5E Fighting Style for Melee Knife/Dagger Use

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
And get +2 to hit from archery style?

Which means sharpshooter dagger throwers should use strength and throw the daggers as improvised weapons. If an improved dagger throw resembles a dagger, you are considered proficient and can take a -5/+10 sharpshooter benefit even!
IIRC, Archery specifies “attacks with a ranged weapon”, rather than “ranged weapon attacks”, so no Archery Style on improvised attacks by RAW.

RAI, I’d only allow it if you have proficiency with improvised weapons.
 

Esker

Explorer
Improvised ranged weapon attacks have a range of 20/60. That includes throwing Melee weapons.
It would, oddly, only do 1d4+strength damage.

It’s in the PHB, under Improvised Weapons.
Yeah, that's right. 'swhat happens when I try to cite the text from memory instead of looking it up.

So you could throw a longsword 60 feet without disadvantage if you had sharpshooter (but no proficiency bonus to hit, unless you also had tavern brawler). It's weird but strictly worse than throwing a dagger.
 

Esker

Explorer
And get +2 to hit from archery style?

Which means sharpshooter dagger throwers should use strength and throw the daggers as improvised weapons. If an improved dagger throw resembles a dagger, you are considered proficient and can take a -5/+10 sharpshooter benefit even!

(this is a joke)
I know it's a joke, but I don't think it becomes a "ranged weapon" when you are making a ranged attack with it as an improvised weapon. So no archery and no -5/+10.
 

dnd4vr

Hero
LOL so how about this:

My 8th level fighter with STR 20 (or whatever, as long as it is better than DEX) picks up a light x-bow and throws it at an orc 50 feet away under 3/4-cover.

He has Archery Fighting Style, granting him a +2 on the attack roll. After all, the light x-bow is a "ranged weapon".

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He has Tavern Brawler, so has proficiency with Improvised weapons so still gets to add his prof bonus on the attack roll.

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He has Sharpshooter, so can throw it up to 60 without disadvantage and ignoring the cover in this case.

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Since this is an attack with a ranged weapon with which he is proficient, he accepts the -5 to hit for +10 to damage.

All-in-all, he is +5 to hit (+3 prof, +2 archery) and will do 1d4+15 if he hits, killing the orc.

Should this happen? No, probably not. Once the light x-bow is thrown it becomes an "improvised weapon", but by the rules it IS a "ranged weapon". It is also a "ranged attack" because he throws it.

Add the SA to this as well:

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So, yeah, a "ranged weapon attack" means a ranged attack (he throws it) with a weapon (which, it is, even if improvised).

Have fun with that one. ;)
 

NotAYakk

Adventurer
Why would he need Tavern Brawler? I mean, he has proficiency with improvised weapons that are similar to weapons he has proficiency with, and a crossbow is very similar to a crossbow.
 

dnd4vr

Hero
Why would he need Tavern Brawler? I mean, he has proficiency with improvised weapons that are similar to weapons he has proficiency with, and a crossbow is very similar to a crossbow.
Well, I just threw that in because he isn't using the ranged weapon as it was intended to be used, so some people would argue as an improvised weapon, he wouldn't get it proficiency bonus on the attack roll.

Likewise, if you throw a longsword, as a melee weapon, it is an improvised weapon and many tables would deny you proficiency IME. Similarly, people who try to make shield punches treat it as an improvised weapon attack.

For this reason on our homebrew character sheets, we have a checkbox for Improvised Weapons next to Simple and Martial.
 

Esker

Explorer
@dnd4vr I don't think the crossbow counts as a ranged weapon when you throw it either. It's an improvised weapon, which is its own thing.
 

NotAYakk

Adventurer
@dnd4vr I don't think the crossbow counts as a ranged weapon when you throw it either. It's an improvised weapon, which is its own thing.
It is on the ranged weapon table. That is what defines a "ranged weapon".

Obviously.

A weapon you attack at range isn't a ranged weapon. A weapon you use to make a ranged weapon attack isn't a ranged weapon. Things on the ranged weapon table are ranged weapons!

Anything else is madness.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Yeah, that's right. 'swhat happens when I try to cite the text from memory instead of looking it up.

So you could throw a longsword 60 feet without disadvantage if you had sharpshooter (but no proficiency bonus to hit, unless you also had tavern brawler). It's weird but strictly worse than throwing a dagger.
Yeah, which does kinda make Tavern Brawler the 5e “Throw Anything” feat.

One thing I love in Star Wars Saga Edition, is that there are certain rules where if you have two or more specific feats they sort of smooth over any bumps. So like, if you have quick draw and dual wielder, you also get the ability to draw two weapons at once when you draw a weapon.

In 5e, I think there is clear room for something like that.

So, like, if you have Warcaster and Mage Slayer, you can cast a spell at someone with the reaction attack granted by Mage Slayer, for instance.
 

dnd4vr

Hero
@dnd4vr I don't think the crossbow counts as a ranged weapon when you throw it either. It's an improvised weapon, which is its own thing.
You know I wrote that in the post, right? But you can still argue it the other way, after all an improvised weapon is still a weapon.

So, I'm pointing out how ridiculous the rulings can be to some tables, and at others that would have been a really cool attack:

Player: Crap, I don't have any more bolts for my light crossbow.
DM: Well, the orc sniper is about 50 feet away, across the ravine, and partially hidden behind the wall. It's too bad, your Sharpshooter feat would have come in handy with the cover.
Player: Ha! You know what, I throw the crossbow at the orc!
DM: Um, ok, I guess you can...

Everything thing plays out, the player hits, and the table cheers at the dead orc.

Would I allow it to work that way? No, I've said repeatedly I wouldn't. Would I care if others did? Does it break anything in the game? Nope, not a lick. So, again, why complicate a simple thing with convoluted rules and interpretations? Seems silly IMO, but oh well.
 

Esker

Explorer
You know I wrote that in the post, right? But you can still argue it the other way, after all an improvised weapon is still a weapon.

So, I'm pointing out how ridiculous the rulings can be to some tables, and at others that would have been a really cool attack:

Player: Crap, I don't have any more bolts for my light crossbow.
DM: Well, the orc sniper is about 50 feet away, across the ravine, and partially hidden behind the wall. It's too bad, your Sharpshooter feat would have come in handy with the cover.
Player: Ha! You know what, I throw the crossbow at the orc!
DM: Um, ok, I guess you can...

Everything thing plays out, the player hits, and the table cheers at the dead orc.

Would I allow it to work that way? No, I've said repeatedly I wouldn't. Would I care if others did? Does it break anything in the game? Nope, not a lick. So, again, why complicate a simple thing with convoluted rules and interpretations? Seems silly IMO, but oh well.
Oh, you can definitely throw it, as an improvised weapon, for 1d4+STR, but you don't get archery bonus to hit, and you can't use -5/+10, is my claim. Because you're not using it as a ranged weapon, you're using it as an improvised weapon that you throw.
 

Esker

Explorer
It is on the ranged weapon table. That is what defines a "ranged weapon".

Obviously.

A weapon you attack at range isn't a ranged weapon. A weapon you use to make a ranged weapon attack isn't a ranged weapon. Things on the ranged weapon table are ranged weapons!

Anything else is madness.
Yeah, but when you throw it, you're not using it as a crossbow. Just like the longsword gains a 20/60 range when you use it as an improvised weapon, the crossbow loses its "ranged weapon" status.
 

dnd4vr

Hero
Oh, you can definitely throw it, as an improvised weapon, for 1d4+STR, but you don't get archery bonus to hit, and you can't use -5/+10, is my claim. Because you're not using it as a ranged weapon, you're using it as an improvised weapon that you throw.
But you think you could still get the no disadvantage for long range and ignoring most cover, right?

And for some people, they could argue that regardless of how it is being used, it is a "ranged weapon". It doesn't shift to a new part of the table in the PHB after all.

For the record, hopefully at this point you get that I agree with you but understand how other people could feel and interpret it otherwise.

Either way, I think the distinction in such cases is pointless. Neither ruling is "better" or "worse." I do think, however, the logic behind the concept and RAI should take precedence. Sharpshooter is about being great and doing impossible things with ranged weapons (first sentence). In a similar light, I wouldn't let someone use GWM with a longbow swung as a melee weapon. It is "heavy" after all, and if you make a melee attack with it, people could argue the second benefit of GWM should work. Seems silly to me to allow that, but hey who am I to judge, right? :)
 

NotAYakk

Adventurer
Yeah, but when you throw it, you're not using it as a crossbow. Just like the longsword gains a 20/60 range when you use it as an improvised weapon, the crossbow loses its "ranged weapon" status.
Sure, but when you throw a knife you aren't using it for a melee weapon either, but it is on the table so it is treated like one.
 

Quartz

Explorer
So you could throw a longsword 60 feet without disadvantage if you had sharpshooter (but no proficiency bonus to hit, unless you also had tavern brawler). It's weird but strictly worse than throwing a dagger.
This happens at the end of Robin Hood Prince of Thieves when Azeem kills the witch with a well-thrown scimitar. A longsword would just be thrown more like a spear.
 

dnd4vr

Hero
This happens at the end of Robin Hood Prince of Thieves when Azeem kills the witch with a well-thrown scimitar. A longsword would just be thrown more like a spear.
Yeah, a thrown scimitar is more like throwing an axe IMO. :)
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
Sheesh! The Fairbairn-Sykes dagger is just under 12" long total, with a blade of just over 6". A 12" blade is massive - I'd call that a short sword in D&D
A pugio (roman dagger) had a 7-12 inch blade, a rondel had about 12 inch blade, a Tanto 15 inches, a dirk 12 inch blade... shall I go on? The Fairbarin-Sykes fighting knife would be a small dagger by historical standards.

edit: see also https://myarmoury.com/feature_spot_bd.html
 
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Esker

Explorer
Sure, but when you throw a knife you aren't using it for a melee weapon either, but it is on the table so it is treated like one.
But when you throw a dagger you're using it as written, and so it keeps its properties (and your proficiency with daggers is what governs the attack). Improvised weapons cease to have whatever properties they used to have as weapons the moment they are treated as improvised weapons, seems to me. That also accounts for not being able to use the GWM power attack with a longbow: It doesn't have the heavy property while it's being used as an improvised weapon.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
So, if +2 Attack isn’t interesting enough, or you simply want each Fighting Style to do a different thing, what about:

+1 to hit, and when you crit you deal extra damage equal to X? Proficiency mod?
 

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