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Thrown weapon range


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps, Pawns Subscriber

While playing a ninja using shuriken i came to see that thrown weapon range is a bit low. Since i never used thrown weapons before, i never bothered o saw it. If you convert feet to meters, it would be more correct, by the real world feel, things like aiming and hitting a foe or even the added damage from STR included. I would somehow suggest at least double the range of thrown weapons, it seems more sensible to me this way.
Also it would become more attractive for rogues to use, giving more flavor and variety to the game. Even a mage or sorcerer or bard could use them this way. Who wouldnt like a knife throwing bard?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

The thrown weapon range that's given is like any other range, it's not the abosolute limit of distance, it's the intervals in which the negatives are applied. You can still get three increments of range from thrown weapons, you'd just have to be as good as those legendary ninja to have a meaningful chance to hit. :)

Qadira

Pathfinder Maps, Tales Subscriber

The range feels right to me. Max 5x increment and all.

I still find the weapons attractive - if you are going to be a weapon-thrower, your character would take the appropriate feats to do it well.

Look at the javelin.

World record is 104 meters (about 340 feet).

30' range increment gives a proficient user a max distance of 150'.

With Far Shot that doubles to 300'.

I think advanced technology (used in modern javelin design) is worth the extra 40' for a World Record.

And these athletes are just trying to keep the thing in the field... never mind hitting something alert and moving with it.

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps, Pawns Subscriber

Well your arguments are quite good.
Still i think and know from self practice that with shuriken and knifes you can easily hit up to 20 if not 30 feet. Make it at least 15 feet so you can get 30 with distance weapon quality or far shot. Alchemist can get something like this for free for example.


Hayato Ken wrote:

Well your arguments are quite good.

Still i think and know from self practice that with shuriken and knifes you can easily hit up to 20 if not 30 feet. Make it at least 15 feet so you can get 30 with distance weapon quality or far shot. Alchemist can get something like this for free for example.

I think you're confusing Range Increment with Range. The increment is 10 ft, but the max range is 50 ft. With Distance (the magic weapon modifier), that becomes a max distance of 100 ft.


Hayato Ken wrote:

Well your arguments are quite good.

Still i think and know from self practice that with shuriken and knifes you can easily hit up to 20 if not 30 feet.

Emphasis mine. If you've practiced with them, then yes, it can be a simple matter to attain such precision with thrown weapons. However, it is more difficult to aim them properly at such distances, hence the penalties present within the game. A character that's trained with those items will have a greater attack bonus with them, thereby limiting the impact of said penalties.

As someone who's tried my hand at using throwing knives and tomahawks, but haven't taken the time to truly practice with them, the current range increments feel about right.


I throw knives and have thrown axes and hammers in the past. I also use a slingshot regularly to drive away annoying pests like woodpeckers hammering on our house in the morning, skunks roaming around my yard, squirrels running across our roofs, etc.

I have hit a raccoon on my roof 40 feet away with one throw and knocked it off the roof. I could have hit the same raccoon with a knife if I wanted to kill it. With a slingshot I can routinely hit old birdfeeders in my yard up to 40 yards (120 feet) away. The birdfeeders are about the size of a shoebox. From 100 yards away I can routinely hit a couple of oil drums in my yard with a slingshot. The oil drums are roughly the size of a person.

I have an outhouse in my backyard, and it has the classic moon-shaped hole in the door, about the size of a crescent shaped sliver of a dinner plate. I can put a slingshot pebble into that hole about 1/5 of the time I shoot at it from 30 yards or less away.

It snows roughly six months of the year at my house. I take the dog out every morning. When there is snow on the ground I typically throw a couple of snowballs at a pine tree roughly 100 feet from my deck. I rarely miss. A baseball pitcher can hit a dinner plate at 60 feet away nine out of ten times with a fastball.

And I am a casual throwing/slingshotting enthusiast.

The throwing ranges in PF and 3.5 are ridiculously low for a practiced and trained knife thrower. They should be increased by at least 50% to be even remotely realistic. In fact it is MUCH easier to throw a knife 15 feet than it is to throw one 10 feet because of the mechanics of knife rotation when you throw it. You can barely get a knife to rotate comfortably in ten feet, and trying to throw one straight, with no rotation, is darn near impossible.


Heaven's Agent wrote:
As someone who's tried my hand at using throwing knives and tomahawks, but haven't taken the time to truly practice with them, the current range increments feel about right.

My brother had some throwing weapons at one point. A few knives, a small axe (just a solid piece of metal with no attached handle), and some shuriken. I took them out now and then when I was bored and would give it a try. Based on just this meager amount of experience, I can say that even at short distances, there is a need for some expertise or technique...

Shuriken increments are the only ones I disagree with. I think they should have 15-20 feet range increments, if only because that's their purpose - to be ranged weapons. Everything else seems pretty good, though.


Yes, you need to have some "expertise" to throw kinives, axes, etc. That expertise in game is called "weapon proficiency."

I watch a show called "Top Shot." It's a reality show that takes weapons "experts" (I put that in quotes because the winner of the show last year was a retired military man who no longer did anything but recreational shooting, and one of the top contestants this year was by profession a golf pro) and pits them against each other with numerous weapons. In both seasons the contestants had to throw weapons. The first season was knives, the second season was axes. They were throwing 25 feet. None of them had ever thrown knives or axes before, they are all experts with some type of firearm.

Within one day of practice they were reliably hitting targets the size of a human chest at 25 feet repeatedly with knives and axes. The actual experts who were teaching them, people you would call "proficient" with throwing knives and axes, simply did not miss at that distance. At all. Ever.

The current range increments are ridiculous.


Video of an expert tomahawk thrower at 25 feet. At one point he splits a walnut.


brassbaboon wrote:

Yes, you need to have some "expertise" to throw kinives, axes, etc. That expertise in game is called "weapon proficiency."

......

Within one day of practice they were reliably hitting targets the size of a human chest at 25 feet repeatedly with knives and axes. The actual experts who were teaching them, people you would call "proficient" with throwing knives and axes, simply did not miss at that distance. At all. Ever.

The current range increments are ridiculous.

Throwing a weapon at a stationary target is not the same as throwing a weapon at a target actively trying to make sure you don't hit it. Effective range and maximum range will vary greatly with every type of ranged weapon.

btw, when you refer to slingshot do you mean sling? A slingshot is not a thrown weapon.


No, I was using the slingshot just to provide some context about my general ability to aim and hit what I aim at. I know a slingshot isn't a thrown weapon, but it is a weapon that does not have sights and requires the same sort of aiming as a thrown weapon.

The problem I have with the thrown weapon ranges in PF (and 3.5 before it) is that they are simply totally inaccurate based on real world experience and demonstration of ability by proficient thrown weapon experts. 10 feet is a ridiculous range limit.

However, accuracy with thrown weapons falls off faster as well. So the five range increments rule used for other ranged weapons doesn't make sense for thrown weapons either. Thrown weapons need their own rules, and while I don't normally argue for more complexity in the game, in this case it just cries out for changes to make thrown weapons more viable in combat.

I have my own house rules for thrown weapons which are based on actual human abilities to throw knives and axes and hand grenades. Those rules make concepts like a thrown dagger specialist more viable, and I don't believe they remotely affect balance.

10 feet for a thrown dagger is simply ridiculous and reflects a game designer's total ignorance about how thrown weapons actually work.

Also, in my games, proficiency with a weapon that is not primarily intended to be thrown (such as a dagger or a hand axe) requires a feat to be invested in learning to throw the weapon with proficiency. Weapons intended to be thrown (like shuriken) are throwable with the basic proficiency feat. Throwing a dagger or an axe is not something that is automatically learned just by becoming proficient in the use of the weapon as a melee weapon.


Yeah, but a stationary object would have, like, and AC of 5 before size modifiers. And you probably have a couple points of BAB and/or Dex. Those guys on that show almost certainly do. And all modern day things would potentially be at least masterwork, for another +1.

So against a human-sized immobile object within the first range increment, of course you'll never miss.

Throwing axes at 25ft? So they're at -4 now. Still easily hitting (but not all the time). The professionals at throwing them might have Weapon Focus, or Far Shot, or a higher dex or BAB.

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps, Pawns Subscriber

Now that comes close to what i am thinking and i know about the range increments, its not what i mean. The current rules are kind of punishing characters using thrown weapons. I do not really consider them here, because you get -2 to attack and especiallyon early levels thats quite hard. Lets face it, how often is an axe trowing barbarian that has the hit points to be in front there playing out the ten feet distance? Mostly its rogues or halfling characters that would use thrown weapons, most often not even getting a lot of STR bonus. Surely casters need to get in the heat with touch attacks too, but not all the time. There could be a simple solution letting people with proficiency in a certain weapon that is throwable just use double range of the normal range.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

For a monk who works best with full attacks it can be a good option to "let them come" and use a "flurry of shuriken" instead. A barbarian not able to charge can take his move action to close in, throw his axe and than quick draw his greatsword.
A halfling rogue should go with a bow or a sling staff, though thrown weapons for ranged sneak attacks (you have to be close anyway for those) are still a valid option.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
brassbaboon wrote:


It snows roughly six months of the year at my house. I take the dog out every morning. When there is snow on the ground I typically throw a couple of snowballs at a pine tree roughly 100 feet from my deck. I rarely miss. A baseball pitcher can hit a dinner plate at 60 feet away nine out of ten times with a fastball.

And I am a casual throwing/slingshotting enthusiast.

The throwing ranges in PF and 3.5 are ridiculously low for a practiced and trained knife thrower. They should be increased by at least 50% to be even remotely realistic. In fact it is MUCH easier to throw a knife 15 feet than it is to throw one 10 feet because of the mechanics of knife rotation when you throw it. You can barely get a knife to rotate comfortably in ten feet, and trying to throw one straight, with no rotation, is darn near impossible.

So you're comparing hitting a tree with aiming at something that isn't quite as cooperative at standing still waiting for you to hit it?

What differentiates a practiced knife thrower? BAB? A knife thrower with higher BAB has "practiced" to offset the inherent negatives in throwing a hand held object as opposed to a device launched missile.


R. Doyle wrote:

The range feels right to me. Max 5x increment and all.

I still find the weapons attractive - if you are going to be a weapon-thrower, your character would take the appropriate feats to do it well.

Look at the javelin.

World record is 104 meters (about 340 feet).

30' range increment gives a proficient user a max distance of 150'.

With Far Shot that doubles to 300'.

I think advanced technology (used in modern javelin design) is worth the extra 40' for a World Record.

And these athletes are just trying to keep the thing in the field... never mind hitting something alert and moving with it.

Far Shot wrote:


Far Shot (Combat)
You are more accurate at longer ranges.

Prerequisites: Point-Blank Shot.

Benefit: You only suffer a –1 penalty per full range increment between you and your target when using a ranged weapon.

Normal: You suffer a –2 penalty per full range increment between you and your target.

Far shot no longer increases your max distance, it just makes it easier to hit things within that range. To hit things outside that range, you need to have Distance enchanted on your weapons (or something else going on)


R. Doyle wrote:

Look at the javelin.

World record is 104 meters (about 340 feet).

30' range increment gives a proficient user a max distance of 150'.

With Far Shot that doubles to 300'.

I think advanced technology (used in modern javelin design) is worth the extra 40' for a World Record.

And these athletes are just trying to keep the thing in the field... never mind hitting something alert and moving with it.

As an interesting aside, modern javelins are designed to not go as far as they potentially could. Top javelin throwers were throwing them further than safety allowed (no running races on the track at the same time as the javelin events were on!) so a while back the design was changed to reduce maximum range.

But back on topic, the rules for ranged weapons simplify out a lot of factors to avoid over-complicating ranged combat. This all gets rolled into the -2 per increment. If anything I think the ranged combat rules are overly generous to the attacker.

Consider the scenario of a level 20 uber archer firing at maximum range at an unarmoured nobody. Even with -10 range penalties the archer will hit on anything but a one. Even if the target is solely focussed on the incoming arrow and can move, dodge, duck, whatever, they are still going to get skewered despite the arrow travelling several hundred meters.

Add in more factors that impact on ranged combat and would make it harder to hit, then the -2 increment penalty becomes the easiest way to combine balance and simplicity. For characters who specialise in a particular form of ranged combat then you have various feats and the like to represent the effort they put in to become much better than "normal" combatants.

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps, Pawns Subscriber
Gallo wrote:


As an interesting aside, modern javelins are designed to not go as far as they potentially could. Top javelin throwers were throwing them further than safety allowed (no running races on the track at the same time as the javelin events were on!) so a while back the design was changed to reduce maximum range.

But back on topic, the rules for ranged weapons simplify out a lot of factors to avoid over-complicating ranged combat. This all gets rolled into the -2 per increment. If anything I think the ranged combat rules are overly generous to the attacker.

Consider the scenario of a level 20 uber archer firing at maximum range at an unarmoured nobody. Even with -10 range penalties the archer will hit on anything but a one. Even if the target is solely focussed on the incoming arrow and can move, dodge, duck, whatever, they are still going to get skewered despite the arrow travelling several hundred meters.

Add in more factors that impact on ranged combat and would make it harder to hit, then the -2 increment penalty becomes the easiest way to combine balance and simplicity. For characters who specialise in a particular form of ranged combat then you have various feats and the like to represent the effort they put in to become much better than "normal" combatants.

While for archers that is surely true, the focus here lies on thrown weapons with rather short range of 10 feet like shuriken, daggers or handaxes. Even with the distance quality you dont get the 30 feet maximum range for sneak attack, what makes quite a deal in my opinion.


Just a reminder, thrown weapons have a maximum range of 5 times the range increment given on the table.


LazarX wrote:


So you're comparing hitting a tree with aiming at something that isn't quite as cooperative at standing still waiting for you to hit it?

It is amazing how many times I see this totally bogus red herring argument made about combat in role playing games. "You are really comparing hitting a dummy with hitting a moving, ducking opponent?" or, as here "You are really comparing hitting a tree with something that isn't standing still?"

Of course I am. There's a reason that military combat specialists train sharpshooters and soldiers with stationary targets. Because before you can hit a moving target you have to be able to hit a stationary target. And the difference between hitting a stationary target and a moving target is learning how to anticipate where to aim your weapon. Aiming and hitting is the same in both cases, the difference is simply anticipation and maintaining your focus while being shot at or attacked yourself. But that is what makes them soldiers and combatants, that's what they are trained to do. Becoming a soldier is not about learning how to shoot. It's about learning how to shoot while someone is shooting back at you. The shooting part is virtually the same as a recreational target shooter or hunter.

I mean what the hell, is this actually considered to be some sort of intelligent and serious criticism? Geebuz go talk to the marine drill sergeants who train their soldiers this way. Sheesh.


Quote:


While for archers that is surely true, the focus here lies on thrown weapons with rather short range of 10 feet like shuriken, daggers or handaxes. Even with the distance quality you dont get the 30 feet maximum range for sneak attack, what makes quite a deal in my opinion.

Its been said many times already. 10 feet is NOT the maximum range of thrown weapons. 10 feet is the range increment. Thrown weapons can go out to 5 increments, or 50 feet for most thrown weapons. 50 feet is the maximum range for thrown weapons, not 10.

Quote:

The problem I have with the thrown weapon ranges in PF (and 3.5 before it) is that they are simply totally inaccurate based on real world experience and demonstration of ability by proficient thrown weapon experts. 10 feet is a ridiculous range limit.

However, accuracy with thrown weapons falls off faster as well. So the five range increments rule used for other ranged weapons doesn't make sense for thrown weapons either. Thrown weapons need their own rules, and while I don't normally argue for more complexity in the game, in this case it just cries out for changes to make thrown weapons more viable in combat.

As has been said, the ranges shown are not the limits, but the increments. And other ranged weapons use 10 increments, not 5. Thrown weapons do have their own rules.


brassbaboon wrote:


I watch a show called "Top Shot." It's a reality show that takes weapons "experts" (I put that in quotes because the winner of the show last year was a retired military man who no longer did anything but recreational shooting, and one of the top contestants this year was by profession a golf pro) and pits them against each other with numerous weapons. In both seasons the contestants had to throw weapons. The first season was knives, the second season was axes. They were throwing 25 feet. None of them had ever thrown knives or axes before, they are all experts with some type of firearm.

Within one day of practice they were reliably hitting targets the size of a human chest at 25 feet repeatedly with knives and axes. The actual experts who were teaching them, people you would call "proficient" with throwing knives and axes, simply did not miss at that distance. At all. Ever.

The current range increments are ridiculous.

Man sized target: AC 10

Dexterity of 0: -5 AC
Final AC: 5
25foot range is withing the third range increment of axes and knives (10 foot increment): -4 penalty on the attack

Means they need to roll a 9 or better on each throw to hit. Once you add in the fact the throwers probably have higher dex than normal (say, 14 for a +2 bonus), and a higher BAB than normal (say, a +2)(both from being professional ranged weapons users), this is all very achievable in the rules. To hit that AC 5, at 25 feet away(-4 penalty), with a +2 BAB and +2 Dexterity modifier, they would need to roll a 5 or better. Even factoring in a -4 non-proficiency penalty, they need a 9 or better. So on average, those shooters can hit such a target about 60% of the time.

The range increments for thrown weapons do indeed fit. You just don't seem to understand the rules.


And if you need more proof you are wrong, how about actually reading the book:

Quote:
Range: Any attack at more than this distance is penalized for range. Beyond this range, the attack takes a cumulative –2 penalty for each full range increment (or fraction thereof) of distance to the target. For example, a dagger (with a range of 10 feet) thrown at a target that is 25 feet away would incur a –4 penalty. A thrown weapon has a maximum range of five range increments. A projectile weapon can shoot to 10 range increments.

That is found in the Equipment section, page 144, right-hand column, about a third of the way down*. It clearly shows that daggers (which are listed with a range increment of 10 feet) can indeed be thrown father than that.

*Note, my book is a third printing one. If your book isn't a third printing, the actual location of the quote could vary.


Geez...

Nobody said that thrown weapons can only be thrown 10 feet. I clearly pointed out in my post above that the range increments are not only wrong for the limits, but that the penalties for throwing farther than the range increments don't fall off fast enough.

Taking ranged increment penalties at fifteen feet is the problem. As I said before, it is actually harder to throw a dagger or axe ten feet than it is to throw one fifteen feet. The natural rotation of the knife or axe makes it necessary for the thrown weapon to rotate at least once to be able to be accurately and reliably thrown so that the pointy end will actually hit the target.

I will continue to use house rules for thrown weapons that make sense based on actual real world expert knife and axe throwers. The 10 foot range increment rules are ridiculous, as demonstrated by the video of the axe thrower hitting a walnut at 25 feet.

Taking a -4 to your attack throw at 25 feet is simply far too much of a penalty for ranged throwing concepts. That's a 20% additional miss chance compared to a bow user at 25 feet and that's simply not realistic based on actual demonstrated expertise by real world experts with throwing weapons.

The result is that certain character concepts are simply totally gimped compared to other simply due to the unrealistic limits that game designers who apparently never researched thrown weapons put into the game.


brassbaboon wrote:

Geez...

Nobody said that thrown weapons can only be thrown 10 feet. I clearly pointed out in my post above that the range increments are not only wrong for the limits, but that the penalties for throwing farther than the range increments don't fall off fast enough.

Taking ranged increment penalties at fifteen feet is the problem. As I said before, it is actually harder to throw a dagger or axe ten feet than it is to throw one fifteen feet. The natural rotation of the knife or axe makes it necessary for the thrown weapon to rotate at least once to be able to be accurately and reliably thrown so that the pointy end will actually hit the target.

I will continue to use house rules for thrown weapons that make sense based on actual real world expert knife and axe throwers. The 10 foot range increment rules are ridiculous, as demonstrated by the video of the axe thrower hitting a walnut at 25 feet.

Taking a -4 to your attack throw at 25 feet is simply far too much of a penalty for ranged throwing concepts. That's a 20% additional miss chance compared to a bow user at 25 feet and that's simply not realistic based on actual demonstrated expertise by real world experts with throwing weapons.

The result is that certain character concepts are simply totally gimped compared to other simply due to the unrealistic limits that game designers who apparently never researched thrown weapons put into the game.

Far Shot will help with the penalties. If your concept is "I kill things with thrown axes/daggers" you will have problems. If you just want to be "Thrown weapon guy" carrying a mix of weapons will help with the range issue. Keep a brace of javelins on you for the first round or two, then switch to daggers when things get close.

D&D/Pathfinder ranged combat is heavily slanted towards bow use. Buffing thrown weapons could open things up for abuse, so keep an eye out if you change the rules too much.

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps, Pawns Subscriber

How could that open up things for abuse?
And even if, you can still say no to abuse.
There is a difference between just making some options from unworthy to viable and abuse.


Khuldar wrote:
D&D/Pathfinder ranged combat is heavily slanted towards bow use. Buffing thrown weapons could open things up for abuse, so keep an eye out if you change the rules too much.

Would you mind explaining what you mean when you say that buffing thrown weapons would open abuse? How is closing the gap between bows and throwing weapons going to result in abuse?

Of course, any modification to the rules opens things up for abuse, but that's a general principle, and does not necessarily result in opening abuse. How does this specifically open things up for abuse?


brassbaboon wrote:
LazarX wrote:


So you're comparing hitting a tree with aiming at something that isn't quite as cooperative at standing still waiting for you to hit it?

It is amazing how many times I see this totally bogus red herring argument made about combat in role playing games. "You are really comparing hitting a dummy with hitting a moving, ducking opponent?" or, as here "You are really comparing hitting a tree with something that isn't standing still?"

Of course I am. There's a reason that military combat specialists train sharpshooters and soldiers with stationary targets. Because before you can hit a moving target you have to be able to hit a stationary target. And the difference between hitting a stationary target and a moving target is learning how to anticipate where to aim your weapon. Aiming and hitting is the same in both cases, the difference is simply anticipation and maintaining your focus while being shot at or attacked yourself. But that is what makes them soldiers and combatants, that's what they are trained to do. Becoming a soldier is not about learning how to shoot. It's about learning how to shoot while someone is shooting back at you. The shooting part is virtually the same as a recreational target shooter or hunter.

I mean what the hell, is this actually considered to be some sort of intelligent and serious criticism? Geebuz go talk to the marine drill sergeants who train their soldiers this way. Sheesh.

Talking about being trained to hit moving targets is completely irrelevant to Pathfinder. Your target's movement has no bearing on whether you can hit the target - a target sprinting perpendicular to your line of fire is just as easy to hit as if they were standing still. Their Dex bonus and other AC factors are the same regardless of their movement. The only relevant factors are your to hit bonus, their AC and the range penalties (if any).

I suspect, in the absence of penalties for your target moving, the range increment penalties are more about the fact that your target has more time to react to your throw/shot the further away they are than they are about it being harder to hit something further away.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Actually movements somehow figures into AC via the dex bonus. A static (usually unaware and therefore flat footed) opponent only gets to use his flat footed AC. During combat people are expected to move violently anyway.

But of course, an unaware running opponent would still only be able to use his/her ff AC, so it doesn't quite work in all scenarios. But them's the rules. In practice I'm not beyond giving boni and penalties to actions. You're aiming at the stationary guard for one round? +4 to attack. Your target is moving violently? ff AC +4.


I think the ranges are just fine the way they are. The rules are not meant to represent 100% reality in our world. Currently, things work out just fine. If you look at the weight of the items, you may notice that they are not the same as you would find in the real world either.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Gallo wrote:


Talking about being trained to hit moving targets is completely irrelevant to Pathfinder. Your target's movement has no bearing on whether you can hit the target - a target sprinting perpendicular to your line of fire is just as easy to hit as if they were standing still. Their Dex bonus and other AC factors are the same regardless of their movement. The only relevant factors are your to hit bonus, their AC and the range penalties (if any).

Conditions are also relevant. A defender even if remaining in the same space is assumed to be doing the proper abstracted dodge moments in order to make it more difficult to be hit. That's why being paralyzed, stunned, etc.. makes it that much more easier for targets to land a blow on you.


Nigrescence wrote:
Khuldar wrote:
D&D/Pathfinder ranged combat is heavily slanted towards bow use. Buffing thrown weapons could open things up for abuse, so keep an eye out if you change the rules too much.

Would you mind explaining what you mean when you say that buffing thrown weapons would open abuse? How is closing the gap between bows and throwing weapons going to result in abuse?

Of course, any modification to the rules opens things up for abuse, but that's a general principle, and does not necessarily result in opening abuse. How does this specifically open things up for abuse?

If I had an in-depth analysis, I would have posted the numbers, this was just a feeling. For example, one thing thrown weapons have going for them is that they tend to take buffs better. When you buy a bow, it is set to a certain strength. If you are a raging barbarian, do you carry two bows? One for your raging strength, one for calm? I'm guessing the answer is no. But with a thrown weapon, you always get the bonus you have at the moment.

I've not seriously looked at how you could break this. There are a lot of alternate class options and feats out there. I just feel that when you house rule changes you need to do so very carefully. The rules are a simulation. They might not be the best at duplicating reality, but they do hold together with a reasonable amount of balance. Just because you saw something on youtube, or can bullseye wamprats back home does not mean that the rules need to be changed.

Some of my worry is from personal experience back in a 3.5 game. We were in a starting high level game, with someone who could throw axes through dragons. He was a little hyper-optimized, and the GM probably let more slide then she should have. He had to be "retired" to keep the whole campaign from degenerating.


Khuldar wrote:
If I had an in-depth analysis, I would have posted the numbers, this was just a feeling. For example, one thing thrown weapons have going for them is that they tend to take buffs better. When you buy a bow, it is set to a certain strength. If you are a raging barbarian, do you carry two bows? One for your raging strength, one for calm? I'm guessing the answer is no. But with a thrown weapon, you always get the bonus you have at the moment.

On the other hand, you can carry elemental and bane arrows for your bow and switch in the ammunition as desired to get an extra boost, and use a magical bow with just enhancement bonuses for a nice boost to hit (useful for Rapid Shot, Deadly Aim, and iterative attacks). This way you get a maxed enhancement bonus benefit AND versatile elemental/bane potential at minimal cost by comparison (which is the biggest way to boost an archer in my opinion). If I played a raging barbarian, I might carry two masterwork bows and some magical ammunition.

Khuldar wrote:
I just feel that when you house rule changes you need to do so very carefully.

Naturally, but that's a general principle to follow. Again, my concern is how you think this would specifically be broken. As I said before, if you end up having to enchant the melee weapon with +1, Throwing, and Returning, you've already spent a +3 enchantment on the weapon for the baseline of allowing this to become "broken" (if indeed it does allow things to become broken). I feel that that's a heavy enough enchantment investment that it at best allows things to become more fair for throwers than it becomes "broken" (and it makes throwing more fun and/or viable). If the general opinion is that throwing is a suboptimal ranged option, then maybe it becomes on par for certain character builds with these changes. Your barbarian example is somewhat atypical.

So, how about we throw together two ranged characters (one bow, and one throwing), and one melee character as a baseline, and compare to see if there are any unintended consequences of these changes? Build them at level 10. Does that sound good?

My prediction is that throwing becomes more appealing, and possibly on par with non-optimized archery, with the added melee versatility, but still remains behind the melee-focused character for melee, and behind the archery-focused ranged character for ranged.

That's the real strength I see for a throwing character, with or without these changes. They gain versatility for melee or ranged, but lose on pure optimization potential for either. These changes merely lessen the divide to make it a more appealing option for those who want to have fun with it as a ranged character, but who don't want to be shoehorned into being an archer.

Khuldar wrote:
They might not be the best at duplicating reality, but they do hold together with a reasonable amount of balance. Just because you saw something on youtube, or can bullseye wamprats back home does not mean that the rules need to be changed.

Right, and I'm talking about balance, not about circumstantial personal experience. I didn't bring "reality" into this. That said, these characters are meant to be cream of the crop, best of the best, exceptional ability adventurers. That's the nature of things. Ultimately, however, this is a game, and the primary concern is balance in game. And that's my concern. Throwing just seems like too much of an inferior option with little in the way to improve it to a comparable level to archery.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Khuldar wrote:
If you are a raging barbarian, do you carry two bows? One for your raging strength, one for calm? I'm guessing the answer is no.

I always figured that if I was a barbarian in a rage, that would mean I'd be throwing down my bow and getting in my targets face to chop it to pieces with a bloody axe.


LazarX wrote:
Khuldar wrote:
If you are a raging barbarian, do you carry two bows? One for your raging strength, one for calm? I'm guessing the answer is no.
I always figured that if I was a barbarian in a rage, that would mean I'd be throwing down my bow and getting in my targets face to chop it to pieces with a bloody axe.

+1

BrassBaboon wrote:
The 10 foot range increment rules are ridiculous, as demonstrated by the video of the axe thrower hitting a walnut at 25 feet.

AC for a fine, inanimate object would be 13 (10 + 8 (size) - 5 (no Dex)). Let's even be generous and give it +2 natural armor because its, well, a tough nut. Adjusted for distance (turn range penalty to hit into a bonus to AC) and we end up with AC19. If you're an expert axe thrower, hitting AC19 shouldn't be too hard. Even if that wasn't the case, anyone can roll a natural 20. How many takes did that video require I wonder?

That said, the biggest problem I have with the way throwing weapons are handled in Pathfinder (next to the expense of enchanting them, anyway) is the change to Far Shot. Instead of doubling the range increment, we now halve the penalties. Which is all fine and good on paper. The problem I have with it however is that its made things that should be very difficult but possible, to simply impossible.

The javelin example is a good one. Absolutely granted, competitive javelin throwing is not meant to hit a particular spot, just get as much distance as possible. It should be extremely difficult to throw a javelin at a target 300' away and actually hit it. It should be at least possible though, and without spending 8000 GP on a single item.


Hayato Ken wrote:
I would somehow suggest at least double the range of thrown weapons, it seems more sensible to me this way.

Sorry, there is a rule in this game that no ranged weapon is to be close to as good as a composite bow. Even exotic ranged weapons.

Making other types of ranged weapons stack up decently to bows is not allowed.


ZappoHisbane wrote:
The javelin example is a good one. Absolutely granted, competitive javelin throwing is not meant to hit a particular spot, just get as much distance as possible. It should be extremely difficult to throw a javelin at a target 300' away and actually hit it. It should be at least possible though, and without spending 8000 GP on a single item.

Spear Thrower from AA usable for Darts, Javelins and Shortspears to double their range increment. 1gp Yes, it does take a move action to load the spear into the thrower, but combined with the combat trait Strong Arm, Supple Wrist which gives you +10 range when you move before throwing such weapons, you've gained 50' bonus range increment to a single toss.

It doesn't solve the OP's issue with shuriken range for a ninja, but the only option for that I've seen is under the Empty Hand monk archetype that gains 'spend 1 ki to double the range increment of shuriken for one round'
I'm not certain why this ki use isn't in the base powers, other than they felt making the archetype's max ranged ability 50' was too hindering.


LazarX wrote:
Gallo wrote:


Talking about being trained to hit moving targets is completely irrelevant to Pathfinder. Your target's movement has no bearing on whether you can hit the target - a target sprinting perpendicular to your line of fire is just as easy to hit as if they were standing still. Their Dex bonus and other AC factors are the same regardless of their movement. The only relevant factors are your to hit bonus, their AC and the range penalties (if any).

Conditions are also relevant. A defender even if remaining in the same space is assumed to be doing the proper abstracted dodge moments in order to make it more difficult to be hit. That's why being paralyzed, stunned, etc.. makes it that much more easier for targets to land a blow on you.

True. Though I figured all the penalties or bonuses that accrue from different conditions essentially modify either the target's AC or the attacker's to hit bonus.

By not moving I meant being not moving out of the 5 foot square, as opposed to standing still with a bullseye painted on your chest ;-)


I'm suprised that in a thread about throwing weapons nobody has mentioned the Hurling Barbarian. Suprising that even he only gets a 10' boost to thrown range.

It's quite obvious that thrown weapons are greatly hindered compared to bows. With exception to shuriken, drawing a thrown weapon is a move action unless you have Quick Draw (correct me if I'm wrong). It's also unclear if you can full attack with the "Returning" property. A hurler is expected to have Returning Distance ammunition with the Far Shot feat and is still only able to throw 2 things a round at a max distance of 100' at a -4 penalty. 3.5 had a hurler prestige class to offset this, wonder if PF will be getting one as well.

I just had a sudden thought of a Halfling Alchemist using a Halfling Sling to throw bombs... *Runs to attempt to build the character*


For whatever reason, deliberate preference for bows over other ranged weapons, or simple near-criminal ignorance about basic thrown weapon facts, the game designers have gimped thrown weapon concepts to the point that they are nearly impossible to build and play in any serious campaign.

I don't mind house ruling the thrown weapon rules to allow a player to play a completely balanced concept character that is simply uber cool to those of us who like the concept.

I've played a number of thrown weapon concepts and the feat cost and dual stat needs make them virtually impossible to build and maintain any equivalence with any other ranged weapon attacker.

To suggest that increasing the range limits on daggers and hand axes by 50% is somehow unbalancing the game is honestly laughably ridiculous.


brassbaboon wrote:


To suggest that increasing the range limits on daggers and hand axes by 50% is somehow unbalancing the game is honestly laughably ridiculous.

It's not unbalancing the game for the majority of thrown weapons. I would be careful to not increase the range for anything at 30ft range (javelins, chakrams, ect). Shurikens are in need for the biggest boost to range. It doesn't make sense that a Chakram gets 30ft but a shuriken gets 10. I'd forgive the shuriken its 10ft range if it had the 3.0 rule of being able to throw 3 at a time.


matiez wrote:

I'm suprised that in a thread about throwing weapons nobody has mentioned the Hurling Barbarian. Suprising that even he only gets a 10' boost to thrown range.

It's quite obvious that thrown weapons are greatly hindered compared to bows. With exception to shuriken, drawing a thrown weapon is a move action unless you have Quick Draw (correct me if I'm wrong). It's also unclear if you can full attack with the "Returning" property. A hurler is expected to have Returning Distance ammunition with the Far Shot feat and is still only able to throw 2 things a round at a max distance of 100' at a -4 penalty. 3.5 had a hurler prestige class to offset this, wonder if PF will be getting one as well.

I just had a sudden thought of a Halfling Alchemist using a Halfling Sling to throw bombs... *Runs to attempt to build the character*

You are correct about the move action to draw without Quickdraw. It is, however, abundantly clear that Returning gives you the weapon back at the beginning of your next turn, so you can't throw the same weapon 4 times. I would like to see a +2 version of Returning that immediately returns it upon striking a target or missing.

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps, Pawns Subscriber
Serisan wrote:


You are correct about the move action to draw without Quickdraw. It is, however, abundantly clear that Returning gives you the weapon back at the beginning of your next turn, so you can't throw the same weapon 4 times. I would like to see a +2 version of Returning that immediately returns it upon striking a target or missing.

Something like this exists in a certain 3PP Feats collection, its caled fast returning if i remember correctly.

Being able to throw 3 shuriken at once, my level 10 ninja with his sniper goggles, ki haste and flurry of stars could deal 5*3*5d6+1shuriken+10 sniper goggles sneak attack without any weapon qualities/poison. What would lead to 615 max damage, average 310 per round. Even without boosting its still two attacks with 6*5d6, what would edfinately overpowered!

All i ask is being able to throw it approximately 30 feet far without taking -4 to hit. I mean without Sneak attack shuriken deal 1d3 damage, 1 for small characters.


Hayato Ken wrote:
Serisan wrote:


You are correct about the move action to draw without Quickdraw. It is, however, abundantly clear that Returning gives you the weapon back at the beginning of your next turn, so you can't throw the same weapon 4 times. I would like to see a +2 version of Returning that immediately returns it upon striking a target or missing.

Something like this exists in a certain 3PP Feats collection, its caled fast returning if i remember correctly.

Being able to throw 3 shuriken at once, my level 10 ninja with his sniper goggles, ki haste and flurry of stars could deal 5*3*5d6+1shuriken+10 sniper goggles sneak attack without any weapon qualities/poison. What would lead to 615 max damage, average 310 per round. Even without boosting its still two attacks with 6*5d6, what would edfinately overpowered!

All i ask is being able to throw it approximately 30 feet far without taking -4 to hit. I mean without Sneak attack shuriken deal 1d3 damage, 1 for small characters.

The overpowered part of this character is sneak attack plus optimized magic items plus exploiting a specific weapon type, not the range limits of a character, and attempting to limit this sort of cheese by applying ridiculous range limitations is like trying to fix a broken transmission with sawdust in your oil.


brassbaboon wrote:
Hayato Ken wrote:

Being able to throw 3 shuriken at once, my level 10 ninja with his sniper goggles, ki haste and flurry of stars could deal 5*3*5d6+1shuriken+10 sniper goggles sneak attack without any weapon qualities/poison. What would lead to 615 max damage, average 310 per round. Even without boosting its still two attacks with 6*5d6, what would edfinately overpowered!

All i ask is being able to throw it approximately 30 feet far without taking -4 to hit. I mean without Sneak attack shuriken deal 1d3 damage, 1 for small characters.

The overpowered part of this character is sneak attack plus optimized magic items plus exploiting a specific weapon type, not the range limits of a character, and attempting to limit this sort of cheese by applying ridiculous range limitations is like trying to fix a broken transmission with sawdust in your oil.

Unless something's changed that I'm not familiar with, it's not as overpowered as it seems. Don't forget that Shuriken are considered ammunition, and thus are only good for 1 hit and only have 50% chance of being found usable on a miss. Not to mention that being able to throw 3 at once is explicitly NOT available in Pathfinder (unless the Ninja changes that; not familiar with the playtest). Even if you could, it's going to get real expensive, real quick.

Honestly, I think if we went back to the old Far Shot feat then everything would be just fine as far as ranges go. Let's not forget that Shurikens have never been intended (in real life or otherwise) as primary, deadly weapons. Their short range and low damage reflect that. I've never considered the standard Dagger to be a throwing knife, so the 10' range increment on that makes sense too. If you're looking for throwing knives like Danny Trejo from Desperado, I think the Dart is a far closer analogue. It does the same damage with double the range and half the weight. Just file off the serial numbers and you're set.

By far the biggest obstacle to creating a viable thrown weapon concept is not the range of the weapons but the cost of magical weapons. With the current system you'd be insane to spend a large portion of your wealth at low levels on a weapon that you're going to literally throw away, with no chance of getting it back. Once you're higher level you can afford the 8,000 GP it'll cost for a Returning weapon, but then you're still stuck with a single attack and you're rooted in place waiting for the weapon to come back. Meanwhile others have spent that same gold to give themselves far more effective enhancements to their weapons. Many (including myself) have proposed new magic items or changes to magic thrown weapons to correct this, but right now it's all just house rule territory.


The best thing about thrown weapons is not needing archery feats to use them.

A normal 2hander can chuck a javelin and get as much damage as with his sword.

Even better for TWF.
Say you're the.party blender, with quickdraw and a couple of weapon cords.

Difficult terrain and can't close. Chuck those throwing daggers.


STR Ranger wrote:
A normal 2hander can chuck a javelin and get as much damage as with his sword.

Hmmmm... *goes to check his javelin-bearing fighter's numbers.

sword: +29/24/19, 1d8+17+2d6 holy
javelin: +19/14/9, 1d6+9

Nope. Not the same.

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps, Pawns Subscriber

In PF its not overpowered with sneak attack, but it would be if you could throw 3 at once. Also i have to say, we fought some barbed devils and it was kind of hard for me to pierce their damage reduction.

To fix the waste magical amunition problem with this combat style, i invented something like the amulet of mighty fists, only for ranged combat or thrown weapons. I don´t use it at the moent though cause its not really cheap. What i use though is a wristsheath enchanted like an efficient quiver, only matched for smaller things like shuriken, slingbullets and a slingstaff i use.

STR Ranger, you want to apply feats for melee to ranged weapon use?
Don´t forget, shooting or throwing into melee gets -4 not to hit your teammates. And how do you get as much weapon damage with a javelin as with your sword?


Most, if not all, of my thrown weapon specialists have lots and lots of daggers or axes on their person and the quickdraw feat. Most, if not all, are thrown weapon specialists but are also quite effective in melee with those same weapons.

In some cases I work with the GM to allow ammo enchantments to be put on the thrown weapon. The enchantment is automatically used up on any attack, so the thrown dagger becomes a standard dagger after the attack. It can be re-enchanted, but it loses the initial enchantment.

Also, for flavor purposes, my thrown weapon characters carry special balanced daggers or axes which cost more than standard daggers. I like the addition of star knives in Pathfinder but haven't played a thrown weapon specialist in PF yet.

Thrown weapon characters are best when they are also effective in melee. A dex-based melee character can be quite effective with the "weapon finesse" feat. Dex buffs then increase both their ability to hit and their AC. They do suffer a bit from reduced damage per hit, but usually make up for some of this with more successful attacks, especially when they can do full attacks.

None of my thrown weapon specialists have ever invested in returning weapons. This is primarily because returning weapons don't return until the next round, and my thrown weapon specialists are usually moving every turn. When I can't get the GM to allow ammo enchants on thrown weapons, I usually just end up buffing my character and using non-magical daggers. If the target requires magical weapons to damage, my character generally becomes a melee combatant with a magical dagger or short sword that they don't throw. Or rarely throw.

I do really enjoy the concept of the dagger thrower, and it does bug me that it is so hard to create a viable thrown weapon character in PF. That's one of the things in 4e that I like, thrown weapon concepts are far more effective in 4e.

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