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D&D 3E
Unbalanced flanking 
21st-Jan-2005 11:23 am
Wyrin
Has anybody got any rules to cover this? For example, when the party fighter is flanked by an adult red dragon and a kobold - he wont care about the kobolds attacks so much, and will focus more on dodging and defending himself from the dragon. Maybe you get your full AC advantage against the flanking opponent you choose (and are not susceptible to sneak attacks) and against all other opponents you are denied your DEX and they get +2 to hit? Or should this just be kept in the Uncanny dodge ability?
Comments 
21st-Jan-2005 11:39 am (UTC)
While the kobold may not be much of a threat, he is still distracting - something shouting in draconic and trying to stab him with a spear from behind will mean that he can't concentrate quite as much on the dragon in front of him.

If you want to represent focusing defending on one opponent more than on others, use the Dodge feat.
22nd-Jan-2005 08:07 pm (UTC)
Doesn't a dodge bonus to AC disappear along with the Dex bonus this guy loses while being flanked?
21st-Jan-2005 11:39 am (UTC)
I dunno, flanked is flanked. If the kobold happens to be an ace rogue and the fighter ignores him in favor of the dragon, the fighter is going to be sneak attacked.
21st-Jan-2005 11:58 am (UTC)
I would have thought that ignoring an opponent in combat, no matter how wimpy, may well leave you helpless against that opponent and subject to a coup de grace.
21st-Jan-2005 05:26 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't go that far. Flat-footed, sure. Not helpless.
22nd-Jan-2005 01:40 am (UTC)
True, that's probably a tad harsh.
21st-Jan-2005 12:19 pm (UTC) - Yes: see the "Rules of the Game"
on the Wizards web site, at the very end of "Sneak Attacks". The rules are unofficial but a good idea. In summary, you nominate a flanker as ignored: this gives them an Attack of Opportunity (with flanking bonus!) but then they don't count as flanking as far as other characters are concered.

Not sure how often they get to take the AoO: every round and on the ignorers initiative, I guess.

What jhubert refers to below, where the kobold is shouting, can be reflected in the "Aid another", giving +2 to hit but not counting as flanking. Ignored characters can still do this.

A variation came up in a game last week: a non-attacking spell (with a duration and the ability to flank) was being ignored by a creature that had a resistance to it: the house rule was that the ignorer automatically failed their reflex save for half damage from it to avoid being flanked by it.

21st-Jan-2005 12:21 pm (UTC) - Re: Yes: see the "Rules of the Game"
Of course by "below" I mean "above": "below" the text box where I entered the reply, "above" where it was published!
21st-Jan-2005 12:45 pm (UTC) - Re: Yes: see the "Rules of the Game"
What jhubert refers to below, where the kobold is shouting, can be reflected in the "Aid another", giving +2 to hit but not counting as flanking.

Personally, I'd say that any opponent attacking the same person distracts that person somehow, even if it doesn't really constitute a threat. Thus, the kobold could attack the fighter, and even through the fighter tries to ignore him the dragon still gets the flanking bonus. The kobold won't do much harm, but he limits his movement and attention nonetheless.

Of course, another kobold could join in and try to actively distract (as opposed to attack) the fighter - and then the dragon gets +4 to hit!
21st-Jan-2005 01:26 pm (UTC) - Re: Yes: see the "Rules of the Game"
Personally, I'd say that any opponent attacking the same person distracts that person somehow, even if it doesn't really constitute a threat. Thus, the kobold could attack the fighter, and even through the fighter tries to ignore him the dragon still gets the flanking bonus.

Last I checked, you don't need to attack someone to threaten (and therefore flank) that person.

So, the aforementioned kobold could try to Aid Another (the dragon) and therefore give the big nasty a +4 bonus to attack. All by himself.

Who said low-level folk were useless in a high-level fight?
21st-Jan-2005 01:29 pm (UTC) - Re: Yes: see the "Rules of the Game"
This is a classic summoning technique as well. Even a summon CR 1 critter can get thrown into the flank position to boost the real fighter.
21st-Jan-2005 07:14 pm (UTC) - Re: Yes: see the "Rules of the Game"
I just say there is a total of +4 bonus in the flanking manuver, and the person can either pay attention to both (+2 each) or pat attention to on e(+4 to the guy he's not paying attention to....and yeah prolly an AoO now that I think about it), but thats basically turning your back onto someone, and unless you have massiver armor bonuses etc... its really not worth it.
21st-Jan-2005 01:33 pm (UTC)
Why not, as the fighter in this situation... turn around, kill the kobold and return to killing the red dragon. I doubt one turn will put you on minuses, and surely your party members are covering your ass.

If its that bad, get the rogue to sneak attack the kobold by flanking it. Quickly finished, and you have a partner who can move around and help sneak attack the dragon. 'nuff said.

21st-Jan-2005 01:58 pm (UTC)
If it's really just a CR <1 kobold, and you really are a fighter ... Cleave? Isn't this why Cleave exists?
21st-Jan-2005 06:36 pm (UTC)
Kobolds can have class levels, upping the CR. I've used CR 2 (War 2/Ftr 1) kobolds that didn't die in one hit.
22nd-Jan-2005 08:10 pm (UTC)
And if he's such a beefy kobold, why are we worrying aobut ignoring him? It's a logic pretzel!
22nd-Jan-2005 08:57 pm (UTC)
He is a Kobold Dragon Guardian, Ftr 2/Rogue 2, armed and armored as befits a guardian of the Great God-Dragon! Half-Plate and a Halberd, oh yeah, with Improved Trip as a Feat ...

... man, I should make my party fight some of those.
22nd-Jan-2005 09:04 pm (UTC)
Then I would move my ass out of a flanked position and not consider the problems with sticking it out.
21st-Jan-2005 09:10 pm (UTC)
o.o A lot of discussion for what I thought would be simple...

...if I 7'3 guy with muscles the size of your head is standing in front of you, and his 5 year old kid brother is behind you trying to bite your leg, and you ignore his brother, you still get your leg bitten...and then the guy punches you in the face, but that's besides the point.

It doesn't really matter how big of a threat the kobold is. You could feasibly leave the Kobold there for round after round and worry about the dragon if you wanted to, I suppose, but why give the dragon an even bigger bonus? As for the kobold, unless this is a low level party (in which case...why the dragon?) the kobold shouldn't be making many hits, unless it has class levels. If it does, perhaps the challenge was too great for the party?

Or maybe they just need to work better on not getting their fighter surrounded in combat, since he's defending all of their lives by taking all of the frikkin hits. >< (Okay...emotional outburst over.)
23rd-Jan-2005 04:24 pm (UTC)
Jeez I wasnt expecting the example to be taken so literally - kobold and dragon were extremees to demonstrate that in some situations you really want to focus your attention on one opponent and disregard the other.

Rogues of differing levels might be a more tricky example - 2 sneak attacks vs defending one and accepting the other. An ethereal creature and a material one could be another example.

Anyway, thanks for the discussion, and sparkymark ofr the ref. Aid another was an aspect I hadnt thought of.
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