... now with 35% more arrogance!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Thrown Weapon Follow-Up

I mentioned in a comment that I posted a poll on RPGnet asking opinions on whether a person's strength, mass, or both could/should affect how far they can throw a weapon. There actually wasn't that much activity, although what little there was came down strongly on the side of Strength influencing throwing distance. I'd call the results inconclusive, though, since the poll numbers are so small and there was no discussion.

However, in the only reply to that post, IvanMike pointed me towards a website about the physics of throwing knives. It doesn't deal directly with the question at hand, but it does state directly that the speed of a thrown knife depends on the power of the thrower and the way the knive is thrown. Greater speed means more distance, as long as the knife thrower remembers to aim a little higher for targets at a greater distance.

Not that actual physics makes much difference. Although I like my rules to make some kind of sense, my primary concern is balancing the need to keep Liber Zero flexible and true to the original rules against the need to make something distinctive that isn't as prone to accusations of infringement. For this reason, I think I'm going with the alternative rule of setting short missile ranges to 1" and adding the length of any "launcher", such as a bow, excluding mechanical launchers like crossbows, which are fixed. Or perhaps I'll consider tying ranges for mechanical launchers to the time and manpower needed to crank or prep it, which Roger suggested.


  1. Since how it's thrown is so vital, I'd say that training should account for 66% and the brute force 33% (the remaining 1% being luck of course). I'd figure a reasonable base distance modified by a base attack bonus and strength would make it work. I'm not sure I'd go into this much detail in MY game, but that's how I'd handle it if I did.

  2. I hadn't seen your previous post but B/X doesn't give strength bonus to thrown weapons but BECMI does. I'm in favour that it does. Dexterity to hit, strength to damage. Another option for range is strength bonus/penalty times/divided by 10 feet. ie 10 feet for B/X strength 6-15 as a standard, 5 feet strength 4-5, 3 feet strength 3, 20 feet strength 16-17, 30 feet strength 18.
    I'll have to check out your other posts as I'm in the process of deciding my own house rules for a KotB campaign.

  3. I should have said the range I suggested would be for short range. Double for medium, triple for long.

  4. Well done IvanMike I say.

    The discussion here might be worth a read:


    The two comments by Alexis especially, who suggests the mental might play a large part. With a knife thrown there is no matching of two individuals, but confidence and sense of pressure may be relevant.

  5. I don't think training is *vital* to range (versus accuracy,) although I'm not adverse to it affecting range. That, and a boost for Strength, might show up in the Variants section, perhaps along with a boost for Int or Charisma that Alexis mentioned, for James Coburn-like knife throwing challenges. Note that Alexis only suggests mental state matters when Strength (for arm wrestling) is evenly matched.