Rules for Ballistae?
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  1. #1
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    Minor Trickster (Lvl 4)



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    Rules for Ballistae?

    So we have this 5th level group that is part of a larger mercenary company. We are one squad that runs around doing odd missions. Our "leader" has decided that we need to roll with some more boom. He wants to get a wagon and put a ballista in it in the case we need to knock down a big door or mow down a group of goblins to impress the locals. Anyone know of any 4e rules to cover such equipment? It's not something we plan on using every adventure, but it'd be nice to have one around in case it's needed. Better to have one and not need it than need one and not have one

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    The Great Druid (Lvl 17)



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    when I used one as GM I just uped the size of a crossbow.

    l 1d8> H 1d10> G 1d12

  3. #3
    Ballistae and other siege weapons should be handled by the DM's whim, not by dice rolls. Especially if its an NPC that's using it. One of the facets of 4e designs that I like is that the DM basically dictates what happens when the PCs aren't directly involved, like when a large battle occurs, though the narration could be affected by whether or not the PCs succeed at their task.

    A ballistae is useless in a small skirmish after the first shot. It takes to long to reload to be practical. If the PCs want to use it to knock down doors, the DM should let them. Otherwise it's better left as a story device.

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    Waghalter (Lvl 7)

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    Quote Originally Posted by GMforPowergamers View Post
    when I used one as GM I just uped the size of a crossbow.

    l 1d8> H 1d10> G 1d12
    It's a siege engine. It hit a guy. It did 1 damage.

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    Lama (Lvl 13)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gort View Post
    It's a siege engine. It hit a guy. It did 1 damage.
    It's ok, only minions are stupid enough to be hit by them.

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    Magsman (Lvl 14)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gort View Post
    It's a siege engine. It hit a guy. It did 1 damage.
    Hey, if a DM wants to houserule a Balista does enough damage to one shot a warhorse, I'd say that is a fine idea. The problem is if that kind of damage output written down in the book, then some player will try and abuse it.

  7. #7
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    Waghalter (Lvl 7)

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    Did all 3-4 people required to man it spend feats on ballista proficiency?

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    Myrmidon (Lvl 10)

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    I designed an encounter with an animated construct in it that was essentially a rolling ballista. I can't remember the exact numbers, but based on this i would suggest something like :

    Balista (standard; recharge 5, 6) * weapon
    Ranged 30/60; + X vs. AC; 3d6+5 damage and target is knocked prone. The creature manning the balista must use a move action to roll for a recharge.

    The bonus attack should be the basic ranged attack bonus of the person using the balista. I would consider whether this is a superior weapon, i.e. does the person get a proficiency bonus for using it? Something to discuss with the DM. The proficiency bonus should be +2 if you allow one.

    The "recharge 5,6" is normally reserved for monster abilities, but why not use it for players in this instance? It represents that it takes a while to recharge the thing. The fact that the creature needs to spend a move action to be able to roll the d6 to see if it recharges means that it must remain there each round, though it still has its standard action so the combat is not lost for this PC.

    The damage is probably comparable to many daily spells you have. You can modify the damage ouput if you feel it's inappropriate, and/or you can make it a "recharge 6" if you want it to be available less frequently (in which case it would mostly be an encounter power - who would want to remain in the balista for 5 rounds on average before it recharges?)

    Sky
    XP Thomas Allred gave XP for this post

  9. #9
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    The Great Druid (Lvl 17)



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    the easiest way to handle it would be using the improvised damage charts. Roll an int check and compare it to the DCs given... do light, moderate or high damage depending on your success... Armor should not help at all... maybe you could also target reflex... (here int is totally logical as defense, because you can calculate where the shot hits)

  10. #10
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    Guide (Lvl 11)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skyscraper View Post

    Balista (standard; recharge 5, 6) * weapon
    Ranged 30/60; + X vs. AC; 3d6+5 damage and target is knocked prone. The creature manning the balista must use a move action to roll for a recharge.

    The bonus attack should be the basic ranged attack bonus of the person using the balista. I would consider whether this is a superior weapon, i.e. does the person get a proficiency bonus for using it? Something to discuss with the DM. The proficiency bonus should be +2 if you allow one.

    The "recharge 5,6" is normally reserved for monster abilities, but why not use it for players in this instance? It represents that it takes a while to recharge the thing. The fact that the creature needs to spend a move action to be able to roll the d6 to see if it recharges means that it must remain there each round, though it still has its standard action so the combat is not lost for this PC.

    The damage is probably comparable to many daily spells you have. You can modify the damage ouput if you feel it's inappropriate, and/or you can make it a "recharge 6" if you want it to be available less frequently (in which case it would mostly be an encounter power - who would want to remain in the balista for 5 rounds on average before it recharges?)

    Sky
    I LIKE it! hey that's good!

    ballistae are horribly brutal weapons...being a Spelljammer fan and making my 3D art for it, I read up on them a lot.
    So folk should *fear* them.

    I'd say that they shot from point impact goes forth in a line 2d4 squares long, same attack/damage stats, as the bolts go right through Human sized targets *squelch*...but that maybe too much to do?

    They should be an exotic weapon, light ballistae are very accurate and have long range (can hit a single man at 200 yards), but they are hard to use due to the size etc, so takes lot of training to be good with them.

    Animation I did about light ballista some years ago:
    http://www.silverblades-suitcase.com...ista_light.avi
    may use the DIVx codiec, iirc.

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