but what I was trying to illustrate was the capability of unarmored and unarmored foes against someone wearing a suit of steel. Fists and feet don't really hurt someone in a suit of full plate. It might be distracting for 8 farmers to be bashing their knuckles into your helmet (for as long as they could keep that up), but a lower-dex warrior shouldn't be so easily thwarted - unless they all happen to monks, because they're magically good at hitting or whatever.

Yeah, but where it breaks down isn't the proposed flanking rules. It's that those commoners can hurt a plate-armored knight by punching him at all. In other words, it's the canon armor rules, in which armor makes you harder to hit, not harder to hurt. They're terribly unrealistic, and result in unrealistic scenarios like the one you outline. And trying to avoid making other associated rules more realistic because doing so would expose the fundamental ridiculousness of the armor rules isn't really helpful.

If you solve the root problem by fixing armor - say, by using the Game of Thrones d20 system, where that plate armor provides no AC bonus, but grants DR 8/- - then the commoners' flanking bonus becomes pretty much irrelevant. It no longer matters if they can hit him or not, because they're not, in any case, going to actually hurt him through his armor. (Well, if they're very strong and crit him, maybe.)

TheOOB
2007-12-05, 10:58 PM
Really? By using flanking and aid another 8 level one commoners can make a single attack roll at +16, which is enough to hit most targets fairly well. It's the fact that you have more and more people attacking you and the possibility of aid another actions that makes more and more people around you dangerous. The +2 flanking bonus is just a reward for fighting tactically and something to trigger sneak attacks, there is no need to make the person who gets surrounded more screwed then they already are.

SofS
2007-12-05, 11:54 PM
If realism is a concern here, one might consider that it's actually difficult to coordinate attacks with people. Perhaps additional flanking bonuses should be left to training (feats or group benefits or something) or attackers should start to penalize themselves for piling on. Maybe each attacker after the first two has a chance of provoking an AoO, or maybe they start to take AC penalities themselves for being part of a crowd. How about the attackers take half the attack bonus they get as a penalty to their own ACs?

Deepblue706
2007-12-06, 12:34 AM
I disagree. 1st level characters are weak. I see no problem 5 guys taking down a lowly 1st level fighter through superior numbers. If we were talking a mid to high level fighter instead then I could see your point.

Your argument is fist vs. armor and that's not what I am discussing.

Maybe I put too much of an emphasis on them being unarmed. I can change it to another example, if you like. The point is that +1 per flanker gets really screwy under some circumstances.

How many cats can you fit into a 5x5 square? I mean, because, if I can command enough cats, then they can kinda hit anything I want them too. Might not be for a signifcant amount of damage, but you know, many cats means they all have an easy time hitting an enemy, regardless of things like armor.

The probability of hitting something doesn't increase with every single person participating - losing DEX-to-AC is far more appropriate because it's representing the defender's decreased ability to avoid attacks - armor should not be made irrelevent just because there happen to be lots of attackers. I used unarmed attacks because it paints a painfully obvious picture: lots of punches against a full suit of armor (which grants a significantly high AC bonus, requiring lots of strength or skill to get through) isn't going to work unless you have a special method.

You noted the difference between 2 flankers and 3 flankers - what's the difference between 17 cats and 18? Eventually, it becomes a mob. At one point, it's about hitting a guy when he's vulnerable. At the other spectrum, all that guy's got left is whatever he's wearing on his back. A leather jacket might not do much, but there are cases where +1 per flanker just gets ridiculous - ie +5 Platemail. Yes, apparently, with enough cats, I can get through a magical crypt of steel.

Yes, armor can be made better, but unfortunately, D&D's already been made. If you're making a fix for an already-made game, you need to take things like this into account, and go with it. I'm not making an argument about how you should make armor better so this system can work, I'm saying +1 for each flanker has many special cases that need to be considered before you can call it an appropriate ruling.

Vilehelm
2007-12-06, 11:29 AM
If this problem ever presented itself in my campaign I would use these (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/adventuring/combatFacing.htm) rules from that moment on.

Trog
2007-12-07, 10:13 AM
Okay... well how about this then: +1 per 5' square occupied by a separate combatant (larger creatures occupying more than one square still count as one in other words). That way no more than a +8 ever on a medium sized PC surrounded by medium sized PCs.

Also you do have to keep in mind that armor has its weak points as well. Finding the hole in another's defenses is realistic. And would account for the bonus to hit. So having too many people to defend against may negate one's armor bonus if they are able to strike at weak points. I see no problem with this. And the above fix fixes all the cat and pixie problems. :smallsmile:

On an unrelated note if a DM ever surrounds you with 18 cats... get a new DM. :smalltongue:

Reinboom
2007-12-07, 10:33 AM
On an unrelated note if a DM ever surrounds you with 18 cats... get a new DM. :smalltongue:

I'm... hurt. :smallfrown:

I believe I shall use these in newer campaigns or when the situation comes up now.

@mama, yay!

Trog
2007-12-07, 10:40 AM
Awww... not YOU, Sweet *ear scritchins* :smallbiggrin:

Altair_the_Vexed
2007-12-07, 02:08 PM
Okay. Flanking in D&D. Here's the problem I have with it.

With two people combating one person it works just fine. Each person gets a +2. Because fighting on two fronts is more difficult. But then a third person comes in. They get no bonus.

Why?

Surely fighting 3 is more difficult than 2. And would make it even harder to defend against. And even if a third opponent has another buddy join and they flank the opponent as well all combatants receive only a +2 each. Meaning it is as easy to defend yourself against 4 as it is 2 and easier than 3?

Strange. Well anyway my solution is a simple one: Once flanking is achieved give each opponent on the foe a +1 per ally. So 3 people would get a +3 bonus, 4 a +4 etc.

This gives the advantage to the side with the greater numbers, yes, but it also explains the use of the phalanx. Having a row of combatants which do not allow a foe to get into flanking position is a great advantage. It also explains why when someone gets jumped by tons of foes that he/she is defeated, captured, etc. So 8 1st level Warrior guards jump a PC they each get a +8 to hit.

Makes sense to me. Thoughts?

At first I kind of agreed with this, but then...

Then I tried it out. When I'm splitting my defence between two people on opposite sides of me, I'm having a hard time. I have to turn away from each one to defend against the other. I'm going to get stabbed in the back!

A third person joins the attack, and I have to pay attention to them as well. Tougher? Yes... but that third person isn't nearly as much of a threat as the two who are opposite each other on either side of me. When I turn my back on either of those guys, I'm still able to keep my eye on the third guy (while the guy behind me stabs me in the kidneys :smallfrown:).
This made me think that guy #3 shouldn't get the chance to Sneak Attack me, cause I'm never really dropping my guard against him. However, that then made me think that I'm not really at as much of a disadvantage to guy #3 as I thought.
So - when two people take up flanking positions and a third joins, the third attacker ought not get a flanking bonus. If a fourth guy joins opposite guy #3, then they both get their bonus - but by the same reasoning, it ought not be any more than the first two guys: I can always keep my eyes on at least two of these gits while the other two are stabbing my left and right kidneys between them.

By the OP's rule, a Colossal creature could be surrounded by 28 opponents, who all get +28 to hit. Suddenly, ancient dragons die at the hands of peasants (sure, plenty of them will die trying to get close, but peasants are cheap).

I suggest that you might give a flanking bonus to attackers who are significantly splitting the defence of the defender. Look at page 152 of the PHB. Regdar, Mialee and Jozan are making a triangle around the orc. He's going to be screwed in that position. Our three iconic heroes ought to get the flanking bonus, as well as just Regdar and Lidda (as per the RAW).
To work this out, change the flanking rule to:


When making a melee attack, you get a +2 flanking bonus if your opponent is threatened by a character or creature friendly to you on the opponent’s opposite border or opposite corner, or the corner of the opposite border.

When in doubt about whether two friendly characters flank an opponent in the middle, trace an imaginary line between the two friendly characters’ centers. If the line passes through opposite borders of the opponent’s space (including corners of those borders), then the opponent is flanked.

Note that the second paragraph doesn't need changing.

Anyway - I recommend that rather than granting +28 to a horde of peasants, you cap the flanking bonus at +2. If you really want those sweet sweet bonuses to add up like crazy, cap it at +4. But seriously, much more than +4 will break the game and make co-operating Sneak Attackers into god-killers.

Deepblue706
2007-12-07, 04:48 PM
On an unrelated note if a DM ever surrounds you with 18 cats... get a new DM. :smalltongue:

Wait, what does that say about me, if I was considering making cat-traps, where they'd drop from the ceiling onto unsuspecting PCs? :smallbiggrin:

Deepblue706
2007-12-07, 04:51 PM
By the OP's rule, a Colossal creature could be surrounded by 28 opponents, who all get +28 to hit. Suddenly, ancient dragons die at the hands of peasants (sure, plenty of them will die trying to get close, but peasants are cheap).

This was going to be my next argument. A horde should get bonuses, but a static increase with no boundaries (beside what can close into distance) doesn't seem universally balanced.

Craig1f
2007-12-07, 05:03 PM
By the OP's rule, a Colossal creature could be surrounded by 28 opponents, who all get +28 to hit. Suddenly, ancient dragons die at the hands of peasants (sure, plenty of them will die trying to get close, but peasants are cheap).

First, an Ancient Dragon that finds himself surrounded by 28 opponents begs the question ... how did they survive long enough to be considered Ancient?

I would have no problems hitting a dragon in real life that was surrounded by that many people. Sure, I'll die when he swings his tail, but I'm getting a shot in.

The peasants won't stand a chance of killing the dragon anyway though. +28 to hit is still a hit for what .. 1d6+3 max? I think dragons have DR, so they're taking 28d6 + 84 - 28*DR. I think he'll be fine. And round two will result in a lot of dead peasants.

I think the solution to this is some kind of cap though. "A flanking bonus greater than +2 shall not exceed half the BaB of the character receiving the bonus.".

Done.

psychoticbarber
2007-12-07, 05:17 PM
Or you could just your common sense. Cat scratches are usually pretty non-lethal, just a little painful and mostly annoying.

The smaller the creature, the more of them you can get around a person, but the less effective each individual creature will be.

Trog
2007-12-07, 09:00 PM
First, an Ancient Dragon that finds himself surrounded by 28 opponents begs the question ... how did they survive long enough to be considered Ancient?

I would have no problems hitting a dragon in real life that was surrounded by that many people. Sure, I'll die when he swings his tail, but I'm getting a shot in.

The peasants won't stand a chance of killing the dragon anyway though. +28 to hit is still a hit for what .. 1d6+3 max? I think dragons have DR, so they're taking 28d6 + 84 - 28*DR. I think he'll be fine. And round two will result in a lot of dead peasants.

I think the solution to this is some kind of cap though. "A flanking bonus greater than +2 shall not exceed half the BaB of the character receiving the bonus.".

Done.
True dat. Dead peasants.

Yeah a cap is in order. 1/2 BaB is too much bookkeeping, though, for a DM. I'd say a +12 max.

Altair_the_Vexed
2007-12-08, 09:07 AM
I still think you're missing the point here - if you've surrounded an opponent, you're multiplying the chances they'll get hit by every individual who's attacking.
Adding more than a +2 bonus to all of them is really going to break your game - it's effectively like adding a win button to people with Leadership.

Say the 1st level guards need to roll a 10 to hit some guy. When he gets surrounded by eight guards, by the OP's rule, the guards need a 2. As a 1 always misses, they are as near as possible automatically hitting - all eight of them. The surrounded guy is dead in a round or two (8 x average club damage of 3.5 +1 from STR = 36).
If they've got reach weapons, you can fit 16 attackers around your defender. Maxing out the flanking bonus at +12, you've still got 1st level guards who practically automatically all hit anyone of AC 15, and on average, hit AC 25. So the AC 25 tank is hit 8 times by glaives. He's dead.

I'm sorry, but this proposal seems very broken.

Trog
2007-12-08, 05:17 PM
I still think you're missing the point here - if you've surrounded an opponent, you're multiplying the chances they'll get hit by every individual who's attacking.
Adding more than a +2 bonus to all of them is really going to break your game - it's effectively like adding a win button to people with Leadership.

Say the 1st level guards need to roll a 10 to hit some guy. When he gets surrounded by eight guards, by the OP's rule, the guards need a 2. As a 1 always misses, they are as near as possible automatically hitting - all eight of them. The surrounded guy is dead in a round or two (8 x average club damage of 3.5 +1 from STR = 36).
If they've got reach weapons, you can fit 16 attackers around your defender. Maxing out the flanking bonus at +12, you've still got 1st level guards who practically automatically all hit anyone of AC 15, and on average, hit AC 25. So the AC 25 tank is hit 8 times by glaives. He's dead.

I'm sorry, but this proposal seems very broken.
Well as I said above I proposed a max of +8 so your glaive example does not apply. Any first level guards needing a 10 to hit are fighting someone who is likely naked with a bad dex bonus and deserves to die for not running away. :smalltongue:

But let's look at the facts here:
8 1st lvl Warriors = EL 6 I believe, for a challenge equal to 4 6th level characters. But since this is only one character lets make him 8th level to deal with this challenge just as a guess.

the DMG standard 8th level NPC fighter has an attack of +13/+8 to hit vs AC 18 (ave for lvl fighter or a warrior with max gold) = 75%/50% chance of hitting for 5.5 + 6 dmg or 11 pts/hit = 13hp/rnd Ave. Gotta assume that the 8th level fighter has cleave. So downing 1.5 guys/rnd at 8 hp each
The warriors have a +3 to hit (+2 for flank throughout, lets say) vs AC 23 = 10% of hitting for 3.5 + 3 or 6 pts = 1 pts/rnd ave./warrior. (I rounded up to 1 to be nice) So it would play out, on average, like this: round 1 = 8 hp, round 2 = 15 (total), round 3 = 20, rnd 4 = 24, rnd 5 = 26, rnd 6 = 28, rnd 7 = 29 rnd 8 = victory with lvl 8 losing only ˝ his HP for the equivalent of 2.5 encounters or 50% his resources. Two encounters with the guards for an 8th level person would kill him, probably. So really to have this be an even encounter (expending 20% of one's resources) you're probably looking at having the fighter be 9th - 10th level. But if you take into account that every odd fighter would not get a +2 for flanking as they are eliminated it probably evens out to be an EL 9 for a single fighter. Obviously much lower for a party of 4 PCs.

So now lets begin to apply further bonuses to this scenario. The 8 warriors will still die at the same rate so it's simply a matter of upping the percent chance for them to hit to increase the lethality of the encounter. 64 HP is what the 8th level person NPC Fighter has according to the DMG

+3 (+4 for surround, say) vs AC 23 = 20% of hitting for 3.5 + 2 or 5 pts = 1 pts/rnd/guy (not rounding anymore) = same results as above.
+3 (+8 for surround, say) vs AC 23 = 40% of hitting for 3.5 + 2 or 5 pts = 2 pts/rnd/guy = 56 pts damage inflicted over the course of the combat which equals a challenge equal to 4 encounters or 80% of his resources – a MAJOR combat. So there you go.

The results.
Using a max of +8 for surround (and the appropriate amount of characters to carry it out) = the equivalent of 4 EL appropriate encounters for a single character. :smallconfused:
Using a max of +4 for surround = 2.5 EL appropriate encounters for a single character. :smallconfused:

All of this requires a lot of number crunching, basically, to figure out how this affects PCs at different levels but for now I'm gonna say screw the work and say that this is close enough for horseshoes, hand grenades, and DMing.

The fix I wanted was to make overwhelming numbers count more, as they seem to in real life. This is going to effect the EL though. So there you go. Knowing is half the battle and all that crap. :smalltongue:

Altair_the_Vexed
2007-12-09, 04:52 AM
Well, I guess if you're prepared to work out new ELs, cap off the bonus at +8 instead of the +12 mentioned before and all that, then sure, go for it.

By the way, what do you reckon to my idea of triangular flanking?


I suggest that you might give a flanking bonus to attackers who are significantly splitting the defence of the defender. Look at page 152 of the PHB. Regdar, Mialee and Jozan are making a triangle around the orc. He's going to be screwed in that position. Our three iconic heroes ought to get the flanking bonus, as well as just Regdar and Lidda (as per the RAW).
To work this out, change the flanking rule to:


Quote:
When making a melee attack, you get a +2 flanking bonus if your opponent is threatened by a character or creature friendly to you on the opponent’s opposite border or opposite corner, or the corner of the opposite border.

When in doubt about whether two friendly characters flank an opponent in the middle, trace an imaginary line between the two friendly characters’ centers. If the line passes through opposite borders of the opponent’s space (including corners of those borders), then the opponent is flanked.

This sort of helps out with the idea that you ought to have a harder time fighting three attackers than two.

Citizen Joe
2007-12-09, 01:47 PM
OMG you guys are going WAY overboard.

I'll say it again. When you are flanked, you get the condition "Flanked" which has a -2 AC penalty associated with it. (as opposed to the attackers getting a +2 to attack). Very simple, no extra calculations or unforeseen effects. 90% of the time you won't notice any difference.

Trog
2007-12-09, 09:41 PM
@^^Triangular flanking sounds okay but I think it might be a bit of a game slowdown to get out the straight edge to measure it and all. Not really my thing but if it's yours I say go for it. :smallsmile:

@^ I'm not choosing to do it that way. If it works for you, fine. My whole problem with the flanking rules is that it does not give enough of an advantage to the side with the numbers barring getting into the unarmed combat rules (which I lothe). So I'm trying out this fix. All things considered the flanking rules aren't actually broken as they are taken into consideration when calculating the EL of an encounter. If I change a rule I need to make sure to adjust the EL for it. Just as I would adjust the EL for an experienced group of gamers vs. a bunch of noobs. Not overthinking it. Just trying to change it responsibly. :smallbiggrin: