How do YOU handle a Fastball Special, and other team manuevers? - Page 4
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  1. #31
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    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=cB_vlaP-3uo

    Furthest throw of a person. Bit of a white room scenario. Not quite as I imagine the fastball special. I usually assume the fastball has a more active roll in the maneuver. Interesting to see, nontheless.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Immortal Sun View Post
    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.
    I'm not gonna lie. This bothers me a bit. Now, I fully appreciate that our playstyles might be different. But if you as a DM are so opposed to something happening, then as a player I would prefer that the DM just say, "No, you can't do that." If you make the attempt so complicated or difficult as to be basically impossible, then I think it best to just say no and not get the player's hopes up. Additionally, if you make something functionally impossible and the player actually manages to defy the odds and achieve what they set out to do, the reward shouldn't be "Congrats! Your success at this nearly impossible feat and your luck with the dice was only marginally better than a normal attack, if that!"

    I prefer to go by the suggestions of improv. Avoid "No," and instead use "Yes and.." or "Yes but..." and regardless, make sure everyone can still have fun. But if you use "Yes but..." make it actually achievable and reward success commensurate with the difficulty. Otherwise, what you're really saying is "Yes... But really no." In which case it's better to just say no.
    Last edited by Hawk Diesel; Tuesday, 9th April, 2019 at 12:44 AM.
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  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shiroiken View Post
    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.
    If physics exists at all in a dnd world, a spell that makes you lighter should make you easier to throw. Balance-wise, the players are also expending resources. What gives? This comes across as vague "I just don't like it" ruling, in which case, why not just disallow it?

    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.
    Couple things.

    a) I don't know about you, but my monks and rogues (most likely characters to be thrown) don't carry much. Their armor is light, their weapons (if they carry any) are light, they're maybe carrying 20lbs of kit.

    2) Even an 80lb character is going to go farther than the 130lb IRL human did, so to say I haven't taken it into account is weird, when the OP doesn't mention distances greater than that IRL record with a 130lb human.

    III) A goliath isn't magical. They're a natural humanoid who can lift twice as much as a human with the same strength score.


    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.
    Sure, but just set reasonable parameters. No need to go past the reasonable in restricting things just because the gonzo version of it is silly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawk Diesel View Post
    I'm not gonna lie. This bothers me a bit. Now, I fully appreciate that our playstyles might be different. But if you as a DM are so opposed to something happening, then as a player I would prefer that the DM just say, "No, you can't do that." If you make the attempt so complicated or difficult as to be basically impossible, then I think it best to just say no and not get the player's hopes up. Additionally, if you make something functionally impossible and the player actually manages to defy the odds and achieve what they set out to do, the reward shouldn't be "Congrats! Your success at this nearly impossible feat and your luck with the dice was only marginally better than a normal attack, if that!"

    I prefer to go by the suggestions of improv. Avoid "No," and instead use "Yes and.." or "Yes but..." and regardless, make sure everyone can still have fun. But if you use "Yes but..." make it actually achievable and reward success commensurate with the difficulty. Otherwise, what you're really saying is "Yes... But really no." In which case it's better to just say no.
    This. Either allow it in good faith, or don't allow it. I don't understand why some DMs are so afraid of just saying "that sort of things borks my immersion, even if it doesn't break the game, so I'd rather not have it in the game."

    Quote Originally Posted by 77IM View Post
    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!).
    This is a good weather-vane for this sort of thing, I think. And I'd definitely say that Colossus is throwing Wolverine faster than he could run. He'd have to be, to clear that distance while remaining aloft, I think.

  4. #34
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    So I see 2 basic camps for those opposed to things like the fastball special maneuver.

    Camp 1 is the immersion/simulationist group. Now, I don't really agree with this camp, but I can respect it. From my perspective, D&D is not Humans & Houses. I don't think this kind of game can ever be truly simulationist. Additionally, even low magic settings akin to Conan the Barbarian is still based in fantasy. Conan and his allies could achieve feats far greater than any real living person. If these characters were completely normal or average, they could still be interesting, but that isn't really what fantasy is about. Someone mentioned a Supers game being more appropriate, but D&D is still a game where dragons can fly and breathe fire, mortals can summon the elements to their command, necromancers raise armies of undead, and berserker warriors can go into battle without armor and have a real chance of not only surviving, but throttling their enemies. It becomes an argument of not whether it's possible in a D&D game, but to what degree is the success measured. For those that want to play a game with the players being real characters, that seems like a game more suited to systems like Call of Cthulu. But like I said, people play and enjoy D&D for a number of reasons, while it's not my style or cup of tea, it is of equal merit to my style.

    Camp 2 seems to be of people that worry about breaking the game or giving the players something that can be exploited. These people seem to be risk averse in what they allow. Which is also fine. But I would challenge this group to try things before they unleash the ban / nerf hammer. For one, the players may only try it once and never again, making it a fun one of. But if you open the can of worms, as DM you can easily put the worms back. If players seem to be taking advantage of a ruling made off the cuff for eother fun or to keep things moving, have a conversation with your players. Let them know that you notice they are taking advantage of your allowance, how it affects the game and your enjoyment, and get their feedback and thoughts. It may not have occurred to them what you see, or they may have reasoning you hadn't considered, and you can discuss as a group whether the maneuver adds or substract from the fun of the game for the group. Then decide if you continue to allow the maneuver, modify it, or ban it. This mature approach allows you to be an experimental DM, while having a means to undo any unforeseen consequences of your adjudicating of the game.

    Either way, we are all playing a dice game based in imagination with easily discarded rules. The only limits are self-imposed. Hopefully your limits allow greater fun and enhance creativity, rather than stifle it.
    Last edited by Hawk Diesel; Tuesday, 9th April, 2019 at 02:02 AM.
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  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawk Diesel View Post
    I'm not gonna lie. This bothers me a bit. Now, I fully appreciate that our playstyles might be different. But if you as a DM are so opposed to something happening, then as a player I would prefer that the DM just say, "No, you can't do that." If you make the attempt so complicated or difficult as to be basically impossible, then I think it best to just say no and not get the player's hopes up. Additionally, if you make something functionally impossible and the player actually manages to defy the odds and achieve what they set out to do, the reward shouldn't be "Congrats! Your success at this nearly impossible feat and your luck with the dice was only marginally better than a normal attack, if that!"

    I prefer to go by the suggestions of improv. Avoid "No," and instead use "Yes and.." or "Yes but..." and regardless, make sure everyone can still have fun. But if you use "Yes but..." make it actually achievable and reward success commensurate with the difficulty. Otherwise, what you're really saying is "Yes... But really no." In which case it's better to just say no.
    I said "Yes but..." The but was "it's really hard and nearly impossible to do without super-human strength." You want the super-strong dragon or giant to toss you? Sure great.

    A DC 15 Acrobatics check is not that hard. Most players with a good dex will have a +3 to a +5. They'll have proficiency too so at level 1 they've got a +5 to a +7 on their die roll, meaning they need to roll a 7-10 to make the check. That's not hard. Likewise, the thrower is going to have similar scores to their attack roll and ACs are fairly low in 5E, meaning all I'm asking two people to do is roll an average of an 8.

    And neither did I make it complex. To resolve the situation you need to do three things:
    1: Can I light this person as a light load.
    2: Can I hit the target?
    3: Can the Fastball point themselves in the right direction.

    Frankly, that's simpler than a lot of people's normal turns and that's asking for something outside the rules. I'm not interested in a game where it's easier to not follow the rules than it is to follow them.

    Throwing another person is HARD. People are HEAVY. I'm not going to handwaive that because of the "Rule of Cool". I have had far too many players try to "negotiate" reality in order to abuse the rules and gain bennies they otherwise wouldn't had they followed the rules. I play TTRPGs that have rule sets I find easy, functional and enjoyable. The last thing I'm going to do is start rewarding players for desiring to bend, break and abuse them.

    That's not to say there's anything wrong with people who want to do it that way. I'm just saying I don't enjoy it in 5E. 5E was, IMO the more "grounded" edition from the insanity of 3.5 and the Wuxia of 4E.

    Before anyone gripes about magic vs mundane, I'll happily remind you there's an edition that fixed that, and it was the numerical predecessor to this one. An edition I love. An edition that frankly, shares a lot with "extreme" and "over the top" fantasy where this sort of action would fit right in.

  6. #36
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    @Immortal Sun - My issue with your way of ruling it is not necessarily in the difficulty. As you mentioned, the DCs you set are reasonable. But you don't really go into the throw distance. Additionally, you don't really make mention if the thrower needs to use their action too. So there's some ambiguity regarding some aspects that would help determine if it's even worth trying the maneuver. And you indicate yourself that success is pretty much the same as running up and attempting an attack. If this would require action economy investment on the part of both the thrower and throwee, then all that for something the throwee could do themselves is not really worth it.

    So outside of some ambiguity with your propsed solution, my main issue is that you yourself talk about a "punishing" side of a check and that you don't even want it to happen. Now, sure, as a DM there are plenty of things I don't want in my games or don't want my players to do. But in the words of @doctorbadwolf, I still try to allow these instances in good faith if it makes sense. I try to reward creativity and provide rewards commensurate to the difficulty of the attempt. Additionally, I try to allow my players to try new things that might not be allowed by the rules if ot makes sense and seems fun. Yes, people are heavy and throwing them might be hard. But what if the thrower is Enlarged or under the effect of Bear's Strength or using a potion of Giant Strength? And maybe the throwee is reduced, wildshaped, or a monk. There are instances where these attempts might make more sense than just normal, everyday fights where the players haven't used relevant resources. But if these things become a problem, session 0 has already established that I may discuss with my players using the Wand of Retcon and change or disallow previous rulings for future sessions if my initial ruling becomes problemstic or the players attempt to abuse my leniency.
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  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by doctorbadwolf View Post
    If physics exists at all in a dnd world, a spell that makes you lighter should make you easier to throw. Balance-wise, the players are also expending resources. What gives? This comes across as vague "I just don't like it" ruling, in which case, why not just disallow it?
    I have no problem with allowing it (I'm not one who puts unreasonable checks, just one), so you may have mixed me up with someone else. I simply don't view magic the same way you do, as I imagine most others don't agree with either of us. First, I don't use physics in my game (or at least not modern physics... I base everything on classical philosophy, which is what the medieval educated people would have believed). Second, nothing in the levitation spell gives me the impression that you are lighter in any way, but are simply being magically held at a height determined by the caster. Balance doesn't bother me at all, but out of curiosity, would a 1st level spell (featherfall) give less advantage than a 2nd level spell (levitation)? Because that could be a balance issue for players in your game.

    Quote Originally Posted by doctorbadwolf View Post
    Couple things.

    a) I don't know about you, but my monks and rogues (most likely characters to be thrown) don't carry much. Their armor is light, their weapons (if they carry any) are light, they're maybe carrying 20lbs of kit.
    I can't talk about monks, because they probably aren't carrying that much gear.

    You rogue however probably has studded leather (13 lbs.), a light melee weapon (2 lbs), and a shortbow (2 lbs) with 20 arrows (1 lb). Looks like 18 lbs is good, right? Nope, you probably have at least the following: backpack (5 lbs.), traveler's clothes (4 lbs), quiver (1 lb), and thieves tools (1 lb). Well, 29 lbs isn't THAT bad... except that's the absolute bare minimum. If you want to eat, that's 2 lbs. per day, plus drinking requires a waterskin for 5 lbs, and really you should have a mess kit for another 1 lb, bringing your total up to 39 lbs (assuming only 2 days of food). Most rogues need rope, and even a silk rope is 5 lbs, and almost every PC should have a Healer's Kit for another 3 lbs. I guess 47 isn't aweful, but don't forget that Halflings don't have darkvision, so unless you like wandering around blind, you'll need a tinderbox (1 lb) and at least a torch for each hour in the dark (1 lb each), so with only 2 hours of light, you're up to 50 lbs. None of that takes into consideration that every 50 coins you carry is 1 lb (not to mention pouches and sacks to carry them in), each of those Potions of Healing that characters really like is 1/2 lb each, and you don't have any of the neat toys rogues like (such as ball bearings, caltrops, acid, alchemist's fire, and oil) nor any item of comfort, not even a blanket. As I said, it adds up fast.

    Quote Originally Posted by doctorbadwolf View Post
    2) Even an 80lb character is going to go farther than the 130lb IRL human did, so to say I haven't taken it into account is weird, when the OP doesn't mention distances greater than that IRL record with a 130lb human.
    I'm not sure where this is from. I have only read the OP (a while back) and your replies to me, so I don't know. You said the world record for throwing 35 lbs is 75 ft (25 m), and that's what I was working with. I simply looked up the highest weight throwing competition I could find, which was the 56 pounder used in the Highland Games.

    Quote Originally Posted by doctorbadwolf View Post
    III) A goliath isn't magical. They're a natural humanoid who can lift twice as much as a human with the same strength score.
    Being able to carry more does not directly translate into throwing farther (at least mechanically), otherwise a player could reasonably argue that they can attack with a javelin at more than 120 ft. That is a can of worms I would not open.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawk Diesel View Post
    @Immortal Sun - My issue with your way of ruling it is not necessarily in the difficulty. As you mentioned, the DCs you set are reasonable. But you don't really go into the throw distance.
    Okay, I kinda assumed like, about 30 feet. If you're asking to throw a person the distance a longbow fires then...yeah, no.

    Additionally, you don't really make mention if the thrower needs to use their action too.
    Making an attack requires using your action. So it was implied.

    So there's some ambiguity regarding some aspects that would help determine if it's even worth trying the maneuver. And you indicate yourself that success is pretty much the same as running up and attempting an attack. If this would require action economy investment on the part of both the thrower and throwee, then all that for something the throwee could do themselves is not really worth it.
    Annnnnd this is exactly why I don't put up with these shenanigans.

    You're not doing it to be cool. You're doing it to game the system. To minimize your investment and maximize your output, which while fine just exposes the fact that your real interest here is to abuse the system to gain power.

    Which is exactly why I'm such a rules stickler in the first part. If you just think it would be cool, then who cares what the cost is, who cares what the damage is? You do it because it's totally epic. Not because it becomes a superior method of attack than any other.

    So outside of some ambiguity with your propsed solution, my main issue is that you yourself talk about a "punishing" side of a check and that you don't even want it to happen. Now, sure, as a DM there are plenty of things I don't want in my games or don't want my players to do. But in the words of @doctorbadwolf, I still try to allow these instances in good faith if it makes sense.
    None of this "makes sense" to me in the type of power-level 5E is going for.

    The OP asked for some examples of how to handle it simply. I provided one. If other people want to do it, I'm more than happy to work with them to enable them to do it in their games. My participation in this thread is on the basis of that I enjoy thinking about these sorts of challenges. It's not because I enjoy the particular meat of the question.

    I try to reward creativity and provide rewards commensurate to the difficulty of the attempt.
    I don't see this as particularly creative, and taking the hard way is not by any means a superior tactic.

    Additionally, I try to allow my players to try new things that might not be allowed by the rules if ot makes sense and seems fun.
    I get that. I'd probably allow this in 3.5/Pathfinder or 4E. But not in 5E.

    But what if the thrower is Enlarged or under the effect of Bear's Strength or using a potion of Giant Strength? And maybe the throwee is reduced, wildshaped, or a monk.
    Large creatures and quadrupedal creatures have higher carrying capacities. So it would make them more capable of throwing other creatures. A higher strength score would enable the same and allow a player to better hit the AC of their target.

    You're overcomplicating this.
    1: Can the Thrower carry the target as a light load?
    2: Can the Thrower hit the AC of their target?
    3: Can the Fastball make the Acrobatics check to be pointed in the right direction?

    The rest of those things are just noise.

    There are instances where these attempts might make more sense than just normal, everyday fights where the players haven't used relevant resources. But if these things become a problem, session 0 has already established that I may discuss with my players using the Wand of Retcon and change or disallow previous rulings for future sessions if my initial ruling becomes problemstic or the players attempt to abuse my leniency.
    I really dislike retconning things in the middle of a game for any reason. So I am strict up front and open things up later. It always feels worse to me to be open at the start and strict later on.
    Last edited by Immortal Sun; Tuesday, 9th April, 2019 at 03:49 AM.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shiroiken View Post
    Second, nothing in the levitation spell gives me the impression that you are lighter in any way, but are simply being magically held at a height determined by the caster. Balance doesn't bother me at all, but out of curiosity, would a 1st level spell (featherfall) give less advantage than a 2nd level spell (levitation)? Because that could be a balance issue for players in your game.
    They can kick off things, and float through the air by doing so. And no, that isn't a balance issue. Spells don't have the same degree of power in every situation.


    You rogue however probably has studded leather (13 lbs.), a light melee weapon (2 lbs), and a shortbow (2 lbs) with 20 arrows (1 lb). Looks like 18 lbs is good, right? Nope, you probably have at least the following: backpack (5 lbs.), traveler's clothes (4 lbs), quiver (1 lb), and thieves tools (1 lb). Well, 29 lbs isn't THAT bad... except that's the absolute bare minimum. If you want to eat, that's 2 lbs. per day, plus drinking requires a waterskin for 5 lbs, and really you should have a mess kit for another 1 lb, bringing your total up to 39 lbs (assuming only 2 days of food). Most rogues need rope, and even a silk rope is 5 lbs, and almost every PC should have a Healer's Kit for another 3 lbs. I guess 47 isn't aweful, but don't forget that Halflings don't have darkvision, so unless you like wandering around blind, you'll need a tinderbox (1 lb) and at least a torch for each hour in the dark (1 lb each), so with only 2 hours of light, you're up to 50 lbs. None of that takes into consideration that every 50 coins you carry is 1 lb (not to mention pouches and sacks to carry them in), each of those Potions of Healing that characters really like is 1/2 lb each, and you don't have any of the neat toys rogues like (such as ball bearings, caltrops, acid, alchemist's fire, and oil) nor any item of comfort, not even a blanket. As I said, it adds up fast.
    Do you like...think that I don't play this game or something?

    lol I know what my characters do and do not have on them. I have two rogues in active games right now, and neither of them carries more than 25 lbs total of kit. They either have traveling clothes OR armor, not both, and aren't carrying mess kits, backpacks, or any of that. The one does have a hand crossbow and bolts, but he also wears traveling clothes and uses Mage Armor. The other has two returning daggers as his only weapons. The group has rope, the rogue doesn't need to be the one carrying it.


    I'm not sure where this is from. I have only read the OP (a while back) and your replies to me, so I don't know. You said the world record for throwing 35 lbs is 75 ft (25 m), and that's what I was working with. I simply looked up the highest weight throwing competition I could find, which was the 56 pounder used in the Highland Games.
    In the OP and elsewhere I mention that the furthest a person has been thrown was 17 1/2 feet, with a 130lb person.

    Being able to carry more does not directly translate into throwing farther (at least mechanically), otherwise a player could reasonably argue that they can attack with a javelin at more than 120 ft. That is a can of worms I would not open.
    There is no can of worms. You just tell the players that the ranges for weapons are set, end of story.

    Quote Originally Posted by Immortal Sun View Post
    Annnnnd this is exactly why I don't put up with these shenanigans.

    You're not doing it to be cool. You're doing it to game the system. To minimize your investment and maximize your output, which while fine just exposes the fact that your real interest here is to abuse the system to gain power.

    Which is exactly why I'm such a rules stickler in the first part. If you just think it would be cool, then who cares what the cost is, who cares what the damage is? You do it because it's totally epic. Not because it becomes a superior method of attack than any other.
    This, I think, is completely off base.

    Wanting to do it because it's cool isn't incompatible or contrary to gaining an advantage from it. Successfully doing cool things should have a benefit.

    It's not shenanigans, at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Immortal Sun View Post
    Okay, I kinda assumed like, about 30 feet. If you're asking to throw a person the distance a longbow fires then...yeah, no.
    Reasonable. Yet this is also a distance that most characters can already move at. So unless you're launching the person being thrown over an obstacle or over a chasm, this distance isn't likely to be enticing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Immortal Sun View Post
    Making an attack requires using your action. So it was implied.
    Is it the thrower's action, or the throwee's action? Or is it the throwee's action, and the thrower's reaction? Or is it just the throwee doing all the rolling? See, you believe it to be implied, but there are many ways that it can be interpreted without clarity regarding which is "right" or "expected." Certainly if the only one player is investing in the action economy and is the one being thrown, and they are only making a DC 15 Athletics or Acrobatics check to effectively jump 30ft and get their attack, with lower but guaranteed damage on a miss (using your improvised weapon damage suggestion), then I would say this is too generous. No attack roll, making a reasonably easy DC for athletic or acrobatics for those with proficiency, and no possibility of a miss is certainly abusable with potential problems. But if the thrower has to invest something, whether in action economy or resources, then I would expect the potential reward to be slightly better since you are only effectively moving a distance you could do on your own, and giving up two potential attacks for one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Immortal Sun View Post
    Annnnnd this is exactly why I don't put up with these shenanigans.

    You're not doing it to be cool. You're doing it to game the system. To minimize your investment and maximize your output, which while fine just exposes the fact that your real interest here is to abuse the system to gain power.
    I'm sorry, but please don't assume my motivations or reasons. Most often, I am actually the DM. With the player's consent, I AM the system. I am the rules adjudicator, I am every NPC and villain, and I am the world. I have nothing to gain by "gaming the system." I do have much to gain, however, by making a fun, enjoyable game that balances immersion with elements of fantasy and storytelling. My interest is solely in improving my ability to adjudicate the rules on the fly, be able to read the room regarding what is going to maximize enjoyment, and create reasonable challenges for my players. The written rules and mechanics provide a structure and precedent, but it is impossible for any rule system to reasonably cover every possible action the players may attempt. Systems that attempt to do this turn out like 3.5 or Pathfinder. But ultimately, it is the DM's call. But the DM only has as much power as their players give them, via the social contract of the game. Thus, it is in my best interest as the DM to find ways to keep my players happy, while also ensuring that I am having fun running the game.

    Quote Originally Posted by Immortal Sun View Post
    Which is exactly why I'm such a rules stickler in the first part. If you just think it would be cool, then who cares what the cost is, who cares what the damage is? You do it because it's totally epic. Not because it becomes a superior method of attack than any other.
    Nothing wrong with being a stickler for rules. But once again, the absence of a specific rule in 5e is not evidence that it cannot be done, only that it is left to the DM to decide how best to handle the situation.

    Also, we have very different ideas of what is "cool," or "epic." D&D is not just about storytelling. It is also a game. Thus, for something to be cool or epic, it not only needs to satisfy the storytelling aspect, but also the game aspect. Hence, some success a player has that is "cool" or "epic" is also effective at achieving a desired result. If I am playing as a monk, I can say I run 30' to my target and attack. Or I can describe my monk leaping that distance in a single bound, unleashing a flurry of strikes targeting the soft spots and vulnerable joints of my enemy, making them wail in agony against my assault. Notice that effectively and mechanically, there is literally no difference between these two turns, except for how they are described. But describing every mundane, normal turn in these terms makes these cool actions common place and boring. While I am certainly practicing as a wordsmith, these are not the things that will be remembered. However, using creative problem-solving to attempt something risky, that is "cool" and "epic." Even failing such attempts can be "cool," "epic," or lead to the stories that players and DM alike will remember and retell for years to come. The ordinary actions and tactics that get used over and over again are not what make things memorable.

    So yes, we are in agreement that there should be a cost to pulling off crazy, "epic" maneuvers. There should be risk. But the reward should be commensurate with what is spent, and what is risked. If two players have to use their action, then the potential reward should be at least what the two characters could have done separately with their actions. If additional resources are required, such as specific spells, then the potential reward should be even greater. If there is a risk of catastrophic failure, such as not making it across that ravine you are being tossed over, or needing multiple checks to determine the degree of success of failure, than the reward should match what is put in.

    I'm also not suggesting to be "unrealistic" (a strange term for a fantasy role-playing game). I'm not saying one should allow a player to try and phase through a solid wall just because it would be cool. But if there are other circumstances or other resources the players are bringing to bare that make sense for what they are attempting, then I am more likely to allow it and see what happens. But I am not going to go into (or at least actively try to not go into) such situations looking to punish creativity or make things unreasonably difficult just because I'm not about how the players want to play the game. It's their game too. That should be respected. If I don't think something is reasonably possible, I'll let the players know and I'll provide my reasoning for transparency's sake. Which may encourage the players to try a different route. But it may encourage them to double down and make new suggestions and creative problem-solving that could possibly address my initial concerns. To me, that isn't "gaming the system," but rather being thoughtful about the possibilities achievable within the system given certain, possibly scenario specific, conditions and constraints.

    Quote Originally Posted by Immortal Sun View Post
    None of this "makes sense" to me in the type of power-level 5E is going for.
    Ok. Once again, I will point to abilities, spells, and items that would make this tactic more feasible and also limited. Characters with Powerful Build, Enlarge, Reduce, Bear's Strength, Rage, Gauntlets of Ogre Power, Potions of Giant's Strength, Gust of Wind, Jump... there are so many things that already exist in D&D that contribute to parts of this maneuver being possible. How is a fastball special not within the power level of 5e?

    Quote Originally Posted by Immortal Sun View Post
    The OP asked for some examples of how to handle it simply. I provided one. If other people want to do it, I'm more than happy to work with them to enable them to do it in their games. My participation in this thread is on the basis of that I enjoy thinking about these sorts of challenges. It's not because I enjoy the particular meat of the question.
    This is absolutely fair, and please I hope that you do not take my comments as a personal attack or stating that you "aren't playing D&D right." If you have taken what I've said in that way, my apologies. As I reread your original post, I think I reacted more emotionally to your post without reading it through carefully. Certain elements struck a chord with me, such as the idea of "punishing" players through dice. I think this triggered thoughts of previous experiences I've had where a DM allowed me to attempt something, only to nerf my success to the point that it was effectively a failure even though I technically succeeded based on the parameters I was given. In my experience, this approach is frustrating to players, and if a DM feels strongly enough that something doesn't fit in the game or make sense, it would be better to state as much and be upfront with the players, rather than to present yourself as being ok with the player-directed course of action while functionally making it impossible. So, my apologies for getting fired up and misdirecting that energy at you. That wasn't my intention.

    Quote Originally Posted by Immortal Sun View Post
    I don't see this as particularly creative, and taking the hard way is not by any means a superior tactic.
    My guess is that it depends on the context of the challenge the players are going against. As a regular move that players might start every combat with, sure. It would get boring and mundane quick. Maybe even be abused by the players. But in situations where it could add to the action and cinematics of the challenge, scene, and story? It could be gold. Additionally, it may not be taking the hard way. If the spellcaster is out of spells, the rogue is out of arrows/bolts, and the bad guy is getting away with a chasm between them and the players? It may be the only thing they can think of to prevent the bad guy from getting away.

    But I think you misunderstand me. When I say difficulty, I don't mean that the action or attempt is hard. I mean that reward should be commensurate with what the players invested, as well as the possible consequences of failure. If two or more players invest their actions or even whole turn for something, then the possible outcome should be at least equal to what those players could have achieved individually, so long as it makes sense and is reasonable for the desired outcome. Additional resources such as spells, use of class/race abilities, or consumable items should also be taken into consideration.

    Quote Originally Posted by Immortal Sun View Post
    You're overcomplicating this.
    1: Can the Thrower carry the target as a light load?
    2: Can the Thrower hit the AC of their target?
    3: Can the Fastball make the Acrobatics check to be pointed in the right direction?
    What if my group doesn't bother with encumbrance or typically need rules regarding what a light load is? And yes, maybe I am overcomplicating this. But by engaging in this discussion, I'm also training myself to consider things that I might not have otherwise considered when I'm blind-sided by my players requesting to do something that either isn't covered in the rules, or that I have forgotten the particular rules that govern this action. No one remembers every rule, especially not in the midst of the game. And no one wants to slow the game down for the DM to take 20 minutes to find and remember the rule or go over rules that might guide the adjudication without directly covering it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Immortal Sun View Post
    The rest of those things are just noise.
    Maybe for you. But clearly we see and value different things. What sounds like noise to you is a beautiful melody to me (Get off my lawn! These crazy kids with that noise and mumble rap. That's not music!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Immortal Sun View Post
    I really dislike retconning things in the middle of a game for any reason. So I am strict up front and open things up later. It always feels worse to me to be open at the start and strict later on.
    Sure. And that's your style and it works for you. But that doesn't mean the tool is not available to you should you need it. A DM that is open with their players and discusses concerns about the game openly is going to ultimately engage in a more cooperative, cohesive game that evolves towards the best possible game experience.
    Last edited by Hawk Diesel; Tuesday, 9th April, 2019 at 05:21 AM.
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