Do you think the 5E sharpshooter feat applies to thrown weapons?


4th Edition


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I'd be interested to hear any thoughts (or where people think it sits on the ambiguous-obvious scale).


Steve Geddes wrote:
I'd be interested to hear any thoughts (or where people think it sits on the ambiguous-obvious scale).

The rules only recognized 2 types of weapons: melee weapons, and ranged weapons. The table lists what weapons are what category.

The feat only applies to ranged weapons. So if the weapon in question is listed as a ranged weapon, it would get the benefits. However, most thrown weapons are listed as melee weapons, so wouldn't be eligible for the feat.

Though in my opinion, all thrown weapons should qualify.


I think this should clear it up
Page 147

If a weapon has the thrown property, you can throw the weapon to make a ranged attack

and the feat simply says it applies to ranged attacks

So I would think that it does.

Edit - Nope, I changed my mind and agree with Jeraa, the feat does use the words Ranged weapon which should be the starting point of the discussion


Terquem wrote:

I think this should clear it up

Page 147

If a weapon has the thrown property, you can throw the weapon to make a ranged attack

and the feat simply says it applies to ranged attacks

So I would think that it does.

The feat specifies it applies to ranged weapon attacks. Most thrown weapons are not considered ranged weapons. They are listed under "melee weapon" on the weapons table.

It should work, but the way the feat is written seems to disallow it from applying to most thrown weapons.


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I don't think it applies, but I see an ambiguity in the phrasing around whether the feat is referring to a ranged weapon attack (in which case a thrown weapon would benefit but not a magic missile) or a ranged weapon attack (in which case bashing them with the butt of your crossbow might apply).

(I don't have my book with me, but it came up in conversation and I could see the point).


Making a ranged attack with a Weapon means that the Sharpshooter feat should apply. I don't see why it wouldn't?

If they wanted Sharpshooter to apply to just bows and stuff with ammo, then it should've only said "projectile" weapons. Otherwise, any weapon that used with a range greater than melee would be applicable. Further, why is that a bad thing?


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Diffan wrote:
Making a ranged attack with a Weapon means that the Sharpshooter feat should apply. I don't see why it wouldn't?

Because the feat might be interpreted as referring to making an attack with a ranged weapon (and thrown weapons aren't ranged weapons, as per the table).

Quote:
If they wanted Sharpshooter to apply to just bows and stuff with ammo, then it should've only said "projectile" weapons. Otherwise, any weapon that used with a range greater than melee would be applicable. Further, why is that a bad thing?

I don't think "projectile weapon" is a thing in the 5E rules, is it?


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I don't think it's a bad thing, but I do think its ambiguous.


When weapons with the "thrown" property are thrown, they are ranged weapons.

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It applies as long as the weapon is being used as a ranged weapon at the time. Too much "overthink" going on.


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The question is easy to resolve, I'm curious whether people are reading 5E rules in the same manner as they read other modern games.

It certainly seems ambiguous (3 people think it applies, 2 people think it doesn't but should).


Mike Mearls -

"Does a dagger count as both a melee and a ranged weapon for feats? In other words can I use the sharpshooter feat with a dagger? yes - it might feel unintuitive for the bonus damage, but it doesn't break anything"

Link


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You know, this makes me want to say this

With all the success of "dystopian future" novels today I think I will write one of my own in which the future is a horrible, soul sucking place where EVERYONE plays D&D the exact same way


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Chuck Wright wrote:
It applies as long as the weapon is being used as a ranged weapon at the time. Too much "overthink" going on.

This precisely. 5E is not designed for hair-splitting, and the distinction between "ranged weapon" and "ranged attack" is reading too much into it.

-The Gneech

Shadow Lodge

Chuck Wright wrote:
It applies as long as the weapon is being used as a ranged weapon at the time. Too much "overthink" going on.

People here are used to Pathfinder, where there is a ONE TRUE RULES-AS-WRITTEN, and you MUST find it, even if it involves parsing a rulebook word by work numerous times.

:P


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I clearly didn't explain myself very well. You "don't overthink it" guys are missing the point of this thread. I just grabbed a rule as an example - I don't really care what anyone thinks about that specific feat, it works for thrown weapons at my table and that's that.

I'm curious about how people are approaching reading 5E - as you might read an OSRIC-all-rules-are-guidelines rule book or as you would read a PF/4E-all-terms-are-defined/codified game.

The question is specifically about different play styles, so there can't be a right answer.


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Steve Geddes wrote:

I clearly didn't explain myself very well. You "don't overthink it" guys are missing the point of this thread. I just grabbed a rule as an example - I don't really care what anyone thinks about that specific feat, it works for thrown weapons at my table and that's that.

I'm curious about how people are approaching reading 5E - as you might read an OSRIC-all-rules-are-guidelines rule book or as you would read a PF/4E-all-terms-are-defined/codified game.

The question is specifically about different play styles, so there can't be a right answer.

In general I think 5e will prove resistant to rules-lawyering. There are fewer rules, and they have taken care to not attempt to codify every conceivable scenario, opting instead for broader rules and more reliance on the DM's ability to adjudicate (and making it fairly easy for them to do so since most of it revolves around advantage). More rules, especially specific corner-case rules, means more arguing about rules. Fewer, broader rules means less arguing about who is "correct" and more negotiating/roleplaying/adjudicating between players and the DM.


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Yeah, I really like the shift away from careful delineation and codification. I hope it works out the way you describe.


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Steve Geddes wrote:

I clearly didn't explain myself very well. You "don't overthink it" guys are missing the point of this thread. I just grabbed a rule as an example - I don't really care what anyone thinks about that specific feat, it works for thrown weapons at my table and that's that.

I'm curious about how people are approaching reading 5E - as you might read an OSRIC-all-rules-are-guidelines rule book or as you would read a PF/4E-all-terms-are-defined/codified game.

The question is specifically about different play styles, so there can't be a right answer.

Well, my answer still stands. 5E is written with the assumption of a general sensibility, which is referenced again and again in the way different types of armor buffs don't stack, you just pick the best one, or advantage and disadvantage cancel each other out, or you can play with or without a tactical map. When in doubt about a decision, choose the simpler, less granular answer.

Hence, the "don't overthink it" answers. That is how you approach it. :)

-The Gneech


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Sounds like a good approach to me. Just not the only one.

I'm surprised 5E hasn't copped more flak for its looseness. Granted most of my reading of rules discussion has been about pathfinder, nonetheless I thought the extreme-codification=clear=good paradigm was deeply ingrained in today's RPG culture. Apparently not (which does make me tangentially wonder why rules debates about PF go the way they do).


Steve Geddes wrote:

Sounds like a good approach to me. Just not the only one.

I'm surprised 5E hasn't copped more flak for its looseness. Granted most of my reading of rules discussion has been about pathfinder, nonetheless I thought the extreme-codification=clear=good paradigm was deeply ingrained in today's RPG culture. Apparently not (which does make me tangentially wonder why rules debates about PF go the way they do).

The thing is most RPGs are not as highly complex or wordy as 3.5 or Pathfinder or 4e. I have a fair number of RPGs on my shelf, and PF tops the complexity curve. So 5e probably falls pretty nicely into the average complexity/looseness category.


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Steve Geddes wrote:
...(which does make me tangentially wonder why rules debates about PF go the way they do).

They go that way because the rules are there to fuel them. Without the fuel, the debates die down. PF emphasizes system mastery and rewards the person who spends more time scouring the rules and arguing about what applies. 5e rewards critical thinking and creativity, and only needs one or two rules to support that emphasis (advantage and inspiration).


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Maybe it's volume of rules which encourages that philosophy

I find it odd, since I use the same "do what makes sense to you" approach when adjudicating pathfinder (and I think that's what the PF rules say to do) yet the rules forum seems to eschew that approach in favour of semantics and pseudo-legal analysis (I'm not using that in a negative way),


Steve Geddes wrote:
Maybe it's volume of rules which encourages that philosophy

Yeah, that's exactly what I mean.


Steve Geddes wrote:

Sounds like a good approach to me. Just not the only one.

I'm surprised 5E hasn't copped more flak for its looseness. Granted most of my reading of rules discussion has been about pathfinder, nonetheless I thought the extreme-codification=clear=good paradigm was deeply ingrained in today's RPG culture. Apparently not (which does make me tangentially wonder why rules debates about PF go the way they do).

Because it's deeply ingrained in PF's culture. (And particularly in the Paizo (and probably other PF rules forum) culture)

Not in RPG culture in general.


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That may well be true too. I don't have wide experience with RPG culture (although I saw a similar trend in 3.5 and 4E discussions too, so I'm not sure it's just PF/paizo).


Steve Geddes wrote:
That may well be true too. I don't have wide experience with RPG culture (although I saw a similar trend in 3.5 and 4E discussions too, so I'm not sure it's just PF/paizo).

True. It's really a 3.x thing. Not sure about 4E.

More generally, it's a specific game thing. Some game systems and cultures encourage it, some don't.


Steve Geddes wrote:

Maybe it's volume of rules which encourages that philosophy

I find it odd, since I use the same "do what makes sense to you" approach when adjudicating pathfinder (and I think that's what the PF rules say to do) yet the rules forum seems to eschew that approach in favour of semantics and pseudo-legal analysis (I'm not using that in a negative way),

I think one of the issues is that 3e, and by extension Pathfinder, are very complex games, rule-wise, and even a small spur-of-the-moment ruling can have some pretty far reaching consequences. 5e, at least at this point, seems less prone to "unexpected consequences".

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I could swear I saw a WoG tweet that Sharpshooter applies to thrown weapons, but I can't seem to find it now.


Steve Geddes wrote:
The question is easy to resolve, I'm curious whether people are reading 5E rules in the same manner as they read other modern games.

I think it largely depends on the tone of the game. It could be argued that games which attempt to simulate everything in the name of "realism" are simply reaping what they have sown.

In the case of 5E, I'd just rule "of course it applies" and move on.


bugleyman wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
The question is easy to resolve, I'm curious whether people are reading 5E rules in the same manner as they read other modern games.
I think it largely depends on the tone of the game. It could be argued that games which attempt to simulate everything in the name of "realism" are simply reaping what they have sown.

I think it has more to do with the development of an RPG as legalese language. Using predominately words that are defined within the game, related to but not completely, as their real world counterpart. It's a style of writing choice.

For example, 13th Age is written in a much more conversational style, with authorial intent spelled out directly on the page. There are comments about stacking, allowing something to be powerful or trying to limit it's power.

Pathfinder though is written as if it were it's own language. Terms get defined within the system and then that definition is required usage throughout all the books. I think part of this stems from the culture of players (by that I mean anyone who plays PF, regardless of role at the table) who want clear and definite definitions that can only be interpreted one way. It also aids when you have multiple authors, so avoiding their interpretations improves the overall flow and continuity of the games language.

It has nothing to do with the style of the game itself, but rather a legalistic approach to having things that can only be interpreted in one way. You get the same kind of language in M:tG, because it's important that the game be played exactly the same everywhere, since people have a lot of money riding on the outcome, the rules need to be perfectly predictable and not open to subjective interpretation.

This doesn't mean that PF can only be played one way, but that there is a one-true way according to how it was written and that is intentional.

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Petty Alchemy wrote:
I could swear I saw a WoG tweet that Sharpshooter applies to thrown weapons, but I can't seem to find it now.

It's been linked in the threat already.

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Misery wrote:
Petty Alchemy wrote:
I could swear I saw a WoG tweet that Sharpshooter applies to thrown weapons, but I can't seem to find it now.
It's been linked in the threat already.

Wizards said use this rule, or else!! (j/k)

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