The Rope Dart Problem.


Rules Questions

Grand Lodge

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Ok, so a rope dart is listed as being: ' a 12-foot rope with a 6-inch-long, conical metal spike at the end'. I foresee a couple problems with this.

1) 20 ft. range increment. How is a 12.5 foot long weapon going to reach 20 feet and still allow you to pull it back as a free action?

2) 20 ft. range INCREMENT. How can you pull 100 ft. of total length out of a 12.5 foot long rope and STILL BE ABLE TO WHIP IT BACK INTO YOUR HAND AS A FREE ACTION. This makes no sense.

Is there a logical explanation? Because the rope dart description doesn't give one.

I know there is some talk about this over on the How does a rope dart function? thread. (located here: http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2oz9c?How-does-a-rope-dart-function), but it was not the main topic.


The range increment only governs the attack penalties you'll get based on distance to target. Obviously you can only retrieve it over distances below 12'.

You *can* throw it at someone 100' away (at a significant penalty), you're just going to have to go collect it in person.


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Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

It's a very silly weapon, and ought to be ignored.

See? Problem solved. <g>

Grand Lodge

Ring_of_Gyges wrote:

The range increment only governs the attack penalties you'll get based on distance to target. Obviously you can only retrieve it over distances below 12'.

You *can* throw it at someone 100' away (at a significant penalty), you're just going to have to go collect it in person.

According to the weapon's description, you *can* throw it 100' away and then draw it back. But I do see what you're saying, and if I were to run a game where a player used a rope dart, I would use your ruling.

Perhaps I will bring the question to James Jacobs. That could be interesting.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

It says 'similar to a meteor hammer' and 'with great reach'.

10ft is the normal distance for a reach weapon. It does not say it can be retrieved at 'great distance'.


I have no idea how this weapon is supposed to work. Is it a free action to pull it back? The descriptions appear to be two amounts of fluff text.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

There should be an option to attach a way longer rope and then a "rapid pull-back" feat^^


I suppose the one thing that has any similar mechanic to a pullback mechanic is a weapon cord, and that's a swift action. I suppose that means the rope dart might function as a weapon cord built in maybe?


Garbage-Tier Waifu wrote:
I suppose the one thing that has any similar mechanic to a pullback mechanic is a weapon cord, and that's a swift action. I suppose that means the rope dart might function as a weapon cord built in maybe?

Weapon cords aren't swift actions any more.


Oh right, move actions.

Anyway, I found out it was errata'd so it can be pulled back with a free action. BUT nothing on the range increments. So....


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The rope-dart presents itself to me like a half-baked try to fix the shuriken paradox.


Just your average clone wrote:

Ok, so a rope dart is listed as being: ' a 12-foot rope with a 6-inch-long, conical metal spike at the end'. I foresee a couple problems with this.

1) 20 ft. range increment. How is a 12.5 foot long weapon going to reach 20 feet and still allow you to pull it back as a free action?

2) 20 ft. range INCREMENT. How can you pull 100 ft. of total length out of a 12.5 foot long rope and STILL BE ABLE TO WHIP IT BACK INTO YOUR HAND AS A FREE ACTION. This makes no sense.

Is there a logical explanation? Because the rope dart description doesn't give one.

I know there is some talk about this over on the How does a rope dart function? thread. (located here: http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2oz9c?How-does-a-rope-dart-function), but it was not the main topic.

1: A head butt has a reach of 5', so add 5' to 12.5' and you'll see that the weapon reaches that 20' square.

Secondly, there is NO free action pull back. The ability to "quickly retrieve" has no listed action so it's part of wielding the weapon: a non-action like nocking an arrow is part of an attack with a bow and NOT it's own action.

2: You can toss past 20' but you aren't holding it any longer: see the harpoon for rope weapons with variable lengths [normally comes with 50' but you can shorten it]. It says you can retrieve a rope dart with a quick tug of the rope, not that the rope reaches 100' so you have to move 80' and pick up the rope to use the 'quick tug' again. ;)


Honestly, it should have been a melee reach weapon, able to attack at melee between 10-20 ft. with a thrown range increment of 20 ft. and able to attack adjacent squares at a penalty. I'm a fan of using weapons based on being "cool" rather than effective, but the way Paizo makes it work really doesn't give careful consideration to how an actual rope dart functions.


Any chance the rope is elastic enough to stretch 100'?


kadance wrote:
Any chance the rope is elastic enough to stretch 100'?

To be fair you'd need an elastic substance that can easily stretch 5 times its length from the force of the dart pulling it, but strong enough that it wouldn't snap when you pull it back to restrict how far it's flying. Something like a rubber band would stretch far enough, but snap once the opposing force pulls on it. A bungee cord is strong enough to stop the dart's flight, but nowhere near elastic enough that something only a pound or so could stretch it five times its contracted length. Besides that, a rope dart usually is attached to... well, a rope. Which isn't elastic AT ALL.

Grand Lodge

I mean, it's also pretty hard to imagine ANYONE throwing a small metal spike 100 ft. seriously, that thing is difficult to throw 20 ft. in the first place.

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