OPTIONAL RULE: FLANKING
If you regularly use miniatures, flanking gives combatants a simple way to gain +2 advantage on attack rolls against a common enemy.
A creature can’t flank an enemy that it can’t see. A creature also can’t flank while it is incapacitated. A Large or larger creature is flanking as long as at least one square or hex of its space qualifies for flanking.
Flanking on Squares. When a creature and at least one of its allies are adjacent to an enemy and on opposite sides or corners of the enemy’s space, they flank that enemy, and each of them has +2 advantage on melee attack rolls against that enemy.
When in doubt about whether two creatures flank an enemy on a grid, trace an imaginary line between the centers of the creatures’ spaces. If the line passes through opposite sides or corners of the enemy’s space, the enemy is flanked. – DMG, 251
- Flanking was giving Melee combatants with mobility a huge edge over any other character combo/build.
- Effectively it was giving them something akin to a +5 to hit, but saw diminishing returns in extreme cases.
- That works in the favour of the PCs and the enemy but far more in the favour of the enemy.
- The bonus from Flanking was encouraging risky gameplay at times and seemed to ‘penalize’ anyone who didn’t take the risks. ‘Smart’ play was seen as sub-optimal and encouraged party wipes.
- Flanking not having an action ‘cost’ was breaking the action economy of 5E.
- Effectively, anyone using the Dodge action paid for it (as they needed to give up all other full actions) but it could be countered for ‘free’ by flankers.
- Ranged combatants rarely could achieve Advantage as they would never benefit from Flanking.
- A number of Sub-class abilities also granted Advantage but seeing as how Advantage never stacks, they were effectively nerf’d.
You can lend your aid to another creature in the completion of a task. When you take the Help action, the creature you aid gains advantage on the next ability check it makes to perform the task you are helping with, provided that it makes the check before the start of your next turn.
Alternatively, you can aid a friendly creature in attacking a creature within 5 feet of you. You feint, distract the target, or in some other way team up to make your ally’s attack more effective. If your ally attacks the target before your next turn, the first attack roll is made with advantage. -PHB 192
Here’s an example!