How do YOU handle a Fastball Special, and other team manuevers? - Page 3
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  1. #21
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    The way I handle these sorts of things -

    Anytime a character wants to go further than what’s allowed by the rules, I call for an ability check. That provides a base level.

    You want to go 30 ft on your round? Fine no problem - but 30 MORE feet is a DC 15 STR (athletics) check to avoid having to use the dash action. On a success, you cover the distance and don’t have to expend your action. On a fail, you cover the distance but you used your action to dash.

    In a fastball special scenario, whoever’s turn it is makes the Strength (athletics) check and whoever’s turn it is not can use their reaction to give advantage to the check. Doesn’t matter if they’re the thrower or the throwee.

    On wolverine’s turn he calls the fastball special, picks a spot and I ask for a roll. Colossus (who must consent to the move) can use his reaction to grant advantage on wolverine’s check.

    Alternately on Colossus’ turn, he can tell wolverine he wants to toss him, Colossus makes the strength check, and Wolverine can use his reaction to grant advantage.

    I generally stick to dc 15 to exceed your limits, but no more than an action could grant, and DC 20 to exceed your limits well past that but at the cost of an action anyway. Take a climb of 60 feet. Ordinarily not possible in a single round, but if you make a DC 20 STR (athletics) check, you can make it.

    With those as guidelines I’ve covered a bunch of stuff at the table. Including an Aragorn/Gimli toss, aka fastball special.
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  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by doctorbadwolf View Post
    Would a failure on either skill check result in potential disaster/the thing not working, or just "you don't have advantage on the attack"? I'm not a fan of more than 1 total check per participant, unless it's being run like a skill challenge, where you have to succeed on X checks before failing Y checks. More than 1/PC, with any 1 failure meaning total failure, is effectively extra-super-disadvantage.
    One fail, one pass shouldn't result in potential disaster IMO. Maybe your partner misjudged and threw you too far, or not far enough. Maybe you muffed your own launch causing you to fly through the air without as much grace or control as anticipated.

    I agree that a second check quickly becomes tedious for the players and they'll hesitate to try stunts in the future. This is where the DM and players improv ability has to kick in. On the surface, yes with one failure, advantage would be lost. Two borderline successes might result in the same. Two borderline failures might succeed, but without advantage. It really depends on the difficulty of the stunt and the distance involved.
    Last edited by akr71; Monday, 8th April, 2019 at 10:45 PM.
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  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by doctorbadwolf View Post
    Why? Nothing wrong with enjoying or not enjoying what you enjoy or don't enjoy, just curious. Especially in the case of big races like goliaths and firbolgs throwing small races...this is completely realistic. Like, the guy who has the record for throwing another guy threw a 130lb dude 17 1/2 feet, and he isn't even the strongest guy in the world. Is it just a situation where it feels gonzo to you, even if it is actually realistic, or is it something else?



    See above replies. It's literally realistic.
    17 1/2 ft isn't unrealistic, but when people mention the "fastball special" I've found they're looking at ranges in the 30 ft (usually upwards), which is not. By the rules, a character with a 10 ft starting run can jump 18 ft with an 18 Str, so getting help to get extra distance by make a check is fine (see my Cap & Black Widow example).

    I suppose the question becomes how do you define the "fastball special." In the comics, Wolverine (or whomever) appears to move a LONG distance both horizontally and/or vertically, beyond what would be considered realistic because comics thrive on such things. A "fastball special" to throw a character a distance that could be reasonably jumped isn't unrealistic, nor game breaking.

  4. #24
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    @doctorbadwolf, when I referenced jump distance base being limited to the jump distance of the thrower, I meant that if the thrower had a supernaturally long jump speed it would not be counted in. So if the thrower has boots of striding and springing, it doesn't get added in for example. There are class features as well that can increase jump distance.

    As far as the skill check, I sometimes call for it if you need extreme accuracy on where you're targeting, if you want to pull off a stunt or if you want to make a slightly longer leap.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by doctorbadwolf View Post
    That all makes sense. I'm fine with a single check by the thrown character, as well. I'd allow an athletics check to get more distance, but I also do that with jumping, and even for exceeding your speed when Dashing.


    Would a failure on either skill check result in potential disaster/the thing not working, or just "you don't have advantage on the attack"?
    I'm not a fan of more than 1 total check per participant, unless it's being run like a skill challenge, where you have to succeed on X checks before failing Y checks. More than 1/PC, with any 1 failure meaning total failure, is effectively extra-super-disadvantage.



    I don't think I'd go with that last part, unless those OA rolls are made with disadvantage. Generally, cool special movement, as well as forced movement, don't trigger OAs. Also, I figure you're travelling MUCH faster than you would by running. Having had friends who do french cane fighting, which often includes flipping over people, I've seen how hard it actually is to accurately attack a target that is flying through the air, unless you've practiced doing so A LOT. It just happens faster than your decision making processes, and thus relies on reflex/implicit memory. But either way, for gamist reasons I wouldn't do it, anyway.


    Why not add distance?


    I wouldn't call any of that "shenanigans". Why wouldn't a monk be able to use Step of The Wind as part of the manuever, or a bladesinger use Jump, or the thrower be buffed with Enlarge or Enhance Ability?

    Since walking speed doesn't change your jump distance, I'm not sure how the monk's base speed would even factor in, other than moving after being thrown?



    If the math adds up that way (assuming a creature that counts as large throwing a small creature, or similar), I don't see why not.


    Incorrect. Here is proof. If you don't want to watch the video, it's a guiness record being made. A guy throws a 130lb guy 17.5 feet.
    https://youtu.be/cB_vlaP-3uo


    Why? Nothing wrong with enjoying or not enjoying what you enjoy or don't enjoy, just curious. Especially in the case of big races like goliaths and firbolgs throwing small races...this is completely realistic. Like, the guy who has the record for throwing another guy threw a 130lb dude 17 1/2 feet, and he isn't even the strongest guy in the world. Is it just a situation where it feels gonzo to you, even if it is actually realistic, or is it something else?



    See above replies. It's literally realistic.
    Regarding my AO suggestion...

    "I don't think I'd go with that last part, unless those OA rolls are made with disadvantage. "

    In my case, I am equating the throw to a "jump with someone else's strength". But to be more clear on how I would rule the various cases.

    So I am counting it as the same as voluntary movement *if* this cooperation is willing and being used to setup an attack at the end of the "throw." ("Ball has readied an attack.")

    If it is voluntary and just to clear obstacle, the "ball" can "ready" (if you will) the Disengage action, keep themselves protected and not draw AO during the toss.

    If it is involuntary, the "ball" is never giving up their guard and resisting so no AO.

    As far as Athletics checks, I would require an athletics check for the thrower to get it right, on target, no bad spills or spins. That roll could lead to the ball getting advantage or disadvantage themselves in the process of the event.


    "Why not add distance?"

    Jumping already allows you to add distance to your automatic safe jumps, through athletics checks, I would allow that here too, but it would be disadvantaged since the throw is already into "check required" land.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawk Diesel View Post
    I am. For those who aren't, I'm curious. Why is it ok for wizards to summon fire and force from nothing, barbarians to wade into battle safely without armor, but you draw the line at people throwing one another?

    Also, for those of you that doubt the possibility of this happening, especially a medium creature tossing a small one, check out the weight throw. It is an indoor track and field event similar to the hammer toss, but it weighs 35 lbs. A gnome or halfling with a special harness could easily be thrown a decent distance by someone even of moderate strength with good technique.

    The video below is of the weight throw at a college meet. The number below the athlete's name is the number of meters they toss that 35lb weight. I'm sure that these college athletes are less capable than fantasy warriors.

    https://youtu.be/OAWN4vpz3K4
    is that an Unladen hobbit, or Laden hobbit?
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  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oofta View Post
    @doctorbadwolf, when I referenced jump distance base being limited to the jump distance of the thrower, I meant that if the thrower had a supernaturally long jump speed it would not be counted in. So if the thrower has boots of striding and springing, it doesn't get added in for example. There are class features as well that can increase jump distance.

    As far as the skill check, I sometimes call for it if you need extreme accuracy on where you're targeting, if you want to pull off a stunt or if you want to make a slightly longer leap.
    Ah ok. The thrower’s extra jump distance from magic or class features. That’s fair.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shiroiken View Post
    17 1/2 ft isn't unrealistic, but when people mention the "fastball special" I've found they're looking at ranges in the 30 ft (usually upwards), which is not. By the rules, a character with a 10 ft starting run can jump 18 ft with an 18 Str, so getting help to get extra distance by make a check is fine (see my Cap & Black Widow example).

    I suppose the question becomes how do you define the "fastball special." In the comics, Wolverine (or whomever) appears to move a LONG distance both horizontally and/or vertically, beyond what would be considered realistic because comics thrive on such things. A "fastball special" to throw a character a distance that could be reasonably jumped isn't unrealistic, nor game breaking.
    We’re also talking about people who can weigh as little as 35lbs.

    The Olympic world record for throwing such a weight is around 25 meters. That is a completely natural human.

    So, throwing a medium sized person 30 feet isn’t realistic (although it’s reasonable with magical strength boosting, featherfall or levitate on the thrown creature, races like Goliaths with a 20 str PC, in some combination), but a +str race character with large-size carrying capacity throwing a small character that far probably is. A phb average weight halfling?
    It’d be realistic to let an 18 Str human throw them farther than 30 feet, even closer to the 20 meter range, with a successful moderate Athletics check and some practice throwing heavy things.

    A comic book fastball special would probably be around 30ft - 300ft, depending on the comic issue or cartoon episode. I think I made it abundantly clear in the OP that I wasn’t looking at anything like the outside or even middle range of that spectrum, and was in fact starting with the assumption of distances short of the short end of that spectrum.
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  8. #28
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    As a lower bound, consider that the thrower is spending their action to Help the throwee, without needing to be next to the target, with the restriction that the thrower must be strong enough to throw the throwee the distance. "Strong enough" and "distance" are something the DM would have to decide, and is based heavily on play-style, realistic vs. cinematic, etc. By "lower bound" I mean, that's the simplest mechanical expression I can think of that would represent the in-game events. Colossus is strong enough to grant Wolverine advantage without having to run over to the target himself (in fact, he might be able to throw Wolverine farther than Colossus himself could run in a round!).
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  9. #29
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    I'll be honest, outside of supers games, i don't enjoy running games with this kind of silly. So the "punishing" side of the check is done on purpose. But I do agree it shouldn't be complicated. I just set the DCs fairly high.

    So, Lifter Person A has to of course be able to lift Fastball Person B as a "light load", using the Variant Encumbrance rules in D&D, this is anything less than 5x your strength score. Include all other currently carried gear to determine your "free weight". For a person with a 20 strength, that means less than 100lbs. Since you probably already have gear with weight on you that means you're probably not going to be able to lift more than say 3/4ths of that, ~75lbs, which is a large bag of concrete.*
    *For those of you who have lifted a large bag of concrete (these are actually 80lbs) you understand why throwing them with enough force ala the Fastball Special requires someone like Colossus to do it.

    So, assuming all that checks out, the Thrower simply makes an attack roll. The Fastball then makes an Acrobatics check to put the pointy end of his weapon forward instead of ya know, his butt, DC 15. Tricky but not impossible. If both of these things check out then....

    The Fastball deals damage normally.

    Yeah thats right you heard me. All that mathing and reviewing and figuring to...do the same thing as if you had walked up and hit the guy. If you flub your Acrobatics check then you deal improvised weapon damage.

    You want your Fastball Special to have some kind of "other effect" like knocking the target over? Great, they make an opposed strength check to your attack roll.

    It doesn't need to be complicated.

    But I don't want it to happen anyway.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by doctorbadwolf View Post
    We’re also talking about people who can weigh as little as 35lbs.

    The Olympic world record for throwing such a weight is around 25 meters. That is a completely natural human.

    So, throwing a medium sized person 30 feet isn’t realistic (although it’s reasonable with magical strength boosting, featherfall or levitate on the thrown creature, races like Goliaths with a 20 str PC, in some combination), but a +str race character with large-size carrying capacity throwing a small character that far probably is. A phb average weight halfling?
    It’d be realistic to let an 18 Str human throw them farther than 30 feet, even closer to the 20 meter range, with a successful moderate Athletics check and some practice throwing heavy things.
    Magic can totally skew the situation, as it throws reality right out the window. I image though each DM is going to interpret each effect differently (levitation and featherfall would not impact the fastball special IMO, for example). Something else to consider is that in 5E, the world's strongest man is a 20 Str, not 18 as has been classically held.

    Something you haven't taken into consideration is their equipment weight, which is a pretty big factor. Even with a 35 lb. halfling, they are going to be carrying on average 50 lbs. of gear (if your group uses the Encumbrance variant, you know that it adds up FAST) which is half the average carry capacity of said character (Str 10 for 100 lbs). The 56 lb world record for the Highland games is just shy of 50', for example, so I'm sure at 85 lbs it's going to be much shorter.* Under these circumstances, I could accept a top throw of about 30 ft as reasonable given what we know, using a Str/Athletics check to determine the distance and/or accuracy.


    *Not only I am not an expert in math, but with only 2 data points, I would question a linear extrapolation from such limited data. I looked for something higher, but it looks like the Highland Games 56 lb throw might be the heaviest throwing competition.

    Quote Originally Posted by doctorbadwolf View Post
    A comic book fastball special would probably be around 30ft - 300ft, depending on the comic issue or cartoon episode. I think I made it abundantly clear in the OP that I wasn’t looking at anything like the outside or even middle range of that spectrum, and was in fact starting with the assumption of distances short of the short end of that spectrum.
    I had missed that part of the OP (my bad), and agree that comics often border on the absurd as part of their medium. Unfortunately, it's been my experience that some players tend to want to use comic book logic as an excuse to do something that is game breaking (both immersion-wise and mechanically), hence my hesitation.

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