Leaping lizards


3.5/d20/OGL

Silver Crusade

I got an interesting request from the druid in the group that I DM for. The party was on one side of a pit trap with hobgoblins on the other side. The druid has a monitor lizard as his animal companion. The druid had the fighter of the group throw the druid's lizard across the pit and have it attack the hobgoblins. I was unsure how to handle this. I made the ftr make a strength check to throw a 50lb.(???) lizard and he made it. The sticking point is that there wasn't a square for the lizard to land in so he had to land in the same square as the hobgoblin. I went ahead and let him do this and let the lizard make a normal attack as I wasn't sure how to handle this and didn't want to spend the time trying to figure it out but I thought I'd post it up here and see what others would do in this situation.


I would use the thrown splash weapon. However, the weight of the lizard is a problem. My rule of thumb is that any creature can only "throw" something that is less than half its "light" load in weight. Range category 5' (max range 5 categories as per PH). Otherwise they can only toss it 5', flat.

So, for your fighter to throw this poor lizard anything further than 5' in my game would have required 18 STR (100 lb light load). At a range of 15' the range penalty would be -4, but he would be targeting a square that is AC5 to hit with his base bonus. I would NOT apply the strength bonus, as he needs his strength just to get the scale bomb over the pit.

When the lizard hits, he is prone and must make a DC10 Jump check to avoid taking 1d6 pts of damage and be stunned for 1 round.

...plus, wouldn't this lizard bite the sh*t out of this fighter when he picked it up and the lizard realized he was about to do something unnatural to him?

Lizard bombs? Sounds like a Monty Python skit...maybe the druid can teach the lizard to lay on his back and make ticking noises while the nervous hobgoblins try to disarm him by unscrewing his tail.


farewell2kings wrote:

I would use the thrown splash weapon. However, the weight of the lizard is a problem. My rule of thumb is that any creature can only "throw" something that is less than half its "light" load in weight. Range category 5' (max range 5 categories as per PH). Otherwise they can only toss it 5', flat.

So, for your fighter to throw this poor lizard anything further than 5' in my game would have required 18 STR (100 lb light load). At a range of 15' the range penalty would be -4, but he would be targeting a square that is AC5 to hit with his base bonus. I would NOT apply the strength bonus, as he needs his strength just to get the scale bomb over the pit.

When the lizard hits, he is prone and must make a DC10 Jump check to avoid taking 1d6 pts of damage and be stunned for 1 round.

...plus, wouldn't this lizard bite the sh*t out of this fighter when he picked it up and the lizard realized he was about to do something unnatural to him?

Lizard bombs? Sounds like a Monty Python skit...maybe the druid can teach the lizard to lay on his back and make ticking noises while the nervous hobgoblins try to disarm him by unscrewing his tail.

All of this sounds pretty reasonable - on top of that I'm certian the creature in whose space the lizard lands would get an attack of opportunity.


Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:


All of this sounds pretty reasonable - on top of that I'm certian the creature in whose space the lizard lands would get an attack of opportunity.

Yep, definitely....that throw was most certainly not a 5' step.


I agree with Farewell2kings in regards to the lizard being prone, possibly damaged and stunned. I don't own a monitor lizard (though I know someone who does) but I do own a 5' python. If I threw him at somebody, he'd be p*ssed when he landed (the snake I mean, but...well, I guess the target wouldn't be too happy either) but I doubt he'd do anything but recoil in pain at first.
I also agree about allowing the target an attack of opportunity. You throw so much as a scrunchled wad of paper at me I'm going to defend myself/bat it away; say nothing about some nasty lizard flying in my direction! Game on!


farewell2kings wrote:

I would use the thrown splash weapon. However, the weight of the lizard is a problem. My rule of thumb is that any creature can only "throw" something that is less than half its "light" load in weight. Range category 5' (max range 5 categories as per PH). Otherwise they can only toss it 5', flat.

So, for your fighter to throw this poor lizard anything further than 5' in my game would have required 18 STR (100 lb light load). At a range of 15' the range penalty would be -4, but he would be targeting a square that is AC5 to hit with his base bonus. I would NOT apply the strength bonus, as he needs his strength just to get the scale bomb over the pit.

When the lizard hits, he is prone and must make a DC10 Jump check to avoid taking 1d6 pts of damage and be stunned for 1 round.

...plus, wouldn't this lizard bite the sh*t out of this fighter when he picked it up and the lizard realized he was about to do something unnatural to him?

Lizard bombs? Sounds like a Monty Python skit...maybe the druid can teach the lizard to lay on his back and make ticking noises while the nervous hobgoblins try to disarm him by unscrewing his tail.

Agreeing with everyone else so far, I would have run it thus:

1. Assuming enough STR to throw the lizard in the first place (1/2 of Lt. Encumbrance sounds good) and the lizard doesn't object to the handling (Handle Animal check?), roll a 'to hit' or roll on the scatter table;

2. Defender gets an Att. of Opp. on the airborne lizard that is 'Bull Rushing' his square;

3. Lizard gets a Bull Rush attack, probably at a bonus due to velocity - if it fails, the defenders have held their ground and the lizard bounces off of them, into the pit... If the lizard wins, it gets the square and pushes the defenders back - but then it has to make its Jump check or take damage and stun upon landing;

4. Initiative progresses normally...if the defenders go before the lizard (especially if it is stunned), they might kill it before it can attack - or even Bull Rush it into the pit.

M


Everything sounds reasonable, but I have a question...why didn't they just use their ranged weapons to deal with the hobgoblins? That would have made much more sense rather than throwing a lizard at the monsters, IMO.
Another thing you could have done was treat the lizard as a ranged (thrown) weapon. The player would have rolled to see if he got the lizard across and in the square he wanted and then, if he did, the lizard would have caused some damage or forced the hobgoblin back. Then initiative would proceed as normal.

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