#dnd5e yes, but target has cover — Mike Mearls (@mikemearls) October 10, 2015. In this DnD Quick Tip we’re going to talk about reach weapons and how they work. If there’s a cost, is in the value of other abilities that grant Advantage, which goes back to the objections on this article. The first sentence about flanking already gives a lot of essential info: If you regularly use miniatures, flanking gives combatants a simple way to gain advantage on attack rolls against a common enemy. That doesn’t by itself make the game unbalanced. It’s the upending of what’s an action and what’s a bonus action. I just think that if DMs believe that flanking is too powerful, a large part of that comes from their failing to show their players why one has to use it judiciously. Mo’ rules, mo’ problems. This weapon adds 5 feet to your reach when you attack with it. I’ve been thinking of using the optional flanking rule for my group (which includes 8 PCs about evenly split between melee, ranged damage and spell support). You are correct, monsters would be stupid not to mob up and attack the biggest threat. It does have the result of making combat encounters go a little faster, but I find it ironically entertaining when the rogue scores a critical hit with advantage against an opponent who is already wounded and down to less than 5 hp. That’s the point of this entire blog, that they know what they’re doing. This is incredibly suboptimal for the ranged attacker, who is now attacking with disadvantage, but sure. Back to Main Page → 3.5e Open Game Content → System Reference Document → Combat. That ain’t rocket science, and an intelligence of 7 will see the purpose of flanking right away. It’s modified somewhat by how much damage each attack does—and barbarians usually do a lot—but that won’t usually be enough to make it worth giving a barbie advantage on two attack rolls when his or her opponents thereby gain advantage on three. Mod also makes reach weapons work closer to how they should in pnp: Unit with reach weapon is not threating enemies in range equal to half its maximum range. 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. Weapon Properties Reach. If the melee fighting PCs outnumber their enemies, then it is very likely that they will almost always have advantage on their attacks, and if the enemies outnumber melee fighter PCs (which will much more likely be the case most of the time) then their enemies will almost always have advantage. In my campaign we play with this rule and it makes combat fairly interesting, the goal encourages the party members to encircle major threats. While flanking rules may seem good in certain situations, I definitely do not normally use them in my games. First time DM, and I instinctively added the optional flanking rule. But you’re right that AC 2 included a shield. A weapon with the special property has unusual rules governing its use. I haven't used a reach weapon in 5e because I don't quite see what it is for. When you and an ally are flanking a foe, it has a harder time defending against you. Instead of using a weapon to make a melee weapon attack, you can use an unarmed strike: a punch, kick, head-butt, or similar Reach weapons, like the glaive, are a fun melee weapon type for DnD. It would work if you have a legitimate narrative reason for an advantage – if a traget has been just struck with a ranged attack (making him pay just enough less of attention to his rear) or a triple reckless attack combo hit of a barbarian. Maybe if I were still playing GURPS I’d go for this, but D&D 5E has a different design philosophy—to streamline everything as much as possible, scraping away the barnacles that clogged up earlier D&D rulesets—which inclines me either to use the optional rule as offered or to forgo it entirely. I often see people critisize 5e for lack of tactical play, after reading some of these objects I can see why some may feel that way. To start, let’s talk about the situations where flanking is possible and what flanking does. As a simple example, take the kobold, which has the Pack Tactics feature, giving it advantage on attack rolls when a non-incapacitated ally is within 5 feet of its target. Front left corner and right side flank. Lions and wolves have Int 3, but will flank in nature. 40ft. Reach weapons for medium sized creatures add 5 feet to their range for melee attacks. Get spells and abilities that confer advantage to their teammates. Flanking on Hexes. I’ve personally never seen anything wrong with using Flanking, but I’ve only been able to think about it conceptually, personally – I’ve yet to have an opportunity to use battle maps as a DM, though I plan to do so in my next campaign – but this is some much appreciated and sound advice on how to apply Flanking in order to enhance the tactical experience without impeding on the rest of combat. Use the stat blocks of these foul fowl with the Pigeon Tactics on this blog! Flanking is a broken rules option under 5e, with how weak opportunity attacks are and how strong advantage is. Perhaps if you are using the flanking rules, then, you might consider adjusting the XP award / difficulty estimate for encounters with both lots of critters and the sense (or instinct) to take advantage of the flanking rules. A Large or larger creature is flanking as long as at least one square or hex of its space qualifies for flanking. I also don’t ever tell them “Roll Perception”. Flanking without stealth is just isolating yourself. This would be true no matter the size of the bonus conferred by flanking. It would be less clean, but I might even consider +1 on sides, +2 from behind, just because it’s kind of an important thing (like armor), and I like positioning and mobility to matter more (but be less required to think about, so you can focus on what the character would really do). And it opens one up to roleplaying uber-tactical monsters versus thuggish monsters. 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