Monday, May 6, 2013
Thrown Weapon Ranges
Ranged weapons, notoriously, do not have ranges listed in the original three books of D&D. Clearly, they are supposed to have ranges: the combat table in Men & Magic has a note that "Missile
hits will be scored by using the above tables at long range and decreasing Armor Class by 1 at medium and 2 at short range." Greyhawk adds ranges for bows, which match those in Chainmail. It doesn't include a range for slings, even though slings are mentioned in Greyhawk. It also doesn't include a range for thrown weapons.
There's a buried note in Monsters & Treasure about magic axes, hammers, and spears having a range of 3 scale inches. Magic daggers have no such note, but the range matches that given in Chainmail, so we could go with that. However, there's an additional comment about the 3-inch range being treated as medium. I think this may be specific to magic weapons, rather than to thrown weapons in general. In combination with the +2/+1/+0 range modifiers mentioned in Men & Magic, the effect is that thrown weapons are always at +1 on the attack roll, which would seem odd if applied to all thrown weapons. The absence of a long range seems to me to be a feature of magic, rather than a feature of thrown weapons in general.