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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Clone Project: Thrown Weapons

In yesterday's thread, I wrote:
instead of a flat 3" range for thrown weapons, base the range on Str/3 with the option to use Str 10 as a default range
which is not the part of the post that I expected anyone to object to; I thought people would take issue with equating bow size to range. zornhau disagreed with my interpretation of the physics, so I'll look at it further. However, I can also consider an option:
instead of a flat 3" range for thrown weapons, base the maximum range on 5 x thrower's height, in feet, with a default ideal height of 6 for humans and elves and 4 for dwarves and halflings
which assumes that a longer reach = a longer arc of acceleration. But another option would be to merge it with the rule for bows:
short range for missile weapons is 1" plus 1" per foot of height/length of weapon used to launch the missile
This option is not as math-fiddly as the previous one, but it probably needs a note to explain that the launcher for a thrown weapon is your hand, with an assumed length of 0.


  1. OK ... but some heavy crossbows "cheat" by storing more muscle power through a crank and ratchet mechanism. So I would also add any extra combat rounds needed to load the weapon.

  2. Observations:

    Range probably usually means "range at which it's worth trying to hit anything".

    Form probably determines range more that strength or height.

    For most weapons, in most situations, small variations in range won't make a difference. If two guys with spears face off, there's no way one of them is going to be able to stay in the window where he can hit and the other can't.

    So, if I were you, I'd stick with standard ranges and add something for levels.

  3. @zornhau: the third rule above generates the standard ranges.

    @Roger: crossbows are handled separately in the previous post; their ranges are based on set figures, since the crossbow mechanism replaces Strength at time of firing.

    I'm not sure whether you are suggesting basing ranges for crossbows on time needed to crank, or whether zornhau is suggesting range increasing with level. But the problem with suggestions like these is that I'm trying to balance the need to be distinctive (and thus non-infringing) against the need to be true and not impose my own house-rule ideas. The third rule above is probably the best in that regard; basing thrown range on Strength or size seems reasonable, to me, but it's definitely edging more into house-rule area and thus causes me to worry.