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So I'm wondering if a rogue that has the assault leader talent can use it to provoke an attack from an ally like the talent states:

Assault Leader

Benefit: Once per day, when the rogue misses with an attack on a flanked opponent, she can designate a single ally who is also flanking the target that her attack missed. That ally can make a single melee attack against the opponent as an immediate action.

The talent states that when the rogue misses an attack on a flanked opponent, it activates. It does not state the rogue needs to be the one that does the flanking. But it might be implied, I'm not entirely sure. For this question I'll assume that the ranged attack does not assist the flanking, just that the defender is flanked by two allies of the rogue.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Sadly the rules state that flanking does not apply to ranged weapons. If you only have a ranged weapon it cant flank even if it threatens, nor can it benefit from flanking regardless of what abilities you have short of 3pp. \$\endgroup\$
    – Fering
    May 1, 2021 at 18:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Fering I don't think that's the question, though. I think the question's actually If my allies are flanking a foe, is the foe considered flanked until my allies aren't flanking the foe? That, I think, is trickier. \$\endgroup\$ May 1, 2021 at 18:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the responses. It's like what @HeyICanChan says: If my allies are flanking an opponent, does that situation allow me to use the talent while using a ranged weapon. \$\endgroup\$
    – martijn
    May 1, 2021 at 20:16

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No, he can't since he must flank.

Unfortunately the reason is implied in the words used to define the assault leader feat

Once per day, when the rogue misses with an attack on a flanked opponent, she can designate a single ally who is also flanking the target that her attack missed.

As we can see the feat writes clearly "attack on a flanked opponent" and a bit later says "an ally who is also flanking". So yes...you must flank the enemy to use this feat but the ally you are designating doesn't have to be in a flanking position with you.

Let's run an example: an enemy is flanked on every side (north, south, east, west) and the rogue is on the east side of the enemy. Even if the rogue is flanking with the ally on the west side of the enemy he can designate every other ally since all of them are flanking the same enemy the rogue is flanking.

I hope it is clear enough.

Now, talking about flanking with a ranged attack the answer is again a no since flanking unfortunately says:

When making a melee attack, you get a +2 flanking bonus if your opponent is threatened by another enemy character or creature on its opposite border or opposite corner.

So normally you can't flank with a ranged weapon but there is this feat:

Snap Shot

While wielding a ranged weapon with which you have Weapon Focus, you threaten squares within 5 feet of you. You can make attacks of opportunity with that ranged weapon.

Here is a bit tricky. Having this feat you can provide flanking bonus to an ally with a melee weapon but since you have not a melee weapon you are not getting the same bonus when attacking.

Now if you don't get the bonus to attack is the enemy flanked by you? RAW it seems not but i think there is a lot of table variance about this topic and therefore my advice is to talk to your GM about this.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't get why the ally shouldn't be flanking with you \$\endgroup\$
    – Zachiel
    May 2, 2021 at 9:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ Because is not specified that the ally you designate is the one you are flaking with. To designate an ally the only condition is that the ally is flanking the same enemy you are flanking. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mouza
    May 2, 2021 at 9:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ I feel like the writing of the talent should have been allot more clearer if the rogue was meant to be flanking the opponent. It just doesn't specify this. Also, indicating that the ally that gets the extra attack must also be flanking the opponent is no proof that the rogue should be as well. It just means there could be three allies next to the opponent, but only the two that are flanking are eligible. This all comes down to how you interpret the talent though. \$\endgroup\$
    – martijn
    May 2, 2021 at 17:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ Actually it DOES state the rogue has to be flanking the opponent. The line @Mouza quoted, "Once per day, when the rogue misses with an attack on a flanked opponent, she can designate a single ally who is also flanking the target that her attack missed." contains the adverb "also". This means there are two 'actors' in the sentence which are flanking. Those 'actors' are the 'ally' and 'rogue' who both must be flanking the same opponent, though as also noted, do not need to be the source of each others' flanking status. \$\endgroup\$
    – niekell
    May 3, 2021 at 2:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ If the talent said: 'when the rogue misses with an attack on a opponent flanked by the rogue...' I would 100% agree. I think it comes down to how you interpret the writing and I feel like they could have cleared it up a little more if that was their intention. \$\endgroup\$
    – martijn
    May 3, 2021 at 12:10

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