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Monk Special Weapons

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Anonymous
August 7, 2005 8:43:10 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Monk Special Weapons

I’ve never been happy with how 3.0/3.5 rules have dealt with Monk
specialty weapons. Lets look at the official SRD first:

“When using flurry of blows, a monk may attack only with unarmed strikes
or with special monk weapons (kama, nunchaku, quarterstaff, sai,
shuriken, and siangham). She may attack with unarmed strikes and special
monk weapons interchangeably as desired. When using weapons as part of a
flurry of blows, a monk applies her Strength bonus (not Str bonus x
1-1/2 or x 1/2) to her damage rolls for all successful attacks, whether
she wields a weapon in one or both hands. The monk can’t use any weapon
other than a special monk weapon as part of a flurry of blows.”

With the exception of the quarterstaff all of these weapons are very
Asian in design. There’s nothing wrong with Asian weapons, I’m rather
fond of the tetsubo myself. But in a fantasy world that is trying to be
“generic” they seem out of place. Not to mention a world that has quite
a few races that aren’t from reality at all.

The intent of the designers seems to have been to offer the Monk a
selection of weapons that would cover all of the damage type bases
(Bludgeoning, Piercing and Slashing). They also threw in a few special
abilities as well, i. e. Tripping and Disarming. In and of themselves
these aren’t bad ideas. I just think that they weren’t well executed and
were shoehorned into an Asian mold.

Lets look at each weapon individually (data from the SRD):

“Kama: The kama is a special monk weapon. This designation gives a monk
wielding a kama special options.

You can use a kama to make trip attacks. If you are tripped during your
own trip attempt, you can drop the kama to avoid being tripped.”

This is a Slashing weapon that offers the user the special ability of
making a Trip attack. This weapon design is taken from an agricultural
tool still in use today. Not a bad design but it is very much an Asian
item.

“Nunchaku: The nunchaku is a special monk weapon. This designation gives
a monk wielding a nunchaku special options. With a nunchaku, you get a
+2 bonus on opposed attack rolls made to disarm an enemy (including the
roll to avoid being disarmed if such an attempt fails).”

A Bludgeoning weapon that offers a Disarm specialty attack. Also derived
from an Asian agricultural tool.

“Quarterstaff: A quarterstaff is a double weapon. You can fight with it
as if fighting with two weapons, but if you do, you incur all the normal
attack penalties associated with fighting with two weapons, just as if
you were using a one-handed weapon and a light weapon. A creature
wielding a quarterstaff in one hand can’t use it as a double weapon—only
one end of the weapon can be used in any given round.

The quarterstaff is a special monk weapon. This designation gives a monk
wielding a quarterstaff special options.”

The classic staff. I wouldn’t alter this weapon at all. Both because
it’s ubiquitous to every culture and such a stable of RPG’s.

House Rule Idea: I’ve often thought that the quarterstaff should be more
attractive to Fighters. One idea I had was to allow a Fighter to take an
“exotic” Feat in the quarterstaff. This would change the stats to
1d6/1d6 (Small) or 1d8/1d8 (Medium) x3. Giving the weapon the same stats
as an Orc Double Axe. Since the Double Axe is considered balanced I
think this idea would fit into the rules easily.

“Sai: With a sai, you get a +4 bonus on opposed attack rolls made to
disarm an enemy (including the roll to avoid being disarmed if such an
attempt fails).

The sai is a special monk weapon. This designation gives a monk wielding
a sai special options.”

A second Bludgeoning weapon with a Disarm special attack. The special
attack bonus is better than the Nunchaku. I’m not sure why anyone would
take the Nunchakus in preference to the Sai. This weapon is at least not
derived from an agricultural tool. In the real world these weapons were
sometimes sharpened. I realize that the damage is slightly lower but the
addition of a Ranged attack makes up for that deficit.

“Shuriken: A shuriken is a special monk weapon. This designation gives a
monk wielding shuriken special options. A shuriken can’t be used as a
melee weapon.

Although they are thrown weapons, shuriken are treated as ammunition for
the purposes of drawing them, crafting masterwork or otherwise special
versions of them and what happens to them after they are thrown.”

I wouldn’t change the rules governing this weapon. I’ve never seen it as
an attractive weapon choice but it seems balanced and functional. To
avoid the Asian influence I would rename the weapon Throwing Steels.

“Siangham: The siangham is a special monk weapon. This designation gives
a monk wielding a siangham special options.”

This is frankly the most bizarre choice in the rules system. The
Siangham is the most esoteric real world weapon in the game. I was
baffled as to why it was chosen. I can understand that they needed a
Piercing weapon to accommodate the Damage Resistance rules. But the
Siangham is just a strange choice.

So, what would I do differently? I’d make the Monk Special Weapons
generic in stats and let the individual Monk (or GM) provide the flavor
text. For example:

Monk Special Weapons:

Bludgeoning: 1d4 (Small) or 1d6 (Medium) x2
Piercing: 1d4 (Small) or 1d6 (Medium) x2
Slashing: 1d4 (Small) or 1d6 (Medium) x2
Thrown: 1d3 (Small) or 1d4 (Medium) x2 Range Increment 10 ft.

Special: Two of the melee weapons may have one each of the Tripping or
Disarming special attack. Bonus will be +2 for said attack. If the
Thrown weapon has such a special attack addition the bonus will be +4.

The player or the GM will provide the required flavor text for the
weapon. Dwarven Monks might have War Drum Sticks (Bludgeoning) or Stone
Drills (Piercing). A Monk from a society with a naval background might
have Gaff Hook (Piercing with a Trip special attack). Each set of Monk
weapons would be tailored to the specific race, culture or martial arts
style. There would literally be no limit to the number of potential
designs. It would be left to the imagination of the players or GM.

Any thoughts?

--
Tetsubo
My page: http://home.comcast.net/~tetsubo/
--------------------------------------
If fifty million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.
-- Anatole France

More about : monk special weapons

Anonymous
August 7, 2005 8:43:11 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Tetsubo wrote:
> Monk Special Weapons
>
> I've never been happy with how 3.0/3.5 rules have dealt with Monk
> specialty weapons. Lets look at the official SRD first:

<snip>

> With the exception of the quarterstaff all of these weapons are very
> Asian in design. There's nothing wrong with Asian weapons, I'm rather
> fond of the tetsubo myself. But in a fantasy world that is trying to be
> "generic" they seem out of place. Not to mention a world that has quite
> a few races that aren't from reality at all.

D&D is a very "pop-culture"-ish game. In pop culture, movies, etc,
monks are Asian. Many (most?) players playing monks want to live out
their kung-fu fantasies, and Asian weapons are a big part of that. It's
just considered cooler for a monk to beat his opponent up with a
nunchaku than with, I dunno, a stick. (Even though the stick is a
perfectly legitimate martial arts weapon).

I'm all for making monks more "Western-friendly", by the way, just
explaining why I think the Asian bias is in there.

> Lets look at each weapon individually (data from the SRD):
>
> "Kama: The kama is a special monk weapon. This designation gives a monk
> wielding a kama special options.
>
> You can use a kama to make trip attacks. If you are tripped during your
> own trip attempt, you can drop the kama to avoid being tripped."
>
> This is a Slashing weapon that offers the user the special ability of
> making a Trip attack. This weapon design is taken from an agricultural
> tool still in use today. Not a bad design but it is very much an Asian
> item.

It's basically a sickle. Why is it particularly Asian (except for the
name)?

> "Nunchaku: The nunchaku is a special monk weapon. This designation gives
> a monk wielding a nunchaku special options. With a nunchaku, you get a
> +2 bonus on opposed attack rolls made to disarm an enemy (including the
> roll to avoid being disarmed if such an attempt fails)."
>
> A Bludgeoning weapon that offers a Disarm specialty attack. Also derived
> from an Asian agricultural tool.

This is a common misconception. It is false. Nunchaku bear only a
passing, surface resemblance to grain flails, and almost certainly
weren't derived from them.

> House Rule Idea: I've often thought that the quarterstaff should be more
> attractive to Fighters. One idea I had was to allow a Fighter to take an
> "exotic" Feat in the quarterstaff. This would change the stats to
> 1d6/1d6 (Small) or 1d8/1d8 (Medium) x3. Giving the weapon the same stats
> as an Orc Double Axe. Since the Double Axe is considered balanced I
> think this idea would fit into the rules easily.

Arms & Armor has the "Battle Staff". Two-handed martial weapon. 10 gp,
1d8/1d8 x2.

> A second Bludgeoning weapon with a Disarm special attack. The special
> attack bonus is better than the Nunchaku. I'm not sure why anyone would
> take the Nunchakus in preference to the Sai. This weapon is at least not
> derived from an agricultural tool.

I'm surprised you think the nunchaku is based on an agricultural tool,
and yet you don't believe the sai is. The two seem to go hand-in-hand.
I've heard theories saying sais were originally everything from
one-handed pitchforks to railroad spikes and rice-planting devices.

It's all bunk, of course.

> I wouldn't change the rules governing [Shuriken]. I've never seen it as
> an attractive weapon choice but it seems balanced and functional. To
> avoid the Asian influence I would rename the weapon Throwing Steels.

Just rename it "throwing knives" already. That's basically what they
are.

> So, what would I do differently? I'd make the Monk Special Weapons
> generic in stats and let the individual Monk (or GM) provide the flavor
> text. For example:
>
> Monk Special Weapons:
>
> Bludgeoning: 1d4 (Small) or 1d6 (Medium) x2
> Piercing: 1d4 (Small) or 1d6 (Medium) x2
> Slashing: 1d4 (Small) or 1d6 (Medium) x2
> Thrown: 1d3 (Small) or 1d4 (Medium) x2 Range Increment 10 ft.
>
> Special: Two of the melee weapons may have one each of the Tripping or
> Disarming special attack. Bonus will be +2 for said attack. If the
> Thrown weapon has such a special attack addition the bonus will be +4.
>
> The player or the GM will provide the required flavor text for the
> weapon. Dwarven Monks might have War Drum Sticks (Bludgeoning) or Stone
> Drills (Piercing). A Monk from a society with a naval background might
> have Gaff Hook (Piercing with a Trip special attack). Each set of Monk
> weapons would be tailored to the specific race, culture or martial arts
> style. There would literally be no limit to the number of potential
> designs. It would be left to the imagination of the players or GM.
>
> Any thoughts?

Leaving stuff like this up to the player/DM isn't really D&D's style.
Naturally, it can work very well, if the DM and the player are both
creative enough. But if they are, then I don't much see the point of
making rules about it.

Laszlo
Anonymous
August 7, 2005 11:31:19 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

laszlo_spamhole@freemail.hu wrote:
> Tetsubo wrote:

> > A Bludgeoning weapon that offers a Disarm specialty attack. Also derived
> > from an Asian agricultural tool.
>
> This is a common misconception. It is false. Nunchaku bear only a
> passing, surface resemblance to grain flails, and almost certainly
> weren't derived from them.

I don't think it is so much a misconception as an part of
the "mythology" built up around the weapons. I was taking
karate years ago from a 3rd degree black belt, and he had
spent 4 years in Okinawa training. He was very learned in
all of the traditions of Okinawan Karate.

Not only did I learn karate, but also all of the Okinawan
weapons, including nunchaku, sai, and kama.

Supposedly, the commoners were not allowed weapons (like
swords or bows), so these weapons came from/looked like
parts of farm implements.

I'm not saying you are wrong, but that the very people who
teach this stuff are the ones promoting these concepts.
Related resources
Anonymous
August 7, 2005 10:05:32 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

laszlo_spamhole@freemail.hu wrote:

>Tetsubo wrote:
>
>
>>Monk Special Weapons
>>
>>I've never been happy with how 3.0/3.5 rules have dealt with Monk
>>specialty weapons. Lets look at the official SRD first:
>>
>>
>
><snip>
>
>
>
>>With the exception of the quarterstaff all of these weapons are very
>>Asian in design. There's nothing wrong with Asian weapons, I'm rather
>>fond of the tetsubo myself. But in a fantasy world that is trying to be
>>"generic" they seem out of place. Not to mention a world that has quite
>>a few races that aren't from reality at all.
>>
>>
>
>D&D is a very "pop-culture"-ish game. In pop culture, movies, etc,
>monks are Asian. Many (most?) players playing monks want to live out
>their kung-fu fantasies, and Asian weapons are a big part of that. It's
>just considered cooler for a monk to beat his opponent up with a
>nunchaku than with, I dunno, a stick. (Even though the stick is a
>perfectly legitimate martial arts weapon).
>
>I'm all for making monks more "Western-friendly", by the way, just
>explaining why I think the Asian bias is in there.
>
>
>
>>Lets look at each weapon individually (data from the SRD):
>>
>>"Kama: The kama is a special monk weapon. This designation gives a monk
>>wielding a kama special options.
>>
>>You can use a kama to make trip attacks. If you are tripped during your
>>own trip attempt, you can drop the kama to avoid being tripped."
>>
>>This is a Slashing weapon that offers the user the special ability of
>>making a Trip attack. This weapon design is taken from an agricultural
>>tool still in use today. Not a bad design but it is very much an Asian
>>item.
>>
>>
>
>It's basically a sickle. Why is it particularly Asian (except for the
>name)?
>
>
The design for the kama nd the western sickle is different. I
realize they have the same use. But the kama is nothing like the sickle
in appearance. I'm a stickler for those sort of details when it comes to
weapons. I'm a weapons geek. :) 

>
>
>>"Nunchaku: The nunchaku is a special monk weapon. This designation gives
>>a monk wielding a nunchaku special options. With a nunchaku, you get a
>>+2 bonus on opposed attack rolls made to disarm an enemy (including the
>>roll to avoid being disarmed if such an attempt fails)."
>>
>>A Bludgeoning weapon that offers a Disarm specialty attack. Also derived
>>from an Asian agricultural tool.
>>
>>
>
>This is a common misconception. It is false. Nunchaku bear only a
>passing, surface resemblance to grain flails, and almost certainly
>weren't derived from them.
>
>
I see the same amount of similarity between the Asian grain flail
and the nunchaku as I do between the European grain flail and the
military Flail. I believe both grew out of peasantry not being allowed
to bear military weapons.

>
>
>>House Rule Idea: I've often thought that the quarterstaff should be more
>>attractive to Fighters. One idea I had was to allow a Fighter to take an
>>"exotic" Feat in the quarterstaff. This would change the stats to
>>1d6/1d6 (Small) or 1d8/1d8 (Medium) x3. Giving the weapon the same stats
>>as an Orc Double Axe. Since the Double Axe is considered balanced I
>>think this idea would fit into the rules easily.
>>
>>
>
>Arms & Armor has the "Battle Staff". Two-handed martial weapon. 10 gp,
>1d8/1d8 x2.
>
>
>
>>A second Bludgeoning weapon with a Disarm special attack. The special
>>attack bonus is better than the Nunchaku. I'm not sure why anyone would
>>take the Nunchakus in preference to the Sai. This weapon is at least not
>>derived from an agricultural tool.
>>
>>
>
>I'm surprised you think the nunchaku is based on an agricultural tool,
>and yet you don't believe the sai is. The two seem to go hand-in-hand.
>I've heard theories saying sais were originally everything from
>one-handed pitchforks to railroad spikes and rice-planting devices.
>
>It's all bunk, of course.
>
>
Well I know for a fact that there was a Basque agricultural tool
that looked a great deal like a giant Sai. I've seen pictures of it in
use. It was used as a hand held fork for breaking up hilly soil. If in
fact the Sai is derived from agricultural tools it is a very distant
evolutionary link. I think the likelihood is that it grew out of a
sword-catching dagger type of weapon.

>
>
>>I wouldn't change the rules governing [Shuriken]. I've never seen it as
>>an attractive weapon choice but it seems balanced and functional. To
>>avoid the Asian influence I would rename the weapon Throwing Steels.
>>
>>
>
>Just rename it "throwing knives" already. That's basically what they
>are.
>
>
"Knives" holds a very particular image in my mind. I see the
Throwing Steel as a much more variable design. Like I said, I'm a
weapons geek.

>
>
>>So, what would I do differently? I'd make the Monk Special Weapons
>>generic in stats and let the individual Monk (or GM) provide the flavor
>>text. For example:
>>
>>Monk Special Weapons:
>>
>>Bludgeoning: 1d4 (Small) or 1d6 (Medium) x2
>>Piercing: 1d4 (Small) or 1d6 (Medium) x2
>>Slashing: 1d4 (Small) or 1d6 (Medium) x2
>>Thrown: 1d3 (Small) or 1d4 (Medium) x2 Range Increment 10 ft.
>>
>>Special: Two of the melee weapons may have one each of the Tripping or
>>Disarming special attack. Bonus will be +2 for said attack. If the
>>Thrown weapon has such a special attack addition the bonus will be +4.
>>
>>The player or the GM will provide the required flavor text for the
>>weapon. Dwarven Monks might have War Drum Sticks (Bludgeoning) or Stone
>>Drills (Piercing). A Monk from a society with a naval background might
>>have Gaff Hook (Piercing with a Trip special attack). Each set of Monk
>>weapons would be tailored to the specific race, culture or martial arts
>>style. There would literally be no limit to the number of potential
>>designs. It would be left to the imagination of the players or GM.
>>
>>Any thoughts?
>>
>>
>
>Leaving stuff like this up to the player/DM isn't really D&D's style.
>Naturally, it can work very well, if the DM and the player are both
>creative enough. But if they are, then I don't much see the point of
>making rules about it.
>
>Laszlo
>
>
>
I guess I'm just opposed to codifying such an ethno-centric theme
within the rules.

--
Tetsubo
My page: http://home.comcast.net/~tetsubo/
--------------------------------------
If fifty million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.
-- Anatole France
Anonymous
August 8, 2005 2:02:41 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Tetsubo wrote:
> Monk Special Weapons
>
> I've never been happy with how 3.0/3.5 rules have dealt with Monk
> specialty weapons. Lets look at the official SRD first:
>
> "When using flurry of blows, a monk may attack only with unarmed strikes
> or with special monk weapons (kama, nunchaku, quarterstaff, sai,
> shuriken, and siangham). She may attack with unarmed strikes and special
> monk weapons interchangeably as desired. When using weapons as part of a
> flurry of blows, a monk applies her Strength bonus (not Str bonus x
> 1-1/2 or x 1/2) to her damage rolls for all successful attacks, whether
> she wields a weapon in one or both hands. The monk can't use any weapon
> other than a special monk weapon as part of a flurry of blows."
>
> With the exception of the quarterstaff all of these weapons are very
> Asian in design. There's nothing wrong with Asian weapons, I'm rather
> fond of the tetsubo myself. But in a fantasy world that is trying to be
> "generic" they seem out of place. Not to mention a world that has quite
> a few races that aren't from reality at all.
>
> The intent of the designers seems to have been to offer the Monk a
> selection of weapons that would cover all of the damage type bases
> (Bludgeoning, Piercing and Slashing). They also threw in a few special
> abilities as well, i. e. Tripping and Disarming. In and of themselves
> these aren't bad ideas. I just think that they weren't well executed and
> were shoehorned into an Asian mold.
>
> Lets look at each weapon individually (data from the SRD):
>
> "Kama: The kama is a special monk weapon. This designation gives a monk
> wielding a kama special options.
>
> You can use a kama to make trip attacks. If you are tripped during your
> own trip attempt, you can drop the kama to avoid being tripped."
>
> This is a Slashing weapon that offers the user the special ability of
> making a Trip attack. This weapon design is taken from an agricultural
> tool still in use today. Not a bad design but it is very much an Asian
> item.
>
> "Nunchaku: The nunchaku is a special monk weapon. This designation gives
> a monk wielding a nunchaku special options. With a nunchaku, you get a
> +2 bonus on opposed attack rolls made to disarm an enemy (including the
> roll to avoid being disarmed if such an attempt fails)."
>
> A Bludgeoning weapon that offers a Disarm specialty attack. Also derived
> from an Asian agricultural tool.
>
> "Quarterstaff: A quarterstaff is a double weapon. You can fight with it
> as if fighting with two weapons, but if you do, you incur all the normal
> attack penalties associated with fighting with two weapons, just as if
> you were using a one-handed weapon and a light weapon. A creature
> wielding a quarterstaff in one hand can't use it as a double weapon-only
> one end of the weapon can be used in any given round.
>
> The quarterstaff is a special monk weapon. This designation gives a monk
> wielding a quarterstaff special options."
>
> The classic staff. I wouldn't alter this weapon at all. Both because
> it's ubiquitous to every culture and such a stable of RPG's.
>
> House Rule Idea: I've often thought that the quarterstaff should be more
> attractive to Fighters. One idea I had was to allow a Fighter to take an
> "exotic" Feat in the quarterstaff. This would change the stats to
> 1d6/1d6 (Small) or 1d8/1d8 (Medium) x3. Giving the weapon the same stats
> as an Orc Double Axe. Since the Double Axe is considered balanced I
> think this idea would fit into the rules easily.
>
> "Sai: With a sai, you get a +4 bonus on opposed attack rolls made to
> disarm an enemy (including the roll to avoid being disarmed if such an
> attempt fails).
>
> The sai is a special monk weapon. This designation gives a monk wielding
> a sai special options."
>
> A second Bludgeoning weapon with a Disarm special attack. The special
> attack bonus is better than the Nunchaku. I'm not sure why anyone would
> take the Nunchakus in preference to the Sai. This weapon is at least not
> derived from an agricultural tool. In the real world these weapons were
> sometimes sharpened. I realize that the damage is slightly lower but the
> addition of a Ranged attack makes up for that deficit.
>
> "Shuriken: A shuriken is a special monk weapon. This designation gives a
> monk wielding shuriken special options. A shuriken can't be used as a
> melee weapon.
>
> Although they are thrown weapons, shuriken are treated as ammunition for
> the purposes of drawing them, crafting masterwork or otherwise special
> versions of them and what happens to them after they are thrown."
>
> I wouldn't change the rules governing this weapon. I've never seen it as
> an attractive weapon choice but it seems balanced and functional. To
> avoid the Asian influence I would rename the weapon Throwing Steels.
>
> "Siangham: The siangham is a special monk weapon. This designation gives
> a monk wielding a siangham special options."
>
> This is frankly the most bizarre choice in the rules system. The
> Siangham is the most esoteric real world weapon in the game. I was
> baffled as to why it was chosen. I can understand that they needed a
> Piercing weapon to accommodate the Damage Resistance rules. But the
> Siangham is just a strange choice.
>
> So, what would I do differently? I'd make the Monk Special Weapons
> generic in stats and let the individual Monk (or GM) provide the flavor
> text. For example:
>
> Monk Special Weapons:
>
> Bludgeoning: 1d4 (Small) or 1d6 (Medium) x2
> Piercing: 1d4 (Small) or 1d6 (Medium) x2
> Slashing: 1d4 (Small) or 1d6 (Medium) x2
> Thrown: 1d3 (Small) or 1d4 (Medium) x2 Range Increment 10 ft.
>
> Special: Two of the melee weapons may have one each of the Tripping or
> Disarming special attack. Bonus will be +2 for said attack. If the
> Thrown weapon has such a special attack addition the bonus will be +4.
>
> The player or the GM will provide the required flavor text for the
> weapon. Dwarven Monks might have War Drum Sticks (Bludgeoning) or Stone
> Drills (Piercing). A Monk from a society with a naval background might
> have Gaff Hook (Piercing with a Trip special attack). Each set of Monk
> weapons would be tailored to the specific race, culture or martial arts
> style. There would literally be no limit to the number of potential
> designs. It would be left to the imagination of the players or GM.
>
> Any thoughts?
>
> --
> Tetsubo
> My page: http://home.comcast.net/~tetsubo/
> --------------------------------------
> If fifty million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.
> -- Anatole France


I very much agree with you. The monk per the weapons rules is strictly
an Asian martial arts monk. I can see making the choices open ended as
you propose, or having specialty monk weapon selections, like clerics
have domains - and then Asian monk would be just one type. You would
have proficiency in the weapons from your monk type.

I like your two examples, Dwarven monk and naval monk. Each race should
have fairly unique monks. Unique culture settings should have unique
monks.

Monk weapons from a monk group that is not local should be hard to
purchase. You should be able to start with them; you wandered in from
wherever, but replacing them could be a bitch.

Does not quite fit with the "local color" train of though, but if a
weapon is "simple" then a monk should be able to use it without
disadvantage - so a dagger should be useable as a monk weapon, since it
fits the size characteristics.

Maybe your basic club should be a monk weapon. It lends itself to
improvised weapons, which is a very Hong Kong martial arts thing to do.
It fits the 20 gp starting gold lifestyle.

MadKaugh
Anonymous
August 8, 2005 4:26:55 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Tetsubo wrote:

> laszlo_spamhole@freemail.hu wrote:

> >Tetsubo wrote:

> >>A second Bludgeoning weapon with a Disarm special attack. The special
> >>attack bonus is better than the Nunchaku. I'm not sure why anyone would
> >>take the Nunchakus in preference to the Sai. This weapon is at least not
> >>derived from an agricultural tool.
> >
> >I'm surprised you think the nunchaku is based on an agricultural tool,
> >and yet you don't believe the sai is. The two seem to go hand-in-hand.
> >I've heard theories saying sais were originally everything from
> >one-handed pitchforks to railroad spikes and rice-planting devices.
> >
> >It's all bunk, of course.
> >
> Well I know for a fact that there was a Basque agricultural tool
> that looked a great deal like a giant Sai. I've seen pictures of it in
> use. It was used as a hand held fork for breaking up hilly soil. If in
> fact the Sai is derived from agricultural tools it is a very distant
> evolutionary link. I think the likelihood is that it grew out of a
> sword-catching dagger type of weapon.

Without evidence to the contrary, I tend to believe that many of the
martial arts weapons were derived from agricultural tools. It makes
sense. Similar things happened in Europe. Look at the pole arms, other
than the pointy sticks. Peasants without access to weapons and needing
to defend themselves will improvise.


> >>I wouldn't change the rules governing [Shuriken]. I've never seen it as
> >>an attractive weapon choice but it seems balanced and functional. To
> >>avoid the Asian influence I would rename the weapon Throwing Steels.
>
> >Just rename it "throwing knives" already. That's basically what they
> >are.
>
> "Knives" holds a very particular image in my mind. I see the
> Throwing Steel as a much more variable design. Like I said, I'm a
> weapons geek.

There are odd void and inconsistencies in the weapons rules, and this
is one of them. Neither shuriken, dart, nor thrown dagger are the
equivalent of the small knife or dagger designed for throwing. I like
your generic Throwing Steel. "Shuriken or equivalent" works, too,
although it is bass-ackwards.

There should be a small (1d4) slashing weapon called "knife", and it
should be a simple weapon. Has it also bothered you that a short sword
is a piercing weapon? I seem to remember that long ago, like first
edition, you had to note whether a "sword" had a point and could
optionally pierce. Ok, I don't want to track points on swords, so ...
assume it has one? (slash or pierce) ... or go with the primary use
mode - that seems to be what they've done. "Knife" is "dagger" because
you will tend to stab with it - and we don't track damage, we heal;
shortswords pierce because that's pretty much how they're used in
history - anyone serious about hacking uses a bigger weapon. Hmm, I
guess I'd prefer more color, but I can live with the way things are.


> >>So, what would I do differently? I'd make the Monk Special Weapons
> >>generic in stats and let the individual Monk (or GM) provide the flavor
> >>text. For example:
> >>
> >>Monk Special Weapons:
> >>
> >>Bludgeoning: 1d4 (Small) or 1d6 (Medium) x2
> >>Piercing: 1d4 (Small) or 1d6 (Medium) x2
> >>Slashing: 1d4 (Small) or 1d6 (Medium) x2
> >>Thrown: 1d3 (Small) or 1d4 (Medium) x2 Range Increment 10 ft.
> >>
> >>Special: Two of the melee weapons may have one each of the Tripping or
> >>Disarming special attack. Bonus will be +2 for said attack. If the
> >>Thrown weapon has such a special attack addition the bonus will be +4.
> >>
> >>The player or the GM will provide the required flavor text for the
> >>weapon. Dwarven Monks might have War Drum Sticks (Bludgeoning) or Stone
> >>Drills (Piercing). A Monk from a society with a naval background might
> >>have Gaff Hook (Piercing with a Trip special attack). Each set of Monk
> >>weapons would be tailored to the specific race, culture or martial arts
> >>style. There would literally be no limit to the number of potential
> >>designs. It would be left to the imagination of the players or GM.
> >>
> >>Any thoughts?
> >>
> >>
> >
> >Leaving stuff like this up to the player/DM isn't really D&D's style.
> >Naturally, it can work very well, if the DM and the player are both
> >creative enough. But if they are, then I don't much see the point of
> >making rules about it.
> >
> >Laszlo
> >
> I guess I'm just opposed to codifying such an ethno-centric theme
> within the rules.

> --
> Tetsubo
> My page: http://home.comcast.net/~tetsubo/

I think Laszlo is taking issue with "It would be left to the
imagination of the players or GM.", i.e. you couldn't just make any
light weapon a monk weapon. I think I agree with this. Martial arts
implies training hard with a specific set of weapons, per your martial
arts tradition. You only get the class benefits with that small set of
specific weapons. But it should fit the theme of your race and region.

MadKaugh
Anonymous
August 8, 2005 6:08:11 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Tetsubo wrote:

> laszlo_spamhole@freemail.hu wrote:

> >Tetsubo wrote:

> >>A second Bludgeoning weapon with a Disarm special attack. The special
> >>attack bonus is better than the Nunchaku. I'm not sure why anyone would
> >>take the Nunchakus in preference to the Sai. This weapon is at least not
> >>derived from an agricultural tool.
> >
> >I'm surprised you think the nunchaku is based on an agricultural tool,
> >and yet you don't believe the sai is. The two seem to go hand-in-hand.
> >I've heard theories saying sais were originally everything from
> >one-handed pitchforks to railroad spikes and rice-planting devices.
> >
> >It's all bunk, of course.
> >
> Well I know for a fact that there was a Basque agricultural tool
> that looked a great deal like a giant Sai. I've seen pictures of it in
> use. It was used as a hand held fork for breaking up hilly soil. If in
> fact the Sai is derived from agricultural tools it is a very distant
> evolutionary link. I think the likelihood is that it grew out of a
> sword-catching dagger type of weapon.

Without evidence to the contrary, I tend to believe that many of the
martial arts weapons were derived from agricultural tools. It makes
sense. Similar things happened in Europe. Look at the pole arms, other
than the pointy sticks. Peasants without access to weapons and needing
to defend themselves will improvise.


> >>I wouldn't change the rules governing [Shuriken]. I've never seen it as
> >>an attractive weapon choice but it seems balanced and functional. To
> >>avoid the Asian influence I would rename the weapon Throwing Steels.
>
> >Just rename it "throwing knives" already. That's basically what they
> >are.
>
> "Knives" holds a very particular image in my mind. I see the
> Throwing Steel as a much more variable design. Like I said, I'm a
> weapons geek.

There are odd void and inconsistencies in the weapons rules, and this
is one of them. Neither shuriken, dart, nor thrown dagger are the
equivalent of the small knife or dagger designed for throwing. I like
your generic Throwing Steel. "Shuriken or equivalent" works, too,
although it is bass-ackwards.

There should be a small (1d4) slashing weapon called "knife", and it
should be a simple weapon. Has it also bothered you that a short sword
is a piercing weapon? I seem to remember that long ago, like first
edition, you had to note whether a "sword" had a point and could
optionally pierce. Ok, I don't want to track points on swords, so ...
assume it has one? (slash or pierce) ... or go with the primary use
mode - that seems to be what they've done. "Knife" is "dagger" because
you will tend to stab with it - and we don't track damage, we heal;
shortswords pierce because that's pretty much how they're used in
history - anyone serious about hacking uses a bigger weapon. Hmm, I
guess I'd prefer more color, but I can live with the way things are.


> >>So, what would I do differently? I'd make the Monk Special Weapons
> >>generic in stats and let the individual Monk (or GM) provide the flavor
> >>text. For example:
> >>
> >>Monk Special Weapons:
> >>
> >>Bludgeoning: 1d4 (Small) or 1d6 (Medium) x2
> >>Piercing: 1d4 (Small) or 1d6 (Medium) x2
> >>Slashing: 1d4 (Small) or 1d6 (Medium) x2
> >>Thrown: 1d3 (Small) or 1d4 (Medium) x2 Range Increment 10 ft.
> >>
> >>Special: Two of the melee weapons may have one each of the Tripping or
> >>Disarming special attack. Bonus will be +2 for said attack. If the
> >>Thrown weapon has such a special attack addition the bonus will be +4.
> >>
> >>The player or the GM will provide the required flavor text for the
> >>weapon. Dwarven Monks might have War Drum Sticks (Bludgeoning) or Stone
> >>Drills (Piercing). A Monk from a society with a naval background might
> >>have Gaff Hook (Piercing with a Trip special attack). Each set of Monk
> >>weapons would be tailored to the specific race, culture or martial arts
> >>style. There would literally be no limit to the number of potential
> >>designs. It would be left to the imagination of the players or GM.
> >>
> >>Any thoughts?
> >>
> >>
> >
> >Leaving stuff like this up to the player/DM isn't really D&D's style.
> >Naturally, it can work very well, if the DM and the player are both
> >creative enough. But if they are, then I don't much see the point of
> >making rules about it.
> >
> >Laszlo
> >
> I guess I'm just opposed to codifying such an ethno-centric theme
> within the rules.

> --
> Tetsubo
> My page: http://home.comcast.net/~tetsubo/

I think Laszlo is taking issue with "It would be left to the
imagination of the players or GM.", i.e. you couldn't just make any
light weapon a monk weapon. I think I agree with this. Martial arts
implies training hard with a specific set of weapons, per your martial
arts tradition. You only get the class benefits with that small set of
specific weapons. But it should fit the theme of your race and region.

MadKaugh
Anonymous
August 9, 2005 1:03:56 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Tetsubo wrote:
> laszlo_spamhole@freemail.hu wrote:
>
>> Tetsubo wrote:

> The design for the kama nd the western sickle is different. I realize
> they have the same use. But the kama is nothing like the sickle in
> appearance. I'm a stickler for those sort of details when it comes to
> weapons. I'm a weapons geek. :) 
>

The design is different, but is it so different than you couldn't use
one as a substitute for the other? Perhaps not as a "I learned Kama, so
I'll wield a Sickle", but I mean on the level of "I can learn Kama or
Sickle, and adapt the techniques to whichever one I am actually using"?

>>> So, what would I do differently? I'd make the Monk Special Weapons
>>> generic in stats and let the individual Monk (or GM) provide the flavor
>>> text. For example:
>>>
>>> Monk Special Weapons:
>>>
>>> Bludgeoning: 1d4 (Small) or 1d6 (Medium) x2
>>> Piercing: 1d4 (Small) or 1d6 (Medium) x2
>>> Slashing: 1d4 (Small) or 1d6 (Medium) x2
>>> Thrown: 1d3 (Small) or 1d4 (Medium) x2 Range Increment 10 ft.
>>>
>>> Special: Two of the melee weapons may have one each of the Tripping or
>>> Disarming special attack. Bonus will be +2 for said attack. If the
>>> Thrown weapon has such a special attack addition the bonus will be +4.
>>>
>>> The player or the GM will provide the required flavor text for the
>>> weapon. Dwarven Monks might have War Drum Sticks (Bludgeoning) or Stone
>>> Drills (Piercing). A Monk from a society with a naval background might
>>> have Gaff Hook (Piercing with a Trip special attack). Each set of Monk
>>> weapons would be tailored to the specific race, culture or martial arts
>>> style. There would literally be no limit to the number of potential
>>> designs. It would be left to the imagination of the players or GM.
>>>
>>> Any thoughts?
>>>
>>
>>
>> Leaving stuff like this up to the player/DM isn't really D&D's style.
>> Naturally, it can work very well, if the DM and the player are both
>> creative enough. But if they are, then I don't much see the point of
>> making rules about it.
>>
>> Laszlo
>>
>>
>>
> I guess I'm just opposed to codifying such an ethno-centric theme
> within the rules.
>

What I did (under 3.0), with my GM's permission, and using guidelines
from things like Sword and Fist (about interchangability of weapons) was
pick weapons that fit the character's culture. In 3.0, you had 3
peasant weapons, so I wound up with 3 peasant-ish weapons.

My character was an elven monk-druid, so I had sickle, club, and
quarterstaff.
August 9, 2005 1:44:20 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

On 8 Aug 2005 12:26:55 -0700, "Madkaugh" <madkaugh@yahoo.com> dared
speak in front of ME:

>Tetsubo wrote:
<snip>
>> "Knives" holds a very particular image in my mind. I see the
>> Throwing Steel as a much more variable design. Like I said, I'm a
>> weapons geek.
>
>There are odd void and inconsistencies in the weapons rules, and this
>is one of them. Neither shuriken, dart, nor thrown dagger are the
>equivalent of the small knife or dagger designed for throwing. I like
>your generic Throwing Steel. "Shuriken or equivalent" works, too,
>although it is bass-ackwards.
>
>There should be a small (1d4) slashing weapon called "knife", and it
>should be a simple weapon.

Having attempted to throw both regular daggers and those designed for
throwing, I'd posit that it should take a martial proficiency to
actually throw one without penalty.

--
Address no longer works.
try removing all numbers from
gafgirl1@2allstream3.net

--
Posted via NewsDemon.com - Premium Uncensored Newsgroup Service
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Anonymous
August 9, 2005 3:45:27 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Kaos wrote:
> On 8 Aug 2005 12:26:55 -0700, "Madkaugh" <madkaugh@yahoo.com> dared
> speak in front of ME:
>
> >Tetsubo wrote:
> <snip>
> >> "Knives" holds a very particular image in my mind. I see the
> >> Throwing Steel as a much more variable design. Like I said, I'm a
> >> weapons geek.
> >
> >There are odd void and inconsistencies in the weapons rules, and this
> >is one of them. Neither shuriken, dart, nor thrown dagger are the
> >equivalent of the small knife or dagger designed for throwing. I like
> >your generic Throwing Steel. "Shuriken or equivalent" works, too,
> >although it is bass-ackwards.
> >
> >There should be a small (1d4) slashing weapon called "knife", and it
> >should be a simple weapon.
>
> Having attempted to throw both regular daggers and those designed for
> throwing, I'd posit that it should take a martial proficiency to
> actually throw one without penalty.
>
> --
> Address no longer works.
> try removing all numbers from
> gafgirl1@2allstream3.net

Well, yeah, I'd agree with that, though I'd say martial or rogue. A
dagger/throwing steel is very in character for a rogue.


A simple ranged weapon should be a crossbow or a rock. Crossbow fits
the bill nicely for simple missle weapon, that's exactly what it is,
why it was made.


A thrown rock should be a low damage, short range simple weapon,
maybe -1 or -2 to hit; not -4, per "throw the trash" rules. Rock =
dart, but twice as heavy would not be a bad mechanic. The concept of
"throw the rocks" is pretty intuitive, and you can be somewhat
selective when you choose one to throw. Finding suitable rocks is not a
given; some locales will have plenty, but some locales would require a
search for rocks, and others would simply have none available.


OTOH, the sling - should be archaic in an age of armor, but might be
common anyway because of the plethora of cultures and races, some quite
primitive. The damage in the rules against and unarmored target is way
too low; as is the range for a proficient slinger. It is not an easy
weapon to master; proficiency should be unusual without a good
justification. I'd make it exotic, but also a class and race weapon.
BUT, as a game mechanic, the sling fits quite nicely, as long as you
accept that it is a fantasy weapon that is not really like a real
sling. The stats are more like a modern slingshot.

I like a distinction between sling stones found at the creek bed (-1
damage) and cast lead sling bullets. Silver bullets should be fairly
easily available, also -1 damage. Casting silver is pretty common. Hmm,
lead core/silver sheath should not be too hard to do. No minus to
damage. Cost same or more than silver bullet - lead is cheaper than
silver, labor is pretty cheap.


The javelin - martial.

>From the SRD:
Javelin: This weapon is a light, flexible spear intended for throwing.

No way you could effectively throw one without some training and
practice.


The dart - I have yet to figure out exactly what this is.

>From the SRD:
Dart: A dart is the size of a large arrow and has a weighted head.
Essentially, it is a small javelin.

The description seems to point to the dart as the projectile for the
atlatl launcher (throwing stick), but the launcher is not mentioned in
the rules.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dart_%28missile%29

I have not seen a reference to a thrown dart weapon of this size (one
without a launcher). Based on the prior discussion about throwing
steels, the description of the dart, and the stats, I'd lump "the dart"
as a throwing steel variant (regardless of the actual material). Per
your arguement - martial.


"There should be a small (1d4) slashing weapon called "knife", and it
should be a simple melee weapon, but the dagger mechanic works fine as
it stands." - is that clearer?


MadKaugh
Anonymous
August 10, 2005 12:50:27 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Rupert Boleyn wrote:
> On 9 Aug 2005 11:45:27 -0700, "Madkaugh" <madkaugh@yahoo.com> carved
> upon a tablet of ether:

> > I have not seen a reference to a thrown dart weapon of this size (one
> > without a launcher). Based on the prior discussion about throwing
> > steels, the description of the dart, and the stats, I'd lump "the dart"
> > as a throwing steel variant (regardless of the actual material). Per
> > your arguement - martial.
>
> Byzantine Cataphracts used such darts. They were thrown just before
> the charge impacted to break up enemy formations - a role similar to
> that of a Frankish throwing axe.

Byzantine Infantry also used Plumbata. (IIRC so did mid-late empire
Western Empire Infantry.)

DougL
Anonymous
August 10, 2005 3:41:22 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

tussock wrote:
> Madkaugh wrote:
> > Kaos wrote:

> > >Having attempted to throw both regular daggers and those designed for
> > >throwing, I'd posit that it should take a martial proficiency to
> > >actually throw one without penalty.

> > Well, yeah, I'd agree with that, though I'd say martial or rogue. A
> > dagger/throwing steel is very in character for a rogue.

> Note: Commoners only know *one* simple weapon. The chance of your
> average farmer or labourer knowing how to throw a dagger cleanly isn't
> all that great.

> Considering that everyone who had any real weapons training would
> own a long knife, eating and working with it every day, it's hardly
> unusual that they'd know how to throw it.

In D&D terms, why would you presume everyone owns a long knife? ...
they eat with a short knife, they may not require a knife at all in
their occupation, though odds are that they do, but it is likely to be
a small knife as well.

Why would you presume they'd throw it? If it is a tool they need day to
day to make a living, with a somewhat brittle blade, too, assuming it
is a good blade (holds and edge => hard => brittle) they are unlikely
to risk it. Have you thrown everything you own that might be lethal? Do
you regularly practice throwing your kitchen knives? Keep in mind that
for a commoner, that knife is a good chunk of his or her wealth.


> > A simple ranged weapon should be a crossbow or a rock. Crossbow fits
> > the bill nicely for simple missle weapon, that's exactly what it is,
> > why it was made.

> Spear weapons are classed as simple, mostly because they're
> ubiquitous amongst hunters and warriors for most of human history,

True, spears are ubiquitous. That does not make them simple. Holding a
spear and poking with it are simple. Avoiding the shaft near the pointy
end being grabbed is not simple. Using the shaft to party would be
moderately simple. Using a spear effectively in formation would not be
simple. Throwing the spear and hitting a target would not be simple.

Spears are less ubiquitous as you move forward in history. Archaic
cultures should have lots of spears; depend on spears, even. A D&D
city-state has better options.


> and in one form or another dominated battlefields until the advent of
> reliable fast-loading guns.

There is some truth to what you say, but some armies, the Romans for
instance, were very effective against spear wielders. I would say
cavalry dominated the battlefields until the advent of reliable
fast-loading guns; and even then did not disappear until the machine
gun and armor. "In one form or another" is no longer a spear in D&D
terms.

Spears are still in use, bayonette on a rifle, but they are hardly a
primary weapon. They are valuable enough that everytime the bayonette
disappears from the inventory, a few years later the planners say,
"Damn, that was a bad idea." and put it back. When you run out of ammo,
the spear is nice. Especially today, since the lightweight plastic butt
of a modern rifle makes a lousy club.


> > A thrown rock should be
> <snip>

> DnD calls them clubs, once you've taken the time to select and/or
> sharpen up a decent sized one. 1d6 damage, 10' range incriment.

I am not sure what you are refering to. Is there a rule that says,
"Treat a thrown rock as a thrown club." or something to that effect? It
is certainly reasonable.

Wielding a rock as a club in melee should have serious minuses. The
weight can be nice, but you loose the lever arm, and you have a good
chance of mashing your fingers. You should not be able to parry with
it.

Sharpen a rock? What are you talking about? Certain kinds of rocks
(flint, obsidian) can be shaped to an edge through flaking or chipping,
and I imagine where these are not available the cultures make due with
what is at hand. This is not something that you are going to do under
duress. FWIW, these can be quite sharp; obsidian/glass is harder than
most steels, but it is brittle and will not hold up to abuse. Flint
(microcrystaline quartz) is a bit harder than that, and is fairly tough
for a rock; flint will fare somewhat better than obsidian.

http://www.mindat.org/min-6676.html

http://www.webref.org/geology/c/cryptocrystalline.htm


> > OTOH, the sling
> <snip>

> Is really a hold-over from Clerics only being able to use
> bludgeoning weapons in previous editions of the game. More historically
> accurate campains should probably do away with it, or at least make it a
> martial weapon with better stats for appropriate societies.

In game terms, I think you are right. Historically, the sling is very
effective until armor. In ancient times the slings had better range
than the bows. The other downside is the learning curve, hitting your
target is not easy, and the rapid sling and reload cycle is an art.

In game terms, the sling is also the monk missle weapon. I'm not sure
where that comes from; the short bow seems more "Asian monk" to me. The
sling is right in there with the low gold nature of D&D monk.

In game terms, the sling would be a good rogue weapon; easily
concealed, perhaps even disassembled and made to be parts of the
wardrobe. The seat could be a hair piece.

In game terms, and oversized sling for hurling vials and flasks makes
sense. ... or sling staff.

A grappling hook is typically thrown as a sling projectile; a section
of the rope is the sling.


> Simple weapons already require training and practice, just nothing
> too complicated, and the weapon must be common to your society.

Dude, you must not have children, or you would not be saying this.
"Club" and "thrown rock" require no training, trust me; they are all
too intuitive. Freaking chimpanzees use them.

Use of any weapon will benefit from training. Cops train using their
batons effectively (talking about old style, no cross piece), and the
training pays off. If you had one in your hand, you would have no
trouble figuring out how to whack someone with it, but you would not
know all of the cop tricks (many of which have to do with restraining,
disarming, doing subdual non-lawsuit damage, etc). I think that is
adequately modeled by xp and increasing BAB with level.


> The Javelin's just a special throwing spear, again, as old as time
> really. The Human shoulder joint is basically evolved specifically to
> throw things like javelins, it's one of the reasons we're so lightly built.

Due to the great abundance of natural javelins? Herds of javelins
roaming the prarie? The Javelin Jungles of Java?

This just might be a statement of opinion, not fact. You think? Can you
cite any sources?

I personally think our arms are evolved to roll dice with. FWIW.


> > The dart - I have yet to figure out exactly what this is.

> It's a light throwing spear. Fairly common in medieval India, IIRC.

Then why isn't it a light throwing spear? - in the rules, I mean. Why
have both?


> --
> tussock
>
> Aspie at work, sorry in advance.

Thanks for comments.


MadKaugh
Anonymous
August 10, 2005 5:54:30 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Rupert Boleyn wrote:

> On 9 Aug 2005 11:45:27 -0700, "Madkaugh" <madkaugh@yahoo.com> carved
> upon a tablet of ether:

> > A simple ranged weapon should be a crossbow or a rock. Crossbow fits
> > the bill nicely for simple missle weapon, that's exactly what it is,
> > why it was made.

> Historically speaking a crossbow is not a simple weapon. It takes
> training to use, and even more to properly maintian the weapon. Simple
> compared to a longbow or sling? Yes. Compared to a spear or club? No.

That is a very good assessment. I've never owned one, but I understand
the strings are a bitch to maintain; probably a bitch to replace in the
field.

Certainly not simple to build. I question that all cultures should have
access to the crossbow. Gnomes, for sure, gnomes are gizmonic. Wizards,
yes, they would have better than average cross-cultural access, and it
would suit their needs. Rogues, yes. Dwarves, probably; makes more
sense than bows. Elves, probably not; cultural affinity for bow implies
little need to develop crossbow. Humans, should vary with available
tech. Barbarians, no. Halflings strike me as low tech agrarian; I'd say
unlikely.


> We think they're simple because crossbows work like guns, and most
> people have some idea how to use a gun, so we assume they're easy to
> use. Crossbows are actually harder to use well than a good modern
> rifle and your basic farmer (ie Commoner) will have never handled one,
> hasn't read about them, and certainly hasn't seen them on his TV or at
> the local multiplex movie theatre.

Well, the whole genre of trigger fired weapons are designed for
relatively easy aiming. Lack of cultural model would be a minor
hinderance. The whole point of investing in a relatively high tech and
more expensive crossbow is you can hand them to your peasant levy an
train them quickly to be effective. Not "zero training", just "little
training". Not "stellar", just "effective", or "effective en masse".
Great weapon for very green troops.

A "feature" we ignore in the game, but it has ramifications; crossbows
have parts and tools. Parts and tools can get lost, broken, stolen, or
damaged. Typically, a crossbow will have a lever (called a crowsfoot)
or a crank for cocking; these are likely to be separate pieces,
esecially on a medium or smaller crossbow.


> > A thrown rock should be a low damage, short range simple weapon,
> > maybe -1 or -2 to hit; not -4, per "throw the trash" rules. Rock =
> > dart, but twice as heavy would not be a bad mechanic. The concept of
> > "throw the rocks" is pretty intuitive, and you can be somewhat
> > selective when you choose one to throw. Finding suitable rocks is not a
> > given; some locales will have plenty, but some locales would require a
> > search for rocks, and others would simply have none available.
>
> PHB, p.158 tells us it takes no proficiency to throw a 'splash'
> weapon. As rocks and Thunderstones are ballistcally the same, this
> implies it takes no special proficiency to throw a rock, either.

That makes good sense.


> That would give it a range increment of 20 ft., and as a thrown rock
> should have less wounding potential than one fired from a sling (1d3),

Sling is listed in the online SRD as 1d4 for medium critters.

http://www.d20srd.org/srd/equipment/weapons.htm


> I'd give than the same damage as an unarmed fist attack (1d3 non-lethal
> for a medium character).

That seems very fair.


> > OTOH, the sling - should be archaic in an age of armor, but might be
> > common anyway because of the plethora of cultures and races, some quite
> > primitive. The damage in the rules against and unarmored target is way
> > too low; as is the range for a proficient slinger. It is not an easy
> > weapon to master; proficiency should be unusual without a good
> > justification. I'd make it exotic, but also a class and race weapon.
> > BUT, as a game mechanic, the sling fits quite nicely, as long as you
> > accept that it is a fantasy weapon that is not really like a real
> > sling. The stats are more like a modern slingshot.

> Sling bullets did a decent job on armour, especially flexible types.

Cite? I used Google, and one or two of the sources I checked (about
four) credited armor taking away the effectiveness of the sling as the
reason for the sling falling out of favor, especially vs vs a bow and
arrow's ability to pierce armor. I can find them if you need me to.


> As for damage, remember that you can apply your Str modifier to sling
> damage.

True. Str on Str missle weapons (not crossbow) should increase range.
It would just be another fiddle to track, though.


> > I like a distinction between sling stones found at the creek bed (-1
> > damage) and cast lead sling bullets. Silver bullets should be fairly
> > easily available, also -1 damage. Casting silver is pretty common. Hmm,
> > lead core/silver sheath should not be too hard to do. No minus to
> > damage. Cost same or more than silver bullet - lead is cheaper than
> > silver, labor is pretty cheap.

> If you read the rules you'd see that stones do one size less damage
> (1d3 for a medium slinger) and are -1 to hit.

In the PHB? I'll check. The SRD made no mention.


> Silver has similar density to lead (Ag: 10.5 vs Pb:11.34) and is harder,
> so I'd leave the damage the same.

Dude, you are right! I thought lead was quite a bit denser, but it is
not.

FWIW, I thought about cold iron bullets; sure there's a need. They'd be
harder to make; you couldn't cast them. Assuming you made them, the
density of iron is 7.9, should be -1, no?


> > The javelin - martial.
> >
> > >From the SRD:
> > Javelin: This weapon is a light, flexible spear intended for throwing.
> >
> > No way you could effectively throw one without some training and
> > practice.
>
> That applies to just about everything more complex than a thrown rock.

I very much agree.


> > The dart - I have yet to figure out exactly what this is.
> >
> > >From the SRD:
> > Dart: A dart is the size of a large arrow and has a weighted head.
> > Essentially, it is a small javelin.
> >
> > The description seems to point to the dart as the projectile for the
> > atlatl launcher (throwing stick), but the launcher is not mentioned in
> > the rules.
> >
> > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dart_%28missile%29
> >
> > I have not seen a reference to a thrown dart weapon of this size (one
> > without a launcher). Based on the prior discussion about throwing
> > steels, the description of the dart, and the stats, I'd lump "the dart"
> > as a throwing steel variant (regardless of the actual material). Per
> > your arguement - martial.
>
> Byzantine Cataphracts used such darts. They were thrown just before
> the charge impacted to break up enemy formations - a role similar to
> that of a Frankish throwing axe.

Ah. Reading between the lines here; the dart is a variant of a short
spear/light javelin. Minor use in history. Someone latched onto it in
the dim days of early D&D as a mage weapon, hence it is still around.
The numbers fit the notion "throwing steel", and so long as you do not
fixate on what it looks like, the dart is an adequate substitute.


> Rupert Boleyn <rboleyn@paradise.net.nz>

> "Just because the truth will set you free doesn't mean the truth itself
> should be free."

Just charge for the documentation and support.


MadKaugh
Anonymous
August 10, 2005 6:19:01 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

DougL wrote:
> Rupert Boleyn wrote:
> > On 9 Aug 2005 11:45:27 -0700, "Madkaugh" <madkaugh@yahoo.com> carved
> > upon a tablet of ether:
>
> > > I have not seen a reference to a thrown dart weapon of this size (one
> > > without a launcher). Based on the prior discussion about throwing
> > > steels, the description of the dart, and the stats, I'd lump "the dart"
> > > as a throwing steel variant (regardless of the actual material). Per
> > > your arguement - martial.
> >
> > Byzantine Cataphracts used such darts. They were thrown just before
> > the charge impacted to break up enemy formations - a role similar to
> > that of a Frankish throwing axe.
>
> Byzantine Infantry also used Plumbata. (IIRC so did mid-late empire
> Western Empire Infantry.)
>
> DougL

Thanks, Rupert and Doug. The wikipedia article:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dart_(missile)

made more sense when I re-read it after your comments.


I could see where a lawn dart could put a hurtin' on you.


MadKaugh
Anonymous
August 10, 2005 8:01:03 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Keith Davies wrote:
> Madkaugh <madkaugh@yahoo.com> wrote:
> > Rupert Boleyn wrote:
> >
> >> As for damage, remember that you can apply your Str modifier to sling
> >> damage.
> >
> > True. Str on Str missle weapons (not crossbow) should increase range.
> > It would just be another fiddle to track, though.
>
> I have considered changing composite bows so they have a base range
> equal to that of the self bow form (i.e. composite longbow has a base
> range of 100'), but the range increment is increased by 10' per +1 Str
> bonus it's designed for. So, a +1 Strength comp. longbow would have the
> 100' range increment shown in the book, a +4 Strength bow would have
> 140' range increment.
>
> For thrown weapons I'd consider a 5' increase in the range increment per
> strength bonus, 10' if you can use a launcher (sling stone, javelin
> using an atlatl), possibly setting a maximum of doubling the range
> increment.
>
> I'd try to make the increment *smaller*, but I don't really want to get
> into multiples of 2.5 feet. 5' is large enough to be worth keeping
> track of. It does mean that a Str 18 knife thrower will be able to
> throw a knife (10+20) * 5 == 150 feet with only a -10 penalty to hit...
> I'm not sure how reasonable that is.
>
> It might be worth saying "+5 feet per point of Strength bonus, to a
> maximum of doubling the range increment". If you use a device (sling or
> atlatl as appropriate) waive this limitation, I think.

I like it.


> > FWIW, I thought about cold iron bullets; sure there's a need. They'd
> > be harder to make; you couldn't cast them. Assuming you made them, the
> > density of iron is 7.9, should be -1, no?

> Again, probably close enough to not matter. Iron is harder than either,
> and you don't care about 'blunting' it as you would with a blade or
> point. Do put the 'cold iron' increase on the cost, but otherwise treat
> it as normal ammunition.

> Really, if you got hit with an ounce of lead traveling at speed, and
> 8/10 of an ounce of iron traveling at speed, would you *really* notice
> the difference?

Good point.


> For that matter, there's no particular reason you couldn't make the iron
> ones just a little bigger. The two are within 10% of the same diameter,
> and slings are awfully flexible in the size of the object they can
> throw. You could make the iron one exactly the same weight and use it
> without any trouble.

Good point.

MadKaugh
Anonymous
August 10, 2005 10:01:41 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Rupert Boleyn wrote:
> On 10 Aug 2005 13:54:30 -0700, "Madkaugh" <madkaugh@yahoo.com> carved
> upon a tablet of ether:
>
> > Well, the whole genre of trigger fired weapons are designed for
> > relatively easy aiming. Lack of cultural model would be a minor
> > hinderance. The whole point of investing in a relatively high tech and
> > more expensive crossbow is you can hand them to your peasant levy an
> > train them quickly to be effective. Not "zero training", just "little
> > training". Not "stellar", just "effective", or "effective en masse".
> > Great weapon for very green troops.
>
> But note that, except possibly in seige situations, peasants were not
> given crossbows. Also note that crossbowmen made good money as
> mercenaries - they were an elite specialist arm, like longbowmen
> (though not as successful).

I'd blame the cost of the bow, which I'd wager D&D does not accurately
reflect. My WAG at the cost would be that a crossbow should cost 3x to
6x times what it does in the game.


> > A "feature" we ignore in the game, but it has ramifications; crossbows
> > have parts and tools. Parts and tools can get lost, broken, stolen, or
> > damaged. Typically, a crossbow will have a lever (called a crowsfoot)
> > or a crank for cocking; these are likely to be separate pieces,
> > esecially on a medium or smaller crossbow.
>
> All this is why they were a weapon for professionals, and not for
> peasant levies.

True; at least overseen by pros. That is not an unusual model for the
military. Green meat to hold weapons, a few veteran troops to keep them
in line, make sure the important resources (the bows) are not lost or
damaged.


> > > That would give it a range increment of 20 ft., and as a thrown rock
> > > should have less wounding potential than one fired from a sling (1d3),
> >
> > Sling is listed in the online SRD as 1d4 for medium critters.
> >
> > http://www.d20srd.org/srd/equipment/weapons.htm
>
> That's for a lead bullet. The PH informs us that stones do damage one
> size smaller, and give a -1 to hit.
>
> > > Sling bullets did a decent job on armour, especially flexible types.
> >
> > Cite? I used Google, and one or two of the sources I checked (about
> > four) credited armor taking away the effectiveness of the sling as the
> > reason for the sling falling out of favor, especially vs vs a bow and
> > arrow's ability to pierce armor. I can find them if you need me to.
>
> The sling was used over the bow by the greeks and the romans, and both
> cultures had run into people with good armour, and people with bows.

Same sources indicated both were generally used. Slingers stood furthur
back, lobbed over the archers, and had better range.


> That suggests that use of sling vs bow is likely to be cultural as
> much as technological,

That sounds likely, for a while. In the short run, culture throws a lot
of weight. In the long run, economics, including effectiveness of the
weapon, will dominate.


> or that decent bow technology (composite and long bows) didn't exist in the
> classical west, and self bows are no better than slings.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bow_%28weapon%29

The bow goes back to prehistory.

"The bow became the main weapon of war used in the Middle East by the
Assyrians and Egyptians, who fired it from warriors on chariots to
great effect. The Greeks and Romans did not find this technique useful.
Advances in armor made the bow less effective and the both often
campaigned in hilly or forest areas that were unsuited to chariots. The
development of horse archers by the people of the Eurasian Steppe,
brought the bow back to the fore. Using composite bows, Steppe peoples
such as the Huns and Mongols became a dominant force."

So what you are saying sounds true, at least in Greek and Roman times.


> > FWIW, I thought about cold iron bullets; sure there's a need. They'd be
> > harder to make; you couldn't cast them. Assuming you made them, the
> > density of iron is 7.9, should be -1, no?
>
> I wouldn't bother with the damage penalty - compared to stone at
> density 2.5 - 3, iron's dense enough to merit full damage. You might
> be able to cast them - the Chinese had cast iron in medieval times
> (due to a source of high-phosphous ore, and a good furnace design),
> and Europe deveopled a high-termperature blast furnace in the late
> middle ages/early renaissance (and D&D tends to that era). With cheap
> plate armour around (which is what the breastplate implies) it's
> certainly believeable.

Oh, I wasn't questioning that the tech existed to do so.


> Now, whether 'cold iron' retains its useful
> anti-fiend properties after being melted and cast is another matter.

My take on it was that if you heated 'cold iron' to forge temperatures,
let alone casting temperatures, it was no longer 'cold iron'.

http://srd.plush.org/specialMaterials.html

"Iron, Cold: This iron, mined deep underground, known for its
effectiveness against fey creatures, is forged at a lower temperature
to preserve its delicate properties."


> > Ah. Reading between the lines here; the dart is a variant of a short
> > spear/light javelin. Minor use in history. Someone latched onto it in
> > the dim days of early D&D as a mage weapon, hence it is still around.
> > The numbers fit the notion "throwing steel", and so long as you do not
> > fixate on what it looks like, the dart is an adequate substitute.
>
> Not that minor - The byzantines were a power for centuries.

True. And they influenced European history, but mostly by being a
barrier to Eastern incursion. One of the sources called the Byzantine
lawn dart the most effective armor piercing weapon of its day,
primarily due to the egg-sized weight. Ok, so, one fairly powerful
empire (a shadow of it's former self) had it in their inventory,
occasionally used it to repel invaders and stay put.

You face an armored man. He brandishes his dart. Fear the lawn dart.
I'd be rolling on the floor, laughing as the dart went through me.


MadKaugh
Anonymous
August 10, 2005 10:58:07 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Rupert Boleyn wrote:
> On 10 Aug 2005 18:01:41 -0700, "Madkaugh" <madkaugh@yahoo.com> carved
> upon a tablet of ether:
>
> > Rupert Boleyn wrote:
> > > On 10 Aug 2005 13:54:30 -0700, "Madkaugh" <madkaugh@yahoo.com> carved
> > > upon a tablet of ether:
> > >
> > > > Well, the whole genre of trigger fired weapons are designed for
> > > > relatively easy aiming. Lack of cultural model would be a minor
> > > > hinderance. The whole point of investing in a relatively high tech and
> > > > more expensive crossbow is you can hand them to your peasant levy an
> > > > train them quickly to be effective. Not "zero training", just "little
> > > > training". Not "stellar", just "effective", or "effective en masse".
> > > > Great weapon for very green troops.
> > >
> > > But note that, except possibly in seige situations, peasants were not
> > > given crossbows. Also note that crossbowmen made good money as
> > > mercenaries - they were an elite specialist arm, like longbowmen
> > > (though not as successful).
> >
> > I'd blame the cost of the bow, which I'd wager D&D does not accurately
> > reflect. My WAG at the cost would be that a crossbow should cost 3x to
> > 6x times what it does in the game.
>
> They cost rather more than swords in the game. More likely bows cost
> far too much.

That's probably true. No metal in a bow; metal in medieval times is
expensive, a bow should be cheap. Cheaper than it is, relative to
swords.


> > My take on it was that if you heated 'cold iron' to forge temperatures,
> > let alone casting temperatures, it was no longer 'cold iron'.
> >
> > http://srd.plush.org/specialMaterials.html
> >
> > "Iron, Cold: This iron, mined deep underground, known for its
> > effectiveness against fey creatures, is forged at a lower temperature
> > to preserve its delicate properties."
>
> No casting, then.
>
> > True. And they influenced European history, but mostly by being a
> > barrier to Eastern incursion. One of the sources called the Byzantine
> > lawn dart the most effective armor piercing weapon of its day,
> > primarily due to the egg-sized weight. Ok, so, one fairly powerful
> > empire (a shadow of it's former self) had it in their inventory,
> > occasionally used it to repel invaders and stay put.
>
> I think you under-rate the importance of the Byzantine Empire, and
> forget that it wasn't really a 'shadow' until the crusades, at the
> earliest (ie until it had lost central Turkey).

Oh, I think it played a key role even just holding ground. Europe would
have been overrun if not for Constantinopole. It gave Europe time to
recover and develop a culture. But at best, it was a fraction of the
Roman Empire. A sizable fraction, but a fraction none the less. Rome
conquered much of the known world. Byzantium hung on. Which one
inspires legends?

MadKaugh
Anonymous
August 10, 2005 11:30:15 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Madkaugh wrote:
> Kaos wrote:
>>
>>Having attempted to throw both regular daggers and those designed for
>>throwing, I'd posit that it should take a martial proficiency to
>>actually throw one without penalty.
>
> Well, yeah, I'd agree with that, though I'd say martial or rogue. A
> dagger/throwing steel is very in character for a rogue.

Note: Commoners only know *one* simple weapon. The chance of your
average farmer or labourer knowing how to throw a dagger cleanly isn't
all that great.
Considering that everyone who had any real weapons training would
own a long knife, eating and working with it every day, it's hardly
unusual that they'd know how to throw it.

> A simple ranged weapon should be a crossbow or a rock. Crossbow fits
> the bill nicely for simple missle weapon, that's exactly what it is,
> why it was made.

Spear weapons are classed as simple, mostly because they're
ubiquitous amongst hunters and warriors for most of human history, and
in one form or another dominated battlefields until the advent of
reliable fast-loading guns.

> A thrown rock should be
<snip>
DnD calls them clubs, once you've taken the time to select and/or
sharpen up a decent sized one. 1d6 damage, 10' range incriment.

> OTOH, the sling
<snip>
Is really a hold-over from Clerics only being able to use
bludgeoning weapons in previous editions of the game. More historically
accurate campains should probably do away with it, or at least make it a
martial weapon with better stats for appropriate societies.

> The javelin - martial.
>
>>From the SRD:
> Javelin: This weapon is a light, flexible spear intended for throwing.
>
> No way you could effectively throw one without some training and
> practice.

Simple weapons already require training and practice, just nothing
too complicated, and the weapon must be common to your society.

The Javelin's just a special throwing spear, again, as old as time
really. The Human shoulder joint is basically evolved specifically to
throw things like javelins, it's one of the reasons we're so lightly built.

> The dart - I have yet to figure out exactly what this is.

It's a light throwing spear. Fairly common in medieval India, IIRC.

--
tussock

Aspie at work, sorry in advance.
Anonymous
August 11, 2005 1:55:12 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

On 9 Aug 2005 11:45:27 -0700, "Madkaugh" <madkaugh@yahoo.com> carved
upon a tablet of ether:

> A simple ranged weapon should be a crossbow or a rock. Crossbow fits
> the bill nicely for simple missle weapon, that's exactly what it is,
> why it was made.

Historically speaking a crossbow is not a simple weapon. It takes
training to use, and even more to properly maintian the weapon. Simple
compared to a longbow or sling? Yes. Compared to a spear or club? No.

We think they're simple because crossbows work like guns, and most
people have some idea how to use a gun, so we assume they're easy to
use. Crossbows are actually harder to use well than a good modern
rifle and your basic farmer (ie Commoner) will have never handled one,
hasn't read about them, and certainly hasn't seen them on his TV or at
the local multiplex movie theatre.

> A thrown rock should be a low damage, short range simple weapon,
> maybe -1 or -2 to hit; not -4, per "throw the trash" rules. Rock =
> dart, but twice as heavy would not be a bad mechanic. The concept of
> "throw the rocks" is pretty intuitive, and you can be somewhat
> selective when you choose one to throw. Finding suitable rocks is not a
> given; some locales will have plenty, but some locales would require a
> search for rocks, and others would simply have none available.

PHB, p.158 tells us it takes no proficiency to throw a 'splash'
weapon. As rocks and Thunderstones are ballistcally the same, this
implies it takes no special proficiency to throw a rock, either. That
would give it a range increment of 20 ft., and as a thrown rock should
have less wounding potential than one fired from a sling (1d3), I'd
give than the same damage as an unarmed fist attack (1d3 non-lethal
for a medium character).

> OTOH, the sling - should be archaic in an age of armor, but might be
> common anyway because of the plethora of cultures and races, some quite
> primitive. The damage in the rules against and unarmored target is way
> too low; as is the range for a proficient slinger. It is not an easy
> weapon to master; proficiency should be unusual without a good
> justification. I'd make it exotic, but also a class and race weapon.
> BUT, as a game mechanic, the sling fits quite nicely, as long as you
> accept that it is a fantasy weapon that is not really like a real
> sling. The stats are more like a modern slingshot.

Sling bullets did a decent job on armour, especially flexible types.
As for damage, remember that you can apply your Str modifier to sling
damage.

> I like a distinction between sling stones found at the creek bed (-1
> damage) and cast lead sling bullets. Silver bullets should be fairly
> easily available, also -1 damage. Casting silver is pretty common. Hmm,
> lead core/silver sheath should not be too hard to do. No minus to
> damage. Cost same or more than silver bullet - lead is cheaper than
> silver, labor is pretty cheap.

If you read the rules you'd see that stones do one size less damage
(1d3 for a medium slinger) and are -1 to hit. Silver has similar
density to lead (Ag: 10.5 vs Pb:11.34) and is harder, so I'd leave the
damage the same.

> The javelin - martial.
>
> >From the SRD:
> Javelin: This weapon is a light, flexible spear intended for throwing.
>
> No way you could effectively throw one without some training and
> practice.

That applies to just about everything more complex than a thrown rock.

> The dart - I have yet to figure out exactly what this is.
>
> >From the SRD:
> Dart: A dart is the size of a large arrow and has a weighted head.
> Essentially, it is a small javelin.
>
> The description seems to point to the dart as the projectile for the
> atlatl launcher (throwing stick), but the launcher is not mentioned in
> the rules.
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dart_%28missile%29
>
> I have not seen a reference to a thrown dart weapon of this size (one
> without a launcher). Based on the prior discussion about throwing
> steels, the description of the dart, and the stats, I'd lump "the dart"
> as a throwing steel variant (regardless of the actual material). Per
> your arguement - martial.

Byzantine Cataphracts used such darts. They were thrown just before
the charge impacted to break up enemy formations - a role similar to
that of a Frankish throwing axe.


--
Rupert Boleyn <rboleyn@paradise.net.nz>
"Just because the truth will set you free doesn't mean the truth itself
should be free."
Anonymous
August 11, 2005 1:58:11 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Madkaugh <madkaugh@yahoo.com> wrote:
> Rupert Boleyn wrote:
>
>> As for damage, remember that you can apply your Str modifier to sling
>> damage.
>
> True. Str on Str missle weapons (not crossbow) should increase range.
> It would just be another fiddle to track, though.

I have considered changing composite bows so they have a base range
equal to that of the self bow form (i.e. composite longbow has a base
range of 100'), but the range increment is increased by 10' per +1 Str
bonus it's designed for. So, a +1 Strength comp. longbow would have the
100' range increment shown in the book, a +4 Strength bow would have
140' range increment.

For thrown weapons I'd consider a 5' increase in the range increment per
strength bonus, 10' if you can use a launcher (sling stone, javelin
using an atlatl), possibly setting a maximum of doubling the range
increment.

I'd try to make the increment *smaller*, but I don't really want to get
into multiples of 2.5 feet. 5' is large enough to be worth keeping
track of. It does mean that a Str 18 knife thrower will be able to
throw a knife (10+20) * 5 == 150 feet with only a -10 penalty to hit...
I'm not sure how reasonable that is.

It might be worth saying "+5 feet per point of Strength bonus, to a
maximum of doubling the range increment". If you use a device (sling or
atlatl as appropriate) waive this limitation, I think.

>> Silver has similar density to lead (Ag: 10.5 vs Pb:11.34) and is harder,
>> so I'd leave the damage the same.
>
> Dude, you are right! I thought lead was quite a bit denser, but it is
> not.

I meant to mention this. Silver and lead are a lot alike. One's
shinier, but the different in density, for our purposes, doesn't much
matter. Make it a quarter inch bigger in diameter you'll have about
the same weight.

> FWIW, I thought about cold iron bullets; sure there's a need. They'd
> be harder to make; you couldn't cast them. Assuming you made them, the
> density of iron is 7.9, should be -1, no?

Again, probably close enough to not matter. Iron is harder than either,
and you don't care about 'blunting' it as you would with a blade or
point. Do put the 'cold iron' increase on the cost, but otherwise treat
it as normal ammunition.

Really, if you got hit with an ounce of lead traveling at speed, and
8/10 of an ounce of iron traveling at speed, would you *really* notice
the difference?

For that matter, there's no particular reason you couldn't make the iron
ones just a little bigger. The two are within 10% of the same diameter,
and slings are awfully flexible in the size of the object they can
throw. You could make the iron one exactly the same weight and use it
without any trouble.


Keith
--
Keith Davies "Trying to sway him from his current kook-
keith.davies@kjdavies.org rant with facts is like trying to create
keith.davies@gmail.com a vacuum in a room by pushing the air
http://www.kjdavies.org/ out with your hands." -- Matt Frisch
Anonymous
August 11, 2005 4:01:19 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Rupert Boleyn wrote:
> On 10 Aug 2005 18:58:07 -0700, "Madkaugh" <madkaugh@yahoo.com> carved
> upon a tablet of ether:
>
> > Oh, I think it played a key role even just holding ground. Europe would
> > have been overrun if not for Constantinopole. It gave Europe time to
> > recover and develop a culture. But at best, it was a fraction of the
> > Roman Empire. A sizable fraction, but a fraction none the less. Rome
> > conquered much of the known world. Byzantium hung on. Which one
> > inspires legends?
>
> As 'Byzantium' was the Eastern Roman Empire, both. Remember, Byzantium
> called itself 'Rome', and was a disrect continuation of the Roman
> Empire.

Byzantium in it's era has a good claim to be the continuation of the
Roman Empire. It is telling that everyone, Byzantium included, wanted
to be known as "Rome".


> Besides, most of what people think of as 'Rome' was from the Imperial
> era, and Rome was already at the 'hanging on' stage by then.

Yeah, ironically, the Rome everyone remembers is the decadent, waning
phase.


MadKaugh
Anonymous
August 11, 2005 12:44:30 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Tetsubo wrote:
> Madkaugh wrote:
>
> >Keith Davies wrote:
> >
> >
> >>Madkaugh <madkaugh@yahoo.com> wrote:
> >>
> >>
> >>>tussock wrote:
> >
> >>>>>OTOH, the sling
> >
> >>Depending on the period, they may see some use among farmers.
> >>
> >>
> >
> >Is this at all historical? It makes sense. FWIW, the D&D sling is also
> >known as a "shepherd's sling". I don't know if this reflects a common
> >usage for defending the flock against predators, or if this is a
> >reference to the one guy documented to have done so, David in the
> >Bible, who is noted to have slain a lion, a bear, and a big dude.
> >
> I've always linked the sling with shepherds because they are one of
> the few people that have the time to learn it. Let's face it, a lot of
> shepherding is watching sheep or goats. Not that involving... so a sling
> is a cheap and easy way to kill time. You might also get dinner or drive
> off wolves...

That is a good point.


MadKaugh
Anonymous
August 11, 2005 2:49:52 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

On 10 Aug 2005 13:54:30 -0700, "Madkaugh" <madkaugh@yahoo.com> carved
upon a tablet of ether:

> Well, the whole genre of trigger fired weapons are designed for
> relatively easy aiming. Lack of cultural model would be a minor
> hinderance. The whole point of investing in a relatively high tech and
> more expensive crossbow is you can hand them to your peasant levy an
> train them quickly to be effective. Not "zero training", just "little
> training". Not "stellar", just "effective", or "effective en masse".
> Great weapon for very green troops.

But note that, except possibly in seige situations, peasants were not
given crossbows. Also note that crossbowmen made good money as
mercenaries - they were an elite specialist arm, like longbowmen
(though not as successful).

> A "feature" we ignore in the game, but it has ramifications; crossbows
> have parts and tools. Parts and tools can get lost, broken, stolen, or
> damaged. Typically, a crossbow will have a lever (called a crowsfoot)
> or a crank for cocking; these are likely to be separate pieces,
> esecially on a medium or smaller crossbow.

All this is why they were a weapon for professionals, and not for
peasant levies.

> > That would give it a range increment of 20 ft., and as a thrown rock
> > should have less wounding potential than one fired from a sling (1d3),
>
> Sling is listed in the online SRD as 1d4 for medium critters.
>
> http://www.d20srd.org/srd/equipment/weapons.htm

That's for a lead bullet. The PH informs us that stones do damage one
size smaller, and give a -1 to hit.

> > Sling bullets did a decent job on armour, especially flexible types.
>
> Cite? I used Google, and one or two of the sources I checked (about
> four) credited armor taking away the effectiveness of the sling as the
> reason for the sling falling out of favor, especially vs vs a bow and
> arrow's ability to pierce armor. I can find them if you need me to.

The sling was used over the bow by the greeks and the romans, and both
cultures had run into people with good armour, and people with bows.
That suggests that use of sling vs bow is likely to be cultural as
much as technological, or that decent bow technology (composite and
long bows) didn't exist in the classical west, and self bows are no
better than slings.

> > Silver has similar density to lead (Ag: 10.5 vs Pb:11.34) and is harder,
> > so I'd leave the damage the same.
>
> Dude, you are right! I thought lead was quite a bit denser, but it is
> not.
>
> FWIW, I thought about cold iron bullets; sure there's a need. They'd be
> harder to make; you couldn't cast them. Assuming you made them, the
> density of iron is 7.9, should be -1, no?

I wouldn't bother with the damage penalty - compared to stone at
density 2.5 - 3, iron's dense enough to merit full damage. You might
be able to cast them - the Chinese had cast iron in medieval times
(due to a source of high-phosphous ore, and a good furnace design),
and Europe deveopled a high-termperature blast furnace in the late
middle ages/early renaissance (and D&D tends to that era). With cheap
plate armour around (which is what the breastplate implies) it's
certainly believeable. Now, whether 'cold iron' retains its useful
anti-fiend properties after being melted and cast is another matter.

> Ah. Reading between the lines here; the dart is a variant of a short
> spear/light javelin. Minor use in history. Someone latched onto it in
> the dim days of early D&D as a mage weapon, hence it is still around.
> The numbers fit the notion "throwing steel", and so long as you do not
> fixate on what it looks like, the dart is an adequate substitute.

Not that minor - The byzantines were a power for centuries.

> > Rupert Boleyn <rboleyn@paradise.net.nz>
>
> > "Just because the truth will set you free doesn't mean the truth itself
> > should be free."
>
> Just charge for the documentation and support.

:) 


--
Rupert Boleyn <rboleyn@paradise.net.nz>
"Just because the truth will set you free doesn't mean the truth itself
should be free."
Anonymous
August 11, 2005 5:07:52 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

On 10 Aug 2005 18:01:41 -0700, "Madkaugh" <madkaugh@yahoo.com> carved
upon a tablet of ether:

> Rupert Boleyn wrote:
> > On 10 Aug 2005 13:54:30 -0700, "Madkaugh" <madkaugh@yahoo.com> carved
> > upon a tablet of ether:
> >
> > > Well, the whole genre of trigger fired weapons are designed for
> > > relatively easy aiming. Lack of cultural model would be a minor
> > > hinderance. The whole point of investing in a relatively high tech and
> > > more expensive crossbow is you can hand them to your peasant levy an
> > > train them quickly to be effective. Not "zero training", just "little
> > > training". Not "stellar", just "effective", or "effective en masse".
> > > Great weapon for very green troops.
> >
> > But note that, except possibly in seige situations, peasants were not
> > given crossbows. Also note that crossbowmen made good money as
> > mercenaries - they were an elite specialist arm, like longbowmen
> > (though not as successful).
>
> I'd blame the cost of the bow, which I'd wager D&D does not accurately
> reflect. My WAG at the cost would be that a crossbow should cost 3x to
> 6x times what it does in the game.

They cost rather more than swords in the game. More likely bows cost
far too much.

> My take on it was that if you heated 'cold iron' to forge temperatures,
> let alone casting temperatures, it was no longer 'cold iron'.
>
> http://srd.plush.org/specialMaterials.html
>
> "Iron, Cold: This iron, mined deep underground, known for its
> effectiveness against fey creatures, is forged at a lower temperature
> to preserve its delicate properties."

No casting, then.

> True. And they influenced European history, but mostly by being a
> barrier to Eastern incursion. One of the sources called the Byzantine
> lawn dart the most effective armor piercing weapon of its day,
> primarily due to the egg-sized weight. Ok, so, one fairly powerful
> empire (a shadow of it's former self) had it in their inventory,
> occasionally used it to repel invaders and stay put.

I think you under-rate the importance of the Byzantine Empire, and
forget that it wasn't really a 'shadow' until the crusades, at the
earliest (ie until it had lost central Turkey).


--
Rupert Boleyn <rboleyn@paradise.net.nz>
"Just because the truth will set you free doesn't mean the truth itself
should be free."
Anonymous
August 11, 2005 5:11:34 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Madkaugh wrote:
> Rupert Boleyn wrote:
> > On 10 Aug 2005 13:54:30 -0700, "Madkaugh" <madkaugh@yahoo.com> carved
> > upon a tablet of ether:
>
> > > FWIW, I thought about cold iron bullets; sure there's a need. They'd be
> > > harder to make; you couldn't cast them. Assuming you made them, the
> > > density of iron is 7.9, should be -1, no?
> >
> > I wouldn't bother with the damage penalty - compared to stone at
> > density 2.5 - 3, iron's dense enough to merit full damage. You might
> > be able to cast them - the Chinese had cast iron in medieval times
> > (due to a source of high-phosphous ore, and a good furnace design),
> > and Europe deveopled a high-termperature blast furnace in the late
> > middle ages/early renaissance (and D&D tends to that era). With cheap
> > plate armour around (which is what the breastplate implies) it's
> > certainly believeable.
>
> Oh, I wasn't questioning that the tech existed to do so.

Follow-up: Wikipedia has a good overview of the history of iron work on
the "steel" page:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steel

The indication is that even in the Bronze Age, the Eurasian cultures
had the capability to work iron if and when they chose to; the choice
to use bronze was an economic choice. Makes sense; even today bronze
and brass are more suited to some applications than iron or steel are.


> > Now, whether 'cold iron' retains its useful
> > anti-fiend properties after being melted and cast is another matter.
>
> My take on it was that if you heated 'cold iron' to forge temperatures,
> let alone casting temperatures, it was no longer 'cold iron'.
>
> http://srd.plush.org/specialMaterials.html
>
> "Iron, Cold: This iron, mined deep underground, known for its
> effectiveness against fey creatures, is forged at a lower temperature
> to preserve its delicate properties."


It occurs to me that a sling bullet caster could crush some cold iron
to pea sized bits, pack them into a bullet mold, and pour a lead matrix
around them.



MadKaugh

Fear my lawn dart!
Anonymous
August 11, 2005 6:10:56 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

On 10 Aug 2005 18:58:07 -0700, "Madkaugh" <madkaugh@yahoo.com> carved
upon a tablet of ether:

> Oh, I think it played a key role even just holding ground. Europe would
> have been overrun if not for Constantinopole. It gave Europe time to
> recover and develop a culture. But at best, it was a fraction of the
> Roman Empire. A sizable fraction, but a fraction none the less. Rome
> conquered much of the known world. Byzantium hung on. Which one
> inspires legends?

As 'Byzantium' was the Eastern Roman Empire, both. Remember, Byzantium
called itself 'Rome', and was a disrect continuation of the Roman
Empire.

Besides, most of what people think of as 'Rome' was from the Imperial
era, and Rome was already at the 'hanging on' stage by then.


--
Rupert Boleyn <rboleyn@paradise.net.nz>
"Just because the truth will set you free doesn't mean the truth itself
should be free."
Anonymous
August 11, 2005 9:47:09 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Madkaugh wrote:

>Madkaugh wrote:
>
>
>>Rupert Boleyn wrote:
>>
>>
>>>On 10 Aug 2005 13:54:30 -0700, "Madkaugh" <madkaugh@yahoo.com> carved
>>>upon a tablet of ether:
>>>
>>>
>>>>FWIW, I thought about cold iron bullets; sure there's a need. They'd be
>>>>harder to make; you couldn't cast them. Assuming you made them, the
>>>>density of iron is 7.9, should be -1, no?
>>>>
>>>>
>>>I wouldn't bother with the damage penalty - compared to stone at
>>>density 2.5 - 3, iron's dense enough to merit full damage. You might
>>>be able to cast them - the Chinese had cast iron in medieval times
>>>(due to a source of high-phosphous ore, and a good furnace design),
>>>and Europe deveopled a high-termperature blast furnace in the late
>>>middle ages/early renaissance (and D&D tends to that era). With cheap
>>>plate armour around (which is what the breastplate implies) it's
>>>certainly believeable.
>>>
>>>
>>Oh, I wasn't questioning that the tech existed to do so.
>>
>>
>
>Follow-up: Wikipedia has a good overview of the history of iron work on
>the "steel" page:
>
>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steel
>
>The indication is that even in the Bronze Age, the Eurasian cultures
>had the capability to work iron if and when they chose to; the choice
>to use bronze was an economic choice. Makes sense; even today bronze
>and brass are more suited to some applications than iron or steel are.
>
>
>
>
>>>Now, whether 'cold iron' retains its useful
>>>anti-fiend properties after being melted and cast is another matter.
>>>
>>>
>>My take on it was that if you heated 'cold iron' to forge temperatures,
>>let alone casting temperatures, it was no longer 'cold iron'.
>>
>>http://srd.plush.org/specialMaterials.html
>>
>>"Iron, Cold: This iron, mined deep underground, known for its
>>effectiveness against fey creatures, is forged at a lower temperature
>>to preserve its delicate properties."
>>
>>
>
>
>It occurs to me that a sling bullet caster could crush some cold iron
>to pea sized bits, pack them into a bullet mold, and pour a lead matrix
>around them.
>
>
One of the real world sling facts I learned always made me smile.
They found a molded lead sling bullet from the Greek era. Cast into its
surface was the phrase, "Eat This". :) 

>
>
>MadKaugh
>
>Fear my lawn dart!
>
>
>


--
Tetsubo
My page: http://home.comcast.net/~tetsubo/
--------------------------------------
If fifty million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.
-- Anatole France
Anonymous
August 12, 2005 2:13:50 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Tetsubo <tetsubo@comcast.net> wrote:
>
> One of the real world sling facts I learned always made me smile.
> They found a molded lead sling bullet from the Greek era. Cast into
> its surface was the phrase, "Eat This". :) 

Some things never change, eh?


Keith
--
Keith Davies "Trying to sway him from his current kook-
keith.davies@kjdavies.org rant with facts is like trying to create
keith.davies@gmail.com a vacuum in a room by pushing the air
http://www.kjdavies.org/ out with your hands." -- Matt Frisch
Anonymous
August 12, 2005 9:37:02 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

On Thu, 11 Aug 2005 07:54:01 -0400, Tetsubo <tetsubo@comcast.net>
carved upon a tablet of ether:

> You should have seen my friends and I make and use our own bolos...
> amazing that none of us was hospitalized...

When I did that as a kid, I found out something - it's really hard to
entangle pigs with them - they are low to the ground, and have a shape
well-suited to getting out of such things.

--
Rupert Boleyn <rboleyn@paradise.net.nz>
"Just because the truth will set you free doesn't mean the truth itself
should be free."
!