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I am confused about ranged attacks in general and thrown in particular.

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  • I am confused about ranged attacks in general and thrown in particular.

    So, let me start by saying that the last errata I have are from April and address none of my questions as far as I can tell. If I missed any, I would be thankful if you could point those out.
    I have the PDF versions of Origin and Hero on DTRPG but I will refer to the numbers "printed" on the page throughout this post, not the PDF page number.
    I am mostly confused about the attribute used with various ranged attacks as well as the range of thrown attacks. I may get a little sarcastic by the time I get to the Hero stuff (a boon and a knack); please excuse that ^^

    So, I'll start with the firearms "Ranged attack" (Origin, p.117). It says range is determined by the weapon. The tags for this are Ranged and Long Range (Origin, p.123-124), which allow up to medium and long range respectively. The boon Unerring Flight (Hero, p.247) lets you go up to extreme with either tag and use dexterity for all ranges. Presumably that includes Close range (Range table on Origin, p.120; explanations on 119, important for everything from here on out), as it also removes the -1 penalty from the two tags and therefore was designed with melee in mind. The problem appears when you aren't using this boon and need the table to determine the relevant attribute. The list on page 119 states:
    Short: Might or Dexterity
    Medium: Dexterity or Cunning
    Long: Cunning
    Extreme: Intellect
    Whereas the table just one page later says:
    Short: Dexterity
    Medium: Cunning
    Long: Cunning or Intellect
    Extreme: Intellect (or a targeting system)
    So, for short to long range, they cannot agree on anything. I have read the paragraphs on alternate attribute uses like cunning in melee etc. but these two are supposed to list the default attribute and they do not match up. Why Might would be useful in Short Range (3-30m) is not explained. I presume Thrown weapons, but this would be the only mention in either book that Might has anything to do with thrown attacks beyond the lifting roll for heavy projectiles. And it isn't explicit. Dexterity (without the boon) for medium - described as "
    Range to aim and shoot" as opposed to Short, the "Close-quarter battle distance for reflexive shooting and thrown weapons" - also seems weird. With admittedly little knowledge about guns, it seems reasonable to me that beyond 30 meters you need to think about your shots; steady hands won't cut it. So I would just trust the table here, makes more sense and is explicit for the most common engagement ranges: Short and Medium. This seems so glaring that there is most likely an Errata about it I could not find, as anyone running a ranged combat would run into it, right? If you have, how have you ruled it?

    Now, for the thrown weapons. The Thrown attack is described on Origin, p.118. It says Range: Short which seems like a mistake at first, considering that even the otherwise conflicting pages 119 and 120, the tag itself on page 124 and the Knack Hurl to the Moon (Hero, p.236) (more on that one later) are in agreement that the range is medium. Except, a quick google search reveals that effective range for throwing knives ends at about 50 meters while pretty much all heavier weapons are even more limited. Javelins at most 30 m (more like 15-20) (without a spear thrower; those are beside the point), tomahawks (and axes in general) even less than that. Knives really are the exception here, so in general 3-30 m (Short) seems to be a perfect fit for Thrown weapons. Characters being more than mortal men is beside the point as their bonus range comes in the form of knacks and boons. It's also weird that Thrown weapons should be useful at a range where even modern firearms have to deal with drop off or wind (read "use the Cunning attribute to attack"). Pistols really can have an effective range of 100 m so realism was applied there. That is easily house ruled though and realism is not that important - just a nitpick.
    Still p.118 should be addressed in Errata or maybe everything else should be, since 118 makes more sense?

    Finally for the most confusing thing of them all: The boon Heavy Lifter (Hero, p.249) - HL - and the knack Hurl to the Moon (Hero, p.236) - HttM. Both obviously cater to the car-hurling archetype but do so in such a similar manner with such dissimilar implementation that I am 95% certain they were written at very different times in the design process.
    First, both provide a bonus to the Athletics + Might check to lift a heavy improvised weapon (or anything else). HL specifies heavy object (which includes, say, dumbbells) while HttM only works on things with higher Size. Well, Size is probably meant to represent weight when it comes to lifting. HL adds 3 enhancement and is thus compatible with Feats of Scale. HttM does the usual knack thing of letting you imbue legend instead of spending it for a Feat of Scale, meaning you can't actually lift better, just more often, and only if you have relevant titles. Weird that they do that so differently but it does work out as a great synergy, implying the two effects should stack.
    The next part is weird though. HL increases the range of improvised weapons, which in this context means heavy stuff, I suppose. Except, a fork or a broken leg of a chair would also qualify as improvised. The term improvised weapon only appears in the Death by Teacup Knack (Hero, p.235 or Origin,p.112) and this boon. While a GM may impose a -1 on an improvised weapon at their discretion, that is not mentioned anywhere. Just guessing, it would be the GM's job to assign tags to an improvised weapon. The closest thing we have is in the Throwing paragraph on Origin, p.118. That lists Thrown, Pushing and either Lethal or Bashing. Shockwave if it is really huge. That is designed for heavy objects; for light weapons I would likely drop the Pushing tag. Since there is no penalty, they would already be more or less equivalent to regular mundane weapons. The Death by Teacup knack would then mostly serve the function of giving them tags that don't fit their shape or perhaps letting you use something of otherwise too low a quality (a Fork is already kinda decent but a teacup is not useful at all without the knack). Or maybe it is a prerequisite to use improvised weapons at all (other than throwing heavy stuff)?
    Either way, since the boon increases the range of only improvised weapons, they become better than actual weapons. I thought maybe they have only Short range by default because of poor balancing which is why I looked for the term in the first place. HttM also suggests this, as it lets you throw heavy stuff at medium, which is the default range for Thrown anyway and other Thrown weapons at Long Range. But there is no mention of heavy objects being thrown a shorter distance. If there were, it would fit in said paragraph on page 118 of Origin, where it also says that huge objects get shockwave. So for either of these effects to make sense, we have to first assume there is a rule like that. Otherwise, HL makes improvised weapons better than real ones and HttM has a useless effect.
    If there were such a rule (Maybe I did not find it? I tried some search keywords that made sense to me, but that does not guarantee it isn't there.) it would also have to cover light improvised weapons like forks because otherwise HL would overcompensate for those, making them superior to real weapons. However, in that case, HttM would not set them to Medium because that range increase only applies to "Objects thrown this way", referring to the lifting bonus which only works for high Size stuff. As it stands, HttM increases all other Thrown weapons' ranges to Long, including improvised weapons that are not heavy. So a fork would be set to Long by HttM, then increased to extreme by HL, because it is still improvised. Also you could make it have all of a real knife's tags with Death by teacup plus arcing from HL.
    Why would I ever bring real throwing knives with me?
    Have you ever run a game with both these effects at once? Since both the Warrior calling and the Epic Strength purview are natural picks for players who want to hurl cars, I imagine they appear together quite often.
    Last edited by VeZAlchemyst; 09-18-2019, 01:24 PM.

  • #2
    Storypath is not a system to overthink. If you think two parts of the book are in conflict, like the range of thrown weapons, pick one and run with it. (I'd personally go with short myself, but I'm sure some people will think medium makes more sense.)

    As for why would you bring real knives with you if you have HL and Death by Teacup? You might not want to imbue that point of Legend into HL. Otherwise, why not have more fun throwing scenery than those boring knives you brought? Your question is a feature, not a bug. Go nuts.

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    • #3
      A thing to keep in mind, re Improvised Weapons:

      Regular Weapons have attack tags, showing you what kind of combat they're used in (Melee, Ranged, Thrown, etc), and these Tags also specifically say that they grant +1E to attacks made with these weapons. A way to represent Improvised weapons would be saying improvised weapons lack this Enhancement, as you're taking something not meant to be a weapon and trying to use it as one, versus something designed to be a weapon.

      Also, gonna echo Florin's comment of 'Why not just throw improvised weapons? That's a feature, not a bug'


      Disclaimer: I'll huff, grump, and defend my position, but if you're having fun I'll never say you're doing it wrong.

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