How do YOU handle a Fastball Special, and other team manuevers? - Page 10
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  1. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by doctorbadwolf View Post

    A. We aren’t talking about throwing a halfling 25 meters for a reason, even though the weight tells us that a high strength dnd character with athletics trained, and some practice making up for the difference between a halfling and a weight, probably could at least get close. There isn’t time to get that 3-4 rotation momentum. With no enemies around, I’d absolutely allow it, though. The “ball” would make an acrobatics check to land safely, or take falling damage, but I’d allow it.
    What kind of DC on that acrobatics check?

    The minimum velocity to throw a weight that far, assuming a perfect 45 degree angle, is about 35 mph. Which is about how fast you'd be going if you fell from about 37 feet. (Well, spun around first and then fell, if we're talking about being thrown like a hammer.)

    With a flatter trajectory it would have to be faster.
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  2. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dannyalcatraz View Post
    For reference, the throw in that video didn’t get to 25 meters either: 9.39m throw by the current Australian M50 56lb Heavy Weight record holder, Grant Edwards.

    IOW, a world class athlete- admittedly an older one- couldn’t throw a halfling half the distance you’re talking.
    um...dude, that’s 30 feet. That’s the outside end of what I’m talking about.

    I don’t give a damn about “gritty” in this situation- it’s too far for my willing suspension of disbelief.
    “nitty gritty” and “gritty” mean two different things. Nitty gritty is a reference to “getting into the weeds” on the details of something. I hope that clarifies what I was actually saying, there.

    As for the rest? Well, I explicitly said I’d allow a fastball special if I thought the thrower was strong enough. Str 15 ain’t it.

    And I’m OK with a non-combat throw of a certain distance with near-max human- see my disclosure about Fast Eddie.
    okay, I’m very confused as to why you need to be at the level of the literal strongest people in the world to throw 40lbs 20 feet, but that also isn’t the point of the thread. Do you have anything to say on the topic of handling the maneuver, or team maneuvers in general, other than “no, unless the thrower is at the apex of mechanical strength score”?

    Like, run your table how you want. I’m certainly not going to stop allowing characters to do what real life humans can do and a bit more because of any argument anyone’s making here. The interesting parts of this thread are the discussions of adjudication methodology, how to set floors and ceilings to what’s possible, whether to use or ignore IRL phsyics as guidepost, etc.

    I respect your opinion, and you’ve clarified your reasoning, but beyond that I’m really only interested in the topic of the thread, which is the above described discussion.

  3. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elfcrusher View Post
    What kind of DC on that acrobatics check?

    The minimum velocity to throw a weight that far, assuming a perfect 45 degree angle, is about 35 mph. Which is about how fast you'd be going if you fell from about 37 feet. (Well, spun around first and then fell, if we're talking about being thrown like a hammer.)

    With a flatter trajectory it would have to be faster.
    I’m not gonna google or calculate stuff like that during a game, but for any given case of being flung that kind of distance horizontally, I’d probably do something very simple like treating it as half the distance for calculating falling damage, and then the check reduces the damage by the result of the check. If it’s reduced to 0, you can roll onto your feet at the end. If you’d have movement left normally, this would take up half your movement. Average damage for a 40ft drop is 14, do a 14 Acrobatics check would result in no damage and landing on your feet. A monk could use Slow Fall instead, bc Acrobatics to reduce falling damage is just a thing in general in my games.

  4. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Carlsen View Post
    I'm being firm with you, not because you challenged me, but because you are showing a continued resistance to the idea that different games have different tones, insinuating through repetition that your preference is the only good one.
    I’m going to operate under the assumption that you don’t intend to come across as condescending as you do. However, while you may have shot for “firm”, you landed on “uncessarily aggressive”.

    You may not mean to, but you're ignoring my core thesis:

    "In order to adjudicate a situation, you must specify what you're trying to accomplish, how you're going to accomplish it, and we need to know the tone of the game."
    Not at all, I simply disagree with many of the particulars of your reasoning, have asked for clarification on others, and disagree with your conclusions.


    My goal is to show that defining your goal, approach, and tone in advance is critical, whether adjudicating on the fly or designing a system in advance, and to show that once you really understand how this works, on-the-fly is usually the best choice.
    Everyone here understands all of it. No one is in need of a lecture on it. Understanding your logic which underline the claim, that on the fly adjudication is always or most of the time the best course, doesn’t automatically lead to agreement with it.

    So, let's design the "Fastball Special".


    First, let's establish the base tone of the game. We could go with this:

    Adventurers are ordinary people in a harsh world seeking out extraordinary circumstances.

    But, if you'll allow me to assume your preference, I'll go with this:

    Adventurers are larger-than life characters in an exciting world, capable of fantastic deeds.

    There are a few possible goals for throwing another character:

    • To throw a character a distance that they couldn't otherwise jump, or because they're unable to jump, say over a pit.
    • To use a character, willing or not, as a projectile in order to bowl someone over.
    • To allow to characters to work together to create a melee attack that is either stronger, has greater reach, or both.
    • etc.


    And there are also goals for why you want to add it to the game:

    • PCs throwing things keeps coming up, and I want a fair system.
    • I have this encounter where a giant throws his underlings at people.
    • A couple of my players have this idea for a character duo: Conan and his Gnome Half-brother, and they want a special maneuver.
    • etc.


    And then there's the final goal of making it easy to use.
    We are all more or less on board, or at least know what the points of contention are, on these points, sure.

    Already, this is a lot. We could create a system that could handle all of it, but most of that system wouldn't be used very often, if at all. We'd never remember it all, so there would be a temptation at the table to look it up when we needed to know what the damage bonus is for medium armor when throwing a goblin at a giant.
    What? Why would you ever need to look something like that up? Every idea proposed by someone not opposed to the idea ITT has been simple enough to remember or write on a playing card sized area of a “running the game” cheat sheet or stuck to a DMs screen.

    But, we can focus. Choose the important goals. Throwing people over pits doesn't come up often, but perhaps you do want a small system for handling generic throwing of objects because you have Hurlor the Rock Pitcher in your party.

    In this case, though we want Fastball Special.


    Goal: One big guy throws one little guy at an opponent so that they can get a melee attack with higher range and impact. It will be used often, so we want it simple, effective, but not so effective that it's the only strategy.

    Approach: Two people, both practiced in the maneuver, work together. One throws while the other jumps, targeting a specific enemy. The thrown character aims a piercing attack in midair, striking with great force and possibly knocking over the enemy.

    Tone: Somewhat goofy and certainly larger than life. Acceptable for the established tone of the game.
    We’ve hit another of those points of contention wrt any inherent goofiness, but we needn’t dwell on that.

    But there is no reason this needs to be distinct from throwing over a pit.

    So, now we can build it. Because it requires training, and because it's an attack, we could make this a fighter maneuver, which would give us the option of adding the thrower's superiority dice to the attack, thus making it advantageous to the thrower and making it a limited resource. We don't want it to be too expensive, so only the thrower needs to have the maneuver. Also, thematically, it only works with smaller creatures. Here's a first pass:


    Fastball Special

    You may expend one superiority die to throw a willing creature at an opponent. The creature must be at least one size category smaller than you and have readied their action to be thrown. Make a ranged attack with proficiency at any target within a number of feet equal to your strength. If you succeed, the thrown creature may make a melee attack against the target and add your superiority die to the damage. Regardless of whether the attack hits if the target is Large or smaller, it must make a Strength saving throw or be knocked prone.


    This may be flawed, but it works. It can be a signature move for a character. And in for that reason, it could be worth adding to your game. We know if it is because of the whole "goal, approach, tone" thing. It fits within the needs of a specific campaign. And you won't be looking it up often because it's a player's signature ability. They'll hopefully learn it and use it a lot.

    Still, most maneuvers aren't signature moves designed for a specific character. They're something that happens during play by creative players, and usually only once. It's practically impossible to consider all of them in advance.
    I’d rather not create a power for a subclass to cover a thing that any barbarian and rogue combo might want to do, when I can work a simple general rule that simply covers throwing things that are about creature sized, and a general set of guidelines for dealing with group maneuvers. This is exactly why it’s worthwhile to, when something like this has come up and you’re done with the session, come up with a general rule for like cases, based on how the system handle things, and what you and your group want out of the game.

    That's why it's more valuable to get good at adjudication. When a player want's to do something new, ask them what their goal and approach are, and take a moment to consider the tone of your game. Then ask: Can it succeed? Can it fail? What's the skill and DC? You rarely need more than this.

    Even as a player, having a grasp of goal, approach, and tone can make adjudication easier, because by making it clear what you have in mind, the DM is more likely to work with you.

    Once you're practiced at adjudication, you become incentivized to remove codified rules. Simple, flexible abstractions become more useful tools.

    Sure, this can lead to inconsistencies across tables, but such consistency isn't important. It's far more important that each table develop their own internal understanding of the game-world.

    Hopefully this gave you somethign useful to think about.
    Yes, I know how to adjudicate. I’ve been doing this for a over 20 years, now, in a variety of systems. If I can run heavily improv supportive 4e games, and SWSE, and less defined games like The One Ring, and extremely crunchy games like GURPS, I’m good here.

    I promise you, having a different approach from you doesn’t mean someone needs a long lecture on the benefits of adjudication in the moment.

  5. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by doctorbadwolf View Post
    um...dude, that’s 30 feet. That’s the outside end of what I’m talking about.
    Dude, you’re generally talking about this as a combat maneuver. To get that range, he had to do that spinning motion you say would work for you in a non-combat situation. In a combat situation, no way is he getting much more than a fraction of that power.

    And despite years of training in that exact maneuver, he doesn’t have anything resembling useful accuracy.

    “nitty gritty” and “gritty” mean two different things. Nitty gritty is a reference to “getting into the weeds” on the details of something. I hope that clarifies what I was actually saying, there.
    Ah, my misunderstanding. So let’s go back:

    Dnd isn’t nitty gritty enough to provide mechanically reasonable negative consequences to spinning around for a few seconds.
    Sure it is. Call it “provoking an opportunity attack” or “giving advantage” to those attackers who might be able to strike the thrower.

    okay, I’m very confused as to why you need to be at the level of the literal strongest people in the world to throw 40lbs 20 feet, but that also isn’t the point of the thread.
    ...with sufficient accuracy to be useful in combat.
    Do you have anything to say on the topic of handling the maneuver, or team maneuvers in general, other than “no, unless the thrower is at the apex of mechanical strength score”?
    The fastball special has been the core maneuver discussed here, thus, that’s my starting point.

    Beyond that?

    Well, effective teamwork requires practice. Unlike some RPGs I’ve played, D&D doesn’t exactly have a mechanism that allows skills to improve via use or (usually “critical”) successes. So whether I’d allow a certain team maneuver to work (and how) with any reliability- particularly in combat- would depend on how complex & powerful it was.

    Consider a variant on the fastball special (FS), in which a person cups their hands and does a vertical lift in order to help a jumper gain more elevation. You see it all the time in gymnastics, cheerleading, and martial arts training. It requires skill, training and strength.

    But it isn’t quite as demanding of the thrower as a FS. (It’s also usually a non-combat move.). I’d resolve that with skill checks.

    OTOH, being able to fight back to back with another warrior in near perfect unison would require both characters to take a feat. For that feat, the combatants would be trained to be able to communicate- with codes or even wordlessly- so well as to always maximize facing & position, and even target foes they might not even be able to see with their own eyes.

  6. #96
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    @Dannyalcatraz You make some good points regarding the caber toss and the weight throw. But a there are a few pieces I think you might be missing.

    1) These movements and competitions are not meant for accuracy, and so good technique does not stress it except to make the throw within the particular inbounds area. Nor are time constraints typically a factor in normal competition. While throws made with such weights with accuracy and/speed would surely suffer in distance, that does not mean that inventive individuals could not develop new throwing techniques that better balance accuracy with distance.

    2) These competitions use ideal throwing implements. But the implements do not have any input into the execution of the throw. If we are talking about launching a person, and that person is as practiced at being launched as the thrower is at launching a person, then there may be opportunities and techniques made by both the thrower and throwee that improve distance and accuracy. So long as the throwee is not just being passive, dead weight then there is opportunity for the throwing implement to aid in the execution of the throw. Something a caber or weight cannot do.

    For example, check out the heights and distances achieved by this taekwondo team: https://youtu.be/eSnEaoQeAqc

    They are working together to achieve more height and distance than they could alone, and demonstrating ability to accurately strike targets as well.

    @doctorbadwolf - The above video may provide additional inspiration for team maneuvers.
    Last edited by Hawk Diesel; Friday, 12th April, 2019 at 07:59 AM.
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  7. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawk Diesel View Post
    @Dannyalcatraz You make some good points regarding the caber toss and the weight throw. But a there are a few pieces I think you might be missing.

    1) These movements and competitions are not meant for accuracy, and so good technique does not stress it except to make the throw within the particular inbounds area. Nor are time constraints typically a factor in normal competition. While throws made with such weights with accuracy and/speed would surely suffer in distance, that does not mean that inventive individuals could not develop new throwing techniques that better balance accuracy with distance.
    Not missing anything. Odds are extremely good that an object of that mass and those dimensions cannot be thrown with accuracy. As a freely moving weight, it is much harder to control than an identical weight constrained in a framework- see the difference between works out on free weights (dumbbells, kettle bells, etc.) as opposed to weight machines.

    Change a caber’s construction to a denser material, and it becomes much easier to throw as it becomes more compact.

    The time constraints I’m referring to have nothing to do with competition rules, but rather how much time it takes a competitor to gain control of the caber and achieving a grip that will allow him to throw it at all.

    2) These competitions use ideal throwing implements. But the implements do not have any input into the execution of the throw. If we are talking about launching a person, and that person is as practiced at being launched as the thrower is at launching a person, then there may be opportunities and techniques made by both the thrower and throwee that improve distance and accuracy. So long as the throwee is not just being passive, dead weight then there is opportunity for the throwing implement to aid in the execution of the throw. Something a caber or weight cannot do.
    Certainly. And that requires practice. Lots of it, too.

    For example, check out the heights and distances achieved by this taekwondo team: https://youtu.be/eSnEaoQeAqc

    They are working together to achieve more height and distance than they could alone, and demonstrating ability to accurately strike targets as well.
    The Taekwondo demo is precisely the kind of thing I was talking about just above:

    Me, Post #95
    Consider a variant on the fastball special (FS), in which a person cups their hands and does a vertical lift in order to help a jumper gain more elevation. You see it all the time in gymnastics, cheerleading, and martial arts training. It requires skill, training and strength.
    And the level of skill they’re displaying takes lots of practice on those specific moves and target locations.

    You should also note that all of the high jumps involve TWO throwers acting in tandem. At the very least, the second person involved in the throw is stabilizing the primary thrower, probably to improve precision and prevent injury.

    A thrower who tries that move solo in free space- IOW, not braced against a wall or without an assistant- might not walk again.

  8. #98
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    I think that if you watch circus acrobats or ballet it's pretty obvious that with enough practice one person can through another with a very high level of accuracy.
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    For the record, I don't think that "requires a lot of practice" is any kind of barrier. A lot of things in D&D would require a lot of practice (spellcasting?) but we don't worry about simulating it.

    My only concern is what fits the tone of the fiction.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Farquhar View Post
    I think that if you watch circus acrobats or ballet it's pretty obvious that with enough practice one person can through another with a very high level of accuracy.
    Throwing somebody up* is vastly different than throwing them horizontally, mitigated proportionally by the weight difference between thrower and throwee. Newton's 3rd law and all.

    *In the vertical projectile sense, not the regurgitation sense.

  10. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elfcrusher View Post
    For the record, I don't think that "requires a lot of practice" is any kind of barrier. A lot of things in D&D would require a lot of practice (spellcasting?) but we don't worry about simulating it.

    My only concern is what fits the tone of the fiction.



    Throwing somebody up* is vastly different than throwing them horizontally, mitigated proportionally by the weight difference between thrower and throwee. Newton's 3rd law and all.

    *In the vertical projectile sense, not the regurgitation sense.
    Realistically, the thrower in a “running start assisted horizontal leap” maneuver would proabably fall prone as part of launching the throwee. Or at least, have to use their movement to not fall prone, which is the same thing in terms of resources. I’m not sure I care enough about simulation to bother with that, but it’s worth noting.

    However, your first statement is spot on. We don’t make players enumerate what feats of athletic and acrobatic prowess they have practiced, we just sail by that, for all manner of stuff that requires tons of practice and/or training. I’m not gonna worry about how much training something requires irl when determining how to adjudicate it in game.

    edit: @Dannyalcatraz I don’t think that there is any significant chance that a ball can’t be thrown accurately. Balls are aerodynamic. Distance would suffer, but it’s almost certainly possible.

    As for the idea idea that a single person performing the maneuver in the video might not walk again...come on, man. You’re wildly speculating. More likely, they fall over at worst, and they’d have to have some bigger team members and only throw the smallest members in that manner. Performing that maneuver with someone whose mass is half your own would not be soemthing with a more significant risk of injury than simply lifting heavy things, or running full speed in full gear, which are things I doubt any of us make any sort of issue of in game.
    Last edited by doctorbadwolf; Friday, 12th April, 2019 at 04:04 PM.

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